Jhabua is a district of Madhya Pradesh state in central India. The town of Jhabua is the administrative headquarters of the district.
Jhabua district lies in the western part of Madhya Pradesh. It is surrounded by Panchmahal and Baroda districts of Gujarat, Banswara district of Rajasthan, and Alirajpur, Dhar and Ratlam districts of Madhya Pradesh.
It has an area of 3,782 km2. The terrain is hilly and undulating. Average rainfall in the district is about 800 mm. The district is divided into five tehsils and six community development blocks.
Jhabua district was divided into two parts in May 2008, namely Alirajpur and Jhabua. Aliarajpur, Jobat, Udaigarh, Bhabra, Sondawa and Katthiwada are the 6 blocks of new district, Alirajpur. Jhabua district now consists of Habua, Meghnagar, Ranapur, Rama, Thandla and Petlawad blocks.
The district is highly drought-prone and degraded waste lands form the matrix of Jhabua. The women make lovely ethnic items including bamboo products, dolls, bead-jewellery and other items that have for long decorated the living rooms all over the country. The men have for ages adorned “Teer-Kamthi”, the bow and arrow, which has been their symbol of chivalry and self-defence.
In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Jhabua one of the country’s 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640).It is one of the 24 districts in Madhya Pradesh currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).
Languages spoken include Bareli Rathwi, a Bhil language with approximately 64 000 speakers, written in the Devanagari script;and Bhilali, with 1 150 000 speakers.
With a literacy rate of 36.9 per cent Jhabua district had the lowest literacy rate amongst districts of Madhya Pradesh.
A small village of 320 people in 1971, Deojhiri is 8 km north-east of Jhabua on the Ahmedabad-Indore State Highway No.22. It is at a distance of 1 km on the western side of the road, on the Sunar river. As the name of the village denotes there is an ancient temple and (Jhiri) or a perennial spring. The spring has been built up into a Kund. A festival is held on Baisakh Poornima, which falls mostly in the month of April according to the Gregorian calendar. Katthivada in Jhabua district is noted for its large mangoes.