Rural folk
art & Handicraft

Of the 30 districts of Orissa, Jharsuguda is considered to be a rich in mines, Industries & business.  It has an area of 2203.32 sq.kms. And a population of around 509085.  During the re-organisation of the Garhajat States in 1936 under the British, Jharsuguda formed a part of Sambalpur district.  The new district of Jharsuguda came into existence on 1st April, 1994 and was created by amalgamation of the erstwhile Jamindars of Rampur, Kolabira, Padampur & Kudabaga; Jharsuguda Town is the head quarters of the new district.


It is revealed from history of Sambalpur that Jharsuguda was known as “Jharguda” on the distant past.

In the 16th Century Balram Dev of Chauhan dynasty established the Kingdom of Sambalpur.  During the reign of Chhattrasai Dev the 7th King of this dynasty (1656-1688), Jharguda was a small settlement surrounded by dense forest infested with a man-eating tiger, ravaging the people of this area.  Siva Singh, the grandson of Chhattrasai Dev, using his might Sword killed the tiger & brought relief to the people.  In recognition Chhattrasai Dev awarded the area to Siva Singh as ‘Bhrutti’ or ‘Jageri’.

As per folk-lores the kishans from Jharkhand state established Jharsuguda during 12th Century A.D. Jharkishan was head of the tribe.  The original village consisting of nutments of 12 kishan families was named Jharguda.  Siva Singh, a descendant of Sambalpur royal family ruled as Jagirdar of the area comprising of 12 villages namely Jharsuguda, Badheimunda, Debadihi, Kumdapali, Kureibaga, Banjari, Dalki, Balijori, Beheramal, Ekatali, Buromal, & Sarbahal.

The descendants of Siva Singh ruled the region un-interruptedly from 16th Century till the end of the 18th Century.

After this period the decline of Sambalpur state started due to aggression & occupation of Sambalpur by the Marahattas Bhonsle).In 1818 the British occupied Sambalpur State and Maharaja Sai was made the nominal king whereas the actual administration was done by British. Maharaja Sai died in 1826 and the British declared his widow Mohankumari as the ruler of the Sambalpur.  The then Jamindar of Jharsuguda, Govind Singh Challenged the decision of the British and claiming himself to be the rightful heir to the throne of Sambalpur, he launched an armed rebellion.  He was supported by Vira Krishna Rai of Khadial, Thakur Ajit Singh of Bargarh, Trilochan Rai of Pahadsingida, Jamindar of Vheden Abhadhuta Singh, Medini Beria of Kharamanga, Chandra Behera and Shikru Jamandar of Bamda Jamindari, Jagabadndhu Hota, Biju Daphadar, Damaru Kanda, Rehan Biswal and Narsingh Ghatu of Sambalpur, Hundreds of Gond Tribals also joined the rebellion.

This rebellion of Govind Singh against the British continued uninterruptedly (1827-1833).  In 1833 the decessive battle took place between the British and Goving Singh on the vast field adjoining the Jhadeswar Temple where Goving Singh was defeated and was captured by Major Wilkinson. Govind Singh was awarded a prison sentence.

Another claimant to the throne of Sambalpur Surendra Sai, Jamindar of Khinda had also launched an armed rebellion to press his claims to the throne.  In 1837 he was arrested on the charge of dacoity & manslaughter because of his armed attack on the Jamindar of Rampur.  After Judicial trial Surendra Sai and his brothers were awarded sentence to life in 1840 and were imprisoned in Hazaribagh Jail.

Gradually, the revolutionary activities in Sambalpur calmed down. The diplomatic British Government assured that Govind Singh would be appointed as Mafidar of Jharsuguda if he did not press his claim for the throne of Sambalpur. Ultimately Govind Singh, who was languishing in Jail and had lost many of the revolutionary associates, agreed to with draw his claims for the throne of Sambalpur.  He was released from jail and was appointed as the Mafidar of Jharsuguda.

The prominent followers and associates of the Govind Singh namely Shikru Jamadar, Binu Daphadar, Damru Kandha, Roshan Biswal and Narsingh Ghatu were hanged in August 1833 in Sambalpur Jail campus after a trial.

Similar was the fate of the associates of Surendra Sai who had supported him in his second phase of revolution (1857-1863).  The Jamindar of Kulabira Karunakar Naik and Gountia of Singhabaga Ganesh Upadhyaya were hanged in Sambalpur.  The Gountia of Patrapali Balvadra Das Birtia had attained martyrdom in Kudupali battle and so also Mitukumar the Gountia of Lajkura. Khaja Naik the brother of Kulabira Jamindir and his nephew Kanhei Naik along with many rebels also received life sentence.  The Gond Sardar Gopal Dhurua of Dalki and Thakur Bhainsha of Kumdapali were also imprisoned.  By 1884 Surendra Sai and his associates had either been executed or had been imprisoned and the armed rebellion in Sambalpur gradually subsided and the Britishers heaved a sigh of relief.

During 1884, the Bengal Nagpur Railway (BNR) was commissioned between Calcutta   and Nagpur and a Railway Station was established at Jharsuguda.  A post office and a police station were established at Jharsuguda in 1895.

In 1905 Jharsuguda was brought from the central province and was included in Orissa.

A new township gradually grew near the Railway Station.

In the year 1880 Lord Ripon was appointed as the Viceroy of India and in the year 1882 the local self government Act came into force in India after being enacted in the British parliament. A Sanitation committee was formed for Jharsuguda in 1884 which remained in force till 1941.

During the tenure of Education and Local Self Government Minister

Lt.Bodha Ram Dubey in 1939 and Union Board were constituted for Jharsuguda as per the Sambalpur district local self government act.  Jharsuguda town was managed by the Board from 1941-1942. At that time the population of Jharsuguda town was less than 10,000

In the year 1951, as per the Orissa Government Notification No.5124/21851 the Jharsuguda Union Board was replaced by Jharsuguda Municipality with 13 wards.  The than Mafidar of Jharsuguda Lal Haribans Singhdeo was elected as first Chairman of Jharsuguda Municipality on 5th October, 1952.  At that time the area of the municipality was 11.45 sq.mile.  Jharsuguda remained under the Sadar sub division of Sambalpur till 1979. As per the State government notification Jharsuguda was declared as Sub-Division in 1979.   The Sub-Division with its 5 component blocks namely Jharsuguda, Kolabira, Laikera, Kirmira and Lakhanpur became a district in the year of 1994.

Important Places

On the Jharsuguda-Lakhanpur Road at about 25km. from Jharsuguda there is a village known as Banjari.  In the vicinity of the village the ancient cave of Bikramkhol is located.  In this inaccessible dense forest ancient people lived surviving on fruits, roots and animal meat.  During 4000 BC there was evolution of human civilization in the region and a script was developed by them.

There are some ancient script engraved in the wall of Bikramkhol and also paintings of animals. Circular holes have been dug in the wall where weapons, dress and other articles of use were being kept suspended. Even on the floors circular holes have been dug to pound the grains. Bikramkhol has been declared a tourist spot by the Central Government and tourists, historians and researchers from all over the country and abroad.


On the Jharsuguda-Belpahar Road at a distance of 21 Kms. from Jharsuguda there is a village known as Lajkura.  In the vicinity there is a hill known as “Maheswar Pahad” where the remains of an old holy fort attracts the attention of historians, researchers and tourists.

On the foot of Maheswar Pahad, there is small village called “Ulap”. About one kilometer from the village, the ruins of Ulapgarh are situated. At this place, the Maheswar pahad is about 1000 ft high and on the top there is a huge plain surface.  On this rectangular plain stone surface the fort of Ulapgarh had been constructed.   The plain stone fine surface is about 400 metre long and 250 metre wide.  On the eastern side of the fort there are almost about 7 kms. Of densely forested Baramunda Hills and on the Western side, the Belpahar Railway Station is located at a distance of 5 kms. On the north there is a dense forest stretching up to Hemgir and in the South stretching up to Badjob village.

A 12 ft. wide and 150 mts. Long moat had been constructed which stretches from east to west.  There was a Sivalingam and a place of worship in the Fort.  A well had been dug on the stone floor which provided drinking water to the inmates of the Fort through out the year.

On the stone floor, there are many square holes and 70 round holes.  The diameters of the hole vary from 1-3 inch. Wooden poles used to be put on these holes to support super structures for living room, store room, arsenals, Kitchen, sleeping room etc.

About 1000 people could take shelter at Ulapgarh at a time. On the western side of Ulapgarh and down hill there is Ushakothi cave.  On the walls and floors of this cave also there are many circular and square holes.  Probably the defence personnel of the fort used to suspend there clothes and other belonging from wooden poles fitted to these holes.  The soldiers of the dense forest of Maheswar hill could easily over power and defeat the enemies before they could climb up the hill and attack the fort.

It is believed that Ulapgarh was being used as a residential fort by some kings of “Naja” Dynasty. Research is going on by various Indian and Foreign researchers and Historian in this direction.

Padmasini Temple

At a distance of 70 Kms. from Jharsuguda, there is Hirakud reservoir on the left side of village Bhikampali.  Just at the point where the river Mahanadi leaves the than Madhya predesh and enters Orissa to pour in to the Hirakud reservoir, there was once a town called as "Padampur".  The famous Sanskrit dramatist “Bhabahbhoti” was believed to be born here. Moreover, it is said that “Bajrajan’ Tantra marg of Buddhism took origin here.

Goddess Padmasini is the reigning deity of this town. The temple of “Padmashini’ was constructed in 7th century A.D. by a Chalukya king of South.  However the original temple had met decay and was believed to be reconstructed by the Chouhan king of Sambalpur in 16th century.  A look at the “Jagmohan’ of original temple reveals striking resemblance with architecture of the Chalukya era.

Even the stone statue of goddess Padmasini bears striking similarities with the style of the Chalukya period.  In the whole Orissa Padmasini Temple is a unique example of Chalukya art and architecture.  In 1956 Padampur town was submerged in Hirakud reservoir, but the deity has been shifted to a new temple at nearby ‘Pujaripali’.

Who had constructed the temple in the 7th century puzzles many historian & researchers often.

Ramchandi: An ancient Shaktipitha

This important place of ‘Shakti Worship’ is located 10 km. away from Jharsuguda town inside a cave.

Rampur Dandapat (Jamindari) was created during the reigning ‘Chhatrasai Dev’ the 7th King of Sambalpur (1657-1695). One Khytriya youth of Rajpotana belonging to Gaharwal family ‘Prannath Singh’ with his velour subdued the local aborigines of Rampur area in IB basin and received Rampur area as Jagirdari from Chhatrasai Dev, the ruling king of Sambalpur. The Rampur Jamindari had an area of 786 sq.miles.

From the remote past Davi Ramchandi is being worshiped as the reigning deity of Rampur region.  The Shrine is famous not only on the Rampur area but throughout the western Orissa. Many pilgrims and devotees come to the Rampur cave from far and near to visit and worship the goddess Ramchandi.

Koilighughar  water fall

The Koilighugar water fall is situated 55 kilometer away from Jharsuguda in the Lakhanpur block near the village Kushmelbahal.  A rivulet named ‘Ahiraj’ takes origin from the ‘Chhuikhanch’ forest and while flowing through its rocky belt falls from a height of 200 ft. creating the water fall of Koilighugar.  After the fall the rivulet flows west wards to merge into the river ‘Mahanadi’. It is a picturesque beauty spot with its sylvan back drop.

Inside the fall there is a Shivalingam known as ‘Maheswarnath’. The lingam is submerged in water and not ordinarily visible.  If somebody tries to see it from inside the water in winter and summer the lingum is visible under the reflected sunlight, hence for the benefit of the pilgrims another Sivalingam has been created outside the waterfall.

There is an “Ashram’ of a holy man “Saham swami’ near the water fall. Every year a fair sits in Kalighugar on the occasion of Sivaratri.

Jhadeswar  Temple

The ‘Jhadeswar’ temple is located at a distance of about 1 km. from the Jharsuguda Railway station beyond the old town ‘Purunabasti’ inside a small forest.

There is a self appearing (Swayambhu) Sivalingam here the actual age of which is unknown. But during the reign of ‘Govind Singh’ Jamindar of Jharsuguda the lingam was being worshiped inside a hut made up of leaves.  In 1916 a Gujarati contractor named “Mulju Jagmal’ erected a small temple here. The Jamindar of Jharsuguda arranged Savayats for daily worship and donated agricultural lands for maintenance of the temple and puja.

The temple was renovated in 1969 by philanthropist from Calcutta Lt.Surajmal Mohota.

Since 1916 a fair takes place here on every Sivaratri day. The Jhadeswar temple area has important significance in the history of Jharsuguda.  On the eastern side of the temple the original ‘Jharguda’ settlement has grown. On its northern side there was a settlement of ‘Gond subject’ of the Jamindar of Jharsuguda.  Jhadeswar temple is recognised as original Siva shrine. 

‘Adyaswambhu pitha’ of Jharsuguda. A Small beautiful garden has been grown near the Jhadeswar temple which is used as a picnic spot because of its scenic beauty.

Shree Pahadeswar Temple

It is situated at the top of a small hill on the eastern side of Jharsuguda and is another place of attraction in the District.

The temple was constructed by a Gujrati Contractor Lt. Bitthal bhai Saha in 1921. With its natural surrounding viz. Garden, Ashsram etc and because of easy accessibility, it attracts a lot of visitors. From the hill top a bird’s eye view of Jharsuguda town enthralls the visitors.


On the South East direction of Jharsuguda and on the bank of river Bhaden there is an ancient Sivashrine’ at Mahadebpali.  The study of local history reveals that, there was a small kingdom of a ‘Haihay King’ in this region. A Siva temple had been constructed by the king on the river bank. The king of Ratnapur (Surguja) attacked this kingdom in concern with the marriage of the only daughter of the Haihay king’ and during this aggression the ‘Haihay King’ was killed and his kingdom was destroyed.

In the 16th Century ‘Balram Dev’ the 1st Chouhan king of Sambalpur occupied this fort and there was a war between the Sambalpur king and the Ratnapur king, as a result the importance of the ‘Bhogaragarh’ fort declined.

For a long time the ‘Bhogaragarh’ fort and the surrounding temples remained abandoned. As a result the temples near the fort decayed. A few years back the villagers of Mahadevpali constructed a new temple at the original site.

As the history of local area is clearly linked with this temple it is considered to be one of the Astaswayambhus of Jharsuguda district. Every year fair takes place here on the day of Sivaratri.

Kolabira Fort

This fort is situated at a distance of 17 kms. From the Jharsuguda town on the bank of river ‘Telen’.

The Kolabira Jamindari was formed during the reign of Lt. Jayat Singh (1781-1818) the Chohan king of Sambalpur.  It had an area of 278 sq.kms... It was bounded on north by villages Arda, Dhutura, Baijapli and Bamra kingdom.  One Manasdhar Singh was the 1st Jamindar of Kolabira. During the 13th Century the ‘Gond’ tribe was ruling the Gondwara region (Modern Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh). At that time small Gond kingdoms such as Kherlu, Betal etc. were created. During the later part of 14th Century, the Gond kingdom disintegrated. As a result the ferocious Gonds migrated in large numbers to the Sambalpur kingdom and settled there.

During the 16th Century the kings of Sambalpur appreciating the physical prowess, valor and loyalty of Gonds gave them shelter as subjects and the Gond Chieftains were given responsible posts in the earning. Jayant Singh the King of Sambalpur had appointed ‘Mansadhar Singh’ as the Jamindar of Kolabira.

After Mansadhar Singh his son ‘Karunakar Singh’ (Nayak) took charge of Kolabira Jamindari.  At this time Maharaja Sai was the king of Sambalpur and after his death his widow Queen Mohankumari was made the queen, but the actual administration was done by the British.  As a result, there was an armed revolt started against the British. The queen was sent as pensional to Cuttack and the British appointed an old Khytriya named ‘Narayan Singh’ as the king of Sambalpur.

BirSurendraSai, the Chauhan Jamindar of Khinda started armed revolution against British and Karunakara Naik the Jamindar of Kolabira Joined the revaluation as a follower and his property was confiscated because of his support to Surendrasai. The shrewd British authorities declared clemency to those who surrendered and to escape gallows and to get back the Jamindari.  The rebel Kolabira Jamindar alternately surrendered.  But illegally and treacherously he was hanged in the jail premises of Sambalpur on 11th February, 1858.  The British army in the mean time had blown the palace of Kolabira Jamindar by Cannons, later the son of Karunakar Nayak appealed before the ‘Court of Wards’ at Nagpur and got back his confiscated Jamindari and properties in 1860. The English repaired the damaged palace and fort as compensation. At present the descendants of Kolabira Jamindar recide in the premises of the old fort which is grossly damaged. In the history of freedom struggle Kolabira is known as ‘Agni Tirtha’. Many people including historian and researchers visit this place often.

Important facts about Jharsuguda District


2,200 Sq.Km.










1. Jharsuguda
2. Laikera
3. Lakhanpur
4. Kolabira

1. Jharsuguda
2. Laxmanpur

1. Jharsuguda

Head quarter


Vidhasabha seats


Sub division






Grama panchayat














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