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History of Chhattisgarh


The name Chhattisgarh is not ancient and has come into popular usage in the last few centuries. In ancient times the region was called Dakshin Kosala. All inscription, literary works and the accounts of foreign travelers, call this region Kosala of Dakshin Kosala. According to Hari Thakur, the contest between Jabalpur and Chhattisgarh for the name Mahakosala is settled beyond doubt in favour of Chhattisgarh in the light of available evidence. Even during the reign of the Mughals, it was called Ratanpur territory and not Chhattisgarh. The word Chhattisgarh was popularized during the Maratha period and was first used in an official document in 1795

According to a mythological legend, Ram, during his Vanvas stayed in Dakshin Kosala. Which is modern day Chhattisgarh. The unbroken history of Chhattisgarh or of South Kosala can be traced back to fourth century AD and its mythological history goes back as far back as the Mahabarata and the Ramayana. About the history of the region the famous historian C.W.Wills writes, 'in the 10th century AD a powerful Rajput family ruled at Tripuri near Jabalpur, Issuing from this kingdom of Chedi (also known as Kalchuri dynasty) a scion of the royal house by the name Kalingraja, settled about the year 1000AD, at Tuman, a site at present marked only by a few ruins in the north east of the erstwhile Laphazamidari of The Bilaspur district. His grandson Ratanraja founded Ratanpur Which continued as the capital of a large part of the country now known as Chhattisgarh.

This Rajput family called themselves the Haihaya dyanasty. This dynasty continued ruling Chhattisgarh for six centuries about the 14th century it split into parts, the elder branch continued at Ratanpur, while the younger settled in semi-independent state at Raipur. At the end of 16th century it acknowledged the suzerainty of the Mughals, In Bastar, in the middle ages, Chalukya dynasty established its rule. The first Chalukya ruler was Annmdev, who established the dynasty in Bastar in 1320 .

The Marathas attacked Chhattisgarh in 1741 and destroyed the Haihaya power. In 1745 AD after conquering the region, they deposed Raghunathsinghji, the last surviving member of the Ratanpur house. In 1758, the Maraths finally annexed Chhattisgarh, it came directly under Maratha rule and Bimbaji Bhonsle, was appointed the rule. After death of Bimbaji Bhonsle, the Marathas adopted the Suba system. The Maratha rule was a period of unrest and misrule.

There was large-scale loot and plunder by the Maratha army. The Maratha officials were openly surrendering the interests of the region to the British. As a result of this, the region became extremely poor and the people began resenting the Maratha rule. Only the Gonds continued to resist and challenge the advances of the Marathas and this led to several conflicts and much animosity between the Gonds and the Marathas (Captain Blunt, 1975). The Pindaris also attacked and plundered the region in the beginning of the Nineteenth Century.

In 1818 Chhattisgarh came under some sort of British control for the first time. In 1854, when the province of Nagpur lapsed to the British government, Chhattisgarh was formed into a deputy commissionership with its headquarters at Raipur. Historian C.W. Wills, writing about Chhattisgarh says, Chhattisgarh presents the remarkable picture of a Hindu government continuing till modern times outside the sphere of direct Mohammedancontrol.

The British made certain changes in the administrative and revenue systems of Chhattisgarh, which adversely affected the people of Chhattisgarh. The intrusion of the British was resisted strongly in Bastar by the tribals and the Halba rebellion which lasted nearly five year (1774-1779) was the first documented rebellion against the British and Marathas in Bastar.

   
 
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