Bhandara District is an administrative district in the state of Maharashtra in India. It is known as the “District of Lakes”. Bhandara has a mixed economy with agriculture, industries and forest resources. Bhandara is known for its large production of rice. Tumsar, a tahsil town, is a noted rice market. Bhandara town is also known as “Brass City” owing to the presence of a large brass products industry. Bhandara has several tourist destinations, like Ambagad Fort, Brahmi, Chinchgad, and Dighodi.
The district is also known for the Ordnance Factory Bhandara of the Ordnance Factories Board, which manufactures products for the Indian Armed Forces. It is located on an estate which is commonly known as Jawaharnagar colony. This is the only Kendriya Vidyalaya in the Bhandara district. There is one Navodaya Vidyalaya (brain child of Late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi) in Navegoan Bandh. Ashok Leyland, a Hinduja Group Company, has a production facility at Gadegaon near Bhandara. Sunflag Iron Steel company and Shivmangal Ispat Pvt. Ltd. are other major industrial undertakings in the district.
The current name of Bhandara is derived from the term “bhana”, meaning “brass”, as the namesake town is dominated by the brass-working industry. With more than 3500 small lakes in and around the district, it is also referred to as the “District of Lakes”. Bhandara district is mainly popular for its large production of rice, and is thus termed as the “Rice Bowl of Maharashtra”. It is also called as “Bandra” by a famous personality from Bhandara, Vaibhao Chawale, who is one of the first personalities from Bhandara to go onsite – Milwaukee, USA.
Covering an area of 3716 km2, the district of Bhandara is segregated into two sub-divisions, Bhandara and Sakoli, that are further divided into seven talukas. Bhandara sub-division is divided into four talukas: Bhandara, Tumsar, Pauni and Mohadi. Sakoli sub-division is divided into three talukas: Sakoli, Lakhani, and Lakhandur.
According to the 2011 census Bhandara district has a population of 1,200,334, roughly equal to the nation of Timor-Leste or the US state of Rhode Island. This gives it a ranking of 397th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 294 inhabitants per square kilometre (760/sq mi) . It has a literacy rate of 83.76%.
98% people of the population speak Marathi. Bhandara city has many people from other Indian states as well as people belonging to the world’s major faiths.
There are three Vidhan Sabha constituencies in this district: Tumsar, Bhandara (SC) and Sakoli. All of these are part of the Bhandara-Gondiya Lok Sabha constituency.
Bandhara has a mixed economy including agriculture, manufacturing and forest resources. With several ancient temples and historical monuments, along with lakes, parks and sanctuaries, Bhandara attracts many tourists.
In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Bhandara one of the country’s 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640). It is one of the twelve districts in Maharashtra currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).