The history of Palamu is very ancient, however, we do not have much recorded history for this area for centuries. Palamu, or Palamau was referred even in ancient literature of India including Mahabharat. We are certain only about some facts like - Kharwars, Oraons and Cheros, the three aboriginal races practically ruled over the tract for centuries. Kharwars claim that they are Suryavanshi Kshatriyas. They trace their descent from Ajanagara or Ayodhya. According to the tradition, Karusa was the sixth son of Manu Vaivaswata and he was assigned the eastern territory. The descendants of Karusa were called Karusas who subsequently came to be known as Karwar or Kharwar. These Kharwars were said to be the rulers of Rohtasgarh. Pratapdhawal was one of the descendant who ruled there in the twelfth century AD. It is said that the golden period of Kharwars was the period when Pratapdhawal ruled Rohtas state. The Mandas claim descent from Karusas. The Ramayan of Valmiki refers their flight to the south. Some say that these aboriginals played the band at the time of Rama’s coronation at Ayodhya and they were assigned this region in lieu of their meritorious services. Jarasandh of the Mahabharat, who was killed by Bhim, was an ally of the Mand. Naturally in the Mahabharat war the Mandas sided with the Kauravas and were in the army of Bhishma. In Mahabharat, Sanjaya says that on the left wing of Bhishma are the Karusas with the Mandas, Vikunja and Kundivarsa. Satyiki compares the Mandas with the demons and beasts and says that he would put an end to "them" just as Indra ended the demons. Arjuna is said to have married a Naga princess from this region and Babhruvahana was born of this lady. As for the Cheroes, this community had been mentioned with very high esteem even in Aitareya Aranyaka along with the Vangas and Magadhas. They did not observe the Vedic sacrifices and still they are termed as revered Cheroes ‘cheropadas'. Where did these Cheroes come from? This question has always been debatable. Some say that they came here from Kumaun region which is now in Uttarakhand. However, we need more proof for this suggestion. Some others believe that they were one of the earliest settlers of this region. By the mid 17th century, Palamu had become one of the important kingdoms of India. Medini Ray became king in 1662. This Chero king is the most famous king Palamu ever had. However, he could rule only for thirteen years up to 1674. He is known for his sense of justice and well being of the people of his kingdom. A folk song of the area prevalent today informs us that in the reign of Raja Medini (in the Raj Medaniyan) no hous was without butter and churner. It is said that he moved in disguise from house to house to see if any one was without a cow or a buffalo. The wanting ones were given at least one on behalf of Raja Medini. He levied no tax on income. However, once in time of need, he demanded some tribute from headmen of the area. He was surprised to find each headman presented him a gold shell, far more that he wanted to. These are but only few examples of his greatness as a king to his subject. He extended his sway over South Gaya and large parts of Hazaribagh and Surguja. He invaded and defeated the Maharaja of Chhotanagpur in his capital city of Doisa, now called Navaratragarh, 33 miles from Ranchi. He built Palamau Forts (the lower fort) near Satbarwa. It later played important role in the subsequent history of Palamu. It would be not out of place to mention here about some historical controversies here regarding time period. If Palamu fell in the hands of Muslim rulers in December 1660, we will have to accept that the Medini Ray's rule was either only tributary or else the period of Medini Ray's rule is different than we mentioned earlier. Daud Khan defeated the King of Palamu in the fag end of 1660 and established his rule. After some time Daud left Palamu after making Mankali Khan, a Fauzdar, in charge of the state. He was later removed in 1666 and Palamau was placed under the direct control of the Viceroy of Bihar, Lasker khan, the new Bihar Governor. Since 1666 came under the direct control of the Viceroy of the Emperor in Bihar. By 1861, Palamu came under British rule. Colonel Dalton, became Commissioner of Chhotangapur in that year. The district headquarter is named after him. Palamu remained in Bihar state until November 2000, when the state was divided in two. Now it is in Jharkhand state. The district has also become very small and is divied into three district - ((Latehar)), ((Garhwa)) and Palamu.

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