(Last Updated on : 01-12-2008)
Bagelkhand (or Baghelkhand) is a region in the northeastern part of the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India. It incorporates the Madhya Pradesh districts of Rewa, Anuppur, Shadol, Satna, Sidhi and Umaria, and the contiguous Uttar Pradesh district of Sonbhadra.
The Baghels, after whom this region is named are a division of the Solanki Gurjars who once ruled in Gujarat and then moved eastwards in the 13th century. Vyaghra Dev was the earliest Solanki leader who came to this region from the state of Gujarat and started his rule. Vyaghra is in fact a Sanskrit word which in Hindi means Bagh. The descendants of Vyaghra Dev are identified as Baghels. The famous Bagelkhand Agency derived its name from the region.
Bagelkhand Agency was a compilation of princely states during British rule in India. The agency was set up in March 1871. Before the formation of this agency, Bagelkhand was a part of the Bundelkhand Agency, with which it has geographical as well as historical connection. From 1871 to 1933 Bagelkhand agency was politically supervised by the Governor-General of India's agent for Central India. This agent was also the superintendent of the Rewa State and used to reside at Satna or Rewa. The agency comprised of the Rewa state and eleven small states and estates. Some of the important ones were Maihar, Nagod and Sohawal. The other states were Kothi, Jaso, Baraunda, Kamta-Rajaula, Paldeo, Pahra, Taraon, and Bhaisaunda. The agency covered a total area of 14,323 square miles. In 1901 it had a population of 1,555,024, a 11% decrease from that of the previous decade, owing to the attack of famine. The rainfall was very scarce from 1895 to 1897, resulting in famine in 1897. During the period 1899 to 1900 there was drought in some sections. After Indian got her independence in 1947, the princely states that constituted the Bagelkhand Agency were merged with Rewa to form Vindhya Pradesh state, which was in turn fused into the state of Madhya Pradesh on November 1, 1956.