The three Gond principalities of Garha-Mandla, Deogarh and Chanda were nominally subject to the Mogul emperors.
There are six main divisions of the people: the Dravidian tribes, who formerly held the country; Hindi-speaking immigrants from the north and north-west into Saugor, Damoh, the Nerbudda valley and the open country of Mandla and Seoni; Rajasthani-speaking immigrants from Central India into Nimar, Betul and parts of Hoshangabad, Narsinghpur and Chhindwara; Marathi-speaking immigrants from Bombay into Berar, the Mahratta districts and the southern tahsil of Betul; the Telugu castes in the Sironcha and Chanda tahsil of Chanda and the south of Bastar; and the Hindu immigrants into Chhattisgarh, who are supposed to have arrived many centuries ago when the Haihaya dynasty of Ratanpur rose into power.
There is evidence that about three centuries ago elephants wandered in the forests of Malwa and Nimar, while they survived to a later date in the Chanda district of the Central Provinces.
In order to divert the attention of Chanda Sahib and his French auxiliaries from the siege of Trichinopoly, Clive suggested an attack upon Arcot and offered to command the expedition.
In Chanda and Deogarh the Gond rajas were suffered by Raghoji Bhonsla and his successor to carry on a shadowy existence for a while, in order to give them an excuse for avoiding the claims of the peshwa as their overlord; though actually decisions in important matters were sought at Poona.
The expedition produced the desired effect; Chanda Sahib was obliged to detach a large force of 10,000 men to recapture the city, and the pressure on the English garrison at Trichinopoly was removed.
In the south of the province Chanda was the seat of another Gond dynasty, which first came into prominence in the 16th century.