Jashpur was a princely
State before independence. The history of the region is quite vague. Local
here say evidences suggest that there was a Dom dynasty ruling the area by the
middle of 18th century. The last Dom ruler Raibhan was defeated and killed by
the founder of the present Jashpur State Sujan Rai. It is said that Banswada,
a smaller State in old Rajputana Province, was the native place of Sujan Rai’s
a castors. They established their rule and Kingdom in Sonpur. Sujan Rai,
being the eldest son of the Suryavanshi King, was on a hunting expedition in
deep forest, his father (King) died. In view of the tradition and
requirement of the occasion his younger brother was coronate, as the Throne of
King could not be kept unoccupied, even for a while. On return from hunting
expedition, Sujan Rai was offered and requested to take over the charge of the
Throne. But he preferred to be a Sangasi and took to the forest. Wandering
about he reached Khudia, the capital camp of the Dom kingdom. There he found
that the subjects were unhappy and dissatisfied with the Dom Raja Raibhan and
were on the verge of revolt. Sujan Rai led the popular uprising, defeated the
Dom Raja in a battle. Now, Sujan Rai became the King and a new State
‘Jashpur’ was founded by him. Today’s Jashpur Royal family belongs to that
In earlier years, the Jashpur king accepted the paramountey
of Bhonsle's of Nagpur and continued offering 21 buffalos as a mark of respect
and obeyance to the paramount. During Mudhaji Bhonsle’s regime, in 1818,
Jashpur State was brought under Sarguja State for the purpose of efficient
administration. However, till 1950, Jashpur was included as a princely State
among Chhotanagpur States, administered by the Bengal Government. This
arrangement continued till 1947-48. Jashpur remained a part of Chhotanagpur
commissionery from 1948 to October 10, 1956. On November 1, 1956 when Madhya
Pradesh was organized as a new State under union of India, Jashpur became a
part of it. Till May 25, 1998 this region remained a part of Raigarh District.
Owing to extensive area of several districts in Madhya Pradesh, a district
reorganization commission, headed by Justice G.K. Dubey, was constituted by
the then Chief Minister Mr. Arjun Singh in 1982. The commission submitted its
report in 1989. In 1992, the Chief Minister of M.P. Mr. Sundarlal Patwa
declared the constitution of 16 new districts in the State, Jashpur being one
of them. On account of judicial interests they said declaration could not be
executed at that time. Bowing to the people’s aspirations, Mr. Digvijay
Singh, the Chief Minister of M.P., declared the creation of 16 districts on
May 22, 1998. In a public ceremony the Minister-in-Charge of the district Mr.
Chanesh Ram Rathia formally announced the creation of Jashpur District. On May
25, 1998 Mr. Ramanand Shukla took over the charge of collector of this newly
constituted district. On organization of Chhattisgarh as a new State, Jashpur
is a part of this province.
Situated in the north-east of Chhattisgarh, Jashpur is rich
with dense forest and green flora. Northern region of the district has a long series
of hills and mountains, sometimes running parallel to each other or cress-crossing
somewhere. Lush green terrain and valleys present elegant natural beauty.
Having an average altitude from 2500 to 3500 meters above sea-level, the
district is situated between 220 17’ N to 230 15’ N latitude and to 830 30’ E
to ------‘ E longitude. It is surrounded by Gumla district of Jharkhand in the
east, Sarguja in the west, some parts of Jharkhand and Sarguja in the north
and the districts of Raigarh and Sundargarh (Orissa) in the south.
Having an area of 5339.78 sq. Km. Jashpur District has a
population of about 739780 as per 2001 census Gender wise there are 370287
males and 369493 females. 03.35 percent of the state population lives here.
The density of population is 127 persons per sq.km. 96% of the population is
on the western extension of Chhotanagpur Plateau, forms the north-east region
of Chhattisgarh province. Deep, dense and extensive forests, a number of
Streams and rivers originate, flow and supplement heavenly beauty to the
country. In the past, the region was known as Yashpur, and later Jagdishpur
and at present it is Jashpur.
An overview of
the history shows specific features of the region. The civilization and
cultural heritage are the total sum of man’s efforts and contributing impacts
of natural surroundings. The topography and the soil of Jashpur contain rich
bio-diversity, enough mineral deposits, well distributed drainage system, cool
climate and honest, hardworking, peace loving work force. Nature has given
everything generously. The people of the land express their gratitude to the
nature with their contended attitude.
Khudia Rani and
Gondwana Mahadev, the two archaeological sites, stand as witness to the fact
that the region had been fertile for the development of civilization. Some
forgotten and less known miraculous legends have also been recorded. Sculpture
was a well developed art. An investigation into the history of the land
reveals a rich and colorful tradition and culture of the people. It is the
identifying distinction of the district.
sites are significant in appreciation of history. In 18th century, Jashpur was
among 14 princely States of Chhattisgarh, placed under Sarguja group. However,
till 1905 it was under the administration of Chhotanagpur commissioner. It is
painful to note that neither during royal regime nor there after any
archaeological or historical Study and exploration was ever undertaken. A
number of smaller mud-forts scattered around still wait for their scientific
exploration. The prevailing mystery, if uncovered, could relate the
archeological sites with the pre historic period of the country.
Jashpur region has
been rich and prosperous with archaeological assets. However, excepting recent
history of the princely State, no facts or figures, worth mentioning, are
available. Some glimpses of the ancient past could be seen in the two literary
works. “The Chhattisgarh feudatory States Gazettier” published in 1909 and
written by EMD Brett and ‘Jharkhand Jhankar’ a work for literature by Deewan
of Kanker Raghuvir Prasad, do mention some facts about the history of Jashpur.
No other source has been found so far. Scattered around various parts of the
region, one can find remains of idols, statues, and ancient places of worship
in their dilapidated state. No sculptures, carvings scripts or paintings to
provide information about the places of archeological importance are
In the cause of
survey many elders and senior citizens were inter viewed in this respect. But
the facts and descriptions stated by them appear to be fictitious and
mysterious, hence difficult to believe.
The beliefs and
customs of the local tribe are quite unique. In the course of time there might
have been variations and alterations but they have preserved their heritage in
the form of ever continuing tradition based on verbal history.
To sum up, it
could be said that there would have been a well developed prosperous
civilization flourishing in Jashpur region. A careful scientific study and
exploration could open up an exciting page of untraced history, imparting it
uniqueness and meaning fullness.