Umaria district is located to the North East of Madhya Pradesh. Mathematically the coordinates of the District extend from 23o38′ to 24o20′ North and 80o28′ to 82o12′ East. It has geographical area of 4548 sq.km. The greatest length of the district is about 150 km. from north to south and the greatest width is about 60km from east to west. The population of the district on the basis of 2011 census is 644,758. Out of which about 83% population resides in rural areas.
The district has extensive forests. About 42% of the total area is covered by forests only. The District is rich in minerals. The most important mineral found in the district is coal and as a result 8 mines are being operated by South Eastern Coalfield Limited in the district.
The famous Bandhavgarh National Park (Tala) and Sanjay Gandhi Thermal Power Station 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.
Bandhavgarh is the name of tehsil in Umaria District. Formerly it was the capital of the Bandhavgarh Kingdom of the Magha dynasty, then the head-quarters of the tehsil. At present its headquarters is Umaria.
The fort of Bandhavgarh is a place of considerable archaeological and historical importance.
It is a natural impregnable fort and stands on a hill, at an attitude of about 2430 metres above sea-level. The Bamnia hill is also a part of the fort, because it is enclosed by a rampart. The fort is on the Rewa-Umaria road, at a distance of about 41Km from Umaria Town.
Chandia is situated on the Umaria-Katni road, at a distance of about 21 km. from Umaria. The railway station of Chandia Khas, known as Chandia railway station.
The most important spot of Chandia Khas is a small temple, enshrining Goddess Kalika. Her mouth is wide open, but her out-stretched tongue is broken. There is also a old temple of god Rama and his consort Janaki. It was the seat of Thakur of Chandia. A small fair meets at Suraswahi Chandia for 3 days in February/March, on the occasion of Shivaratri.
Pali is situated on the Umaria-Shahdol road, at a distnace of about 36km. from Umaria. Another road goes from Pali to Mandla via Dindori. Pali is also a railway station, and there is a rest house for the tourists to stay. The Station is known as the Pali-Birsinghpur station. Near the railway station there is a temple, enshrining Birasinidevi. By popular belief she is Goddess Kali, represented here as skeleton Goddess, but with her mouth closed. Many remains of old jain idols kept here in some Hindu temples. The annual fairs are held both in October and March, on the occasion of Navaratri, Near the temple of Goddess.
The headquarters town of the Umaria district and Bandhavgarh tehsil, formerly umaria was the headquarters of the South Rewa District. It is situated at a distance of about 69 km from Shahdol.
Near the railway station stands a Siva temple, known as the Sagara temple. It was an old shrine, recently remodeled. Its main gates are still intact with beautiful stone statues, carved in Khajuraho models. Near about is Jwalamukhi temple. abut 6.5km away from the town, there is another temple,. with similar carvings of the Khajuraho pattern. It is known as the Mariwal temple.Umaria is famous for its coal-mines, which were opened in 1881 by the Government of India and transferred to the Rewa Darbar in the same year, mainly to meet the requirement of railway at Katni