Yavatmal district, formerly known as Yeotmal, is a district of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is located in the region of Vidarbha, in the east-central part of the state. Yavatmal town is the administrative headquarters of this district.The incumbent District Collector is Ashwin Mudgal.
It is believed that Yavatmal, along with the rest of the erstwhile Berar province, was part of the legendary kingdom of Vidarbha mentioned in the Mahabharata. Berar also formed part of the Mauryan Empire during the reign of Ashoka (272 to 231 BCE). Berar later came under the rule of the Satavahana dynasty (2nd century BCE–2nd century CE), the Vakataka dynasty (3rd to 6th centuries), the Chalukya dynasty (6th to 8th centuries), the Rashtrakuta dynasty (8th to 10th centuries), the Western Chalukya (10th to 12th centuries), and finally the Yadava dynasty of Devagiri (late 12th to early 14th centuries). A period of Muslim rule began when Ala ud din Khilji, Sultan of Delhi, conquered the region in the early 14th century. The region was part of the Bahmani Sultanate, which broke away from the Delhi Sultanate in the mid-14th century. The Bahmani Sultanate broke up into smaller sultanates at the end of the 15th century, and in 1572 Berar became part of the Nizam Shahi sultanate, based at Ahmednagar. The Nizam Shahis ceded Berar to the Mughal Empire in 1595. As Mughal rule started to unravel at the start of the 18th century, Asaf Jah I, Nizam of Hyderabad seized the southern provinces of the empire (including Berar) in 1724, forming an independent state.
A detailed account of Berar was added to the Ain-i-Akbari in 1596-97, immediately after the treaty of Ahmadnagar under which the province was ceded to the empire, and as the Moghal officers cannot have had time, before the account was written, to settle the province and readjust boundaries of its administrative divisions we may regard this description as an account of the province as it was administered by the Nizam Sahi and Imad Sahi kings, and probably also by the Bahamanis. It was divided into thirteen sarkars or revenue districts. The Yavatmal district comprised the greater part of Akbar's sarkars of Kalam and Mahur. But some few mahals of these sarkars lay beyond the present limits of the district. Yavatmal appears in the record as the headquarters of a pargana under the name of Yot-Lohara, Yot being the Urdu or Persian corruption of Yevata, the original name of the town; and Lohara the name of a village about three miles to the west of Yavatmal. The suffix mal is a corruption of mahal (pargana-town). A rough estimate makes the land revenue demand in Akbar's time for the area now occupied by the district rather more than ten lakhs of rupees: but this estimate is rather under than over the mark, while it is certain that collection must always have fallen far short of the nominal demand.
In 1853, the district together with the rest of Berar came under the administration of the British East India Company. Berar was divided into East and West Berar with Yavatmal district being included in East Berar. In 1864, Yavatmal along with some other talukas was formed into the district initially called Southeast Berar and later renamed Wani. In 1903, Berar was leased by the Nizam of Hyderabad to the British Government of India.