Rayagada district

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Rayagada district
Location in Odisha, India
Location in Odisha, India
Coordinates: 19°09′58″N 83°24′58″E / 19.166°N 83.416°E / 19.166; 83.416Coordinates: 19°09′58″N 83°24′58″E / 19.166°N 83.416°E / 19.166; 83.416
 • District magistratePramod Kumar Behera
 • Forest Officer, Wildlife WardenDebarchan Behera
 • Superintendent of PoliceSarvana Vivek IPS
 • Total7,584.7 km2 (2,928.5 sq mi)
 • Total9,67,911
 • Density116/km2 (300/sq mi)
 • OfficialOdia, English
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
765 xxx
Vehicle registrationOD-18
Sex ratio0.972 /
Lok Sabha constituencyKoraput(ST)
Vidhan Sabha constituency
Notified Area Council (NAC)Gudari NAC
Cultivated fields and trees, with people for scale
Outskirts of Sambalpur

Rayagada is a district in southern Odisha, a state in India, which became a separate district in October 1992.[1] Its population consists mainly of tribes, primarily the Khonds and the Soras. In addition to Odia, Kui and Sora are spoken by the district's indigenous population.

Rayagada covers an area of 7,584.7 square kilometres (2,928.5 sq mi), and is divided into eleven blocks. Agriculture is the chief source of income, and paddy, wheat, ragi, green and black gram, groundnut, sweet potato and maize are the district's major crops.


In the third century BC, during the reign of Ashoka, Odisha was part of the Kalinga empire. The hilly track between the Vamshadhara and Nagavali Rivers was known for its spices.[2][full citation needed] The Rastriks were defeated by Kharvela, the only Aryan emperor of Kalinga, during the battle of Chawpagada.[3]

The region was ruled by Dadarnab Dev of Gudari Kataka, feudal chief of the Kalinga-Utkala Kingdom, during the reign of the Gangavansi and Suryavanshi kings in Odisha.[4] It passed to the Bahmani Sultanate when the last Hindu Gajapati emperor of Odisha (Mukund Dev) was defeated at Gohera Tikiri in 1519, and was part of the Nandapur kingdom for 47 years. Biswambar Dev was defeated and killed by Hasin Khan of the Mughal Chicacole sarkar.

The district was later part of Bobbili in Vijayanagaram district. During the British Raj, Rayagada was under Jeypore administration and was part of Koraput district; it was carved from the district on 2 October 1992 as part of Odisha's district-expansion plan.


The district is reportedly rich in bauxite and silicon.[citation needed] In 2006, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Rayagada one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640).[5] It is one of the 19 districts in Odisha receiving aid from the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF).[5]


The district has three Odisha Legislative Assembly (Vidhan sabha) constituencies.[6][7][8]

No. Constituency Reservation Blocks Member Party
138 Gunupur ST Gunupur, Gudari (NAC), Gunupur, Gudari, Ramanaguda, Padampur Trinath Gomango BJD
139 Bissam Cuttack ST Bissam Cuttack, Muniguda, Chandrapur Jagannath Saraka BJD
140 Rayagada ST Rayagada, Kashipur, Kolnara, Kalyansinghpur Makaranda Muduli Independent

Rayagada district is part of the Koraput Lok Sabha constituency.[9]

Rail transport[edit]

Rayagada railway station has direct service to Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Jamshedpur, Jodhpur and New Delhi. Gunupur is also an important railway station; via Parlakhemundi, it is connected to Naupada on the main east-coast railway line from Kolkata to Chennai by a 90-kilometre (56 mi) 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad-gauge line which was converted from 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) narrow gauge in 2011. The 40-kilometre (25 mi) narrow-gauge line (the Paralakhemedi Light Railway, or PLR) was established by Gajpatirajas of Paralakhemundi, the former raja of Paralakhemedi, to connect his capital with Naupada. The government authorized construction in 1898, and the line was opened to traffic two years later at a cost of 700,000.

The East Coast Railway began in 1893 with construction of the 96-kilometre (60 mi) Cuttack-Khurda Road-Puri line, and its subsequent 1,280-kilometre (800 mi) link along the East Coast to Vijayawada (the junction of Southern Maratha Railway and Nizam's Guaranteed State Railway) was opened for traffic between 1893 and 1896. The railway brought service to Naupada in 1894.

Due to a policy change by the British government, the Bengal Nagpur Railway took over East Coast Railway's northern section from Vizianagaram to Cuttack, including the Puri branch line, by 23 January 1902. The PLR was also taken over by the Bengal Nagpur Railway that year. In its first few years, the PLR had incurred losses; after 1910 it began making a profit, which increased after 1924-25. This motivated the raja to extend the line to Gunupur in two phases in 1929 and 1931. There were now ten stations between Naupada and Gunupur: Tekkali, Paddasan, Temburu, Ganguvada, Patapatnam, Paralakhemedi, Kashinagar, Lihuri, Bansidhara and Palasingi. The standard PLR locomotive was a 20-ton 0-6-4 tank engine with 27-inch-diameter (69 cm) coupled wheels and a 4.75-ton axle load.

Management of the BNR was taken over by the government of India in October 1944. On 14 April 1952, when Indian Railways was regrouped, it became part of the Eastern Railway. The merger was short-lived, however, and on 1 August 1955 it was merged with the new South Eastern Railway. A set of four postage stamps was released during the 1987 BNR centennial, one stamp featuring the PL 691 locomotive.

The foundation stone was laid for the Naupada-Gunupur gauge conversion at Naupada on 27 September 2002. On 1 April 2003, PLR became a part of the East Coast Railway. The line was closed for gauge conversion on 9 June 2004. Although the 290-kilometre (180 mi) Khurda-Bolangir broad-gauge line was approved in 1995, only about half the work has been completed.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
source:Governament if India[10]

Rayagada district had a population of 967,911 in the 2011 Census of India,[11] roughly equal to that of Fiji[12] or the US state of Montana.[13] The district ranked 454th of India's 640 districts,[11] and had a population density of 136 inhabitants per square kilometre (350/sq mi).[11] Its population growth rate from 2001 to2011 was 15.74 percent.[11] Rayagada has a sex ratio of 1,048 females to 1,000 males,[11] and a literacy rate of 50.88 percent.[11][14]

At the time of the 2011 Census of India, 42.80% of the population in the district spoke Odia, 33.36% Kui, 10.43% Telugu, 8.37% Sora, 3.27% Kuvi and 0.66% Hindi as their first language.[15]

The district's tribal population is 57.52 percent of the total. Its 11 blocks have been covered by a tribal sub-plan, with three micro-projects in operation for pre-literate indigenous tribal communities. Rayagada's topography helps the tribal communities maintain their cultural identity; 4,785.36 square kilometres (1,847.64 sq mi) is forested, 777.27 square kilometres (300.11 sq mi) of which is reserved forest. Its predominant tribes are the Khonds and the Soras.

Points of interest[edit]

Large, grey temple surrounded by people, palm trees and other vegetation
Bhimasankar temple in Bhimpur


Govind Chandra Dev (Zilla) High School, founded in 1938, is one of the district's oldest high schools. Government Girls' High School, in Rayagada, was founded in 1964. Other schools in Rayagada are Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sacred Heart School, Deepti Convent School, Maharshi Vidya Mandir, St. Xavier's High School and N.V.R Educational Institution. A primary school was founded at the Thakkar Bapa Ashram in 1958 for tribal students. The Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya of Rayagada is a boarding school in Bisam Cuttack.

Rayagada Autonomous College is affiliated with Berhampur University. The Utkal Gourav Madhusudan Institute of Technology is an engineering school. The Gandhi Institute of Engineering and Technology is in Gunupur.


  1. ^ "Rayagada District". www.click2odisha.com. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  2. ^ Andhra Historical Journal, XXVII edition, p. 46.
  3. ^ The rock inscription of Allahbad, inscribed by Mahamantri Harisena, provides evidence to this effect.
  4. ^ A rock inscription at the Pataleswar temple in Brahmi script provides evidence to this effect.
  5. ^ a b Ministry of Panchayati Raj (8 September 2009). "A Note on the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme" (PDF). National Institute of Rural Development. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  6. ^ Assembly Constituencies and their EXtent
  7. ^ Seats of Odisha
  8. ^ "List of Member in Fourteenth Assembly". ws.ori.nic.in. Archived from the original on 2 May 2007. Retrieved 19 February 2013. MEMBER NAME
  9. ^ "Assembly Constituencies - Corresponding Districts and Parliamentary Constituencies of Orissa" (PDF). Election Commission of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 November 2005. Retrieved 18 September 2008.
  10. ^ "Decadal Variation In Population Since 1901". Archived from the original on 8 August 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  12. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 1 October 2011. Fiji 883,125 July 2011 est.
  13. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 30 September 2011. Montana 989,415
  14. ^ Rayagada District (PDF). Orissa Review(Census Special). December 2010. pp. 175–178. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  15. ^ 2011 Census of India, Population By Mother Tongue

External links[edit]