Rayagada district General information

Rayagada is a mineral-rich district in the southern part of the state of Orissa, in India. The population of this district consists mainly of tribals.

History

The district of Rayagada is known as the most famous region of the state because of its longest human history. Although the district came into existence on the 2nd October in the year 1992, it has long and glorious historical records evident by copper plates, rock inscriptions as well as different coins, which clearly indicate that the region was the centre of attraction in all ages. In the third century B.C, during the reign of Ashoka the Great, it was covered under Kalinga empire. The hilly track between river Languli and Prachi language as Bansadhara and Nagabali, as evident by Andhra Historical Journal XXVII edition at page 46, was famous for spices. Another Bhojpur Rock inscription in Brahmi of Rastrik King Mandhata adds some facts about this region. Later, Rastriks were defeated by Kharvela, the only Aryan Emperor of Orissa, at the time of Samudra Gupta himself during the Chawpagada battle. The rock inscription of Allahbad inscribed by Mahamantri Harisena provides evidence to this effect. Later, the ruins of mud fort and historical idol of Mahakal Bhairab found at Champikota very near to Rayagada makes it clear that this is the ancient Champagada Fort. During Ganga Vansi and Surya Vansi Kings, it was under Dadarnab Dev of Gudari Kataka. A rock inscription found at Pataleswar temple in Brahmi script provides an evidence to this effect. A subsequent literature found at Pataleswar temple speaks about the River Langully, giving a supporting evidence to the various facts. This region went to Bahamanis when Mukund Dev was defeated at Gohera Tikiri in 1519. Then, it was under Nandapur Kingdom for brief period of 47 years. Biswambar Dev who was defeated and killed by Hasin Khan was perhaps the third king installed at Rayagada. Still, the Sati Kunda Goddess Majhi Ghairani and the mudfort around it speaks much about its evidence. In subsequent years it was under Bobilli, a Tahasil of Vijayanagaram. Later, during the English regime, Rayagada was covered under the Jeypore Zamindari, which continued till Independence.

Overview

The district Rayagada was carved out of the erstwhile Koraput district on 02.10.1992, as part of the extension plan of districts in the state.  The district has a population of 832019, out of which 473379 are tribals.  In other words, the district is predominantly a tribal populated district with 57.52 % of tribal population.  Keeping this in view, all the 11 blocks of the district have been covered under tribal sub-plan with 3 micro projects in operation for the pre-literate indigenous tribal communities.

Physiography

            The physiography of Rayagada gives a prefect platform for the tribals in sustaining their ethno-cultural identity in the district. Forest area covers an extent of 4785.36 Sq.K.M. out of which 777.27 Sq.K.M. is Reserved forest. The district has been the homeland of various tribal communities with their sub-tribes, who are found in different level of development depending upon their assimilation with the so-called mainstream or modern communities.  The kondhas and its subsection constitute the major percentage of tribal population in the district and the Souras stand second. There are also many other tribal communities who are, however, negligible in number but definitely contribute to the exotic intermingling culture of the district.

Tourist Place

Maa Majhighariani

Maa Majhighariani is famous in Southern Division of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. Most of the devotees are coming from Madhyapradesh Chatishgarh, Andhra pradesh including undivided Koraput District. Only the face of the Maa MajhiGhariani is worshiped. During Sunday, Wednesday and Friday a large number of Devotees are coming to this place for worshiping the Goddess. The temple is famous for Chaitra-Parba i.e. March-April of every year.

Hatipathar

Only 3 Kms from the district headquarter. It is a place of great scenic beauty with two water falls on the course of river Nagavali. The scenic beauty is impressive and the boulders here appear like huge elephants. It is 133Kms from Koraput.

Laxminarayan Temple

Famous Laxminarayan Temple situated at IMFA Factory, Therubali. The deities Laxminarayan, Hanuman, Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra and Lord Siva also worshiped by thousands devotees.

Paikapada

The place Paikapada is famous for so many Siva Lingams. The deities like Lord Jagannath, Maa Dhakineswar Kalika, Samudra etc. are worshiped here. The car festival of Lord Jagannath is also celebrated and during Sivaratri a large number of pilgrims come to observe the function. The Place is situated near Theruballi. It is believed that there are 99,99,999 shivlingams (only one less to 1 crore) in & around Paikapada shrine.

Chatikona

It is located about 48 Kms from Rayagada surrounded by a series of valleys and wooden hills of varying colours and the place is a center of pilgrimage for the temple of Mahadev. It offers picnickers gorgeous view of the waterfall. The Siva temple is the focus of hectic activities on Siva Ratri. The Dongaria Kondha of Chatikona represent the primitive section of the tribe.

Minajhola

It is only 134 Kms from Rayagada. It is a beauty spot of nature, has a siva temple at the confluence of three rivers. It is situated in the heart of dense forest, rich in wild life. Sivaratri is a popular festival of this place. Though there is no good all weather road yet the place is worth visiting. Regular bus service is available from Rayagada and Gunupur upto Gudari.The rest 25 Kms. Road is Jeepable.

Devagiri hill

The Devagiri hill rises to a height of 120.2 meters. Unlike other hills it is not narrower upwards. The top of the hill is a flat platform of rectangular plain, which can be approached only from the northern side. There are 476 steps which are the unique feature of the Devagiri. At the top of the hill, there are perennial poles of water called Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Bhargavi and Indradyumna.

There is a cave looking like two Jaws, The Siva Lingam is enshrined at the meeting point of the Jaws. Sivaratri is its biggest festival, which draws a large crowd every year. It is 50 KMs from Rayagada. Regular bus services are available from Rayagada to Kalyansingpur and the sacred hill is close to Kalyansingpur.

Padmapur

Housing the shrine of Manikeswari Siva. It is identified to be the seat of Dharmakirti, the Budhist-Logician-philosopher. It is 90Kms from Rayagada.

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