Jalgaon, previously called as East Khandesh district is a district of Maharashtra state with its headquarters located at Jalgaon city. Earlier the district was part of the Khandesh Sulatanate which was ruled by the Faruqi dynasty (1382-1601). According to Abul Fazal (Gladwin's Aine Akbari 1157), Khandesh got its name from the title Khan which was given to Malik Nasir, the second of the Faruqi dynasty by Ahmad-I of Gujarat (1411-1443). Some believes that the name derived from the khandava forest mentioned in the great epic Mahabharata. In different periods of time the region was ruled by many different dynasties-Saptavananas, Andhrabhrityas, Virsen, Yawan, Chalukyas, Yadavas, Alaud-din Khilji, Mohammad Tughlak, Malik Nazir, the Nizam of Hyderabad, and finally the Marathas. British rule was started in the place in the early 18th century when Khandesh was captured by British troops from the Holkar regime and they made Dhule as its capital. Robert Gill was the first administrator of the British East India Company in the district. During the British rule, in 1906 the Khandesh region was bifurcated into two parts-east Khandesh became the present day’s Jalgaon. When the reorganisation of states was took place in 1956, East Khandesh district was incorporated in Bombay state but on 1st May, 1960 with the formation of Maharashtra state, East Khandesh became a district of the state. On 21st October, 1960 East Khandesh district was renamed as Jalgaon district.
Pratibha Devisingh Patil, an eminent Indian politician and the 12th President of India (2007 to 2012) was born on 19th December, 1934 at Nadgaon in the district. She was the first and the only woman President of India. She is a member of the Indian National Congress (INC).
Geographically, the district lies at 21°01'N latitude, 75°56'E longitude and 209 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 9.80% forest area of total geographical area. The district occupies a geographical area of 11,765 sq km. and in terms geographical area it occupies the ranks of 9th in the state and 39th in India. It is bounded by Madhya Pradesh state on the north, Buldhana district on the east, Jalna district on the southeast, Aurangabad district on the south, Nashik district to the southwest, and Dhule district to the west. The climate of the district is varied in nature. During the summers it is extremely hot and dry. Its temperature often reaches 47° in the summer days. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 961.5 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 15 talukas include Jalgaon, Jamner, Erandol, Dharangaon, Bhusawal, Bodwad, Yawal, Raver, Muktainagar, Amalner, Chopda, Parola, Pachora, Chalisgaon and Bhadgaon. There are 2 Lok Sabha and 11 assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 15 sub-districts, 20 towns and 1487 villages. The administrative language in the district is Marathi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 42,29,917 including 21,97,365 are males and 20,32,552 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 925 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 14.86% out of which 15.32% were males and 14.37% were females. The population density in the district is 360 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 63,425 out of which 33,577 were males and 29,848 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 23,458 out of which 14,053 were males and 9,393 were females. As per 2011 census the major religions in the district are Hindu and Muslim with 81.74% and 13.25% of the population. According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Marathi and Khandeshi with 63.45% and 12.15%.
The livelihood of most of its population is based on agriculture. The chief agricultural crops in the district are banana, cotton, sorghum, wheat, millet, lime, groundnut and sugarcane. The district has many prominent industries such as drip irrigation, pipe manufacturing, fruit processing, pulse milling, bio fertilizer production, green and solar energy, mattress manufacturing and printing of educational books. A huge chunk of revenue comes from these industries every year. In the year 2020-21 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 67,85,700 lakhs at current price and Rs. 47,09,300 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 60,32,900 lakh at current price and Rs. 41,50,600 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 1,31,185 at current price and Rs. 90,255 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
On 15th August, 1989 North Maharashtra University was established in Jalgaon and most of its colleges are affiliated to it. The district has some schools and colleges of Khandesh Education Society as well as of Maratha Vidya Prasarak Mandal. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 78.2% out of which 85.36% are males and 70.56% are females.
Eknathrao Ganpatrao Khadse, a distinguished Indian politician and the present cabinet minister of Maharashtra government with the portfolio of Revenue, Agriculture, Excise and Minority Affairs was born on 2nd September, 1952 at kothali village of Jalgaon district. He is a member of Bharatya Janata party. He represents Muktainagar (Assembly constituency) in Jalgaon district. Haribhau Madhav Jawale, an illustrious Indian politician and the member of 14th and 15th Lok Sabha from Raver constituency was born on 1st June, 1953 at Bhalod in the district. He is a member of Bharatiya Janata Party political party.
The district has various sets of tourist places which allures numerous travellers from all over the world. Swinging towers at Farkande are some extra ordinary towers and the most interesting thing about these towers is that though there is no any physical supports in between these towers yet the other towers automatically vibrates when one of the towers vibrated. Gandhi Teerth, situated at Jain Hills in Jalgaon is an art museum of antique collection of Mahatma Gandhi's life and work. The marvellous Ajanta caves carved by Buddhists are located 57 km. away from the district. A famous Ganesh temple named Padmalaya is as one of the 3.5 peeths. The name of Padmalaya temple is even mentioned in the great epic Mahabharata. Pilgrims from far distance place comes to this temple to offer their prayers. Mehrun is significant place full of mesmerising natural sceneries. The fruit named 'Bor' and Mehrun Lake are the identity of this place. Muktainagar is a pious region which was named after Sant Muktabai, younger sister of Sant Dyaneshwar. Unapdev, a sacred place in foothills of Satpuda hills range is situated at a distance of 2 km. from Vardi village of the district. The hot water spring is the centre of attraction of this place.