History

Hoshangabad derived its name from Sultan Hoshang Shah Ghori; the second king to Malwa of the Ghori line who conquered it. Narmadapur was its erstwhile name. There is no proper account of ancient history of Hoshangabad district. Its name appeared first in the historical records during the reign of Sultan Hoshangshah Ghori in 1405 A.D who built a small fort at Hoshangabad along with two others at Handia and Joga. In his expeditions against the Gond king of Kherla near Betul, he always took the route through Harda and Hoshangabad. After the fall of Mandu in 1567, Malwa was annexed as a subah of Mughal Empire. Handia, 21 km. North to Harda was the seat of a Sirkar with capital mahals at Seoni-Malwa, Harda and Bichhola to the South of the Narmada. However, the fort of Ginnurgarh, north-west of Hoshangabad across the river Narmada continued to be under the Gond kingdom of Garha-Mandla. In the early 18th century the district was divided into seven political divisions. The northern parts of Seoni and Harda tahsils were under the Mohammadan Faujdar’s capital of Handia, while the Rajwara in the eastern part was held by four Rajas (feudatories) to the Gond kingdom of Garha-Mandla. Even Hoshangabad was then under the control of Ginnore ruler. The Bagra Haveli including Babai belonged to the Raja of Bagra fort in Sohagpur tahsil and was under the king of Deogarh (now in Chhindwara district) whose subordinate officers were stationed at Taron. The Raja of Saoligarh (now in Betul district) ruled over some portion of Seoni and Harda tahsils. The subordinate officer of the Raja was posted at Rahatgaon. The Raja of Kalibhit (who had already shifted to Makrai) held the Kalibhit hills of East Nimar, greater part of Charwa pargana of Harda tahsil and the earstwhile Makrai state. In 1722 A.D the territories of Ginnurgarh including the fort of Hoshangabad fell to Dost Mohammad Khan, the Nawab of Islamnagar and founder of Bhopal dynasty. The Peshwa Balaji Bajirao captured the Handia capital Sirkar, West of the Ganjal river in 1742 A.D and displaced the Mohammadan Governor with his own. Later on in 1750 A.D the Raja of Kalibhit (Makrai) was forced to cede half the number of his villages to the Peshwa by a treaty in 1750. By the close of the 18th century the tract was handed over to Scindhia. The remaining principalities falling in Seoni Malwa, Hoshangabad and Sohagpur tahsils, East of the Ganjal, gradually came under the occupation of the Bhonsla Raja of Nagpur between 1740 A.D. and 1775. Benisingh, his Subedar at Bhanwargarh captured Hoshangabad fort in 1796. From 1802 to 1808 Hoshangabad and Seoni were captured by Bhopal Nawab but were ultimately regained by the Bhonsla Raja of Nagpur in 1808. In the last Anglo-Maratha war of 1817, Hoshangabad was occupied by the British and was held under the Provisional Agreement made by Appa Sahib Bhonsla for its cession in 1818. In 1820 the districts ceded by the Bhonsla and the Peshwa were consolidated under the title Saugor and Nerbudda Territories and placed under an Agent to the 10 Governor General, residing at Jabalpur. Hoshangabad district at this time included the territory from Sohagpur to the Ganjal River, while Harda and Handia remained with Scindhia. From 1835 to 1842 the districts of Hoshangabad, Betul and Narsimhapur were kept amalgamated into one with headquarters at Hoshangabad. As a consequence of the Bundela rising in 1842, they were again separated into three districts as before and the designation of the officers holding general charge was changed to Deputy Commissioner from that of Assistant to the Agent. In 1844 the Harda-Handia tract was also made over to the British by the Scindhia as part of the territory assigned for the support of Gwalior contingent and was attached to Hoshangabad district, being finally ceded in 1860. Nemawar pargana, North of the Narmada which also made over in 1844 was returned to Scindhia in 1860. The Kalibhit tract of Harda tahsil was transferred to Harsud tahsil of East Nimar in 1905. Prior to 1865, the district was divided into 42 talukas for administrative purpose. To avoid such minute subordinate sub-divisions, the talukas were distributed into six parganas, which extended from East to West, were named Rajwara, Sohagpur, Hoshangabad, Seoni, Harda and Charwa. This, however, was soon superseded by the present division of four tahsils, viz. Sohagpur, Hoshangabad, Seoni Malwa and Harda. In about 1951, Pachmarhi was formed as a tahsil but was reduced to a sub-tahsil, as before, with an additional tahsildar posted there subsequently. The district of Narsinghpur was amalgamated into Hoshangabad in the year 1932 as a sub-division. It was again separated on 1st October, 1956. The State of Makrai was merged into Hoshangabad as a part of Harsud tahsil in 1948. Thereafter in 1948, the merger of states in Indian Union took place and Hoshangabad district too was incorporated to Indian Union consequent to the reorganizations of states on the basis of language on 1st November 1956. Hoshangabad had been the seat of Nerbudda Commissioner’s divison earlier. After the formation of the new state of Madhya Pradesh, it was included in Bhopal Commissioner’s Division in 1956. In 1972 it was declared as a single District Commissioner with headquarters at Bhopal in order to expedite the Tawa River Project.