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Bastar District

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About the Bastar district

Click on the following link to download district statistics as per NITI Ayog website
http://niti.gov.in/file/552/download?token=xtJlrOAI

Brief About Bastar District
Bastar , the tribal district ,before splitting in to three districts ,was one of the largest district in India ,with an area of 39114 sq k.m ,which was even greater than the Kerala state and some other countries like Belgium,Israel etc.

In the year 1999 , the district Bastar has been divided into 3 districts namely Bastar,Kanker and Dantewada. All these 3 districts comes under Bastar Division with the divisional head quarter at Jagdalpur ,which is the district head quarter of Bastar district.

In the year 2000 ,Bastar became one of the 16 districts of the newly formed state Chhattisgarh ,which was earlier in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

The District Bastar is located in the southern part of Chhattisgarh and situated at a height of 2000 ft plateau from sea level .The borders of Bastar district are Kanker district in the north,Maharashtra State in the west , Dantewada district in the south and Orissa State in the east.The District head quarter Jagdalpur is situated approximately at a distance of 300 k.m from Raipur,which is the capital of Chhattisgarh state.

The beauty of Bastar district lies in its natural forest area and various types of tribals.The total forest area is 7112 sq k.m which is more than 75 % of the total area of the district .Of the total population more than 70 % are tribals like Gonds,Abhuj Maria,Darda Maria,Bison Horn Maria ,Munia Doria ,Dhruva,Bhatra ,Halba etc.

The largest and the most important river in Bastar district is the Indravati which has numerous tributaries ,the largest being the Pamer Chinta .The Indravati river rises from Rampur Thuamul in the Orissa state and flowing through the Bastar division for about 240 miles and finally merges into the Godavari at Bhadrakali in Dantewada district.Owing to its rocky bed the river is not navigable except near its junction at Godavari.Neither the river nor its tributaries dry up in the hot season.

HISTORY OF  BASTAR
The early history of the Bastar State is obscure and it appears that the central part of the Bastar State formed in the 11 th century by the kingdom of the Nagavanshi family who had their capital at Barsur .Their Kingdom was known as 'Chakrakot'.This Kingdom subsequently formed part of the Warangal Kingdom of the Kakatiya dynasty.

The Bastar Raj family claims its descent from the Pandu king ,Birbhadra of Delhi who was granted by the family goddess Dillishwari an arrow as his weapon of war .This Birbhadra subsequently moved to Mathura where he received a trident from the goddess Bhuwaneshwari .Then he moved on to Jeypur (Orissa) with the family goddess.Later on they settled at Warangal with Manikya Devi (or Danteshwari as she is called in the Bastar inscriptions),their family goddess, who granted them a sword when they moved into Bastar.All these weapons are still in existance and are even now worshipped.

The Kakatiyas were great patrons of learning and the great commentator Mallinath flourished under their patronage.The great Kakatiya King Pratap Rudra's brother , Annam Deo , left Warangal and established his kingdom at Bastar,after 1424 A.D.After Annam Deo ,Hamir Deo had been succeeded and then Pratap Raj Deo .The Pratap Raj Deo is said to have conquered 18 forts around Dongar and assigned them to his younger brother as a maintenance grant.It seems that within three generations of this event the Bastar branch of the family became extinct ,and then after both Donger and Bastar came under Rajpal Deo.

Rajpal Deo had two Ranis (wives) ,Baghelin and Chandelin.By the first he had a son named Dakhin Singh and by the second two sons namely Dalpat Deo and Pratap Singh.The Baghelin Rani was very jealous of her Co-Rani and her sons.When Rajpal Deo died ,she managed to place her brother on the throne and there by ousting the legitimate claiment Dalpat Deo ,who had to leave Bastar for the time being and take shelter in the Jeypore Kingdom.Subsequently he managed to win over the Bastar Court people to his side and with their help he occupied the Bastar throne.

Dalpat Deo had seven Ranis .By the senior rani , a Kanker princess , he had a son named Ajmer Singh .Later on Dalpat Deo shifted his capital to Jagdalpur which has since then become the head quarters town of Bastar State.After the death of Dalpat Deo ,Daryao Deo , his son of second Rani , occupied the throne of Bastar by ousting the Ajmer Singh.But later Ajmer Singh secured the throne .But he had ruled only for two years , when Daryao Deo with the help of Raja of Jeypore , ousted him.He also received assistance from the ruler of Raipur ,then a part of Nagpur Territory, for which he had to pay a yearly tribute.

Palace of  Bastar Rajas' at Jagdalpur 
After the death of Daryao Deo, his eldest son Mahipal Deo succeeded the throne of Bastar, and then after his death ,Bhopal Deo succeeded.Bhairam Deo was the next successor .He seems to have been unfortunate in his Dewan and a disturbance occured in which some Murias tribals were shot.This lead to the Raja being besieged by his subjects in 1876 A.D.In 1883 A.D ,Colonel Ward held an enquiry into the administration and it was arranged that Lal Kalindar Singh should be Dewan , assisted by a Tehsildar in government service.This arrangement however broke down.The Raja was alleged to have permitted a human sacrifice to take place and was removed from the state while enquiries were made.The charge was not proved and he was allowed to return in 1886 , but an Extra Assistant Commissioner was appointed Diwan and made responsible for the administration of state affairs.The Raja being unable to over rule him without the approval of the higher authorities .

Bhairam Deo died in 1891 , leaving a minor son Rudrapratap Deo .During his minority the state was managed by government until January 1908 when the young Raja was installed as Feudatory Chief of Bastar.In 1910 a tribal revolt was occured against the Diwan and British government who ruled over the state.Raja Rudrapratap Deo died in 1921 and his daughter Praphul Kumari Devi ascended the throne in 1922.Later in 1927, she was married to Praphul KumarBhanj Deo,who belonged to the royal family Mayurbhanj of Orissa.Praphul Kumari Devi died in 1936 in London and her elder son Maharaja Pravir Chandra Bhanj Deo 'Kakatiya'ascended the throne in 1936 at a minor age.The famous Maharani hospital at Jagdalur was built in memory of Maharani Praphul Kumari Devi in 1937.Later in 1941, the Air strip had been made at Jagdalpur.One bridge was also constructed during this time over river indravati.In 1948, Bastar state has been merged in Indian Union.

Archaeology
The Bastar State is fairly rich in archaeological remains.Old buildings and inscriptions are found at Barsur, Dantewada,Bhairamgarh,Narainpal,Kuruspal and Dhanora.At barsur there is a Siva temple with 12 stone pillets carved on the outside with Sculptures of nude figures in a damaged state.It is said that Mahipal Dev and his queen Padmakumari were offended at the indescency of the figures and caused them to be defaced.

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