Bastar state

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Bastar State
बस्तर रियासत
Princely State of British India
Flag of Bastar
Bastar-Kanker-Imperial Gazetteer.jpg
Bastar State in the Imperial Gazetteer of India
• 1901
33,831 km2 (13,062 sq mi)
• 1901
• Established
Succeeded by
Bastar Princely State

Bastar state was a princely state in India during the British Raj. It was founded in the early 14th century,[1] supposedly by a brother of the last ruler of the Kakatiya dynasty proper, Prataparudra II.

It is today used to refer the same region, called Bastar district in Chhattisgarh state.[2]

In the early 19th century the state became part of the Central Provinces and Berar under the British Raj, and acceded to the Union of India on 1 January 1948, to become part of the Madhya Pradesh in 1956, and later part of the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh state in 2000. The current ceremonial ruler is Maharaja Kamal Chandra Bhanj Deo of Bastar, of the Bhanj dynasty.


Bastar state was situated in the south-eastern corner of the Central Provinces and Berar, bounded north by the Kanker State, south by the Godavari district of Madras States Agency, west by Chanda District, Hyderabad State, and the Godavari river, and east by the Jeypore estate in Odisha.

It had an area of 13,062 square miles (33,830 km2) [3] and a population of 306,501 in 1901, when its capital city at Jagdalpur, situated on the banks of Indravati river, had a population of 4,762.[3]


Traditionally the area is mentioned as Dandakaranya in the epic Ramayana, and part of the Kosala Kingdom in the Mahabharata. Around 450 AD, the Bastar area was ruled by a Nala king called Bhavadatta Varman, who is recorded as having invaded the neighbouring Vakataka kingdom during the reign of its king, Narendrasena (440-460) [4]

A brother of Prataparudra II, Annamaraja, has been associated with ruling what eventually became the state of Bastar. This appears likely to be historical revisionism, dating from a genealogy published by the ruling family in 1703, because the document records only eight generations spanning almost four centuries of rule. Such revisionism and tenuous claims of connection to the Kakatiyas was not uncommon because it was perceived as legitimising the right to rule and a warrior status. Talbot notes that there is a record of a brother called Annamadeva and that:

He is said to have left Warangal for the northeast after anointing Prataparudra's son as king. Thus, the founder of the family fortunes in Bastar may very well have been a Telugu warrior from Telangana who was familiar with the prevalent legends about the Kakatiyas.[5]

According to this chronology, the state was established around 1324 CE and the founder established his kingdom at Bastar under the tutelage of a local goddess, Danteshwari. That goddess remains the tutelary deity of Bastar region and the Danteshwari Temple stands today at Dantewada.[6] He ruled till 1369 when he was followed successively by Hamir Deva (r. 1369-1410), Bhaitai Deva (1410–1468), Purushottama Deva (1468–1534) and Pratapa Raja Deva (1602–1625) after which the Bastar branch of the dynasty became extinct in the third generation with Dikpala Deva (1680–1709), after which a descendant of the younger brother of Prataparaja Deva, Rajapala Deva became the next King in 1709. Rajapala Deva had two wives, first a Baghela princess, married, who had a son, Dakhin Singh, secondly, a Chandela Princess, who has two sons, Dalapati Deva and Pratap, trouble however struck again when after the death of Rajapala Deva in 1721, the elder queen ousted other claimants and placed her brother on the throne of Bastar, Dalapati Deva took refuge in the neighbouring kingdom of Jeypore and finally regained his throne a decade later in 1731.[7][8]

Its capital was Jagdalpur, where Bastar royal palace built by its ruler, when its capital was shifted here from old capital Bastar.[7]

Later at some point in the 15th century Bastar was divided into two kingdoms, one based in Kanker and the other ruled from Jagdalpur.[9] The present Halba Tribe claims to descend from the military class of these kingdoms.

Until the rise of the Marathas, the state remained fairly independent until the 18th century. In 1861, Bastar became part of the newly formed Central Provinces and Berar, and in 1863, after years of feud, over the Kotapad region, it was given over to the neighbouring Jeypore state in 1863, on the condition of payment of tribute of Rs. 3,000, two-thirds of which sum was remitted from the amount payable by Bastar. By virtue of this arrangement the tribute of Bastar was, reduced to a nominal amount.

Pravir Chandra Bhanj Deo (1929–1966), the 20th and the last ruling head of the Bastar state, ascended the throne in 1936, before it acceded to India in 1948 during the political integration of India.[10]

Maharaja Pravir Chandra Bhanj Deo was immensely popular among the tribals. He was shot dead in a "police action" on 25 March 1966 while leading a tribal movement against encroachment of land by outsider in concert with the authorities in Bastar. He was executed on the steps of his own Palace in Jagdalpur. Scores of other tribals and courtiers too were murdered by the police.[citation needed]

Past rulers[edit]

Map of the Central Provinces and Berar in 1909 showing the districts, divisions, and Bastar princely state under the authority of the province, as well as the 1905 changes to the eastern boundary.
  • 1680 - 1709 Digpal Deo
  • 1709 - 1721 Rajpal Deo
  • 1721 - 1731 Mama
  • 1731 - 1774 Dalpat Deo
  • 1774 Daryao Deo (1st time)
  • 1774 - 1777 Ajmar Singh Deo
  • 1777 - bf.1819 Daryao Deo (2nd time)
  • 1819? Mahipal Deo
  • 1830 - 1853 Bhopal Deo
  • 27 Aug 1853 – 20 Jul 1891 Bhairam Deo (b. 1839 - d. 1891)
  • 20 Jul 1891 - 1921 Rudra Pratap Deo (b. 1885 - d. 1921)
  • 1921 - 1 Nov 1922 Prafulla Chandra Bhanj Deo ( Left Household and got samnyas)
  • 23 Nov 1922 – 28 Feb 1936 Prafulla Kumari Devi (f) -Rani (Wife of Raja Prafulla Chandra Bhanj Deo) (b. 1910 - d. 1936)
  • 28 Oct 1936 – 15 Aug 1947 Pravir Chandra Bhanj Deo, (b. 1929 - d. 1966)
  • Titular holders since the Independence of India -
  • Vijay Chandra Bhanj Deo, Bharat Chandra Bhanj Deo, Kamal Chandra Bhanj Deo

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Princely States of India A-J
  2. ^ Rahul Pandita. Hello Bastar: The Untold Story Of India’s Maoist Movement. Tranquebar Press (2011). ISBN 978-93-8065834-6.Chapter VI. p. 111
  3. ^ a b Bastar The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1908. v. 7, p. 121
  4. ^ The Vākātaka-Gupta age: Circa 200-550 A.D., by Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Anant Sadashiv Altekar.Published by Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1986. ISBN 81-208-0026-5. Page 116.
  5. ^ Talbot, Austin Cynthia (2001). Pre-colonial India in Practice: Society, Region, and Identity in Medieval Andhra. Oxford University Press. pp. 192–193. ISBN 978-0-19803-123-9.
  6. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bastar" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  7. ^ a b Bastar - History The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1908. v. 7, p. 122.
  8. ^ History of Bastar Archived 9 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine Bastar district official website.
  9. ^ Gill, Simeran Man Singh. The Ghotul in Muria Society. (Singapore: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1992) p. 4
  10. ^ Bastar (state) - History and Genealogy Queensland University.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bastar". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 20°04′59″N 83°12′00″E / 20.083°N 83.2°E / 20.083; 83.2