Chhatarpur was founded in 1785 and is named after the Bundela Rajput leader Chhatrasal, the founder of Bundelkhand independence, and contains his cenotaph. The state was ruled by his descendants until 1785. At that time the Ponwar clan of the Rajputs took control of Chhatarpur. The state was guaranteed to Kunwar Sone Singh Ponwar in 1806 by the British Raj. In 1854 Chhatarpur would have lapsed to the British government for want of direct heirs under the doctrine of lapse, but was conferred on Jagat Raj as a special act of grace. The Ponwar Rajas ruled a princely state with an area of 1,118 square miles (2,900 km2), and population of 156,139 in 1901, which was part of the Bundelkhand agency of Central India.
In 1901 the town of Chhatarpur had a population of 10,029, a high school and manufactured paper and coarse cutlery. The state also contained the British cantonment of Nowgong.1785 -1816 Kunwar Sone Shah(d. 1816)
1816 -1854 Partab Singh(d. 1854)
1854 -1867 Jaghat Singh(b. 1846 - d. 1867)
1867 -1895 Vishvanath Singh(b. 1866 - d. 1932)
(4 May 1649 – 20 December 1731) Maharaja Chhatrasal
1895-1932 Vishvanath Singh (b. 1866 – d. 1932)
1932-1947 Bhawani Singh (b. 1921 – d. 2006)
After the independence of India in 1947, the Rajas of Chhatarpur acceded to India, and Chhatarpur, together with the rest of Bundelkhand, became part of the Indian state of Vindhya Pradesh. Vindhya Pradesh was later merged into the state of Madhya Pradesh in 1956.
Chhatarpur is located at 24.9°N 79.6°E / 24.9; 79.6. It has an average elevation of 305 metres (1000 feet). It is located on the far north-east border of Madhya Pradesh, sharing its borders with the Banda district of Uttar Pradesh. It is 133 km from Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh and 233 km from Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh.
As of 2011 India census, Chhatarpur had a population of 147 669. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Chhatarpur has an average literacy rate of 69%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with male literacy of 75% and female literacy of 62%. 15% of the population is under 6 years of age.
There is no large scale industry in Chhatarpur apart from a few small scale industries available, but these industries are not sufficient for giving enough employment to local people. The economy is mostly dependent on farming. The city however, has a growing private commercial sector, mainly retail businesses. There are many granite mining industries operating in Chhatarpur district.
Most depend for their livelihood on farming. This region is in a drought-affected area, so the whole district faces a water crisis for farming and potable drinking water.
Chhatarpur Police is a Law enforcing unit of MP Police which protects the world heritage monument "KHAJURAHO GROUP OF TEMPLES". The district is divided into 5 police subdivisions, with 34 Police Stations and 21 outposts.
Most of the colleges in Chhatarpur district are affiliated to Maharaja Chhatrasal Bundelkhand University, Chhatarpur. They offer graduate and post-graduate courses in the faculties of Arts, Science, Commerce, Education and Law. Government Maharaja P.G. College and Government Girls P.G. College are the premier institutions of graduate and post-graduate education in the city. Christian English College is the only CISCE- affiliated school of the city.
Chhatarpur can be reached by road and railway. Chhatarpur station started in 2017. The nearest railway stations are at Khajuraho (45 km), Harpalpur (55 km) Jhansi (125 km), Mauranipur (65 km) and Satna (140 km). The nearest airport is Khajuraho Civil Aerodrome, located 45 km away.
Chhatarpur has got its own radio station of All India Radio (आकाशवाणी) under Prasar Bharati. It transmits at 675 kHz. Chhatarpur also has a Doordarshan's Hi power transmitter for TV which is located at Deri Road.Khajuraho
Dhubela, a museum 15 km from Chhatarpur
Jatashankar, a holy place near Bijawar
Bhimkund, a natural water tank and a holy place near Banja
Raneh Falls, the only waterfall in Asia having igneous rock. It is around 17 km from Khajuraho
Hanuman Tauria, a Hanuman temple
Bambar Baini, Ancient temple of maa Durga on a hill in Lavkushnagar
Panna National Park, near Panna district
Pandav Falls, close to Khajuraho, Pandavas said to have sought shelter here during exile
Hanuman Mandir, temple of Hanuman on a hill in Lavkushnagar