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.
Ganjam district lies between 19.4 ° North to 20.17 ° North latitude and 84.7 ° East to 85.12 ° East Longitude spreading over the geographical area of 8070.60 sq km.
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Ganjam district is very well connected with all three, Bus, Rail & Air ways. Berhampur is one of the best business centers of the district and also of Odisha. It is also connected with all the three transport facilities like, bus, rail & air.
- RailwaysThis is the central line for the trains running from Chennai to Howrah, Bangalore to Howrah & Hyderabad to Howrah. Because, Berhampur is a big station, the train communication is very good. Apart from Berhampur, the other stations are Chhatrapur, Ganjam, Rambha, etc
- RoadwaysThe district is also very well connected by roadways. Every part of the district is connected with Berhampur & NH-5 is joining with this part. So, Berhampur is connected with various other big towns by roadways. This is one of the border sides of Odisha, which is near to Andhra Pradesh. It joins cities like, all the parts of Odisha & major cities of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
- AirThe nearest airport is at Bhubaneswar as well as at Vizag (from Berhampur). Both the places are well connected with road & rail facilities.
Where to stay?
Because, the district is purely known for its business hub, Berhampur, the major accommodation facilities are available at Berhampur. Numbers of good hotels are also available at Gopalpur-on-sea, Chhatrapur & at other places of the district.
A fine blending of different shades of culture is noticeable in the festivals observed through out the district. Almost all the festivals are associated with the underlying principle of the anthropomorphizing of the divinity and the ascriptions of human conduct and affection to it. The district is not only an ideal choice for monuments, beaches, Waterfalls and scenic beauties, but also for her colourful fairs and festivals. It is generally believed that in twelve months of year there are more or less thirteen festivals, but in actual practice they number many more. These festivals may broadly be divided into two categories, such as domestic festival observed in each household and public festivals and fairs where people congregate in large number on the auspicious day. A number of fairs and festivals are observed in the district notable among which are enumerated below.
- Dola YatraDola, popularly knows as Holi in the most popular and colourful festival of the district, celebrated on Phalguna Purnima and a day succeeding. Based on the romantic plays of Radha and Krishna, people converge on the streets with their idols on gaily decorated “VIMANS” singing devotional songs in their praise and throwing colour powders (PHAGU) and water on each others. This yatra is widely celebrated throughout the district with much pomp and splendor. The Ganjam (Old Ganja) which was the ancient headquarters of the district is famous for Dola Yatra.
- Tara Tarini Mela
The Tara Tarini Mela of Ganjam is not only famous in the district but also throughout the state. The Tara Tarini Mela is one of the biggest fairs of Odisha, which takes place on each Tuesday in the month of Chaitra i.e., from around mid March to mid-April at Tara Tarini pitha, which is at a distance of 30 km from Berhampur. Thousands of devotees come from every corner of the district as well as out side the State in order to have Darshan of Goddess Tara Tarini and perform their Manasika after fulfillment of their desire. A grand congregation takes place on the 3rd Tuesday of the month.
- Thakurani YatraThakurani Yatra is considered to be the most typical and famous amongst all the folk festival celebrated in the district. Usually the Thakurani yatra is observed in the month of May. The priest invites Goddess Thakurani as his daughter, who comes in the form of flower, which is placed in a pot and being placed on the head of a woman and then procession moves from street to street in the evening of every day, which is accompanied by musical instruments of trumpet, kahali, ghanta, sankha and different kinds of folk dances, this process goes on for five, seven, fifteen and 21 days, as per the willingness and ability of the people.
- Durga Puja
Dussehra (Ten days worship) is held on the 10th day of Ashwina (September/ October) in the honour of Goddess Durga that symbolizes the commemoration of good over evil. It is celebrated with great pomp and splendor through out district. Exquisite image of Gods and Goddess, with artistic decorations are worshiped for four days, on the day succeeding “Vijaya Dashami” the last day of Durga puja, the images are taken in a spectacular procession for immersion in the river or pond.
Makar Sankranti or Makar Mela is celebrated with gusto in mid-January, when the Sun enters the orbit of Capricorn. Sun-God is worshipped with great fervor and enthusiasm by one and all. The Sun-God returns northward from the tropic of Capricorn towards the equator, as a result day time rises and the night time reduces from this Sankranti, so this Sankranti is also called “Uttarayan Sankranti” also. People prepare “Makar Chaula” with new cropped rice, banana, cheese, milk, coconut and the juice of sugarcane and offer them to Sun God. It is mostly celebrated by Telugu people in the district; they offer pinda to their forefathers on that day. The Makar Sankranti is observed for a day, no doubt, but the yatra or the fair lasts for two to three days.
- Manabasa Gurubara
It is one of the most important functions and rituals of every Odia family, which is usually observed on all Thursdays of the month Margasira. Mahalaxmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity is worshipped by the housewives of the families. On the first Thursday of Margasira, a small measuring basket of cultivator called as “Mana” filled with new cropped white coloured paddy (Sukula Dhana) is placed in the shines of the house. A bunch of paddy being canned is also placed on it and is decorated with new clothes, ornaments and flowers. The floor of the pucca house is washed and the thatched house is wiped out by car dung and is decorated with different types of Jhuti (Chitta) like Lotus flower, feet of Goddess Laxmi.
- Danda YatraDanda yatra of Ganjam is considered to be the most ancient traditional form of worship. The participants of Danda Nata are usually called “Dandua” and the chief as “Pata Dandua”, who moves from village to village to perform the same. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Kali; this is represented by a Danda or a Pole, decorated with different coloured clothes. The participants perform Pani Danda, Agni Danda, Dhuli Danda etc, which are the main attractions of the said performance. The closing ceremony is known as “Meru Yatra”, which is observed on the day of Maha Vishuba Sankranti of Chaitra.
Berhampur town/city of the district is basically known as the silk city of Odisha. Its silk sarees are very famous. Apart from this, because of the influence from the South, the food taste is very much different and tasty. The garment items are quite cheaper then other places. One can enjoy the shopping at this place.