KANKER (Princely State)


AREA: 3,706 km2 PRIVY PURSE: 68,700Rs
ACCESSION: 1st January 1948
STATE: Madhya Pradesh DYNASTY: Chandra RELIGION: Hindu

POPULATION: 103,536 (1901)



PRESENT RULER: Maharajadhiraj ADITYA PRATAP DEO B.A. (Hons.), M.A., M.Phil., present Maharaja Saheb of Kanker since 2001.
born 27th November 1970 in Dhamtari, Chattisgarh; educated at Rajkumar College, Raipur and at St Stephen's College (B.A. (Hons. in History)) and at Delhi University (M.A. in History, M. Phil. in History), he is a Historian with the faculty of St. Stephen's College, University of Delhi, presently (2009) studying for his Ph.D. from Emory University, Atlanta in the United States (research on Chhattisgarh), he has also been part of the Indian delegation to the 33rd UNESCO Conference in Paris (2005) and has been an Exchange Scholar at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A. (2007).
PREDECESSORS AND SHORT HISTORY: The traditional history of Kanker goes back to 106AD when Raja Satkarni of the Satavahan dynasty ruled Kanker. Afterwards the Chalukya rulers added Kanker to their empire where it remained till 788AD. A succession of dynasties then controlled Kanker till the end of the Kandra dynasty in 1385. The present ruler belongs to a very old Rajput family, and according to tradition, his ancestor, Raja Veer Kanhar Dev, formerly the abdicated ruler of Jagannath Puri, was raised to the throne by a vote of the people and ruled till 1404. Under the Marathas, the Kanker State was held on condition of furnishing a military contingent 500 strong whenever needed. In 1809, the Chief was deprived of Kanker, but was restored to it in 1818 by the British Resident on payment of a tribute of 500Rs. Rulers were...
  • Raja GOOR SAI DEO, Raja of Kanker -/1729, married and had issue. He died 1729.
    • Raja Harpal Deo (qv)
    • Rani (name unknown), married Raja Dalpat Dev of Bastar, and had issue.
  • Raja HARPAL DEO, Raja of Kanker 1729/1775, died 1775.
  • Raja DHIRAJ SINGH DEO, Raja of Kanker 1775/-
  • Raja RAM RAJ SINGH DEO, Raja of Kanker
  • Raja SHYAM SINGH DEO, Raja of Kanker -/1802, married and had issue.
    • Lal Saheb Chet Singh, married and had issue.
      • Babu Randhir Singh, married and had issue.
        • Babu Gambhir Singh, married and had issue.
          • Babu Sahai singh alias Ghondu Singh, claimant for the throne of Bastar in 1921, married the daughter of Lal Saheb Balwant Singh of Khairigarh.
      • Babu Atal Singh
    • Raja Bhoop deo (qv)
  • Raja BHOOP DEO, Raja of Kanker 1802/1809 (first time)
    INTERREGNUM 1809/1818 (Maratha occupation)
  • Raja BHOOP DEO, Raja of Kanker 1818/1839 (second time), married and had issue. He died 1839.
    • Raja Padma Dev (qv)
  • Raja PADMA DEO, Raja of Kanker 1839/1853, constructed a temple devoted to the goddess Durga, married and had issue. He died 1853.
    • Maharajadhiraj Nahar Deo (qv)
    • Rajkumar Laxman Dev
    • Rajkumar Shiv Charan Dev
    • Rajkumar Ghanshyam Singh Dev, married and had issue.
      • Maharajadhiraj Komal Deo (qv)
    • Rajkumari Lakshmi Kumari, married Lal Saheb Dalganjan Singh of Bastar, and had issue.
  • Maharajadhiraj NAHAR DEO, Maharaja of Kanker 1853/1903, born 13th May 1850, he succeeded to the gadi as a minor on 5th December 1853 (#1), he was granted the right of adoption by the British authorities in 1865, and acknowledged their supremacy; during his reign he constructed a number of temples, a library and a Palace, he established a new town named Narharpur near Kanker; he married Maharanidhirani Chandra Kumari, daughter of Raja Bhopal deo, Raja of Bastar or Maharanidhirani Padmalaya Devi, daughter of Raja Bhairam Deo of Bastar, and had issue. He died in May 1903.
    • Rajkumar Tej Pratap Deo, Yuvaraj of Kanker, died vpsp aged 14 years.
    • Rajkumar (name unknown), died vpsp aged 16 years.
  • Maharajadhiraj KOMAL DEO, Maharaja of Kanker 1903/1925, born 1874, succeeded 9th May 1903, during his reign he established one high school, one Girls school and 15 primary schools as well as two hospitals (in Kanker and in Sambalpur). He established a new town near Kanker named Govindpur, which he wanted to make his capital; he married three times and had issue, one daughter. He died spm on 8th January 1925 and was succeeded by his nephew (or relative).
    • Maharajkumari Govind Kumari
  • Maharajadhiraj BHANU PRATAP DEOMaharajadhiraj BHANU PRATAP DEO, Maharaja of Kanker 1925/1969, adopted from Ratu (Chota Nagpur), born 17th September 1922 and succeeded 8th January 1925 (#2), Kanker was initially administered by Shri Raghuveer Prasad Yadhav while the young ruler was educated at Rajkumar College, Raipur and later at Mayo College, Ajmer (B.A. and I.C.S. examination); also studied in England; in 1944 he was granted full ruling powers; M.L.A. (Madhya Pradesh) for two terms in 1952/1957 and 1962/1967; he established a new town named Bhanupratappur and constructed a cinema in Kanker; he was instrumental in founding a new degree college in Kanker in 1962 to which he donated furniture and books; he married in 1944, Maharanidhirani Amulya Prabha Devi, daughter of HH Maharaja Shri Sudhansu Shekhar Singh Deo of Sonepur, and his wife, HH Maharani Shrimati Khirode Kumari Devi, and had issue. He died 14th August 1969.
    • Maharajadhiraj Udai Pratap Deo (qv)
    • Maharajkumari Manjushree Devi, married Kumar Shri Mahirajsinhji Surendrasinhji of Sayla, and has issue.
  • Maharajadhiraj UDAI PRATAP DEO, Maharaja of Kanker 1969/2001, he was an avid conservationist and was President of the General Council, Rajkumar College from 1988 to 1993; married Maharanidhirani Tripureshwari Devi, daughter of Thakore Saheb Surendra Singh of Sayla, and his wife, Thakorani Manishwari Devi, and had issue. He died 2001.
    • Maharajkumari Anuradha Devi
    • Maharajadhiraj Aditya Pratap Deo (qv)
    • Maharajkumar Surya Pratap Deo (Prince Jolly), educated at Rajkumar College, Raipur; he is presently (2009) actively involved in heritage tourism; married 29th January 2007, Kumari Rajeshwari Singh Jhala, daughter of Kumar Mahipal Singhji Jhala.
    • Maharajkumar Ashwini Pratap Deo B.Com. (Prince Jai), educated at Rajkumar College, Raipur and Zakir Hussain College, Delhi University (B.Com).
  • Maharajadhiraj ADITYA PRATAP DEO, Maharaja of Kanker (see above)
1. "The Golden Book of India"; LETHBRIDGE, Roper, MacMillan & Co., 1893 , p.230
2. "Indian Annual Register" , N. N. Nitra, Calcutta 1945