Arvi has a history tracing back to 15 th century. It has been mentioned in gazetteer that the word ‘arvi ‘ is derived from the word ‘arbi’ which means farming of esculent roots which was done by Mali community specially. It is also said that the word ‘Arvi’ is originated from the word ‘armmi’ which was the name of a sage who had done his ‘Tapssya’(meditation) here. According to Aine-E-Akabari Arvi was included in the reign of ‘Gavil’ in 1609. In the reign of Bhosale of Nagpur Arvi was sub-office of revenue collection. From 1862 revenue was collected by Dhanaji and after that by Thakur and Kadam.
A Land Of Saints:
It has been mentioned in gazetteer that Arvi was established by Telengrai Wali ‘a saint’. Therefore it is known as ‘Arvi of Telengrai’. The temple of Telengrai is token of religious harmony in Arvi. Arvi is land of saints like Maybai (original name: Janakibai Pande), Avaghadnath Maharaj, Jamnadas Maharaj, Dnyansing Maharaj, Vasudev Shastri Ghate Maharaj, Appaji Maharaj,Baba Maharaj, Lahanuji Maharaj, Shankar Maharaj, etc.
A Home For Arts:
Arvi is birth place of well known musicians. Babulal Bhatt was famous harmonium player. He was connected with the well known ‘Kirana’ Family. Others who have carved a niche in the field of music are Pt. Omprakash Thakur, Govindrao Multaikar, Mahadevrao Jalit, Varrhekar, etc. Manaji promoted ‘Kirloskar Natak Company’ and produced many plays. Arvi has good numbers of audiences who have a special taste for poetry specially in Hindi famous poets like Niraj, Hasrat Jaipuri, Maya Govind, Malik Varma, Bekal, etc. had paid visits to Arvi.
Young Indians, Navayuvak are the major volleyball clubs in Arvi. These clubs have produced well known players like Prashant Hiwase, Ashish Deshmukh, Baba Gaud, Gunvantrao Hiwase, Belwe, Avate, etc.
Firstly in 1865 library was started in Telengrai temple. Its old name was ‘Native Library’. Later it was named after the name of queen Victoria of England and then as ‘Lokamanya Library’. In 1903 Chintamanrao Tambe (then Tahasildar of Arvi Tahasil and brother of queen Zansi) was president of the library. The library has collection of rare 300 books and wide range of other books.
Municipal Corporation was established in 1867 when the population of Arvi was near about 10 thousands. Earlier, water to the city was supplied from only two wells. Considering the need of growing population Sarangpuri Lake was constructed in the year 1914. Water was supplied to the whole city by using Siphon method.
Municipal High School:
Municipal High School was established in 1928. Earlier it was started in Telengrai School in Gol Bazar. In 1931 it was shifted in new and huge building which was one of the biggest in nearby premises spread over 100 km. Then it was recognized as ‘Gandhi’ high school. Shankarrao Deshmukh was the first headmaster of the school. Dattopant Thengdi founder of ‘All India Labor Federation’, Varhadpande, Deshpande, Babgaonkar were renouned students of this school.
For the trade and transportation of the cotton, seed oil etc. narrow gage railway ‘Shankutala’ was started.
Arvi is the famous market place for cotton. Cotton was transported to Arvi from Pandhurna, Barhanpur, Multai of M.P. For the promotion of cotton trade seven big ginning presses were established. Arvi is a big and favorable market for oil mills also.
Dairy industry of Arvi is widely known. Arvi is better known for a butter (It has been alleged that at the time of engagement of Rukhmini with Lord Krishna, Krishna left all his cows in Arvi premises which he had brought with him from Mathura. Heirs of those cows are still extant in the cows of Arvi.)
Ashti (Shahid)- Ashti (Shahid) is known for freedom movement of 16 Aug 1942. In 1942 on the day of Nagpanchami police station was set on fire by the public. Police inspector Ram Lakhan Mishra was crushed to death by public. Death penalty to 10 and life imprisonment to 55 was awarded. After independence these punishments were forgiven.
Koundanyapur - Koundanyapur was the kingdom of Vidharbha in the time of ‘Mahabharata’. It was ruled by the king Rukhma. It is known in Mahabharata for the elopement of Rukhmini (Daughter of king Rukhma) with Lord Krishna.
Jahangirpur - Famous for the temple of Maharudra Hanuman. It is believed that the idol is self incarnated.
Takarkheda - Famous for the Saint Lahanuji Maharaj Trust
Karanja - Known for the production and the marketing of coarse blankets and mats. Karanja is named after Latare Maharaj (Ghadge Maharaj)
Talegoan - Known as Talegoan of Saint Shyamjipant. Atre Maharaj trust is intact here.
In the time of freedom struggle, many great freedom fighters like Lokamanya Tilak, N. C. Khelkar, Madhukarrao Jaykar, Tej Bahadur Sepru, Pt. Neharu, Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, V. D. Sawarkar. Acharaya Vinobha Bhave, Jayapraakash Narayan, Mahatma Gandhi, etc have visited Arvi.
Though Arvi is considered as upper forte of congress, it defeated congress 5 times out of 16 legislative elections. Recently B.J.P, Nationalist Congress Party, Shivsena have founded sensation among people.
After the death of Late Narayan kale, Diliprao Kale took over as leading person in co-operative sector. Many sell, purchase co-operative societies, ginning pressing industries, co-operative banks, and are working under this sector.
Upper Wardha, Lower Wardha projects and plywood factory are intact in present.