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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 7, p. 122.


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122 BA ST lR
quantity of teak, with which is mixed btjisil (Plerocarpus lIar.supizim).
Towards the north-east the teak rapidly disappears, and is replaced by
sdl (Shorea robusta), which then becomes the principal timber tree,
though much of the forest is of the nature of scrub. Frequently the
undergrowth is replaced by patches of dense high grass, with scattered
trees of Diospyros or ebony. The Caryota urens and the palmyra palm
are found, the latter in the south and the former in the west and north.
Cane brakes also occur by the hill streams. Bamboos, of which three
species occur, are restricted entirely to the hills. The average annual
rainfall exceeds 50 inches, and the climate on the plateau is pleasantly
cool, 102° being the highest recorded.
The family of the Raja is a very ancient one. It is stated to belong
to the Rajputs of the Lunar race, and to have come originally from
Warangal about the commencement of the fourteenth century, driven
thence by the encroachments of the Muhammadan power. The tra-
ditional founder of the family, Annam Deo, is said to have established
himself in Bastar under the protection of the goddess Danteshwari, still
the tutelary deity of the family and the State, who presented him with
a sword which is held in veneration to the present day. The temple
of the goddess at Dantewara, at the confluence of the Sankani and
Dankani rivers, was formerly the scene of an annual human sacrifice
similar to that of the Khonds; and for many years after 1842 a guard
was placed over the temple, and the Raja held personally responsible
for its discontinuance. Up to the time of the Marathas Bastar occupied
an almost independent position, but a tribute was imposed on it by
the Nagpur government in the eighteenth century. At this period the
constant feuds between Bastar and the neighbouring State of Jeypore
in Madras kept the country for many years in a state of anarchy. The
chief object of contention was the Kotapad tract, which had originally
belonged to Bastar, but had been ceded in return for assistance given
by Jeypore to one of the Bastar chiefs during some family dissensions.
The Central Provinces Administration finally made this over to
Jeypore in i863, on condition of payment of tribute of Rs. 3,000, two-
thirds of which sum was remitted from the amount payable by Bastar.
By virtue of this arrangement the tribute of Bastar was, until recently,
reduced to a nominal amount. The late Raja, Bhairon Deo, died
in I89r at the age of 52. In consequence of the continued mis-
government under which the State had suffered for some years, an
officer selected by the Local Administration had been appointed as
Diwan in I886. The late Raja's infant son, Rudra Pratap Deo, was
recognized as his successor, and during his minority the State is being
managed by Government. For six years two European officers held
the office of Administrator, but this post was abolished in I904 and
a native officer was appointed as Superintendent. The young chief,



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