Gondia also spelt as Gondiya is a city in the state of Maharashtra in Central India, and is the administrative headquarters of the Gondia District. Gondia is also known as Rice City due to the abundance of rice mills in the area. Gondia is very close to the state of Madhya Pradesh, and is considered the gateway to Maharashtra from Central and Eastern India.There are large number of rice mills and some small scale tobacco industries.
In ancient time, this region was ruled over by Gond kings. The main business at that time was to collect lak (sealing wax) from Palas tree and gum from Babul tree, gum is called as gond in Hindi, therefore the name Gondia is tagged to the place.
The region to the south of the Godavari was inhabited by the aborigines, who are called Rakshasas in the Ramayana where the region is mentioned. Initially the district was included in the seventh century in the territories of the Haihaya Rajput kings of Chhattisgarh whose kingdom was known as Maha Kosala. Gondia or Gondiya was a part of Bhandara retains some recollection of Hindu kings who ruled from Nagardhan. The 12th century saw the rule of Panwars (Rajput) who were subsequently ousted by Gond chiefs who asserted their independence of the Ratanpur dynasty. This was followed by Raghoji Bhonsle of Vidarbha who established himself as the king of Vidarbha in 1743. In 1755, Janoji was declared as the sovereign of the territory, after the death of his father Raghoji Bhonsle. The two brothers Mudhoji and Rupaji of Raghoji Bhonsle of Hingani-Beradi were contemporaries of Shahaji, the father of Chhatrapati Shivaji and one of the ancestors of the Bhonsles of Nagpur who rehabilitated the village of Beradi was probably the contemporary of Maloji, the grandfather of Chhatrapati Shivaji. After the death of Sambhaji, during the Mughal-Maratha conflict, Parasoji rendered invaluable help to Rajaram who had succeeded to the throne of Chhatrapati. The territories of Vidarbha and Berar from which he had exacted tribute were given to his charge under a grant made in 1699 A.D.
In 1707 after the death of Aurangzeb when Shahu was released by Muhammad Azam, Parasoji Bhonsle was the first of the Maratha nobles to join him in west Khandesh.
The 17th century saw the invasion of the Peshwas who were instrumental in making the district a part of Berar. The Peshwas were succeeded by the Nizams during the 1850s; the Nizam ceded Berar to the British East India Company. In 1903 the Nizam leased Berar to the British Government of India. It was transferred to the Central Provinces. In 1956, with the re-organization of states, Bhandara was transferred from Madhya Pradesh to Bombay Province and in 1960 with the formation of Maharashtra; it became a district of the state and was carved out of Bhandara district in 1999.
Gondia is also known as Rice City, as it is a rice producing district and has about 250 rice mills near the vicinity of city. it is also a major trading place. The Mumbai-Nagpur-Kolkata Road is the only national highway passing through the district, which covers to a total distance of 99.37 km. Gondia has bus connectivity to Jabalpur, Nagpur, Raipur and Hyderabad.
It is currently a part of the Red Corridor.
In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Gondia 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).