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1Bargarh District
Bargarh District is an administrative district of Odisha state in eastern India. The city of Bargarh is its district headquarters. The district was carved out of the erstwhile district of Sambalpur in 1993.
Bargarh District Population 2011
In 2011, Bargarh had population of 1,478,833 of which male and female were 748,332 and 730,501 respectively. In 2001 census, Bargarh had a population of 1,346,336 of which males were 681,500 and 664,836 were females. 2001 census, this figure for Bargarh District was at 3.66 percent of Maharashtra population.
Bargarh District Population Growth Rate
There was change of 9.84 percent in the population compared to population as per 2001. In the previous census of India 2001, Bargarh District recorded increase of 11.53 percent to its population compared to 1991.
Bargarh District Density 2011
The initial provisional data released by census India 2011, shows that density of Bargarh district for 2011 is 253 people per sq. km. In 2001, Bargarh district density was at 231 people per sq. km. Bargarh district administers 5,837 square kilometres of areas.
Bargarh Literacy Rate 2011
Average literacy rate of Bargarh in 2011 were 75.16 compared to 63.99 of 2001. If things are looked out at gender wise, male and female literacy were 84.28 and 65.84 respectively. For 2001 census, same figures stood at 77.41 and 50.26 in Bargarh District. Total literate in Bargarh District were 994,056 of which male and female were 563,095 and 430,961 respectively. In 2001, Bargarh District had 749,820 in its district.
Bargarh Sex Ratio 2011
With regards to Sex Ratio in Bargarh, it stood at 976 per 1000 male compared to 2001 census figure of 976. The average national sex ratio in India is 940 as per latest reports of Census 2011 Directorate. In 2011 census, child sex ratio is 946 girls per 1000 boys compared to figure of 957 girls per 1000 boys of 2001 census data.
Bargarh Child Population 2011
There were total 156,185 children under age of 0-6 against 174,490 of 2001 census. Of total 156,185 male and female were 80,246 and 75,939 respectively. Child Sex Ratio as per census 2011 was 946 compared to 957 of census 2001. In 2011, Children under 0-6 formed 10.56 percent of Bargarh District compared to 12.96 percent of 2001. There was net change of -2.4 percent in this compared to previous census of India.
Bargarh District Urban Population 2011
Out of the total Bargarh population for 2011 census, 10.12 percent lives in urban regions of district. In total 149,708 people lives in urban areas of which males are 76,328 and females are 73,380. Sex Ratio in urban region of Bargarh district is 961 as per 2011 census data. Similarly child sex ratio in Bargarh district was 927 in 2011 census. Child population (0-6) in urban region was 15,537 of which males and females were 8,062 and 7,475. This child population figure of Bargarh district is 10.56 % of total urban population. Average literacy rate in Bargarh district as per census 2011 is 85.24 % of which males and females are 91.33 % and 78.92 % literates respectively. In actual number 114,361 people are literate in urban region of which males and females are 62,346 and 52,015 respectively.
Bargarh District Rural Population 2011
As per 2011 census, 89.88 % population of Bargarh districts lives in rural areas of villages. The total Bargarh district population living in rural areas is 1,329,125 of which males and females are 672,004 and 657,121 respectively. In rural areas of Bargarh district, sex ratio is 978 females per 1000 males. If child sex ratio data of Bargarh district is considered, figure is 948 girls per 1000 boys. Child population in the age 0-6 is 140,648 in rural areas of which males were 72,184 and females were 68,464. The child population comprises 10.74 % of total rural population of Bargarh district. Literacy rate in rural areas of Bargarh district is 74.02 % as per census data 2011. Gender wise, male and female literacy stood at 83.48 and 64.37 percent respectively. In total, 879,695 people were literate of which males and females were 500,749 and 378,946 respectively. All details regarding Bargarh District have been processed by us after receiving from Govt. of India. We are not responsible for errors to population census details of Bargarh District.
There are many castes and tribes residing in the district of Bargarh. A glimpse thereof is presented below:
1. Agaria- As per traditional history, it is known that Agarias are the descendants of Bidura of “the Mahabharata” Mahapurana. Bidura was born of a Shudra woman. He married the daughter of Keshaba Das, a Shudra King of Hattakeswar near Kasi. Bidura had two sons named Vaibhanu and Suramanu. These two brothers were known as Bidura-Kshtriyas. Later on, their successors were popularly known as Kshtriyas residing in the Northern part of India.
History says that the Agarias did not bow down before Adil Shah, The Sultan of Delhi to save their self-dignity. The Bidura Kshtriyas preferred physical injuries to racial prestige. Lastly to save themselves from the penalty of death, 44 families left the empire of Adil Shah and took shelter in Odisha. These Bidura Kshtriyas are known as Agarias as they came to Odisha from the area of Agra.
Agarias are a class of Industrious Cultivators, who migrated from Agra to Patna State and further settled in the Sambalpur Kingdom (Gangpur, Surguja, Bamanda, Sambalpur) during the period of Madhukar Sai. Now Agarias are popular for cultivation. In Bargarh district most of the Agarias reside in Ambabhona Block and the border areas of Chhatishgarh State. A village named Laida under the district of Sambalpur is regarded as the place of early settlement of Agarias.
2. Bhandari-Bhandari means the Barber caste in all the district of Odisha including Baragarh. The main occupation of this caste is shaving. They serve the people of higher castes. The Bhandaris do not render service to the out castes unless the same is re-admitted to the caste. At present many of this community serve the people by setting up salons in the urban areas. Most of them have also given up their traditional occupation and are engaged in Govt. or Private Jobs.
The Barbers are divided into three groups such as Kanamuthia, Chamamuthia & Lamahata. Kanamuthias carry their shaving instruments in cotton bags while the Chamamuthias in leather bags. The Lamahatas do massage as a subsidiary profession in addition to shaving.
3. Bhulia- The Bhulias are an important caste of the district who weave fine cotton cloth with colourful borders. In fourteenth century, the Bhulia community came to Patna State during the Kingship of Chouhan Ruler Ramai Dev. During the period, two specialised weaver communities resided in Gadsambar Kingdom. However due to frequent attacks from Moghuls, they left Godsambar and settled in “Dhanwantari” of Chhatishgarh Kingdom and were engaged in their community occupation of weaving. Godsambar was the parent kingdom of RamaiDev and therefore he brought these two Bhulia&Kosta communities to Patna Kingdom to engage them in specialised weaving work (Meher Bhagaban-Pitruprasanga, 1977). Subsequently, Bhulia community moved from Patna to Sambalpur Kingdom. Similarly, silk cloth weavers Kosta community moved from Sarangarh region to Sambalpur Kingdom. Both the Bhulia and Kosta communities are well known for weaving and they have very good inter-community interaction. Both of these belong to Devangan Stream. They have distinction as designers and are very artistic with specialisation in “Bandhakala” (Dyeing Technique).
Five Bhulia Brothers known as ‘Panch Bhaiya’ first came to the Bargarh district and settled in Barpali. Now these people reside in most of the areas of the district. The community is very well-to-do, highly educated and identified with 80 clans (Source: “Kuli”- Meher, Raghunath).
4. Binjhal- Binjhals are a primitive race. Their traditions associate them with the Vindhya Mountain. Their previous establishment was in the area of Ratnapur situated in Chhatishgarh State. From that place the Binjhals moved eastward in the direction of Borasambar Zamindari.
Binjhals call themselves the son of Goddess Vindhya Vasini and they belong to Scheduled Tribe category. Perhaps they are named as Binjhal as per the word “Vindhyalaya” (History of Sambalpur-S.P. Dash). In “Nursingha Mahatmya”, they are called Bentaka. In “AitreyaBrahmana”, the Bhuyan, Kandha, Gond, Bentakar and Binjhal are together called Sabara. The Chouhan King of Patna Kingdom offered the Zamindari of Borasambar to them and also offered the title “Pat Bahira” which means “small hill chief”. Thereafter the Binjhals are titled as Barihas.
Most of the Binjhals are cultivators. Some of them work as village priests. The more advanced of the Tribes claim themselves as the descendants of Rajput.
5. Brahmin- Brahmins may be considered as an advanced community of the district by virtue of their social standing and education. Most of them are engaged in Govt. & Private Jobs. They are divided into 3 classes such as Utkali (Odia), Aranyak (Jhadua) and Raghunathia (Bhimgiria).
The surnames of Utkalis are Mishra, Acharya, Rath, Tripathy, Sarangi, Dash, Mahapatra, Pati, Pani, Guru, Nanda etc. Similarly the Aranyakas bear the surnames Panda, Behera, Padhi, Majhi, Panigrahi, Pujari, Supakar, Nayak etc. The Raghunathias bear the surnames like Susari, Natha, Dhara, Kar etc. However, the surnames are illustrative and not exhaustive. Although matrimonial alliances did not take place among these classes in the past, the scenario is changing recently. One of the most important rituals of the Brahmins is the Sacred Thread Ceremony.
6. Chamar- The people of the caste Chamar live in the district particularly in Remunda, Kadobahal, Gamharipali, Loharachatti,Chichinda,Bheden etc. The clans of Chamar caste are Routia, Mirig (Bada), Mirig (Sana), Ajagar, Andil&Suna. They never use Brahmins in their social and religious functions. Instead they use their own caste men belonging to ‘SunaGotra’ as their priests in every function. Chamarsuse to deal with the skin of animals for preparing chappal, sandal etc.

7. Dhoba- The origin of the Dhoba caste who originally belongs to Odisha is traced back to Nitei Dhobani of Kaunri Patana. Nitei Dhobani excelled in tantra. Dhobas belong to scheduled caste. Their traditional occupation is washing clothes. They reside in most of the villages of the district. They are divided into two sections ‘Dasgharia’ & ‘Kodiegharia’.
8. Dumbala- The Dumbalas are popularly known for agriculture. Originally they lived in Boudh State. At that time the King of Boudh was known as ‘Dedalaksha Dumbaladhipati’ (Chief of one and half lakh Dumbalas). Some Dumbalas were given as dowry to King of Patna by the King of Boudh who were called Mahakurs. The Dumbalas worship the Goddess Maheswari&Stambheswari as their Kula Devi (Community Deity). According to another version some Dumbalas have come from Odasingha of Athmallick State (Source: History of Sambalpur – S.P. Dash).
In the Bargarh district, people of Dumbala Caste live in different villages bearing 60 titles. Mahakur is the head priest of Goddess Maheswari (Source: Field Study-Meher, Raghunath)

9. Ganda- Gandas came to western part of Odisha from middle of India (History of Samablpur- S.P. Dash). They worked as watchmen of the border areas of the state of Gond Kings. The word Ganda is derived from the word Gond. Even today Gandas perform their duties as village watchmen. Further, they work as professional pipers and drum beaters and engaged themselves in marriage ceremonies. Economically, they are backward. Now a days, they also weave coarse clothes to supplement their income. They are divided in four groups such as Odia, Laria, Khandhria&Kaberia.
10. Gaur- Gaurs are known as Gahiras,Rawats, Yadavs, Bagartis in different parts of India. Cattle-rearing is their main occupation but they take to agriculture too. According to their custom, a Gaur is called Nariha who supplies drinking water and assists officials during their visits to villages on different occasions. Gaurs perform the duty of milk man and water bearers. They have a good social position in the society in the district. Gaurs are divided into several sub-groups like Magadha, Nanda, Jharia, Solakhandia etc. At present Magadhas live mostly in the urban areas in the district and deal with milk products.
11. Ghasi- People of Ghasi caste live both in rural & urban areas in the district. They take to sweeping. Most of them are sweepers. They are divided into 120 totems called ‘Chhakore Ganga’. Some of their totems are Ganda, Khapardhua, Sendheria, Bhramarjal, Sandha, Hati, Dungri, Panchbiha, Nayak, Bag etc. Again, Gandas are sub-divided into four groups such as Liti, Marpati, Nagbainsi and Jagat. Like Gandas & Chamars they also engage their own caste men as priests in their religious and social functions.
12. Gond/Gand/Gando- Gonds originally belong to the former Gandawana land situated in Madhya Bharat (Madhya Pradesh). At present large number of Gonds live in different districts of Odisha. It is an influential community. During the 13th and 14th Centuries Gonds were established as rulers of various parts of Madhya Pradesh. The main ruling families of Gonds were established at Kherlu in Betal, Deoghar in Chhindwara, Garhmandal near Jabalpur of Madhya Pradesh. There they ruled for two centuries after which their territories were divided among the feudal chiefs belonging to Gond community. The present district of Bargarh was under the control of Gonds at that time as a large number of Zamindars of Sambalpur were under the control of Gond Zamindars. Now-a-days, some of the community call themselves the successors of Raj Gonds of Garhmandal states.
13. Guria- The caste Guria is derived from the word Gur which means unrefined sugar. People of this caste prepare sweets for sale in towns and villages. In the district of Bargarh many of the Gurias have received higher education and have engaged themselves in Govt. & Private Jobs. They also hold respected and reputed posts.
14. Kandh/Kondh-Kandhs came to Odisha from middle part of India called Madhya Bharat. The word Kandha is derived from the Telgu word Konda. The Kandhs are divided into 3 groups such as Dangaria Kandh, Koita Kandh and DesiaKandh. In the district of Bargarh most of the Kandhs belong to the Desia category. Most of them depend on agriculture.
15. Kansari-The main occupation of this caste is making utensils using bell metal and brass metal. The origin of this caste is traced back to different places of Odisha such as Kantilo, Bhubana of Dhenkanal, Jajpur etc. At present, they live in different villages of the district such as Katapali, Barpali, Bijepur etc.
16. Keuta- Keuta is a caste whose traditional occupation is fishing.The people of this caste also live in different villages of the district.
17. Kulis- Originally the Kulis were Forest-dwellers. They engaged themselves for preparing of wicks (Balita) of cotton to light the traditional lamp (deepa). According to historical evidence, Kuli people came to Sambalpur Kingdom between 1540 and 1556 during the reign of Balaram Dev. Formerly they were residing in the Chhotnagpur plateau. Subsequently they spread to border areas of Suruguja and Gangpur state. King BalaramDev brought the Kuli people after he married the daughter of Gangpur, Kamlakumari and engaged them in making the tiny wicks for traditional lights. According to the historical evidence, Bhulias and Kostas came to Patna state in 14th century as weavers’ community and were engaged in making costly cotton, silk clothes, and sarees for the people. The common people of the state could not afford to buy such costly garments. So the task of weaving low cost clothes was given to the Kulis by the king. To encourage them, King Balaram gave them the title Meher. Kulis have 20 totems such as Bagha, Naga, Bachhul, Neul etc. Goddess Karamsani is the Community Deity of the Kuli people. They also worship Goddess Samalei and Kalasi.
18. Kulta- The Kultas are known as Kulitas, Koltas meaning chief cultivating caste in the district of Bargarh. They are really the backbone of agriculture in the state. They are active and very hard working. They produce paddy and different kinds of vegetables. Kultas live in different states of India known as Chasa in coastal area and as Kulita or Kulta in western part of Odisha. They are an ancient race. They bear 119 different titles and spread over many places of the district.
19. Mirdha- The Mirdhas are small Dravidien Tribe who are known as Koda in the district of Bargarh, Sambalpur and Balangir of Odisha. They have their own language but they speak Odia too. Gurubari Mirdha, the famous Dalkhai dancer who was awarded by the then Prime Minister Late Smt. Indira Gandhi, belonged to this caste.
20. Teli- Oil pressing is the traditional occupation of Telis. But due to varieties of Oil Mills at present, their traditional occupation has been adversely affected.
21. Thanapati- Thanapatis are also called “Malis” and they are known as the priests of Lord Shiva. They reside in many villages of the District such as Gaisima, Saranda, Sorna, Deogaon etc.
Due to rapid growth of urbanisation as well as industrialisation, the social structure of Hindus is gradually losing its solidarity. But in the social structure of castes & tribes two distinct features come into pictures. In the Hindu social structure there are many castes who interact among themselves. There also exists inter-relationship among the tribes. The interaction is quite important from the religious and the economic point of view. Although people of different castes and tribes live in the district having different tenets of culture and tradition they still live in harmony. However, marital relationship is usually established in intra-caste sphere.
Among the tribes like Binjhal, Gonds, Kulis, Saharas marriage enhances position and status in society. Marriage is regulated by calm exogamy. Violation of the principle of exogamy is regarded as a social offence. Now-a-days child marriage is not found in any caste. Besides, the regular forms of the marriage, other forms of tribal marriage like elopement, widow re-marriage are common. But marriage of widows is not allowed in the Brahmin and other castes. The Binjhals and Kulis allow the widows and divorced wives to marry again.Tribal women play an important role in the fiscal management of their families. However, their position is not equal to that of their husbands. Their liberties are limited as per their social customs and traditions.
People of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Muslim, Christian and Sikhs live in the district. But the majority belongs to Hinduism. In the district of Bargarh, the people of Hindu religion believe in Panchadeva Upasana. They offer their prayer to Lord Ganesh, Shiba, Goddess Durga, Bishnu and Sun God. Kumbhipatia, who are Mahima Panthi offer their prayer to Nirakar (Alekh). People of the district irrespective of caste and tribe observe the festival of Lord Jagannath, Lord Ganesh, Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Goddress Durga& Goddess Mahalaxmi throughout the year. Apart from these festivals of Hindus, the tribal people of the district offer their puja to their tribal God and Goddess such as Kandhas to Dharanipenu, Berapenu, Gonds to BadaDeo, Binjhals to Bindhyabasini, Kulis to Karamsani, Dulha, Rana, Sahara to Samalei, Mirdha to Budha Debta and Kolhas to Bongas. There are also various Christian missions such as Catholic and Baptist missions operating in the district.
Manners and customs of different castes and tribes vary according to religious beliefs. Brahmins are the leading community so far the social customs & tradition concerned. They have used to offer their prayer before the Lord Jagannath and other deities of the social life for the betterment of mankind. So that Brahmins are staying in the maximum area (both urban and Rural) for performing social customs of the castes and tribes. Kultas generally employ Brahmins for their religious ceremony and regard Vaishnabas and Bairagis as their Gurus. The Gondas worship all Hindu Gods and Goddess. But they give importance to Goddess Mahalaxmi, the Goddess of wealth. The Pantheon of Gond tribe includes Hindu Gods and other animals.
Saharas also worship Hindu Gods & Goddess along with Bhima. They have Baishnava or Bairagi Gurus like the Kulitas. The Binjhals worships Hindu deities along with their traditional weapons such as Swords, Spears, and Arrows. The Kulis also worship Hindu Gods & Goddess along with their tribal deities.
Burial systems of different castes & tribes vary as some cremate the dead bodies and others bury them. Customs to observe the ceremony also differ considerably. Brahmins, Kulta&Teli generally follow the practice of cremation but some caste such as Gonda bury the dead bodies. Gonds follow both the practices. The rites & rituals spread over 12 days in some castes where as it is reduced to 11 or less in some other caste.
Bargarh district is an economically developed district. So most of the houses of the district in urban areas are constructed in concrete but in rural areas people have wattle walls and thatched roofs of paddy straw. Furniture in an ordinary house consists of a cot for each member of the family and some wooden seats. Every house has a few string beds, plastic and wooden chairs etc. Average people were Dhoti and inner garments along with pants & shirts. The women were ladies garments like dress, saree, with under wears. Frocks are used by small girls. Women generally wear ornaments made of gold and silver. The traditional ornaments like Kataria, Bandaria, Gunchi, Tad, Bahasuta, Khadala have now fallen out of favour. The tribal women wear Mali and Bala.
Most of the community life in the district centres around religious and cultural practices. Festivals like Nuakhai & Puspuni create the opportunity of feeling the community life sincerely. Folk dances like Dalkhai, Karma, Humobouli and Danda. Unite people of different castes and tribes in an intimate bond.
Now a days the joint family system is gradually disintegrating. Modern economic pursuits separate the members of a joint family from one another. However, the Mitakshyara School of Joint family system is still prevalent among the Hindus.
The district is widely known for Dhanu Yatra (The Greatest Open Theatre in the World). The message of Dhanu Yatra is the victory of “Good” over “Evil”. It is an enactment of the Krishna – Kansa episode as found in mythology with Krishna representing virtue and Kansa vice. The enactment spreads over 10 days.Among the other important festivals of the district are Nuakhai, Gundikhai, Rathayatra, Shibaratri, Seethal Sasthi, Puspuni etc. deserve special attention.
[1] Nuakhai: This is a community festival which equally applies to people from all walks of life irrespective of their caste, sex, creed of the district. It is observed in the month of “Bhadraba” [corresponding to months of August-September]. It is to commemorate the offering of grains yielded from the first crop to the Community Deity which in turn taken by the family members.
[2] Gunikhai:Mango Plantation of different varieties in large scale are usually taken up in the district for which the first lot of production is offered to the Deity with gaiety and fervour and new mango of the season is consumed thereafter .
[3] Puspuni: It is observed on Pausa Purnima which is more in the nature of a mass celebration observed as a mark of enjoyment after harvesting of the crops.
[4] Rathayatra: The Car Festival of Lord Balabhadra, Goddess Subhadra and Lord Jagannath is celebrated with great interest marking the journey by the deities from their temple to the Gundicha temple i.e. the birth place of the deities where they stay for ten days and return to the temple which is celebrated as BahudaYatra.
[5] Shibaratri: The Festival is observed in the month of February as birth of Lord Shiba who is the God of destruction and believed to confer mokhya from the “Tritapa” [i.e. three miseries of life,Adhyatmika,Adhibhautika and Adhidaivika].
[6] SeetalSasthi: This is a celebrationof divine marriage of Lord Shiba and Goddess Parvatiobserved with great fervour in the district as is observed throughout the State.
In the district of Bargarh fairs & festival are celebrated throughout the year with most festivity such as Rathayatra particularly in Bhatli&Kaddera, Durgapuja inAttabira, Sohela, Bargarh&Padampur, Kalipuja or JugarYatra at Kuchipali, Boil Yatra at Remunda, Ramleela at Bheden, Dhanuyatra at Bargarh Town, SeetalSasthi at Barpali, KalasiYatra at Kalangadera, Baliyatra at Khuntpali and Dangarla, Gobardhanpuja at Dekulba and Nalichuan and Dangaryatra at Sankrida. People of the district enjoy a lot by participating in the ceremonies.
People belonging to different castes such as Brahmin, Thanapati, Kulita, Gaur, Agaria, Kuli, Gond etc. inhabit the district. However, their social life is marked by a profound sense of harmony especially on the occasion of festivals viz. Nuakhai and Puspuni. In spite of differences that exist in their beliefs, food habits, and matters of interests, all the castes interact with one another benefitting themselves mutually.
The district abounds in literary and cultural activities. Book Fairs in the district headquarters and in some of its Blocks are organised annually with unfailing regularity. Enactment of plays, poetry recitation, discussions, release of books, etc. are regularly held at different times on behalf of clubs and institutions throughout the district.
The citizens of the district exhibit sharp political awareness. Participation in active politics and in the political process is definitely praiseworthy as far as the district is concerned. The district has been producing competent political leaders both old and young.
The achievement of the district, comparatively a new one in the different fields of life is no doubt commendable. It has the scope even for more accomplishments.

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