With the death of Bhosale Raghuji III in 1853, Candrapur  passed under the British rule. In December 1854, Mr. R. S. Ellis of the Madras Civil Service took charge of Candrapur as its first administrator. The British ushered in the modern age in Candrapur as in the rest of India.

In the first phase of the British rule, 1854-1900, Candrapur experienced the impact of the Western Civilization introduced by the British. Educational institutions, Local Self-Government, Public Works Department and the like of the British pattern came to be established in Candrapur. The impersonal Government that was introduced was altogether new to the people. They, for the first time breathed the free air of the rule of law, unknown either under the Gonds or the Muslims or the Marathas.

During the second phase. 1900-20, Chandrapur witnessed the rise of nationalist movement. Candrapur contributed its mile to the nationalist movement in its own way inspired by the leadership of Lokamanya Tilak.

After the death of Lokamanya Tilak, Candrapur like the rest of India came under the influence of the Indian National Congress led by Gandhiji. During the Gandhian era, the people of Candrapur did not lag behind in their freedom struggle against the British rule. The last phase in the Candrapur history of the British period ends with the attainment of independence in 1947.

The Rising of 1857.

Within three years of their assuming charge of Candrapur the British had to face in the area the repercussions of The War of Independence of 1857. A large part of Candrapur District was covered with thick forest populated mainly by the Gonds and the Marias. Several Zamindars were related to the Raj Gond families of Candrapur. Many Raj Gonds had helped Appasaheb Bhosale in his struggle with the British. They were not yet fully reconciled to the British rule which had commenced in 1854. Inspired by the news of the risings of the Zamindars of the neigh bouring areas of Raipur and Gadha-Mandla, the Zamindar of Molampalli, Baburav Pulesvarbapu and Vyankatrav Rajesvarrav Raj Gond, the Zamindar of Adapalli and Ghot revolted against the British. Both these Zamindars considered the general rising of 1857 as the opportune occasion to regain their independence which they had lost since the subjugation of Candrapur first by the Marathas and later by the British. The Zamindar of Molampalli was a young man of twenty-five. He gathered a considerable force of the Gonds and Rohilas and brought the Rajgad Paragana under his sway. He faced bravely the British force sent against him at Nandganv on 13th March 1858. He was shortly joined by Vyankatrav Rajesvar, the Zamindar of Adapalli and Ghot. Captain W. H. Crichton, the Deputy Commissioner, was sent against the two Zamindars. Two indecisive battles were fought at Saganpur and Bamanpeth in April 1858. baburav the Zamindar of Molampalli attacked the English Camp at Chuchgondi on the Pranahita in the Aheri Zamindari on 29th April 1858 and looted it. The telegraph operators Messers. Gartland and Hall were killed there. The third operator Mr. Peter escaped into the Aheri forest and joined the Camp of Captain Crichton. Captain Crichton finding it difficult to meet the activities of the two Zamindars, secretly sent Mr. Peter to Laksmibai, the Zamindarin of Aheri to secure her help. Laksmibai readily offered her help. Baburav the Zamindar of Molampalli was captured by the forces of the lady at Bhopalpatnam. While being taken to Aheri he escaped from the custody. In September he was recaptured, brought to Candrapur and hanged to death in the jail.

In the meanwhile Captain Shakespeare was sent from Nagpur to Aheri with a contingent. He raided Adapalli and Ghot but was not able to find Vyankatrav, the second leader of the rebels. The property of his Diwan Gangadhar Kawalkar was confiscated on the suspicion that he had helped his master.

Vyankatrav, after his rout, escaped for a few days to Jangam-Kurul in the hills of Ghot taluka. He next went to Pratappur in Raipur District and then sought asylum in Bastar. There he tried to collect a force against the British hut was unfortunately captured by the Raja of Bastar and handed over to the British He was tried at Candrapur and sentenced to transportation for life due to the successful mediation of his mother Nagabai, in 1860.

Laksmibai of Aheri was splendidly rewarded for her timely help. The Zamindari of Adapalli and Ghot consisting of 67 villages was made over to her.

The rising in Chandrapur was spontaneous. It practically appeared toward the end of the Great Revolt. Though un-successful it stands out as a brilliant attempt of the Raj Gond Zamindars to regain their freedom. Many folk tales and songs arc current in the Candrapur area extolling the heroic exploits of the two Gond leaders. Bahurav. the Zamindar of Molampalli. according to one story had consumed tadava, and as a result of its extraordinary powers, when hanged, managed to break the noose four times. He was finally immersed in quick lime, and killed.

The Candrapur Zamindars thus, partly at least, have given a creditable account of themselves in the great Revolt or the War of Independence when the people of Nagpur were more or less quiet [LSRLRSC. pp. 75, 76: and The History of Freedom Movement in Madhya Pradesh 1956, pp. 85-87.].

Captain Crichton. for the services rendered by him was created a Companion of the Bath and Mr. Peter, the telegraph operator received thanks from Her Majesty the Queen.

After 1857.

When the great wave of the Revolt passed away all was quiet in the Candrapur area. In November 1861 rhe Nagpur Province and the Sagar and Narmada territories were formed into the Government of the Central Provinces. Candrapur came to be included in the Nagpur Division [LSRLRSC. p. 76.]. A systematic survey of the land of Candrapur was undertaken with a view to finalising the revenue settlement when Candrapur became a British territory in 1854. The work was actually started by Messrs. Price and MacGeorge and continued in 1862-63 by Mr. Rivett Carnac and C. Bernard, the Commissioner. The ma|or part of the work was completed by Major Lucie Smith, the settlement officer of Candrapur during a period of three years ending in 1869 [LSRLRSC.p. 1.].

In preparing the Settlement Report a large number of Marathi-speaking Brahmins had to he employed as other communities were illiterate and incapable of rendering any service as they had been found to be more active than the Brahmins. All records were prepared in Marathi as it was the court language of Candrapur under the Marathas [SRLRSC. p. 136.].

During the Gond and the Maratha periods many Brahmins had migrated to Candrapur. They imparted instructions in the traditional learning mostly to the boys of the Brahmins.

In the early part of the British rule the literary works compiled by one Nilkanthrav Dhume merit our attention. He wrote extensively on various subjects like history, geography, medicine, prosody and bhakti or devotion.

The History of Wani was written by the same author between 1865 and 1893. It is a very useful source for the history of Candrapur. According to the author he prepared the said history after consulting bakhars and also the history of the Bhosales. The genealogy of the Gond Kings given in the early pages of this chapter has been originally taken from the History of Wani.

Krsna Lilamrta Kathasara is yet another historical work encompassing the whole period from the age of Sri Krsna to Queen Victoria, by Nilkanthrav Dhume. This was the time-honoured way of writing history. It may be semi-epic and semi-historical. However, what is significant is the high sense of history which the author has displayed in this work. It was published in 1895.

Rasaraja a work on medicine by the same author was taken away by Vaidya Dhundiraj Vinod of Baroda for publication. But nothing is known about it thereafter.

Nilkanthrav also wrote a commentary on Siddhanta Siromani-prakasa originally written by one Ramcandra Subbaji of Candrapur.

Srinivas alias Appaji Maharaj Dhume, the son of Nilkanthrav was a celebrity in Candrapur-Nagpur region in the last quarter of the nineteenth century and up to 1931 of this century. He was a greater admirer of Lokamanya Tilak. Though he was well-versed in the traditional lore, his views were very progressive [RCI. pp. 241-47,]. At this time a number of Brahmins of Candrapur-Nagpur area had been initiated into a cult called the Kalki panth. In the rites of this cult its followers were required to prepare a cow from wheat-flour, immerse it into gud or jaggery liquid and then consume it. Many Brahmins who embraced this cult used to observe this part of the rite secretly as it formally involved the flour-cow slaughter and its consumption. When it was known to the public the Kalki Brahmins were ostracised by the rest of the Brahmins. To escape the hardships of ostracism the Kalki Brahmins appealed that they he readmitted into Brahminhood  after undergoing necessary prayascitta ceremony. Realizing the trend of changing times and the need to protect Hinduism, Appaji Maharaj Dhume in a public meeting resolved that the  devotees of the Kalki sect be readmitted into their original dharma after due suddhi ceremony.

Around 1845. this cult was founded by a cunning Muslim of Khandes with a view to converting Hindus to Islam by trickery. Appaji Maharaj has to he given the credit of meeting the cult successfully [KNI. pp. 500- 2.].

In 1867, Local Self-Government was introduced in Candrapur by establishing a Municipality. From 1880 to 1906 Raosaheb Chandiprasad Patil was the President of the Municipality.

English educational institutions and a public library were founded before the end of the century. Brahmins, being the only literate class, were first to enter the newly founded schools and to enjoy lucrative services in Government.

Nationalist Movement.

After the establishment of the Indian National Congress in 1885. Candrapur people responded well to national movement in the country. In the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress. 1906. the following gentlemen from Candrapur were present: Balvantrao Deshmukh, Dajishastri Chandekar, Nilkanthrao Sadaphal and Daji Ganesh Devaikar.

Tilak's influence.

 Inspired by the proclamation of Lokamanya Tilak the Candrapur people actively followed his fourfold programme of Svarajya, Svadesi, boycott and national education. Nationalism was kept alive and propagated through Svadesi shops, singing of Vande Mataram, celebrations of festivals like Ganes Caturthi, Chatrapati Sivaji Birth Day and gymnasiums.

The nationalist movement infiltrated down to the masses to a great extent through the elites of Candrapur.

In 1907. Madhavrao Aney popularly known as Bapuji stepped into the public movement of Candrapur and continued to lead the people first as a staunch follower of Tilak and later of Mahatma Gandhi. Till his death Bapuji proudly used to call himself a Tilakite.

The late Dadasaheb Khaparde of Amravati was highly respect-ed in the Candrapur area as a leader in the Nationalist movement. Among others who were held in high regard may be mentioned Dr. Munje. Vir Vamanrao Joshi, and Ogale.

In 1913, Candrapur like the rest of India had to face a critical situation as a result of the repressive measures adopted by the British Government to crush the nationalist movement. In order to keep the freedom movement alive Candrapur District Association was founded in 1913. Among its founders and organizers were Balvantrao Deshmukh, Pandit Balgovind, Atmaram Mukund Mahajan of Brahmapuri and Vishnupant Kane of Waroda.

Candrapur District Association.

The Candrapur District Association, undertook varied programmes through which the leaders actively associated themselves with people of all classes and strata. Their programme consisted of trying to get redressed through appeals, wrongs done by Government officials in all administrative spheres. For instance the Association sent appeals from the peasants for remission and takavi in the event of famines or had harvest years; it demanded re-estimation of the crops when it was suspected that the officials had enhanced it for Government benefit; very often the Association appointed its own enquiry committee which toured the country and collected data regarding a problem that was on the anvil, and sent its report to Government. The Association collected complaints from the merchant community and lodged them with the Government.

Thus, on the one hand the Association kept alive the freedom movement by peaceful and legal means, by being in touch with the middle class, the merchants and the peasants, and on the other hand it brought home to the alien Government that the people were not satisfied with their rule.

The Government harassed by the activities of the Association, prosecuted its active workers Mahajan and Kane in the lower Court, under Defence of India Act. Kane was sentenced but an appeal was filed in the higher Court and Dr. Harising Gaur was invited to plead his case. The higher Court declared Kane not guilty. All these were typical Tilakite tactics adopted by the Association to harass the Government. The activities of the Association prove that the middle class intellectual leadership associated itself also with the masses and played a very important role in the nationalist movement in the pre-Gandhian period. It is wrong to brand it as the movement of a particular class or of the bourgeoisie.

Tilak's visit to Candrapur.

On 16th February 1918, Lokamanya Tilak visited Candrapur. The people of Candrapur gave a grand welcome to their great leader. He was carried in a grand procession seated in a victoria from the railway station to the residence of Babasaheb Desmukh. Every building was decorated with buntings, flags and auspicious toranas. People from places far and near had thronged into the streets of Candrapur to steal a look at the Lokamanya. In his public speech at night the Lokamanya among other things praised the Candrapur people for their unity. He was presented a purse of Rs. 5,000. The ground where Tilak gave his speech to the vast gathering unprecedented in the history of Candrapur till then, was named after him in his memory.

On the occasion of Tilak's visit to Candrapur, his right-hand  man Krishnaji Prabhakar Khadilkar founded the District Political Congress-Jilha Rdjakiya Parisad. A number of other  notable leaders of Maharastra accompanied Tilak to Candrapur.

After the Belgaum Congress of 1916. Tilak formed the  Svarajya Sangh. Its executive had Kelkar, Aney, Munje,  Khaparde, Gangadharrao Deshpande and Balvantrao Deshmukh. The last was the leader of Candrapur. He rendered notable service during and after the Tilak period.

Saints (1854-1920).

One Nikalasbuva from Gujarat appeared in Candrapur in 1875. He lived like a faqir and was residing in the Maruti temple of Babupeth Many stories of his miracles are current in Candrapur. On the authority of the famous saint of Vidarbha Gulabrav Maharaj one could say that Nikalasbuva was a man of spiritual attainments. He died in 1895. Among his disciples were the late Appasaheb Buti, Jagannath Kothikar, Krsnaji Mahipat and Sitaram Sambsiv of Nagpur.

Hayagriva Svami, a Telangi Brahman by birth and Dharma-bhat Buva were highly respected saints of Candrapur in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

Gopaldas, Gulabdas, Sundardas and Isvarpuri Gosavi were the saints of the Udasi Sect.

Papamiya and Bhobadtulla Sah were the Muslim saints haying a large number of devotees from among the common people. Gulabrav Maharaj was full of praise for these saints. It is difficult to say authoritatively anything regarding the mystical attainments of these saints.

The Gandhian Era (1920-1947).

Around 1911, Balvantrao Deshmukh was elected President of the District Congress Committee and Dr. Munje as the Secretary.

In 1922 Candrapur Municipal elections were fought on party basis. One of the parties was led by Pandit Balgovind and the other by the pleaders. Perhaps for the first time one Sonbaji Hud from the Kunbi community was elected to the Municipality. Among other followers of the Pandit party were Seth Khushal-chandji, Krishnarao Jogi, Jagadishrao Salve, Marotrao Kannam-vvar and Babaji Patil Dixit.

The Svarajya Party founded by Motilal Nehru elected Baburao Deshmukh from the Candrapur area. He was offered Presidentship of the Council but refused it as the programme of the Svarajya Party was to obstruct the working of the Council. S. B. Tambe was selected for Presidentship. He was made the Home Minister and later became the Governor of Madhya Pradesh.

In 1926. elections were held for the central and provincial Assemblies. Dr. Munje of the Pratisahakarvadi Party was opposed by Narakesari Barrister Abhyankar of the Congress. Dr. Munje was elected by a clear majority mainly because of the work of Balvantrao Deshmukh. At this time in Candrapur both the Congress party and the Rastriya Paksa were more or less equally powerful.

In the non-co-operation and satyagraha movement of 1930-31 a number of persons courted arrest by breaking jungle laws, picketing toddy shops, manufacturing salt and the like. The satyagrahis included a number of women, and belonged to all classes and communities. After the Gandhi-Irvin Pact all the satyagrahis were released.

In 1931 the New English School and in 1932 the New Model High School were established. In 1955 the New Model High School was converted into the Lokmanya Tilak Vidyalaya at the hands of Kakasaheb Gadgil of the Central Ministry.

In 1934, Gandhiji visited Candrapur in his campaign of collecting funds for the uplift of the Harijans. He was given a grand welcome on the Tilak ground by a mammoth gathering. He spoke on the uplift of the Harijans and was presented a purse of Rs. 2,100. In 1939 the City High School was founded by Bhau-rao Savalikar and D. B. Deo.

Thus up to 1940 Candrapur was making rapid progress in education, keeping abreast of the other provinces in the national movement.

Individual Satyagraha of 1940-1941.

During the period of the Second World War, Vinoba was sent as the first soldier on the front of the individual satyagraha, by Gandhiji. Seth Khushalchandji of Candrapur was the first satyagrahi on this front. He was followed by Ramchandrarao Kathade. Marotrao Kannamwar offered satyagraha at Aramori and was sentenced for two years. A number of volunteers offered satyagraha from different parts of Candrapur.

Quit India Movement.

In the All-India Congress Committee meeting of 8th August 1942. the famous Quit-India resolution was passed. It had its repercussions soon in Candrapur. Seth Khushalchandji of Candrapur on his way to home-town was arrested. Candrapur like the rest of India was prepared to wage a war on the British by trying to follow the Gandhian way as far as it could. All those who joined the morning procession were arrested and sent behind the prison bars. One Janardanpant Upagannavar was severely beaten by the police. Within a month he succumbed to the wounds in the Jabalpur jail.

Cimur Case.

After the Quit-India movement in all parts of India there was a regular war between the unarmed people and the Government. On 16th August 1942. in the morning young boys of the Rastriya Dal took out a procession: Uddhavrao Korekar and eight other volunteers were arrested. An order was issued prohibiting processions. Ignoring the order a procession was again taken out. In the lathi charge on the processionists one boy Balaji Raipurkar was badly beaten and died the same day. To inspect the situation Divisional Officer Dungaji with his party came to Cimur. By this time the mob which had become furious surrounded Dungaji. Suspecting danger he ordered firing in which four people died. The mob which had gone uncontrollable killed the circle inspector Jarasandha and a constable Kantaprasad.

The next day. 17th August 1942, a military contingent appeared at Cimur. It recklessly beat the people in vengeful mood and looted the property of many residents. About 300 to 400 people were brought to Candrapur for trial. Balvantrao Deshmukh, Madhavrao Chendke, Siras and Kovale pleaded on behalf of the accused. Funds were collected to help the afflicted. Kanhayalal Munshi had come to Cimur on behalf of the Congress.

The case went on for a long time and about 200 people were sentenced with different terms of imprisonment. Seven were sentenced to death and about 30 to 35 sent on life imprisonment.

The Cimur episode thus forms a memorable event in the history of the freedom struggle.