The district of Sagar lies in the north central region of Madhya Pradesh. It was spelled as Saugar during the British period. It is situated between 23 deg 10 and 24 deg 27 north latitude and between 78 deg 4 and 79 deg 21 east longitude, the district has a truly central location in the country. The tropic of cancer passes through the southern part of the district.
The origin of the name comes from the Hindi word SAGAR meaning lake or sea, apparently because of the large and once beautiful lake around which the town of Sagar has been built. Sagar was founded by Udan Singh in 1660 and was constituted a municipality in 1867. A major road and agricultural trade centre, it has industries such as oil and flour milling, saw-milling , ghee processing , handloom cotton weaving, bidi manufacture and railway and engineering works. It is known in all over India due to its University named as Dr. Harisingh Gaur University and Army Cantonment and recently it has come into lime light due to Bhagyodyay Tirth a charitable hospital named after a Jain Sant Shri VidyaSagarji Maharaj. It is known for Police Training College which are only two in Madhya Pradesh other one is in Indore. Head quarter of Forensic Science Lab is also in SAGAR.
Sagar lies in an extensive plain broken by low, forested hills and watered by Sonar river. Wheat, chickpeas, soghum, and oilseeds are chief crops of the region, there is extensive cattle raising. Sandstone, Limestone, iron ore and asbestos deposits are worked. The archaeological site nearby Eran has revealed several Gupta inscriptions. District Sagar is predominantly a Scheduled Caste/Backward class district. These together form about 75% of the district. The district has sizable population of tribals who are named as Rajgonds after their kingdom.
The district is bounded on the north by Jhansi district of Uttar Pradesh , on the south by the district of Narsinghpur and Raisen, on the west by the district of Vidisha , and on the east by the district of Damoh, which was previously formed the part of Sagar District. On the noth-east and north-west, the district adjoins Chhattarpur and Ashok Nagar districts, respectively. The district is accessible by rail as the town of Sagar lies on the Bina Katni branch line of Centra railway. Sagar is 76 Km from Bina which is on the Bombay Delhi main line. The district is traversed by first class roads which connect it with important towns like Damoh and Jabalpur on the east and south east, respectively, Lalitpur and Jhansi on the north, Chhattarpur on the north east and Bhopal on the south-west. Bhopal the capital of Madhya Pradesh is about 208 Km from Sagar by road.
Sagar district is the eight largest district in size in the State, and the largest in the Sagar revenue division. The district is divided into eleven tahsils, viz, Bina, Khurai, Malthone Banda, Shahgarh, Rahatgarh, Sagar, Rehli, Garhakota, Deori and Kesli each in the charge of a Tahsildar
According to the Surveyor-General of India, the district has a total area of 10252 sq Kms and is shaped roughly like a triangle.
The District of Sagar is predominantly a Rabi area. Wheat crop is the agricultural staple. other staple crops are gram, linseed and jowar. Mixed cropping is resorted to as a measure of insurance against the vagaries of nature. Rabi is the main cropping season, though the proportion of Rabi to kharif has varied from time to time.Occasionally, the Kharif crop exceeded the Rabi when wheat crop was badly affected by rust or frost or when bad season hampered rabi sowing. When the season conditions came to normality the Rabi crops were gradually restored to their original position of prominence. Conversely whenever there are heavy and continuous rains through July and August which prevent the ploughs from getting to work, or Kharif crops get rotten particularly in low-lying and water-logged areas, they are ploughed and diverted to Rabi sowings. The climatic conditions thus largely determine the relative weightage given to Kharif and Rabi crops in a particular year
Wheat is the most important crop and the cultivators prefer to grow it first. There are several varieties of local wheat which are roughly divided by the cultivators into Gehun and Pissi. Former includes all the hard or macaroni wheat which are primarily grown for home consumption.The latter is soft common wheat meant for outside market.
Next in importance to wheat is gram. It is grown partly on good black soil as an alternative to wheat and partly on inferior black soils, unfit for wheat, sometimes in rotation with wheat or jowar. It is a favourable first crop on newly broken black soil, if there is any kans left on it. Gram fertilizes the soil in which it is grown
Linseed is an important commercial crop, and is grown on poorer wheat land or land unfit for wheat. It does not always follow the fortunes of wheat hence cultivators often sow linseed with wheat so as to insure against a failure of their staple crop of wheat. It is grown not infrequently mixed with gram as well as with wheat. Its cultivation is attended with considerable risks and is considered speculative. It is also exhausting to the soil. From the cultivator's point of view it has the advantage that it requires less quantity of seed to sow in comparison to wheat, and is generally successful when gram and wheat fail. Its area is determined by the state of the market and fluctuates violently.
Jowar is the most important amongst the Kharif crops and stands next to wheat as a food-crop. It is often grown on good land in rotation with wheat. It sometimes does particularly well in light soil villages where wheat does not prove equally successful. Failure of wheat harvest is followed by an immediate expansion of the jowar area, partly because wheat seed is likely to be in short supply and partly to replenish the larder as it ensures early supply of food-grains.It has the added advantage that it provides fodder for the cattle.
crop in the district. It is confined to small plots round the village site to which drainage from houses can be easily diverted, the manured gadas, small embanked fields, wet land below tanks and along the edges of a water spread. It is also occasionally grown in scattered hills or hollows of trap formations.
Til is usually of the white autumn variety and is grown chiefly in the Rehli tahsil. When late til is likely to be caught by frost and if the monsoon is delayed sowings are at once affected, In the northern tahsils the hardier ramtil is preferred and is a common crop on the inferior rains.
Fruits and vegetables occupied 6,425 acres in 1960-61 out of which potato was responsible for 1,839 acres which produced 8.0 thousand tons. Sagar district is one of the principal producers of potato in the State, and Sagar tahsil is the chief potato-growing area. Mango is the chief fruit crop of the district.
The cattle besides being a source of milk supply are used as draught animal for the plough or the cart. Without cattle no cultivation would be possible, without cattle no produce could be transported.
The Civil Veterinary Department, Madhya Pradesh established a dairy farm at Ratona on 1st Octber 1946. It is situated at a distance of seven miles from Sagar, on the right side of Sagar-Bhopal Road. Tharparkar cows and murrah breeds of buffaloes are being kept at the dairy farm for the production of milk. Hariana cows were also kept for this purpose. The dairy is at present supplying good amount of milk of milk per day to the Sagar Town It also supplies bulls for breeding milch cattle.
The periodical fairs held in different places in the district stimulate the development of the quality of cattle. The weekly markets at Khurai attract a large number and variety of cattle. Similar markets are held at Kesli in Rehli tahsil and at Rahatgarh in Sagar tahsil. But by far the largest market is during the annual fair held at Garhakota. It is held from Basant Panchami to Holi every year and is reputed to be of ancient origin, having been started by Raja Mardan Singh some 150 years ago. The fair is still called after his name and is said to be largest fair in the Mahakoshal region of the State. The animals bought and soid at the fair are bulls, bullocks, cows, buffaloes and horses.
The birds are used for food and egg production. As the eggs are gradually occupying increasing place in the Indian diet on account of their nutritive value, their demand is also steadily increasing. Consequently improved methods are being adopted for poultry farming with a view to stepping up their production. White Leghorn which is a good laying breed is getting popular in the district.
A large variety of fishes are found in the district. The more common species have been mentioned in chapter I. Only four varieties of major carps, viz., labeo rohita, labeo calbasu, catla catla and cirrhina mrigal have been taken up for pond culture in the district.
Village papers recorded an area of 7,30,856 acres (1,142 sq miles) in the district as forests in the year 1959-60. This came to about 29 per cent of the total geographical area of the district. According to the Departmental figures forests cover an area of 1,065.35 sq. miles consisting of 739.80 sq.miles of 'Reserved' forests and 325.55 sq. miles of 'Protected' forests. Besides this an area of about 92 sq. miles of forests (classified as chhota-ghas) is under the control of the Revenue Department.
The forests of Sagar district belong to the Northern Tropical Drry-Deciduous type according to Champion's Classification (group 4b) The forests of the district can be considered under the following broad sub-types:- (i) Teak forests : (a) Teak forest on alluvium. (b) Teak forest on trrap. sandstone etc. (ii) Mixed forests. (iii) Khair forests