The history of Dewas district is primarily the history of the twin treaty States of the Senior and Junior Branch and that of the other main component units viz. Kannod and Khategaon tahsils of former Holkar State. The founder of the Senior Branch of Dewas was TukojiRao(I), as descendant of the old dynasty of Paramars. He died in 1753 and was succeeded by his adopted son Krishnaji Rao who fought the disastrous battle of Panipat in 1761, and was followed in 1789 by his adopted son TukojiRao (II).
The fortunes of both the branches fell very low at this time owing to the depredations of the Pindaris, Sindhia and Holkar, Krishnaji Rao II, who succeeded Rukmangad Rao in 1860 by adoption was a bad administrator and plunged the State in debt, necessitating its being places under superintendence. He was succeeded by Tukoji Rao III who was adopted from another Branch of the family. He was educated at Daly College, Indore Mayo College, Ajmer. The ruler held the title of His Highness and Raja and received a salute of 15 guns.
Dewas is said to have played an important role in the war of independence of 1857 Thakur Dowlat Singh of Raghogarh (Dewas) faced the British with super courage. He was trapped, arrested and hanged in Guna Cantt. Both these States were merged in to Madhya Bharat in 1948.
The other important constituent of the district is Nemawar consisting of Kannod and Khategaon tahsils of the former Holkar State. In puranic literature Nemawar is spoken of as Nabhapur* and the hillock nearby now called “Gwal Tekri” is mentioned there in as Mani Gir. During Akbar’s time this tract was included under the name Nemawar Panch Mahal in sarkar Handia of the subah of Malwa and comprised the five paraganas of Nemawar, Satwas, Rajor, Kataphor and Harangaon, the first three being the headquarters of Mahals. This area passed over to the peshwas between 1740-45 divided between Scindhia and Holkar, the former acquiring Satwas and the latter Kataphor, Pindaris had also a hold on this territory near about 1806. In 1904 Harangaon was merged in to Nemawar and Satwas with Kataphor. In 1908 Nemawar was renamed Khategaon and Rajor named Kannod. Kataphor was then merged with Kannod and remained only the seat of Naib-Tahsildar. Sonkatch was a part of Ujjain District and Nimanpur belonged to Dhar State before their merger with the newly formed district after the formation of Madhya Bharat in 1948. The district was divided into five tahsils as and notified in the Madhya Bharat Gazette of the 5th February 1949. Dewas tahsil consisted of the home blocks of Dewas senior and Dewas Junior excluding Khankhera and Umsod villages of the former and villages Goyta, Tanda and Gujarbardia of the latter, with were joined with Shajapur tahsil. Sonkatch tahsil consisted of all the villages of the Sonkatch pargana excluding 200 villages included in Bagli Tahsil and 26 villages joined with Shajapur. Bagli tahsil was formed with the merger of 200 villages of Sonkatch pargana and two villages (Shivpur Mandia and Borkheda Purbya) of Dewas senior with the Nimanpur pargana of the erstwhile Dhar State. There was no change whatsoever in Kannod and Khategaon Tahsils of Nemawar district of former Holkar State.