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History of Palamu

Early History

The early history of Palamu is not authentic but we have legends about it. It is, however certain that kharwars, oraons and cheros, the three aboriginal races practically ruled over the tract. The kharwars claim to be suryavanshi Kshatriyas. They trace their decent from Ajanagara or Ayodhya. Karusa was the sixth son of Manu Vaivasata and he was assigned the eastern territory. The descendants of Karusa were called Karusas who subsequently came to be known as Karwars or kharwars. According to tradition they were the rulers of Rohtasgarh. The kharawars point to the days of the Pratapadhaval, one of the line of chiefs who ruled there in the twelfth century A.D., during the time of their greatest prosperity.

The cheros have been spoken in very high terms in the Aitareya Aranyaka along with the Vangas and Magadhas. They did not observe the Vedic sacrifices and still they are termed as revered cheros ‘cheropadas. There is not much evidence to show that the Cheros came to this region from Kumaun as some think.

The Mandas claim decent from Karusas. The Ramayana records their flight to the south. Some say that these aboriginals played the band at the time of Rama’s coronation at Ayodhya and they were assigned this region in lieu of their meritorious services. The Pandawas killed Jarasandha – an ally of the Mand . Naturally in the Mahabharat war the Mandas sided with the kauravas and were in the army of Bhisma. Sanjaya says that on the left wing of Bhisma are the Karusas with the Mandas, Vikunja and Kundivarsa Satyiki compares the Mandas with the demons and boasts that he would put an end them just as Indra ended the demons . Arjuna is said to have married a Naga princess from this region and Babhruvahana was born of this lady.

MEDINI RAY (1662-1674)

Among the kings who ruled palamu Medini ray was the most famous one.Medini ray, the just, ruled for thirteen years from 1662 to 1674. This raja is, by far the most famous in the whole Chero line. He extended his sway over South Gaya and large parts of Hazaribagh and Surguja. He invaded and defeated the Maharaja of Chhotanagpur in his capital city of Doisa, now called Navaratragarh, 33 miles from Ranchi. With its spoils, he built on of the Palamau Forts (the lower fort) near modern Satberwa, which played so important a part in the subsequent history of the district. Medini ray’s memory has survived more for his justice than for his conquests. A popular Hindi couplet is even now current that “in the reign of Raja Medini Ray, no house was with out a churner and butter”. This must be attributed to the widely extended economic prosperity during his reign.

It is said he moved in disguise from house to house to see if any one was with out a cow or a buffalo. The wanting ones were given at least one on behalf of Raja Medini. He levied no tax on income. Once he thought of exacting at least a shell from each headman as his tribute. Each headman presented him a gold shell instead as he had not demanded anything before. It is a popular story that this was due to the good influence of his queen who bathed on the lotus in the pond and the lotus did not sink due to her sweetness. He loved his subjects as his own children. There was complete peace and prosperity during his reign. There are many stories about his kindness and good rule.

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