Mandla

Mandla is a city and a municipality in Mandla district in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the administrative headquarters of Mandla District. The town is picturesquely situated in a loop of the Narmada River, which surrounds it on three sides, and for 15 miles between Mandla and Namnagar the river flows in a deep bed unbroken by rocks. The Narmada is worshipped here, and many beautiful ghats have been constructed on the banks of the river.

The city was a capital of the Gondwana dynasty who built a palace and a fort, which in the absence of proper care have gone to ruins.

Writers such as Alexander Cunningham, John Faithfull Fleet and Moti Raven Kangali, Girija Shankar Agrawal identify Mandla as the location of ancient Mahishmati.

Gondwana queen,Rani Durgawati shah Madawi ruled Mandla province and fought against Akbar her valiant effort to save her kingdom is still subject of folklore. Rani Avanti bai of Namnagar later fought with British to save her kingdom from annexation.

The Gondwana dynasty of Garha-Mandla commenced, according to an inscription in the palace of Namnagar, in the fifth century, with the accession of Jadho Rai, an adventurer who entered the service of an old Gond king, married his daughter, and succeeded him to the throne. Alexander Cunningham placed the date two centuries later in 664 . The Garha-Mandla kingdom was a petty local chiefship until the accession of Raje Sangram Shah Madawi, the forty-seventh king, in 1480. This prince extended his dominions over the Narmada Valley, and possibly Bhopal, Sagar, and Damoh and most of the Satpura hill country, and left fifty-two forts or districts to his son. In addition to Mandla, Jabalpur and Garha in Jabalpur District and Ramnagar in Mandla District served at times as capitals of the kingdom.

As of 2011 India census, Mandla had a population of 71,579. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. In 2011 Mandla has an average literacy rate of 68.3%, higher than the national average of 59.85%: male literacy is 79.5%, and female literacy is 57.2%. Scheduled tribes dominate the population, so there is a Special education programs to promote them. In Mandla, 13.7% of the population is under 6 years of age.90% of population are Hindus,4% Christians, 5% Muslims and rest counts for buddhists,jains and others.

Mandla is connected by road to nearby cities like Jabalpur, Nagpur and Raipur through National Highway 12A (Express highway). From Jabalpur to Mandla it takes less than 3:00 hours by bus (96 km approx.). Mandla is served by a narrow gauge railway spur from Nainpur, where it connects to the narrow gauge line between Jabalpur and Gondia.

Once this small town was considered among the most green towns; now this is just a memory. Deforestation has largely affected this area as shown in summer 2007 when the temperature exceeded 46 °C. Each day around 20,000 kg of woods are cut. Only because of Ma Narmada (Narmada River) is this town living: it bounds from all around.