Study on Bundelkhand of Planning Commission: Introduction -
As MP constitutes the central part of the country, it has witnessed the
influences of history from both, northern and southern part of the nation.
Vindhya divides the country in north and south.
Districts - Rainfall and Temperature.
(Source : Kshetriya Mausam Vigyan Kendra of Districts)
During the Ramayana period, King Dashrath of Ayodhya had married the princess
Kaushalya of Dakshin Koshal, which is the present day Chhatisgarh of MP. Lord
spent a good part of his life at Dandakaranya, present Bastar. It is interesting
to note that many stories of the life of Lord Rama and his efforts to construct
a dam near Rameshwaram, are depicted at a historic site, Nachna, in Panna
In Mahabharata, there is the mention of Chedi state, whose boundaries were
touching river Betwa in the west and river Yamuna in the north. The description
of this state resembles present day Bundelkhand. Shishupal was the ruler with
its capital at Chanderi. During 6th century BC, the state of Awanti was
resembling present Malwa region. Other parts of the MP were either under Vatsa
or under Chedi rulers. Later on, the state of Magadha emerged victorious and
occupied Awanti and other states.
During Mauryan period, Prince Ashoka was the governor of the state of Awanti
with its seat at Ujjain. He got married to Devi, the daughter of a trader of
Vidisha. The Ashoka’s inscriptions found at Sanchi, Rupnath in Jabalpur and
Gujarra in Datia confirm the Mauryan administration in these areas.
After the Mauryan period, a large part of MP was ruled by Shunga Kanva,
Satvahanas and Kshatrapas. During third-fourth Century AD, after the fall of
Kushanas, the dynasty of Nagas emerged in the regions of Gwalior, Muraina and
Mathura districts. Bharshiva or Nagas were the rulers of Padmavati (Padma Pawaya
in Gwalior district). They were the residents of Bundelkhand and from here only
they moved towards the Gangetic plains. They performed ten Ashwamedh-Yagna to
celebrate their victory over Kushanas. The Nagas of Padmavati has a special
relevance in the history of India, due to their successful fight against the
Kushanas who were considered the outsiders and foreigners.
Vakatakas were also important rulers and had their origin in Bundelkhand, most
probably at the place called Vakat, which now resembles with Vagat region of
District Tikamgarh. They had the control over Panna and Satna till 4th century
From 4th century AD onwards, the mighty Guptas were having the control over
whole of Central India. Under the Guptas, the Parivrajaka and Uchhakalapas were
ruling the different parts of Bundelkhand, till 6th century AD.
King Harshavardhan had the kingdom from Himalayas to Narmada. The south of
Narmada was ruled by Chalukyas. During the 2nd half of 8th CAD, the dynasty of
Gurjar- Pratihars was prominent in Malwa, from where they expanded their
control. At one time, their rule was as large as that of Harsha.
With the fall of Pratiharas, their emerged three major dynasties- Kalchuris of
Tripuri, Parmars of Malwa and Chandelas of Bundelkhand. In the beginning of 9th
CAD, Chandela dynasty was established by Nannuk. His grandson, Jejjak provided a
new name to the state Jejjakbhukti. King Dhang (950-1033 AD) the son of
Yashovarman Chandela, was the greatest ruler of the dynasty. His triangular
state constituted Gwalior in the north, Vidisha in the south and Allahabad in
the north-east. Hammirvarman (1288-1310 AD) was the last of the Chandela kings.
The Chandelas created the famous Khajuraho temples.
During the first half of the 14th CAD when Chandelas were on the fall, Bundelas
got the chance to take over. Bundelas claim to be the descendants of king
Pancham of Kashi. Sahanpal Bundela captured Garhkundar from Khangar king and his
successors ruled the areas around it till 1531 AD. In this year itself,
Rudrapratap Bundela made Orchha his new capital. Rudrapratap and his son
Bharatichand (1531-1544) took advantage of the political turmoil after the
invasion of Babar and extended the boundaries of their kingdom across river
Yamuna. Different kingdoms of Bundelkhand claim their origin from the twelve
sons of Rudrapratap Bundela. In 1545, Shershah Suri, the ruler of Delhi. This
paved the way for the mughals to re-emerge. attacked on Bundelkhand and captured
the fort of Kalinzar but died while entering into it.
During the reign of Madhukarshah Bundela (1554-1592) the clashes between Mughals
and Bundelas started. In 1607, Birsinghdeo Bundela killed Abul Fazal, one of the
nav-ratnas of Akbar, in order to win the favour of Prince Saleem (Jahangir).
Birsinghdeo became the king of Orchha and was a great architect. Jujharsingh
(1627-1636) was the successor of Birsinghdeo. He became the target of the anger
of Shahjahan and was killed by the army of the Mughal emperor. Orchha state was
annexed by Mughals but Champat Ray, one of the descendants of Raja Rudrapratap,
revolted against Mughals.
Chhatrashal Bundela, the fourth son of Champat Ray, was one of the greatest
Bundelas who fought for the freedom of Bundelkhand. He started his struggle in
1671, and first captured Naugaon region of Chhatarpur district. He fought for 50
years against Mughals and captured a large part of Bundelkhand with his seat of
power at Panna. Bajirao Peshwa helped Chhatrashal against the Mughals.
Baghelkhand of MP came under Baghel Rajputs during 14th century AD Baghels claim
their descent from Chalukyas or Solanki of Gujarat. Important Baghel kings were
Arnoraj, Karna, Biramdeo (1470-1495), Virsingh (1500-1540) and Ramchandra
(1556-1592). Before Independence, Maharaj Martand Singh was the ruler of Rewa.
Rewa state became the part of Indian state at Independence.
Marathas ruled in MP during the medieval period. Malwa was distributed among
Sindhia, Holkar and three Pawar chiefs in 1732. In the beginning, Ujjain was the
seat of power for Sindhias for many years. Later on, Daulatrao Sindhia, the
successor of Mahadji Sindhia, shifted its capital to Gwalior in 1810. It was a
great empire with its extent in north from the boundaries of Agra to Mandsaur
and in south upto Vidisha. It came under the Indian State at the time of
Independence and became part of Madhya Bharat.
In MP throughout its history, different cultures, integrated. It is the land of
tribes also. The concentration of various tribes along the southern boundaries
of MP suggests that they were pushed down the south due to the pressure and
attack from the north. Anyway, MP is the land of cultural assimilation.