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Seoni District,Madhya Pradesh

Seoni District is a district of Madhya Pradesh state in central India. The town of Seoni is the district headquarters.

Geography

Seoni district forms part of the Satpura tableland, containing the headwaters of the Wainganga. It is largely covered with forest. The district is remarkable for the beauty of its scenery and the fertility of its valleys.

The northern and western portions include the plateaus of Lakhnadon and Seoni; the eastern section consists of the watershed and elevated basin of the Wainganga; and in the south-west is a narrow strip of rocky land known as Dongartal. The plateaus of Seoni and Lakhnadon vary in height from 1,800 to 2,000 ft.; they are well cultivated and clear of jungle, and their temperature is always moderate and healthy.

Geologically the north part of Seoni consists of trap hills and the south of crystalline rock. The soil of the plateaus is the rich black cotton soil formed by disintegrated trap, of which about two-thirds of the district are said to consist; but towards the south, where cliffs of gneiss and other primitive formations occur, the soil is siliceous and contains a large proportion of clay.

The chief river is the Wainganga, with its affluents the Sagar, Theli, Bijna and Thanwar; other streams are the Timar and the Sher, tributaries of the Nerbudda. The annual rainfall averages 53 in. The principal crops are wheat, millets, rice, pulse, oil-seeds and cotton.

It extends over an area of 8,758 km2.
History
The district was formed on 1 November 1956. The name of the district originated from the word Seona (Gudina arborea), a species of tree commonly found in the area.
Economy
In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Seoni 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).
Tourist attractions

The River Bainganga’s source is located beneath the village Mundara, where it includes various more scenic spots, like the Pench Tiger Reserve within 10 km. The Pench Tiger Reserve is named after the Pench River, which flows from north to south through the reserve, and is located in the southern reaches of the Satpura hill ranges in the Seoni and Chhindwara districts in the Madhya Pradesh state of India. The terrain is undulating, with most of the area covered by small hill ranges, steeply sloping on the sides. The Pench National Park is named after the Pench River, which flows from north to south through the park. This river constitutes the district boundary of Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh in the upper region and State boundary with Maharashtra State in the lower region. This area became the 19th tiger reserve of India in 1992. The tourist traffic is experiencing a very fast growth in this park.Pench The Pench National Park which constitutes the core of the tiger reserves was notified in the year 1983. The total area of the park is 292.85 km2. The total area of the Pench Tiger Reserve is 757.85 km2.

The reserve is situated in an area that holds a significant place in the natural history of Central India. The description of its natural beauty, richness in flora and fauna has appeared in numerous wildlife books dating back to the 17th century. Books written in the 19th and early 20th century by famous naturalists like Captain J. Forsyth and Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book explicitly present the detailed panorama of nature’s abundance in this tract.

An extensive forest belt extends in three directions: north, east and south, covering forest tracts of Seoni, Balaghat and Nagpur districts. The contiguous forest on the southern side in the Maharashtra state of India, initially named Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru National Park has been recently included in the Project Tiger network under the same name as this reserve. A dam was constructed on the Pench River on south-eastern boundary of the reserve.

The area is criss-crossed by numerous seasonal streams and “nalas”. The Pench River flowing through the central line of the reserve is dry by the end of April but a number of water pools locally known locally as “dohs” are found, which serve as waterholes for wild animals. A few perennial springs also exist in this area. However, the water sources are not suitably distributed, hence large area remains unused by the wild animals. The Pench reservoir at the center of the reserve is the only major water source during pinch period.

As the prey concentration is high along the Pench River, tigers usually inhabit this belt. Leopards, though, generally operate in the peripheral areas but are occasionally seen in deep forests also. Jungle cats are commonly seen. Leopard cats, small Indian civet and palm civet are common but seen very rarely.

Wild dogs are commonly seen in packs of 12 to 15, near Chhedia, Jamtara, Bodanala and Pyorthadi areas of the reserve. Wild boars are ubiquitous. Sloth bears occupy the hilly, rocky outcrops and favour mahul bel-infested forest. Chinkara are present in very small numbers and are found in open areas around Turia, Telia, and Dudhgaon villages. Jackals are seen occasionally near Tekadi, Alikatta and Chhindimatta villages.

There is a village 15 km west in the Seoni district of “Katalbodi”. The Hindu guru Shankara Charya constructed a Shiv Temple here in 2003 in honour of the place in which he was born. He also constructed a big Guru Rataneshwar Dham (sphatik Shivling – 54 kg world biggest and 21 kg paras shivling) in Dighori village, which is situated on the north side of Seoni and is 25 km away from this town.