Bhadrak subdivision of the undivided Balasore district became a new district on April 1, 1993. Bhadrak having a rich heritage and history, according to legends derives its name from the Goddess Bhadrakali, whose temple stands on the bank of the river Salandi. This district is bounded by Balasore district in the North, Jajpur district and river Baitarani in the South, Keonjhar district in the West and Bay of Bengal and Kendrapara district in the East. The area of this district is 1721 sq. km. The district has a population of 13, 32, 000 as per 2001 census.
Bhadrak is an ancient land noted in legends dating from the age of the puranas, contributing to Odisha’s maritime & agrarian prosperity, trade and commerce down the ages as recorded in the history. The ancientry of this land is eloquently testified by the gigantic tank of Asura, the Buddhist relics of the 7th and 8th centuries discovered in Khadipada and Solampur, the villages of Dhamnagar, the Budddist caves in Sarisua Hill near Kupari and the mysterious temple of Biranchi Narayan in the village Palia, a parallel to the Sun Temple at Konark. The last battle to vindicate the freedom of Odisha was fought in a village called Gohiratikiri, on the bank of the river Genguti near Dhamnagar in 1568 in which the defeated king Mukunda Dev lost his life. In 1575, the Muslim population settled down in Bhadrak following the discomfiture of the Afghans under Usman at the hand of Raja Mansingh. In Mughal period Bhadrak remained a Subah under the Nawabs of Bengal. When the imperial powers of the Mughals waned, the zone consisted of some principalities like Kanika, Ampo and Agarapada with a few administrative sub-units called Chowparhies such as Kubera, Talapada, Nadigaon, Kasimpur, Kurigaon, Bindha etc., all ruled by Kshatriya Chiefs with patriotic temper.
After the British occupied Odisha, Cuttack and Balasore constituted one of the two administrative divisions, in June 1804. In 1828 when Balasore was made a separate district, Bhadrak became one of its Sub-division with an Assistant Magistrate cum Deputy Collector as the Sub-Divisional Head, while the Munsif Court remained in Jajpur until 1901.
In modern times, during the period of National struggle Bhadrak became the vanguard. In 1920 when the Non-cooperation Movement was launched in response to the clarion call of Gandhiji, the boycott of the law court practically resulted in closing down of the court of the 2 nd Officer for a whole year. Gandhiji came down to Bhadrak in the last week of March 1921, being impressed with the nationalistic fervour and fighting spirit of the people. In 1922 started the historic mass rebellion of Kanika, which for the time being was suppressed with the help of British troops stationed at Bhadrak. But ultimately, the popular upsurge, under the leadership of Chakradhar Behera, the doyen of Kanika tenants movement triumphed. With the mass Civil Disobedience Movement launched in 1930, Bhadrak once again became vibrant with patriotic zeal. Dr. Harekrushna Mahatab’s role in steering this movement to a crowning success is so great and spectacular that it has become already a part of Bhadrak psyche and the history of modern India. Mahatma Gandhi who visited Bhadrak again in 1934 stayed in Mahatab’s residence at Nuabazar. Gandhiji addressed a meeting of the Harizan workers in Jibaraj Ashram (Garadpur). It was by this time that Banchhanidhi Mohanty of Eram was shaping, stimulating and sensitizing the national consciousness among the people by his patriotic songs.
In the historic Quit India Movement of 1942, Bhadrak played a leading role. It was under the leadership of Muralidhar Panda that on the September 22, 1942 at Lunia, Katasahi, the movement flared up to immortal flame with Nidhi Mohalik and eight others laying down their lives at the altar of freedom. Fittingly the place has been hallowed as Sahidnagar. At Eram on the September 28, 1942, in an enclosed place like Jallianawala Bagh, nearly forty persons bared their chests to British Bullets for the cause of freedom. The congregated leadership, which guided the Quit India Movement, constitutes many luminous figures including Dr.Harekrushna Mohatab, Md. Hanif, Muralidhar Jena, Gokulananda Mohanty, Nilamani Routray and others.
Since independence, the history of Bhadrak has been the history of multifarious progress in Education, Industry, Agriculture, Trade and Commerce. The Bhadrak district lies between 21°4′ North to 21° 6′ North Latitude and 86° 30′ to 86° 50′ East Longitude.
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- Climate and RainfallThe climate of this district is generally hot with high humidity. May is usually the hottest month of the year. Occurrence of a large number of fire accidents is a regular feature of the district during summer. December is the coldest month of this district. Monsoon generally comes during the month of June. The rainfall during June to October constitutes at least 75% of the actual rainfall of this district. The district receives an annual rainfall of 1427.9 mm.
- River System and DamsThe major part of the district comes under the river system of the Baitarani, Salandi, Gamei, Kansabans, Mantei, Kochila, Genguti, Reba and Kapali. The rivers are seasonal and during the rainy season they spate and create havoc for the people of the district and the countryside crop.
All the three ways of communication from Bhadrak to other major cities & districts of Odisha as well as of India is available.
- AirwaysBhubaneswar is the only way of communication for airways. But, it is nearer from Bhadrak and good number of buses, taxies and railway facilities are available.
- RoadwaysThe NH-5 connects the district with Bhubaneswar (the State Capital), Cuttack, Jajpur, Balasore and Mayurbhanj. Other state highways as well as local facilities are also available for travel.
- RailwaysBhadrak district has six number of stations with 28 km of railway route.
Where to Stay?
Odisha is comparatively a cheaper place/state then the other places/states of India. Though there are no such big star hotels around Bhadrak for a luxurious stay, but comparatively good hotels are available at an affordable price.