Gajapati district came into being with effect from 2nd October 1992. Prior to this it was a part (Sub-Division) of Ganjam district. This district lies between 18.450 East to 19.400 West latitude and 85.480 North to 84.270 South longitude. Ganjam district and Andhra Pradesh bound this district on the east, Rayagada district on the west, Ganjam and Phulbani districts on the north and Andhra Pradesh on the south. While the Ganjam is a developed, well connect with road and rail facilities, industrially and agriculturally prosperous district the Gajapati district continue to be an under developed mountainous region, pre dominated by tribal people with low literacy rate and with very low standard of living of majority of people. Atmospheric temperature varies between 16 to 480 Celsius. The normal rainfall received in the district is 1323.55 mm.
Climate & Rainfall
Soil & Rock
The major part of the district belongs to hilly terrain and undulated topography, which is inhabited by the tribals. The highest mountain of the district Mahendragiri lies at an altitude of 4,923 feet above the sea level. The geographical formation of the district is Alluvial, brown land Lateriates, Gondowanas, Newer Dolerites and Archon comprising igneous and metamorphic rocks. The main soil types are clay loam, sandy loam and red soil.
The soil and climate is suitable for plantation crops and there is a great potential of horticulture development in the district. More than 60% of lands are situated in hilly terrain, which has been treated as high lands, which is mainly suited for horticulture plantation and other cultivable land belongs to the category of medium lands (20%) and low lands (15%).
The mountains contain no exploitable mineral of economic value. However, the major economic minerals in the district are granite decorative stones found in some part of the Paralakhemundi Tahasil.
The river Vansadhara and Mahendratanaya are two important rivers of Gajapati district. The river Vansadhara originated from Lanjigarh area of Kalahandi district and passes through Kashinagar block and flows southwards along the border of line of Gajapati district. The river Mahendratanaya has originated from the Mahendragiri range and flows in the westward direction through Rayagada block and then to southward direction through Gosani block. Another river Badanadi flows through western part of Mohona block. There are 171 M.I Projects & 162 L.I Projects in this district. There is excellent scope for tank and reservoir fishery and scientific fish farming.
Out of total forest area of 2,351.11 sq.km., 446.12 sq. km. are reserve forest. The major forest products are Timber, Bamboo, Hill Broom, Patala Garuda, Soap nut, B. Kaliakhali, Marsinga leaf, Dhatuki flowers, Kochila seeds, Genduli gum, Siali leaves and Kathalai etc.
Except a few agro-processing industries, there is no industry and industrial estate in this district. However some activities of cottage industries like Horn work, Jaikhadi bag, Cane & Bamboo, Ganjappa Card & Pattachitra Mukha, Tibetan & Woolen Carpet, Broom work and Siali leaf plate making contributes some place in the industrial sector of the district.
There is no major rail/road communication to this district. One narrow gauge railway route from Naupada (Andhra Pradesh) to Gunupur (Rayagada district of Orissa) constructed in the year 1889 by the Maharaja of Paralakhemundi, spending Rs.99.00 lakhs from his exchequers. It covers 93 kms. in the district. The length of the State highway is 125.05 kms., major district road is 167.61 kms. in this district.
There are 03 hospitals with head quarter hospital at Paralakhemundi, 18 dispensaries, 05 P.H.Cs, 02 C.H.Cs, 02 mobile health units, 124 subsidiary health centers, 03 Homoeopathic and 04 Ayurvedic hospitals are in the district. Besides, 02 Ambulance, 02 X-Ray unit facilities, 01 Blood Bank and 01 E.C.G center are available in this district.
There are 07 Colleges out of which, 01 College upto P.G level, 01 Women's College & 01 Sanskrit College is at district headquarter, 23 Boy's & 02 Girl's High schools, 92 M.E schools, 01 vocational Higher Secondary school, 920 Primary schools and 15 English medium public schools/Sishu Mandir/Integral school are in the district. 01 IGNOU study center has started its functioning in the S.K.C.G college, Paralakhemundi during the year 2000-2001. Besides, 48 Sebashrams, 03 residential Sebashrams, 07 Boy's & 03 Girl's High schools, 01 Kanyashram & 03 Ashram schools of M.E standard and 65 schools are run by the Tribal Welfare department, Orissa in this district.
2325 numbers of tube wells and 974 numbers of sanitary wells have been sunk in the district.
There are 6,37,849 numbers of livestock population in the district supported by 01 veterinary hospital, 10 veterinary dispensaries, 47 L.A.Cs, 23 L.A.C/V.D having F.S.A.I facility.
Places of Interest
Adarsh Krushi Farm
It is situated at about 5 kms. from Paralakhemundi towards Gumma below the Devagiri rang forest. Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati, who was a member of Royal Agriculture Commission, established it. Various types of agricultural breed were brought and planted in the firm on experimental basis and hybrid seeds were distributed to the farmers on free of cost to grow crops. Now it is converted to mango orchard and new varieties of hybrid mango plantation in large scale are going on. A beautiful place for enjoyment during the summer season.
Also known as "Brundaban Palace", was made by the Maharaja of Paralakhemundi for their use during summer. It is situated on the bank of river Mahendratanaya surrounded by thick teak trees. The palace is three storied including an under ground floor. There an under ground connection to it with the main palace of Maharaja. The art engraved in this palace is worth seeing. Now it is donated to Government in Education Department and P.G Classes of S.K.C.G College are held in this building. The administrative office of the IGNOU center is also functioning in this building. There is an orchard near to the palace. People of Paralakhemundi and its near by towns use to visit this place during winter for picnic as well as for its scenic beauty.
It is situated at about 34 kms. from Paralakhemundi and 6 kms. from Gumma. The place was remembered for "Paik Unrest" during British Raj. It is famous for its scenic beauty and also a health resort. It is also known as the "Kashmir of Gajapati". Large-scale horticulture plantation found here.
It situated at about 30 kms. from Paralakhemundi. There is a waterfall surrounded by the dense forest. Wild elephants come to the upper side of this waterfall to bath/drink water. There is a beautiful temple near the waterfall. Tourists/people from far and near visit the place for picnic throughout the season.
A pilgrim Center situated about 4, 500 ft. above the sea level. People from all walks of lives throng to this place during Maha Shiva Ratri. It is a location of many historical relics and a place of religious importance. Kunti, Judhistir & Bheema temples are on the hilltop. The Gokarneswar Linga in Kunti temple provides puzzle to the devotees. Any amount of water poured into the ear of the cow head-shaped stone soon disappears and never overflows. It is not known where does all this water go.
It is situated at about 90 kms. from Paralakhemundi and 15 kms. from R. Udayagiri. The Tibetans settle a beautiful place surrounded by forest. Large-scale horticulture plantation like mango, orange, guava, pineapple etc. along with a Government horticulture farm as well as the cultural activities of the Tibetans makes this place more beautiful. This place is famous for seasonal fruits, Tibetan woolen garments & carpet also for dogs of various breeds. It is also a health resort.
It is situated 31 kms. from Paralakhemundi and 8 kms. from Koinpur. It is famous for the Baladev Temple surrounded by dense forest and horticulture plantation. It is also famous for Gudguda waterfall.
One irrigation project with scenic beauty and pisciculture has made the place tourist importance. A good place for picnic during winter.