(Last Updated on : 01-11-2014)
The district of Kalahandi from the time immemorial is recognized as the Mahakantara (Great Forest). It is also known as Karunda Mandal, which means treasure of precious stones like karandam (Manik), Garnet (red stone), Beruz, Neelam (blue stone), and Alexandra etc. The articles and the manuscripts of the earlier kings and princes who have dominated the land are evident enough to the historical significance of the district of Kalahandi. Maharaja Pratap Keshari Deo, the Ex-Maharaja of Kalahandi, has described the historical significance behind the nomenclature of the Kalahandi district as Karuna mandala. If the documents left by Maharaja are to be believed, the district owed its former name from the availability of Corundum in this region. The Naga kings were the authoritative rulers of Karuna Mandala. Maa Manikeswari, the family deity of the Naga kings have also necessitated the adoption of the name. However the present district of Kalahandi was joined with the Union of India in 1st January, 1948 and it was merged with Orissa and recognized as the functional district on 1st November, 1949.