Vidarbha is the eastern region of the Indian state of Maharashtra, comprising Nagpur Division and Amravati Division. Its former name is Berar (Varhad in Marathi). It occupies 31.6% of total area and holds 21.3% of total population of Maharashtra. It borders the state of Madhya Pradesh to the north, Chhattisgarh to the east, Telangana to the south and Marathwada and Khandesh regions of Maharashtra to the west. Situated in central India, Vidarbha has its own rich cultural and historical background distinct from rest of Maharashtra. The largest city in Vidarbha is Nagpur, the second largest is Amravati while Akola stands third followed by fourth largest city Chandrapur, Yavatmal,is fifth, Gondia is sixth largest and Achalpur is seventh, In terms of population.A majority of Vidarbhians speak Marathi and Varhadi-a dialect of Marathi.
The Nagpur region is famous for growing oranges and cotton. Vidarbha holds two-thirds of Maharashtra's mineral resources and three-quarters of its forest resources, and is a net producer of power. Vidarbha has Tadoba Tiger project, Melghat Tiger Project, Pench Tiger Project, Bor Wildlife Sanctuary, Navegaon National Park, and Nagzira wildlife sanctuary near Gondia district, all are located in Vidarbha region.
Throughout its history, Vidarbha has remained much calmer during the communal troubles than the rest of India; but it is plagued very much by poverty and malnutrition. It is less economically prosperous compared to the rest of Maharashtra.
In recent times, there have been calls for a separate state of Vidarbha, due to perceived neglect from the Government of Maharashtra and incompetent political leadership in Vidarbha. The living conditions of farmers in this region are poor compared to India as a whole. There have been more than 200,000 farmers' suicides in Maharashtra in a decade, of which 70% being in the 11 districts of Vidarbha region. Though rich in minerals, coal, forests and mountains, this region is always underdeveloped because of its continuous dominance by the political leadership from the other parts of the state, especially Western Maharashtra. Though being culturally, politically and financially different from the rest of Maharashtra, the calls for a separate state rise to prominence only when the leaders from this region are sidelined by other political leaders in the Government of Maharashtra. Statehood demands have not fructified mainly due to the opposition from a major state political party, the Shiv Sena.