From Hin: chattīs, ‘thirty-six; Hin: gaṛh, ‘fort’.
Chhattisgarh’s ancient name was Dakshin Kosala (Southern Kosala). Kosala was Rama’s kingdom with its capital at Ayodhya.
The name may refer to the state’s thirty-six former feudal territories [Ratanpur, Vijaypur, Kharound, Maro, Kautgarh, Nawagarh, Sondhi, Aukhar, Padarbhatta, Semriya, Champa, Lafa, Chhuri, Kenda, Matin, Aparora, Pendra, Kurkuti-kandri, Raipur, Patan, Simaga, Singarpur, Lavan, Omera, Durg, Saradha, Sirasa, Menhadi, Khallari, Sirpur, Figeswar, Rajim, Singhangarh, Suvarmar, Tenganagarh and Akaltara].
Or it may be a corruption of the word Chedisgarh that refers to the 3rd-6thC BCE Chedi raj, or ‘kingdom’ based in central India.
Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000; it comprises six Gondi and ten Chhattisgarhi-speaking districts and more than one-third of its population is tribal, many caught up in an ongoing conflict in Bastar and Dantewada between the Naxalites and the government.
Chhattisgarh is the second largest coal producer in India and the country’s only tin producer.