Bhopal district was carved out of the erstwhile Sehore District of Bhopal division vide M.P.Govt. Notification No.2477/1977/Sa/One/ dated 13th September, 1972.The district derives its name from the district head-quarters town Bhopal which is also the capital of Madhya Pradesh. The etymology of the term Bhopal has been derived from its former name Bhojpal as would be evident form the following extract from the imperial Gazetter of Central India,1908 P.240.

“The name (Bhopal) is popularly derived from Bhojpal or Bhoj’s dam, the great dam which now holds up the Bhopal city lakes, and is said to have been built by a Minister of Raja Bhoj,the Parmar ruler of Dhar. The still greater work which formerly held up the Tal (lake) being attributed to this monarch himself. The name is, however, invariably pronounced, Bhupal and Dr. Fleet considers it to be derived simply from Bhupala, a King, the popular derivation being an instance of the striving after a meaning so common in such cases.”

Initially the lake was quite big but as time has elapsed only a small portion of it has remained to be seen as “Bada Talab” i.e. the upper lake. Since long there is a famous saying about Bhopal lake, “Talon mein tal Bhopal tal, baki sab tallaiya”.

There is a legend that Bhopal, for long, was a part of “Mahakautar” a barrier of dense forests and hills, outlined by the Narmada separating the north, from north to south.Early history of the territory comprising Bhopal district was in oblivion. It was in the tenth century that the names of Rajput clans began to appear in Malwa. The most notable of them was Raja Bhoj who was both a great scholar and a great warrior.After the invasion by Altamash the Mohammadans began to infiltrate into Malwa which included Bhopal as a part. In 1401 Dilawar Khan Ghori took charge of this territory. He made Dhar as the capital of his kingdom. He was succeeded by his son.

In the beginning of 14th century a Gond warrior called Yadoram established the Gond Kingdom with his headquarters at Garha Mandla. The Gond dynasty had a number of powerful kings like Madan Shah, Gorakhdas, Arjundas and Sangram Shah. During the Mughal invasion in Malwa a sizeable area of the territory comprising Bhopal state was under the possession of Gond Kingdom. These territories were known as Chaklas of which Chakla Ginnour was one consisting of 750 villages. Bhopal was a part of it. The Gond king Nizam Shah was the ruler of this area.

Nizam Shah died of poisoning by Chain Shah. His widow, Kamlavati and son Naval Shah became helpless. Naval Shah was a minor then. After the death of Nizam Shah, Rani Kamlavati came to an agreement with Dost Mohammed Khan to manage the affairs of the xvi state. Dost Mohammed Khan was a shrewd and cunning Afghan Sardar who began acquiring smaller principalities. After the death of Rani Kamlavati. Dost Mohammed Khan seized the fort of Ginnor, curbed the rebels, bestowing the grants according to their degree of control upon the rest and earned their gratitude.

By treachery and deceit, destroyed the Deora Rajputs and also slaughtered and drowned them down into a river; which since then is known as Halali, the river of salughters. He shifted his headquarters to Islaminnagar and built a fort. Dost Mohammed died in 1726 at the age of 66. By this time he had carved out the state of Bhopal and placed it on a firm footing. It was Dost Mohammed Khan who had decided to build his capital at Bhopal in 1722. His successor Yar Mohammed Khan however went back to Islamnagar.

Marathas had a contest with Yar Mohammed Khan in which many lives were lost. The Marathas were making inroad to Malwa in 1737, Yar Mohammed Khan tried to make friendship with the Marathas by paying them handsome ransom, requesting however that his territories might not be devastated. Yar Mohammed Khan ruled for fifteen years. He died in 1742 and was buried in Islamnagar where his tomb is still standing.

On the death of Yar Mohammed Khan, his eldest son Faiz Mohammed Khan succeeded him with the assistance of Diwan Bijai Ram. In the mean time Sultan Mohammed Khan, the brother of Yar Mohammed Khan proclained himself as a ruler and obtained possession of Fatehgarh Fort at Bhopal. Again with the help of Bijai Ram, Faiz Mohammed denounced all claims on Bhopal in lieu of some Jagirs elsewhere. Faiz Mohammed Khan attacked Raisen Fort and took possession of it.

It was in 1745, that the Peshwa made inroads in Bhopal territory. He got help from Sultan Mohammed Khan. The Bhopal army was unable to resist the onslaught of Marathas and thus some surrounding areas viz, Ashta, Doraha, Ichhawar, Bhilsa, Shujalpur and Sehore etc. were ceded to them.

Faiz Mohammed Khan died on 12th December, 1777. Since he was childless, his brother Hayat Mohammed Khan succeeded him with the help of lady Mamola, the widow of Yar Mohammed Khan. But the Begum Salaha widow of Faiz Mohammed Khan wished herself to take the command of the state. Rivalries had started brewing and chaotic condition prevailed. To pacify the deteriorating conditions, lady Mamola took active part in making Hayat Mohammed Khan as the deputy of Begam Salaha. This arrangement was discarded by Hayat Mohammed Khan who revolted and assumed the title and power of Nawab.

The East India company had established its footing in India. Colonel Goddard of the East India Company had marched through Bhopal on his way to Bombay. Hayat Mohammed Khan maintained good relations and was faithful to them.

Nawab Faulad Khan was the Diwan but developed the enemity with lady Mamola and was slained by a member of the royal family. Chhota Khan was appointed Diwan in his place. In a fierce fight which took place at Phanda, there was a loss of troops and Chhota Khan lost his life. It is Chhota Khan who had built a stone bridge to dam the lower lake which is still known as “Pul Pukhta”. Ameer Mohammed Khan succeded his father. Since his behaviour was not good he was ousted by the Nawab. Due to internal disturbances Nawab Hayat Mohammed Khan confined himslef to his palace without taking any active part in the affairs of the state. He died on 10th Nov. 1808. After the death of Hayat Mohammed Khan, his son Ghaus Mohammed became the Nawab but he was not so effective. Wazir Mohammed Khan in fact wielded power and tried to influence the Britishers. At this time the Maratha power was being built up.

Nazar Mohammed Khan became his successor and remained in power from 1816 to 1819.On 28th February, 1818, he married Gauhar Begum who was also known Qudsia Begum. By persistent endeavour , he succeeded in entering into a pact with the Britishers. The important provisions of the treaty was that the British Govt. will guarantee and protect the principality of Bhopal against all enemies and will maintain friendship with it. Nazar Mohammed Khan died accidentally on 11th November 1819. On the death of Nazar Mohammed Khan Gohar Begam was vested with the supreme authority in the state by the political agent in Bhopal.

In November 1837, Nawab Jehangir Mohammed Khan was vested with powers of chief of the state. It was Nawab Jehangir Khan who built a new colony which is known as Jehangirabad. His relations with Sikandar Begum became strained after some time. The Begum moved to Islamnagar and gave birth to a daughter who was known as Shah Jahan Begum. Later on Sikandar Begum came to power. On the death of Sikandar Begum, Shah Jahan Begum became ruler of Bhopal with full powers. She did the good work for the welfare of the state. Her Highness earned the approbation of the Governor General for good administrative ability.

On the death of Shah Jahan Begum, her daughter, Sultan Jehan Begum became the ruler. She was married to Ahmed ali Khan who was given the title of “Wazirud Daula”. He died on 4th Jan. 1902 due to heart-attack.

A number of important buildings were constructed during the regime of her Highness,Sultan Jehan Begum. She was a patron of learning. It was during her time, the Sultania Girl’s School and Alexanderia Noble School (Now known as Hamidia High School) were established.

On the occasion of the Prince of Wales’ visit on 4th Feb, 1922. Her Highness announced a new constitution for the Bhopal state which consisted of the establishment of an Executive Council and a Legislative Council. The president of the Council was Her Highness herself.

Nawab Hamidulla Khan assumed the reign in 1926. His Highness was twice elected as the Chancellor of the Chamber of Princes once in 1931-32 and again in 1944-47 and took part in important deliberations affecting the political evolution of the country. With the announcement of the plan of independence of the country the Nawab of Bhopal resigned in 1947 from the Chancellorship of the Chamber of Princes.

In 1947, a new Ministry with a non-official majority was appointed by His Highness, but in 1948 His Highness expressed his desire to retain Bhopal as a separate unit. However, the agreement for merger was signed by the Ruler on April 30, 1949 and the State was taken over by the Union Government through a Chief Commissioner on June 1, 1949.

After the merger, Bhopal State was formed as a part ‘C’ State of Indian Union. Later as a consequence of the Reorganisation of states on linguistic basis on 1st Nov. 1956, Bhopal became the part C State or Madhya Pradesh. The Bhopal district was carved out on 02-10-1972, which continues to be one of the 45 districts of the State.


Location and Boundaries : Raisen District lies in the central part of Madhya Pradesh. The District is situated between the latitude 22 47′ and 23 33′ north and the longitude 7721′ and 78 49′ east. It is bounded in the west by Sehore district, in the north by Vidisha district, in the ease and south-east by Sagar district, in the south-east by Narsimhapur district, and in the south by Hoshangabad and Sehore district. The total area of the District is 8,395 Sq. Km., which contains the 1.93 % of the State’s area. Origin of the Name : Raisen District takes its name from massive Fort. This fort is build on a sandstone hill, at the foot of which settles the town. The name is probably a corruption of Rajavasini or Rajasayan, the royal residence. History : Raisen with a strong fort was an important centre of administration from the period of its foundation from Hindu times. In the fifteenth this fort was ruled by the Sultans of Mandu, from whom it passed to the Rajputs. In 1543 Shershah Suri captured from Puranmal. In Akbar’s time Raisen was the headquarter of a Sarkar in the Subah of Ujjain in Malwa. Fiaz Mohammad Khan, the third Nawab of Bhopal State occupied it in about 1760, later got himself recognized as Faujder of Raisen by Emperor Alamgir II. During the Mugal period Khamkhera was the headquarter of the area noe falls in Gairatganj Tehsil. It receives its present name during the same Mugal rule. Shahpur was the headquarter of the Pargana. Later on it was shifted to Sagoni, which falls in Begamganj Tehsil. After Bhopal State became a part ‘C’ State of the Union of India, the present district came into existence on 5th May, 1950, with headquarter at Raisen. It was decided to retain only seven Tehsils in the district.


Rajgarh District was constituted after the formation of Madhya Bharat in May, 1948. Prior to this the area of the present District was parceled out among the States of Rajgarh, Narsinghgarh, Khilchipur, Dewas (Senior) Dewas (Junior) and Indore. Rajgarh was the headquarters of a mediatised State, ruled by the Umat Rajputs and branch of the great paramara clan, they enjoyed a Sanad Estate under the Sultans of Delhi and Mughal emperors in succession. The first capital was Duparia, now in Shajapur District. Later on it was shifted to Dungarpur (19 Km from Rajgarh) and then to Ratanpur (19 Km. west of Narsinghgarh) and back. Inorder to avoid disturbance by the frequently passing Mughal armies, the Ruler of the Estate, Mohan Singh, acquired the present side, originally known as Jhanjhanipur from the Bhils in A.D. 1640. Finally he shifted the headquarters in the year 1645, giving the place its present name. During the reign of Akbar (A.D. 1556-1605) a Khilat and a Sanad were granted to Udaji of Tatanpur. At that time, Sarangpur was a Sarkar in the Subah of Malwa. Its jurisdiction extended from the western part of present Sehore District to the eastern part of Ujjain District. Among its twentyfour mahals many have retained their original names and are identified as Ashtah, Talain (Talen), Agra (Agar), Bajilpur (Bijilpur), Bhorsah, Khiljipur, Jirapur, Sarangpur, Sondarsi (Sundarsi), Sosner (Sunner) Sajapur, Kayath and Navgam (Tarana)1. In 1908, Rajgarh State was divided in to seven Parganas, namely Newalganj, Biaora, Kalipith, Karanwas, Kotra, Seogarh and Talen. Narsinghgarh State was divided into four Parganas, namely Huzur (Narsinghgarh), Pachor, Khujner and Chhapera. The Parganas were place in the charge of a Tahsildar each for revenue matters and magisterial work.2 Khilchipur State was divided into three Paraganas. Sarangpur was as now, the tahsil headquarters of Dewas (Senior) and Dewas (Junior) States. Jarapur was a tahsil of Mahidpur District of former Indore State. It has now been abolished and merged in Khilchipur tahsil. In 1645 with the permission of Rajmata, Deewan Ajab Singh defeated the Bhils in the hilly region of Rajgarh and he constructed a Palace in 1745 which was having five main gates namely, Itwaria, Bhudwaria, Surajpol, Panradia and Naya Darwaja. And it constitutes three very ancient temple namely Raj Rajeshwar Temple, Chatubhujnathji Temple and Narsingh Temple, and in which Rajmata and his 15 year old son Rawat Mohan singh was living safely. In Jhanjherpur which was capital and it is having a palace due to which this place is known as Rajgarh and it had become famous. The District is divided into five Subdivisions and nine tehsils.


Sehore stands in the foothills of Vindhyachal Range in the middle of Malwa region. Sehore has a long and glorious past.Shaiva , Shakta, Jain, Vaishnav, Budhists and Nath priests made Sehore a significant seat of their deep meditation. Sehore was a part of Bhopal estate. After formation of Madhya Pradesh, the state capital Bhopal was a part of the Sehore district. It was bifurcated in 1972 and a new district Bhopal was formed.

Ancient lores indicate that Maharshi Patanjali, the illustrious founder of Yoga sect also spent some time here in prayers & worship . Folklore also indicate to the visits of Lord Rama, Laxman nad Sita to its different places. Sehore has so many temples, Mathas, Shrines, Mosques, Churches of great historical and religious antiquity. In that sense, Sehore boasts of its glorious tradition of communal harmony and homogeneous culture.

“Sidhhapur” is the old name of Sehore. According to a rock- edict found from the river Seevan, it got its name from “Sidrapur”. According to an old document Sehore has got its name from the Anglo- Indian perversion of “Sher” or Lion as pronounced by the Britishers, since lion or “Shers” were in the great numbers in the nearby jungles.

Sehore has been an integral part of Awanti. Later on it was under the tutelage of Magadh dynasty, Chandragupta Ist, Harshavardhan, Ashoka the great, Raja Bhoj, Peshwa chiefs, Rani Kamlawati and the Nawabs of Bhopal dynasty. Sehore remained the headquarters of the political agent and resident of the British.

Rivers big and small abound the landscape of Sehore. Narmada , Parwati, Dudhi, Newaj, Kolar, Papnas, Kulans, Seewan, Lotia, and other rivers tell the sad tale of their lost splendour in the form of scattered idols. Idols of Lord Vishnu, Ganesha, Shiva, Parvati, Nandi, Garuda, Lord Mahavira,Gautam Buddha, Apsaras and fairies have been found in different forms and postures.

Sehore played a crucial role in the freedom movement of India (1857 movement) . “Nishan-e- Mahaviri and Nishan -e- Mohammadi” remained furling in the place of Union Jack. That short phase of independence from the British clutches ended, when Sir Hurose and Robert Hamilton crushed the uprising by putting 354 patriots to the gallows and gunning down 149 sepoys. Nawabs of Bhopal remained always loyal to the British. That caused heavily to to the efforts of the patriots in order to flush out the British from Sehore.

On 15 thAugust 1947 India got its independence . But estate of Bhopal did not merge with the India state till 1949 and even that after a fierce struggle . Sehore has got the honour of its achievement in the field of academics and literature. Lanciet Likinson, the political agent got established the first English translation of ” Abhignan Shakuntalam ” in 1835- 40.

The high school of sehore founded in 1835 by political agent Likinson, has to its credit student like Mr. Hidayaullah (Former chief justice, supreme court & vice president of India) Mr. Banchu [Ex chief justice ] Mirza Faim Begh [chief engineer].


Origin of the Name :-
The District derives its Name from the Head Quarters town of Vidisha. The earliest reference of Vidisha is contained in Ramayana by Valmiki. It is stated there that Shatrughna’s Son Shatrughati was placed in charge of Vidisha. In Brahmanical religious observance again, the place is called Bhadravati, the residence of Yuvanashva who supplied the famous horse to Yudhishthira during his Ashvamedha sacrifice.

The historicity of the ancient city of Besnagar, three Kilometers from Vidisha and identified with ancient Vidisha, goes back to some centuries before the birth of Christ. Besnagar figures prominently in Buddhist, Jain and Brahmanical Literature in various forms such as Vessanagar, Vaisyanagar etc. Tradition connects the town with Raja Rukmangada who neglecting his own wife for the Apsara Visva named the town Vishvanagar after her.

On the destruction of Besnagar, located on the western side of the river Betwa sometime after 7th century A.D., a new town sprang up on the Eastern bank of the River. This new town was known as Bhailaswamin or Bhillaswamin, the name of the place was later corrupted to ‘Bhilsa’ or Bhelsa. The name Bhelsa appears to have probably been obtained on account of the famous Suryamandir dedicated to God Sun.

The Mauryas:-
Samrat Ashok, still a prince aged 18, was appointed as a Viceroy by his father, Bindusaar, at Ujjain. While on his way from Patliputra to that place he met Devi, a banker’s daughter of Vidisha or Besnagar of the Sakya clan and married her. Her son Mahendra, and daughter Sanghmitra are famous in history as their father’s religious ambassadors to Ceylon. They are known to have carried a twig of the original ‘Bodhi’ tree and led a Buddhist Mission to that country. Devi never visited Patliputra. She stayed at Besnagar only and embraced Buddhism afterwards. A monastery type of building has been excavated near Sanchi setup (nearly 8 kms away from Vidisha Town) which is stated to have been constructed for her residence. It is said that before sailing for Ceylon Mahendra came to visit his mother at Besnagar. The mother took her son to a ” Chaitya Giri ” which, by popular belief was none other than the Sanchi Stup.

After Mauryas:-
After the Mauryas the Sungas, the Kanvas, the Nagas, the Vakatakas, the Guptas, the Kalchuris of Mahishmati the Parmars, the Chalukyas remained in power at Vidisha. Idols regarding these regimes have been found in the Vidisha territory. Some Idols and monuments are placed in the District Archaeology office Vidisha.

Later this region remained under Mughals, Marathas and Peshwas and thereafter became a part of the Sciendia’s Gwalior State and was a Tehsil of Isagarh Pargana. In 1904 Vidisha was raised to a District having two Tehsils of Vidisha and Basoda till the formation of Madhya Bharat in 1948. The District was enlarged in 1949 by the merger of small States of Kurwai. The Sironj Sub-Division which was formerly in Kota District of Rajasthan State and small pargana of Piklone belonging to the Bhopal State were added to the District with the formation of new Madhya Pradesh. At the same time, the town and the District were renamed as Vidisha. However, under the Mughals Aurangzeb tried to rename the City as Alamgiri Nagar after himself, but without success.

Even today, the antiquity and the modern historical progress of the plateau of Vidisha vividly reflects its grandeur in the form of Besnagar, Gyaraspur, Udaypur, Udaygiri, Badoh-Pathari etc.