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Kalahandi district

The present District of Kalahandi was in ancient times a part of South Kosals. It was princely state. After Independence of the Country, merger of princely state took place on 1st January, 1948. The princely state of Kalahandi was merged in Orissa alongwith other princely states in the 1st November, 1949. Subsequently,in 1962, Kashipur Police Station was taken out from this District and merged with Koraput. Kalahandi district occupies the Southwestern portion of Orissa and is situated between 19 degree 3' N and 21 degree 5' N latitude and 82 degree 30 E and 83 Degree 74' E langitude. It is bounded in the North by the District of Balangir and Nawapara, on the South by the District of Rayagada, on the West by the District of Nawarangpur and Raipur (Chhatisgarh) and on the East by the District of Rayagada and Boudh. The District Headquarters is at Bhawanipatna town which stands almost to the Eastern border. Kalahandi district has an area of 8,364.89 sq.km and ranks 7th among the 30 districts of Orissa. Forest occupies 4,964 of the total geographical area of the district, i.e. not cultivated area of the District in the year 1993 is 375752 Hec. In the same year, 11,602 hectors were left as fallow lands or cultivable waste land.


The District has two distinct physiographic regions, the plain lands and the hilly tracts. The plan region runs Southward upto Bhawanipatna and then westward through Junagarh and Dharmgarh and then further upto the boundary of the District. The plains cover about 59 percent of the total area of the District. The Hilly tracts are mostly located in the South western part of Bhawanipatna Subdivision. Some of the hilly regions are covered with dense forest.


The District has two sub-divisions, 12 Police Stations, five Tehsils, 13 Blocks, 1 Municipality, two N.A.Cs., 1 Treasury, 5 Sub-Treasuries and 195 Gram Panchayats of 2185 villages.

Rainfall and Climate

The climate of the District is of extreme type. It is dry except during monsoon. There are large varieties of day and night temperature. The average annual rainfall of the district is 1378.20 mm. The variation in the rainfall from year to year is not large. The monsoon starts late in June and generally lasts upto September. 90% of the rainfall received from June to September. August is the month with more number of rainy days. About 28% of rainfall is received during this month . Drought is normal feature of this district.

Temperature and Humidity

There are large variations in the day and night temperature. The summer seasons starts from the beginning of March. May is the hottest month when the maximum temperature is about 45 C (82 degree F). The temperature drops down with the onset of monsoon towards the second week of June and throughout the monsoon the weather remains cool. December is the coldest month, as the mean daily minimum temperature is recorded at 11 degree C. Relative humidity is generally higher from June to December. It is lower (27%) in the non-monsoon months. During August, it is the highest i.e. 70% and March is the month lowest when it is lowest 27%. Northern plateau (at 2150 MSL) of Sunabeda in Komna Block of Nawapara district has a coller climate so also the Rampur area (at 2700 Feet MSL).

Soil and Land Classification

The district has five types of soils broadly classified as under:

The red laterite soil which is different in phosphorus and nitrogen is found all over the district. Mostly under the feet hill and hillocks, in Bhawanipatna and Dharmgarh Tehsil occurance of heavy soil is common. It is rich in pottasium and Nitrogen but poor in Phosphorus.

Sandyloan soil is seen in Lanjigarh and of the Bhawanipatna Tahasil.

The area on the river bank of Udanti, Utei and Sagada are alluvial sandy and sandyloam spills.

The fertility of soil in Dharmgarh and Jaipatna Tehsil areas is high.

The red soil, black clay, sand loam, yellow soils occur in the district with following percentages :

1. Redsoil 31.68%
2. Black clay (heavy) 13.90%
3. Clay & sandyloam 54.44%


Tel, Indravati which from tributories of large rivers like Mahanadi and Godavari may be mentioned amongst the principal rivers of Kalahandi. However, Tel is by far the longest and most important river of the District. The tributories of river Tel and Moter, Hati Sagada, Ret, Uttei, Raul, Sundary, Undanti lands are also the important other rivers. Most of the rivers are rained and go dry during summer. Indravati and Nagavali, two important rivers have their origin from Th-Rampur of this District.


Nearly half of the total Geographical area of Kalahandi District 4,962 Sq.Kms was covered with forest. In the recent times this has been a considerable shrinkage in forest areas due to denudation.


Bauxite, Graphites, Manganeese, Iron annd Quarz are some of the minerals available in the district. Of these, only Bauxite and Graphite has been commercialy exploited. Bauxite are found in Lanjigarh Block at Niamgiri inlarge sacle. Manganeese deposits are found mostly in Khariar Plateau of Nawapara District and Iron ores in places adjoining Koraput district. But these ores are of poor grade and are not considered suitable for economy exploitation. According to the National Council of Applied Economic Reasearch, the known deposits of minerals in the distrcit cannot by themselves sustain heavy mineral based industry.


There are 3 large scale Industries namely (1)Western Sugar & Chemical Industries Ltd, Bhawanipatna at Mathura in Dharamgarh Sub-Division, (2)Konark Growers Cooperative Spinning Mills Ltd, Kesinga and (3) Orissa Regional Cooperative Oil Seed Growers Union Ltd. at Bhawanipatna.

How to reach

By Train

The total length of the Railway in the District is only 44 Kms. The Raipur-Vizianagaram broad-gauge link of the S.E. Railway passes through this district and connects 5 stations in the District. It links the District with important places like Raipur, Vizianagaram, Rourkela, Bolangir, Sambalpur, Kesinga, Narla Road and khariar Road.

By Air

There is one Air Strip in the District which is at Utkela 25 Kms. from Bhawanipatna.

Kalahandi District at a glance :
Geographical Areas 7920 Sq.km
Area under Forest 2,538.01 Sq.km (32 %)
Total 1335494
Male 667526
Female 667968
Rural 1235275
Urban 100219
Scheduled Caste
Total 236019 (17.67 )
Male 117344
Female 118675
Scheduled Tribe
Total 385273 ( 28.84% )
Male 188646
Female 193927
Density of population 169 per sq.kms.
Total 513383 ( 62.45% )
Male 349473
Female 163910
Total Numbers of House Holds
Total 320624
Rural 299942
Urban 20682
Total Numbers BPL House Holds ( 1997 ) 193054
Number of SC/ST House holds ( 1997 ) 111884
Percentage of BPL Family ( 1997) 62.71 %
Percentage of BPL Family ( 1992 ) 85.77 %
Administration Set up
Number of Sub-Division 2
Number of Tehsils 7
Number of Municipality 1
Number of N.A.C. 2
Number of Blocks 13
Number of Police Station 12
Number of Gram Panchayat 273
No. of Inhabited Villages 2099
No. of Uninhabited Villages 137
Total Number of villages 2236
Government Land 229337.58 Hect.
Forest land 253801 Hect.
Non-Forest Land 200681.86 Hect.
Gochar/Communal/Nalas 18618.99 Hect.
Geographical Area 7920 Sq.KM
Normal rainfall 1378.20 mm
Actual rainfall ( 2000 ) 1291.80 mm
Total cultivable Land 3,93,550 Hect. ( 49.7 % )
i) High Land 2,12,800 Hect.
ii) Medium Land 1,09,750 Hect.
iii) Low Land 71,000 Hect.
Total Paddy Land 1,83,000 Hect ( 46.50 % )
i) High Land 68,000 Hect.
ii) Medium Land 44,000 Hect.
iii)Low Land 71,000 Hect.
Other Crop Area 2,10,550 Hect.
Land Holding pattern
Size of the holding No.of holdings(Families)
Marginal farmers (below one Hect) 64,751
Small Farmers(1 to 2 Hect) 42,516
Semi medium farmers(2 hect to 4 Hect) 35,481
Medium Farmers ( 4 Hect to 10 Hect.) 17,548
Larger Farmers (10.09 Hect & above) 1,791
Landless Agricultural Labourers 77,567
Total 2,39,654
Number of A.R.C.S. Circles 2
Number of total agricultural families 2,15,000
Number of families enrolled inCooperatives 1,85,000
Percentage of enrolment 86 %
Number of Regulated Marketing Committee 4
Number of Regional CooperativeMarketing Socities 2
Number of Wholesale Centres 1
Number of LAMPCS 6
Number of S.C.S. 70
Number of E.Cs. 29
Number of Cooperative Union 1
Number of Milk Producer's Cooperative Union 1
No.of Fisherman Coop Society 17
No.of Industrial Coop. Society 23
Number of F.S.C.S. 1
Number of Central Coop. Bank 1
No.of State Bank of India (Branches) 19
No.of Gramya Bank 44
No.of Indian Overseas Bank 3
No. of Bank of India 4
No.of Central Bank of India 1
Length of Railway route 38 Kms.
No. of Railway stations 5
Length of National Highway 184 Kms.
Length of State Highway 215 Kms.
Length of Major Dist. Road 266 Kms.
Length of Rural Road 1061 Kms.
Length of Forest Road 309 Kms.
Length of Other Dist. Road 46 Kms
Length of P.S. Roads 517 Kms.
Length of G.P. Roads 9955 Kms.
Type of Irrigation Nos Area( Hect.) Percentage
Major 1 69295 (18.45 %)
Minor 109 22229 ( 5.92%)
Medium 1 9306 (2.47 %)
Lift 364 7840 ( 2.08 %)
Private Lift 174 829 ( 0.2 %)
Dug Well 13382 5341 ( 1.42 % )
Total Irrigation Area 14031 114840 (30.59 % )
Drinking Water Facilities
Number of tube-wells sunk( excluding sanitary wells ) : 5,121 nos.
No. of District HQ Hospital 1
No.of subdivisional Hospitals 1
No.of Primary Health Centre (PHC) 3 Block level
39 Others
No.of Mobile Health Units 13
No.of Community Health Centre (CHC) 10
No.of Other Hospitals 4
No.of Taluk Hospital 1
No.of T.B. Hospital 1
No.of Homeopathic Hospital 13
No.of Ayurvedic Hospital 13
No.of Beds in Hospitals 483
Lives Stock
Total no.of Livestock population 22.70 lakhs
No.of Veterinary Hospitals 21
No.of Veterinary Dispensaries 18
No.of Live Stock Aid-Centres 113
No.of Diary Farm 1
No.of Frozen Seimen Bank 1
Education ( Includinng T.R.W.)
No.of Primary schools 1896
No. of Middle School 361
No. of Secendary School 192
H & T.W. Deptt. 24
Upper Primary schools 350
High Schools 187
S.T. School 1
D.I.E.T. 1
General Colleges 31
Vocational Higher Secondary Schools 6
Saraswati Bidya Mandir 2
Saraswati Sishu Mandir 6
Aurobindo Integral Schools 4
Kanya Ashram 1
Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya 1
B.Ed. Training College 1
Law College 1
Deaf & Dumb School 1
Blind School 1
English Medium Public School 3
Sunday Art School 1
Sanskrit Tolal 1
Prathamic 618
Madhyamic 48
1. % of villages electrified 62.96 %
2. No.of Harijan Basties electrified 239
District Jail 1
Sub-Divisional Jail 1
Posts & Telegraphs
No.of Post Offices 306
No.of Telegraph Office 4
Number of Railway Stations 5
Number of All India Radio Station 1
Number of Doordarsan Stations 1
Number of Cinema Halls 3
Number of Air Strip 1
Number of Stadium 1
Number of Museum 1

Places of Interest


The headquarters of Kalahandi District, Bhawanipatna is a town of numerous temples dedicated to different deities of Hindu pantheon. Named after its presiding deity 'Bhawanishankar', it is the most convenient base for touring various places of interest in the district and the nearby district of Nawapara.

How to reach

418 km from Bhubaneswar, Bhawanipatna is connected by all-weather roads and regular bus services from important parts of Orissa. The nearest railway station is at Kesinga - 35 km.


Amathguda is a fort, situated on the right bank of the river Tel to the place where the road leading towards Balangir crosses the river. It is now incomplete ruins. Nothing is definitely known about this fort as its remains have not yet been investigated. The fort, presumably, was of considerable strategic importance in view of the fact that it stood close to the point where the river was forded since ancient time. The road which spanned the river by a low bridge ran almost on the old route. Another bridge was constructed about a few metres away from the old ruined bridge. Portions of this new bridge have been washed away by the high floods in river Tel that occured in 1977.


Asurgarh is a small village situated in Narla Police Station area and is known for the remains of old fort. It is 5 KM from Narla and 3 Kms from Rupra Road Railway station. Not far from the village is an oval shaped tank nearly 200 acres (80.9374 Hects.) in area. Between the tank and the river Sandul lie the ruins of a fort called Asurgarh. The fort in its original shape was rectangular covering a wide extent of land encircled by a boat. It has four entrances one each on the East, West, South and North where the deities Ganga Devi, Kala Pahad, Vaishnavi and Budharaja are respectively being worshipped. Inside the fort, there is a small halmets where Goddess Dokari (Literally means "Old Lady"), the presiding deity of the fort is worshipped. The central part of the fort has a higher elevation with a round on it, which is supposed to be the ruins of a palace. Local people believe that the fort was the seal of a demon kind called GOSINHA DAITYA.


77 K.Ms from Bhawanipatna the picturesque Ampani hills present a panoramic view of nature. A frolicking valley called "Haladigundi" in this hill range exhibits some peculiar features due to the reflected rays on the sun. In the morning and evening the objects of vision appear yellow. The whole area abounds in spotted deer, Sambar and Black Panthers who can be seen at the Behera reservoir. 5 K.Ms away are the pre-historic cave paintings at Gudahandi.


Situated on the confluence of the river Tel and Uttei, two tributaries of the river Mahanadi, Belkhandi has gained prominence as a centre of religious activities and archaeological importance with a picture-sque site. Besides the temples now standing therein, ruins of 12th Century monuments have been excavated from there in the recent past. Among the sculptures unearthed images of Sapta Matruka (Seven Mother Goddesses) and Uma Maheswar are note-worthy. The ruins of Belkhandi are preserved in a small museum adjacent to the temple premises. It is also an ideal site for an outing. This place is 67 K.Ms from Bhawanipatna.


The Gudahandi hills are situated in the vicinity of Khaligarh, a tiny village close to the Koraput District boarder, about 17.6 km northeast of Ampani. Ampani is 77 K.Ms from Bhawanipatna on the road towards Nawarangpur. In the Gudahandi hills are some ancient caves bearing pictographic paintings of remote antiquity, Khaligarh is a very out of the way place, the 17.6 K.Ms of Ampani being car track parts of which pass through dense forest. Three small hills, all of curved length, are together known as the Gudahandi hills. The North and the South hills join each other in the East leaving a courtyard like valley in between which is open towards the West. This valley is paved by a huge block of stone slopping down to the East. Just at the foot of these hills facing the valley are rows of caves. Excepting one in the North, all the caves are small in size. Although at places hewed to shape by human hand they generally appear to have been formed by nature itself in red slate stone. Pictographic paintings in Red and Black colours appear at the entrances of some of caves in the Southern row. These have not yet been thoroughly studied but it is generally surmised that they bear approximately to the picture scripts of the Indus Valley Civilisation. Besides Gudahandi in Kalahandi District, Bikramkhol and Ulapgarh in Sambalpur District and Naraj in Cuttack District also possess some writings resembling pictographic paintings. a fact indicative of pre-historic man's habitation in Orissa. The third hill extending North to South stands like a way to the immediate West of the Valley. But as this hill does not join with the other two, the valley is approachable from the North as well as from the South by a narrow pass. All the three hills taken together have the appearance of a pot with a lid on. The name Gudahandi, meaning a pot, for molasses, may have its origin in the impression its shape apparently conveys. A rivulet named Behera flows past the village. There are remains of a very old dam across this revulet, local people call it the work of Bhima, the second of the Pandavas.


The old Capital of the Ex-State of Kalahandi. Junagarh was a well built fort, the fortified area has a number of temples with Oriya inscriptions. This is a place which has sculptural evidence of the "Sati-Rite" which was prevalent in medieval India and was stopped during the British Rule by Lord William Bentick. The sculptures are identified as Sati Pillars which can make interesting study. Junagarh is 26 K.Ms from Bhawanipatna.


Karlapat is a small village in the Rampur Police Station area. Nearby, there is a Water fall called "Khandual" fall at the foot of a hill the top of which is the abode of a female deity called "Khandua". The fall was formerly utilised in some indigenous manner of operating a crushing mill. At Karlapat there is a temple dedicated to "MANIKESWARI".


Lanjigarh is a village situated to the South-East of Bhawanipatna near the Kalahandi-Koraput border. It is 64 K.Ms from Bhawanipatna by road. The 428 Ft. high summit of the Niamgiri hills situated just on the district border overlooks a narrow valley to its North of which Lanjigarh forms the appex. Lanjigarh was the headquarters of Lanjigarh Zamindari under Kalahandi Ex-state. The village has some fortifications with a large moat around. It contains the temples of Gopinath and a female Deity called "Dokari" greatly reverred in the area. The local Jhami Yatra or Jhamu Yatra in the month of Chaitra (March - April) is an occassion when thousands of people gathered and witness the walking on burning charcoal by a number of devotees, Lanjigarh exports Black gram (Biri), Ragi (Mandia) Sesame (Til), Mustard seeds and pulses (Kandul), Guava, Orange and Sugar cane are grown in plenty near Lanjigarh . River Banadhara originates from this hilly area.

Mohangiri Mohangiri is a village in Madanpur-Rampur Police Station close to Boudh-Kandhamals District

border in the North-East corner of the district. It is 35 K.Ms from Madanpur Rampur. The village is near a hill stream called Kali Ganga. A dilapidated Siva Temple stands on the Bank of the stream. There are a few short epigraphic records on its walls and pillars.


Fifteen Kilometres from Bhawanipatna, Phurlijharan is a perennial water fall about 30 Ft in height and has a special charm of its own. The multicoloured rainbow created by the sunrays falling on the scattered water particles of the fall is an amusing sight to be seen. The evergreen forests around the fall provide ample opportunities to group picnickers.


Rabandarh is a place of great scenic beauty lying about 12.8 K.Ms from Bhawanipatna and approachable by a dusty road. It is named after a small water fall inside a mountain gorge. The panorama around provides some delightful contrasts of scenery, in mountains and over looking dales, in bore rocks and thick forests and in the eternal calmness of the surroundings broken by the music of the fall. Despite bad communications picnic parties some times visit the place from Bhawanipatna as there is no market nearby. The stream which creates the fall almost dries up during the hot season. Down stream, a Minor Irrigation Project utilises its water for agriculture purposes.

Budhikomna (115 km)

Budhikomna houses the unique brick temple of Pataleswar it is 40 km from Khariar.


Also 9 km east of Khariar this place is famed for the cave paintings of Neolithic age.

Patalaganga 40 km from Khariar, is considered as a holy spot.