The Gonds

The Gonds are amongst the largest tribal groups in South Asia and India.

The Gonds lived in the forest regions of the peninsular plateau.

Muslim writers describe a rise of Gond states after the 14th century.

Let us know more about the Gonds

The Gonds lived in the large forest region of Gondwana (present-day areas of MP, AP, Telangana, and Maharashtra).

They practiced shifting cultivation as a part of their livelihood.

The large Gonds tribes are further sub-divided into several smaller clans with each clan having its own raja.

After the decline of Delhi Sultans, few large Gond kingdoms started controlling the smaller Gonds chiefs.

There is a mention of the Gond kingdom in Akbarnama, which talks about the rule of Akbar.

It mentions the Gond kingdom of Garha Katanga that had 70,000 villages.

The administrative system of these kingdoms were centralised and divided into garhs.

Each garh was controlled by a particular Gond clan.

This was further sub-divided into units of 84 villages called Chaurasi.

Further, chaurasi were sub-divided into barhots which were made up of 12 villages.

The emergence of large states divided the Gond society into unequal social classes.

Brahmans became more influential by receiving land grants from the Gond rajas.

This progress made Gonds chiefs to be recognised as Rajputs.

So, Aman Das, the Gond raja of Garha Katanga, assumed the title of Sangram Shah.

His son, Dalpat married Durgawati, the daughter of Salbahan, the Chandel Rajput raja of Mahoba (present-day UP).

After a few years, Dalpat died. The kingdom was ruled by Durgawati on behalf of their five-year-old son, Bir Narain.

Under her rule, the kingdom of Garha Katanga flourished extensively.

In 1565, the Mughal forces under Asaf Khan attacked Garha Katanga. Strong opposition was put up by Rani Durgawati.

However, she was defeated. She along with her son died during this battle rather than surrendering.

Garha Katanga was a rich state that earned much wealth by trapping and exporting wild elephants to other kingdoms.

The Mughals after defeating the Gonds captured a huge amount of coins and elephants.

The Mughals ruled some part of the kingdom and the rest was given to Chandra Shah, uncle of Bir Narain.

With time, the Garha Katanga kingdom became weaker and was defeated by the Bundelas and Marathas.

Revision

The Gonds lived in the large forest region of Gondwana or the peninsular plateau.

During the decline of the Delhi Sultans, few large Gond kingdoms started controlling the smaller Gonds chiefs.

The Akbarnama mentions about the Gond kingdom of Garha Katanga that had 70,000 villages.

Aman Das, the Gond raja of Garha Katanga, assumed the title of Sangram Shah. His son, Dalpat married Durgawati, daughter of a Rajput king.

In the year 1565, the Mughal forces under Asaf Khan attacked Garha Katanga. Durgawati gave a tough fight to them.

The Mughals ruled some part of the kingdom and the rest was granted to Chandra Shah, uncle of Bir Narain.

The End