Yavatmal is a city and a municipal council in Yavatmal district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The name derives from Yavat, meaning mountain and mal, meaning row.
Yavatmal City was main town of Berar. Yavatmal was earlier also spelled as YEOTMAL or YEVTMAL. It was settled by british colonial people and also it was made in the form of a tourist place also according to old writings yavatmal is termed as "THE SAFEST PLACE IN THE WORLD" Region of Yavatmal (now District of Yavatmal) was part of the dominion of Allauddin Bahamani Shah-The founder of Bahamandy dynasty since 1347. In 1572 ruler of Ahmadnagar (Now another district of Maharashtra state of India which is also referred as "Sambhaji Nagar" or simply "Nagar")annexed the Yavatmal District. In 1596, Chand Bibi the queen of Ahmadnagar, ceded the district of Yavatmal to Moughals (One of the ruler of India). After the death of Aurangzeb the moughal king in 1707, Yavatmal was paased on to the Great Marathas. When Raghuji Bhosle became the ruler of Nagpur in 1783, he included the Yavatmal district in his kingdom. After British East India Company took over Berar in 1853, by 1863, Yavatmal became part of East Berar District and later of South East Berar district which were districts of Central Provinces. Quite late before the 1947, Yavatmal was part of Madhya Pradesh but in 1956 after the reorganization of states in India District of Yavatmal was transferred to Bombay state. When the state of Maharashtra came into existence in 1960 (1st of May), Yavatmal District became part of part of Maharashtra. This District has given two chief minister to Maharashtra State (Shri Vasantrao Naik and Shri Sudhakarrao Naik) and many more great politicians & great Personalities like Loknayak Bapuji Ane the great Freedom fighter & Babaji Daate the gret social worker in Yavatmal.
The antique Hemadpanthi 1100yrs old temple of Kedareshvara and some fine modern buildings. Located in the centre of the town, the Kedareshvara shrine is of great antiquity, its sabhamandap having been added only in 1915 by public contributions and subscriptions. The sanctuary, the entrance to which is richly ornamented, contains a large linga symbol and unlike other linga symbols has a hollow pit in the centre. In front there is a nandi installed on a pedestal where from to the left there are niches one of which houses a brass idol of Shankara sheltered by a eleven hooded cobra also of brass.
The principal language of Yavatmal district is Marathi. However, since the district has numerous Scheduled and Nomadic Tribes, various languages are spoken in Yavatmal. Those languages are: GORMATI or BANJARI, GONDI, Hindi, Sindhi, Marwari.
Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, the conference on Marathi Literature were held once in Yavatmal city. It was presided by President of the Conference Gajanan Digambar Madgulkar in 1973.
The district has various cultures well in place. It has India's most ancient tribal communities – GOND RAJA, GOND PARDHAN, KOLAM, AANDH, BANJARA etc.
Yavatmal is also considered as tribal district of Maharashtra. It is the land of farmers. Major crops are Cotton (Kapoos), Yellow Beans (Toor), Wheat (Gahu), Sugarcane (Oos), Groundnut (Bhooimung), and Chillies (Mirchi). Even though district has many major rivers like- Painganga, Wardha, Arnavati, Pus, Kuhu, Waghari, Benbala Yavatmal's agricultural condition always suffer because of unavailability of water in most of part of the district.
The Name Yavatmal
It is sometimes said that the original name of the place was Yevata,and the termination is either the word mal, a hill or a plain, or a corruption of mahal, chief town of a pargana., One more theory states, “Yavatmal” means a some hilly infertile land on high plains, on such a land, only shrub forest would thrive, But, due to insistence of tall tree forest, Historian P.R Deshmukh says “originally, this town was known as “Yotmaad” & if we are separating this term into two, we get “Yot” which means proximate land & “Maad” means tall trees, initially this town was called “Yeotmal” by British, Gradually the word “Yeotmal” undergone some changes & a new word “Yavatmal” come into being & become famous.
The pargana is called Yot-Lohara in the Ain-i-Akbari, the most ancient account of Yavatmal In History. Lohara being a village three miles to the west of Yavatmal.
It used to have a village fort, gadhi, which perished many years ago but was a place of no importance until it was made headquarters of the Wun district and cultivation in the district began to develop. The name of the district was changed to Yavatmal in 1905.
During the time of British rule, Yeotmal was considered to be a Hill Station.
On 25th December 1903, for the transport of cotton yielded in Yavatmal, the British started the Narrow-Gauge Railway From Yeotmal to Murtijapur.
People started calling the Railway as “Shakuntala” In 1923, Steam Engine replicated the old steam engine. In 1994, Shakuntala was fitted with Diesel engine Steam Engine is now kept at Pune Railway Station,Shakuntala is Yeotmal’s Heir & we must try to preserve it in Yavatmal.