Friday, January 2, 2009

History of Chhattisgarh

History of Chhattisgarh

History of ChhattisgarhThe history of Chhattisgarh goes back to tens of thousands of years. The anthropologists have found evidences of some of the earliest human habitations in the rocks and caves of this ancient land. Though the mythological history of Chhattisgarh region stretches back to the period of Ramayana and Mahabharata, the earliest clue from the historical era is an Ashokan stone Inscription of 257 BC at Rupnath north of Jabalpur. According to legends the deep Sal forest regions are Dandakaranya itself, where Lord Rama spent much of his fourteen-year exile from Ayodhya. But regardless to all this, the unbroken history of Chhattisgarh or South Kosala can be traced back only from the 4th century AD. Between the 6th and 12th centuries AD the Sarabhpurias, Panduvanshi, Somvanshi, Kalchuri, and Nagvanshi rulers dominated this region.

In the medieval period, the region came to be known as Gondwana and became the part of the kingdom of the Kalchuris who ruled the region till the end of the 18th century AD. The Muslim chroniclers of the 14th century AD have described well about the dynasties that ruled over the region. The region also came under the suzerainty of the Mughal Empire around the 16th century and later to the Marathas in 1745. By the year 1758, the whole region of Chhattisgarh was annexed by the Marathas who plundered its natural resources mercilessly. Also the word 'Chhattisgarh' was popularized during the Maratha period and was first used in an official document in 1795. With the British entry in the early 19th century, much of the territory was subsumed into the Central Provinces. From 1854 onwards the British administered the region as a deputy commissionership with its headquarters at Raipur. Chhattisgarh also took part in the 1857 Revolution when Vir Narayan Singh, a landlord of Sonakhan, grew up to challenge the injustices of British rule in the region. After a prolonged battle with the British forces, Vir Narain Singh was finally arrested and later hanged on the 10th December 1857. In the year 1904 British reorganized the region and transferred Sambalpur to Orissa and added the estates of Surguja to Chhattisgarh.

The demand for a separate Chhattisgarh state was raised by the Raipur Congress unit at the meeting of the Raipur district Congress in 1924, for the first time. There emerged a general consensus on the view that the region of Chhattisgarh was culturally and historically distinct from the rest of Madhya Pradesh and should get recognition of its own but somehow it didn't materialized. After the independence of India, the demand for a separate state again resurfaced and in 1955 it was raised in the Nagpur assembly of the then state of Madhya Bharat. And finally the dream of a separate state of Chhattisgarh became reality when it was declared the 26th state of India on 1st November 2000.


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