Bundela dynasty was a Rajput clan that ruled several small provinces in the Bundelkhand region from the 16th century and also gave its name to Bundelkhand in north-central India. The mythical accounts of the Bundela dynasties trace their ancestry to the Suryavansha (solar dynasty). The Bundelkhand (“Bundela domain”) region was named after the Bundelas.
Maharaja Chhatrasal (4 May 1649 – 20 December 1731) was a medieval Indian warrior from the Bundela Rajput clan who fought against the Mughal Empire and established his own kingdom in Bundelkhand. Maharaja Chhatrasal is considered the founder of Bundela dynasty as per the poetic biography of the Bundela king Chhatrasal composed by Gorelal or Lal Kavi (c. 1700 CE)
Bundela Dynasty Provinces
- Banka Pahari
- Tori Fatehpur
History of rising of Bundela dynasty
Bundela, the Rajput clan that gave its name to Bundelkhand in north-central India. The Bundelas, whose origin is obscure, emerged in the 14th century. They won prominence when they resisted the Afghan emperor, Shēr Shah of Sūri, who was killed while besieging their fortress of Kalinjar in 1545. The different Bundela chieftains of Bundelkhand often fought against each other which the Mughals often took advantage of
Bundela revolt of bundelkhand against Mughals led by Chhatrasal
During the reign of Aurangzeb, Chhatrasal’s father, Champat Rai of Mahoba, was murdered by the Mughals when he was 12 years old. Chhatrasal traveled to Maharashtra in search of direction after being inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji’s beliefs. In 1671, at the age of 22, Chhatrasal raised the banner of revolt against the Mughals in Bundelkhand, with an army of 5 horsemen and 25 swordsmen.
In the 1720s, Chhatrasal declared independence from the Mughals and held out against them until he was invaded by Muhammad Khan Bangash in December 1728. When Chhatrasal led his army against Bangash at the age of 79, he was beaten and forced to return to his fort at Jaitpur after a bloody battle.
The Mughals besieged him and took over the majority of his lands. Chhatrasal tried multiple times to enlist the assistance of Baji Rao I, the Peshwa of the Maratha Empire. The Peshwa, on the other hand, was preoccupied and could not assist Chhatrasal until March 1729. Chhatrasal wrote to Baji Rao in a letter:
“Know you Bajirao! That I am in the same plight in which the famous elephant was when caught by the crocodile. My valiant race is on the point of extinction. Come and save my honour Peshwa”.
The Mughal supplies were totally cut off by the quick Cavalry of the Peshwa in the Battle of Malwa, in which Baji Rao I personally led his army towards Bundelkhand and attacked several Mughal outposts. Bangash, astonished by the Marathas’ rapid engagement, submitted many messages to the Mughal emperor for assistance, but when he was denied, he began discussions with Chhatrasal and Bajirao.
Bangash was given permission to retreat on the condition that he never returns to Bundelkhand or acts aggressively against him. In Bundelkhand, Chhatrasal rewarded the peshwa with enormous areas of territory and diamond mines, allowing the Marathas to gain access to Central and North India.
Relationship between Chatrasal and Peshawa after Bundela revolt of bundelkhand
The Maratha Peshwa (Maratha Peshwa) was a Marath and Mastani, Baji Rao’s second wife, was Chhatrasal’s Muslim concubine’s daughter. The historian D. G. Godse claims in his book Mastani that the relationship between Chhatrasal and Baji Rao I was similar to that of a father and son.
Chhatrasal left Mahoba and the surrounding area to Baji Rao I before his death on December 20, 1731, in exchange for Baji Rao’s support against the Mughals. In addition, Chhatrasal placed a 5,000-man army under Peshwa’s command in Pune. Chhatrasal also paid a tribute of 12 lakh rupees to the Maratha Emperor (Chhatrapati) in order to maintain a long-term relationship with the Satara royal line.
Bundela dynasty origin as per the ancient literature
The Bundela claim descent from Manu Vaivasvata, and Ikshvaku, through Lava, the elder son of Lord Rama. From Lava were descended two brothers names, Gagansen or Gaganaspati and Kanaksen. Tradition ascribes the name Bundela to Raja Pancham Vindhyela (also known as Hem Karan), son of the Gaharwar ruler of Benares, Raja Karan Pal, themselves a branch of the early Kannauj Dynasty. He was expelled from his kingdom by his brother, then retired to the shrine of Bindachal and became a votary of Bhawani.
He intended to sacrifice himself to that deity, but after inflicting a wound upon himself was stopped from doing further injury by Bhawani and was promised that his kingdom would be restored and that in commemoration of the blood already spilt, his descendants were to be called Bundela, derived from ‘bund’.
It is probable that the founder of the clan was Hardeo, a son of one of the Gaharwar rulers of Kantit. He took up his residence near Orchha and by treachery acquired the lands of the Khanjar Raja of Karar. The Bundelas first settled at Kalinjar, Kalpi, and Mahoni, and in the 14th century, Raja Malkhan founded Orchha. They became a ruling family in the 16th century and gave their name to the track in which they ruled. The Bundela dynasties worshipped the Vindhyavasini as their kuladevi(family deity).
Who founded Bundela dynasty
The founder of the Bundela dynasty was a descendant of Virabhadra’s son Jagdas (also known as Pancham, Devadasa or Hem Karan).Jagdas was the son of Virabhadra’s junior queen. After being denied a share in the Kashi kingdom by the four sons of the elder queen, he came to the shrine of the goddess Vindhyavasini.
There, he engaged in a long Tapasya seek the goddess’ blessings. After failing to evoke a response, he decided to sacrifice his head to the deity. As soon as the first drop of his blood fell on the ground, the goddess appeared before him. She declared that his son, a brave hero and a future ruler, would appear from the drop of the blood.
Legends of Bundela’s expansion in bundelkhand
Jagdas’ descendant Arjunpal was the ruler of Mahoni. His eldest son Birpal succeeded him as the king of Mahoni, although his younger son Sohanpal was the best warrior. To get his share of the kingdom, Sohanpal sought help from Naga (alias Hurmat Singh), the Khangar ruler of Kurar (Kundar). Naga demanded a matrimonial alliance in return. When Sohanpal refused, Naga tried to detain him and forcibly agree with him to the condition.
Sohanpal escaped and unsuccessfully sought help from the Chauhans, the Salingars, and the Kachwahas. Ultimately, a Panwar chief named Panpal (or Punyapal) agreed to help him. Their joint army defeated Naga in 1288 CE. Sohanpal killed all the Khangar men in the fort but spared the babies on the condition that the Khangars would serve as the servants of the Bundelas. Sohanpal became the king of Kurar, and his daughter married Panpal.
The Bundelas formed a “milk brotherhood” with the Ahirs. The Ahir wet nurses (dudh ma or “milk mothers”) nourished the Bundela princes with their milk, while the Ahir men served as warriors in the Bundela armies.The Rajputs of Rajasthan eventually refused to acknowledge the Rajput identity claimed by their eastern counterparts, such as the Bundelas
History of bundela kingdoms
Rudra Pratap Singh (reigned 1501-1531 CE), said to be a descendant of Sohanpal, moved his capital from Garh Kundar to Orchha in 1531 CE. The Orchha State was the parent Bundela kingdom. Datia State (1626 CE) and Panna State (1657 CE) separated from the Orchha State. After the death of Panna’s founder, Chhatrasal in 1731, Ajaigarh State, Bijawar State, and Charkhari State separated from Panna. rThe official records of the Chhatarpur State also mentioned the caste of its rulers as “Panwar Bundela”. Its founder was a Panwar, who was in service of the Bundela ruler of Panna State until 1785 CE.
Frequently asked question
Who were founder of bundela dynasty?
The founder of the Bundela dynasty was a descendant of Virabhadra’s son Jagdas
Who ruled Bundelkhand?
Who founded Orchha
Orchha was founded in the 16th century by the Bundela chief Rudra Pratap Singh, who became the first King of Orchha.
Who was the leader of the Bundela revolt of Bundelkhand?
Maharaja Chhatrasal (4 May 1649 – 20 December 1731) was a medieval Indian warrior from the Bundela Rajput clan who fought against the Mughals and established his own kingdom in Bundelkhand.