Wednesday, February 20, 2008


3.15 crores (as per 1991census)
3.67 crores [as per 2001 census]

48.6% [as per 1991 census]
64.0% [as per 2001 census]
1,55,707 sq. Kms.

4.7% of India's landmass

Density of Populaton
203 per[1991 census]
236 per[2001 census]


81029’ E to 870 29’ E170 49’N to 220 34’ N

Bhubaneswar [population 6.57 lakh as per 2001 census]

Per Capita Income(Rs)
1980-81 1990-91 2000-01 1352 3166 8547
Rank in India in Human Development Index
1981 1991 2001 11 12 11

In 1997-98, major cereal crops cultivated as % of total gross cropped area under principal crops
Paddy - 74.7% Pulses - 12.2% Oil seeds - 7.0% Fiber Crops - 1.2% Cash Crops - 1.6% Other Crops - 3.3%

Other Interesting Facts

*Only 0.12 own internet connections per thousand of people.
*9 per thousand population own a telephone connection in the state.
*18.8 percent of households in Orissa have access to electricity.
*72 percent of children under age 3 are anaemic as against national average
of 54 per cent.

* 16 out of the 30 districts have female literacy rates lower than the nationalaverage.


Bay of Bengal



Andhra Pradesh

North East
West Bengal

Administrative Divisions

Districts - 30 Sub Divisions- 58 Tehsils - 171 Development Blocks - 314

Political Representation

Number of seats in Lok Sabha- 21

Number of seats in Rajya Sabha- 10

District with Largest no. of Sub-Divisions - Angul & Mayurbhanj

District with Largest no. of Tehsils - Ganjam

District with Largest no. of Blocks - Mayurbhanj

District with Largest Population - Ganjam
District with Highest density of Population - Khurda
District with Highest urban population - Khurda [8.05lakh,2001census]
District with Highest density of urban population - Kendrapada
District with Highest percentage of urban population - Khurda
District with Highest rural population - Ganjam [25.99lakh,2001census]
District with Highest density of rural population - Jagatsinghpur
District with 2nd Highest density of Population - Jagatsinghpur
District with Lowest Population - Debagarh
District with Lowest density of Population - Phulbani
District with Lowest urban Population - Boudh[0.18 lakh,2001census]
District with Lowest density of urban Population - Sonepur
District with Lowest percentage of urban Population - Nayagarh
District with Lowest rural Population - Debagarh[2.54lakh,2001census]
District with Lowest density of rural Population - Khandhamal
District with 2nd Lowest density of Population - Malkangiri

Largest District in terms of Area - Mayurbhanj
2nd Largest District in terms of Area - Sundergarh
Smallest district in terms of Area - Jagatsinghpur
2nd Smallest district in terms of Area - Sonepur

District having Largest no. of MLAS - Ganjam - 12
District having 2nd Largest no. of MLAS - Mayurbhanj
District having Lowest no. of MLAS - Boudh & Deogarh-(1 MLA each)
District having 2nd Lowest no of MLAS - Malkangiri & Nuapara -( 2 MLAS each)

District with Highest % of Forest area Of the Total Forests in the State- Kandhamaal
District with 2nd Highest % of Forest area Of the Total Forests in the State- Sundargarh
District with Lowest % of Forest area Of the Total Forests in the State - Bhadrak
District with 2nd Lowest % of Forest area Of the Total Forests in the State - Jharsuguda

District having Highest Production of Rice - Bargarh
District having 2nd Highest Production of Rice - Ganjam
District having Lowest Production of Rice - Boudh
District having 2nd Lowest Production of Rice - Jharsuguda

District having Highest Production of Potato - Cuttack
District having 2nd Highest Production of Potato - Kendrapara
District having Lowest Production of Potato - Malkangiri
District having 2nd Lowest Production of Potato - Gajapati

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Nabarangpur District

District Profile

Population: 10,25,766
Area: 5291 Sq. Kms.
Urban Areas: 2(1M + 1NAC)
GPs: 169
Villages: 901


Nabarangpur District, also known as Nabarangapur District and Nawarangpur District, is a district of Orissa, India. The city of Nabarangpur is the district headquarters. Most of its population is tribal, and most of the land is forested. Situated in the southwest corner of Orissa, it borders Koraput District. Nabarangpur district is situated at 19.14’ latitude and 82.32’ longitude at an average elevation of 1,876 feet.

The area of the district is 5294.5 km². Its boundary stretches in the north to Kalahandi District, west to Jagdalpur District in Chhatisgarh, east to Kalahandi and Rayagada District and south to Koraput District. The river Indravati forms the border between Nabarangpur and Koraput districts. The district capital Nabarangpur is located on the plateau about 2000 ft above sea level. In the north, the Panabeda area, recently renamed as Chandahandi is only 500 ft above sea level and experiences similar climate and social life to that of the adjacent Kalahandi District. The rest of Nabarangpur district is mainly flat with a few pockets of low hills. The highest peak Podagarh, which has historical significance, reaches 3050 ft. There are patches of thick forest mostly containing sal seeds and those provide sustenance to dependent villages.

Nabarangpur district was created on 2 October 1992 out of a previous subdivision of Koraput District. Until then Koraput District had been the second largest district in India.

The history of Nabarangpur is inextricably interlinked with that of Koraput District, with which it shares its language, lifestyle, heritage, flora and fauna and climate.

Koraput belonged to the Atavika people who valiantly fought the Kalinga War in the 3rd century BCE. They remained independent and dreaded. Kalinga regained its former glory during the Mahamegha Bahan dynasty in the first century BCE. The third king of this dynasty Kharabela made the Kalinga empire and the Atavika land very strong. The successive dynasties – the Satavahans (2nd century CE) two Ikshvakus (3rd century CE) had headquarters at Pushkari, near the modern town of Umerkote. The Kesaribeda excavations bear testimony to the rule of King Bhabadatta Verman and King Arathapati. The inscriptions of Podagarh refer to King Skanda Verman. The overlord Nala kings are traced to the kings who ruled from Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh. Their rapid growth landed them in the regions of Bastar and Koraput. Around the 10th century CE a Nala king Bhimesen was ruling over a region now located in Koraput and Ganjam District.

The Koraput area including present-day Narabangpur District was a small principality of Tri Kalinga under the Ganga era of the 5th century CE. The patches of Odra, Kalinga and Kosala were brought under the control of the Ganga kings. This dynasty became prominent during the 11th century CE with the rise of Somanakshi. Their suzerainty extended from the modern Sambalpur, Sonepur to the Bastar and Koraput regions and they enjoyed control until the beginning of the 14th century CE.

The Matsya family ruling over the Vaddadi region of modern Jeypore dominated the next generation. The best known kings included Bhanudeva and Narasingha Dev, as is known from the inscription of Simhachalam in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh.

The next dynasty belonged to the Sailavansis, who ruled over Vindhya during the 14th century CE. The earliest king Ganga Raju was ruling over Nandapur, a former capital of the Maharaja of Jeypore. Nandapur is famous for the throne of 32 steps erected in the line of king Vikramaditya of Ujjain. Jainism and Shaktism grew side by side in the kingdom of Nandapur.

The last king of Sailavansa, Pratap Ganga Raju] was succeeded by Vinayak Dev of Surya Vansa which lasted until the time of the British Empire. Vinayak Dev was said to be married to the daughter of the last ruler of Silavansi Paratap Ganga Raju. He and his six succeeding generation of kings had only one son each and on advice from astrologers the headquarters of the kingdom was switched from Nandapur to Jeypore.

During the Anglo-French conflict, Vikram Dev I (1758–1781 CE) was successful in driving out the French from Malkangiri area and the Marathas from the Umerkote belt. Hwas succeeded by Ramachandra Dev II (1781–1825) while his other two sons Jagannath and Narasingh Dev were placed in charge of Nabarangpur and Gudari regions. Jagannath Dev’s son Arjun Dev and Narasingha Dev’s son Chaitanya Dev were issueless. Hence, Nabarangpur and Gudari were remerged to Jeypore kingdom.

During the 20th century Ramachandra Dev IV (1920-31) was an honourable lieutenant in World War I.He was issueless and was succeeded by a benevolent, aged, scholar king Vikram Dev IV, the son of Krishna Chandra Dev. During this period the Boundary Commission headed by Sir O’Donnel was entrusted with the task of writing the different Oriya speaking tracts. The Commission went round Jeypore, Paralakhumendi, Ganjam, and Visakhapatnam before finalizing its decision. The state of Orissa was formed on 1st April 1936 with Koraput as one of the six districts. In 1951 Vikram Dev IV died at 82 and the Estate Abolition Act was passed the next year. The Estate of Jeypore was taken over by the Government of Orissa.

National Movement
In the 1940s opposition to colonial rule gained momentum. Under the direction of local Indian National Congress leaders, the adivasis of what was then the undivided Koraput district rallied to the movement and suffered imprisonment. Mahatma Gandhi called the Quit India Movement in August, 1942 which found its echo in Nabarangpur, Koraput and Malkangiri. Tribal-dominated Nabarangpur District played an important role in this nation-wide movement. A tribal leader of Tentuligumma in Malkangiri subdivision was falsely implicated in a murder case when he was leading a non-violent procession. He was Laxman Nayak, a feared revolutionary of the time. Without a fair trial, he was hanged in Berhampur central jail on 29 August, 1943.

On August 24. 1942, a gathering of about 6,000 people mostly adivasis under the leadership of Madhav Pradhani, of village Gummaguda, were proceeding to Dabugam to decide their future course of action following the arrest of the leaders of the district. The crowd was intercepted at a river bridge near Papadahandi. Unable to escape the unprovoked lathi charge and firing by the police, many jumped into the flooded river. Nineteen people were killed and many arrested. The Koraput jail was occupied at three to four times its capacity. The unhygienic condition of the jail and other harassment by officials took a toll of many activists. During the Quit India Movement many woman freedom fighters were raped by the police and forest personnel in the district. Some of them were murdered by the police, while others committed suicide.

The days of the independence struggle saw the new emergence of leaders: R.K. Biswasray, R.K. Sahu and Sadasiv Tripathy. Tripathy, from Nabarangpur town, went on to become the Chief Minister of Orissa.

The people
The inhabitants are mostly tribals. Rural people are now exposed to education and modern amenities. Encounter with the settled and urban population has changed their lifestyle to some extent but a few peoples including the Paraja, Kondhas and Gadava still live the indigenous lifestyle, relying on cultivation and forest products. Some speak dialects of Oriya that are hard for other Oriya-speaking people to understand and contain many borrowed words and phrases. Border areas have a heavy dose of Chhattisgarhi language in the west and of Kalahandi dialect in the north.

The religion of the district is composite. There are Hindus, Christians and Muslims. The tribals worship the Hindu gods. The Muslims, a small proportion of the population, are believed to be the descendants of soldiers from Golkonda who settled in the area and married Paraja women. The Christians are the outcome of missionary activity. During the British Raj, British and American missionaries established boarding schools, dispensaries and churches. Adherents of various Protestant denominations and Catholics live in the area. The Christian hospital of Nabarangpur town has been an attraction for patients from far-flung areas.

The other tribals living here are Bhumias and Dombs. The Dombs are widespread through the district and enjoy status next to Kondhas. They are weavers and drummers by profession and enjoy great influence over others. They are also engaged in cattle trade. The Mirganis appear to be a subcaste of the Dombs. They differ from the Oriya Dombs by not killing cattle for food but they partake of the beef of animals that die naturally. They claim to be superior to Oriya Dombs. They earn their livelihood by cultivation and weaving. In the upper rank of the social scale the Sankharies who work with lac, making baskets, chains and dolls from it. Malis originally grew and collected flowers for temple worship but have switched over to the cultivation of sugarcane, tobacco etc. on the banks of the Indravati River. Sundhis are known for the distillation and selling of liquor. Tradition holds that they are the descendants of a Brahmin father and royal mother. They are usually rich and wealthy in status.

Chief among the Hindu festivals are Rath Jatra, Dassera (Dasahara) Holi and Mahasivaratri, which bring together town dwellers and hill tribes in celebration. Holi, the riotous festival of spring is celebrated over three days. While the first two days are spent on ceremonies, the third is mostly for young people that rejoice in sprinkling coloured liquid or smearing coloured power on one another. All differences of birth, caste, sex or even religious community melt away.

Rath Jatra is still a bigger festival though confined to a few townships or bigger panchayats. Effigies of the presiding deity Jagannath along with His elder brother and younger sister are moved away from the temple on a nine-day resort. Devotees drag them along a main route on a wooden chariot (or sometimes three chariots). The Bahuda Jatra or the return car festival marks the end of the annual carnival.

The temples of Jagannath are scattered throughout the district, the oldest being in Nabarangpur town. The temple has no outward trappings and looks like an old private quarter except for the Garuda stambha (pillar) on the front gate. Until the late 1980s only the single deity Jagannath was installed in the sanctuary. According to a legend, two other wooden idols of Balabhadra and the goddess Subhadra were seized by one ruler of Bastar region and installed at a temple in Jagadalpur while the idol of Jagannath miraculously slipped from the elephant's back along the way and was retrieved the next day. Now all three deities are worshipped from a huge pedestal. Fine wooden carvings cover every inch of the temple roof, depicting humans, animals, birds and flowers. Even a casual glimpse of erotica is considered to add awe to the spectable. What would elsewhere in the state be carved in stone is figured on a wooden surface in this remote region and well preserved with a coat of shining black paint.

Dussera (Dasahara) is a ten-day Hindu festival, in which the goddess Durga, epitome of power and energy, motherhood of the whole universe, is worshipped. The Maharaja of Jeypore used this occasion for the concourse of his subjects. Deities from various areas, towns and villages, are symbolically brought through decorated large bamboo poles to the accompaniment of beating drums and sounds of other musical instruments. The cultivators, for whom the harvest time is still a month or so away, are all in jubilant mood. On the day of Vijaya Dasami, special elaborate offerings are made to the Deity which includes the age-old practice of animal sacrifice of appeasing the Goddess, the destroyer of demonical forces. People are always in their colorful best costume and rejoice in the grand occasion.

Maa Bhandargharani of Nabarangpur is the presiding deity of the locality. The name signifies the preserver of wealth and protector of lives. She is also worshipped in nearby villages. Tuesday and Saturday are marked for special worship. Devotees throng the temple precincts on every conceivable occasion to seek blessings.

Maa Pendrani of Umerkote is born out of a legend. A small village Pendra(Pendrahandi) near Umerkote worshipped a pure soul Pendrani, a young married woman who was a victim of the secret jealousy of her own brothers. As the story goes, her husband was overtly pampered by her parents who made him stay in their household with no work to bother about. The four brothers out of sheer jealousy conspired and succeeded in killing her innocent husband (Pendara) and buried him in their field. When Pendrani became aware of what had happened she jumped into her husband’s funeral pyre and died in its flames. Days later her spirit was believed to roam about the villages helping those who trusted her supernatural transformation. The local college is named after her.

Mahasivaratri attracts devotees of all social classes. Mahadev, the God of gods, is the central figure of worship. It is believed that he saved the whole of creation by drinking the deadly venom spat out by the legendary serpent Vasuki. The legendary serpent was used by gods on one side and demons on the other for churning out the ocean to obtain the elixir of immortality. The nectar was brought from the depth of the ocean, but along with it came the poison, vomited by an exhausted Vasuki. Only the God of gods had the power to contain it from spreading and causing universal death. The lord was propitiated to devour it on the day, famed later as Sivaratri, and the entire world was saved. Papadahandi temple is a pilgrim centre to celebrate such occasion.

Festivals of other communities are also celebrated. The Moharram of the Muslims is a day of prayer and remembrance. Huge processions are taken round the township and mass prayers are held at mosques. Intercommunity greetings are exchanged. Christmas Day marks the beginning of a long festival running up to New Years Day. Christians of all hues celebrate the day at home, churches and outdoors. Members of other communities also join in to mark communal concord.

Nabarangpur District (like neighbouring Koraput) experiences the first arrival of monsoon about ten days before the rest of Orissa. Unlike the rest of the state, where the monsoon arrives from the Bay of Bengal, Nabarangpur district receives the monsoon from the southwest, off the Arabian Sea. Nabarangpur District enjoys generous rainfall and droughts are extremely rare. The plateaus in particular remain cool throughout the year.

The River Tel which rises in the north of Nabarangpur District forms its geographical boundary with Kalahandi District and finally unites with a bigger Mahanadi River in Sonepur town. It is not perennial and dries up during the summer. The important river Indravati flows through Nabarangpur District and beyond till it mergers with the mighty Godavari in Andhra Pradesh. It runs through a total distance of about 530 km of which the Nabarangpur and Koraput district sections make up about 130 km. At Nabarangpur town the old girder bridge has been replaced by a new span. Before reaching Jagadalpur town in Chhatisgarh state, it is joined by another river Bhaskal that drains the north of Nabarangpur. During its flood the Indravati swells up to 450 ft wide and 24 ft deep. However, a dam built for hydroelectric power has considerably reduced its flow.

Nabarangpur District contains many ores including iron, chlorite, mica, quartz and so on. The Heeraput village near Umerkote contains a fair deposit of haematite and limonite, each of which is composed of about 60% iron. Similarly the Tentulikhunti area has a fairly large deposit of granites. The north of the district up to the border with Kalahandi District has rock beds covering layers of coarse white quartz.

Flora and fauna
The flora of Nabarangpur District is northern in character but has some affinity with southern India. Sal and bamboo are the two species commonly seen in the whole region. Paddy cultivation has systematically depleted the green patches and upset the scenic beauty of the district. Still the reserved forests and the protected hills, afford some pleasure of living close to nature.

Among the wild animals there were the panther, leopard, tiger, hyena, jackal and wild dogs. Even the latter are now scarce due to human intrusion into their habitat. Buffalo, black bear, even bison were found in the Umerkote region. The black bucks which were common in the Chandahandi area are nowhere seen now. Spotted deer, sambar and barking deer were a common sight in the district before Independence. Common crocodile are occasionally spotted in the Indravati River. Peafowl, red junglefowl and grey junglefowl are fairly often found, as are also the green pigeon and duck. However, there has been much extinction in recent years.


Maa Bhandaragharani of Nabarangpur is the presiding deity of the locality. The name signifies the preserver of wealth and protector of lives. She is also worshipped in nearby Villages. Tuesday and Saturday are marked for special worship.


Earthquake: The district falls under the very low damage risk zone.
Flood: The district comes under the no flood zone.

Cyclone: The district falls under the wind & cyclone moderate damage risk zone – B.

Other: The district has recently been witnessing climatic shift. It has been experiencing extreme climates. Drought recur every year.

* Inputs from Wikipedia, Seeds India,

Land of the Sun: Koraput

Life in its utter simplicity; life in complete rustic charm; life in the lap of nature. That's the life of the tribals of Orissa. The State has at least 62 different tribal groups living on the hills and forests, oblivious of the march of civilization that has overtaken their brethren in the plains. Koraput was the largest district but today has been divided into four-Raygada, Koraput, Malkangiri and Nowrangpur.

The Bondas, Gadabas, Parajas, Kondhas and Koyas inhabit the forested hills of Koraput. Their dwellings are isolated and far from the influence of modern civilisation. It is, therefore, interesting to find them living as nature's children, scantily clothed with the bark of trees, but embellished with lots of ethnic ornaments. They have a rich tradition of dance and music.

Koraput lies at a distance of 500 km from Bhubaneswar, the State capital. In Saura language, Koraput means 'land (puta) of the Sun (kora)' and they believe this is the birth place of the deity. Miles of mountain tracts, lush green paddy fields, vast stretches of dense sal trees and mixed forests ensure a fascinating trip for the nature lover. It takes about 12 hours to reach Koraput by road. Most of the journey is through winding ghat roads or valleys. In the monsoon, the hills and valleys are enchanting, draped with a tapestry of blue and green, with clouds hanging from cliffs of tall hills adding to the allure. The mountains, a part of the Eastern Ghats, rise to between 3,000 sq. ft. and 5,000 sq. ft. above sea level.

The 132 km-line road runs through the districts of Ganjam and Gajapati. It is a land of greenery and remains a landscape of natural beauty.

Chatikona has a small railway station and is the commercial centre of Bissam Katak, the gram panchayat here. From Chatikona, Niyamgiri is 10 kilometres away through valleys and hills. As we neared the land of the Dongoria Kondhas the ghat road became more scenic with dense forests of sal, bamboo, mahua, mango, jackfruit and kendu. The creepers and bushes made the forests flanking the road even thicker. Hill streams flowed all along the road on pebbled surfaces making soft gurgling noises.

They are skilled horticulturists and raise crops like pineapple, turmeric, wild banana and castor along with rice, maize, ragi, and guava. Salapa is their favourite tree, as they love the beverage prepared out of salapa and pineapples. They are also hunters by nature. At the end of the day they revel in song and dance. They are very proud and rarely intermingle with other tribes

or come down to the plains.

From Bissam Katak, we headed for Sunabeda in Koraput district along the ghat road via Rayagada. This part of the journey too was through dense forests and ghat roads with trickling streams all along. Sunabeda is a modern township today because of NALCO and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited factory. It is situated on a vast elevated plateau above 3,000 sq. ft. and is surrounded with tall green mountains adding to its scenic splendour.

From Sunabeda, Jeypur is about 60 kilometres downhill. One has to pass through Koraput, the district H.Q. It takes about an hour and a half. Jeypur is a bustling trading centre and also rich with the bounties of nature. Jeypur was the headquarters of the erstwhile Maharaja before independence It is here that most of the hotels are located. There is a lovely reservoir on Kolab River nearby where the Bagra waterfall has been submerged. It remains a popular picnic resort for the locals.

Ramgiri hills overlook the district of Malkangiri where the Bondas live. The Bondas are fierce by nature. The women shave their heads and wear beads as dresses, as they are supposed to wear only a thin strip of lower cloth made from the fibres of 'keranga' bark. It is their heavy jewellery that makes them outstanding. They wear broad bangles on their wrists. The ones they wear around their necks are called 'khagalas'.

The carefree life of the tribals, their dependence on Mother Nature for their livelihood and existence and their cultural traditions and practices that prevent the scourges of modern-day life like pollution and global warming was an eye-opener. If one wants to know and learn how to live with nature and not kill it, it is the tribes of Orissa who can be the best teachers

There is a lot that could be added to this one. The scenic beauty of the ghats when you descend from Koraput to Jeypore just mesmerizes you. Its absolutely breath taking. One has to travel through that road to experience it.

The ever mysterious Gupteshwar caves, the stunning water falls at Duduma, the project at Balimela are just few to mention about Koraput.