The History of Kanker is started from Stone era. With reference of Ramayana and Mahabharat there was a dense forest area named Dandakaranya and the Kanker state belonged to Dandakaranya. According to myths the Kanker was the land of monks. A lot of Rishis (monks) named Kank, Lomesh, Shringi, Angira were lived here. In sixth century before Christ the region was affected by Buddhism. The ancient history of Kanker tells that it remained always independent state.
In 106 AD the Kanker state was under the Satvahan dynasty and the king was Satkarni, This fact is also described by Chinese visitor Whensaung. After Satvahans the state was under control of Nags, Vakataks, Gupt, Nal and Chalukya dynasties time to time. Som dynasty was founded by the king Singh Raj and this dynasty ruled the state from 1125 to 1344. After the downfall of Soms a brave and strong person Dharam Dev kept the foundation of Kandra dynasty. Kandra dynasty ruled the state up to 1385. After the downfall of Kandras the Chandra dynasty came. According to a myth the first king of this dynasty was Veer Kanhar Dev. He ruled the state up to 1404. This dynasty ruled the state up to 1802.
The Kanker state came under the control of Marathas during the kingdom of Bhoop Dev. During the kingdom of Narhari Deb the Kanker state came under control of British from Maratha. As British government gave the adoption to Narhari Dev and He gave the acknowledgement of fealty to British. In 1882 the control of Kanker State handed over to Commissioner Raipur. Narhari Dev had good administrative qualities. After getting power he concentrated on administration. During his kingdom a palace near Gadiya Mountain, printing press, library, Radhakrishna Temple, Ramjanki Temple, Jagannath Temple and Balaji Temple were constructed. He was so much popular in people. He made a plan named Ratna Bhandar for keeping grain in stock for his people. He established a new town named Narharpur near Kanker. He was expired in 1903. In 1904 Komal Dev became the king of Kanker. He was a good king. During his kingdom one English high school, one Girls school and 15 primary Schools were established and also two hospitals one in Kanker and the other in Sambalpur were constructed. He established a new town near Kanker named Govindpur. He also tried to make capital at Govindpur instead of Kanker. He expired on 8 January 1925. After his death, Bhanupratap Dev became the king. Bhanupratap Dev was the last king of Kanker before independence of India. After independence he was elected M. L. A. from Kanker constituency two times.
What is now Kanker District was a part of old Bastar district. In 1999 Kanker received its identity as an independent district. Now it is surrounded by five other districts of Chhattisgarh state: Kondagaon District, Dhamtari District, Balod District, Narayanpur and Rajnandgaon District.
It is currently a part of the Red Corridor.
Read more about this topic: Kanker District
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