Dantewada or Dantewara District, also called as Dakshin Bastar District (South Bastar District), is located towards the south-eastern part of the State of Chhattisgarh. Known for its idyllic natural beauty, Dantewada District is a popular tourist destination.
The region has witnessed the rule of Sarabhpurias, Panduavanshis, Somvanshis, Kalchuris, Nagvanshis and Marathas. It came under the rule of the British East India Company in the year 1845.
The town of Dantewada is the headquarters of Dantewada district. As per the inscriptions on stone tablets found in the region, the town was known by the names Tarlapal and Dantawali in its historic days.
The name Dantewada was derived from the presiding deity of the town, Goddess Danteswari, which later became the name of the district as well. Dantewada is a popular pilgrimage destination as the place is one among the 52 Shakti Peethas of the country.
The region was a part of the princely state of Bastar during the Pre-Independence era. Post Indian Independence, it became a part of Bastar District of the state of Madhya Pradesh. Later Dantewada region was designated as a district in 1999 and it became a part of the State of Chhattisgarh in 2000. Dantewada district was parted in the year 2007, to form the district of Bijapur.
The district, today, consists of seven tehsils, which are Dantewada, Gidam, Kuwakonda, Katekalyan, Chhindgarh, Sukma and Konta. The region is watered by the rivers Godavari and Shabhari and perennial rivers Shankhini and Dankiny and their tributaries.
Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh is a place with rich cultural heritage and scenic beauty and is characterised by ancient monuments, waterfalls, caves, rock paintings and hills. Chhattisgarhi (Khaltahi or Laria), Oriya, Telugu, Marathi, Hindi and English are the languages used in this region. Madai, Mati-tihar, Gobar-boharani, Ramnavmi, Navakhani, Dusshera, Diwali, Holi, etc. are the festivals celebrated here.
Dantewada has become a major tourist destination in the state of Chhattisgarh due to its vicinity to major destinations like Raipur, Bilaspur, Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam, Araku Valley, etc. Dantewada tourism also offers trekking expeditions to the scenic natural locations in and around the region.
Dantewada is well connected by both State and National Highways to all the major destinations in and around Chhattisgarh. It can also be reached from Vishakhapatnam and Bailadila by passenger trains.