The area of Dungarpur district was occupied by the Bhil people perhaps as early as 4000 BCE. It was invaded by Rajputs in the 12th century. Dungarpur State was founded in 1197 by Samant Singh, a Rajput prince from Mewar, but Rajput control over the area took centuries.Bagar or Vargar was the name the Rajputs gave to the area of Dungarpur and Banswara districts. The Bhil people remained the major ethnic group in the district during Rajput rule, and under the British Raj formed the core of the military and police.
Dungarpur District lies in southern Rajasthan on the border with Gujarat. The district has an area of 3,770 km² and a population of 1,388,906 (2011). The district is roughly triangular in shape. The Mahi River runs along the southeastern edge of the district, forming the boundary with Banswara District. The Som River, a tributary of the Mahi, runs along the northern edge of the district, largely forming the boundary with Udaipur District. The district is bounded on the southeast by the districts of Sabarkantha, Panchmahal and Dahod of the state of Gujarat. The Vatrak River originates in Dungarpur District.
The district has a dry climate with a hot season from April to June; however the climate is milder than in the desert regions of Rajasthan to the north and west. The maximum temperature in the district occurs during the hot season and ranges between 40°to 45° celsius. The minimum temperature ranges between 10° and 12° celsius, usually occurring in January. The monsoon season, which runs from June through September, brings almost the only rain to much of the district, but some rain may fall from November through February. The annual rainfall varies extensively over the district from up to 880 mm in Dungarpur town in the northwest to under 500 mm at Nithawa in the northeast. But the rainfall is quite variable from year to year, as Nithawa had 805 mm in 2013 but only 465 mm in 2014.
^Fattori, Marco (2012). "The Bhil and the Rajput Kingdoms of Southern Rajasthan". In Das Gupta, Sanjukta and Basu, Raj Sekhar. Narratives from the Margins: Aspects of Adivasi History in India. New Delhi: Primus Books. pp. 127–152, page 140. ISBN978-93-80607-10-8.