Dhule became part of the Mughal Empire in 1601, during the reign of Akbar. In the 18th century Dhule came under Maratha rule. In 1818, Dhule was annexed by the British, and was included in the Bombay Presidency. Dhule city is a well planned city, and it is believed that it was planned by Capt. James Briggs. After Indian independence in 1947, Bombay Presidency became Bombay State, which in 1960 was divided along linguistic lines into the new states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
The District of Dhule was previously known as WEST KHANDESH district. The ancient name of this region was Rasika. It is bounded on the east by Berar ( ancient Vidarbha ) , on the north by the Nemad district ( ancient Anupa) and on the south by the Aurangabad ( ancient Mulaka ) and Bhir ( ancient Asmaka ) districts. Later the country came to be called as Seunadesa after king , Seunchandra of the Early Yadava dynasty , who rule over it. Subsequently its name was changed to Khandesh to suit the title Khan given to the Faruqi kings by Ahmad I of Gujarat.
In 6th January 1601 Khandesh came under Akbar regime. Khandesh was fancifully named by Akbar a Dandes after his son Daniyal. In 1634 Khandesh was made into a “Suba”
On 3rd June 1818 the Peshva surrendered himself before British and Khandesh came under British rules.
Shirpur plants of Maharaja Rudradasa and the other records indicate that certain ruler called, Syamidasa Bhulunda and Rudradasa were ruling in Khandesh in about A.D. 316-367, but the data is very meagre and hardly convincing. Towards the close of the 5th centre A.D. the Chalukya’s under Pulakeshi I extended their kingdom as far south as Vatapi (Badami) and Khandesh was probably held by their vessels, the Sendrakas. Immediately after the Sendrakas, of whom the last ruler Veradeva is known from the copper plate charter dated ‘shaka’ 624 (A.D 702) found at Mehunbare in Jalgaon, this region seen to have came in the possession of the Rashtrakutas. After downfall of Rashtrakutas several minor feudatory families were found to be ruling in Dhule and who owed their allegiance to a new power viz the Yadavas. The Yadavas of Devagiri came into prominence during the last quarter of the 13th century A.D. They had previously been ruling over Seunadesh ( Khandesh ) as feudatories of the Chalukya of Kalyani. The Yadavas yielded to the onslaught of Al-Ud-din Khilji, who invide the kingdom in 1294.
In A.D1318 the Hindu kingdom of Devagiri come to an end. The Khiljis retained their hold over that territory upto 1370. In that year “Subhas” of Thalner and Karavandi were granted to Malik Raja Faruqui by Sultan Firoz Tughluq. During his days tow fort or ‘gadhi’ were built in Devpur and old Dhule areas respectively of which a one in Devpur was washed along in 1872 flood of the Panjhava which caused considerable damage. It was controlled by Faruqui’s till 1600 from its nearness to the important fort of laling, Dhule is probably a very old settlement. During the region of Akbar, Khandesh, of which Dhule formed a part, came to be dominated by the Moghals, and early in 1629. when Delhi emperors were bringing khandesh into order the village of Dhule is mentioned as the place where Khvaja Abul Hasan, Shah Jahan’s general passed the rainy season.
In the famine that befell the country in 1803 Dhule was completed deserted. In the following years Balaji Balvamt, a dependent of Vittal Narsing Vinchurkar repeople the village and in return received from the Vinchurkar a deed granting his certain land and privilege. At the same time he repaired the ‘gadhi’ in Devpur and built the division known as Ganesh Peth in old Dhule. Being after words entrusted with the entire management of the district of Songir and Laling, Balaji Balvant fixed his head quarter at Dhule and continued to exercise has authority till 1818, in which year the country passed to the British.
In 1819 captain Briggs, the first political agent, probably for its central position and because it was on the high road between Poona and Hindustan, made Dhule the district headquarter. The town was then very small, short in by the water channels and the river, and without a workman to make even simple screw. When Captain Briggs took over, the town had only three division, viz old Dhule, Devpur and Moglai. New Dhule and Peth previously known as Brigg’s peth being his creations. The framework of the city is made up of a number of parallel lanes, the Mumbai Agra road itself forming the third lane from the west, and cross stress at right angles to them. Merchants and others were invited from Burhanpur, Master carpenters and smiths were brought from Mumbai, Surat and residence and three offices were built. The Dhule was once again put on the way of prosperity.
In the year 1906 for administrative purposes ,the Khandesh was divided in to two districts known as West Khandesh and East Khandesh . West Khandesh retaining Dhule, Nandurbar, Navapur, Peta, Pimpalner, Shahada, Shirpur, Sindkheda and Taloda talukas of the old khandesh district .
In the year 15th Aug 1900 Dhule-Chalisgaon Railway was started.
In 1960 Dhule becomes a part of Maharashtra state from old Bombay state. From 1st – July – 1998 Dhule District in divided in two districts Viz.Dhule and Nandurbar . The Nandurbar is created as a new district. The District Dhule is now having Four Talukas Viz. Dhule,Sakri,Shirpur and Shindkheda with Headquarter at Dhule.
While this portion of Maharashtra is of no great significance from point of economics, the single most reason for importance of Dhule to India and Maharashtra is because of its geographical location for road transport industry. Dhule is the city from which the most strategic roads of India criss-cross each-other. This is the singular point for road transportation vis-a-vis to Bhusaval or Nagpur in case of Indian Railways. The national highway number 3, popularly known as Mumbai-Agra highway, virtually connects southern India with northern India. And the national highway number 6 on its part connects western India with eastern India.