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A major part of the Chhattisgarh was known as Dandakaranya in the ancient times. Other parts were known as Dakshina Koshal. In the medieval period, the region, which falls south of the Vindhyas, came to be known as Gondwana. Earliest human settlements were established in this region much before they came into existence in any other part of the country.

A major part of the population of Chhattisgarh, are migrants who have swarmed from nearby places. As Chhattisgarh was extremely inaccessible, not much interference could be made in the lifestyle of the tribes. Kalchuris were the first rulers who ruled this region till the 19th century. After the Kalchuris, the Bhonsles of Nagpur dominated over this region for a brief period in the 19th century. However with the decline of the Marathas, there prevailed complete lawlessness throughout the region and many tribal chieftains established rule over small tracts of land.

The English recognized the mineral wealth of the region and established a vast network of mines and railway tracks throughout the region, which marked the beginning of a new phase in the tribal history of Chhattisgarh.

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