Kendujhar District, also known as Keonjhar District is an administrative district of Orissa state in eastern India. The town of Kendujhar or Kendujhargarh is the district headquarters.
The district has an area of 8240 km², and lies between 21°1′ N and 22°10′ N latitude and 85°11′ E to 86°22′ E longitude. It is bounded by Mayurbhanj District, Balasore District and Bhadrak District to the east, Jajpur District to the south, Dhenkanal District, Anugul District and Sundargarh District to the west, and West Singhbhum district of the state of Jharkhand to the north.
History of Kendujhar District,Odisha
The district of Keonjhar presents a panorama of millennia, both from the geographical and anthropological point of view. It is as varied as the whole of Orissa with water-falls roaring gorges, mountains and minerals. The manifold expressions of nature in this district are unique in Orissa.
Anthropologically, its two main tribes, namely the Juangs and the Bhuyans carry a distinct and primitive past. The Juang claims themselves to be the most ancient tribe of the world. In spite of their modern ways of living, many aboriginal practices are still prevalent among them.
After the integration of the feudatory states with Orissa on 1 January 1948 the state of Keonjhar emerged as one of its districts of Orissa, with its headquarters at Keonjhar. Since then the name has been changed to Kendujhar District.
The whole district of Keonjhar was a princely state before its merger with Orissa. The early history of the State is not adequately known. It was most probably a part of the old Khijjinga territory with headquarters at Khijjinga Kota, identified with modern Khiching. It became a separate state with Jyoti Bhanja as its ruling chief sometime during the first half of the 12th century A.D. The then State of Keonjhar State comprised only the northern half of the modern district for a long time prior to the installation of Jyoti Bhanja as King. During the latter part of the 15th century the southern half was occupied by King Govinda Bhanja under whose rule Keonjhar was extended from Singhbhum in the north to Sukinda (a Zamindari in Cuttack district) in the South and from Mayurbhanj State in the East to the borders of the States of Bonai, Pal Lahara and Anugul in the West. During the rule of Pratap Balabhadra Bhanja (1764–1792 A.D.) two small areas of Tillo and Jujhpada were purchased from the Zamindar of Kantajhari and were added to the State. These were recognised as parts of Keonjhar in the Sanad granted by the East India Company to Raja Janardan Bhanj in 1804. Since then there had been no territorial changes of the State till its merger with the Province of Orissa. But after merger largely for the reasons of administrative expediency the areas of Tillo (7.51 km2) and Jujhpada (9.06sq.km.) were transferred to the districts of Baleshwar and Cuttack respectively, while a number of villages called Ambo group (14.84 km2.) of Balasore district were added to Keonjhar district.
Tourism of Kendujhar District,Odisha Keonjhar, the district headquarters town, has varieties of attractions like Vishnu Temple, Jagannath Temple and on its outskirts the shrines of Siddha Jagannath, Siddha Kali and Panchabati amidst picturesque settings. Sitabinji, 30 km from Keonjhar, on the river Sita, is a place having ancient fresco painting on a rock shelter called Ravan Chhaya. Asurkhol a place where cave, natural shiv ling and waterfall available 8 km from Rimuli, NH 215.
Places to Visit in Kendujhar District,Odisha Keonjhar district is a green land of panoramic beauties and a store house of mineral wealth. It offers a variety of attractions to the tourists which includes religious shrines, fresco painting, waterfalls and above all the exotic natural beauty. The terraced villages buzzing with the sweet melodies of the birds take the visitors to a dream land. The simplicity of the tribal folk mixed with the gaiety of their festivals can keep the visitors amused. A visit to the district will be an unforgettable experience.
Kendujhar: Kendujhargarh, the district headquarters town is famous for Vishnu Temple, Baladevjew Temple and on its outskirts the shrines of Sidha Jagannath, Siddha Kali and Panchbati amidist picturesque settings. It is also most convenient base centre from where the visitors can plan their visit to various places of interest in the district. The place is well connected with Kolkata (354 km), Sambalpur (230 km), Tata (174 km), Rourkela (217 km) and Bhubaneswar (235 km).
Ghatgaon : 44 km from Keonjhar on the National Highway No.215 towards Cuttack, the place is known throughout the state for the shrine of Goddess Maa Tarini.
Sitabinji : It is situated on the bank of the river Sita. The spot has gained prominence as a place having ancient freso paintings on a rock shelter called Ravan Chhaya which is like a half opened umbrella. The painting depicts a royal procession. It is 30 km from Keonjhar (25 km on the Jajpur-Keonjhar Road up to Katrabeda and 5 km from there ).
Badaghagara :(Kendujhar District,Odisha) It is 9 km from Keonjhar on NH-6 towards Sambalpur, it is yet another small (200 ft high) but exciting waterfall. It is one of the most popular picnic spots of Keonjhar district.
Sanaghagara : It is 6 km from Keonjhar on NH-6 towards Sambalpur. It is a small (100 ft high) and beautiful waterfall,suitable for outing. The area is spread over 488 Ha. In a hilly tract with characteristic mixed deciduous and miscellaneous type of forest vegetation. The famous Sana Ghagara waterfall with perennial stream adds to the natural beauty of this forest tract and attracts large number of visitors throughout the year. The area is an extremely undulating terrain with hills, pediments and a “V” shaped narrow valley. The hills and pediments are very steep and the rock formation is of dolerite origin. The area drains into river Baitarani through Machhakandana Nala.
Jhadeshwar Temple : It is famous for an old temple of Lord Shiva on the bank of River Baitarani near Ghasipura. In the month of March a famous festival called ‘Baruni Jatra’ is organised at this place.
Deogaon (Kushaleswar)(Kendujhar District,Odisha): On the River Kusei near Anandapur. The temple of Kushaleswar built in circa 900 AD is a famous centre of pilgrimage. Once upon a time it was a flourshing seat of Buddhism. Even now a 5 feet high image of Abalokiteswar stands there as reminiscence of the Buddhist activities in the past. Another important monument of the place is the stone embackment on the river which is the second of its kind in the state.
Hadagarh (Kendujhar District,Odisha): The Salandi River flowing between two high mountains and a dam built over it are the main attractions for the tourists. This place is at a distance of 119 km from Keonjhar. It is 35 km. From Anandapur. One can approach the spot either from Bhadrak or from Anandapur and L.K.Road by bus,trekker and taxi etc.
Gonasika : Surrounded by a series of valleys and wooded hills of varying colours,the place is famous as a centre of pilgrimage for the temple of Brahmeswar Mahadev established by the side of river Baitarani. In fact, this is the place from where the river starts flowing. A little away from the point of origin, the river goes underground ( and hence called guptaganga) only to be seen jumping after a short distance over a stone projection looking like the nostril of a cow. The scenic beauty of the place is simply charming. It is 33 km. From Keonjhar out of which service buses are available for 24 km. For rest 9 km tourist will have to go by either foot or hired vehicles. For accommodation tourists will have to stay at Keonjhar town.
Murga Mahadev : It is situated by the side of a perennial spring of Thakurani hill in Champua Sub-Division of Keonjhar District. It is famous for the temple of Murga Mahadev. The spot is 70 km From Keonjhar ( of this 6 km, fair-weather road). Regular service buses are available up to Bileipada (64 km) from Keonjhar. No accommodation facilities is available at the spot. Tourist will have to stay either at Joda (11 km) or at Keonjhar (70 km).
Asurkhol : a place where cave,natural shiv ling and waterfall available 8 km from Rimuli,NH 215.
Handibhanga : It is magnificent waterfall falling from the height of about 200 ft amidst lush green forest. The scenic beauty of the spot attracts many tourists. Moreover, the place is a good picnic spot. The spot can be approached from Keonjhar (50 km) up to Kalimati (45 km pitch road and service bus available) and from Kalimati to the spot ( 5ms) metallic fair weather road. No accommodation facilities are available at the spot. The tourist will have to stay either at Keonjhar (50 km) or at Joda (30 km) or at Barbil (42 km).
Gundichaghagi : It is famous for a small charming waterfall about 50 ft high on the river Mudala being situated amidst lush green forest. It is ideal for picnic during winter. It is 65 km from Keonjhar via Ghatagaon. For accommodation a revenue rest shed at Harichandanpur (5 km) and PWD I.B.,tarini Yatri Niwas and Panthasala of Tourism Deptt. Are available at Ghatagaon.
Khandadhar(Kendujhar District,Odisha) : A sparkling waterfall of 500 ft amidst lush green forest. A shower in the cascading water is a great experience. This waterfall is a smoking waterfall because of the “Smoke like” appearance created by the spray of the plunging waters of the waterfall at this spot. The spot is ideal for picnic. It is 60 km from Keonjhar town ( of this about 40 km fair weather and only jeepable). No accommodation facilities at the spot. Tourist will have to stay at Keonjhar.
Rajanagar: It is famous for the ruined palace of Keonjhar King. Also raghunath Jew Matha, Dadhibaban Jew temple and chadei Kudoor are other attraction of the spot. Different kinds of birds from different places gather here ( Chadhei Kudoor) in winter which is most enjoyable. It 27 km from Keonjhar. Tourist will have to visit the spot by hired vehicle. No accommodation facilities available there. The same are available at Keonjhar town.
Kanjipani: Kanjipani 30 km from Keonjhar is a scenic spot. In winter the temperature falls below 0 °C and it is supposed that ice falls there. The beautiful landscaping, lush green forest and wild lives of the spot are very much impressive. Regular bus services are available from Keonjhar and Pallahara. For accommodation one N.H. I.B. is there. Podasingidi (Gadachandi and Chakratirtha)
Gadachandi: The place is famous for Goddess Chandi. A perennial stream which is a part of the Boula Mountains in Anandapur flows by the side of the Gadachandi Pitha is really marvelous. Besides this another attraction is cave climbing on the hill.
Chakratirtha:(Kendujhar District,Odisha) It is a beautiful picnic spot. The spot is surrounded with green forest,beautiful waterfall and also a Shiva temple. The waterfall is perennial. There is a Baba (Monk) who looks after the temple. There is a beautiful garden where varieties of fruits like,lemon,Guava,Papeya,Banana and Strawberry are developed by the help of Baba. It is 97 km from Keonjhar. No accommodation facilities available there. Tourists will have to stay at Anandapur.
Bhimkund(Kendujhar District,Odisha) : It is a beautiful natural water reservoir on the River Baitarani. It is located exactly on the boundary line between the districts Kendujhar and Mayurbhanj, at a distance of about 100 km from Keonjhar. This reservoir is two storeyed which resulted in the formation of two waterfalls one above another. It is being told that, Bhima, the second Pandava had taken bath in this reservoir and hence it was named after him.