The present district of Kalahandi was in ancient times, a part of South Kosals. It was princely state. After Independence of the Country, merger of princely state took place on January 1, 1948. The princely state of Kalahandi was merged in Odisha along with other princely states on November 1, 1949. Subsequently, in 1962, Kashipur Police Station was taken out from this district and merged with Koraput.
Geographical Location & Natural Resources
Kalahandi district occupies the South-Western portion of Odisha and is situated between 19 ° 3′ Noth and 21 ° 5′ North Latitude and 82 ° 30′ East and 83 ° 74′ East Longitude. It touches the boundaries of the districts, Bolangir and Phulabani in the North and North-East, Nabarangpur, Raipur and Nuapara in the South-West, West and North-West, Rayagada and Koraput in the East & South. It extends over an area of 8,364.89 sq km. The district headquarter is at Bhawanipatna town, which stands almost to the Eastern border of the district.
- Rainfall and Climate
The climate of the district is of extreme type. It is dry except, during monsoon. There are varieties of day and night temperature. The average annual rainfall of the district is 1378.20 mm. The variation in the rainfall from year to year is not large. The monsoon starts, late in June and generally, lasts up to September. 90% of the rainfall is b received from June to September. August is the month with more number of rainy days. About 28% of rainfall is received during this month. Drought is normal feature of this district.
Nearly, half of the total geographical area of Kalahandi district was covered with forest. In the recent times, there has been a considerable shrinkage in forest areas due to denudation.
Bauxite, Graphite, Manganese, Iron and Quartz are some of the minerals available in the district. Of these, only Bauxite and Graphite has been commercially exploited. Bauxite is found in Lanjigarh block at Niamgiri in large scale. Manganese deposits are found mostly in Khariar Plateau of Nuapara district and Iron ores in places adjoining Koraput District. But these ores are of poor grade and are not considered suitable for economy exploitation. According to the National Council of Applied Economic Research, the known deposits of minerals in the district, cannot by themselves sustain heavy mineral based industry.
- Area & its utilization
Kalahandi District has an area of 8,364.89 sq km and ranks 7th among the 30 districts of Odisha. Forest occupies 4,964 sq km of the total geographical area of the district, i.e., non-cultivated areas of the District were 375752 hectors in the year 1993. In the same year, 11,602 hectors were left as fallow lands or cultivable waste land.
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How to reach there
Bhawanipatna is connected with the following towns of other districts by roadways. Those are Bolangir, Nuapada, Nabarangapur, Rayagada, Phulbani, and Bhanjanagar.
The total length of the railways in the district is only 44 km. The Raipur-Vizianagaram broad-gauge link of the S.E. Railway passes through this district and connects five (5) stations in the district. It links the district with important places like Vizianagaram, Rayagada, Raipur, Rourkela, Bolangir, Sambalpur, with Kesinga, Narla Road and Lanjigarh Road.
There is one air strip in the district, which is at Utkela 25 km from Bhawanipatna.
Fairs and Festivals
Car festival of Lord Jagannath (June-July), Rama Navami (March-April) and Dussehra, the festival of Goddess Manikeswari (September -October) are the main festivals.
The most important festival of western Odisha comprising the districts of Sambalpur, Bolangir, Sundargarh, Kalahandi and some areas of Phulbani, is Nuakhai. Generally, it takes place in the bright half of the month of Bhadrab on an auspicious day fixed by the astrologers. In the ex-State areas, the date is fixed according to the instructions of the ruling chiefs. The people in general, eagerly look forward for the festival and preparation starts before a fortnight. Most of the houses are cleaned, neatly plastered and decorated by the house wives. On this occasion, old and young, all wear new clothes. Though the festival is intended for eating new rice of the year, it is observed as a general festival. Meeting of friends and relatives, singings, dancing and merry-making are parts of the festival. On this occasion, the new rice is cooked with milk and sugar (Khiri) and then offered as Bhog to Goddess Laxmi. Then the eldest member of the family distributes the same to other members.
Bhawanipatna is a trading mart of importance with wholesale trading in forest products.
Places of Interest