History of Ganjam District
The district got its name from the word "Ganj-i-am" which means the Granary of the World. The district is named after the Old Township and European fort of Ganjam situated on the northern bank of river Rushikulya which was the head quarter of the district. The district got separated from Madras Presidency and formed a part of Orissa province with effect from the year 1936. The reorganized district comprises the whole of Ghumusor, Chatrapur and Baliguda divisions, part of old Berhampur taluk, part of old Ichapur taluk and part of Parlakhemundi plains area. As per the recent reorganized plan for the district by Government of Orissa the 7 blocks of Parlakhemundi sub-division was separated and Gajapati District came into existence. As such the Ganjam District at present constitutes three sub-divisions, 22 blocks, 14 Tehsils.
Geography of Ganjam District
Geography of Ganjam District is broadly divided into two divisions, the coastal plains area in the east and hilly lands in the west. The Eastern Ghats run along the western side of the district. The plains lie between the Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal. Since the hills are close to the sea, the rivers flowing from hills are not very long. The plains are narrow because of the absence of big rivers. The coastal plains in the east contain more fertile and irrigated lands. Towards the centre and south it is hilly with beautiful well watered valley. The south eastern portion is fertile. The extreme north east is occupied by a portion of Chilka Lake. The district has alluvial soil in its eastern part (coastal region) and Laterite Soil in the west (hilly land). The forests of Ganjam District come under the mixed moist peninsular high and low level Sal forests, tropical moist and dry deciduous and tropical deciduous forest types. It provides a wide range of raw materials. The chief economic minerals found in the district are abrasives and grinding materials, line stone, manganese, monazite, sand and talc. Bay of Bengal touches the eastern frontier of Ganjam District and its coast extends over 60 kms. Rivers like Rushikulya, Dhanei, Bahuda, Ghoda Hada are the prominent ones which govern the agriculture and power sectors of the district. The district is characterized by moderate temperature all through the year. The normal rain fall of this district is 1444 mm.
Culture of Ganjam District
Culture of Ganjam District is envisioned by the beliefs, lifestyle and folk dances of the local people. The folk dances and the various festivals of Ganjam District are popular throughout the country. Prahlad natak, Gotipua Nacha, etc. are some of the popular folk dances of this district. Moreover, religious beliefs are considered as an important aspect of the life of the people. Interestingly, the folk dances also reflect their religious faiths. Culture of Ganjam District is also characterized by several fairs and festivals like Dola Yatra, Durga Puja, Thakurani Yatra and more. The stone sculptures at Mathura village of Ganjam District are of high artistic and aesthetic value.
Education in Ganjam District
Total number of literates in Ganjam District is 1,046,214. Total number of primary schools is 3035, number of middle schools is 680 and number of secondary schools is 362. Total number of colleges in this district of Orissa is 65. Education in Ganjam District attained new heights with the establishment of Berhampur University in the year 1967. The district also has some medical colleges and these are Berhampur Ayurvedic College, Co-operative Homeopathic Medical College, College of Pharmaceutical Science and College of Nursing.
Tourism in Ganjam District
There are several tourist attractions in Ganjam District. This district is known for its historical importance. People can explore the true beauty of this district through its various sightseeing options. Bhetanai, Biranchi Narayan, Budhakhol, Buguda, Girisola, Huma Kantiagada, Jaugada, Kulada, Mahuri Kalua, Pati Sonepur, etc. are some of the major attractions offered by this district.
Ganjam District is also known for its agricultural productivity. A variety of crops like paddy, Ground Nut, Sugarcane, Oil Seeds, Ragi, Mung, Biri, etc. are grown in the district. Agricultural sector of Ganjam District absorbs more than 75 per cent of the labour force.