Boudh District,Odisha

Boudh District, also called Bauda District, is an administrative district of Odisha state in eastern India. The city of Boudh is the district headquarters. As of 2011 it is the second least populous district of Orissa (out of 30), after Debagarh.

History of Boudh District,Odisha

The early history of Boudh is still in obscurity. However, the discovery of remarkable Buddhist statues from Boudh led some scholars to believe that Boudh was an important Buddhist centre of Orissa. From the epigraphic records it is known that in the middle of the 8th century AD, Boudh region was under the occupation of the Bhanja rulers and was a part of Khinjali Mandala. The earliest known ruler of this Bhanja family was Nettabhanja who was ruling over the Dhenkanal region as independent ruler, but his successor migrated towards Boudh-Sonepur region and established Khinjali Mandala and ruled there as the feudatory of the Bhauma Karas of Tosali. The Sonepur Copper Plate of Satrubhanja Dev, son of Silabhanja mentions the name Khinjali Mandala for the first time and on this basis it is believed that Silabhanja Dev was the founder of Bhanja Kula of Khinjali Mandala. Their capital was Dhirtipura, which has been identified with Boudh town. Satrubhanja Dev – II, a ruler of this family was defeated and killed by the Somavansi ruler of South Kosala, Janmeyjaya – I. The Bhanja’s were driven out from the Boudh region which was renamed as Odra Desa. Yayati – I, the son and successor of Janmejaya – I established his capital in Odradesa at Yayatinagara, which has been identified with modern Jagati in Boudh District. The Somavansi then occupied and migrated towards Utkala leaving their original home land South-Kosala in charge of viceroys. In course of time Kosala was lost to them and was occupied by the Telugu-Chodas and the Kalachuris. The imperial Gangas of Kalinga, after their occupation of Utkala, entered into a protracted struggle with the Kalachuris for one hundred years for the occupation of Kosala region. It is evident from the Chatesvar Inscription ( 1220 AD) that the struggle finally ended in favour of the Gangas during the region of Anangabhima Deva – III and thereafter Boudh along with Sonepur came under the Ganga Rule and was administered by the Ganga Administrators. In course of time, the Ganga Administrators became semi-independent and ruled over this territory hereditarily. So far tradition goes, there emerged a Brahmin ruling family in Boudh . Gandhamardan Dev, the last Brahmin ruler of this family, being childless adopted one Ananga Bhanja of Keonjhar Bhanja royal family. He succeeded Gandharmardhan Dev and laid the foundation of the rule of the Bhanjas in Boudh in the first half of the 14th century AD. He changed his surname from Bhanja to Dev and was known as Ananga Dev. Since then, the new line of kings continued to rule over this region till the merger of Boudh State with the Orissa Province in 1948. Their kingdom comprised modern Athmallik, Boudh, and Sonepur regions with its capital headquarters at Swarnapura ( Sonepur). But later on due to the expansionist policy followed by the Chouhan rulers of Patna ( Patnagarh in Bolangir District ) they shifted their capital to Boudh.

In the first half of the 17th century AD, Boudh was a very powerful kingdom and Sonepur remained under its direct administration. During this period the Chouhan rulers of Sambalpur had already established their supremacy over almost entire Western Orissa. Balabhadradeva ( 1605-1630 AD), the Chouhan ruler of Sambalpur defeated Siddhabhanja Dev (Siddheswar Dev) of Boudh and forced him cede the Sonepur region which was made a separate state by the Chouhans in 1640 AD.

In the mean time Orissa was occupied by the Muslims and though nothing details is known about the relationship between the rulers of Boudh and the Muslim subedars in Cuttack yet it is believed that Boudh maintained a friendly relation with the Muslims and probably for this, Raja Pratap Dev of Boudh, had secured from him from the Muslim powers, the title “Swasti Sri Dhirlakhya Dhumbadhipati Jahrkhand Mandaleswar” which was used by the rulers of Boudh till the time of Raja Banamali Deb.

But the Maratha contact with the Boudh State was felt more during the Maratha rule in Orissa than under the Muslim rule. As the vital line of Communication between Nagpur and Cuttack, passes through the Boudh state, it drew special attention from the Maratha governors at Cuttack. The Raja of Boudh was paying tribute to the Maratha and maintained a cordial relation with them. But in 1800 AD this relationship became stained. The Maratha attacked Boudh and defeated Raja Biswambara Dev. However, he was allowed to rule as a feudatory Raja of Nagpur by Paying regular tribute.

During the early years of the reign of Raja Biswamabara Dev (1778–1817) the Panchara Pragana lying between Baghanadi and Meheruni jore was separated from the Boudh State. It is said that in 1780-81 the Raja of Boudh had obtained a loan from the Raja of Sonepur and for the liquidation of the debt he had ceded the above pragana to Sonepur. It is also said that the above said pragana was given to the Raja of Sonepur for rendering military help to Boudh in time of trouble and in lieu there of to enjoy revenue rights of the pragana. But when the Sonepur Raja occupied it permanently a dispute arose for the possession of this tract, which was settled by the Superintendent of Tributary Mahals in favour of Sonepur.

During the region of Sidhabhanja Dev ( Siddheswar Dev) Sonepur region was conquered from Boudh by the Chouhan ruler of Sambalpur. But the process of the vivisection of territories of the Boudh state had started earlier. In AD 1498-99, the then Raja of Boudh state had made a gift of Dasapalla territory extending from Kamaimuhan near Kantilo to Udandi muhan in the east to his younger brother Narayan Dev, who asserted his independence and made Dasapalla a separate state. Again the strip of territory lying between the Kharang river on the west of Boudh and Amaimuhan was given by Raja Madan Mohan Dev in 1599-1600 AD as dowry to his daughters who married in the Chouhan royal family of Patna State. However, Athmallik and Khondhmal remained as a part of Boudh state for sometime.

After the British conquest of Orissa in AD 1803, Raja Biswambar Dev of Boudh submitted to the British and entered in to a treaty agreement with the British East India Company on 3 March 1804.

After the Third Anglo Martha War, British Government permanently occupied Boudh from the Marathas and included this state in the South West Frontier Agency till 1837, when it was brought under the superintendent of Tributary Mahals, Cuttack.

In 1817 AD, Raja Biswambar Dev died and was succeeded by his Son Chandra Sekhar Dev. In 1821, he received a fresh “Sanand” from the British Government fixing the annual tribute of Boudh at Rs. 800/-. After his death his son Pitambara Dev ascended the throne in 1839 AD. During his reign, on 15 February 1855 AD, Khondmal was separated from the Boudh state and was annexed with the British territory. Raja Pitambar Dev remained loyal to the British Government and cooperated with the British Agency in suppressing human sacrifice and Khondh rebellion in Ghumsur and Khondhmal. Chakra Bisoi, who remained in Boudh State since 1855 and organized the Khondhas, was ultimately driven out of the state and peace and order was restored. The British Government recognized his title Raja, by a separate Sanand granted to him in 1875 AD.

The Athmallik state was a part of Boudh state and the chief of Boudh was the Raja of Boudh and Athmallik. The Chief of Athmallik was called a Zamidar and was addressed as a Samanta. In 1875, the Chief of Athmallik was officially recognized as a Raja and Athamallik became a separate state in 1894 AD.

Raja Pitambar Dev died in 1880 and was succeeded by his son Jogindra Dev. He was a benevolent and generous ruler and introduced English education for the first time in the state. At the time of his death in 1913, his eldest son Narayan Dev was a minor and hence the administration of the state was managed by the Court of Wards and the Dewan. His formal coronation took place on 31 March 1925. From his reign, the power and function of the ruler was reduced to a considerable extent and for all practical purposes, it appears that the state was under the grip of the political agent, Raja Narayan Dev successfully suppressed a political agitation organized in Boudh in 1930-31 and adopted stern measures against the Prajamandal Movement in 1945. He had also developed the Jagti village ( Yayatinagar, the Somavamsi Capital) and renamed it Narayan Nagar. He was the last ruler of the Boudh State and on 1 January 1948, the state merged with the Orissa province.

Since then Boudh was a sub-division of the newly created District of Boudh-Kondhamals. But it is raised to the status of a district headquarters of Orissa since 2 January 1994. The people of Boudh consider themselves as part of Kosal(West-Orissa)

Places of interest in Boudh District,Odisha
Padmatola Sanctuary & Satakosia Gorge
The district is rich in wild life resources. The Padmatola Sanctuary in the district can be approached from Charichhak,43 km. east on the Bhubaneswar –Balangir road and by a fair weather road from Daspalla. The distance of this place from Boudh town is 80 km.

To the end of this sanctuary the majestic Satakosia Gorge with its lush green forests and rich wild life is located. The crocodile sanctuary set up at Tikarapada, located on the left bank of the gorge is an added attraction of this place. The meandering Mahanadi, flowing amidst the hills forms here the mightiest gorge in India, measuring 22 km long. This is an ideal place for boating, angling and adventure. Goddess Binikeyee, the presiding deity of Satakosia gorge is enshrined at the entrance. She is seen in the form of a four armed Chamundi and is worshipped according to Tantric rites. A forest IB at Sitalapani which is near to this place provides excellent accommodation for those nature loving people who want to spend a day or two.


The Dambarugada mountain is 21 km from Boudh town toward Boudh–Balangir road. The name the place is Sangrampur. The river Mahanadi flows down the mountain which makes for a visually stunning sight. The mountain give a curve look from all of its side. The height of the mountain is 70 feet. On the top it a temple of Chiatanya deva.

Nayakpada Cave (Patali Shrikhetra)

The Nayakpada Cave is 12 km from Boudh town, on the Boudh-Bhubaneswar road. This cave was said to have been associated with mythology. Once upon a time this cave was asram of sadhus. The forest here is in rich of different types of flora and fauna. According to a narration in Madala Panji and some historical evidences, during the reign of Emperor Sovan Dev the Jabana king Rakta bahu had attacked Shrikhetra Puri. With an apprehension of damage to deity Sri Jagannath the powerful Bhanja ruler of Oddradesha (present boudh area) who believed in Vaishnavism and worshipped Lord Nilamadhaba at Gandharadi, took away the deities to Dhritipura under their domain. As they believed Sri Jagannath (Purushottam) as Parama Vishnu and undergrounded (Patali) the deities near Gopali village, twelve miles from their capital. The then Gopali village known as Gopalpur situated adjoining to south part of this Naikpada cave. Likewise the village Ratanpur, Baghapali Biribandh (present Birigadh) which are described in Madala Panji are situated near by this Naikpada cave Yajati Nagar the capital city of the Oddradesha ruled by Bhanja dyasty is identified with an area washed by river Mahanadi near modern village Jagati of Boudh District by historians Dr. Satya Narayan Rajguru and Dr. Nabin Kumar Sahu. Lord Nilamadhaba was being worshipped near village jagati since along and also going till today in a stone carved temple constructed during the 8th century A.D. now under the protection of Archaeological Survey of India (A.S.I.) Another important Nilamadhaba temple of Kantilo, in Nayagarh District was also constructed by the ex-ruler of Boudh State originally known as Oddradesha. According to the Madala Panji and facts at present one can say Lord Sri Jagannath had been buried 144 years inside this Naikpada cave.

Island (Boudh District,Odisha)

Marjakud is a wonderful island of Boudh. It is located on the opposite side of Boudh town in the river Mahandai. About three thousand people are living here. Maa Pitabali is the presiding deity of this place. It is an ideal place for picnic.

Apart from the above places there a number other places in Boudh for the tourist. Asurgada, Siva temple at Karadi, Sarsara and Bousuni, Jatasamadhi temple at Balasinga(temple of Mahima cult), Paljhar are the places of interest to name a few.