Umaria is an important north eastern district in shahdol division of Madhya Pradesh state, having a global location between north latitude 23º38′ to 24º20′ and east longitude 80º28′ to 82º12′. The town of Umaria is the district headquarters. The district is part of Shahdol Division.

The total geographical area of the district sums up to 4548 square kilometers and has a population of 515,963. Umaria is enriched with its vast resources of forests and minerals. The coal mines are a steady source of revenue for the district.

The most important mineral found in the district is coal and as a result 8 mines are being operated by South Eastern Coalfields Limited in the district. The famous Bandhavgarh National Park (Tala) and Sanjay Gandhi Thermal Power Station at Mangthar (Pali) are located in the district. Umaria was formerly the headquarters of the South Rewa District and thereafter the headquarters town of the Bandhavgarh tehsil. It is situated at a distance of about 69 km. from Shahdol, the parent district. Metalled roads connect the town with Katni, Rewa Shahdol, etc., on which regular buses ply. Umaria is also a railway station on the Katni-Bilaspur section of the South-Eastern Railway.

As of 2011 it is the second least populous district of Madhya Pradesh (out of 50), after Harda.

Umaria was a part of Shahdol district before separation in 1998. Umariya is ruled by Lodhi Rajputs (Malgujars). The Lodhi Rajput Family built the famous and important temple of Lakshmi Narayan on southern bank of Narbada Barman ghat. They also built on the steps of the northern bank of Barman ghat Kareli a great gateway called the Hathi Darwaza, to allow their elephants passage. Later the Baghel Rajputs of Rewa won it from Lodhis, it became the Southern Capital of Rewa Riyasat after some years. Umaria was always a favourite town for many a princes and kings because the dense forests and tigers. The forests of Bandhavgarh was game reserve of Maharaja of Rewa.

Vernaculars spoken in Umaria include Bagheli, which has a lexical similarity of 72-91% with Hindi (compared to 60% for German and English) and is spoken by about 7,800,000 people in Bagelkhand

Bandhavgarh is a relatively small park, in the last few years this former game reserve has become one of India’s most prominent National Parks. The major reason for all the interest is Bandhavgarh high density of tigers, which roam the mixed forests of sal, bamboo and ambilica officinale in search of an easy kill. The tigers have not only bolstered the local population by breeding successfully, they have also brought international media attention to the park and to the plight of the Royal Bengal Tiger. The density of the tiger population at Bandhavgarh is the highest known in India. 60 Tigers at 450 km2. area in Bandhavgarh National Park. This is also “WHITE TIGER” country. The last known as captured by Maharaja Martand Singh in 1951. This White Tiger “Mohan”, is now stuffed and display in the place of Maharajah of Rewa.