The district is named after its headquarters town Malkangiri .During formation of Orissa Province in 1936 Malkangiri was a "Taluk" of Nabrangpur sub-division of Koraput District of Orissa.In 1962 it was upgraded to a subdivision of Koraput District.The present Malkangiri got its identity as an independent district due to reorganisation of districts of Orissa as per notification on 1st October,1992 with effect from 2nd October 1992, an area of 5,791 sq.kms and lies between 17° 45`N to 18° 40`N latitudes and 81° 10`E to 82°E longitude.Oriya is the main spoken language.
The district is divided into two distinct physical divisions.The eastern part is covered with steep Ghats,Platues,Valleys sparsely inhabited by primitive tribes notable among whom are Bondas,Koyas,Porajas and Didayis.The rest of the district is comparatively flat plain broken by a number of rocky wooded hills.Almost the whole of the district is a vast dense jungle. Potteru,Saberi,Sileru,Kolab and Machhakunda are the main rivers flowing in the district.
Balimela is a block in Malkangiri District, which is 35 kms. from the east of Malkangiri. A Hydero-electric Project has been established near about the Town jointly by the Government of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. A dam is being constructed at Chitrakonda, 25 kms. from Balimela across the river Sileru and the reservoir would submerge a rich forest area of the District. The total inflow into the reservoir is shared equally by the two Governments. The share of the Andhara Pradesh Government is flow downstream the river while that of Orissa Government is diverted to a high-head power some 15 kms. south of Balimela. It is estimated that the power-house is generating 240,000 KW at 60% load factor. The tail water is subsequently utilised for irrigation about 2.4 lakh acres of land in Malkangiri and Motu plains.
Bonda Hill comes under the Khoirputput Block of Malkangiri District. This is the living place of Bondas,the primitive tribal community in Malkangiri District. It is surrounded on all sides by dense hilly forest. The Bondas of the place even now remain nacked, and it is believed that they were cursed by Godess Sita, as they laughed at her while she was bathing in a kunda which is named as Sita Kunda at Bonda Hill. There is one specific festival called "Patkhanda Yatra" at Mudulipada which is celebrated by them in the month of January by the Bondas in which they worship a sword. They believe that this sword is belongs to Pandavas. Apart from these things many more to be seen on the Bonda Hill.
Ammakunda is one of the tourist places in Malkangiri District. It is situated at Khoirput Block near about 70 Kms. from the District Headquarter.This cool place embraces a natural water fall and subsequent flow of water forming a narrow gorge. The fishes found in that gorge are quite friendly to the human being and are believed to be the form of Lord Vishnu in " Matsya Avatar". Fishing in that place is not practised according to this belief of the local people of Malkangiri as well as the visitors. Visitors can enjoy their stay at this place by feeding the fishes. This area is surrounded by dense forest and small hillocks.
Motu is the southernmost point of the Malkangiri District situated at 150 feet from the see level at the confluence of the rivers Sabari and Sileru.Timbers and bamboos are transported in large quantity from this place down the Sabari and Godavari to Rajahmundary. This Tahasil Headquarter attracts the tourists for it`s beautiful "Jagannath Temple" and "Moogi Point"- the extreme south point on the bank of the confluence of the river Savari and Sileru. Difference in colour of the water of these two rivers can be marked even after confluence. A statue of "Utkal Gourav Madhusudan Das" is built inside the park near the confluence.
Satiguda Dam is situated at a distance of 8 Kms. from Malkangiri Town. The Reservoir provides irrigation facility to the near by cultivable land throughout the year. The natural beauty of the Dam can be enjoyed in the early morning and evening hours. Boating facility is also available inside the Reservoir, which attracts visitors as well as the local people. Lord Shiva is being worshiped inside a cave near the Dam. Being surrounded by a large number of small hills this place is considered to be the most favourite picnic spot of the people. A guest house of Irrigation Department of Government of Orissa is built which provides accommodation to the official VIPs.
Manyamkonda is one of the GPs of Kalimela Block and it is situated at about a distance of 90 Kms. from the District Headquarter. This is an important religious place in Malkangiri District as the famous God of the Malkangiri District (Lord Mahaprabhu) is being worshiped at this place.Every year during the month of March/April a festival is being celeberated here.Every alternate year the famous festival known as "Bada Yatra" of Malkangiri starts from this place to Malkangiri "Mauli Maa Temple". Three Gods namely "Kanam Raju" relates to Lord Krishna,"Pota Raju" relates to Vima and "Bal Raju" relates to Arjun are being worshiped in this festival.This place is surrounded by number of small hills. Thel scenic beauty of this place and the temple of the Lord Mahaprabhu arrtacts a large number of religious visitors to this place.
Bhairavi Temple is situated at a distance of 3 Kms. from the Malkangiri Town.The hill diety of Malkangiri is worshiped by the people coming from Jeypore and People leaving Malkangiri for their safe journey.A number of religious visitors are attracted to this temple to worship throughout the day. The deity is believed to be worshiped by the King of Malkangiri whose castle`s remnants are still found on the Raja Rani Hill just infront of Bhairavi temple. A fomous Shiva Linga is found in the near by "Goi Hill" of Malkangiri Town. During the "Maha Shivaratri Festival" a large religious crowd is being grathered at this hill temple of Lord Shiva. Local people has put efforts in making a safe passage to the hill for the religious visitors.The height of the Shiva Linga is more that 6 feet.It has been observed that this Shiva Linga is gradually rising-up. The famous "Tarini Temple" is situated at a distance of 2 Kms. from Malkangiri town on the way to Jeypore. The scenic beauty as well as the religious importance of this temple attract people of the entire District.