Damoh Knowledge Guide


Early history

Stone Age tools have been found in Singrampur Valley and it is believed that the area has been inhabited for thousands of years. According to legend, Damoh was named for the Queen of Narvar Rani Damyanti, the wife of Raja Nal. Around the 5th century, it was part of the empire of Guptas of Pataliputra. This has been evidenced by plaques and coins, and monuments from the reigns of Samudragupta, Chandragupta I, and Skandgupta. From the 8th to 12th centuries, some parts of the Damoh district were in the Chedi Empire, ruled by the Kalchuri dynasty from its capital Tripuri. The temple at Nohta demonstrates Kalchuri's influence in the 10th century. Some regions of the district were under the Chandels of the Jejak-Bhukti.

The Sultans

Around the beginning of the 14th century, the administrative centre of the Chanderi province of the Khalji dynasty was moved to Damoh. The era of Muslim rule began in the 14th century. Stone carvings at Salaiya and Batiyagarh mention Khalji and Tuglaq Sultans. The Sultan of Malwa later annexed the region.

Gond and Maratha rule

In the last quarter of the 15th century, Sangram Shah of the Gond dynasty annexed the region into his empire organized around 52 forts. This was an era of peace and prosperity for the region. In Singrampur, Rani Durgawati attained martyrdom battling against the Mughal Empire, represented by its General Asaf Khan and his army. Bundelas entered the region for a brief time span, after which Marathas took over in 1732. Marathas remained in control until the British annexed the Marathas kingdom after the death of Peshwa in 1888. The Diwanji ki Talaiya and the Ram Mandir were constructed by the Maratha administrators.

Modern history

Damoh took part in the struggle for independence from the British. Under the leadership of Thakur Kishore Singh of Hindoria, Raja Devi Singh of Singrampur, Pancham Singh of Karijog, Gangadhar Rao, Raghunath Rao, Mejban Singh, and Govind Rao were among those who took part in the 1857 revolt. In 1861, Damoh became part of Central Provinces under the British Empire in India and was demarcated as a separate district. By 1867, Damoh was constituted as a municipality with a population of about two million. The same year it was connected by railway to Jabalpur and Allahabad. Damoh suffered from famine in 1896-97 and 1900. By 1899 the India Midland Railway had completed the construction of Sagar–Damoh link and Damoh–Katni links. Freedom fighter Seth Govind Das was jailed in Damoh in 1923, and wrote a number of Hindi plays while imprisoned. In 1929, Acharya Shantisagar visited Damoh, the first such visit by a Digambar Muni to Damoh after several centuries.In 1933, Mahatma Gandhi visited Damoh. In 1946, Sagar University was established as the region's primary centre for higher education. In 1947, with India's independence from British Raj, the Central Provinces were reorganized as the state of Madhya Pradesh. The town of Damoh had its first-degree college established in 1961 by Shiksha Prasar Samiti, a volunteer organization.