Traditionally the area is mentioned as
Dandakaranya in the epic
and part of the
Kosala Kingdom in the
Around 450 AD, Bastar state was ruled by Nala King, Bhavadatta Varman, who
is mentioned to have invaded the neighboring
Vakataka kingdom, during the reign of its King,
The princely state of Bastar was established around 1324 AD, when Annama
Deva, brother of the last
Pratapa Rudra Deva (r. 1290-1325), left Warangal
and established his kingdom at Bastar under the tutelage of local goddess, 'Dantheshwari',
who still is the tutelary deity of Bastar region, her famous
Dantheshwari Temple stands today at
Danthewada, also named after her.
Annama Deva 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 neighboring kingdom of Jeypore and finally regained
his throne a decade later in 1731.
Its capital was Jagdalpur, where Bastar royal palace built by its ruler,
when its capital was shifted here from old capital Bastar.
Later at some point in the 15th century Bastar was divided into two
kingdoms, one based in Kanker and the other ruled from Jagdalpur.
Halba Tribe claims to descend from the military class of these kingdoms.
Until the rise of the
Marathas, the state remained fairly independent until 18th century. In
1861, Bastar became part of the newly formed Central Provinces and Barer,
and in 1863, after years of feud, over the Kotapad
region, it was given over to the neighboring 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.
Maharaja pravir Chandra Bhanj Deo was immensely popular among the
tribal. He was shot dead in a "police action" in 25 March 1966 while
leading a tribal movement in Bastar. He was executed on the steps of his own
Palace in Jagdalpur. Scores of other tribes and courtiers too were murdered
by the police.
A number of tribes started migrating to Andhra to escape the brutalities
of police in connivance with the outsider-settlers who viewed the tribal
lands green eyed. Due to the continued Police brutalities and Sociocultural
harassment by the settlers, the migration gained pace and there has been a
gradual reduction in the tribal and native populations as a percentage of
the total population.