Until the 18th century, the state was known as Unchahara from the name of its original capital. The chiefs of Nagod were Parihar Rajputs. In the seventh century, Parihar Rajputs drove out the Gaharwar rulers from and established themselves in the country between Mahoba and Mau.
In 1478 Raja Bhoja obtained Unchahara, which he made the chief town, and which remained so until 1720, when the capital was moved to Nagod by Raja Chainsingh. Later on the Parihars lost their territories to the Baghels and Bundelas except the limited territory that they held before 1947.