|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
• 445 m (1,460 ft)
As of 2001 India census, the district of Yavatmal had a population of 24,60,482. Males constitute 51% (12,67,117) of the population and females 49%(11,93,365). Yavatmal has an average literacy rate of 74%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 83%, and female literacy is 74%. In Yavatmal, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age. Density of population is 181 persons per square kilometre. Total rural population is 20,01,034 and urban population is 4,59,448. Percent age of population belonging to Schedule Casts is 10.92% and for Scheduled Tribes it is 21.46. Sex ratio is 942 females for 1000 males. 34% of the population is below poverty line.
Cotton-ginning and pressing are carried on. The town is also the chief trading centre in the district, and is connected by road with Dhamangaon station, which is 29 miles from this town. It is also known as cotton city. During the time of British rule, it was considered to be a hill station.
A narrow gauge railway called the Shakuntala Express has passed through since the British era, now running on diesel rather than the original coal. The train runs once a day between this station and Murtizapur railway station.
Major business establishment in Yavatmal includes the Raymonds factory which produces the Jeans Fiber. Its is 100% export unit from Raymonds, which is a famous clothes brand.
Other local businesses in town are dominated by presence of agricultural supply facilities which are very useful for the nearby farmer community.
New generation is joining the workforce of 21st century slowly and there are a number of computer learning centres and educational institutes.
Yavatmal District has major industrial areas at places like- MIDC Lohara, Darwha, Digras, Pusad, Umerkhed, Wani, Umari, Pandharkawada, Ralegaon and Babhulgaon, Ner and Wani-Maregaon
Main market places in the Yavatmal district are: Yavatmal City, Wani, Darwha, Digras, Pusad, Umerkhed, Pandharkawada.
Main banking places are: Yavatmal, Pusad, Digras, Ghatanji and Pandharkawada, Wani.
There are government medical and engineering colleges and other educational institutes like Shri Vasantrao Naik Government Medical College, Government Polytechnic, Government Residential Women's Polytechnic, Jawaharlal Darda Engineering and Technical Institute, ITI Institute, Amolakchand Mahavidyalaya, Daate College (Kala and Wanijya Mahavidyalaya), Pharmacy College in Pusad and Yavatmal. Colleges for Physical Education (BPEd). Ayuvervedic College in Yavatmal and Homeopathic college in Pusad. Yavatmal has number of educational facilities which include Engineering, Medical, physical education institutes, including the 'Hanuman Akhada'. Agricultural and Veterinary Colleges in Yavatmal and Pusad.
Early history―legandary period.Yavtamal was civilised near about 272BC. It is not possible to compile a connected history of the Yeotmal District, which, as at present constituted, is a creation of very recent years; and materials for tracing the social and economic condition of the people are scanty in the extreme. All that can be done is to follow the course of events connected with well-known historical sites in the District or near its borders, and occasionally to trace the progress of armies through its lands.Yeotmal, with the rest of Berar, must have formed part of the legendary kingdom of Vidarbha mentioned in the Mahabharata, with the eponymous capital of which Bidar in the Nizam's Dominions has been identified; and legend identifies the village of Kelapur, which gives its name to one of the taluks of the District, with Kuntalapur, one of the cities of Vidarbha; but the identification of sites in this nebulous kingdom must always be a matter of pure conjecture. The name of the kingdom has, however, been preserved in its adjectival form Vaidarbha in the name of a small stream which rises on the plateau to the east of Kelapur and flows into the Penganga.The Sunga dynasty -Berar formed part of the empire of Asoka Maurya, who reigned from 272 to 231 B.C., but before the disruption of the Maurya empire seems to have regained independence under a local chieftain, for towards the end of the reign of Pushyamitra Sunga, who had commanded the forces of Brihadratha, the last Maurya emperor, and, having slain his master, had established an independent dynasty with its capital at Vidisa, the modern Bhilsa, Agnimitra, his son, found it necessary to make war on his neighbour, the Raja of Vidarbha. The latter was defeated, and the river Wardha was made the boundary between the two kingdoms. There is no indication of the dynasty to which this Raja of Vidarbha belonged, or of the extent of his do-minions ; but the incident is mentioned as one which affected Eastern Berar in times which, in the present state of our historical knowledge, may almost be termed prehistoric.The Vakatakas and other Hindu kingdoms.-It is unnecessary, in considering the history of the Yeotmal District, to trace the connection of the Andhras, Sakas, Pahlavas and Yavanas with Berar; but it is practically certain that the District with most, if not the whole, of the rest of the Province, formed part of the dominions of the Vakataka dynasty. Of this line of kings little is known; but if their capital was, as has been conjectured, at Bhandak, a village near Chanda, the Yeotmal District was very near the seat of Government. A short inscription in Cave XVI at Ajanta gives the names of seven members of the Vakataka family, and from other sources we know that ten Rajas, the names of all of whom, save one, have been handed down, ascended the throne. The first was Vindhyasakti, who has been variously placed in A.D. 275, 400, and, allowing 25 years as the average length of a reign, 575; but all of these dates are very uncertain.The Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas have left no monuments in the District. In the latter half of the tenth century it was included in the kingdom of Vakpati II, Munja, the Paramara Raja of Malwa, whose dominions stretched southwards to the Godavari; but about 995 A.D., Taila II defeated and captured the Raja of Malwa, and Berar thus fell once more under the sway of the Chalukyas.Towards the end of the twelfth century most of the northern districts of the Chalukya kingdom were seized by the Yadavas of Deogiri, but it may be doubted whether the whole, if any part, of the Yeotmal District was annexed by this dynasty. The eastern tracts were probably occupied by the Gonds, whose power in the neighbourhood of Chanda seems to have waxed as that of the Chalukyas waned.Muhammadan period―the Bahmani dynasty.-The District did not lie in the way of the Muhammadan invaders of the Deccan, and the raid of Ala-ud-din Khilji in 1294 can scarcely have affected it; but the occupants of the Yeotmal District, whether Gonds or Yadavas, were compelled to relax their hold when the Muslims consolidated their power in the Deccan, and when Ala-ud-din Bahman [This was his correct title as by shown by a contemporary inscription and by legends on coins. The fantastic epithets bestowed upon him by various historians are connected with vain tales.] Shah, the founder of the Bahmani dynasty who proclaimed himself independent in 1347, organised his kingdom, he divided it into four tarafs or provinces, of which the northernmost was Berar, the southern boundary of which was probably the Godavari. The fortress of Mahur, second in importance to Gawilgarh only, dominated the southern part of the Yeotmal District; and its strength was usually sufficient to keep the Gonds at bay. A fortress of secondary importance, which then existed at Kalam, was the stronghold of the northern part of the District; and the garrisons of these two places of arms were able as a rule to prevent the Gonds of Chanda from crossing the Wardha which was probably then, as now, the eastern boundary of the District. The District, however, was not always safe. Thus, in 1398-99 while the army of Berar under its commander, Salabat Khan, was absent from the Province during the campaign of Firoz Shah, the eighth king of the Bahmani dynasty, against Harihara II of Vijayanagar, Narsingh Deo, the Gond Raja of Kherla, overran Berar from north to south and established himself in Mahur. It seems strange that the attack was from Kherla rather than from Chanda, but Narsingh Deo was probably instigated by the Sultan of Malwa, and it is not certain that he received no help from Chanda. The whole of the Yeotmal District was now in the hands of the invaders, and Firoz Shah, on the conclusion of his campaign against Vijayanagar, marched northwards to recover his lost territory. He besieged Mahur and recaptured it from the Gonds in 1400, and then marched through the District towards Ellichpur, where he halted while his generals pushed on to Kherla and reduced the Gonds to obedience. After receiving the Gond chieftain's humble submission Firoz Shah returned to Gulbarga, but it is not certain whether he returned as he had come, through the Yeotmal District, or whether he followed the more usual route through Western Berar.Ahmad Shah.- In 1422 Firoz Shah was deposed by his brother Ahmad, who ascended the throne in Gulbarga, and was employed immediately after his accession in bringing to a successful conclusion a war with Vijayanagar which, in the reign of Firoz, had opened disastrously for the Musalmans. The army of Berar bore an honourable part in Ahmad Shah's successes against the Hindus of the south, but the defeat of the Musalmans before the deposition of Firoz, and the absence of the provincial army, had encouraged rebels to assert themselves in Eastern Berar. Mahur was held by "an infidel," whether an officer from Chanda or a disaffected Hindu zamindar is doubtful. The fortress of Kalam had also been captured from the royal troops, either by or at the instigation of the Gond ruler of Chanda, as will be seen from the action taken by Ahmad Shah. Ahmad marched to Mahur and laid siege to the place. The garrison offered to surrender on condition that their lives were spared. The terms were granted and broken, the defenders being massacred by Ahmad Shah's order after they had surrendered. Kalam was Ahmad's next care. He marched northwards through the District and captured this fortress without difficulty. That the ruler of Chanda was largely responsible for these troubles is evident from the fact that Ahmad Shah, who had many other matters to occupy him and would not have been likely to waste his strength in acts of wanton aggression, sent an expedition from Kalam into the Chanda dominions where, besides ravaging the country, the Musalmans captured a diamond mine. The locality of the mine is not precisely indicated, but it is mentioned again at a later period, and it would be interesting to trace the situation of ancient diamond workings in the Central Provinces.War with Kherla.-From Kalam Ahmad Shah marched to Ellichpur, his actions in which place, being directed principally towards strengthening the northern frontier with a view either to meeting attacks or to extending his dominions, do not directly concern the Yeotmal District. Having completed his arrangements on the northern frontier he retired in a leisurely manner towards Gulbarga in 1428, and Hoshang Shah, of Malwa, took advantage of this retrograde movement to attack Narsingh Deo of Kherla, whom he had been unable to detach from his allegiance to the Bahmani king. The army of Berar under Abdul Kadir, the Khan-i-jahan, was ordered to march to the assistance of Narsingh Deo, while Ahmad Shah returned northwards to its support. His leisurely movements fostered the belief that he feared to meet Hoshang in the field, and Hoshang openly boasted that Ahmad dared not encounter him. Ahmad, much incensed by this boast, set forth to attack Hoshang but was dissuaded from doing so by the doctors of religion in his camp, and contented himself with sending a message to warn Hoshang against interfering with a vassal of Gulbarga. After the despatch of this message he retired towards the Yeotmal District followed by Hoshang, who was now convinced that Ahmad feared him. Hoshang's entrance into Berar removed the religious scruples which had hitherto restrained Ahmad from attacking a brother Muslim, and he halted his army and awaited the advance of the army of Malwa, which moved forward all unprepared for any opposition. The invaders suffered a severe' defeat and Hoshang Shah fled, leaving the ladies of his harem in the hands of the victors. As he fled towards Mandu the Gonds of Kherla fell upon his beaten army and completed the heavy tale of slaughter. Ahmad Shah's religious scruples once more asserted themselves, and in compensation for the loss which had been inflicted on the army of Malwa by an unbelieving foe he despatched Hoshang's ladies to him under the charge of a trusty guard, with many eunuchs whom he presented to him as a free gift.It is only fair to say that there is another version of this story of the war between Hoshang Shah and Ahmad Shah in Berar and that according to that version Ahmad Shah was the aggressor and was marching to attack Narsingh Deo when Hoshang came to the latter's aid. There is something to be said for this version for it is improbable that Narsingh Deo gave much thought to his allegiance to Gulbarga when Firoz Shah was in difficulties with Vira Vijaya of Vijayanagar, and it is not unlikely that he was concerned in the occupation of Mahur and Kalam; but on the whole the version first given is to be preferred. Narsingh Deo accompanied Ahmad Shah on his return march through the Yeotmal District, and parted from him at Mahur whence he was dismissed with many rich presents.In 1433 the Bahmani kingdom was exhausted after a war with Gujarat,, and Hoshang Shah, taking advantage of its condition, attacked and annexed Kherla, slaying Narsingh Deo. Ahmad Shah at once marched into Berar and was on the point of attacking Hoshang when Nasir Khan, king of Khandesh, intervened, prevented an outbreak of war between his two powerful neighbours, and proposed terms of peace which were accepted by both parties. These were that Hoshang Shah should retain possession of Kherla, and that Berar should continue to form part of Ahmad Shah's kingdom. These terms were most unfavourable to Ahmad Shah, and his acceptance of them is an indication of the extent to which his kingdom had suffered in the war with Gujarat. It is probable that in consequence of his weakness the Yeotmal District as well as the rest of Berar was subject to inroads from Malwa and Chanda, and the events of his son's reign bear out this view.Ala-ud-din Ahmad II.-Ahmad Shah died in 1435 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Ala-ud-din Ahmad II, who had married the daughter of Nasir Khan Faruki, the ruler of Khandesh. His treatment of this lady was such as to lead her to complain to her father, and Nasir Khan prepared to attack his powerful son-in-law. Having obtained the sanction of Ahmad Shah of Gujarat to his design, he proceeded to tamper with the fidelity of the nobles of Berar. He claimed descent from the second Khalifah, Umar al-Faruk, and he succeeded in persuading many of the nobles of the Province that if they fell fighting in the cause of the descendant of so great a pillar of Islam they would receive the eternal reward promised to martyrs for the faith. Then, with ridiculous inconsistency, he enlisted the aid of an infidel ally, the ' raja of Gondwana,' that is to say, the ruler of Chanda, since Kherla had been suppressed. Nasir Khan was defeated and driven back to his capital, Burhanpur. The details of the campaign need not be recounted since the Yeotmal District was not the theatre of war, but as the Gond chieftain did not take the field with his ally his assistance probably consisted in the ravaging of Eastern Berar; and the Yeotmal District must have suffered severely. From the fact that Ala-ud-din Ahmad Shah's general posted troops in Balapur and Ellichpur to check the incursions of the Gonds, it would seem that these incursions extended far beyond the limits of the District. Ellichpur is not favourably situated for the purpose of checking inroads from Chanda, but Muhammadan. historians invariably make the mistake into which the first British officers appointed to the administration of Berar fell, and describe the Korkus of the Melghat as Gonds.The rebellion of Jalal Khan.-In 1453 Jalal Khan, who had married Ala-ud-din Ahmad's sister, rebelled in Telingana and attempted to raise his son, Sikandar Khan, the grand-son of Ahmad Shah I, to the throne. Ala-ud-din Ahmad Shah assembled his forces and Jalal Khan sent Sikandar Khan to Mahur in order that he might create a diversion there. Sikandar Khan occupied Mahur and sent a 'message to Mahmud Shah Khilji, of Malwa, informing him that the Bahmani king was dead but that his attendants were concealing the fact of his death for their own ends. He added that if Mahmud Shah took the field Berar and Telingana would fall into his hands without a struggle. Mahmud Shah believed this report, and, after consulting Adil Khan II, the ruler of Khandesh, invaded Berar in 1456, marched through the Yeotmal District to Mahur, and encamped in the plains about that fortress. On hearing of this aggression Ala-ud-din Ahmad Shah changed his plans. He left Khaja Mahmud Gawan to act against Jalal Khan in Telingana; detailed the army of Berar to watch Adil Khan of Khandesh and to prevent him from co-operating with Mahmud Shah; ordered Kasim Beg Saffshikan, governor of Daulatabad, to march on Mahur; and himself, with his household troops and the army of Bijapur, marched towards the same fortress. Mahmud Shah was very wroth when he learnt how he had been tricked by Sikandar Khan, and, being unprepared to meet Ala-ud-din Ahmad in the field, fled towards Mandu by night, leaving behind him an officer with instructions to prevent Sikandar from returning to his former allegiance and to send him as a captive to Mandu should he show any inclination to make his sub-mission to Ala-ud-din Ahmad. Sikandar Khan discovered that he was virtually in custody and contrived to elude his jailor and to escape from Mahur with two thousand men. He fled to Nalgonda, where Khaja Mahmud Gawan was besieging his father, and here both father and son submitted and were pardoned. Fakhr-ul-Mulk, the Turk who had been governor of Mahur before he was ejected by Sikandar Khan, was reinstated by Ala-ud-din Ahmad Shah.Nizam Shah.-. Nizam Shah, the twelfth king of the Bahmani, ascended the throne in 1461 at the age of eight in Bidar, whither the capital had been removed by Ahmad Shah I. Mahmud Shah Khilji of Malwa, taking advantage of the extreme youth of Nizam, invaded his dominions by way of Western Berar, drove the young king from his capital, and laid siege to the citadel of Bidar. But Nizam Shah's nobles appealed for help to Mahmud Shah of Gujarat, who soon appeared on the frontier with 80,000 horse, and rallied their own forces. The retreat of Mahmud of Malwa by way of Western Berar was now cut off, and Khaja Mahmud Gawan, with an army composed of the troops which he had succeeded in rallying and some cavalry placed at his disposal by the king of Gujarat, was closing in upon him from the west, and cut off his supplies. The army of Malwa was now reduced to great distress, and Mahmud Shah Khilji was compelled to raise the siege of Bidar and set forth on a disastrous retreat through the Yeotmal District. Here he was harassed by Khaja Mahmud Gawan, who hung upon his rear with 40,000 horse, and by an army of 10,000 horse which had been thrown into Berar to cut off his retreat, and which menaced his left flank. The retreating army suffered severely during its march through the District, and the miserable remnant of it was nearly exterminated by the Korkus in the Melghat before it could reach Mandu.The District suffered equally with the rest of Berar from the severe famine which followed the failure of the rains in 1473 and 1474, in the reign of Muhammad III, the thirteenth king of the Bahmani dynasty, and most of those who escaped death from starvation fled into Malwa. In 1475 rain fell, but the recovery of the Province was slow, for there were few left to till the soil.Administrative reforms.-. At this time the subordinate governor of South-eastern Berar, which included the Yeotmal District, was Khudawand Khan, the African, who had his head-quarters at Mahur; and in 1480 Muhammad III, by the advice of Khaja Mahmud Gawan, divided the four original provinces of the Bahmani kingdom into eight smaller provinces. Berai was divided into the provinces of Gawil and Mahur, and Fath-ullah Imad-ul-Mulk, who had been governor of the whole of the old province, retained the northern division, while Khudawand Khan, the African, was appointed governor of the new province of Mahur. Of the boundaries of the new provinces we have, unfortunately, no information, but as the object of the division was to break the power of the provincial governors it is probable that the division of the province of Berar was as equal as possible. Virtually the whole of the Yeotmal District must have been included in the province of Mahur, and it is not unlikely that the Bembala was the northern boundary ofthis province.Murder of the reformer.-This administrative reform, which should have been undertaken many years earlier, was resented by the old tarafdars, and by none more than by Malik Hasan Nizam-ul-Mulk, the governor of Telingana, who lent himself to a conspiracy the object of which was the death of Khaja Mahmud Gawan, the author of the reform. The plot was disastrously successful; the aged minister was murdered by order of the master whom he had served too faithfully; and the day of his murder was the day from which the decline and fall of the Bahmani kingdom may be dated. Neither Imad-ul-Mulk nor Khudawand Khan, to do them justice, showed any inclination to give countenance to the murderers of Mahmud Gawan. On the contrary, they withdrew from the royal camp, and openly reprobated the murder. Shortly afterwards they returned to their provinces, but a year had not passed before they were recalled by Muhammad Shah to accompany him on an expedition to Goa and the Konkan. They obeyed the summons but, mindful of the fate of the innocent Mahmud, they were careful to place an interval between themselves and the royal army, whether in camp or on the march, and ultimately returned to Gawil and Mahur before the completion of the expedition and without leave.Gawilgarh declared independent.-Muhammad Shah died of drink in 1482 and was succeeded by his son Mahmud Shah, a boy of twelve. All power in the capital passed into the hands of the ministers, and in 1485 was secured by Kasim Band, a Turk. The old tarafdars, well aware that Kasim was the author of all orders issued in the king's name, simply ignored them, and were virtually independent from this time though they maintained a show of submission until 1490 when Yusuf Adil Khan of Bijapur, Ahmad Nizam-ul-Mulk of Ahmadnagar, and Fath-ullah Imad-ul-Mulk of Gawil declared themselves independent.Although Fath-ullah Imad Shah was considered Sultan of Berar, the Yeotmal District and the rest of Southern Berar remained for some years under the rule of Khudawand Khan of Mahur, who was as independent of Gawil as he was of Bidar, though he seems never to have committed himself to a formal declaration of independence.In 1504 both Fath-ullah and Khudawand Khan were appealed to by Mahmud Shah for assistance in punishing Yusuf Adil Shah of Bijapur, who had established the Shiah religion in his new kingdom. The two chieftains, though staunch Sunnis, were unwilling to take arms against their old ally, and one somewhat improbable account of what followed is to the effect that Mahmud Shah and Ahmad Nizam Shah marched into Berar to punish them for their contumacy, and received their submission at Kalam.In the same year (1504) the aged Fath-ullah Imad Shah died and was succeeded in Ellichpur and Gawil by his son Ala-ud-din Imad Shah. The history of the early part of Ala-ud-din's reign is obscure. According to one account he quietly succeeded his father, but according to another he was a prisoner in the fort of Ramgir in Telingana at the time of his father's death, and was in the power of Amir Barid, who had succeeded his father Kasim Barid in Bidar, until he was rescued from captivity by one of the sons of Khudawand Khan. The former account seems to be correct.in 1514 Mahmud Shah made an abortive attempt to escape from the clutches of Amir Barid. It failed owing to his own slothfulness and readiness to take offence, and its failure seems to have exasperated Khudawand Khan of Mahur who occupied himself in raiding and ravaging Amir Barid's territory in the direction of Kandahar and Udgir until, in 1517, Amir Barid, taking Mahmud Shah with him, marched against Mahur and captured it, slaying Khudawand Khan and his eldest son, Sharza Khan. Another son, Mahmud Khan, [In one passage called Ghalib Khan apparently by a scribe's error] was appointed to the command of Mahur as the servant of Ala-ud-din Imad Shah, a politic concession which was evidently intended to hinder the Sultan of Berar from interfering in the affairs of Bidar.Khudawand Khan, though apparently independent, had always been on the most friendly terms with Fath-ullah and invariably acted in concert with him; but Berar was once more united on the death of the governor of Mahur, and the Yeotmal District became part of Ala-ud-din's kingdom.Ala-ud-din Imad Shah. War with Ahmadnagar.-Ala-ud-din Imad Shah became involved in a quarrel with Burhan Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar regarding Pathri, one of the southern parganas of Berar, the deshpandya watan of which had belonged to the ancestors of the Ahmadnagar kings who were Brahmans, and had fled to Vijayanagar where Malik Hasan Nizam-ul-Mulk was captured in early youth and was brought up as a Musalman. Burhan Nizam Shah had many Brahman relatives, and was naturally anxious to possess the home of his fathers. He proposed to exchange some other pargana for Pathri but Ala-ud-din refused the offer. War ensued and Pathri was taken by Burhan Nizam Shah. In 1527 Ala-ud-din Imad Shah sought help from Sultan Kuli Kutb Shah of Golconda, and with his assistance recovered Pathri, whereupon Burhan Nizam Shah allied himself with Amir Barid of Bidar and once more captured the place. Sultan Kuli Kutb Shah returned to Golconda, and Burhan, who considered that the recapture of Pathri was an in-sufficient punishment for Ala-ud-din, marched on Mahur, which he captured from Mahmud Khan, the son of Khudawand Khan. He then annexed the whole province of Mahur, which included the Yeotmal District, and marched towards Ellichpur with the object of annexing the whole of Berar. Miran Muhammad Shah, of Khandesh, came to the assistance of Ala-ud-din, but the allies were defeated and the whole of Berar fell into the possession of Burhan Nizam Shah. Ala-ud-din next sought help from Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, before whom Burhan and Amir Barid fell back as he entered the Yeotmal District. The kingdom of Ahmadnagar now became the theatre of war, and Ala-ud-din Imad Shah soon had cause to repent of calling to his assistance an ally who showed no disposition to leave the Deccan. Ultimately both Ala-ud-din and Burhan were compelled to unite in requesting Bahadur Shah to return to his own country, which he agreed to do on the condition that Khutbas were recited in his name both in Berar and Ahmadnagar, that the two Sultans paid him tribute, and that the dominions of each were restored to the status in quo ante belium. The Yeotmal District was thus once more included in the dominions of Ala-ud-din Imad Shah. War with Golconda.-This was not the last campaign in which the warlike but unfortunate Ala-ud- din was engaged. Kivam-ul-Mulk who had long been in rebellion against Sultan Kuli Kutb Shah [The title of this king is often wrongly given. " Sultan " was a part of his personal name and not of his royal title. His name before he assumed independence was Sultan Kuli (" the servant of the king ") and his title had been Kutb-ul-Mulk After his assumption of independence he was known as Sultan Kuli Kutb Shah.] of Golconda, was at last defeated near Yelgandal and took refuge in Berar with Ala-ud-din. Sultan Kuli demanded the surrender of the fugitive and also the restoration of certain districts which in the time of the Bahmanids had belonged to Telingana and not to Berar. On Ala-ud-din's refusal to comply with these requests Sultan Kuli moved towards Berar and Ala-ud-din marched through the Yeotmal District to meet him. A battle was fought near Ramgir and the Beraris were utterly defeated. Ala-ud-din fled back to Ellichpur, and Sultan Kuli Kutb Shah possessed himself of the disputed territory and returned to Golconda. The date of these events is not given, but it seems probable that they took place after the departure of Bahadur Shah of Gujarat from the Deccan.Death of Ala-ud-din Imad shah.-The date of Ala-ud-din's death is not certain, but it seems probable that he died in 1529 and was succeeded by his son Darya Imad Shah, during whose reign the history of the Yeotmal District is a blank. Darya was succeeded in 1561 by his son Burhan Imad Shah, who was imprisoned shortly after his accession by his minister, Tufal Khan the Deccani, who thus became the real ruler of Berar. The troops of Murtaza Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar invaded Berar in 1572, nominally for the purpose of releasing Burhan Imad Shah from confinement but really with the object of annexing Berar to Ahmadnagar. In the same year both Tufal Khan and Burhan were captured in Narnala, and the Yeotmal District, with the rest of Berar, was annexed to the Ahmadnagar kingdom.Berar an appanage of the Crown of Delhi.-. There is nothing to record in the history of the Yeotmal District for many years after the annexation of Berar by Ahmadnagar. We have no information of the extent to which it was affected by the confused politics of Ahmadnagar, and the military road between Hindustan and the Deccan lay through Western Berar, far from the boundary of the District. In 1596 the District, with the rest of Berar, was ceded by Chand Bibi, the queen-regent of Ahmadnagar, to Sultan Murad, Akbar's son, and the Province thus became once more, after the lapse of two centuries and a half, an appanage of the Crown of Delhi. It was raided and occupied more than once after its cession by troops from Ahmadnagar, but the Nizam Shahi dynasty never succeeded in permanently ousting the Mughals.The Ain-i-Akbari.-The account of Berar in the Ain-i-Akbari was added to that work in 1596-97, and the administrative divisions there enumerated were probably a legacy from the days of the Bahmanids, for Akbar's officers can hardly have had leisure to reorganize the Province, and certainly had no reason to do so. The Yeotmal District comprises the greater part of Akbar's sarkars -of Kalam and Mahur, but some few mahals of these sarkars lay beyond the present limits of the District. Yeotmal appears in the record as the headquarters of a pargana under the name of Yot-Lohara, Yot being the Urdu or Persian corruption of Yevata, the original name of the town; and Lohara the name of a village about three miles to the west of Yeotmal. The suffix mal is a corruption of mahal (pargana-town). A rough estimate makes the land revenue demand in Akbar's time for the area now occupied by the District rather more than ten lakhs of rupees; but this estimate is rather under than over the mark, while it is certain that collection must always have fallen far short of the nominal demand.Akbar died in October 1605 and was succeeded by his eldest son Salim, who assumed the title of Jahangir. Throughout Jahangir's reign Berar was in a disturbed state, but there is little to chronicle regarding the Yeotmal District. About 1613 Berar was settled by Malik Ambar the African, who posed as the champion of the independence of the Deccan, and actually held nearly the whole of the Province during the greater part of the reign of Jahangir. It is not necessary to say much of his settlement save that it was far more reasonable than that of Abul-Fazl who seems to have accepted old estimates of the revenue without reference to the existing resources of the much harried Province. It was Malik Ambar's rather than Abul-Fazl's estimate that formed the basis of subsequent settlements.Capture of a diamond mine.-In 1618 Amrullah, the son of the Khan-i-Khan-an, captured a diamond mine in Gondwana which had been the property of a zamindar of Khandesh. It is probable that this diamond mine was in the Central Provinces, within measurable distance of Kalam, and was identical with the diamond mine captured by the officers of Ahmad Shah Bahmani I in 1425, for diamond mines are not common in this part of India.Prince Shah Jahan.-In 1622 Prince Shah Jahan, who commanded the imperial troops in the Deccan, was recalled in order that he might be ready, with the army of the Deccan, to march on Kandahar and thence invade Persia. He hesitated to obey the order, and later in the year rebelled against his father. The course of his rebellion need not be followed. After widespread operations in Hindustan and Gujarat he was forced to flee to Burhanpur, where the remnant of his army was dispersed by his brother Parwez, and he fled with a few followers through the Yeotmal District to Mahur, pursued by his brother. At Mahur he left his elephants and heavy baggage under the charge of Udai Ram and Yadava Rao of Sindkhed while he fled to Golconda, where he took refuge with Muhammad Kutb Shah. In 1624 Yadava Rao and Udai Ram removed his elephants from Mahur to Burhanpur, where they presented them to Parwez.
Sale of the District.-. Late in 1626 Umdat-ul-Mulk Khan-i-Jahan, one of Jahangir's leading Afghan nobles, sold Ahmadnagar and the whole of the Balaghat of Berar, including the Yeotmal District, to Hamid Khan the African, the agent of Murtaza Nizam Shah. The commanders of military posts in the Balaghat, under orders from the Khan-i-Jahan, surrendered them to the Deccani officers and retired to the Payanghat. Kalam and Mahur were probably among the posts so surrendered.Death of Jahangir. -Jahangir died on November 9, 1627, and in the course of the ensuing disputes regarding the succession, the affairs of Berar and the Deccan fell into great disorder. Shah Jahan sent messages from Gujarat to the Khan-i-Jahan at Burhanpur, promising to retain him in this appointment if he would support his cause, but the Khan-i-Jahan continued to conspire with Murtaza Nizam Shah and Hamid Khan, and confirmed their possession of the Balaghat.Accession of Shah Jahan.-Shah Jahan ascended the throne in Agra on February 15, 1628, and sent a message to Murtaza Nizam Shah directing him to withdraw his troops from the Balaghat of Berar. The order was obeyed, for the Deccanis had a wholesome terror of Shah Jahan, and the Yeotmal District thus fell again into the hands of the Mughals. The Khan-i-Jahan, now deprived of his title and known simply as Pira Lodi, was summoned to court, but perceived from the treatment accorded to him at Agra that the emperor was aware of his treachery. He fled from Agra, was overtaken and defeated at Dholpur on the Chambal, and fled thence to the Deccan through Bundelkhand, Gondwana, and the Yeotmal District, and joined Murtaza Nizam Shah. The scene of the campaign which followed was at first Western Berar and afterwards the Ahmadnagar country; and there is nothing to record of the Yeotmal District until 1630 when the rains failed and the District suffered, with the rest of Berar and the Deccan, from a terrible famine. We have no detailed information of the extent to which the District, as compared with other tracts, was affected, but the general description of the effects of the famine probably applies accurately to the Yeotmal District. ' Buyers were ready to give a life for a loaf, ' but seller was there none. The flesh of dogs was sold as ' that of goats, and the bones of the dead were ground down ' with the flour sold in the market, and the punishment of ' those who profited by this traffic produced yet direr ' results. Men devoured one another and came to regard ' the flesh of their children as sweeter than their love. The ' inhabitants fled afar to other tracts till the corpses of ' those who fell by the way checked those who came after; ' and in the lands of Berar, which were famous for their ' fertility and prosperity, no trace of habitation remained.' This description is couched in terms of oriental hyperbole, but it must not be rejected as purely fanciful, for the natural calamity was much enhanced by the depredations of two hostile armies. Some measures of relief were inaugurated in Khandesh and Gujarat, but nothing seems to have been attempted in the Yeotmal District.Redistribution of Deccan Provinces.-. In 1632 Shah Jahan returned to Agra. At the end of 1634 Shah Jahan issued a farman reorganizing his territories in the Deccan. Berar, Khandesh, and the old Ahmadnagar kingdom were divided into two subahs, the Balaghat and the Payanghat, the line of division between which was physical and coincided as nearly as possible with a line drawn from Rohankhed in the Buldana District to Sawargaon on the Wardha. The Yeotmal District was thus once more severed from Northern Berar and included in the division of the Balaghat. In 1636, on the appointment of Aurangzeb to the viceroyalty of the Deccan, the subahs were once more reorganized, and Berar became again a homogeneous province. Accession of Aurangzeb. -In 1658 Aurangzeb deposed his father and ascended the imperial throne, and in 1661 Diler Khan, accompanied by Irij Khan, the subahdar of Berar, and the faujdars of the Province, marched through the Yeotmal District to attack the Gond Raja of Chanda. The raja submitted, and the expedition terminated peacefully on his paying to the imperial exchequer a crore of rupees and promising to pay an annual tribute of two lakhs and to raze his fortifications.Accession of Bahadur shah. The Marathas.-In 1707 Aurangzeb died in Ahmadnagar, and after the usual fratricidal conflict was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, Shah Alam Bahadur Shah. Towards the end of this year the officers of the imperial army first began to enter into regular agreements with the Marathas, permitting them to levy chauth and sardeshmukhi. The whole of Berar suffered severely from the levy of this blackmail, and the Maratha collectors became so firmly established in the land that the Province was under a double government of Mughal and Maratha. Of all Districts in Berar none suffered more severely than Yeotmal which was always ready to the hands of the Bhonslas of Nagpur. In the reign of Farrukh Siyar (1712-1719) the collection of chauth and sardeshmukhi by the Marathas was recognized by imperial farman.Asaf Jah obtains the viceroyalty of the Deccan.- In 1724 Asaf Jah Nizam-ul-Mulk, by his victory over Mubariz Khan at Shakarkhelda in the Buldana District became virtually the independent ruler of Berar and the Deccan, and the Province ceased to have any direct connection with the Emperor of Delhi, though neither Asaf Jah nor any of his descendants assumed the insignia of royalty or formally proclaimed themselves independent. Asaf Jah's independence did not affect the Yeotmal District in the administration of which the Marathas seem to have had at least as much part as the Musalmans. Raghuji Bhonsla, before his appointment as Sena Sahib Subah in 1734, had established himself at Bham, sixteen miles south of Yeotmal. 'where the ruins of his palace are still to be seen, and both chauth and sirdeshmukhi were reguarly collected. As Sir Alfred Lyall says [Gazetteer of Berar, p. 128.]:- Wherever the emperor (or the Nizam) appointed a jagirdar the Marathas appointed another, and both claimed the revenue, while foragers from each side exacted forced contributions, so that the harassed cultivator often threw up his land and helped to plunder his neighbour.'Raghuji Bhonsla.-Raghuji Bhonsla was formally recognized by the rulers of Hyderabad as mokasadar of Berar, that is, an assignee of a share of the revenues which he was authorized to collect through his own officers. In 1738 he strengthened his position by attacking and defeating Shujaat Khan, governor of Berar, in the neighbourhood of Ellichpur.In 1770 the southern tracts of Berar were in a disturbed state. The zamindar of Nirmal, who had rebelled, was attacked by Zafar-ud-daulah, the general of Nizam Ali Khan, and fled. His adherents seem to have crossed the Penganga into the Yeotmal District, whither they were pursued, and the occurrence led to a quarrel between Zafar-ud-daulah and Ismail Khan, the governor of Berar.The Peshwa and war with the Marathas.-The history of the District was uneventful from this time onwards until the outbreak of the third Maratha war, if we except probable disputes regarding the collection of the revenue and the occasional passage of Bhonsla's troops. In 1818 the Peshwa, Baji Rao, advanced to the assistance of Mudaji (Appa Sahib) Bhonsla against the British Resident at Nagpur. On April 1 Ganpat Rao, with the advanced guard of the Peshwa's army, encamped on the bank of the Wardha, near Wun, and cautiously crossed the river, but was immediately driven back by Lieutenant-Colonel Adams, who had, on April 3, reached Warora with a brigade of infantry, the 5th Bengal Cavalry and some horse artillery. The Peshwa had by this time entered the District and was marching aimlessly backwards and forwards between the Wardha and Penganga without venturing to cross either. A delay in the arrival of Adams' supplies enabled Brigadier-Generals Doveton and Smith, who were advancing to cut off the Peshwa's retreat to the north-west and south, to come up. On April 14 Baji Rao ventured to cross the Wardha, but was at once driven back by Adams. On the 16th Adams advanced on Pandharkawada, intending to reach it on the 17th. On the morning of the 17th he reached Pimpalkhuta, which Baji Rao had quitted only twenty-four hours before. Adams, hearing that Baji Rao had retreated as far as Siwni, some twelve or fourteen miles to the south-west, followed him at once with his cavalry, horse artillery, and a light infantry battalion; meanwhile Baji Rao had discovered that he was advancing directly on Doveton's line of march and promptly turned northwards, a movement which brought about a rencontre between Adams' advanced guard and the Marathas about five miles from the village of Siwni. Adams guessed from the number of elephants and standards that Baji Rao was present in person, and promptly attacked with the 5th Bengal Cavalry, the horse artillery driving the enemy back in confusion. The horse artillery secured a position on the rising ground to the north of Siwni whence they were able to direct an effective fire on the disorganized Maratha army. The cavalry, led by Adams himself, then charged, throwing the enemy into still greater confusion. This charge brought the cavalry to a second ridge, in the valley below which the enemy were seen in great numbers. The horse artillery again came into action with excellent effect, and Adams again charged the enemy with no more than two squadrons. The main body of the Marathas was by this time in complete confusion, but two bodies of horse seemed to be inclined to make a stand. The first, however, on receiving the fire of the horse artillery and on being threatened in flank by the remaining squadron of the 5th Bengal Cavalry, broke and fled. The second was dispersed by a third charge led by the indefatigable Adams, and the rout of the Marathas was complete. Baji Rao himself escaped with difficulty, quitting his palki, which had been pierced by a round shot, and mounting a horse. The victors captured five guns-the only artillery which Baji Rao had with him-three elephants, and two hundred camels. Of the treasure only Rs. 1100 were recovered, for the Peshwa's troops, true to their Maratha instincts, had looted all the rest in the confusion. The pursuit was continued by Brigadier-General Doveton, who was at Pandharkawada when the battle was fought, but the Peshwa was unfortunately not captured. The Marathas left over a thousand dead on the field, while of the victors only two were wounded. After the conclusion of the war the Peshwa restored the pargana of Amarkhed, which he had held since the battle of Kardla.Appa Sahib the impostor.-In 1848 an impostor who pretended to be Appa Sahib, the ex-raja of Nagpur, arose in theDistrict. He proclaimed his pretensions to Berar and was actively supported by all the hereditary Hindu officials, who in all troubles of this nature invariably displayed disaffection towards the Nizam's government, thwarting his commanders and abetting the pretenders, although the rebel bands plundered and ravished wherever they went. With the aid of these officials the soi-disant Appa Sahib collected troops and arms throughout Berar, engaged a gang of Rohillas, and openly took the field with about 4000 men. The British irregular forces pursued him, and in May 1849, attacked his party posted in the hills near Kalam, when the rebels were driven off; but Brigadier Onslow died on the field from a fall with his horse. In June Brigadier Hampton's cavalry came up, by forced marches, with Appa Sahib's main body, and after a sharp and spirited action, in which the Brigadier was dangerously wounded, captured Appa Sahib and dispersed his followers.The Assignment.-In 1853 the District was assigned, with the rest of Berar, to the East India Company. No disturbance took place within its limits during the Mutiny, and its history since that time has been uneventful, consisting merely of a record of steady progress.Condition of the people.-From what has been said regarding the manner in which Berar was administered and governed during the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth, it will be understood that the lot of the cultivator was peculiarly hard. The extent to which he was robbed by his various masters rendered the cultivation of even the best land an unprofitable occupation, and led him either to seek a more remunerative calling or to emigrate. The Yeotmal District, from the comparative poverty of its soil and its propinquity to the Nagpur territory, which at the time of the assignment of Berar had already been for many years under British administration, was more readily deserted than more fertile tracts-; and; in 1853 was probably the poorest and most desolate District of Berar. Repopulation began in the more fertile districts, and Yeotmal remained for some years in a comparatively backward position. An attempt was made to hasten its return to prosperity by the leaving of entire villages on favourable terms to lessees called ijaradars, but, owing partly to their lack of enterprise and partly to the want of skilled hereditary husbandmen, the measure was not a success. The District has, however, rehabilitated itself by degrees, and little more remains to be done towards the development of its agricultural resources. Its mineral wealth has been partly explored but has not yet been worked.Administration since Assignment.-Berar, on its assignment, was divided into the two Districts of East and West Berar, with their headquarters at Amraoti and Akola; and the Yeotmal District, with the exception of the Pusad taluk, was included in the former, but in 1864 the taluks of Yeotmal, Darwha, Kelapur, and Wun were formed into a District termed at first South-east Berar, and afterwards Wun. The assignment terminated in 1903 when Berar was leased by the Nizam to the Government of India, and was transferred from the administration of the Resident at Hyderabad to that of the Central Provinces. In 1905, after the lease, the six Districts of Berar were reconstituted and Wun received from the Basim District, which was broken up, the taluk of Pusad. The designation of the District was at the same time changed from Wun to Yeotmal.
Yavatmal City was main town of Berar. Yavatmal was earlier also spelled as YEOTMAL or YEVTMAL. Region of Yavatmal (now District of Yavatmal) was part of the dominion of Allauddin Bahamani Shah-The founder of Bahamandy dynasty since 1347. In 1572 ruler of Ahmadnagar (Now another district of Maharashtra state of India which is also referred as "Sambhaji Nagar" or simply "Nagar")annexed the Yavatmal District. In 1596, Chand Bibi the queen of Ahmadnagar, ceded the district of Yavatmal to Moughals (One of the ruler of India). After the death of Aurangzeb the moughal king in 1707, Yavatmal was paased on to the Great Marathas. When Raghuji Bhosle became the ruler of Nagpur in 1783, he included the Yavatmal district in his kingdom. After British East India Company took over Berar in 1853, by 1863, Yavatmal became part of East Berar District and later of South East Berar district which were districts of Central Provinces. Quite late before the 1947, Yavatmal was part of Madhya Pradesh but in 1956 after the reorganization of states in India District of Yavatmal was transferred to Bombay state. When the state of Maharashtra came into existence in 1960 (1st of May), Yavatmal District became part of part of Maharashtra. This District has given two chief minister to Maharashtra State (Shri Vasantrao Naik and Shri Sudhakarrao Naik) and many more great politicians & great Personalities like Loknayak Bapuji Ane the great Freedom fighter & Babaji Daate the gret social worker in Yavatmal. Post-independence, this district of Yavatmal has consistently favored Congress Party (Indira) in its political leanings. So the state government representatives (known in India as Member of Legislative assembly or MLA) and central government representatives (known in India as Member of Parliament or MP) elected by people in Yavatmal have been largely from Congress party (Indira). In the 90's, the trend has reversed, though; with the election of members of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to the prominent positions of MP and MLAs to represent Yavatmal both at state and central government levels.
The principal language of Yavatmal district is Marathi. But as the district has various Scheduled and Nomadic Tribes there are various languages spoken in Yavatmal. Those languages are: GORMATI or BANJARI, GONDI, Hindi, Sindhi, Marwari.
The district has various cultures well in place. It has India's most ancient tribal communities- GOND RAJA, GOND PARDHAN, KOLAM, AANDH, BANJARA etc. District experiences various Hindu fairs like 1. Maroti and Gajanan Maharaj Fair in Ghatanji 2. Shri Chintamani Fiar at Kalamb 3. Shri Dutt Jayanti Fair at Mahur 4. The Jambhora and Mahashiv Ratri in Wani, Pusan and Mahagaon. 5. Shri Rangnaath Swamy in Wani 6. Amba Devi in Kelapur.
Along with Hindus, it has Muslim Culture rooted in not only in urban area but also in rural area. District also experiences fairs like Ghanti Baba ka Uroos in Digras and Uroos in Aarni.
District also celebrates festivals like Dipawali, Dasara, Bakari-Eid, Ramzaan Eid, Gudhi Padhava and almost all Hindu-Muslim Festivals. District also has Buddhist community. But Yavatmal city does experices it's annual and secular fair which is held at AZAD MAIDAN and is also popular as MEENA BAZAAR.
Yavatmal is also considered as tribal district of Maharashtra. It is the land of farmers. Major crops are- COTTON (Kapoos), Toor (Yellow beans), Wheat (Gahu), Sugarcane (Oos), Groundnut (Bhooimung), Chillies (Mirchi). Even though district has many major rivers like- Painganga, Wardha, Arnavati, Pus, Kuhu, Waghari, Benbala Yavatmal's agricultural condition always suffer because of unavailability of water in most of part of the district. Even Yavatmal Main City itself has a problem with drinking water. Agriculture many times gets impacted by either Droughts or Floods or heavy rains. Nowadays the situation is so bad that Yavatmal district tops the list of districts in India with number of farmer suicides. The prime minister has personally visited the place to get the feel of the situation.
Apart from Agriculture, there are small scale Industries like- Ginning and pressin, handmade paper, weaving, oil mills, textile mills (Raymond Factory in Yavatmal), Nylon ropes etc.
Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of agriculture of Government of India. http://dacnet.nic.in/cipmcnagpur/YAVATMAL.htm