From the evidences till deciphered, the eminent scholars have inferred that the history of Boudh can be recorded from the middle of the 8th century A.D, when the Boudh region was under the Bhanja rulers and was a part of Khinjali Mandala. The earliest ruler of the Bhanja dynasty was Nettabhanja, who extended his sovereignty over the entire region of Dhenkanal but the territory of Boudh was free from its influence. It was his successor who, migrated to the adjacent regions and annexed Boudh, and established the Khinjali Mandala there. As the historical records of Boudh point out, the Bhanja kings ruled Boudh as the feudatory of the Bhauma karas of the Tosali. The historians are also in opinion that during the suzerainty of the Bhanja rulers, Boudh also served as their capital city, with a name called Dhritipura. Satrubhanja Dev II, the final ruler of the Bhanja dynasty was dethroned and killed by the Somavansi ruler of South Kosala, Janmeyjaya - I, which introduced the beginning of the Somavansi dynasty in the history of Boudh.
The heirs of the Bhanjas and their family was crushed by the ruthless expedition of the Kosala king, who installed his kingdom in the present Boudh region and the district came to be known as Odra Desa. As far as the ancient history of Boudh is concerned the Somavansis are the militant community and during their rule in Boudh, the accomplished many campaigns for the extension of their empire. Since Yayatinagara (present Jagati), at the core center of Boudh district was the capital city, entire Boudh had underwent through massive upheavals during the Somavansis.
Finally when the Somavansis migrated to the Utkal region leaving the Boudh to the viceroys, a series of protracted struggle was continued between the Somavansis and the Kalucharis centering the occupation of the territory of Boudh. In the meantime the Gangas snatched the kingdom of Kosala and at the same time overpowered the Somavansis in Boudh region. After the Somavansis, the imperial Gangas attained prominence in the history of Boudh. In course of time the Ganga administrators became semi-independent and continued to establish the tradition of hereditary rulers in Boudh. The available historical records of the Boudh suggest that, it served as a principal center of carrying out militant expeditions of all those dynasties colonized here.
So far the tradition of the hereditary Ganga goes, there emerged the Brahmin family as their final successor. Gandhamardan Dev was the final successor of the Ganga, being issueless adopted a Child from Bhanja family, whom ascended the throne. But he assumed the surname "Dev", therefore in spite of being the Bhanja kinship, he was identified as a Ganga ruler.
In the first half of 17th century, the kingdom of Boudh came under the sway of the Chauhan rulers and Chauhan constructed a strong foundation of their kingdom in Boudh bringing the entire region of Sonepur under their direct control. During this period, the Chauhan rulers established their supremacy in the entire territory of Orissa. The episode of the Chauhan supremacy is marked as a glorious chapter in the history of Boudh. In 1640, Sonepur was fragmented from Boudh to constitute a separate state.
In the meantime when the Muslims invaded Orissa, the Rulers of Boudh in order to secure themselves from the Muslim assault, established a friendly relationship with the Muslims. The available historical document are not evident enough delineating the Muslim era in Boudh but as it is known from the available facts that the Boudh rulers during that time used the title "Swasti Sri Dhirlakhya Dhumbadhipati Jahrkhand Mandaleswar", which was probably conferred by the Muslim rulers.
As the history of Boudh depicts, the final years of the Muslim era was marked by the continuous strife of the Boudh rulers with the Marathas. As Boudh was the core city of the communication between Cuttack and Nagpur, the city was the key attraction of the Maratha chiefs since the Muslim supremacy. The incompetent Muslim successor could not hold their supremacy in the long run and ceded their authority to the Maratha. However the Marathas extracted a regular tribute from the Boudh rulers. The relationship between the Maratha chiefs and the Boudh kings were not strained from the very beginning. It was in the 1800 A.D when the Raja of Boudh rebelled against the Marathas in Boudh, the Maratha chiefs trampled the supremacy of the Boudh king Raja Biswambara Dev and reduced him to a feudatory ruler of Nagpur by paying a regular tribute. Finally the entire territory of Boudh has undergone several changes in the hands of the different indigenous and the Muslim rulers till the British conquest of Orissa in 1803 A.D. The British era in the history of Orissa started from the time when the former Raja of Boudh Raja Biswambara Dev, submitted to the British and entered into an agreement with The East India Company, on 3rd March, 1804 in the solemn aim to recover his past glory.
The history of Boudh experienced a massive turnover right from the time when in the third Anglo-Maratha War when the British soldiers ousted the Marathas from Boudh and incorporated the state in the South West Frontier Agency till 1837, when it was brought under the superintendent of Tributary Mahals, Cuttack. However the British did not entertain the design of raja Biswambara Dev to give him back his kingdom.
The successors of Raja Biswambara Dev survived as the feudatory ruler of the small estates allotted to them by the British Government in a fixed annual tribute of Rs. 800/-. During this time the British, dissected the integrated Boudh and appointed the feudatory rulers in those parts. Finally the British annexed those fragmented states in the territory of the British Empire.
As far as the history of Boudh is concerned, the native rulers of Boudh were incompetent and they ceded their territory without any resistance to everyone who campaigned the kingdom of Boudh. Raja Jogindar Dev was benevolent and generous and introduced the English education in the State. During his regime, Boudh has made a considerable progress in the field of modern education and Culture. His sudden death in 1913, results in the numerous uprising and rebellions throughout Boudh, which was successfully suppressed by Raja Narayan Dev. Raja Narayan Dev was the last ruler of Boudh, when it was merged with the Orissa province on 1st January 1948. Finally in 1994, the Boudh-Khondmals is raised to the status of a separate functioning district on 2nd January 1994.
(Last Updated on : 16-01-2010)
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