Latur is a city in the Indian state of Maharashtra, and is one of the largest cities of the Marathwada region. It is the administrative headquarters of Latur district and Latur Taluka. The city is a tourist hub surrounded by many historical monuments, including Udgir Fort and Kharosa Caves. The people in Latur are called Laturkar. The most spoken language in Latur is Marathi. The city’s quality of education attracts students from all over Maharashtra. It is a drought prone area with acute water shortage in its city and rural areas. The economy is agriculture intensive, but in recent years is also dependent on Educational sector & its allied activities. Industrial development is minimal in the district. Latur is 43 kilometers from the epicenter of the devastating 1993 Latur earthquake.
Latur has an ancient history, which probably dates to the Rashtrakuta period. It was home to a branch of Rashtrakutas which ruled the Deccan from 753 to 973 AD. The first Rashtrakuta king, Dantidurga, was from Lattaluru, the ancient name for Latur. Ratnapur is also mentioned as an historic name for Latur.[6]
The King Amoghavarsha of Rashtrakutas developed the Latur city. The Rashtrakutas who succeeded the Chalukyas of Badami in 753 AD called themselves the residents of Lattaluru.[7]
It was, over the centuries, variously ruled by the Satavahanas, the Sakas, the Chalukyas, the Yadavas of Deogiri, the Delhi Sultans, the Bahamani rulers of South India, Adilshahi, and the Mughals.
In Latur’s Papvinashak Temple a 12th-century inscription of King Someshvara III was found. According to that inscription, 500 scholars were living in Lattlaur (Latur) at that time and that Latur was the city of King Someshwar.[8]
In the 19th century, Latur became part of the Princely state of Hyderabad. In 1905 it was merged with surrounding areas and renamed Latur tehsil, becoming part of Osmanabad district. Before 1948, Latur was a part of Hyderabad State under Nizam. The chief of the Razakar’s, Qasim Rizwi, was from Latur.
After Indian independence and the Indian annexation of Hyderabad, Osmanabad became part of Bombay Province. In 1960, with the creation of Maharashtra, Latur became part of one of its districts. On August 16, 1982, a separate Latur district was carved out of Osmanabad district.
Latrur Municipal Corporation is incepted on 25th October 2011, and it is responsible for administration of latur city.
The city is a major sugarcane and edible oils, soybean, grapes and mango production centre. A fine blend of mango with locally grown mangoes was developed as Keshar Amba. Oil seeds was the major produce of Latur region. So for benefit of farmers Keshavrao Sonavane had established Dalda Factory which was Asia’s first oil mill set up on cooperative terms.[21]
Till 1990, Latur languished as a city, remaining an industrially backward. In 1960, region of Marathwada was merged with Maharashtra. This was the time when the industrial development of the Marathwada region began, propelled through designated backward area benefits. Latur got its first MIDC setup during the tenure of then Co-operative minister Keshavrao Sonavane. It was only when the MIDC (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation) began acquiring land and setting up industrial estates that it began to grow. Many companies have manufacturing plants in Latur, in agriculture processing, edible oils, biotech, consumer durables, plastic processing, and aluminium processing; but the majority are small- and medium-scale agricultural industries, not industrial ones.
Latur has the largest trading centre for soybean in India. The green city is inside what is called ‘Sugar Belt’ of Maharashtra. The district has more than eleven sugar factories, which makes it among the highest sugar-producing districts of India. It also has oil seeds, commodities and fruit market.
Latur is also known for high quality grapes and houses many state and privately owned cold storage facilities. A grape wine park spread over 1.42 square kilometres (350 acres) has been established near Ausa, 18 km from Latur city. A brand new Latur Food Park, spread across 1.2 square kilometres (300 acres) is under construction at Additional MIDC Latur. Latur is major transport junction to south India.