Not far from Badnur is Kherla, the former residence of the Gond rajas, where there is an old fort, now in ruins, which used to be held by them.
The inscriptional records cease abruptly in the 12th century, and no more is known of the country until the rise of the Gond dynasties from the 14th to the 16th centuries.
The, 6th century saw the establishment of a powerful Gond kingdom by Sangram Sah, who succeeded in 1480 as the 47th of the petty Gond rajas of Garha-Mandla, and extended his dominions so as to include Saugor and Damoh on the Vindhyan plateau, Jubbulpore and Narsinghpur in the Nerbudda valley, and Seoni on the Satpura highlands.
About 200 years after Sangram Sah's time, Bakht Buland, the Gond chieftain of a principality seated at Deogarh in Chhindwara, having visited Delhi, set about introducing the civilization he had there admired.
In the south of the province Chanda was the seat of another Gond dynasty, which first came into prominence in the 16th century.
The three Gond principalities of Garha-Mandla, Deogarh and Chanda were nominally subject to the Mogul emperors.
Having thus hemmed in the Gond states, however, they made no efforts to assert any effective sovereignty over them; the Gond rajas for their part were content with practical independence within their own dominions.
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.
In the jungles the Marias, who are among the aboriginal tribes of Gond origin, raise kosra (Panicum italicum) and other inferior grains.
The Marias and the Jhurias are supposed to be a subdivision of the true Gond family.
Little is known of the early history of the district except that it must have been the centre of the first of the four ancient Gond kingdoms of Kherla, Deogarh, Mandla and Chanda.
In 1703 a Mussulman convert of the Gond tribe held the country, and in 1743 Raghoji Bhonsla, the Mahratta ruler of Berar, annexed it to his dominions.
It is remarkable to find in Baluchistan a Dravidian tongue, surrounded on all sides by Aryan languages, and with the next nearest branch of the same family located so far away as the Gond hills of central India.
The state takes its name from the chief town, Bijawar (pop. in 1901, 5220), which was founded by Bijai Singh, one of the Gond chiefs of Garha Mandla, in the 17th century.
At the end of the 17th century it belonged to the Gond raja of Deogarh.