The Dhule district previously comprised tracts of land predominantly inhabited by tribal population. The Dhule district was then bifurcated on 1 July 1998 into two separate districts now known as Dhule and Nandurbar, the latter comprising the tribal region. Agriculture remains the basic profession of the population in this district. Most parts of the district are not under irrigation and thus cultivation heavily depends on regular Monsoon or rain water. Apart from wheat, bajra, jowar or jwari, onion the most favored commercial crop is cotton. Majority of the population in the rural area speaks Ahirani (a dialect of Marathi) language, however Marathi is more widely spoken in the urban areas. Around 26.11% population of Dhule district resides in urban area. The Dhule District is a part of Maharashtra's historical region of Khandesh. Although for administrative purpose it is now clubbed to Nashik Division.
The District of Dhulia was previously known as West Khandesh district. The ancient name of this region was Rasika. It is bounded on the east by Berar (Ancient Vidarbha), on the north by the Nemad district (Ancient Anupa) and on the south by the Aurangabad (Ancient Mulaka) and Bhir (Ancient Asmaka) districts. Later the country came to be called as Seunadesa after king, Seunchandra of the Early Yadava dynasty, who ruled over it. Subsequently its name was changed to Khandesh to suit the title Khan given to the Faruqi kings by King Ahmad I of Gujarat.
During Aryans penetration to the Deccan ‘Agastya’ was the first Aryan who crossed Vindhya and resides on the bank of Godavari. This territory was included in the empire of Ashoka the Great. Pusyamitra, the founder of Sunga dynasty overthrew Maurya dynasty. Later on Satavahan ruled over the region.
About A.D. 250, the Satavahans were supplanted by the Abhiras in Western Maharashtra (Region Isvarsena). The names of Feudatories of Abhiras that ruled in Khandesh was found from copperplates discovered at Kalachala (Gujarath) and Cave X5II at Ajanta. After downfall of Satavahans the Vakatakas rose to power in Vidarbha. The Vakatakas were over thrown by Rastrakuta family. This region was ruled by Chalukyas of Badami and subsequently Yadavas.
In A.D. 1296, Ala-ud-din Khilji invaded Ramachandra Yadava who agreed to pay a heavy ransom. His son Sankaragana discontinued sending the stipulated tribute to Delhi and then defected and slain by Malik Kafur in A.D. 1318.
In 1345, Devagiri was passed into the hands of Hasan Gangu, the founder of Bahamani dynasty. However, Khandesh formed Southern boundaries of the Tashlug empire.
In 1370, Firoz Taghluq assigned the district of Thalner and Karavanda to Malik Raja Faruqui, the founder of ‘Faruqui’ dynasty. His family claimed the descent from Khaliph Umer Faruq. He established himself at Thalner. The Governor of Gujarat honored Malik Raja with the little ‘Sipahsalar of Khandesh’. From the little Khan the region came to be known as ‘Khandesh’ the country of Khan. During the period, a rich ahir 'Asa' of Asirgad had many storehouses in Gondvana and Khandesh which were opened in order to sell the corn. However his wife was of a charitable disposition persuaded Asa to allow the grains to be distributed to the poor and suffering without payment to which Asa agreed. It was also with a view to employ many of the sufferers as labours that Asa leveled the old wall of Asir and constructed a fort built of masonry. Asa also distributed food to aged and decrepit who were unable to performed manual labour. The Ahir chief in spite of his wealth and strength of this fort, without any struggle acknowledged the supremacy of Malik Raja bequeathed Laling to his elder son Malik Nasir and Thalner to Malik Iftikar.
Malik Nasir had decided that upon seizing Asirgad, he would make it his own capital. He therefore wrote to Asa complaining that he was in great problems as the chief of Baglana, Antur and Kherla were rising against him. Of those; two had collected large forces. Laling, to close to enemy territories was not a safe retreat. He requested Asa to afford his family a safe retreat. Asa ordered suitable apartments to be filled up for the Malik Nasir’s ladies. Shortly after that several covered litters with women were brought to into Asirgad and were visited by Asa’s wife and daughters. Next day another of 200 litters arrived reportedly occupied by Malik Nasir’s family. Asa along with his son went to receive them but to his astonishment instead of women, he found the litters full of armed soldiers who leapt up and murdered Asa and his innocent sons in cold blood. Not a single male child in the family was left alive. The treacherous and cunning Malik Nasir returned from his camp at laling to the Asirgad fort. Shortly after this a disciple of Shaikh Zain Uddin, the tutelary saint of the family came to congratulate Malik Nasir on his success. On his advice, Malik Nasir built two cities on the bank of Tapi, on the east Bank called Zainabad after the Saikh and the other on the west Bank called Burhanpur after Saikh Burhanuddin of Daulatabad. The Burhanpur became the capital of farugui dynasty. IN 1917 Malik Nasir defected his younger brother Malik Iftikar.
On 6 January 1601 Khandesh came under Akbar regime. Khandesh was fancifully named by Akbar a Dandes after his son Daniyal. In 1634 Khandesh was made into a Suba
On 3 June 1818 the Peshva surrendered himself before British and Khandesh came under British rule.
The climate of this district is on the whole dry except during the south-west monsoon season. The year may be divided into four seasons. The cold season from December to February is followed by the hot season from March to May. The south-west monsoon season which follows thereafter lasts till September. October and November constitute the post-monsoon season. The average annual rainfall in the district is 674.0 mm. (26.53"). The rainfall is heavier in the hilly regions of the western ghats and the Satpuda ranges. Navapur near the western border has an annual rainfall of 1097.1 mm (43.19"). The rainfall during the south-west monsoon constitutes about 88 per cent of the annual rainfall, July being the rainiest month. Some rainfall is received mostly as thunder-showers in the post-monsoon season.
Except during the south-west monsoon season when the humidity is above 70 per cent, the air is rather dry over the district during the rest of the year. The driest part of the year is the summer season when the relative humidity is only 20 to 25 per cent in the afternoons.
From about the latter half of February, temperatures increase steadily till May which is the hottest part of the year with the mean daily maximum temperature at 40.7°C (105.3°F) and the mean daily minimum at 25.80 C (78.4°F). Hot, dry winds blow during April and May and the heat is intense with the maximum temperatures going above 45°C (113.0°F) on some days. Thunder-showers occur during the afternoons and bring welcome-relief from the heat on some days. With the onset of the southwest monsoon by about the second week of June there is an appreciable drop in day temperatures and the weather is pleasant in the south-west monsoon season. By about the beginning of October when the south-west monsoon withdraws, day temperatures begin to rise and a secondary maximum in day temperature is reached in October. The night temperatures, however, steadily decrease. From November, both day and night temperatures drop rapidly till January which is the coldest month with the mean daily maximum temperature at 30.'3°C (86.50 F) and the mean daily minimum at 16.2°C (61.2°F). During the cold season, cold waves which sometimes affect the district in association with western disturbances which pass across north India the minimum temperature may drop down to about 8° to 9°C (46.4° to 48.2°F).
Winds are generally light to moderate with some strengthening in force during the summer and monsoon seasons. During the southwest monsoon season, winds are mainly south-westerly to westerly. In the post-monsoon season winds are light and variable in directions in the mornings and north-easterly to easterly in the afternoon. In the winter and summer seasons winds are mostly from directions between south-west and north-west, with northerly or north-easterly winds blowing on some afternoons.
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The district is further divided into two sub-divisions and four talukas for administrative purposes. Dhule and Sakri talukas are part of Dhule sub-division while Sindkheda and Shirpur talukas are part of Shirpur sub-division.
There were earlier has five Vidhan Sabha constituencies in this district. These were Sakri (ST), Shirpur, Sindkheda, Kusumba and Dhule. Dhule was the only Lok Sabha constituency in this district. Shirpur Vidhan Sabha constituency was part of Nandurbar (ST) Lok Sabha constituency.
After 2002 delimitation, there is one Lok Sabha constituency in the district which is Dhule Lok Sabha comprising the six Maharashtra Assembly constituencies of Dhule Rural, Dhule City, Sindkheda from Dhule district, and Malegaon Outer, Malegaon City and Baglan (ST) from Nashik district.
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