Jabalpur History, India
Jabalpur is one of the oldest cities in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Unlike Bhopal and Indore, Jabalpur is an ancient city. Previously known as Tripuri, the city has been mentioned in vedic language texts, in Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Jabalpur History – Initial Phase
In the initial phase of Jabalpur history, the city has been part of two ancient empires – the Mauryan Empire and the Gupta Empire. Jabalpur, however, came to limelight during the 9th century when the Kalachuri rulers, having conquered the region, made it the capital of their kingdom.
Jabalpur History – The Gonds, The Mughals And The Marathas
The Kalachuri kingdom declined towards the end of the 12th century and the local Gonds established themselves as rulers. Gond-rule over the Gondwana kingdom continued uninterrupted for almost three centuries. It is during this period that the region made immense progress in the field of art and culture as you will see that much of the city’s architectural heritage, including palaces and temples, etc. belong to this period of Jabalpur history. (Of course, the Kalachuris were also great patrons of art and the Chausat Yogini Temple was built during their reign).
The Mughal rulers, in their attempts to gain foothold over the region as also to extend their kingdom in southern India, attacked the Gond kingdom again and again. The attacks grew severe during Emperor Akbar’s reign and the kingdom was annexed to the expanding Mughal Empire. (Accounts of the brave Gond Queen, Rani Durgavati, who sacrificed her life for failing to defend the kingdom, can be related to this period of Jabalpur history).
The Mughals, however, did not exercise their control over the region and the Gond-rulers continued to be the de-facto rulers. The death of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb led to the emergence of the Marathas. Being adept in the ways of guerilla warfare, the Marathas gained control over the region in 1781. In 1789, the Narmada valley region was granted to the Nagpur-Bhosles by the Peshwa.
Jabalpur History – British Period and Freedom Movements
The Marathas were defeated by the British East India Company forces in 1817 and thereafter Jabalpur became the commissioned headquarters of the Narmada territories. A cantonment was also established here.
During the days of colonial rule, Jabalpur was made the capital of the Saugor and Nerbudda Territories, which formed a part of the British North-Western Province. In 1861, the Saugor and Nerbudda Territories were merged with some other provinces to form the Central Provinces. Central Provinces were renamed as the Central Provinces & Berar in 1903 and Jabalpur became the headquartres of the Southern Army Brigade. The British Raj days proved beneficial for Jabalpur because the Ordnance Factories were set up by the colonial government.
The people of Jabalpur actively participated in the many freedom movements and high-profile leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose are known to have paid a visit to the city during the freedom struggle years. The 1939 Tripuri Congress Session in which Netaji was elected as the President of Indian National Congress was also held here.
After India attained independence in 1947, Jabalpur became a part of the Central Provinces first and then a part of the State of Madhya Pradesh in 1950. The post-independence years has seen Jabalpur progressing in every sphere – be it education or infrastructure, governance or commerce and industries and the present-day city is one of India’s important cities.
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