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History of Chandrapur

Chandrapur, which is also referred to as Chanda, is located in the Chandrapur district of the Indian state, Maharashtra. Chandrapur is also considered to be Chandrapur district's headquarters. This city has many temples, which mostly belong to goddess Kali Kankali Ni and Achaleshwar. Khandaka Balharshah, the Gond King, founded the city of Chandrapur. The city is situated at the Zarpat River and the Irai river confluence. This region is very well known for the mineral wealth like limestone and coal.

The district of Chandrapur has a very long history of all the prehistoric animals. These animals included the dinosaurs and many other animals as well. It is also known that the prehistoric men resided in Chandrapur. The Archaeological Survey of India and the famous archaeologist, Suresh Chopane discovered numerous sites of the Stone Age, which ranged from the early Stone Age to the new Stone Age. These pieces of evidence can be spotted at the Suresh Chopane Rock Museum. This region had been ruled by a number of kingdoms which included the Mauryas, the Sungas, the Vakatakas, the Satavahanas, the Kalukuries, the Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas, and the Yadavs. The Gond kings were known to establish their kingdom after a really long time.

Chandrapur and the Gond King- Khandka Ballal

The Gonds established the Gond Kingdom long after the rule of the Mauryas, Chalukyas, Sungas, Yadavs and the other rulers. According to the legends, the son of King Surja, Khandka Ballal ascended the throne after the death of his father. The prince was known to have deadly tumours in his body and his wife looked after him. There was no remedy that could cure the prince and his wife forced him to retaliate to Wardha’s northern banks. The prince had erected a beautiful and magnificent fort here that was named Ballarpur.

According to the history of the Prince, it is said that when the prince went hunting, he became very thirsty. He went looking for water to the Zarpat river bed. He drank the water that was trickling down a hole and cleaned himself. After returning back to his fort, he started feeling better. His wife realized that most of the tumors that were the reason of the Prince's poor health had started disappearing. After enquiring, the queen found out that the water of the Zarpat River had medical properties that had started healing her husband. The hole, from which the prince drank water was discovered later, and it was seen that there were a cow's footprints and each of the five footprints had water filled in them. The source of water in this spot is inexhaustible to this date. Later, the prince was healed completely and the tumors all vanished from his body.

Building of the City- Chandrapur

The king had visions of the Lord Achaleshwar, who comforted the king. After the dream was heard by the king, the queen sent out orders to build a temple at the place, where the king had discovered the holy waters. Skilled architects were hired by the king in order to construct the temple. The king was very interested in the progress of the temple. He used to visit the site of construction daily and one day, he spotted a hare going after his dog. This was something very unusual. The dog kept running in a circular motion while the hare was running in a zigzag motion in order to catch the dog. The hare closed in on the dog but the dog continued running and turned and killed it.

The king later realized that hare had a milky white spot on its forehead. He was not sure what this meant and informed his wife about everything that he had sighted. According to her, this was a very good sign and she suggested that a grand and fortified city be built. She also wanted to erect bastions not only on the spot where the hare had almost got the dog but also on the place where the hare was killed by the dog. She believed that the dog killing the hare could be dangerous for the city in future.

The king carried out the queen's views to the skilled architects of the city in order to start building the fortified city. They dug a trench where the hare had left its tracks. The planning of the placement of the gates and all the bastions were done carefully, and finally, the work of constructing the city started. This work was managed by the King's Rajput officers, who were known as Tel Thakurs. This is how the city of Chandrapur was built.

Naming of the Chandrapur

The city was named Lokapur at first, which was changed to the name Indupur, which meant, the City of the Moon. When the city was under the rule of the British, it was referred to as the Chanda District, which was later changed to Chandrapur. In 1964, the city was finally recognized as Chandrapur. Most people consider the origin of the name Chandrapur from the milky white spot that was present on the hare’s forehead.

Chandrapur and the neighboring regions

There were a number of other places in the region of Chandrapur in early times. These places included Aurangabad, Bhadravati, Kosala and Markanda. The Gond Kings were known to rule this area till the year 1751. The Marathas took over Chandrapur after the Gonds. The last heir of the Maratha dynasty, Raghuji Bhosale, breathed his last in 1853. After this, the province of Nagpur and Chandrapur came under the colonial rule of the British.

In the year 1854, the city of Chandrapur formed a district that was independent. There were three Tehsils in the year 1874, namely, Viz Mul, Warora, and Brahmpuri. In 1864, Madras’s Godavari district was abolished. After this, four Tehsils again were added in order to form a single Tehsil. The headquarters of this Tehsil was Sironcha. Later, in the year 1895, the Tehsil headquarters were transferred to Chandrapur. Again, a Tehsil was created in 1905 with the headquarters as Gadchiroli. This was created when the zamindari estates were transferred from the Brahmpuri region and the Chandrapur Tehsil. Later in 1905, Cherla, Nugier and Albak, the three visions of Sironcha, were transferred to the State of Madras.

There were no other serious changes within the district boundaries or the tehsils between the time period of 1911 to 1955. Later, the states were reorganised in 1956. The district of Chandrapur was now transferred to Bombay from the state of Madhya Pradesh. Also, the Adilabad District of Hyderabad was transferred to the district of Chandrapur in the year 1959.

Chandrapur became the part of the state of Maharashtra in the year 1960. In order to maintain a proper administration and proper development of the industries and agriculture, Chandrapur was further divided into Gadchiroli and Chandrapur. Presently, the district of Chandrapur comprises of Chandrapur, Warora, Mul, Bhadravati, Nagbhir, Saoli, Chimur, Jivati, Sindewahi, Pombhurna, Korpana, Brahmpuri, Gondpipri, Rajura and Ballarpur.

Chandrapur is extremely well known for the history that it has. It is famous for the Ganesh Utsav, Diwali and Dussehra and also the very famous Adivasi and the Gondal which are known almost everywhere in the world. The rich and interesting history of Chandrapur attracts a huge amount of tourists to this place from all over the world. 

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