Rural folk
art & Handicraft

The Bargarh district lies between 20° 43’  to  21° 41’ North  latitude and 82° 39’ to 83° 58’ East longitude. It is one of the western most districts of the State of Orissa and came in to existence as a district from 1st April 1993. It is bounded on the north by the State of Chhatisgarh and on the east by the district of Sambalpur, on the south lies the district of Balangir and Subarnapur and on the west the district of Nawapara. 

The headquarter of the district Bargarh is situated on the left bank of Jira River. The town Bargarh is on the National Highway-6. The original name of the place was "Baghar Kota" as known from an inscription of the 11th Century A.D. It was called "Bargarh" probably from the time of Balaram Dev, the Chauhan Raja of Sambalpur, who made it for some time his headquarters and constructed a big fort for its protection. Narayan Singh, the last Chauhan Raja granted this place in "Maufi" (free hold) to 2 Brahmin brothers Krushna Dash and Narayan Dash, sons of Baluki Dash who was killed in action by the Gond rebels led by Baldia Ray and Mahapatra Ray. The another part of the district popularly known as "Borasambar" was formerly the headquarters of the Borasambar Zamindari extending over 2178 Sq.Kms. Later, the headquarters of the Zamindari shifted to Padampur, one of the present sub-divisional headquarter. The Zamindar belongs to the Binjhal family and is called Pat-Bariha

The Bargarh district can be divided into 3 natural divisions, (1) Bargarh Plain (2) Borasambar (3) Ambabhona & Lakhanpur. The greater portion is an open plain of considerable fertility drained by the Danta and the Jira, the two tributaries of Mahanadi. To the north of this plain runs the Barapahar range of hills and to the south-west lie the valley of river Ong (Ang). The Bargarh plain is not a flat alluvial tract but an expanse of undulating country sloping down from the Barapahar hills in the north, to the Mahanadi valley in the east. It contains a good portion of the cultivated land of the district and its undulating character affords excellent scope for irrigation reservoirs. The soil is a mixture of sand and gravel as well as of clay. Its a good rice soil and unlike the more fertile black cotton soil it grows few seeds and does not harbour dangerous insect pests. This tract is nowhere bare of vegetation and the villages are found embowered with mango groves.

The Borasambar (Padampur) tract lies to the south-west of the Bargarh plain. It is bounded by the high hills on the north and south and the intervening plain is drained by river Ong (Ang), the valley of which particularly in the eastern portion is best suited to agriculture. Its soil contains some river slit and enriched by hill drainage.

The Ambabhona and Lakhanpur area is cut off from the rest of Bargarh plain by a long spur of the Barapahar hills running south-west for a distance of nearly 48 Km. This hill forms a barrier to communication with the rest of the district. Ambabhona is a fairly level tract sloping down from the hills to the river Mahanadi and is under close cultivation. Lakhanpur is a wide valley sorrounded by forest clad hills and is also closely cultivated.

Agriculture is the most important economic activity in the district. Allied activities like Diary, Poultry, Goatery and Piggry  are also popular. In the milk-route areas, diary farming is taken up in a systematic manner. Poultry farming is coming up in a big way. There are, handloom weavers concentration in the district. Besides, there are Potters, Blacksmiths, Construction Workers etc.
The major crops are Rice, Pulses like Arhar, Mung and Biri, Oil-seeds like Groundnuts, Til and Mustard. The only commercial crop taken up is Sugarcane. The major horticulture crop are Vegetables, Mango, Banana, Citrus, Papaya, Guava, Litchi, Ber etc.

Important Places


Nrusinghnath is situated at a distance of 110 Kms from Bargarh. Being a lone pilgrim spot, it has been appealing the minds of lakhs of people, with magical glitters, for the last so many centuries. This is the Dawning – place of the mention Lard Nrushinghnath, the presiding Deity of the sacred mount GANDHAMARDAN – endearing multitude of memories, surprisingly amalgamating the legends of the Ramayan, the Mahabharat, the Budhist Era; even reminiscent of Bhoj Raj, Santh Kabir and Tantracharya Nagarjuna (the preserver of all scripture)


 In the Tretaya Yug (the Silver Age), Jambavan (the unerring counselor of Ram) had suggested Vir Hanuman to bring Bisalyakarani ere dawn, so that Laxman would rise back to life. It was in the middle of the war between Lord Ram and Ravan. Hanuman failed to identify the particular herb and carried on his shoulders a huge Himalayan mass. While flying above and proceeding toward Lanka (the kingdom of Ravan), a portion dropped down. Gandhamardan is synonymous to that portion only.

Besides being a home of more than 5000 rare medicinal herbs (some hitherto - unidentified), providing medicines for fatal diseases like cancer, tuberculosis, leprosy, filarial, epilepsy, asthma, kidney and lever dysfunctions even AIDS, Gandhamardan serves as a wild life sanctuary for large number of rare species of birds and animals and there by donating its portions towards balancing the Global Ecological Pyramid.

The Temple

The foundation for the temple was laid down by Baijal Dev on March 17 1413 A.D. as per inscriptions. The temple of Lord Nrushinghnath is only 45 ft high. It is divided into two parts; the first being the seat of the Lord – a short raised narrow plinth and the other Jaga Mohan (the anti-chamber) having three gates and is supported by four pillars, the like found nowhere in Orissa. The rocks used in the Jaga Mohan pillars are of rare kind. They are not seen in the Gandhamardan hills. Believed that, from far off places, Baijal Dev had brought them. With a soft rubbing, these rocks begin to scintillate, to a degree. While entering inside the inner-sanctum, one can see the rock stautes of Nav Grahas (the Nine planets of Astrology) in a line. The other beautiful sculptures include the statutes of Ganga, Jamuna, Nandi, Jaya-Vijaya, Trividram and three conspicuous manifestations i.e. Bamana, Baraha and Samhar Nrusimha. The eight-handed Ganesh and the Cow-herd Sahadev are not inserted, rather they are carved on embedded prototype, near Nav Durga. The original idol of Nrusinganath is also kept.


The main perennial flow of Gandhamardan is PAPAHARINI, literally meaning, The Destroyer of Sins. It is symbolic of Sanatan-the continuum of past, present and future. Flowing out of the confluence of seven fountains, called SAPTADHAR – it has an average width of 12 ft. No man made tributary can flow into it. Nothing can pollute or adulterate it. Running about 25 Kms. it has touched the Ang Tributary and finally embraced Mahanadi.


In the district of Bargarh a large of Siva Temple were built during the Chauhan rule of undivided Sambalpur. The most important among them were those of the Asta-Sambhu or 8 Siva Temples such as (1) Bimaleswar Temple at Huma (Sambalpur), (2) Kedarnath Temple at Ambabhona (Bargarh), (3) Baidyanath Temple at Deogaon (Bargarh), (4) Balunkeswar Temple at Gaisama (Bargarh), (5) Mandhata Baba Temple at Maneswar (Sambalpur), (6) Swapneswar Temple at Sorna (Bargarh), (7) Visweswar Temple at Soranda (Bargarh) and (8) Nilakantheswar Temple at Nilji (Bargarh). The Bimaleswar Temple at Huma on the Mahanadi was built by Maharaja Baliar Singh and the rest were built during the the reign of Ajit Singh and his son Abhaya Singh.

These temple, though small height, are great artistic beauty and each of these with picturesque background.


  A peak in the Barapahar hills in Bargarh sub-division having a height of 2267 feet. It was a noted rebel stronghold during the revolt of Balabhadra Deo, the Gond Zamindar of Lakhanpur, who was killed here. Mahapatra Ray and Baldia Ray also sought shelter here during 1840 AD after murdering Baluki Dash, the Maufidar of Bargarh. Veer Surendra Sai the freedom fighter was captured here in 1864 by British solders. There is a wild life sanctuary here. Except for elephants, wild buffaloes and blank Bucks most of the other important animals in the State of Orissa are more or less represented here.     

The village is situated in the north-west of Bargarh , 40 Kms north of Bargarh. This village was a fortified place in the days of the Chauhan Rajas of Sambalpur  and the remains of the old forte are still in existence. There is an old stone temple dedicated to "Kedarnath Siva". It is one of the 8 Siva temples (Astha Sambhu) constructed by Dakshin Rai, the Dewan of Raja Ajit Singh of Sambalpur. The Kedarnath temple is located in side a tank with beautiful forest back ground and it reveals high standard of Chauhan architecture. 


The village is situated on the N.H.6, 19 Km north of Bargarh on the bank of Jhaun river. Attabira is the notable rice producing centre. The Hirakud Irrigation Project has  led to double and sometimes trible cropping and has considerably improved the material condition of the agricultural community of the area. 


The Barpali town is located 25 Kms south of Bargarh on the National Highway No.209 running from Bargarh to Bariguma via Balangir. The Barpali town is the birth place of famous poet Gangadhar Meher. The premier college in Sambalpur town has been named after him. The town is inhabited largely by weavers and gold and silver smiths. It is noted for textile and bell metal industries. 


A village in Bargarh sub-division, 19 Kms north of Bargarh on the Bargarh-Ambabhona road. There is a beautiful modern temple dedicated to Dadhi Vamana Vishnu. Inside the temple there are beautiful wall Paintings depicting Puranic stories. 

Bheran (Bheden)

A village situated 29 Kms. to the east of Bargarh close to the confluence of the Danta and the Jira rivers. The village is surrounded on three side by these two rivers. The village is also known as Bisaikela and its notable for textile industry. The weavers excel in tie and dye work. 


A village in Padampur sub-division, 26 Km south-east of Bargarh. It was the headquaters of an ex-Zamindari known as Uttal-Baisi. The village is inhabited mainly by cultivators and weavers. It is notable for napkins and bed-sheets manufactured by local weavers. 


A village in Padampur sub-division 13 Kms to the east of Padampur on the Sohella-Padampur road. It is noted for the Missionary activities of the Utkal Christian Council which started work here in 1956. The activities of the Mission is divided in to 3 wings -Health, Education and Agriculture. A dispensary was started in the year 1957 which became a hospital in 1958.


A village 13 Km. south-east of Bargarh. Picturesquely situated on the bank of Jira river, it is noted for the temple of Balunkeswar Siva who is regarded as one of the eight Sambhus (Astha Sambhu) in Bargarh and Sambalpur district.


A village in Padampur sub-division situated 37 Kms. from Padampur. Sone Budhist relics have been found at Ganiapali 10 Kms. from here. the place is identified with ancient Muchalinda, which is said to be a centre of Budhist learning.  


A village 40 Kms from Bargarh, was the hub various activities during the freedom movement. The entire village was committed to Khadi and freedom movement of Gandhiji. It is really surprising that people of this village still cut thread and wear khadi. The villagers boast of believing and preaching "Ahimsa" and "Satya" and assemble every evening to chant patriotic songs hymns of Bapu. (Collected from JAB)


A village in Padampur sub-division situated 26 Kms. west of Bargarh. A good deal of trade in foodgrain is carried on here. On the west bordering Chhatisgarh, it serves as the gateway of the district.

Important Facts about Baragarh


8,834 Sq.Km..








Literacy Rate


1. Baragarh sadar
2. Barpali
3. Veden
4. Atabira
5. Bhatli
6. Ambadoni
7. Bijepur Sohela
8. Paikamala
9. Jharbandh
10 . Gaisilat
11. Padmapur sadar 

1. Baragarh
2. Padmapur
3. Atabira
4. Sohela
5. Barapali
6. Veden
7. Bhatil.

1. Baragarh 
2. Padmapur

Head quarter


Vidhasabha seats


Sub division






Grama panchayat






Police Stations


Fire Stations









145.9mm (Avg)

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