Rural folk
art & Handicraft


The Kandhamal district was constituted in the 1st  Jan. 1994. It is located in the heart of Orissa stretching between 19’34 & 20’36 north latitude and 83’34 & 84’34 east longitude with an area of 7649 sq.km. Administratively it constitute with 2 sub-divisions , 12 CDB, 2 ULB, 153 GPs and 2515 villages. Physiographically the entire district lies with high altitude zone with interspearding inaccessible terrain of hilly ranges and narrow valley tracts which guides the socio-economic conditions of people and development of the district. More than 50% of population constitute ST community of aboriginal tribal races. Overally, the district is rank as a backward district in the state of Orissa (India).


The ancient history of Kandhamal district may be traced back to the 3rd Century B.C. It finds mention as an unconquered Atavika country fields  in the Kalinga Rock Edicts of   the  legendary  Mauryan  Emperor , Ashok .  This  mountainous Atavika rajya unquestionably encompassed the Kandhamal region.

Some historians are  of  the view  that  Mahakantar subdued by the Gupta Emperor, Samudragupta, in  the 4th century A.D. , during  his Dakshinapatha  Campaign, included  Kandhamal  area and   he  led his victorious  army  to  the  south from Kosala and  Kural  through  this  district. He defeated some kings in Ganjam.

The   present   Kandhamal   district    is made  up with some  segments of three erstwhile   principalities  of  Boudh, Ghumsar  and  Khemundi , reigned   by  the Bhanjas  and the Gangas  from ancient times. Their reign came to an end when the British came to this region in the nineteenth century .

G.Udayagiri  constituted  the  northern  fringe   of  Ghumusara  kingdom  of the Bhanjas. They occupied this state in the 9th Century and continued to rule over it till 1835.  Ganjam   came  under  the  Britishers in  1765. The Bhanjas could  not put up  with  their  interference and  aggressive attitude from the very beginning and they raised the banner of revolt frequently against the British. The Kandhas  and  the  Paikas  forming  the   Ghumasar  army    waged   relentless  wars  under the able leadership of  Dohara Bissoyi from 1815 to 1835.

Deposing Dhananjay Bhanja for his habitual recalcitrance the British occupied Ghumusar on November 3,1835. Dhananjaya Bhanja died at G.Udayagiri in December of the same year as a fugitive.

Balliguda region was under the Gangas of Kandhamal, most probably from the 10th Century and the dynasty ruled over these hilly tracts till the 19th century. British captured this area in phases from 1830 to 1880 by subjugating some hill chiefs,who were the proteges of the Gangas.

Ghumusar and Balliguda regions were under the uninterrupted reign of the Bhanjas and Gangas, respectively, for about a millenium. But the Kandhamal area, which was part of Boudh, witnessed a chequered history during the same period.

The present Kandhamal sub-division was an integral part of Boudh from time immemorial till 1855. The earliest history of this area is gleaned from a number of copper-plate inscriptions issued by the kings of the early Bhanja dynasty, that reigned over Boudh and Kandhamal in the 8th and 9th Century. Their kingdom was known as Khinjali Mandala. From the 10th Century to the advent of British in this region, Boudh, including Kandhamal, has been governed in sucecession by the following royal dynasties: the Somavansis, the Chindak Nagas/Telugu Chodas, the Kalchuris and the Bhanjas. The history of Boudh-Kandhamal for 500 years prior to the coming of the British is however, still nebulous.

The Britishers launched a vigorous campaign in these hilly tracts with the objectives of annexing the areas to their empire and suppressing the abdominable practice then prevalent among the Kandhas. The Britishers encountered stiff resistance from the tribals for a prolonged period of 20 years from 1835 to 1855. As the Boudh Raja utterly failed to curb the horrendous ritual of the tribals, the British truncated a large area, where the Kandhas were predominant , from Boudh on February 15,1855 and named this newly annexed territory as Kandhamal.

After British conquest of Uttar Ghumasar (G.Udayagiri area) and Uttar Khemundi (Balliguda area) these territories were placed under the administration of the Collector of Ganjam district. These areas remained under the control and adminstration of the British until India attained her independence.

Kandhamal remained a Tahasil from 1855 to 1891 and it was adminstered by a Tahasildar under the direct control and supervision of the superintendent of the Tributary mahals of Cuttack. In 1891, it was upgraded to sub-division and tagged with Kandhamal district. When the new provience of Orissa was formed in 1936, and Ganjam was merged with Orisaa, from the Madras presidency, Kandhamal became a sub-division of Ganjam. In the wake of the amalgamation of the princely states with Orissa in January 1948, Boudh and Kandhamal constituted the new district of Boudh-Kandhamal, with its headquarters at Phulbani. Balliguda sub-division was added to Boudh-Kandhamal district on 1.1.1949. With the secession of Boudh from Phulbani district as a separate district only Balliguda and Kandhamal sub-divisions remained with Phulbani district, which was later rechristened as Kandhamal in June,1994.

Important Places

The district of Kandhamal is bestowed with the beauty of nature. It has wild life, scenic beauty, healthy climate, and serpentine ghat roads for the tourists   who need to relax and unwind. It has attractions, like panoramic coffee gardens, pine jungles,Ghat roads, hills and water falls, virigin forest and typical tribal village life. Almost 66% of the land area of the district is covered  with dense forest and towering mountains which provide shelter to the inhabitants like Kondhas, classified under the ancient Gondid race of proto Austroloid group, rich in green meadows at the attitude of 2000 ft to 3000 ft, the terraced vallyes thronged with these colorful tribals in their natural heritage, dancing and sporting  has its own appeal.  Kandhamal is also famous for handicrafts such as Dokra, Terra-Cotta,  Cane and  Bamboo works.

The region is proud of its  rich cultural heritage. Mauryan Emperor Ashoka mentioned in Jaugada (Ganjam) edict about the people of this hill tract as Atavikas who practised their own religion. The ghat tract of Kandhamal   "Kalinga" was known to the travellers of Medieval history. The tract was used for the transportation of salt to the central India. Again the route running through Daringibadi was known in history as Great Military road discovered by Britishers who happened to come over Daringibadi for pleasure trips to enjoy the natural beauty and cool climate during summer.

Phulbani :
The district head quarters is a place to relax in and marvel at the natural beauty. It is sorrounded by hills. The Pillasalunki river flows on its three side and the town is just  on the grove of  sal trees. One can enjoy l view of the town from Bhetkhol and Brahamani-Devi hill top, which present an  ambience of hill towns of lower Himalayas. Other attractions of the town  are its weekly Hata,  Jaganath and Narayani Temple. A  morning walk on the main road and visit to the river side in the afternoon is a wonderful experience.
Putudi Water Fall  :
Putudi is a place of natural beauty where river Salunki falls from the height of 60ft. forming an enchanting ambience. The roaring sound of the fall with dense forest all around creates a thrilling sensation.  It is 15 kms from Phulbani town.
Balaskumpa :
The beautiful place in the lap of nature is famous for the Goddess 'BARALA DEVI' who is believed to be the saviour of the world. The people of this area visit the Goddess frequently on many occasions particularly on Dashahara. Dashahara Puja is celebrated with great pomp and show..  Pillasalunki Dam site which is an ideal and charming place for picnic and sight seing is only 3 kms from this spot. This spot is  a good place to relax and unwind.   Balaskumpa is about 15 kms from Phulbani and  linked with good motorable road.
Chakapad :
The abode of Lord Birupakshya, on the bank of river Burtunga, commands a panoramic view of nature. This place is famous as an important centre of Saivism. Lord Siva is worshipped here as Birupakshya, Anandeswara  and Jageswara with great veneration and reverence in three different magnificent temples. The striking features of this place is that the trees around it and siva linga inside, lean towards south.  The festivals like Sivaratri,Sitalsasthi and Rasha Purnima .  are celebrated here . Chakapad is a village having regular bus communication with Phulbani via Tikabali. . It is about  55 km from Phulbani.
Daringbadi :
Daringbadi, a vast area at the height of about 3000ft above sea level is an ideal summer resort which is popularly named as 'Kashmir of Orissa'. The place is gifted with natural bounties such as pine jungles, coffee gardens and beautiful valleys. . It is the only place in Orissa which experiences snow fall during Winter. The journey from the plains to the hills of Daringbadi is an experience in itself . This pretty hill station is 100 kms from Phulbani and  50 kms from Balliguda.The resting places are P.W.D. Inspection Bunglow and a Revenue I.B. A Tourist Bunglow is also under construction.
Gifted with ample scenic beauty, Belghar presents a panoramic view of lush and rolling hills. It is inhabited by Kutia Kondha tribe, who follow the age old tradition of food gathering and hut dwelling. They are very friendly and hospitable. More to be seen and encountered is the wild life especially elephants. . Belghar, a hamlet situated about 2555ft above the sea level is very much suitable for adventurous trekking to the nearby hills. Nearby Kotagarh sanctury is  popularl with tourist who wish to enjoy the wild unspoilt environment. . Belghar is 165kms from Phulbani and 70 kms from Balliguda. It is. connected with good motorable road. Thee is a  forest rest house and a tourist bunglow is coming up.  This area is also famous for cane works.
A place of natural beauty with a waterfall and pond where  one can play with fibres amidst dense forest.It is an ideal place for   picnic. The spot is 35 kms from Phulbani
This is a waterfall, with a height  of 30ms  near Sudrukumpa on Panisal- Baghiapada forest road . The spot is 18kms from Phulbani and 3 kms from Sudrukumpa .
The palce is famous for its towering zig-zag Ghat road with scenic beauty. The 11 kms long Ghat road starting from Kalinga is a picturesque and charming place. The nearby Silviculture Forest Reaserch Station is an added attraction. It is an ideal picnic spot on the  Phulbani- Berhampur road & 50kms from Phulbani. A PWD I.B. is available  for accomodation .
Ludu Water Fall
This enchanting waterfall is situated at Jakesi, near Subarnagiri  G.P.in Kotogarh Block. It is linked with a  motorable road to kotagarh.It is 165kms from Phulbani and an ideal place for picnic &  trekking.
How to Reach
Air : Nearest Air Port is at Bhubaneswar 211 KMs.
Rail : Nearest Rail Head is at Berhampur  on S.E. Railway 165 KMs from Phulbani.
Road : Phulbani is connected with Bhubaneswar, Berhampur, and other important places of the state by regular public bus service.
Internal Transport : Cycle-Rickshaw, Auto Rickshaw, Taxis and Jeeps are available on hire basis.

Important Facts


7654 Sq.Kms..








Literacy Rate




1. Jajpur

Head quarter


Vidhasabha seats


Sub division






Grama panchayat









 Max.- 40 to
Min.- 5 deg. celcius.




1587 m.m.

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