A chronological history of Bundelkhand

Bundelkhand is known for its rich history. The history of Bundelkhand is way older than most people know. If you are interested in getting to know about it then keep reading as I am going to write about Bundelkhand history chronologically

Bundelkhand had a very rich history starting from pre-Ramayana and Mahabharata time as mentioned in mythological books, Ramcharitmanas by Tulsidas and Mahabharata by Ved Vyasa.

Chronology of Bundelkhand history

I have divided the complete history of Bundelkhand into different time periods to give you a better understanding of the history of Bundelkhand

Pre-ramayana period bundelkhand history.

Evidence of early man living in Bundelkhand is found in the form of rock paintings at many places in the Patha region of Chitrakoot district, and in Sagar, Chhatarpur, Panna, and Datia districts. The story of sage Agastya crossing the Vindhyan hill range can be read as an account of the migration of Hindu religious priestly figures into jungle areas of central India inhabited by tribal populations.

Ramayana Period Bundelkhand and its history

Many accounts in the Ramayana describe the Chitrakoot forests where Ram, Sita, and Lakshman are believed to have spent 12 years in exile. Valmiki, who wrote the original Ramayana is believed to have had an ashram in Chitrakoot district.

Tulsidas who written the Hindi version of Ramayana, The Ramcharitmanas, lived in Chitrakoot, Bundelkhand.

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Mahabharata Period Bundelkhand history

In the Mahabharata, there is a mention of the Chedi Kingdom, whose boundaries extended from river Betwa in the west to river Yamuna in the north. This is similar to the area that is present-day Bundelkhand. The capital of this kingdom was Chanderi and the ruler was Shishupal. Vyas is believed to have composed the Mahabharat in Kalpi, in the Jalaun district.

arth marshan kund
ArthMarshan Kund (In Dharkundi)

When Pandavas killed Kauravas during Mahabharata, they were cursed for killing people in their own Gotra. To get out of that curse, someone suggested to Yudhishthira that he can clear the curse by taking bath in ArthMarshan Kund (In Dharkundi) on Ravi saptmi (7th day which is Sunday in 15 days moon cycle). Dharkundi is near Chitrakoot (Bundelkhand)

6th Century BC Bundelkhand

Awanti state was similar to the present Malwa region, while other parts of MP were under Vatsa and Chedi rulers. Magadha later occupied Awanti and other states.

3rd Century BC

Ashoka became the Governor of Avanti, with the capital at Ujjain. Ashokan inscriptions have been found in Gujarat in Datia and at Sanchi and Rupnath, in Jabalpur. After the decline of the Mauryan empire, Shunga Kanva, Satvahanas, and Kshatrapas ruled the area.

3rd-4th Century AD

The Naga dynasty emerged in Gwalior, Muraina, and Mathura districts, after the fall of the Kushanas.

4th Century AD

Vakatakas were important rulers of the region and controlled Panna and Satna, till the 4th century AD. Urban settlements with a strong money economy emerged between the 3rd century BC and 3rd century AD, as evinced from a large number of coins from this period, unearthed at Eran, around 60 km north-west of Sagar town.

4th-6th Century AD

The Gupta empire started to disintegrate around the end of the 5th century AD, when they were challenged by Hunas from northwest India, who overran a great part of western India, up to Eran. Eran, which is referred to as Erikana in coins of this period, appears to have been a major settlement for many centuries, up to the period of the imperial Guptas, who ruled from 4th century AD onwards.

The Guptas controlled the whole of Central India. Parivrajaka and Uchhakalapas, of the Gupta dynasty, ruled different parts of Bundelkhand.
Harshavardhan’s rule extended from the Himalayas in the north to the Narmada in the south. One of the most well-known and most representative temples of Gupta temples is found in Deogarh, around 30 km from Lalitpur, close to the banks of the Betwa.

8th Century AD

The Gurjara-Pratihara were rulers of the Malwa region and at one point their territories were larger than those of the Gupta Empire.
The Kalchuris of Tripuri, the Parmars of Malwa, and the Chandelas of Bundelkhand emerged as rulers after the decline of the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty.

9th Century AD

Nannuk established the Chandela dynasty. Nannuk’s grandson, Jejjak renamed the state Jejjakbhukti.

10th-13th Century AD

Chandela Dynasty – King Dhang was the greatest ruler of the Chandela dynasty. His kingdom extended from Gwalior in the north to Vidisha in the south and to Allahabad in the north-east.
Most of the Khajuraho temples were built during the reign of King Dhang and his father, Yashovarman Chandela. Hammirvarman was the last of the Chandela kings.

tourist attraction in Bundelkhand
Khajuraho, the Capital of chandela kingdom

14th-16th Century AD

Bundelkhand was a province under the Moghul empire in India during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, ruled directly by their vassals, the Gond kings of Garha Mandla and the Upper Narmada Valley. The Bundelas were (and still are) Chhatri Suryanvanshi Rajputs by origin.

In the early fourteenth century, their earliest known ancestor, Sahanpal Bundela, first came down into southern India, along with the armies of the Rajput Parmara and Chauhan kings and captured the regions forming what we now know as Bundelkhand (in the present states of Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, and Uttar Pradesh). The Bundela clan settled down in this region as vassals of the other two Rajput clans.

Bundela Dynasty – The Bundelas emerged victorious after the decline of the Chandela kingdom. In 1531 AD, Rudrapratap Bundela made Orchha his new capital. Clashes between the Mughals and Bundelas started during the reign of Madhukarshah Bundela. Chhatrashal Bundela is considered one of the greatest Bundela kings. He fought the Mughals for the freedom of the Bundelkhand region. He was helped by Bajirao Peshwa in his struggles against the Mughals.

Medieval Period Bundelkhand

In 1707, Raja Chhatrasal removed himself from vassalage and proclaimed an independent kingdom. He also divided his kingdom between his sons and his adopted son (and also his son-in-law), the Maratha Peshwa, Bajirao I who had married his daughter Mastani.

Bundelkhand During British Rule

The Marathas ceded some parts of Bundelkhand to the British in 1802, under the Treaty of Bassein. In 1818, after the end of the third Anglo-Maratha war, the Peshwa of Pune ceded all his rights to Bundelkhand to the British. The various states in Bundelkhand were organized into the Bundelkhand Agency in 1811.

Bundelkhand After Independence Of India

The princely states under the Bundelkhand Agency were combined with those of the former Baghelkhand Agency to form the state of Vindhya Pradesh in 1950. After the States Reorganization Act of 1956, Vindhya Pradesh was merged into Madhya Pradesh on November 1, 1956.

Government proposed to build Bundelkhand state in 2010

Bahujan Samaj Party government under Mayawati had proposed the creation of Bundelkhand state from seven districts of Uttar Pradesh in 2011. There are many independent social organizations are built to support the creation of the Bundelkhand state.

Organizations such as Bundelkhand Akikrit Party (BAP) and Bundelkhand Mukti Morcha (BMM) want it to include six districts from Madhya Pradesh as well.

Uma Bharati of Bharatiya Janata Party has promised a separate state of Bundelkhand within three years if her party voted to power, during the campaign for Loksabha Election, 2014 at Jhansi. A similar promise was made by Congress leader Pradeep Jain Aditya during Loksabha Election, 2014.

In December 2020, Bundelkhand Nirman morch did a bike rally. They gave their demands letter to Prime minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to fulfill his promise to make Bundelkhand state in election Rallies. They had a demand for Bundelkhand to be made a separate state and  Orchha as its Capital.

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