Malwa, an old province of central India, comprising a table land from 1,500 to 2,500 ft. above the level of the sea, bounded N. E. by the valley of the Ganges, E. by Bundelcund, S. by the Vindhya, and W. by the Aravulli mountains, and lying chiefly between lat. 22° and 24° N., and Ion. 74° and 78° E.; length about 220 m., average breadth 150 m. The people are mostly Hindoos. It is divided into a number of native states under British protection, and includes part of the possessions of Sindia and Holkar. The surface is uneven, with a gradual descent from the Vindhya mountains. It is watered by many rivers, the chief of which is the Chumbul, an affluent of the Ganges. The soil is fertile, producing cotton, tobacco, opium, indigo, sugar, and grain, and affording pasturage for large numbers of sheep and cattle. The rivers are not navigable, but a considerable overland trade is carried on in cottons, printed cloths, opium, and other products. The principal towns are Oojein, Indore, Bhopal, and Bilsa. - Malwa became tributary to the sovereign of Delhi in the 13th century, but at the beginning of the 15th threw off the yoke, and for 130 years formed a powerful independent kingdom.
It was subsequently conquered by Shir Khan, annexed to the Mogul empire by Akbar, overrun by the Mahrattas early in the 18th century, and separated from the Mogul territory about 1732. It was lorig desolated by the Pindarrees, who Avere subdued by the marquis of Hastings and Sir John Malcolm. A police force of Bheels was subsequently organized by the British, and for some time proved highly efficient, but a large portion of it mutinied in 1857.