The district is bounded on the North by Morena, Gwalior and Datia districts, on the East by Jhansi district of U.P, on the West by Kota district of Rajasthan and on the South by Guna district. The district headquarter Shivpuri is located on NH-3 (Agra-Bombay National Highway) at 113 Km from Gwalior and 98 Km from Guna. The district is mostly laid out over small hill tops covered with deciduous forests where the slope is gentle with verdant vegetation and good forests round about, the landscape is generally pleasing.
The district can be bifurcated into three main divisions based on its geology.
- The Bundelkhand trap: It comprises mostly Pre-Dharwarian granites, which consists of sparsely cultivated uplands and shallow valley. It covers eastern half of the district with an area of 1,539 Sq. miles (3985.99 Sq. Kms.) approximately.
- The Upper Vindhyas: Sandstone of Kaimur Rewa and Bhander are commonly found in this region. The dips are very shallow and this suggests that there has been a very little disturbance since Vindhyan period. This region occupies the western half of the district.
- The Deccan Trap: It mainly constitutes undulating plains and flat topped ranges of the hill. It covers an area of 426 sq. miles (1103.34 Sq. Kms.) towards the southern parts of the district viz.- towards Bhadarwas, Barokra Laterite and Aluminum are also found in the region and cover an area of 374.80 Sq. miles (968.66 sq. kms).
Rivers and Drainage
The main rivers are namely The Parwati, The Sindh, The Kuno and The Betwa, which pass through the district. The Parwati is a tributary of Sindh River and joins it near Pawa in Gwalior district . The Sindh enters from Guna district and flowing north for a while than towards east forming the boundary between Gwalior and Datia districts and finally flows through Bhind to join the Chambal. The Kuno is tributary of the Chambal. It flows north from Shivpuri district to Morena and joins the Chambal. The Betwa or Vetravati rises in Raisen district and flows through Raisen, Vidisha, Guna, Shivpuri and Jhansi districts. Mata Tila Dam is across this river.
Shivpuri has a cool and dry climate .The hot weather starts from about the middle of April and lasts up to mid of May. The temperature in June touches 45 degree celsius. By the end of June or by the 1st week of July, the monsoon breaks and the weather becomes cool, through humid. The district receives its rains from the Arabian Sea. The rains are over generally by end of September. Shivpuri receives on an average 816.3 mm of rain.
The species of trees commonly found in the district are Khair, Kardhai, Dhow, Salaj, Tendu, Palas, Mahua, Karch, Karey, Saja, Koha, Jamun, Saj.Dhaman Kaim, Semal, Tinach and Amaltas. The normal height of a tree is about 15m to 20m and the girth is 40 cm to 50 cm.
Wild life has been steadily declining in the district, due to indiscriminate shooting and cutting of forests. In ancient times the forests were thick and a good number of animals could be seen. The district has a national park where a good number of animals can be watched and admired. The following animals are still found. Nahar tiger (Felis tigris), tendua–panther (pelis pardus), ladaya jackal (Cummins aurens), lakkad baggha hyena (Hyena striata), Bhalu, Sloth bear (Melxerus ursinus), Sambhar (Carvas unicolar), suar, wild bear (Sus crislatus), Lomdi-fox (Vulpes bengaleneis), Chinkara (Gasells benetti), Kala Hiran–black buck (Antelope cervicapra) and Langur black faced monkeys (Semli petheous entellus). Among the main common birds, the following are found the common Myna, Shikra Hawk, The common Crow, The commons gray house Crow and all black crows, the harival green Pigeon, the Grey jungle fowl, The Mor-Peacock, Jungle bush Quail and bustard Quail.
Shivpuri is mainly an agricultural district and so cultivation is the main occupation of the people .The dependence on cultivation can be viewed from the fact that 83.38 percent of the total workers of district are engaged in agriculture either as cultivators (70.40%) or as agriculture laborers (12.98%). Rice, Jowar, Bajra, Maize, Wheat and Barley are the main cereal crops. Gram & Tur (Arhar) are the main pulses grown in the district, Sugarcane, condiments and spices; sesamum (til) and linseed are other crops of the district.
The district is much better off in its road communication for it lies 113 kms, south of Gwalior on Agra-Bombay National Highway No. 3 which is an excellent all weather road. This road connects the district to Gwalior, Agra and Delhi in the north and Guna, Bhopal, Ujjain, Indore and Bombay in the south. Apart from this Highway Shivpuri is well connected with Jhansi by all weather National Highway No. 25 which goes up to Kanpur, Lucknow and beyond. Another road connects Sheopur district. From the Agra Bombay National Highway another road branches off to Kota. Recently Shivpuri has been connected by rail to Gwalior and Guna.