History of Madhya Pradesh "The heart of Incredible INDIA"



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The geographical position of a country or a state goes a long way in impacting the course of historical events and also its economic development. It also influences the outlook of its citizens and their behavior. Madhya Pradesh occupying geographical the central position in the country, is veritably the heart of India.


On account of its central position, all historical currents had apparently passed through this region, leaving conspicuous marks on it. The prehistoric period begins with the stone age, which the sites such as Bhimbetka, Adamgarh, Jaora, Raisen, Pachmarhi, etc. stand witness to. However the dynastic history begins with the time of Ashoka, the great Buddhist emperor whose Mauryan empire was powerful in Malwa and Avanti. King Ashoka's wife is said to be from Vidisha, a town located north of today's Bhopal. The Maurya Empire declined after death of Ashoka and central India was contested among the Shungas, Kushanas, Satvahanas and local dynasties during 3rd to 1st centuries BC. In the 1st century BC, Ujjain was the predominant commercial centre. This area became part of northern India during Gupta empire in 4th 6th centuries AD, the era known as classical age. Onslaughts of Huna brought about the collapse of Gupta Empire resulting in its disintegration into smaller states. However, a king Yasodharman of Malwa defeated the Hunas in 528 AD ending their expansion. Later Harsa of Thaneshwar reunited northern India till 647 AD before his death. In the medieval period Rajput, clans like Paramaras of Malwa and Chandelas of Bundelkhand dominated the region during 950-1060 AD. The paramara king Raja Bhoj, who gave the name to city of Bhopal, ruled over Indore and Dhar. Gond Kingdoms emerged in Gondwana and Mahakoshal. In the 13th century, northern Madhya Pradesh was conquered by the Delhi Sultanate which collapsed in 14th century giving emergence to regional kingdoms like Tomars of Gwalior and Muslim Sultanate of Malwa with its capital at Mandu.

During the period of 1156-1605, most of the area of present Madhya Pradesh came under Mughal Empire while Gondwana and Mahakoshal remained under Gond control who acknowledged Mughal supremacy, but enjoyed virtual autonomy. Mughal control began to weakened after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, as a result the Marathas began to expand and between 1720-1760 these took control over most of Madhya Pradesh. Holkars ruled much of Malwa based at Indore, Scindias at Gwalior and Bhonsales at Nagpur controlled Mahakoshal, Gondwana as well as Vidarbha in Maharashtra. At the same time, Bhopal was ruled by a Muslim dynasty who descended from Afghan General Dost Mohammed Khan. In course of time, the British expanded their dominion from their strongholds in Bengal, Bombay and Madras, they defeated the Marathas between 1775-1818 and entered into treaty relationships with their states and established paramountcy over them. Most of Madhya Pradesh, including the large states of Indore, Bhopal, Nagpur, Rewa and a number of small states came under British Empire. In 1853, the British annexed the state of Nagpur which included south- eastern Madhya Pradesh, eastern Maharashtra and most of Chhattisgarh which were combined with Saugor and Nerbudda Territories to form Central Province in 1861.The princely states of northern Madhya Pradesh were governed by the Central India Agency.

Independence of India in 1947 was followed by the merger of hundreds of princely states into the Union with the formation of the Republic of India on 26th January, 1950. The boundaries were rationalised with the reorganisation of states. In 1950, Madhya Pradesh was created from former British Central Provinces and Berar, princely states of Makarai and Chhattisgarh and Nagpur as the capital. The new states of Madhya Bharat, Vindhya Pradesh and Bhopal were formed out of Central India Agency. In 1956, as a result of reorganisation of states, the states of Madhya Bharat, Vindhya Pradesh and Bhopal were merged into Madhya Pradesh, some districts of erstwhile CP and Berar were transferred to Maharashtra and some minor adjustments were made with Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. Then Bhopal became the new capital of the state. Initially, the state had 43 districts. Subsequently, two large districts were bifurcated in the year 1972, Bhopal was carved out from Sehore and Rajnandgaon from Durg; the total number being 45. In the year 1998, 16 more districts were carved out from larger districts and the number of districts became 61.In November 2000, the south-eastern portion of the state was split to form a new State of Chhattisgarh. Thus, the present Madhya Pradesh State came into existence, the 2nd largest state in the country, spread over a geographical area of about 308 lakh Ha.


Content Courtesy : MP Madhyam.