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Maa Manikeswari :The Goddess of Kalahandi , Bhawanipatna :-
Manikeswari is one of the popular Hindu deity in Odisha. There are many Manikeswari temples present in Western and Southern part of Odisha. Manikeswari temple in Bhawanipatna is well recognized in Odisha. Manikeswari is also the primary deity associated with the royal family of Paralakhemundi in Gajapati. Chhatar Jatra is one of the most popoular festival of Manikeswari at Bhawanipatna. Khandasadhaka is a festival associated with Manikeswari in Paralakhemundi.
Palace of Kalahandi King , Bhawanipatna :-
As per the traditional record preserved in Kalahandi Darbar assert that Nagas succeeded the Gangas in Kalahandi hailed from Chot Nagpur. The last Ganga Governor if Kalahandi, Jagannath Deo, had no male issue and his only daughter was married to Raghunath Sai, a prince of the Naga house of Chot Nagpur. Once Raja Jagannath Deo went on pilgrimage with his Rani to northern India and on his return was not allowed by his son in law to enter the Kingdom. Raghunath Sai usurped the Throne of Kalahandi in 1005 AD and the started the rule of Naga dynasty and following genealogy of the Naga dynasty of Kalahandi. Genealogy of the Naga Dynasty of Kalahandi
- Raghunath Sai (1005–1040 AD)
- Pratap Narayan Deo (1040–1072 AD)
- Birabar Deo (1072–1108 AD)
- Jugasai Deo I (1108–1142 AD)
- Udenarayan Deo (1142–1173 AD)
- Harichandra Deo (1173–1201 AD)
- Ramachandra Deo (1201–1234 AD)
- Gopinath Deo (1234–1271 AD)
- Balabhadra Deo (1271–1306 AD)
- Raghuraj Deo (1306–1337 AD)
- Rai Singh Deo I (1337–1366 AD)
- Haria Deo (1366–1400 AD)
- Jugasai Deo II (1400–1436 AD)
- Pratap Narayan Deo II (1436–1468 AD)
- Hari Rudra Deo (1468–1496 AD)
- Anku Deo (1496–1528 AD)
- Pratap Deo (1528–1564 AD)
- Raghunath Deo (1564–1594 AD)
- Biswambhar Deo (1594–1627 AD)
- Rai Singh Deo II (1627–1658 AD)
- Dusmant Deo (1658–1693 AD)
- Jugasai Deo III (1693–1721 AD)
- Khadag Rai Deo (1721–1747 AD)
- Rai Singh Deo III (1747–1771 AD)
- Purusottam Deo (1771–1796 AD)
- Jugasai Dei IV (1796–1831 AD)
- Fate Narayan Deo (1831–1853 AD)
- Udit Pratap Deo I (1853–1881 AD)
- Raghu Keshari De (1894–1897 AD)
- Court of Wards(1897–1917 AD)
- Brajamohan Deo (1917–1939 AD)
- Pratap Keshari Deo (1939 till the merge with Orissa state)
However, historian do not accept such an early date for the establishment of Naga dynasty rule in Kalahandi. As per historian the Nagas succeeded the Gangas in Kamalamandala during the 15th century taking advantage of the weakness of the Central authority, the Gangas of Orissa / Odisha. This was the period when the Chauhans of Patna roused to power.
This created genealogy and established en – rapport with the turbulent Kond tribe and started special kind of Abhiseka ceremony at Jugasaipatna, where on a stone, the prince was sitting on the lap of Pat Maghi (Chief of the Kond tribe) and then coronated by the Tribes in order to legitimating the royalty.
Junagarh designated as “Kalahandinagara” was selected as capital with Kanaka Durga as tutelary deity. Thirty one kings from Raghunath Sai to Pratap Kesari Deo ruled over Kalahandi and the Naga kings claimed authority over eighteen Gads/Garh.
The Maratha Power of Nagpur intervened in Kalahandi during 1788 AD and Raja Purussottama Deo was recognised as the Raja of Kalahandi by the Maratha Chief Raghujee Bhonsala.
In 1853, the Nagpur state lapsed to the British Crown as Raghujee III died without an heir and Kalahandi came under the control of the British during the reign of Raja Fate Narayan Deo who shifted also the capital of Kalahandi from Kalahandinagara (Junagarh) to Bhaumadevapatna alias Bhawanipatna and accorded recognition to the local deity Manikeswari.
In 1855, first Kond rebellion took Place. Lt. Macneill, the agent of the hilly tracts was attacked at Urladani when the latter arrested Rindo Majhi.
In 1882, the second Kond rebellion took place during the reign of queen Asha Kumari.
Modernity entered into Kalahandi during the reign of Brajamohan Deo, who occupied the Throne in 1917. In 1939, Maharaja Pratap Kesari Deo succeeded to the throne.
Belkhandi Temple :
Belkhandi Temple is 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, ruuins 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 arenote-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.
77 K.Ms from Bhawanipatna the picturesque Ampani hills present a panoramic view of nature. A frolicking vally called “Haladigundi” in thishill 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.
17 Kilometres from Bhawanipatna, Phurlijharan is a perennial water fall about 30 Ft in height and has a special charm of its own. The multi colored 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.
Lake around Kalahandi :-
- Indravati Lake in Mukhiguda, Jaipatna
- Ashasagar, Bhawanipatna
- Chhoriagad, Dharamgarh
Water Fall of Kalahandi :-
- Phurli Jharan, Bhawanipatna
- Dokrichanchara, Dharamgarh
- Rabanddarah, Bhawanipatna
- Urladani, Madanpur Rampur
- Karaka, Ampani
- Dumri Jhulla, Karlapat
- Kamla Jharan, Karlapat
- Kuang, Karlapat
- Ghusurigudi, Karlapat
- Ghumar, Thuamul Rampur
- Sindher, Thuamul Rampur
- Mardiguda, Thuamul Rampur: Origin of Indravati river under the Mango tree
- Dhoben Chanchra, Sagada, Bhawanipatna
- Khandual, Karlapat Wild Life
Sanctuary of Kalahandi :-
- Karlapat wildlife Sanctuary.
- Ampani (sometime referred as Ambapani in Oriya)
Scenic Spot of Kalahandi :-
- Thuamul Rampur
- Chora Dangar or Chura Pahad
Fort & Palace of Kalahandi :-
- Amthaguda An ancient fort
- Asurgarh An ancient fort, a civilization about 2000 years old, it is located in Narla and 30 km from Bhawanipatna
- Behera :- Danteswari Temple
- Belkhandi :- 12th century monuments
- Bhawanipatna : –Old city, centuries old Manikeswari Temple, Royal Palace
- Bhimkhoj :- Shiva Temple and Foot Print of Bhima
- Budhigarh :- Ancient fort
- Dadpur-Jajjaldeypur :- Medieval fort
- Dharamgarh :- Old Radhakrushna Temple, Paradeswar Temple
- Gudahandi :- Ancient caves and painting
- Junagarh :- An old town, Century old temples, Lankeswari Temple, Dadhibamana Temple, Kanakdurga Temple, Fort Lankeswari Temple in Junagarh, Kalahandi.
- Kusurla and Sapagarand :- Religious Centers
- Mohangiri :- Oldest temple in Odisha, 6th century Shiva Temple
- Mukhiguda :- Power plant
- Talguda fort :- Historical site
- Teresinga :- Historical site
- Urlukupgarh :- Ancient fort