Historically, Bastar was founded by Annama Deva, the brother of Kakatiya king Pratapa Rudra Deva of Warangal (Telangana), in the early 14th century. In the great epic of Ramayana, it is believed that the region was a part of Dandakaranya and then a part of the Kosala Kingdom in the Mahabharata. Around 450 AD, Bastar state was under the rule of the Nala King, Bhavadatta Varman, whose name is mentioned as he invaded the neighboring Vakataka kingdom, during the reign of its king called Narendrasena (440-460). Annama Deva, one of the prominent rulers ruled the place till the year 1369 after him it was successively followed by Hamir Deva (r. 1369-1410), Bhaitai Deva (1410-1468), Purushottama Deva (1468-1534) and Pratapa Raja Deva (1602-1625) after which the Bastar branch of the dynasty became extinct in the third generation with Dikpala Deva (1680-1709), after which a descendant of the younger brother of Prataparaja Deva, Rajapala Deva became the next King in 1709. Therefore, during different periods of time the place was ruled by different rulers. In 1945, the princely states of Bastar and Kanker were acceded to the Government of India and were merged to the Madhya Pradesh. The district was divided in 1999 and then in 2012 into Bastar, Dantewada, Kanker and Kondagaon. In 2000, Bastar became the part of the new state of Chhattisgarh.
Geographically, the district has a total 10,470 sq km. area and occupies the ranks 3rd in State and 53rd in India on the bases of this size. In the year 2019, there was a total 40.43% forest area of total geographical area. It lies at 19°20' N latitude, 81°93' E longitude and 610 m altitude. It is surrounded by Rajnandgaon District on the North-West, by Kondagaon District on the North, by Nabarangpur and Koraput districts of Odisha state on the East, by Dantewada District on the south and South-West, and by Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra state on the West. The region has good rainfall. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1463.1 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administrative wise, the district is divided into 12 sub-districts, 6 towns and 1,150 villages. Hindi is its official language. In the state of Chhattisgarh with an allotted district code of 414 the district of Bastar came into existence in the year 1999. Its administrative headquarters is located at Jagdalpur, situated at a distance of 288 km. from the state capital.
Demographically, according to the 2011 census, the district has a total number of 3,06,807 households with a total of 14,13,199 comprising 6,98,487 are males and 7,14,712 are females which causing it to rank 8th in the state and 348th in India. The density of population of the district is 135 persons per sq km. The sex ratio is pegged at 1023 (females per 1000 males) while the child ratio stands at 994 (females per 1000 males). As per 2011 census the percentage of major religion practiced by the people of this region is Hindu with 90.43%. According to 2011 census, the percentage of the principal languages of the region was Halabi at 40.05%, Gondi at 20.08%, Hindi at 19.13% and Odia at 16.58%. The population growth rate during 2001-2011 was 17.96% persons including 17.23% were males and 18.67% were females. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 19,149 including 9,325 were males and 9,760 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 6,862 including 3,964 were males and 2,791 were females.
Economically, the district is dependent on agriculture mainly. Traditional methods are used for agriculture such as wooden ploughs and bullock carts. Rice is the major crop of the district. Paddy, pulses, maize, mustard and gram are the other main crops of the district. Sale of forest produce and other forest-related work are other source of income. Nagarnar Steel Plant is being setting up by the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC). Green field integrated steel plant at Lohandiguda has been set up by the deal between Tata and the Chhattisgarh Government. There is also another factory namely Lambodhar cement products (LCP). It is located in kasturi near nagarnar. Traditional occupation such as weaving, shoe making, furniture making, chattai weaving and tailoring, bamboo crafting and the pottery are also available here. The GDDP or Gross District Domestic Product during the period 2006-07 was Rs. 2,66,801 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 1,82,511 lakh at Constant Prices during the period 1999-2000. The NDDP, or Net District Domestic Product during the period 2006-07 was Rs. 2,41,693 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 1,64,381 lakh at Constant Prices during the period 1999-2000. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, at factor cost during the period 2006-07 was Rs. 16,592 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 14,567 lakh at Constant Prices during the period 1999-2000.
Education wise, according to the census 2011, there the literacy rate is 54.4% including 64.82% are males and 44.26% are females. The total literate population of the district is 6,50,863 comprising 3,82,335 are males and 2,68,528 are females. The district has a number of educational institutes such as schools, colleges and polytechnics. Bastar High School or Government Multipurpose Higher Secondary School is situated at Jagdalpur in the Bastar district. It is one of the oldest schools in the district. It was a boy’s school but now has become the co-educational institute. It is being run by Chhattisgarh Board of Secondary Education after the formation of new state, Chhattishgarh.
Baliram Kashyap was born on 11th March, 1936 and died on 10th March, 2011. He was an Indian politician who belonged to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He had represented the Bastar constituency of Chhattisgarh, in the 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th Lok Sabhas of India. Dinesh Kashyap was born on 18th November, 1962. He is an Indian politician from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He represented Bastar constituency of Chhattisgarh as a member of the 15th Lok Sabha of India.
The district has various famous historical and religious places to visit. These places are Bhoromdeo Temple, Danteshwari Temple, Kanger Valley National Park, Bairamgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Kutumsar Cave, Kailash Cave, Chitrakoot Falls, Tirathgarh Waterfall, Bhainsa Darha Lake, Dalpat Sagar and Anthropological Museum. In the year 2018, there were 1,09,475 domestic tourists and 474 foreign tourists who visited the above places. The Chitrakoot and Teerathgarh waterfalls are situated close to Jagdalpur. Danteshwari Temple is dedicated to Goddess Danteshwari. It is one of the 52 Shakti Peethas. It was built by the Chalukyas of the South in the 14th century. Traditionally, Goddess Danteshwari is the Kuldevi of Bastar state. During the Dusshera, thousands of tribals from surrounding villages and jungles gather here to pay homage to the goddess. This 'Bastar Dussehra' festival has become a big attraction for tourists.