History Files


Far East Kingdoms

South Asia





Gondwana was one of a great many minor kingdoms which existed in sixteenth century India, but its founding went back further than that. One of a number of minor principalities which were based around small towns and which were subject to the authority of larger kingdoms, historically the Gond kings were of very limited importance. They were a part of the aboriginal Gond tribe that even today inhabits the central Indian regions of Vidharba / Berar (Maharashtra), parts of Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgad, and Telangana (Andhra Pradesh) in southern India. Their territories were ruled successively by the Vakatakas, Shail, Kalachuris, Rashtrakutas and Ponwar dynasties, and there were three main Gond kingdoms: Garha Mandla, Chandrapur, and Deogarh.

(Information by Abhijit Rajadhyaksha.)

Gond Kings of Garha Mandla / Upper Narmada Valley
AD 10th Century - 1781

This was one of the three Gond kingdoms of Gondwana. It was situated in present day Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh states. Garha Mandla was the senior Gond kingdom until it came under Moghul domination. The other Gond kingdoms, Chandrapur, and Deogarh, were minor principalities which owed their allegiance to Garha Mandla.


Unknown king. His daughter married Jadurai.

Jadurai takes the advice of his spiritual guide, a Brahmin by the name of Surubhi Pathak, and marries the daughter of an unnamed Gond king. His genealogy is maintained by one of his descendents, Hirde Shah, in the form of a Sanskrit tablet on the walls of his palace at Ramnagar, near Mandla.

Jadurai / Yaduraya

Hindu. m dau of the Gond king.







fl 1116




Sangram Shah expands his kingdom to cober the Narmada Valley which includes Bhopal, Jabalpur and more. He also constructs the fort of Chauragad to guard his possessions.

Fort Madan Mahal
Fort Madan Mahal was built in 1116 by Raja Madan Shah in Jabalpur



Vir Narayan


? - 1564

Rani Durgavati

Mother and regent for Vir Barayan. Dau of Chandela king.


Just the year after Chandrapur falls to the Moghuls, Rani Durgavati dies on the battlefield after refusing to submit to Asaf Khan, the Moghul viceroy. Though wounded in battle, she stabs herself to death rather than submit to the enemy. Her tomb, known as Chabutar (near Jabalpur), stands in testimony to this valiant queen. Her son also falls, defending Fort Chauragad.

The Gonds are forced to accept Moghul overlordship. The districts forming the kingdom are reformed into the state of Bhopal. This is ceded to the Moghul emperor, Akbar, in order that the next man in line to succeed to the Gond throne, Chandra, is recognised by the Moghuls.


Uncle of Vir Narayan.

Upon Chandra's death, his second son, Madhukar, murders his eldest son in order to seize the throne. He later burns himself to death over his feelings of guilt and remorse.



Prem Narayan


The Bundelas under Jhujhar Singh invade Narsinghpur District and invest the fort of Chauragarh, albeit unsuccessfully. Eventually the hostility between the Bundelas and the Gonds takes the lives of both Prem Narayan Shah and Jhujhar Singh.

Hirde Shah



Mandla is made the new capital of the kingdom. Part of Sagar District is ceded to the Moghul emperor, the south of Sagar and Damoh districts to Raja Chhatrasal of Panna, and Seoni District to the Gond raja of Deogarh. Amidst continued political intrigue, Gond power continues to decrease.

[Unknown number of kings]


Last king. Taken prisoner by Marathas.

1742 - 1781

The Maratha Peshwa enters Mandla and exacts tribute from the Gonds. Narhar Shah is taken prisoner and held at Fort Khurai in Saugor. During this period, the Gond dynasty of Garha Mandla remains devoid of office or any political control, Garha Mandla itself remains practically a Maratha dependency. Soon, the other independent principalities of Gondwana also succumb. These Gond rajas eventually emerge as pensioners of the British.

1742 - Present

[Unknown number of kings]

The pensioner kings of Garha Mandla are unknown.

Gond Kings of Chandrapur
AD 13th Century - 1751

This was one of the lesser of the three Gond kingdoms of Gondwana, and it owed its allegiance to Garha Mandla as the senior Gond kingdom. It was situated in present day Maharashtra state. The capital was initially at Sirpur, then at Ballarshah. Due to a lack of firm data for this kingdom, most of the dates in this list are approximate.


Adityavarman of South Konkan offers help to the Gond kings of Chandrapur and Chemulya (modern Chaul), thirty miles to the south of Bombay. This shows that the rule of the Silharas has spread to encompass the whole of Konkan. While they remain dominant, the Kadambas of Goa establish themselves more locally.

Kol Bhil

Rallied all Gond tribes. Taught them the use of iron in weaponry.

Bhim Ballal Singh

Established the Gond kingdom with Sirpur as his capital.

Kharja Ballal Singh


Hir Singh

Son. First to levy tax on occupied lands.

Andia Ballal Singh

Son. Tyrant. Constructed Fort Ballarshah and made it the capital.

Talwar Singh

Son. Said to be a fickle-minded and unpopular king.

Keshar Singh


Keshar Singh subdues the rebellions that break out in his kingdom and extends his territory to the edges of the Bhil country. He possesses horses and oxen, and is wealthier than any of his predecessors.

Dinkar Singh

Son. Encouraged Gond bards, Marathi literature, and peace.

Ram Singh


Ram Singh expands his kingdom, maintains an army called Tadavel, and constructs hill forts. Ahmed Shah of the Bahamani empire attacks his kingdom and invests Fort Mahur, capturing Kalamb. This results in the massacre of many Hindus.

1445 - 1470

Surja Ballal Singh / Sher Shah Ballal Shah



Surja Ballal experiences friction with the court of Delhi and is taken captive. He later assists the Delhi emperor in attacking Fort Kaibur, which belongs to a minor Rajput king of the Chandelas named Mohan Singh. In return the Gonds are granted his territory. The king is also given the title of Sher Sah/Shah which lasts throughout the dynasty.

1470 - 1495

Khandkya Ballal Shah

Son. Constructed the city of Chandrapur.

1495 - 1521

Hir Shah


1521 - ?


Adopted son.

1521 - ?


Adopted brother and joint ruler.

1521 - ?


Widow of Hir Shah and regent.

Kondia Shah / Karna Shah

Brother of Hir Shah.

bef 1563 - 1597

Babaji Ballal Shah

Son. Moghul vassal from 1563.

? - 1563


Female regent. Killed by the Moghuls.

? - 1563

Vir Narayan

Son. Killed by the Moghuls.


The regents of Gondwana, Durgavati and Vir Narayan, die fighting on the battlefield as the Moghuls under Akbar attack and defeat the kingdom. Gondwana is pulled into the Moghul empire.

1597 - 1622

Dhundia Ram

1622 - 1640

Krishna Shah

Son. Extended territory to Nagpur.

1640 - 1691

Bir Shah


Bir Shah discontinues tribute to the Moghuls following the house arrest of Shah Jahan, but Aurangzeb sends an army under the command of Diler Khan to attack the Gonds, forcing them to sue for peace. Bir Shah is killed by a Rajput named Hiraman during the ceremony for his second marriage.

1691 - 1735

Ram Shah

Adopted son.

1691 - ?

Rani Hirai

Widow of Bir Shah, and regent for Ram Shah.

1735 - 1751

Nilkanth Shah

Son. Last ruling Gond king of Chandrapur.


Nilkanth Shah tries to throw off the power held by Raghuji Bhosale over the Gonds, but is defeated. The Gonds are forced to accepted the overlordship of Raghuji Bhosale, Maratha ruler of Nagpur, and are reduced to holding just Ballarshah, while Chandrapur is annexed by Raghuji Bhosale. Nilkanth Shah makes an attempt at rebellion but is imprisoned, ending the Gond dynasty of Chandrapur. Chandrapur becomes fully part of the Berar dominion of the Maratha Bhosales.

Gond Princes of Deogarh (Devgad)
c.AD 1580s - 1743

This was one of the lesser of the three Gond kingdoms of Gondwana, and it owed its allegiance to Garha Mandla as the senior Gond kingdom. It was situated in present day Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh states. Details about it are obscure, but its formation may have been due to the Moghul conquest of Chandrapur in 1563.

fl c.1580s

Jatba / Ajanbahu Jatbasha

First of the dynasty of princes.

Jatba's full name, Ajanbahu Jatbasha, is given to him because of his long hands that extend right down to his knees. He starts off as a vassal of the Gaoli kings, Ransur and Ghansur, later owes allegiance to the Gond kings of Chandrapur, and later still to the Moghul emperor, Akbar. He builds the fort at Devgad (twenty-four miles south-west of Chindwara).

Dashavatar Temple
Dashavatar Temple at Deogarh


Unknown prince.


Unknown prince.


Deogarh gains the former Garha Mandla Seoni District, although Gond power is continuing to decrease.

fl c.1700

Bakht Buland

Third or fourth in line from Jatba. Raja of Devgad.

Bakht Buland starts off in the service of the Moghul emperor, Aurangzeb, embracing Islam, and is officially recognised as the raja of Devgad by the Moghul court. He adds to his kingdom territories from the neighbouring kingdoms of Chanda and Mandla, and portions of Nagpur, Balaghat, Seoni, and Bhandara. He also annexes the adjoining Rajput kingdom of Kherla. The present districts of Chindwara and Betul also fall under his control, and he establishes the modern city of Nagpur, naming it Rajapur Barsa.

Bakht Bulund is said to later rebel against the Moghuls and snatch portions of their territory, during the Moghul war against the Marathas.

? - 1739

Chand Sultan

Later a vassal of the Nagpur Bhosales.


Wali Khan

Illegitimate son of Bakht Buland. Usurped the throne.


When Wali Khan seizes the throne, the widow of Chand Sultan pleads with Raghuji Bhosale of Nagpur for help. Raghuji puts the usurper to death and installs the sons of Chand Khan; Akbar and Burhan.

1739 - 1743

Akbar Shah

Son of Chand Sultan.

1739 - ?

Burhan Shah

Brother and joint ruler.


There is strife between the brothers. Raghuji of Nagpur comes to the assistance of Burhan Khan, and Akbar is exiled to Hyderabad where he is allegedly poisoned. From this point onwards, the real power in Devgad rests with Raghuji Bhosale and Burhan Shah remains only a titular prince. His descendents continue this position, remaining state pensioners.

1743 - Present

[Unknown number of kings]

The titular and pensioner kings of Deogarh are unknown.