Mayurbhanj is a land locked district with a total geographical area of 10418 Sq.km. and is situated in the Northern boundary of the state with district headquarters at Baripada. The district is bounded in the North-East by Midnapure district of West Bengal, Singhbhum district of Jharkhand in the North-west, Baleshwar district in the South-East and by Kendujhar in the South-West. More than 39 % of total geographical area (4049 Sq.Km.) is covered with forest and hills. The district comprises of 4 numbers of Sub-divisions with 26 nos of blocks with 382 Gram Panchayats and 3945 villages.
The district comes under “North Central Plateau agro-climatic region with an average rainfall of 1648.20 mm per annum. Being away from the coastal belt, the district experiences a sub-tropical climate with a hot summer, chilling winter with good precipitation. Red-laterite category of soil dominates all over the district including Bamanghati and Panchpir plateau.
Mayurbhanj occupies a unique position being endowed with lush green vegetation, different fauna and rich cultural heritage. The district has a rich mineral base and is home to the Similipal Biosphere. This was a princely state until its merger with the state of Odisha on 1st January,1949. Since the date of its merger, Mayurbhanj has been organized and is administered as one of the districts of Odisha.
Iron-ore (hematite), vanadiferous and titaniferous magnetic, chaina clay, galena (lead ore), Kyanite, asbestos, steatite (soap stone) and quartzite constitute the principal mineral resources of Mayurbhanj district, of these the iron-ore deposits of Gorumahisani, Badampahar and Suleipat, which have been exploited for a period of about half a century, deserve special mention.
Mayurbhanj had been dwelled by ancient Palaeolithic people since the prehistoric times. Evidence represents an archaic Lower Palaeolithic human occupation, which evolved into an Acheulian form comparable to the Midnapur district of West Bengal. Some historians opine that Mayurbhanj in fact acted as a large, rich, and pristine epicentre of Lower Palaeolithic occupation from where successive periodic movements must have entered Midnapur district and other parts of the country.
The rulers of the Bhanja dynasty continued to rule over this State in unbroken succession since about the 9th century A.D. The name of the State under the early Bhanja rulers was Khijjinga Mandala named after the Capital Khijjinga Kotta. The copper plate inscription issued by those rulers indicate that Khijjinga Mandala was an extensive territory comprising the present Mayurbhanj and Kendujhar districts as well as parts of Singhbhum district in Bihar and Midnapore district in West Bengal. During the Moghul Period, the territory of Bhanja rulers extended as far as the sea. By that time, the capital had shifted from Khijjinga Kotta to Haripur.
The district had been the centre of activity of the Bhanja Kings who incidentally had very good relations with the Mayur Kings of Kendujhar. The name of the district has in fact been derived by joining both these clans; the Mayurs and the Bhanjas. The Bhanjas are known to be the longest reining clan of Kings of the district. With their capital in Khiching of today, the Bhanjas ruled Mayurbhanj for more than 1000 years in royal succession until the freedom of the country. Founded by Sila Bhanja Angaddi, the rule of Bhanjas was responsible for alround development of the district. The Bhanjas were known to be the promoters of Art, Architecture and culture. The Haribaldev temple, the Khichhing temple and numerous other architecture in and around the district stand testimony to this. Also the Bhanjas were responsible for the development and promotion of the Chau dance form which is now acknowledged World wide for its unique martial, tribal and classical elements.
The Kings of Mayurbhanj were pioneering force in the upliftment of Odisha under British rule. In fact, it was one of the most progressive districts in the whole nation during the British rule. The Bhanja kings established the first Medical college of the state in Cuttack. They donated huge sum of money and land for establishment of higher educational institutions like Ravenshaw College. They were also responsible for making endeavors and finally persuading the Britishers for a railway route to Odisha. The Mayurbhanj state got merged in the state of Odisha on 1st January 1949
Tourist Places of Mayurbhanj
hick and green forests, extensive grassy lands and meadows, cloud kissing peaks, precipitous and sparkling waterfalls, meandering rivers, roaring tigers and trumpeting tuskers, fleeing deer and flying squirrels, talking myna and dancing peacocks et al make Similipal a dreamland of Nature in the wilderness and an irresistible destination. Covering a vast are of 2750 sq. km out of which 303 sq. km from the core area, thick biosphere reserve is a sanctuary and one of the Tiger Projects and National parks of India. With wide range of rain falls and edaphic variations, range from dry deciduous to moist green forests, it is suitable to different species of flora and fauna. About 1076 species of mammals, 29 types of reptiles and 231 species of birds are the proud possession of this plateau. Average mean elevation of Similipal is 900 meters. Tall and luxuriant Sal Trees in large numbers stand like sentries. The handsome peaks of Khairiburu (1178 meters), Meghasani (1158 meters) and others welcome like smiling receptionists from the emerald heights. Sweet scented Champak flowers freshen the air. The richly hued orchids on the green foliage are soothing to the eyes. In the midst of the dense forests, the summer stands humbled and the sun gets lost. Several rivers like Budhabalanga, Khairi, salandi, Palpala, etc. originate from the hills and meander through the forest like veins and arteries in the body. many of them have formed cascading rapids and foaming falls before leaving for the plains. The panoramic view of the waterfalls at Barehipani (400 meters) and Joranda(150 meters) are simply enchanting of fish, is found in abundance in most of the rivers. The silence of Similipal is occasionally broken by the chirping of the birds to an avian delight. The dense forest and riverine system serve as an excellent home to some of the most beautiful creatures of the World. To stay with them, even for a while, is a thrilling experience. Herds of elephants majestically walking across the roads and rivulets could be a regular sight. While you are moving on the hilly tracts, predators like Tiger and Leopards might be obliviously lulling under the shade with their own thoughts. If lucky, you could spot them there, or else see them around the saltlicks at places like Chahala. Forget the apprehensive dear at Similipal is at its natural best.
District Headquarter : Baripada
State Capital : Bhubaneswar
Nearest Railway Station : Baripada
Nearest Airport : Bhubaneswar
How to Reach :
Road – Baripada, the district headquaters of Mayurbhanj, on the junction of NH 5 and 6, is 170 km from Bhubaneswar, 240 from Kolkata and 60 km from Balasore and 22 km from Pithabata, which is an entry point. The other entry point Jashipur is 94 km from Baripada on N.H. 6. Both the places are well connected by regular bus services. Taxis and Jeeps are available. Rail – Nearest railhead is Balasore (60 km from Baripada), served by major trains running on the South-Eastern sector. Air – Nearest airports are Bhubaneswar (270 kms) and Kolkata (240 km)
Best Time : First November to Fifteenth June only
Contact Person : M. R. Mohapatra (Tourist Officer)
Contact Person Phone : 9438084162