Historically, the region of Kanker had existence in Stone Era. It is also referred in Ramayana and Mahabharat. According to the great Indian epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata once there was a dense forest named Dandakaranya, a part of the present day’s Kanker district. Legends believe that earlier it was a land of Rishis (monks) namely Kank, Lomesh, Shringi, Angira, etc. Buddhism was also flourished here in the 6th century. Kanker region remained always as independent state. The Kanker state was under the rule of the Satvahana dynasty in 106 AD. Later the state was occupied numerous dynasties during different periods of time such as Nags, Vakataks, Gupt, Nal and Chalukya dynasties. Then came the Som dynasty that was founded by the king Singh Raj and they occupied it from 1125 to 1344. After the downfall of the Som dynasty, Kandra dynasty and Chandra dynasty ruled the place for a definite period of time. The Kanker state came under the control of the Bhosales of Nagpur during the reign of Bhoop Dev from 1809 to 1818. During the kingship of Narhari Deb, the Kanker state went into the hands of British from Maratha. In 1882, the power of Kanker State was submitted to Commissioner Raipur. Finally, the district of Uttar Bastar Kanker was emerged as a separate in the map of Chhattisgarh state on 6th July, 1998.
Geographically, the district has a total 7,161 sq km. area and occupies the ranks 9th in State and 126th in India on the bases of this size. It lies at 20°27'N latitude, 81°49'E longitude and 500 m altitudes. In the year 2021, there was a total 47.44% forest area of total geographical area. Mahanadi River, Doodh River, Hatkul River, Sondur River and Turu River flow through the district. National Highway 30 passes through the district. It is mix of land and hilly area. There are 3 types of hill groups namely Vindhyana Hill Group, Archian Hill Groups and Dharwar Hill Group. Red soil is found in the area mainly. The soils of the district can be divided into 4 types such as Kanhar soil, Dorsa soil, Matasi soil and Bhata soil. The climate of he district remains extremely hot in the summers and fairly cold in the winters. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1296.3 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administrative wise, according to the 2011 census, the district is divided into 7 sub-districts, 6 towns and 1,070 villages. Hindi is its official language. In the state of Chhattisgarh with an allotted district code of 413 the district of Uttar Bastar Kanker came into existence on 6th July, 1998. Its district headquarters is located at Kanker town, situated at a distance of 126 kilometers from the state capital.
Demographically, according to 2011 census, the district has a total number of 1,58,184 households with a total of 7,48,941 including 3,73,338 are males and 3,75,603 are females. The density of population of the district is 105 (persons per sq km.). The sex ratio is pegged at 1006 (females per 1000 males) while the child ratio stands at 978 (females per 1000 males). As per 2011 census the percentage of major religions practiced by the people of this region is Hindu with 83.78% of the total population. According to 2011 census, the percentage of the principal languages of the region are Hindi with 66.77%, Gondi with 17.06% and Bengali with 13.10%. The population growth rate in the district during the period 2001-2011 was 15.06% out of which 15.00% were males and 15.11% were females. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 11,265 out of which 5,762 were males and 5,501 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 5,432 out of which 3,217 were males and 2,214 were females.
Economically, the district is dependent on agriculture primarily. Rice is the main crop. Wheat, sugar cane, gram, pulses, maize, etc are grown on a large scale but rice is the main crop. Besides it, varieties of vegetables and fruits like Mangoes, Bananas etc. are also produced. The district is drought prone. Nearly half of the rural population comes under the poverty line. The region is full of minerals such as iron ore, quartzite and garnet. Private mining is not allowed in the region. The GDDP or Gross District Domestic Product during the period 2006-07 was Rs. 1,43,884 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 1,03,623 lakh at Constant Prices during the period 1999-2000. The NDDP, or Net District Domestic Product during the period 2006-07 was Rs. 1,29,964 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 93,200 lakh at Constant Prices during the period 1999-2000. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, at factor cost during the period 2006-07 was Rs. 17,850 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 7,281 lakh at Constant prices during the period 1999-2000.
Education wise, according to 2014 census, the literacy rate in the district is 70.29% including 80.03% are males and 60.64% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 4,56,042 including 2,58,298 are males and 1,97,744 are females. The district has numerous educational institutes including schools and colleges such as Govt. Narhardev Higher Secondary School, Kendriya Vidyalaya Kanker, St. Michael Higher Secondary School, Paradise School, Morning Star English School, Jupiter World Public School, Sunrise Public School, Seedling public school, Govt. Girls H.S. School, Govt. Bharti H.S.School, Govt. H.S. School, Bhanupratapdev College (PG College) and Indrukevat Government Girls College, etc.
The district has several famous historical and religious places to visit. The main attractions are The Gadiya Mountain, Malanjhkudum Water Fall, Charre-Marre Water Fall, Shivani Temple, Santoshi Temple, Maa Shitla Devi Temple, Jagannath Temple, Shiv Temple, Hanuman Temple, Krishna Temple, Balaji Temple, Tripur Sundari Temple, , Shanidev Temple, kankaleen Temple, Sai Temple, Keshkal Ghat, Ishan van, Bhandari Para Dam, Kherkatta Reservoir, Mankesri Dam and Dudhawa dam. During the year 2018, there were 1,144 domestic tourists who visited the historical and religious place of the district. Shivani Maa temple is dedicated to two Goddess name Kali Maa and Durga Maa, vertically half part of goddess Kali and the remaining half part of goddess Durga. Charre-Marre Water fall is a beautiful water fall with jig jag slop. It is originated from the river Jogidahara which flows in Matla valley. Malanjhkudum Water fall produces from the place Malanjhkudum. It falls like a ladder. The district is famous for its royal palace namely Kanker palace of royal family which belongs to the 12th century. The Gadiya Mountain is a natural form of a fort. There is a tank which never dries throughout the year. This tank has two parts-sonai and Rupai. There is also a cave with narrow entrance on the Southern part of the tank namely Churi pagar. Another cave is on the South East part of the mountain namely Jogi cave. It was used by monks for meditation in ancient time. There is also a small pond in this cave which flows on the rock like a water fall. There is the Doodh River in the bottom of the mountain. On the occasion of Navratri, a cultural fest is celebrated namely Gadhiya Mahotsav beneath the Gadhiya Mountain.