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Bargarh district

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 district has an area of 5837 Sq.Kms. The population of the district as per 2001 census is 13.46 Millions out of which 6.81 millions are male and 6.65 millions are female.

River System


The major rivers in the district are tributaries of Mahanadi river. Jira and Jhaun rivers flow through the Bargarh district and join the river Mahanadi in the extreme south of the district. The Jira has main tributary, the Danta which joins it a few miles north of its confluence with the Mahanadi near the village Gandturum in Bheden.

The other river that flows through the district is Ong (Ang) which rises in the Nawapara district and enters Borasambar (Padampur) at its extreme south-west corner. It flows through in a wide-semi-circle from west to east and leaves the district a few miles to the east of Gaisilat eventually joining the Mahanadi in the Subarnapur district.

Spring, Waterfall and Tanks

There are natural springs at Nrushinghanath at the foot of Gandhamardhan hills of Padampur subdivision forming streams flowing in cascades down the steep hill side. The waterfalls are called Kapil dhar, Bhim dhar and Chal dhar, which are considered to be very sacred. In the Barapahar hills there are a few springs notable among them is the one near the village Ghens.

There are many tanks in the district, some of which serve the purpose of irrigation. Notable among them are the Victoria Sagar near Ghens, Yogimunda in Barpali and Ranisagar in Bijepur.

Climate

The climate of this district is characterised by a very hot dry summer and well distributed rains in the south-west monsoon season. The cold season commences from November and lasts till the end of February. The hot season follows thereafter and continues till about the second week of June. the south-west monsoon season is from mid June to the end of September.

People

Language

Oriya is the main language spoken in the district. The Oriya spoken in the district differs from the spoken in the costal districts of Orissa. It is generally known as Sambalpuri Oriya and is spoken in western parts of Orissa. Hindi is one of the other languages prevalently spoken in the district, mostly in the urban areas.

Economy

Bargarh District has two distinctly different kinds of scenario in the field of economic development. The area under the Command Area of Hirakud Dam Project has a fairly developed agricultural sector, which contributes for the development of other sectors also. The rainfed area like Padampur Sub-Division and Bhatli & Ambabhona Blocks of Bargarh Sub-Division are backward with traditional agriculture and lack of development of other sectors as well.

Socio-Economic Development

During the recent years, there is an increased demand for taking up allied industries and service activities. Poultry, Diary schemes are becoming increasingly popular. The unemployed youths are evincing more interest in self-employment opportunities. The programmes of the government aim at direct attack on poverty as well as providing employment opportunities through creation of rural infrastructure.

Predominant Economic Activities

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.

Major Food, Commercial and Plantation and Horticulture Crops

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.

How to reach

The Bargarh district headquarter is on the National Highway No.6 running from Kolkata to Mumbai, hence well connected to the rest of the country with comfortable road. There is a Railway Station and the nearest Airport is Raipur (220 Kms) & Bhubaneswar (350 Kms). The best period of the year to visit this place is between October to March. During this period the Dhanu Yatra Festival (World's biggest open air theatre) is observed here.

Places of Interest

Nrusinghnath

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)

Gandhamardan

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.

Hiuen T'sang

Glowing tributes is paid to Hiuen T'sang, the champion Chinese traveler, who was attracted by the scenic splendour of Gandhamardan, during his tour to Dakhin Koshal (part of which is current Chhatishgarh and the bewitching colourful zone of Western Orissa). He has spoken of the flowering Buddhist University of PARIMALGIRI (po-lo-mo-lo-ki-li), which had its campus on the picturesque Gandhamardan hills.

Ecological Pyramid

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.

Papaharini

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.

The mighty mandap

Via Satyaam, as one goes from Nrusimhanath to Harishankar an old-patterned cave is caught in sight. It is just 10.5 Kms away from the main temple, having dimensions of 150 ft. length, 50 ft. breadth and 25 ft. depth. This mighty structure resembles like that of a typical Buddhist cave and prompts us recall the description of a Buddha Vihar by Hiuen T'Sang.

Asta-Sambhu

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.

Debrigarh

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.

Other Places of Interest

Ambabhona

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.

Attabira

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.

Barpali

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.

Bhatli

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.

Bijepur

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.

Diptipur

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.

Gaisama

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.

Melchhamunda

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.

Panimura

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)

Sohela

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.

Bargarh District at a glance :
Geographical Area (in Sq.Kms) 5837
No. of Subdivisions 2 (Bargarh & Padampur)
No. of Tehsils 8 (Attabita, Bargarh, Barpali, Bhatli, Bheden Padampur, Paikmal & Sohella)
No. of CD Blocks 12 (Ambabhona, Attabira, Bargarh, Barpali Bhatli, Bheden, Bijepur, Gaisilet, Jharbandh, Padampur, Paikmal & Sohella)
No. of Municipalities 1 (Bargarh)
No. of N.A.Cs 2 (Barpali & Padampur)
No. of Police Stations 14 Ambabhona, Attabira, Bargarh, Barpali, Bheden, Bijepur, Buden, Gaisilet, Jharbandh, Melchhamunda, Padampur, Paikmal & Sohella)
No. Fire Stations 2
No. of Grampanchayat (GP) 248
No. of Revenue Villages 1184
No. Assembly Constituencies 5 (123-Padampur, 124-Melchhamunda, 125-Bijepur, 126-Bhatli, 127-Bargarh)
Medical and Family Welfare Infrastructure (in Nos.)
District Head Qtr. Hospital 1
Sud-Divisional Hospitals 1
Community Health Centres (CHC) 5
Primary Health Centre (PHC) 9
Primary Health Centres (PHC New) 44
No. of Sub-Centres 216
L.E.Us 2
No. of PPCs 2
No. of Post Mortem Centres 2
No. of Ambulances in the district 11
Total Beds in Hospitals 249
Ayurvedic Hospitals 18
Homeopathic Hospitals 14
Infant Mortality Rate (per thousand) 82
Maternal Mortality Rate (Per Thousand) 5
Education
Primary Schools
No. of Schools 1429
Enrolment ('000 No.) 182
No. of Teachers 4339
Middle Schools
No. of Schools 404
Enrolment ('000 No.) 33
No. of Teachers 1214
Secondary Schools
No. of Schools 209
Enrolment ('000 No.) 37
No. of Teachers 1699
General Colleges
No. of Colleges 58
Enrolment ('000 No.) 19
No. of Teachers 633
Communication
Road Length (in- Kms)
National Highway 97
State Highway 142
Major District Road 113
Other District Road 141
Classified Village Road 45
Village Road 1060
G.P Road 6560
Panchayat Samiti Road 1310
Forest Road 231
Railway Route length (in Kms) 53
No. of Railway Stations 3
Animal Husbandry
Hospitals & Dispensaries 19
Live Stock Aid Centres 124
Artificial Insemination Centres (A.I.centres) 101
Veterinary Asst. Surgeons 17
Addl. Veterinary Surgeons 8
Live Stock Inspectors 148
Live Stock Population
Total Livestock 7,66,028
Total Cattle 4,86,377
Total C.B. Livestock 96,388
Total Female CB Livestock 56,937
Total Buffaloes 38,432
Total Sheep 57,915
Total Goats 1,75,083
Total Poultry 4,49,407
Total Ducks 34,287
Total Pigs 8,261
Industry
Registered Reporting Factories 61
House Hold Cottage Industries 9,435
Productive Capital 666439 Lakhs
Net Value added by manufacture 4703 Lakhs
Classification of Works (No.)
Cultivators
2,05,000
Total Employees 4838
Small Farmers 73,819
Marginal Farmers 76,639
Big Farmers 53,092
Agricultural Labourers 1,64,339
Artisans 18,972
Other Workers 65,000
No. of BPL Families 2,12,454