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Keonjhar DISTRICT


 

History

The whole district of Keonjhar was a princely state before its merger with Odisha. 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 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 Singbhum in the north to Sukinda(a Zamindari in Cuttack district) in the South and from Mayurbhanj in the East to the borders of the States of Bonai, Pallahara 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 territiorial 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 sq.km) 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 sq.km.) of Balasore district were added to Keonjhar district.

How to reach there?

Touching the district at Tinda near Mayurbhanj border, N.H.No.6 passes through Khereitangiri, Keonjhargarh, Suakati, Kanjipani and Jagamohanpur.Then the road leaves the district towards Pallahara in Angul district.The nearest Airport from here is Bhubaneswar and small airports for helipads & chartered flights are available at Joda & Barbil.

 

Fairs and Festivals

Sarhul
This is a tribal festival of flowers. In the month of March-April sal flowers are brought to the sarna or sacred grove. The priest (pahan) propitiates all gods of the Mundas. The celebration goes on for several days

Sohrai This is celebrated in the month of October-November .The Munda cattle owners fast for the whole day. In the night, lamps are lighted. On the following morning the cattle-shed is washed and sprinkled with rice-beer. The cattle are fed in plenty.