The early history of PALAMU is not authentic but we have legends about it. It is, however certain that kharwars, oraons and cheros, the three aboriginal races practically ruled over the tract. The kharwars claim to be suryavanshi Kshatriyas. They trace their decent from Ajanagara or Ayodhya. Karusa was the sixth son of Manu Vaivasata and he was assigned the eastern territory. The descendants of Karusa were called Karusas who subsequently came to be known as Karwars or kharwars. According to tradition they were the rulers of Rohtasgarh. The kharawars point to the days of the Pratapadhaval, one of the line of chiefs who ruled there in the twelfth century A.D., during the time of their greatest prosperity.
The cheros have been spoken in very high terms in the Aitareya Aranyaka along with the Vangas and Magadhas. They did not observe the Vedic sacrifices and still they are termed as revered cheros ‘cheropadas. There is not much evidence to show that the Cheros came to this region from Kumaun as some think.
The Mandas claim decent from Karusas. The Ramayana records their flight to the south. Some say that these aboriginals played the band at the time of Rama’s coronation at Ayodhya and they were assigned this region in lieu of their meritorious services. The Pandawas killed Jarasandha – an ally of the Mand . Naturally in the Mahabharat war the Mandas sided with the kauravas and were in the army of Bhisma. Sanjaya says that on the left wing of Bhisma are the Karusas with the Mandas, Vikunja and Kundivarsa Satyiki compares the Mandas with the demons and boasts that he would put an end them just as Indra ended the demons . Arjuna is said to have married a Naga princess from this region and Babhruvahana was born of this lady.