The etymology of the name as ascertained from the local residents points to its derivation from the name of the one ShahdolwaAhir of Sohagpur village. The progenitor of the Ex-Illakedar family of Sohagpur, JamniBhan was the second son of Maharaja Virbhan Singh of Bagelkhand. He decided to settle at Sohagpur and assured maximum facilities to settler around, and also declared that places settled by clearing forests will be named after the pioneer settlers. ShahdolwaAhir is believed to have settled the former village of Shahdolwa, about 2.5 km. from the headquarters of Sohagpur after this declaration. Later on, the place used to be the camp site for the Maharaja of Rewa and British officers on tour. More villages were grouped into the village of Shahdol as it grew to a town. The District Headquarters was shifted from Umaria to Shahdol after the merger of princely states took place in 1947.
Shahdol District is situated in the north-eastern part of the Madhya Pradesh province of India. Because of the division of the district on 15-08-2003, the area of the district remains 5671 km2. It is surrounded by Anuppur in the southeast, Satna&Rewa in the north, Sidhi in the northeast, Umaria in the west and Koriya district of Chhattisgarh in the west. The district extends 110 km from east to west and 170 km from north to south. This district is situated between 22°38' N latitude to 24°20' N latitude and 80°28' E Longitude to 82°12' E longitude.
The District is located in the north-eastern part of the Deccan Plateau. It lies at the trijunction of Maikal Ranges of the [Satpura Range], the foot of the [Kymore Range] an extension of the Vindhya Range and a mass of parallel hills which extend over the Chhota Nagpur plateau in Jharkhand. In between these hill ranges lies the narrow valley of the Son and its tributaries. Since the Kymore Range extends along the Son just across the northern boundary, the District may be divided into three physiographic divisions. They are:-
District Shahdol is predominantly hilly district. It is picturesque with certain pockets and belt of SAL and mixed forests. Total geographical area of the district is 5671 km2. Adjacents to the District Shahdol are the boarding districts Dindori, Satna, Sidhi, Umaria, Anuppur and Rewa.
District Shahdol is very rich in its mineral resources. Minerals found in district are coal, fire clay, ochers and marble. Sohagpur Coalfield contributes a major part in the revenue of the state. A brief description of the various occurrences is given below :
The important coal field in the District is Sohagpur coal field. The Barakars in this area are about 3100 km2 Fourcoal seams have been recorded from the lower Barakars whereas a few thin seams are reported from Upper Barakars. The Lower Barakar coal of lower ash content and better quality as compared to that from Upper Barakars. In general the coal is of low rank, high moisture, high volatiles and non-coking type. A reserve of 4064 million tonnes has been estimated from this field.
Good black clay deposits occur near Jamuni and Hinota.
Ochers deposit in the Shahdol district is reported from pachdi.
Marble deposits are found near villages Pasgarhi, Bagdari and Paparedi. Details of the deposit to be under search in these areas.
District Shahdol is only uranium producer in state
District is very backward in the field of agriculture. Tribals of the district prefer the cultivation in the old traditional method. The size of the fields are very small and mainly the tribals are marginal farmers. The yearly yield of the products from the fields are not enough for their home use. Hence, for the rest part of the year they work on daily wages. Mahua fruit, wood & seeds are source of income for tribe area people.Living standard of the tribe
The Tribals have a simple lifestyle. Their houses are made of mud, bamboo sticks,paddy, straw and local tiles. Tribal men wear Dhoti, Bandi, Fatohi and headgear. Women wear Saree named "Kaansh" saree in the local dialect. The saree is usually of skin colour. Women love to wear colourful clothes and ornaments. They wear traditional jewelry made of bamboo, seeds and metals.Nowadays people have also taken a liking for Western wear.