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Maharaj Chhatrasal

 
  Maharaj Chhatrasal, founder of an independent kingdom, is one of Bundelkhand's great historical figures

In the late 17th century, when Mughal power began to wane, arose one of Bundelkhand's great historical figures: Maharaj Chhatrasal,  founder of an independent kingdom and a second line of Bundela rulers (read about the first line of Bundela rulers in Bundelas and Mughals).

In his early life Chhatrasal did military service for the Mughals in the Deccan and during this time he is believed to have met Chattrapati Shivaji, who inspired him to found an independent kingdom.

Another influence on his life is believed to be a charismatic religious leader called Prannath, who founded the Pranami sect, which rejects caste barriers and reveres both Hindu and Muslim religious texts.

Chhatrasal first overcame the Gond ruler of Panna and apparently gained access to the region's precious diamonds.

Chattrasal made Panna the capital of his kingdom and bringing less powerful Bundela chiefs under his banner, launched a series of successful assaults into Mughal possessions, leading to the coining of a popular Bundeli saying:

It Jamuna ut Narmada, it Chambal ut Tons
Chhatrasal so laran ki, rahi na kahu hons

(From the Jamuna to the Narmada, the Chambal to the Tons, nobody dares fight Chhattrasal)

The weak Moghul emperors who followed Aurangazeb recognised Chhattrasal's rule. 

However, as he expanded his territory into the district of Jhansi, the Mughal governor of Allahabad, Muhammed Khan Bangash, counterattacked with great force, compelling Chhatrasal to seek help from the other great power of the time, the Marathas, led by Peshwa Baji Rao in Pune.

Maratha armies helped the Bundelas deliver a humbling defeat to Bangash in 1729 and before he died two years later, Chhatrasal conferred a third of his kingdom to the Peshwa.

Of what remained, he divided it among his numerous sons, relatives and loyal chiefs. Thus arose Bundela-ruled states of Panna, Jaitpur, Ajaigarh and Charkhari, and several smaller estates.

| Early History | Chandela Period | Khangars and Early Bundelas | Bundelas and Mughals | Gond Kingdom | Maharaj Chhatrasal | Entry of Marathas | Entry of British | 1857 Revolt | British Rule | Freedom Movement | Bundelkhand State? | Hold of Dacoits |

 
History
> Early History
> Chandela Period
> Khangars and Early Bundelas
> Bundelas and Mughals
> Gond Kingdom
> Maharaj Chhatrasal
> Entry of Marathas
> Entry of British
> 1857 Revolt
> British Rule
> Freedom Movement
> Bundelkhand State?
> Hold of Dacoits