|District of Chhatisgarh|
Location of Kanker district in Chhatisgarh
|• Total||5,285 km2 (2,041 sq mi)|
|• Density||120/km2 (320/sq mi)|
Kanker District is located in the southern region of the state of Chhattisgarh, India within the longitudes 20.6-20.24 and latitudes 80.48-81.48. The total area of the district is 5285.01 square kilometers. The population is 651,333.
The Kanker town (the district's headquarters) is situated on the National Highway NH-43. It lies between the two well developed cities of Chhattisgarh namely Raipur (Capital of Chhattisgarh) and Jagdalpur (the district headquarters of the neighboring Bastar district).
- 1 History
- 2 Kanker Princely State
- 3 Post-independence
- 4 General Information
- 5 Administrative Divisions
- 6 Economy
- 7 Minerals
- 8 Flora
- 9 Socio Cultural Aspects
- 10 Places to See
- 11 Education
- 12 Plans under BRGF
- 13 References
- 14 External links
 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.
Kanker Princely State
The Kanker state came under the control of the Bhosales of Nagpur during the reign of Bhoop Dev from 1809 to 1818. 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.
During the rule of Narhar Deo, a palace near Gadiya Mountain, printing press, library, Radhakrishna Temple, Ramjanki Temple, Jagannath Temple and Balaji Temple were constructed. He made a plan named Ratna Bhandar for keeping grain in stock for his people. He established a new town named Narharpur near Kanker.
In 1904 Komal Dev became the king of Kanker. 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 died 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 as a member of the legislative assembly from Kanker constituency two times.
- 5 Dec 1853 - May 1903 Narhar Deo
- 1903 - 8 Jan 1925 Lal Kamal Deo
- 8 Jan 1925 - 15 Aug 1947 Bhanupratap Deo (b. 1922)
1944- 1972 Champalal chopda (zamindar)mulla,chougel,bhanupratappur,ghotiya,ottekasa
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.
According to the 2011 census Kanker district has a population of 748,593, roughly equal to the nation of Guyana or the US state of Alaska. This gives it a ranking of 493rd in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 115 inhabitants per square kilometre (300 /sq mi) . Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 15%. Kanker has a sex ratio of 1007 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 70.97%.
The climate of the district is of predominantly a “Monsoon type”. The May month is the hottest month and the December month is the coolest month. Annual average rain of the district is 1492 mm, 90% of which fall during the period of June to October. The average annual rainfall over last six years shows that it is highly fluctuating.
Within the district, the Kanker and Charama blocks have a predominantly dry climate, whereas that of Bhanupratappur is of the wet type.
The Kanker town (the district headquarters) is on the National Highway NH-30. It lies between the two well-developed cities of Chhattisgarh, Raipur (Capital of Chhattisgarh) and Jagdalpur (the district headquarters of the neighboring Bastar district).
The district headquarters of Kanker is 140 kilometers from Raipur and 160 kilometers from Jagadalpur. Though well connected by roads, the district still does not fall within the vast network of the Indian rail service.
The physical area of Kanker is heterogeneous and is a mix between flat land and undulating hills. Most of the land is in between 300 to 600 meters above sea level and about 80% area of Kanker is flat. These can be divided into two parts-Mahanadi plane and Kotri Plane.
The North east part of Kanker comes under Mahanadi plane. The most part of this plane lie at a height of less than 500 meters above sea level. The main river of this area is Mahanadi. Hatkul, Chinar, Doodh, Sendoor, Nakti, and Toori are the other rivers of the area. The Kotri plane comes under Bhanupratappur area. The most part of this plane lie at a height of less than 400 meters above sea level. Korti and Valler are the main rivers of this area. The topography of Kanker district is also dotted with multitude of ancient hill regions. These can be divided into the following three groups:
A. Vindhyana Hill Group: These hill groups are spread in the south eastern part of Kanker district, where the soil constitutes of six phases of quartile and sand.
B. Archian Hill Groups: 95% of the area of Kanker is covered by Archian Hill Group. In this area Granite and Kneiss rocks are spread over almost all the geographical area of the district.
C. Dharwar Hill Group: This hill group is very crude and broken in shape and form. These hills are spread all over the northern region of the district in the areas close to Sambalpur and Bhanupratappur.
The origin of soil in Kanker is from Granite, Kneiss sand and Khedar. Most of the area is covered with red soil. In the higher region of the hilly tract faint colour soil is found while in the river valleys smooth and fertile soil is found. Soil of this district can be divided into four types.
A. Kanhar: This type of soil is black in color and oilish. The capacity of water absorption in this soil is greater and this is very useful in growth of Kharif and Rabi crops in the region. This type of soil is found in the plane of Kotri and Mahanadi regions.
B. Dorsa: This type of soil is medium in nature and it is very much similar to Matasi and Kanhar type soil. This type of soil is found in north east Kanker and Bhanupratappur region.
C. Matasi: This type of soil is found at elevation higher than Kanhar and less than Bhata. This soil is appropriate for rice crop. This type of soil is found in the most of the area of Kanker region.
D. Bhata: Bhata is affected with late rating process and is found in red, yellow colour with mixed shape and condition. This soil is found in uplands of the area. This is appropriate for the cultivation of crops like Kodo, Kulthi, Maize and Kutki.
There are 7 blocks/tehsils in Kanker district. They are:
There are 389 Gram Panchayats and 995 villages in the Kanker district.
The mainstay of people in the district is agriculture. Even though large numbers of them are tribal, it is agriculture that sustains them for most parts of the year. Non-timber forest produce is another major source of income for the people. As large tracts of the land are still forested. The tribal in many places practice Marhan or Dippa. The farmers who live in forest cut the trees before the rainy season and use the land for agriculture. After every two years they prepare a new farm and leave the old one for some time. In the plane land farming is done each and every year. Rice is the main crop of area but Wheat, Sugar cane, Gram, Kodo, Moong, Tilli, Maize are the other important crops. People also grow varieties of vegetables. Varieties of fruits like Mangoes, Bananas etc. are also produced.
The land is planted with rice or other grains, in an agricultural practice called Marham or Dippa. After a year or two, the land is deserted and new land prepared for planting.
Rice is the main crop of area. However wheat, sugar cane, chana, kodo, moong, tilli, bhutta are also important crops along with many types of vegetables and fruits such as mangoes and bananas.
About half of rural Kanker is below the poverty line as per official estimates. The entire district is drought prone. Over 80 percent of the working population is already dependent on marginal agriculture and allied activities, with low incomes and stagnant productivity. Thus, the challenge is not merely creating livelihood opportunities for the new entrants to the unemployment net to offset the effects of population growth, but to make existing livelihoods of nearly 2.95 lakh workers more productive so that persons engaged in agriculture can earn adequate income to meet their basic needs. Thus, the only feasible option in the short to medium run is to increase employment in the main livelihood sector, which is agriculture. Diversification, intensification and stabilisation of agriculture are at the core of the challenge of livelihood promotion in the district.
Kanker is not very rich in mineral. Though Iron Ore, quartzite and garnet deposits are found in region but mining of these minerals have still not started on a commercial scale.
Deposit of Quartzite and garnet have also found in southern region of Kanker district About 100 Mn ton Iron ore deposits have been identified in the Hahaladdi region of the Bhanupratappur Tehasil. Black and white granite is found in plenty in the district. It is used as building materials. In the Markatola and in Barchhegondi region Silimanite/ Kinite deposits have been identified. Even deposits of gold have been found in Sona dehi, Michgaon and in some other region of Bhanupratappur Tehasil. At present some Bauxite based industries are functional in the district.
In Kanker district most of the forest area is of dry deciduous type. In Kanker district Sal, teak and mixed forests are found. Sal forests are found in the eastern part of the district, teak forests are found in the Bhanupratappur region and mixed forests are found in most of the area. In the mixed forest varieties of medicinal plants and other economically important plants like saja, tendu, dhaura, bija, harra and mahua are found in abundance.
Socio Cultural Aspects
Around 50 percent of total population is Kanker district is tribal. In view of this, most of the culture of Kanker district is tribal dominant even though an interplay of fusion with other cultures is clearly visible.
The chief languages or dialects used in the Kanker district are Hindi, Chhattisgarhi, Gondi and Halbi. There were times when Halbi was an important or language and all the work of administration was done in Halbi language. Halbi is a compound form of Hindi.
Bhatri is the main branch of Halbi language. There are a lot of words taken in this language from other languages like Sanskrit, Hindi, Arabic, Pharsi etc. Like Hindi, Halbi has also two genders masculine and feminine, but the feminine is more used.
The other languages like Bangla, Telugu and Oriya are also popular in the district because people speaking these languages are also living in different parts of the Kanker district.
Up to Nal dynasty the people were divided into four different classes namely Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shoodra. But after the downfall of Nal dynasty, a lot of people came from outside and also the main castes divided into sub castes. There were around 62 casts in Bastar and Kanker states.
In tribes Maria, Muria, Bhatra are divided into Sub Cast San Bhatra,Pit Bhatra,Amnit Bhatra Amnit Hold Highest Status, Parja, Gadva, Halba, Ganda, Mahra, Chandal, Ghuruva, Dom, Lohar, Matrigond, Rajgond, Dorla, Nahar, Naikpod, Kuduk, Andkuri, Kumhar, Kosta, Chamar, Kenvat, Dhakad, were important and in other casts Brahmin, Vaishya, Kayasth, Teli, Kalar, Kshtriya, Kunbi, Dhobi, Marathi, Mohammedan, Pathan, Telanga, Orria and Rohilla etc. were important. Currently in Kanker district around 50 percent of total population is tribal. So the culture of Kanker district is tribal dominant. Although in this modern era the culture has slightly changed.
In all castes, people live as a joint family. All the families are male dominant. The oldest person is the head of the family and all other members obey his orders. The oldest person of the family has full authority on all financial matters. All sons have same share in the family asset but daughters have no share. In tribes, the women play an important role.
Like all other cultured castes, the marriage ceremony is very important in the tribes of Kanker.
In Halbas two types of marriages are popular, namely brief marriage and detailed marriage.
In Bhatras four types of marriages are popular namely arrange marriage, love marriage, widow marriage and dhariya marriage.
In Murias arrange marriage, love marriage and kidnapping marriages are popular.
In all types of Gonds arrange marriage,love marriage and kidnapping marriages are popular.
Among tribes, if any woman chooses new husband then the new husband gives money to the old husband as compensation allowance. This compensation is settled by the leader of caste.
In tribes the marriage of widow is also popular. In Halbas any widow cannot be married with any unmarried person. In tribes, there is a popular tradition named Ghotul. Ghotul is a cultural centre of Gonds and Murias.
Customs at death
Among tribes, the customs of death are complex.
In Maria they bury the dead bodies. If a lady dies during her pregnancy, her body is buried. A child who is younger than 5 years dies then his body is also buried beneath of Mahua tree and his head placed toward east direction. They construct a little tomb on that place in memories of dead person.
The Gonds place the legs towards south in the tomb. In some tribes they place some wooden pole in memories of dead person.
Among tribes of Kanker and Bastar districts there is an important festival celebrated called Madai. In Bastar Region the celebration of festival starts from December. On Poornima people celebrate the Madai festival in respect of the goddess Kesharpal Kesharpalin Devi.
In January the people of Kanker, and the adjoining area Charama and Kurna celebrate the Madai festival. In the month of February the festival is celebrated in Bastar district and there the festival is celebrated in the respect of Cheri-Chher-Kin. In the end of February the Madai festival goes to Antagarh, Narayanpur and Bhanupratappur and in the month of March it is celebrated Kondagaon, Keshkal and Bhopalpattanam. This festival is a moving festival and moves throughout the Kanker, Bastar and Dantewada regions from December to March.
The festival is celebrated in the respect of local God and Goddess. This festival is celebrated in a big ground where thousands of peoples can go simultaneously. Festival starts with a procession of local God or Goddess after that the worship is done and then the festival starts. A lot of shops, Restaurant, crafts, dances and other cultural program can be seen in this festival.
Although the festival is of tribes but all the communities have faith, celebrate and enjoy the festival. Other important festivals are Mati-tihar, Gobar-boharani, Ramnavmi and Navakhani.
Dusshera, Diwali, Holi is celebrated as usual like in other parts of India.
The tribal society of Kanker is famous for their excellencies in making exotic handicrafts with a variety of designs and shapes. These handicrafts include wood-carvings, bell-metal items, terracotta items, bamboo items etc. Kanker, Being a forestry district containing good qualities of woods from which very attractive wooden-carving crafts and various types of furniture are being made by the skilled hands. These items attract locals as well as outsiders.
Wood and Bamboo Crafts
This is one of the most famous, beautiful and unique art of wooden carving of tribes. These wooden crafts are made out of the finest teak wood and white wood. These wooden crafts include models, idols, wall panels and furniture items etc. These handicrafts are generally exported to different places of the country and it has demand even from foreign countries also. The tribes are excellent in making bamboo crafts also. Bamboo crafts include wall hanging, table lamp, table mats etc.
Places to See
Kanker District has the following attractions:
This place is very renowned for its royal palace including the tribal villages and the deep forests. The possession of the palace is with the esteemed royal family that belonged to the 12th century. The family of Late Maharajadhiraj Udai Pratap Deo resided here, since 2002. Now some section of the palace is being converted into a hotel.
The Gadiya Mountain
The Gadiya Mountain came into light at the time of Kandra dynasty. When the Kandra king Dharma Dev won the Kanker. He declared his capital on Gadhiya Mountain, which is a natural form of a fort. On the mountain there is a tank which never dries and fulfill by water throughout the year. One part of this tank is called as Sonai and the other part of this tank is called as Rupai. Actually Sonai and Rupai were the two daughters of Kandra king Dharma Dev. On the southern part of this tank there is a cave named Churi pagar. The entry of this cave is very much narrow. On any outer attack the King and his family lived safe in this cave.
The space of the cave is sufficient to accommodate 500 people inside. The exit door of this cave is towards west direction. In the south east part of Gadiya mountain there is another cave called Jogi cave. The length of this cave is 50 meters. In ancient time lot of monks lives here alone for their meditation. There is a small pond in this cave. The water of this cave flows on the rock like a water fall. On the bottom of Gadiya mountain the Doodh river flows.
Legend Years ago it is said that in the Gadhiya Mountain lived a King. He had two daughters named "Sonai" and "Rupai". Both were playing near the lake over the hilly area. Suddenly they both fell in the lake that lake was later named as "Sonai Rupai Talab". It is said that the water of that lake never dries and there are two fish on very depth of that Lake. One fish is of gold and another one is of silver. Both fishes are alive till now also. So many people of Kanker claim that they have seen both the fish. On the mountain there are two rocks behind the main "Sheetla Temple" and the door between those mountain are very thin that only thin persons can enter there but after entering the middle there is a Big Hall in which about 300 people can be seated. People say that the King used to stay with his soldiers during any war on that particular place.
Malanjhkudum Water fall
About 15 kilometers away towards south form Kanker, there is a small mountain. On this mountain there is a spot named Neele Gondi from where the Doodh river takes its shape. After crossing the 10 kilometers there is a place named as Malanjhkudum from where the river produces three waterfalls. The heights of these waterfalls are 10 meters. 15 meters and 9 meters respectively. The slope of this water fall is like a ladder. The wave of this water fall is very attractive and challenging. This is an ideal place for picnic. The road is available to reach this spot.
Charre-Marre Water fall
This is another beautiful water fall situated in Kanker district. This water fall is situated 17 kilometers away from Antagarh block of Kanker district. There is a place named Charre-Marre on the way from Antagarh to Aamabera. The water fall produces by the river named Jogidahara which flows in Matla valley. The height of this water fall is 16 meters. The slop of this water fall is jig jag.
This temple is situated in Kanker city. This temple is called Shivani Maa temple. The statue of goddess is excellent. According to a myth this Goddess is a combination of two Goddess name Kali Maa and Durga Maa. The vertically half part is of goddess Kali and the remaining half part is of goddess Durga. This type of statue is only two in numbers in whole world. One is in Kolkata and another is in Kanker.
Some Famous Temples
- Santoshi Temple - Near New Bus Stand
- Maa Shitla Devi Temple - Shitlapara
- Jagannath Temple - Rajapara
- Shiv Temple - Up Down Road
- Hanuman Temple - Up Down Road
- Krishna Temple - Near Daily Market
- Balaji Temple - Rajapara
- Tripur Sundari Temple - Nathiya Nava Gaon
- Shanidev Temple- Near Daily market
- kankaleen Temple- Near M.G. Ward
Other places of attraction
- Tank on mountain
- Keshkal Ghat
- Ishan van
- Bhandari Para Dam
- Up Down Road
- kharkhatta dam
- Mankesri Dam
- Kendriya Vidyalaya Kanker
- St. Michael Higher Secondary School
- Paradise School
- Morning Star English School
- Narhardev School
- Jupiter World Public School
- Sunrise Public School
- Seedling public school
- Govt.Girls H.S.School
- Govt.Bharti H.S.School
- Govt.H.S.School Singarbhat
The 2 well-known colleges are:
- Bhanupratapdev College (PG college)
- Indrukevat Government Girls College
Plans under BRGF
Centre for Rural Management (CRM), Kottayam, Kerala has been assigned to prepare five year Perspective Plan and Annual Plans under BRGF  in the District of Kanker. The annual plan for 2012-2013 has been approved by the District Planning Committee District planning committees in India on 10 March 2012 and it is started uploading in the plan plus . The Preparation of perspective plan is under progress. CRM has constituted a team under the leadership of Dr. Jos Chathukulam, the Director. Bastar Dharma Kshema Samiti, Jagadalpur provides local support for the plan preparation under the leadership of Rev.Fr.Abraham Kochukarackal CMI.
- Dr.Sanjay Alung-Chhattisgarh ki Riyaste/Princely stastes aur Jamindariyaa (Vaibhav Prakashan, Raipur1, ISBN 81-89244-96-5)
- Dr.Sanjay Alung-Chhattisgarh ki Janjaatiyaa/Tribes aur Jatiyaa/Castes (Mansi publication, Delhi6, ISBN 978-81-89559-32-8)
- "Kander District Website". Retrieved 2006-09-22.
- "83 districts under the Security Related Expenditure Scheme". IntelliBriefs. 2009-12-11. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
- US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. "Guyana 744,768"
- "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-30. " Alaska 710,231"
- "Resources and Economy". Retrieved 2006-09-22.
- "Tourism". Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- Official website
-  List of places in Kanker
- District Photo Gallery
- Government Water Quality Website
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