It is believed that once upon a time the Chhindwara District was full of “Chhind” (Date-Palm) trees, and the place was named “Chhind”-“Wada” (wada means place). There is also another story that because of the population of Lions (in Hindi it is called “Sinh”), it was considered that making entry into this district is akin to passing through the entrance of Lions’ den. Hence it was called “Sinh Dwara” (means through the entrance of lion). In due course of time it became “Chhindwara”.
History records the place from the time of the rule of Bhakth Bulund King, whose kingdom was spread over the Satpura range of hills and it is belived that his rule was upto the 3rd Century. One ancient plaque, belonging to “Rashtrakut” dynasty, found in “Neelkanth” village. This dynasty ruled upto the 7th Century. Then came the “Gondvana” dynasty which ruled the area with “Devgarh” as the capital. King ‘Jatav’ of ‘Gond’ community has built the Devgarh fort. Bhakth Bulund King was most powerful in the dynasty and he has adopted Muslim religion during the rule of Emperor “Aurangjeb”. Later the power has changed many hands and finally ‘Maratha rule’ ended in 1803. On 17 September 1803, East India Company had taken over this kingdom by defeating ‘Raghuji II’, starting the British rule. After Independence ‘Nagpur’ was made the capital of Chhindwara District, and on 1st November 1956 this district was re-constituted with Chhindwara as the capital.
Some of the events during the freedom struggle are mentioned below.
- The first Freedom Movement in this district has started in 1857-58 with the arrival of ‘Tantia Tope’.
- As a part of National Awareness Moment Dr.B.S.Gunj and Dada Saheb Khapre visited this place on 11th May 1906.
- The people of Chhindwara participated in fight against Rowlatt Act., Non-Cooperation movement, fight against Simon Commission, Jhanda Satyagrah, Jungle Satyagrah, Quit India Movement, Dhanoura Kand etc.
- Mahatma Gandhi visited this place on 6th Jan 1921, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru visted on 31st December 1936 and Sarojini Naidu on 18th April 1922.
- The people who laid down their life during the freedom struggle include – Sri Chain Shah (Jagirdar of Sonpur), Sri Thakur Rajba Shah (Jagirdar, Partapagadh) and Sri Mahaveer Sinh (Jagirdar, Harrakot), Sarvasree Badal Bhai (Pagara), Swami Shyamanand (Amarwara), Rajaram Shukla (Chhindwara), Atul Rahman (Chhindwara), Nathu Lakshman Gosai (Sausar), Waman Rao Patel (Wanora).
- Out of the 138 Freedom Fighters of Chhindwara region, the names of Late Sarvasree Vishwanath Salpekar, Arjun Singh Sisodiya, Gulab Singh Choudhary, K.G.Rekhde, Premchand Jain, Ramchand Bhai Shah, R.K.Haldulkar, Pilaji Srikhande, Suran Prasad Singare, Sooraj Prasad Madhuria, Jagmohanlal Srivastav, Chunnilal Rai, Mahadev Rao Khatourkar, Chotelal Chavre, Tukaram Thosre, Govind Ram Trivedi, Mahadev Ghote, , Durga Prasad Mishra, Harprasad Sharma, Shivkumar Shukla, Choukhelal Mandhata, Manik Rao Choure, Vinshwambharnath Pandey, Ramnivas Vyas, Guru Prasad Shrivastav, Dayal Malviy, Prahlad Bavse, Satyavati Bai, Jayaram Verma and so on are included.