(Last Updated on : 04/07/2014)
Rayagada District is one the administrative districts of Orissa. Rayagada town is the district headquarters. This district is known for its longest history. Rayagada District came functionally into existence on 2nd of October in the year 1992 as part of the extension plan of districts in the state. But as the historical document goes, the region of Rayagada existed far back in the ancient time and leaving the copper plates, rock inscriptions and the coins there is no authentic written document of Rayagada District. Total geographical area of Rayagada District is 7584.7 sq kms. Economy of Rayagada District is dependent on agriculture and allied activities.
History of Rayagada District
However it is evident from the coins and the inscriptions excavated, that Rayagada was the centre of attraction in all ages. In the 3rd century B.C, the, entire region of Rayagada was included in the Kalinga empire and Ashoka was at the helm of administration. From the rock edicts of Ashoka
the history of Rayagada during the Ashokan regime is interpreted. Bhojpur Rock inscription in Brahmi of Rastrik King Mandhata adds some facts about the historical records of the Rayagada district. Kharvela, the only Aryan King ever ruled in Orissa defeated the Rastriks. Kharvela was ousted by the military campaign of Samudragupta. The Allahabad Pillar Inscription, framed by Harishena provides evidence to the socio-economic and cultural life of Rayagada during the reign of Samudragupta. During Ganga Vansi and Surya Vansi Kings, Rayagada was under Dadarnab Dev of Gudari Kataka. A rock inscription found at Pataleswar temple in Brahmi script depicts the era of the Ganga and the Surya kings in Rayagada. In the subsequent periods, many indigenous and foreign rulers colonised the region of Rayagada till the British arrived as the political head of India including Orissa. However during the British supremacy Rayagada was a significant part of Jeypore Zamindari that later transformed into the princely state of the British rulers. Till independence Rayagada, survived as the subdivision of Jeypore Zamindari.
Demography of Rayagada District
As per 2001 Census Rayagada District has a total population of 832019, out of which tribal population is 473379. In other words, the district is predominantly a tribal populated district with 57.52 percent of tribal population. Literacy rate of the district is 35.61 percent, with 47.35 percent male literacy rate and 24.31 percent female literacy rate.
Administration of Rayagada District
Administration of Rayagada District includes two sub divisions namely Rayagada and Gunupur. There are 11 development blocks and these are Rayagada, Kashipur, Kolonara, Kalyansinghpur, Gunupur, Gudari, Padmapur, Ramanaguda, Bissamcuttack, Muniguda and Chandrapur. Administrative set-up of Rayagada District comprises four tehsils namely Rayagada, Kashipur, Gunupur and Bissam Cuttack. It also includes one Municipality that is Rayagada.
Culture of Rayagada District
Culture of Rayagada District is influenced by the indigenous traditions and customs of the tribal people. The physiography of Rayagada District gives a prefect platform for the tribal communities in sustaining their ethno-cultural identity. Forest area covers an extent of 4785.36 sq kms out of which 777.27 sq km is reserved forest. The district has been the homeland of various tribal communities with their sub-tribes, who are found in different level of development depending upon their assimilation with the so-called mainstream or modern communities. The kondhas and its subsection constitute the major percentage of tribal population in the district and the Souras stand second. There are several other tribal communities that contribute to the exotic intermingling culture of the district.
Tourism in Rayagada District
Rayagada is a district of meadows, forests, water falls and terraced valleys. The scenic beauty and heritage on the land is an unexplored paradise. The systematic relationship between men and nature is a feast to the eyes of an outsider. It has its own appeal for the lap of nature. Rayagada, considered as the district of many charms, has the facilities to serve as a base for visiting the near by places of interest. Some of the main attractions of Rayagada District are Hatipathar, Laxminarayan Temple, Paikapada, Chatikona, Minajhola, Devagiri, Padmapur and more.
Getting to Rayagada is not difficult. Nearest airport is Visakhapatnam Airport
, Andhra Pradesh
, which is 200 kms away. Convenient rail and road facilities are also available.