The history of Gajapati District still echoes the long gone days of the history of Gajapati rulers in the District. The historical documents of the Gajapati District are accounted from the time when, Krushna Chandra gajapati Narayan Deo ascended the throne of the District. The king of Paralakhemundi Shri Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayan Deo had the kingship of the majestic Gajapati rulers, who continued to be the supreme authority of Odisha for more than seven centuries. The boundary of Odisha, during that time was extended from the Ganga in the North to Udoyagiri in Nellore District in the South including the entire District of Ganjam. When Kolahomee, one of the sons of Kapilendra Deo, at the later half of the 15th century conquered this part of Odisha, he installed the kingdom and the Raj family of Paralakhemundi.As the past history of Gajapati relates, Paralakhemundi was a zamindary estate at that time, situated at the western nook of the southern most part of the ganjam District. At that time the Maliya tribals dominated the land.
The ancient district of Odisha, which is named after the late King Maharaja Sri Sri Sri Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayana Deo. It got separated from Ganjam district on 2 October 1992 and named as Gajapati. The Maharaja of Gajapati is also known as the architect of an independent Odisha. He was the first Prime Minister of Independent Odisha. Paralakhemundi is the headquarter of Gajapati district.
The entire district is dotted with many places of religious and secular interests. The first cricket match of Odisha with England team was played in Paralakhemundi at Dababad(Daba Garden) in 1930.
The Maharaja Krushna Ch. Gajapati did promulgation of cricket in Odisha. Maharaja Captain Dr. Sir Sri Sri Sri Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayana Deo was also named as “ବୀରଶ୍ରୀ ଗଜପତି ଗୌଡେଶ୍ୱର ନବକୋଟି କର୍ଣ୍ଣାଟ କଳ ବର୍ଗେଶ୍ୱର ବିରାଧୀ ବୀରବର ଶ୍ରୀ ଶ୍ରୀ ଶ୍ରୀ ଗଜପତି ଶ୍ରୀ ଶ୍ରୀ ଶ୍ରୀ କ୍ଷେତ୍ରପତି”. There are two palace in Paralakhemundi, the main Maharaja palace and the Brundabana Palace(Basanta Nivas). The both palace are one of the rich architectural and cultural heritage of India. There’s a secret underground way which connects the B.N Palace with the main palace, which is about 4km long. This divine land of Paralakhemundi gave birth to many artists and legends like Gopal Krushna Pattnaik, Apanna Parichha, Gopinath Nanda, Raghunath Parichha, Simadri Pattnaik, Shyam Sundar Rajguru. These people and some others have occupied a prominent place in literature.
Paralakhemundi, under the royal patronage, gave enough boasting to the writers and scholars in order to enrich the Odia as well as the Sanskrit literature.
The kabibara Radhanath Ray wrote :-
“ପୁଷ୍ପ ଫଳ ଶସ୍ଯ ଶାଳିନୀ ପାରଳା
ଅଚପଳ ଯହିଁ ଚପଳା ଚପଳା
ହୋଇଥିଲା ସର୍ବ ଉତ୍କଳେ ପ୍ରଚାର
ଫଳିତ ଜ୍ୟୋତିଷେ ପ୍ରତିଷ୍ଠା ଯାହାର”.
The Mahendragiri mountain range is one of the sacred place of Gajapati. It’s related with the “Ramayana” as “Mahendra Parvata”. It is said in “Puranas” and “Ramayana” that when the Lord Rama broke the sacred bow of Shiva , Lord Parashurama was meditating on Mahendragiri. And the temples situated on the hill top, which are said to be built by the Pandavas. Every year in the time of Maha ShivaRatri a lakhs of devotees walks to the Mahendragiri hill top to worship lord Shiva and the Panchu Pandavas temples as well as to witness the breathtaking sunrise.
Chandragiri (Jiranga) :- Another astonishing place of Gajapati is the Mindrolling Monastrey (ପଦ୍ମସମ୍ଭବ ମହା ବୌଦ୍ଧ ବିହାର) located at Chandragiri, Gajapati district.It’s said to be the largest Buddhist Monastrey in South Asia. The Tibetian refugees who stay there call this place as Phuntsolking, which means “Land of happiness and plenty”. It was inaugurated by his highness Dalai Lama in 2010.
Waterfalls around Gajapati :
There are four different waterfalls in Gajapati district Named as Gandahati, Gudguda, Khasada and Mankadadia.
Gandahati waterfall is the gem of Gajapati district. It’s about 30km from Paralakhemundi. And the best picnic spot in Gajapati. After the disaster “Titli”, this place was almost destroyed but the govt and local peoples helped each other in recovering this beautiful place. Gandahati is one of the muthas of Paralakhemundi Zamindari. The name suggests that once it was inhabited by large elephant population, now no more. The place is important for a beautiful waterfall. Gajapati district has a few well-known waterfalls. Gandahati situated in Rayagada Block is the main and most popular one.Its silence is awe-inspiring. It is a picnic spot for the pleasure seeking visitors from far and near. Flow of visitors to Gandahati continues throughout the year as the source of water is perennial.
Gudguda Waterfall is the another marvelous waterfall of Gajapati. It’s about 36km from Paralakhemundi and it’s a peaceful place surrounded by hills and jungles. There are many medicinal plants.
Mankadadia Waterfall (72km) and Khasada Waterfall (79km) waterfalls are also comes in the attractive waterfalls of Gajapati. I’m very proud of myself that I got birth on this beautiful and ancient land of Odisha. Therefore I’m completing the article with above glimpse about Gajapati because the great history of this place is infinite.
How to Reach
- By Air : Nearest Airport is Bhubaneswar Airport- 300 Kms
- By Train : Nearest Railway Stations is Palasa in Andhra Pradesh- 40 Kms
- By Road : From Bhubaneswar it is 300 Kms on the N.H. 16.
Article by Rakesh Kumar – Reference :- Parala Prativa by Bishnu Charan Mohanty & gajapati.nic.in