Orissa News
History Places of Interest General Info

History of Malkangiri

Maharshi Valmiki is said to have composed Ramayana in MalkangiriHistory of Malkangiri can be  traced to the prehistoric times.It finds reference even in the old mythological works like Ramayan where it has been refered to as Malyavantagiri.It is believed that the holy book of Ramayan was composed here on the bank of the Tamasa river. River the Tamasa that flows out of a cave has derived its name from a tribal word "TANSA", that means cave. The belief of a visit of Lord Ramachandra is further strengthen by the existance of "Sitakunda" the bath place of Godess Sita near Mudulipada.Similarly the place is believed to be the site where the Pandava princes are supposed to have spent their one year of exile in hiding (Agyantavasa).The Koya tribes still preserve and worship a sword that is supposed to be belonging to the pandavas. Also they celebrate the "Bhimudu Parva" during January in which "Bhima", the middle Pandava is worshiped. Kanamraju (Lord KRISHNA), Balaraju (ARJUNA) and Poturaju (BHIMA) are three famous Lords of this area, who are being worshiped by the people from time immemorial.

Shri Chaitanya visited the Chitrakonda temple of MalkangiriIn the earlier days Malkangiri was known for beautiful Shiva temples.In fact the place derives its name from “Mallika Nagari”, the place of Lord Mallikeshwar.This Mallika Nagari gradually became Malkangiri in the modern times.One ancient Shiva Temple now submerged in the Chitrakonda Reservoir was known as Second Lingaraj of Orissa. This famous Shiva Temple was visited by Sri Chaitanya Deva during his visit to Nandapur. Existence of a number of Shiva Temples in and around Malkangiri signifies the fact that the ancient kings were shaiviets.

Malkangiri flourished as a hilly kingdom during the regin of the "Ganga Dynasty" It was known as "Kumbudiri" then. During the period from 1400 A.D. to 1872 A.D., this princely state was ruled by as many as twenty six kings. The entire state was divided into four MUTHAS namely Mout, Podia, Korukonda and Padmagiri. The head of each mutha was called "MUTHADAR". Each mutha was further divided into a number of villages of which "PEDA" was the head. The post of Muthadar and Peda were hereditary and recogined by the King of Malkangiri. Since there was always a fear of foreign invasion ,there was no permanent palace of the Kings. Temporary castles were built for them in several places of the state. Ruins of such a castle can be found over "RajaRani Ma Bhairavi  of MalkangiriHill" just in front of Bhairavi Temple of Malkangiri. An annual meeting was held on the "Vijaya Dashami" festival at "Sardar Basani Ambatota" of Deva Dangar. The meeting was attended by all the Muthadar and Pedas of the State. The King used to preside over this meeting and all important decisions were discussed in the meetings. The King delegated power to the Muthadars in this meetings to execute his decisions.

The last Queen of Malkangiri, Bangaru Devi ruled over here from 1855 A.D. to 1872 A.D. She along with her Koya Army faught bravely against the mighty Brithsh Army and was finally deposed in 1872 A.D. resulting a complete accession of Malkangiri State into Madras Presidency. In the year 1880 , Tama Dora, a brave Koya Youngman led the Koya troop, to defeat the British Police of Malkangiri and declared himself as the ruler of Podia and Motu.This incident is famously known as the "Koya Rebellion" .Colonel Macqoid of Hyderabad regiment marched with 100 men in retaliation but was utterly defeated by the Koya Army under the leadership of Tama Dora. The valiant efforts of the brave Youngman came to an end when he was brutally killed in the Rampa Forest near Mout on 28/07/1880 by the Military Police of Hyderabad.

After a long gap of 35 years the Koyas rose in rebellion once again under Alluri sitarama Raju who established a big Guerrila Troop and fought against the British Army. Chitrakonda and Kondakamberu were the Headquarters of Sitarama Raju He alongwith his large Koya troop raided the Raja Bamangi jail and released a freedom fighter Biraya Dora. In the month of September,1922, two British Army Officers namely Wrighter and Cobbard were killed and another officer Themoy Heir was seriously injured by him. In another incident in September, 1923; Malkangiri police station and Treasury were looted by Raju & his group. The group was culled in 1924 when Assam Rifles and Malabar Troops were sent to the forest of Malkangiri .The troops cornered Chitrakonda and attacked the Koya Army from all sides. A large number of Koya yound fighters were killed and many tribal families were tortured brutally by English Army. Finally A.Sitarama Raju was persuaded for a discussion with the Collector. Once into the meeting, he was caught by the troops and executed.