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Bastar, ChhattisgarhAlthough the history of Bastar is not perfectly known, yet it is assumed have to been set up by the Nagavanshi clan, who held their capital at Barsu, in the 11th century AD. Bastar was supposed to be one of the largest districts of India in the ancient era. It was so big, that the district outsized the state of Kerala and even foreign countries like Belgium and Israel. There are many stories on how the place got its name. The most accepted among all theories is that the name Bastar is derived from the Sanskrit word Vistrat, which means wide territory. Another story says that the place’s name has originated from the term basta-karna, referring to the plentiful Sal trees found in the region. Bastar might have been named after basta, the kind of bags the gypsies carried with them for trade purposes. There is a possibility that the place could have acquired its name from bastah, the variety goats seen in this region, or else it was the salt bastakam which the people of this area imported in earlier times that had influenced in fixing up the name of the place. With the gradual passage of time things have changed in almost all parts of the country. Nevertheless Bastar retained its originality till date. The place takes pride in its natural panoramic view – lush green woods, cluster of hills, tranquil surroundings with a rich endowment of flora and fauna and above all, the tribal societies dwelling in this area.  It is mainly a tribal populated area who leads their lives in traditional styles. These tribal societies embrace the faction of people who understand the meaning of living together and join hands to work together to achieve any shared interest to cater to the benefits of their society. Every society has its own set of rules with respect to business and trade. These enhance and strengthen their unity to live and toil collectively as one. The tribal groups although have undertaken various forms of odd jobs at present, yet their basic livelihood depend on hunting and cultivation. In the past eras, the tribal land areas were never surveyed and they did not lead a settled life. The tribal people carried out shifting cultivation, taking into consideration that they were the possessors of the natural resources like the river water, forest trees and the lush green lands. This practice of self cultivation still continues till date. The main tribes found here are the Gond, Abujmaria, Bisonhorn Maria, Muria, Halba, Bhatra, Parja, and Dhurvaa. The town of Jagdalpur houses the 70 year old Bastar Palace located at one end of the main road. While one section of the palace is operated as the medical college, the regal family members live in the other part even in the present times. The river Indravati is the principal and largest river flowing through Bastar with Pamer Chinta as its chief offshoot.



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