Bijawar princely state was located in the Bundelkhand region which was a subdivision of the Central India Agency. It was founded by Bijai Singh, one of the Gond chiefs of Garha Mandla in the 17th century and subsequently conquered in the 18th century by Chhatarsal, the founder of Panna who was a Bundela Rajput.
On the partition of Chhatarsal’s territory among his sons, Bijawar fell to Jagat Rai as part of Jaipur State. In 1769 the state was given to Bir Singh Deo, an illegitimate son of Jagat Singh by his uncle Guman Singh, the then ruler of Ajaigarh. Bir Singh gradually extended his original holding by force of arms, but was killed fighting against Ali Bahadur and Himmat Bahadur in 1793. The latter restored the state to Kesri Singh, son of Bir Singh, granting him a sanad in 1802
On the accession of the British as a supreme power Raja Kesri Singh at once professed his allegiance. He was however at the time carrying a feud with the chiefs of Chhtarpur and Charkhari regarding the possession of certain territories. Hence his sanad was withheld until the dispute settled. He died in 1810 and the sanad was granted to his son Ratan Singh in 1811. Ratan Singh agreed to follow the usual deed of allegiance. He instituted a state coinage on his accession. Ratan Singh was succeeded by Lakshman Singh in 1833 and he ruled until 1847.