Bargarh District,Odisha

Bargarh District is an administrative district of Odisha state in eastern India. The city of Bargarh is its district headquarters. The district was carved out of the erstwhile district of Sambalpur in 1993.

History of Bargarh District,Odisha

Bargarh is one of the many forts built by the Chouhan dynasty.[citation needed] Although no clear data is available about the settlement, the old fort walls can be traced near the ‘Jeera’ river towards the plains of Ambapali. From an inscription of the 11th century AD it is believed that the original name of the place was “Bahgar Kota”. Balaram Dev, the Chauhan King of Sambalpur ruled this province when it acquires the name “Bargarh”. He made it his headquarters for some time while the fort near the Jeera River said to be build. Narayan Singh, the last Chauhan King of sambalpur gave the whole land of Bargarh to two Bramhin brothers Krushna Dash and Narayan Dash, son of Baluki Dash who was killed in action by the Gond Rebel led by Baldia Ray and Mahapatra Ray.The Padampur sub-division of bargarh, popularly known as the “Borasambhar Region” was the headquarters of the Zamindari extended over 2178 km2. This is the biggest sub-division of Bargarh District which has also a feudal history with a tribal leader.

Buddhism played a significant role in defining the lifestyle of the people for a short period of time. Some ancient Buddhist monasteries and sculptures can be seen along a belt starting from Bijepur block (Ganiapali) to the Paikamal block (Nrusinghanath), which has a clear mention in Huen-Tsang’s literature as Po-Li-Mo-Lo-Ki-Li (Parimalagiri) (Pasayat,2007, 2008).

The legendary hero Veer Surendra Sai led his war against the British from Debrigarh, which is a peak on the Barapahad Range. His fight against the British Raj particularly after the First War of Independence in 1857 was remarkable in the history of freedom struggle in India (Pasayat and Singh, 2009; Panda and Pasayat, 2009). Debrigarh today is a tiger sanctuary. Barabakhra (12 caves) used to be a secret meeting place during this period.

Bargarh was a subdivision of old Sambalpur district until April 1992, when the then chief minister Mr. Biju Patnaik declared it as the headquarters of the newly formed district by the same name.

Culture of Bargarh District,Odisha
Dhanu Yatra (Bargarh District,Odisha)

Bargarh is known for the annual festival, Dhanu Jatra which attracts lot of tourists. Dhanu Jatra, celebrated every winter, is an open stage dramatization of Krishna Leela with virtually the whole town as a stage. Spanning over a period of 10 days and a radius of 5 km, with the universal theme of ‘triumph of good over evil’, it depicts the mythological story of Krishna starting from marriage of his parents till the death of Kansa, the evil king. For this whole period, the town turns into the mythological city of Mathura with Kansa (played by a theater artist) ‘ruling’ over it. The natives of the town claim this festival to be the world largest open stage play.Now dhanuyatra had been declared as national festival.

The Nuakhai or The Nabarnna

The “Nuakhai” is a social festival of unity. This festival is observed among kith and kins during the month of Bhadraba. The appropriate date of the Nuakhai is just the day after the Ganesh Puja. It is also regarded as the New Year of the Sambalpuri people. It is a festival of harvest of crops. On this occasion the new grain after harvesting is first offered to the local deity and during this festival the people get themselves lost in merrymakings. Wearing new clothes, preparing delicious foods the people of this area celebrate this festival with enthusiasms. It is mostly an agricultural festival of Western Odisha.

Maa Shyama Kali Puja ( Bargarh District,Odisha )

Kali-puja is one of the big festivals at kali mandir road, Bargah when Goddess Maa Shyama Kali is worshiped on the occasion of dipawali and yagyans are organized. The big beautiful statue of Goddess Shyama kali is made up of alloy including 8 kind of metals. A new temple for the Goddess built recently is really an attraction point for the pilgrims. Beside the kali temple, there are Sri Syameshwar Mahadev temple and Hanuman temple.

Baisakh Mela of Nrusinghnath

Nrusinghanath Jatra is another major festival of the district, celebrated in the religious site of Nrusinghanath where Lord Vishnu is worhipped in the form of Marjarakesari. Nrusinghanath is also a historical site which attests the religious synthesis of tribal people and non-tribal people; and among Saivism, Vaishnavism, Tantrism and Buddhism(Pasayat,2005:12-25).This mela is celebrated from Triyodasi to Purnima in the month of Baisakh at Nrusighanath Temple. It is celebrated on the occasion of Nrusingha Janma (Birth) and also known as Narsingh Chaturdashi Mela. There becomes a huge gathering of devotees on this occasion.

Cart Festival of Bhatli

The Cart Festival of Bhatli celebrated at Dadhibaman Temple of Bhatli on the Dwitiya Tithi of Asadha. On this day Lord Dadhibaman rides on the chariot and sets out on a journey to Mausima Mandir. The Lord stays in Mausima Mandir for 9 days and again on the Dasami of Asadha the return Cart Festival is celebrated. On this day the Lord returns to his temple. There becomes a huge gathering of devotees at Bhatli. This cart festival is said to have affinity with that of Puri. So it is famous in Western Orissa.

Maha Shiva Ratri of Kedarnath

The Maha Shivaratri at Kedarnath Temple celebrated on the Chaturdasi in the month of Falguna. The temple is located on the foot hills of Bara Pahar, nearly 35 km from Bargarh town. Lord Shiva is worshipped on this occasion. On this day the devotees observe fasting and remain awakened at night. Many cultural programmes are organized which the people enjoy. The day observed in each and every Shiva Temple in Bargarh.

Sital Sasthi of Barpali

The Sital Sasthi Yatra celebrated in Barpali on the day of Sasthi in the month of Jestha every year on the occasion of the marriage ceremony of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parbati. There is a huge gathering of devotees at Barpali. It is a mobile yatra. Many folk dances, cultural programmes are organized which the people enjoy it at night. For the last few years it has also been celebrated in proper Bargarh town. It is the second biggest as per devotees after the Sambalpur Sital Sasthi Yatra.

Vasant Utsav of Beherapali

The Vasant Panchami is celebrated in Beherapali, a village near Sohela every year. The major attraction along with the worship of Saraswati Devi is the 3 days long open air drama performed by artists. Based on the historical story line of Gupta dynasty, the actors enact the King Vikramaditya,Kalidas and attacker Paschim Satrap and the villagers play the role of resident of Ujjain. Artists from different part of the state come to showcase their skill in the courtyard of King Vikramaditya. After the defeat and killing Paschim Satrap, the Vasant Utsav is celebrated with happiness. Many people come to witness the festival along with marvelous acting.

Bali Yatra of Khuntpali

The Bali (Sand) Yatra is celebrated on the sand-bed of river Zeera at Khuntpali on the day of Kartika Purnima. On this occasion Lord Shiva is worshipped with all serenity on the sand-bed. During this many trade fares are held on the sand-bed at Khuntpali.

Niranjanananda Yoga Sansthan, a yoga ashram associated with the yoga teaching institution Bihar School of Yoga, Munger, was established in the town in 2010. It conducts daily yoga sessions in mornings along with evening programs of chanting and meditation.

Tourism in Bargarh District,Odisha

There exists a 13th-century temple at Nrusinghanath on the foot hills of Gandhamardan. Lord Vishnu is worshiped here in a feline form, which is the only instance of its kind in the world.