The district of Jharsuguda came into existence on April 1, 1994. The district covers an area of 2203.32 sq km. Out of the 30 districts of Odisha, Jharsuguda is considered to be the one, that is rich in mines, industries & business. Jharsuguda Town is the head quarters of the district.
The present district of Jharsuguda, during 1936, was known as “Jharguda” and was a part of Sambalpur. In the 16th Century Balram Dev of Chauhan dynasty established the Kingdom of Sambalpur. As evident from historical records, during the reign of Chhattrasai Dev the 7th king of Chauhan dynasty, Jharguda was a small settlement surrounded by dense forest infested with a man-eating tiger, ravaging the people of this area. Siva Singh, the grandson of Chhattrasai Dev, using his might Sword killed the tiger & brought relief to the people. In recognition Chhattrasai Dev awarded the area to Siva Singh as ‘Bhrutti’ or ‘Jageri’.
As per folk tales the Kishans from Jharkhand state established Jharsuguda during the 12th Century A.D. Jharkishan was head of the tribe. The original village consisting of 12 kishan families was named Jharguda and Siva Singh, a descendant of Sambalpur royal family ruled the entire region. Later the descendants of Siva Singh ruled the region un-interruptedly from 16th century till the end of the 18th century.
Later the district of Sambalpur was occupied by Marahattas Bhonsle. Later in 1818, the British occupied Sambalpur and Maharaja Sai was made the nominal king of Sambalpur. However, the actual administration was done by British. After the death of Maharaja Sai in 1826, his widow, Mohankumari was declared as the ruler of Sambalpur. Challenging this decision made by the British, the then Jamindar of Jharsuguda, Govind Singh claimed himself to be the rightful heir to the throne of Sambalpur and launched an armed rebellion that continued uninterruptedly from 1827 to 1833. In 1833, Goving Singh was defeated.
Another claimant to the throne of Sambalpur was Surendra Sai, Jamindar of Khinda, who had also launched an armed rebellion to press his claims to the throne.
Gradually, the revolutionary activities in Sambalpur calmed down and Govind Singh agreed to withdraw his claims for the throne of Sambalpur and was appointed as the Mafidar of Jharsuguda. Many of his prominent followers and associates were hanged to death in August 1833.
Similar was the fate of the associates of Surendra Sai who had supported him in his second phase of revolution (1857-1863). Later it was in 1905, Jharsuguda was brought from the central province and was included in Odisha, gradually leading to a new township.
During the tenure of Education and Local Self Government Minister Lt. Bodha Ram Dubey in 1939 and Union Board were constituted for Jharsuguda as per the Sambalpur district local self government act. Jharsuguda town was managed by the Board from 1941-1942. It was in the year 1951, the Jharsuguda Union Board was replaced by Jharsuguda Municipality with 13 wards, as per the Orissa Government Notification No.5124/21851. The then Mafidar of Jharsuguda, Lal Haribans Singhdeo was elected as the first Chairman of Jharsuguda Municipality on October 5, 1952. Jharsuguda remained under the Sadar sub division of Sambalpur till 1979 and was declared as a Sub-division in 1979.
- Jharsuguda town is situated at the Western end of Odisha on the State Highway-10. The river ‘IB’ flows along the Western side of Jharsuguda town and the river ‘Vheden’ flows in the South. The area of the town is 70.47 sq km. The town situated at a height of 700-750 feet above mean sea level.
- The district of Jharsuguda is rich in minerals deposits, especially coal. It is one of the most urbanised and industrially developed district of the State. The district is well connections with all parts of the country by rail and road. The district also has an airport that was established during World War II.
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Jharsuguda is directly connected to Sambalpur, Rourkela, Bhubaneswar, Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Cuttack, Delhi, Bilaspur, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Puri, Patna, Kolkata, Raipur, Ranchi, Vishakhapatnam and many more cities of India. Jharsuguda is connected to the major towns of the state by SH-10 and NH-42.
Where to stay?
A good number of small, affordable and large size hotels, Pantha Nivas & other staying facilities are available in the district.
Jharsuguda district has a rich and developed cultural heritage. Though many of the fairs and festivals are common to other parts of the State, there are a few that are distinct and special.
- Ranjta FestivalSambalpur was established in the 16th century by the Lt. Chauhan king Balram Dev, a clansman of Prithvi Raj Chauhan, the last independent Hindu king of India. During the rule of the Chauhan kings, Ranjta festival was started in the capital town of Sambalpur and in the sub-ordinate states and Jamindaries of Sambalpur. This festival is observed every year on the night of 10th day of Suklapaksha of the month of Aswina. In the district the festival is observed in Jharsuguda town. On the day of the festival, the descendants of the Jamindars move in procession around the village or town along with ‘Patakhanda’ or (Royal sword).
- Famous Ratha Yatra of KukurjangaAs per the ancient tradition of Utkal, the reigning deities of Puri Shri Jagannath Temple, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra & Devi Subhadra visit the house of their aunt (Mausimaa) in their respective chariots namely Nandighosa, Taladhwaja & Darpadalana through the ‘Badadanda’ on the 2nd day of the bright lunar fort night of the month of Asadha and return to Shree Mandir on the 10thday of the bright lunar fortnight. This festival known as Ratha jatra is observed through out the State and also in many places outside the state.
In a small village known as Kukurjanga, 7 km away from Jharsuguda some specialties are observed in the Rathajatra festival. Here every year, the Rathajatra starts from 2nd day of the bright fortnight of ‘Ashada’, but the Bahuda Jatra continues up to the Ashada Purnima.
In the Kukurjanga village under the erstwhile Rampur Jamindari, the Jagannath temple had been constructed in the 17th Century and since then the Rathajatra festival is organised by the “Managing Committee”. The Rath of Kukurjangha is a massive structure with 16 wheels.
Thousand of pilgrims from the nearby areas assemble at Kukurjangha to witness the Ratha Yatra festival every year.
- Famous Gokulastami Jatra of RajpurGokulastami Jatra is being observed with pomp & ceremony from the time of the Jamindar of Rajpur who were the descendent of ‘Madhukar Sai’ the king of Sambalpur. The festival symbolizes a folk ceremony signifying an Agrarian culture. The festival also symbolizes the welfare of cattle & other domestic animals used in agriculture. It is observed by the farmers of Rajpur every year on the 8th day of bright fortnight in the month of Margasira. The focal point of this festival is the Jagannath Temple, situated in-front of the palace of the Jamindar of Rajpur. From the evening of the 7th day of bright fortnight of Margasira an idol of Krishna, carrying the mount ‘Govardhan’ is prepared, which is worshiped in the midst of chanting of Bhajans & Kirtans. At every lane & street of Rajpur village shops and Bazaars are colorfully decorated. At every cross-road many cultural activities are organised through out the night. On the next day the Gokulastami festival continues from the morning till night. All the cattle folk of the village go for grazing since down. In the meantime rice, dal, curry & other vegetables are cooked in the premises of the village school.
- Sabita Ratha Yatra of Lord Jagannath at BelpaharEvery year on the occasion of Makar Sankranti ‘Sabita Rath yatra’ is organised by the committee of the Jagannath temple of ‘Gumadera of Belpahar, 22 km away from Jharsuguda town. On this day the Sun (Sabita) dwells in Makara Rasi, hence the chariot Lord Jagannath of Gumadera has been named ‘Sabita Ratha’ or the ‘Sun chariot’. On the day of ‘Makar Sankranti’ the 3 deities of Jagananth temple ride on the Sabita Rath & travel to their Mausimaa (Aunt) house. The Gods later make their return journey from the Mausimaa temple. At that time Lord Chandrasekhar of Gumadera travels in a separate chariot towards the main road (Badadanda) near Batamangala on the Sabita rath & the chariot of Lord Chandra shekhar which is known as ‘Harihara Bheta’. To witness this unique meeting of the lords a large crowd gathers in the Badadanda. A colorful fair takes place at Gumadera during ‘Sabita Rath yYtra’.