Khandwa is an ancient town, with many places of worship, like many other towns in India. Mostly they are Hindu and Jain temples. During the 12th century A.D. it was a center of Jainism. During the British rule, it passed nearby Burhanpur, Now a separate district, as the main commercial centre of the Nimaad region. Khandwa is a major railway junction, where the Malwa line connecting Indore with the Deccan meets the main east-west line from Mumbai to Kolkata.
It is the birth place of famous Bollywood singer Kishore Kumar Gangopadhyay, the only aspect about which the town boasts. It is also famous for being the birth place of presend-day Bollywood singer Shaan (singer). Apart from these, khandwa is also famous for its local saint knowm nationally DADA Dhuniwaale, who took his last breath here. Famous Hindu temples at Omkareshwar and Jain temples at Siddhawarkoot are about 60km away in Khandwa district.
Khandwa is located on MAIN TRAIN Junction, with daily connections to Bombay, Delhi, Goa, Kochin, Kolkatta, Indore, Bhopal, Patna, Allahabad, Lucknow, Jammu, Hyderabad, Bangalore. It also has an airstrip which is rarely used for occasional aircraft landings, located on Nagchun Road.
Khandwa is famous for its local crops of cotton, wheat (Khandwa2), soyabean and variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Its wheat variety Khandwa2 is famous nationwide for its aroma, colour and quality.
Khandwa is also credited for inventing the coloured cotton in late 90s. Prof Mandloi and his team from Agriculture college successfully invested the colored breed of cotton.
Asia's prestigious Hydro power project INDIRA SAGAR PARIYOJNA is located close to khandwa and it is a proud to district and nation. Nepa paper mills, Mansingka oil mills, Nimar textiles are few well known names in the industry which Khandwa possess, although except Nepa paper mills others are history of past.
Recent explorations in the beds/tributaries of Narmada have revealed traces of the Paleolithic men in East Nimar district. Omkar Mandhata, a rocky island on the bank of Narmada river, about 47 miles North-West of Khandwa, is said to have been conquered by the Haihaya king Mahishmant, a scion of Yadu family, who had named the same as Mahishmati.
During the rise of Buddhism, the East Nimar region was included in Avanti Kingdom under Chand Pradyota Mahesana, which was later added to the growing empire of Magadha by Shishunaga. From the early 2nd century B.C. to late 15th century A.D., the Nimar Region (earlier a part of Khandesh) underwent the ruling of many emperors from many dynasties, which include Mauryas, Sungas, Early Satvahanas, Kardamakas, Abhiras, Vakatakas, Imperial Guptas, Kalchuris, Vardhanas (of Harsha Vardhana fame), Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Paramaras, Faruki Dynasty etc.
Bahadur Khan (1596-1600 A.D.) successor of Raja Ali Khan declared his independence & refused to pay homage to Akbar & his son Prince Daniyal, which enraged Akbar, who marched towards Burhanpur in 1599 and occupied the City without any opposition on 8 April 1600 A.D. Akbar paid a visit to Asirgarh, so as to inspect it personally, where he stayed for 4 days before returning to his Head Quarter at Burhanpur.
Prince Khurram was nominated as the Governor of the Deccan in 1617 AD, by Jahangir to succeed Prince Parviz, and was bestowed the title of Shah by Jahangir. Khurram led the Mughal army to a peaceful victory by which Jahangir was pleased with his success & conferred him the title of Shah Jahan on 12th October, 1617 AD. After the death of Jahangir in 1627, Shah Jahan ascended the throne of Mughal empire. Due to troubled conditions in the Deccan, he reached Burhanpur (Deccan) on 1 March 1630, where he stayed for the following two years, conducting operations against Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, and Golkunda. On 7 June 1631, Shah Jahan lost his beloved & favourite wife Mumtaz Mahall at Burhanpur, and her body was buried at first in the Garden of Zainabad, across the river Tapti. Early in December of the same year (1631 AD), the remains of her body were sent to Agra. Later on 6 March 1632, Shah Jahan left Burhanpur for the north, after appointing Mahabat Khan as the viceroy of the Deccan.
From the mid 16th century to the early 18th century, the Nimar region (including East Nimar), was under the rule or influence of Aurangzeb, Bahadur Shah (Mughals), the Peshwas, Sindhia, Holkar and Pawar (Marathas), Pindaris etc. Later from early part of the mid 18th century, the management of the Nimar region came under the British.
The East Nimar district did not remain unaffected by the Great Uprising of 1857, which swept the country, against the British rule. In connection with the so called Riots of 1857, Tatya Tope had gone through the region of East Nimar district, and Khandwa and before marching out of the district, burnt the police stations and Government buildings at Khandwa, Piplod and a number of other places and escaped again to central India by way of Khargone.
The East Nimar district was greatly affected with the beginning of freedom movement, Non-Co-operation movement, Civil Disobedience movement, Quit India Movement etc., to obtain the independence of India, from late 18th century till 15 August 1947. During this time Khandwa was visited by Swami Dayanad Saraswati of Arya Samaj fame, Swami Vivekanand, the great monk and founder of Ramkrishna Mission, Mahatma Gandhi in 1921, Lokmanya Tilak, and others.
Young Nationalists of the district, like Haridas Chatterjee, Makhanlal Chaturvedi, Thakur Laxman Singh (of Burhanpur District), Abdul Quadir Siddique attended the Calcutta Session of Congress in 1917. Tilak visited the district during his whirlwind tour of the central province in 1918. The district took part in the non-co-operation movement. Civil Disobedience Movement of 1930 has also been participated by many people of the district. The Karmavir weekly was seized and its editor, Makhanlal Chaturvedi was sentenced to two years. Editor of Swarajya S. M. Agarkar was also arrested and imprisoned. Nav Jawan Sabha was established at Khandwa in 1931. Students also participated in this movement. They removed Union Flags from high school building and hoisted the tricolor. In this connection Raichand Bhai Nagda was fined and imprisoned.
The District also has contribution in Quit India Movement. The District Political Conference was held at Harsud sometime before August, 1942 had alerted the people for impending struggle. The Students of Robertson High School, Burhanpur (Burhanpur is now a new district but, formally part of Khandwa District) hoisted Tri-colour on the school building on the 15th August. But it was removed by the police. The students organized the processions against this act of police till their demands of hoisting tricolor and pasting of photographs of national leaders did not met.