In ancient times, Parbhani was known as “Prabhavati nagari“ (Marathi: प्रभावतीनगरी) on account of the existence of a massive temple of Goddess Prabhavati. The name “Prabhavati” means goddess Lakshmi and Parvati. Present name Parbhani is a corrupt form of Prabhavati.
Parbhani was for over 650 years under Muslim rule, under the Deccan sultanates, the Mughals and later the Nizam of Hyderabad.The town remained a part of the Princely State of Hyderabad under the rulership of the Nizam until Operation Polo of the Indian Army in 1948. Thereafter it became part of the independent Republic of India. Until 1956 the town remained a part of Hyderabad State within India. Under the administrative reforms that year and the break-up of the State of Hyderabad, Parbhani and the adjacent towns were transferred to the multilingual Bombay State. Since 1960 it has been a part of State of Maharashtra.