History of Kendujhar

Kendujhar is an old city, its history dating back to the 12 century AD. The early history of Keonjhar is not known adequately. Historians believe Keonjhar was a part of Khijjinga territory which had its headquarters at Khijjinga Kota. Khijinga Kota is identified with modern day Khiching. In the 12 Century AD Keonjhar became a separate state and was ruled by Jyoti Bhanja, brother of Adi Bhanja during the earlier part of the century. Adi Bhanj was the ruler and founder of the state of Mayurbhanj. The state of Keonjhar then comprised only half of what is now the Keonjhar district.

Kendujhar History

Ruler Who Ruled Kendujhar

According to one historical account, Raja Jai Singh, son of Man Singh, Maharaja of Jaipur came to Puri to visit the shrine of Jagannath.. He married Padmavati, daughter of Pratapendra Deb, the erstwhile Gajapati King of Puri. In her dowry he received the State of Hariharpur. Hariharpur then comprised Moharbhanj and Kendujhar. His had two sons, Adi Singh and Jyoti Singh. Prince Adi Singh conquered Mayura Dhwaja, a petty zamindar Rarua in kila Hariharpur. On being apprised of Adi Singh’s victory, the Gajapati King of Puri conferred on him the title of Bhanj. As of 1892 the Maharaja maintained a military force of 32 guns and 2949 infantry.

Keonjhar was ruled by the Bhanja dynasty since the 12h century. The city of Keonjhar remained the capital of the princely state of Keonjhar while under their rule. Raja Shri Anantnarayan Bhanja Deo is the present king of Keonjhar. The king’s grand old palace is popular among tourists visiting Keonjhar. During the British rule Keonjhar was included into the state of Odisha.

Kendujhar Today

Environment and tribal activists from all over the country have showered considerable attention to Keonjhar owing to its rich mineral and forest reserves. In recent years, the increased awareness on the preservation of environmental resources has created much ripple among entrepreneurs looking to undertake mining activities near Keonjhar. Protection of the rights, tradition and culture of the tribal populace residing around Keonjhar has also found renewed interest among political parties and leaders. The tribal movements in Keonjhar as in other forested parts of India have also given rise to considerable political upheaval in the state of Odisha.
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