Chandrapur Knowledge Guide
Archeological finds such as signs of pottery making, suggest inhabitation of the Chandrapur area in Neolithic times.From ancient times, Chandrapur has fallen under the control of many different rulers. Between 322 BCE and 187 BCE, much of India, including Maharashtra, was part of the Maurya Empire. From 187 BCE to 78 BCE, Chandrapur was part of the Shunga Empire which controlled much of central and eastern India. The Satavahana Empire controlled Chandrapur from the 1st century BCE to the 2nd century CE. The Vakataka dynasty ruled from the area from the mid 3rd century CE to 550 CE. The Kalachuri dynasty ruled in the area in the 6th and 7th centuries CE. The Rashtrakuta dynasty followed, controlling the Chandrapur region between the 7th and 10th centuries. The Chalukya dynasty ruled in the region to the 12th century CE. The Seuna (Yadava) dynasty of Devagiri ruled a kingdom, including the Chandrapur area, in approximately 850 CE and continued until 1334 CE.The Gond people are part of the Adivasi (indigenous people) of India. In ancient times, the Gond diaspora spread throughout central India. After the passage of many kings, who were largely subservient to other rulers, the Gond king, Khandkya Ballal (1470 – 1495) came to the throne. He founded Chandrapur.As per legends, Khandkya, who resided in Sirpur was covered in tumours. His wise and beautiful wife nursed him. She asked him to leave Sirpur and move to the north bank of the Wardha River. There, the king built a fort he named "Ballalpur" and thus founded city of Ballarpur. One day, while hunting north-west of Ballalpur, the king became thirsty and rode up to the dry bed of the Jharpat river in search of water. He discovered water trickling from a hole, and after drinking, washed his face, hands and feet. That night he slept soundly for the first time in his life. On his return the queen was delighted to see that many of the tumours on her husband's body had disappeared. The king said it was the water that had cured him and took his wife to see the water hole. On clearing the grass and sand, they found five footprints of a cow in the solid rock, each filled with water. The water source at the spot was inexhaustible and considered holy. The place was called "Tirtha of Acalesvar of the Treta Yuga". When the king bathed in the water all the tumours on his body vanished. That night at the water hole, Acalesvar appeared to the king in a dream, and spoke comforting words. A temple was built over the water hole. One morning, at the water hole, the king saw a hare darting out of a bush and chasing his dog. Eventually, the dog killed the hare. The king found a white spot on the forehead of the hare. The queen said it was a good omen and a fortified city should he built with its layout based on the chase of the dog and hare. She said the place where the hare was killed would be unlucky for the city. The king's officers, the "Tel Thakurs" built the fortified city. The city became Chandrapur. Gond rule was lost in 1751 to the Maratha period. The last ruler of the Maratha dynasty, Raghuji Bhonsle III died in 1853 without issue. In 1853, Chandrapur was annexed to British India. During the British colonial period the area of Chandrapur was called "Chanda". By 1871, Anglican and Scottish Episcopal missionaries had arrived in the city. In 1874, three tehsils were created: Viz Mul, Warora and Bramhpuri. The upper Godavai district of Madras was abolished and four tehsils were added to Chandrapur to form one tehsil with Sironcha, approximately 150 km to the south, as its centre of governance. In 1895, the headquarters was transferred to Chandrapur. In 1905, a new tehsil with headquarters at Gadchiroli was created through the transfer of zamindari estates from Bramhpuri and Chandrapur tehsil. In 1907, a small area of land was transferred from Chandrapur to the newer districts and another area of about 1560 km2, comprising three divisions of the lower Sironcha tehsil (Cherla, Albak and Nugir) were transferred to Madras State. Between 1911 and 1955, no major changes occurred in the boundaries of the district or its tehsils. In 1956, with the reorganization of Indian states, Chandrapur district was transferred from Madhya Pradesh to Bombay state. In 1959, part of Adilabad district of Hyderabad state, was transferred to Chandrapur district. In May 1960, Chandrapur district became part of the Maharashtra state. Following the 1981 Census of India, Chandrapur district was divided into Chandrapur district and Gadchiroli district.