The history of Angul is recorded from the time when it survived as the feudatory kingdom inhabited by the Khonds. But the successive waves of the Hindu immigrants had driven back the Khonds. Finally, it appeared that the loosely formed principalities in the ancient times have come under the sway of the Hindu military chiefs, who often are at dispute with one another. The socio-political ethos was provocative enough to intrigue a plot against an existing ruler and to occupy his fort, taking advantage of the internal dissension. As the history of Angul depicts, gradually the fragmented parts and the mountainous hinterland of the feudatory Angul, acknowledged the over lordship of these Hindu warrior chiefs, who came to be popularized as Rajputs.
Though the recorded chronicles of Angul do not throw much light to the ruling families and the administrative system of ancient Angul, the excavated relics indicates that the earliest ruling families of Angul were the Kadamba Kings belonging to the Kashyapa gotra. Raja Dhanurjjaya Singh Jagaddeva was the foremost ruler of the dynasty, who consolidated the border villages like Khargaprasad, Mangalpur and Kamlang and constituted an integrated whole of the Angul Kingdom. Raja Jagaddeva was a vigorous warrior who even extended his kingdom in the distant Goulpur and installed a victory pillar with the title of Dhanu Singh Thengal, which commemorates the history of Angul and the legend of his victory.
As Raja Dhanurjjaya was issueless, the throne of Angul, after his death was inherited by his younger brother by Raja Nityanand Singh Jagaddeva. Being a peace loving man and lacks the potentiality of his brother, Nityanand could not retain the former glory Angul attained in the reign of Dhanurjjaya Singh. The King of Dhenkhal appeared again in the ancient history of Angul, when he snatched away the border villages, formerly ruled by him. Finally the son of Nityanand, Raja Krushna Chandra, restored the territories yielded by his father to the Raja of Dhenkhal. Till the throne was succeeded by Raja Krushna Chandra, the history of Angul was dotted with the continuous upheavals caused by the wars of the Kadamba kings, leading to the extension of their kingdoms.
Before long, Raja Krushna Chandra consecrated the throne, he initiated the improvement programs for the rustic tribes residing in the vast region of Angul. As far as the history of Angul is concerned, the initiation of the development programs throughout the State laid the cultural foundation of Angul. He constructed the temple of Nagarimohandeva in his capital city and inaugurated the custom of worship of the deities. According to the history of Angul, Raja Krushna Chandra is the father of cultural tradition of Angul. Being issueless, the throne after him was succeeded by his younger brother. But in spite of being a competent ruler, he had to acknowledge his territory to the vibrant Marathas.
The Marathas continued to be the sovereign rulers of the whole of Orissa for a couple of years and finally ceded Angul, along with the entire region of Orissa to the British East India Company and by a pact signed between them, accepted the British supremacy along and maintain loyalty and submission to the British and conceded to pay Rs.1250 to the British as an annual tribute or "peshkash". It is from the 1803 A.D, the British era started in the history of Angul. The British era initiated the present history of Angul.
During the British regime Jarwar Singh, the eldest son of Achala Mansingh, was the indigenous ruler in the throne of Angul but followed the Company's direction in ruling the State. However after Jarwar Singh, the socio-political panorama of Angul was dominated by the bloody fratricide to grab the absolute power and the throne of Angul. The British Governor General Mr. Richardson directed the Acting Collector and the settlement Commissioner for a joint investigation. The governor General deposed Prithvi Singh the former ruler, who was the sole contriver of the troubled situation in Angul and elected Somnath Singh, a boy of 14 years as the eminent successor of the throne of Angul.
As far as the history of Angul is concerned Somnath Singh is the last king of Angul who ruled for long 33 years, from 1813 to 1847. He was extremely spirited ruler and incurred displeasure among the neighboring chiefs of Dhenkhal, Hindol, Despalla, Athamallik and Baudh. In 1831, Somnath Singh plundered some of the villages of Despalla and was entitled by the Government to pay a compensation of Rs 1450, what he refused to pay. In 1837, Somnath Singh was suspected to have committed 6 murders and had given refuge two Khond Chiefs, who instigated a revolt against the British government. When asked by the Government to deliver the offenders to the Government, he repudiated the idea of a loyal submission to the British Government. The British consider this as an open threat to them. Finally after investigation the Raja was summoned in Cuttack, who again refused too attend that. With this open defiance and following a long career of the mismanagement and the oppression, the British General Captain Dunlop was determined to depose the king and nominated his son, Loknath singh Gambhira Samant in the throne by a proclamation and annexed the kingdom of Angul as the administrative unit under the direct provision of the British.
According to the historical facts of Angul, that though the native chiefs under the direction of the British Government ruled it, The Government was in favor to occupy Angul from the native chief. Being a developed seat of economy and culture, Angul was always a favorite for the British. The British forces thereupon confiscated the entire region of Angul in the year 16th September 1848. Loknath Singh, the final king was also deprived of his hereditary right of kingship with a monthly allowance of Rs 50. Angul, thus come under the sway of the British and was administered by the Superintendent of the Tributary Mahals, until 1891, when Angul was constituted as the separate district and the whole land of Khondmals was attached with it. Down from 1891, the British constituted the history of Angul, with a political establishment.
(Last Updated on : 15-05-2014)
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