Nagpur District forms the north-eastern part of the present state of Maharashtra. The district is roughly triangular in shape and is rich in geological and mineral wealth. Along with minerals, fossils of flora and fauna both have been reported from this area in large numbers. It is interesting to note that the veins of semi precious stones, agate, and rock crystal forms were used to make beads in the prehistoric times. The easy availability of natural resources and climate might have attracted human settlement from the pre-historic era. A good number of lithic tools left behind lend credibility to this theory. Hundreds of Megalithic burials of various types have been documented and important remains have also been unearthed. An iron-smelting furnace belonging to the megalithic period was found at Naikund providing important clues to understand the material culture of the megalithic period.

Nagpur is situated in the area of Vidarbha Janapada which in turn was part of the great forest traditionally known as the Dandakaranya in the Ramayana and other classical Sanskrit sources. The region was subsequently under the Mauryan, Shunga and Satavahana dynasties from 4th century BCE to around the 2nd and 3rd century CE. The excavated sites are testimony to this.

The Chalukyas of Kalyani extended their political dominion in the north, holding sway over some eastern and southern parts of Vidarbha.  The Yadavas also ruled over this part and during their reign, artistic and literary activities flourished. Several structural stone temples were constructed, some of which still exist. The Kalika Devi Temple at Katol, the Trigarbha (triple shrine) temple and sculptures of Vishnu and Mahalakshmi of Parseoni, the Karpura and Sendura Bavadis, the Ram temples, along with the famous Shiva temple of Adasa Lakshman, and the fort at Ramtek are some of the architectural marvels of the period.