Bastar is a district of Chhattisgarh State. The headquarters of Bastar District and Bastar division is Jagdalpur. It was known as Dakshin Kaushal. It is known for the beautiful forests and tribal culture, because of this it is called as the cultural capital of the state. Spread over 6596.90 sq km, this district was once bigger than a state like Kerala and countries like Belgium, Israel. For the district to be systematically managed, two separate districts, Kanker and Dantewada, were constructed in 1999. It is surrounded by Kondagaon, Dantewada, Sukma and Bijapur. The district headquarters Jagdalpur is located at a distance of 305 kilometres from the capital city Raipur.
The population of Bastar district was 14,13,199 in 2011, covering the present district of Kondagaon. There were 6,98,487 men and 7,14,712 women. There are 70 percent tribal communities in the population of Bastar, such as Gond, Maria, Muriya, Bhatra, Halba, Dhruva communities. Bastar district has been divided into seven development blocks/tehsils Jagdalpur, Bastar, Bakawand, Lohandiuuda, Tokapal, Darbha and Bastar. It is rich in tribal communities, natural beauty and natural resources .
Starting from Orissa, the Indravati river, which is about 240 km long flows throgh Dantewada and Bijapur before it merges in the Godavari near Bhadrakali, is a symbol of faith and devotion for the people of Bastar. Jagdalpur is a major cultural and handicraft centre. Historical and entertainment-related items of Bastar’s tribal people have been displayed in the Anthropological Museum at Dharampura. Dancing Cactus Art Center, an outstanding gift of the renowned art world of Bastar. The people of Bastar district are rich in rare artwork, liberal culture and innate nature.
Bastar district is full of dense forests, high hills, waterfalls, caves and wild beasts. Bastar Mahal, Bastar Dussehra, Dalpat Sagar, Chitrakot waterfall, Tirathgarh waterfalls, Kutumasar and Kailash caves are the main centres of tourism.
Historically, the region is Dandakaranya in the epic Ramayana and is a part of the Kosala kingdom in Mahabharata.
Bastar’s princely state was established around 1324 AD, when Anaam Dev, brother of the last Kakatiya king, Pratap Rudra Dev (1290-1325) left Warangal and established his royal empire in Bastar. After Maharaja Ananam Dev, Maharaja Hamir Dev, Baital Dev, Maharaja Purushottam Dev, Maharaj Pratap Dev, Dikpal Dev, Rajpal Dev ruled the state. The initial capital of Bastar rule was settled in the city of Bastar and then transferred to Jagdalpur . The last rule in Bastar was done by Maharaja Praveer Chandra Bhanj Dev (1936-1948). Maharaja Praveer Chandra Bhang was very popular among all the communities of Bastar, mainly among tribals. Danteshwari, which is still the goddess of the Bastar region, has been named after the famous Danteshwari temple in Dantewada.
During the political integration of India in 1948, the Bastar princely was merged with India.