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History of Mayurbhanj

Tracing the history of Mayurbhnaj may take us to  prehistoric times. It is well known now that Mayurbhanj had been dwelled by ancient Palaeolithic people since the prehistoric times.Evidence represents an archaic Lower Palaeolithic human occupation, which evolved into an Acheulian form comparable to the Midnapur district of West Bengal. Some historians opine that Mayurbhanj in fact acted as a large, rich, and pristine epicentre of Lower Palaeolithic occupation from where successive periodic movements must have entered Midnapur district and other parts of the country.

Chhau Dance of Orissa owes its development to the Bhanj Kings of MayurbhanjThe district had been the centre of activity of The Bhanja Kings who incidentally had very good relations with the Mayur Kings of Keonjahr.The name of the district has in fact been derived by joining both these clans; the Mayurs and the Bhanjas. The Bhanjas are known to be the longest reining clan of Kings of the district.With their capital in Khiching of today,the Bhanjas ruled Mayurbhanj for more than 1000 years in royal succession until the freedom of the country.Founded by Sila Bhanja Angaddi, the rule of Bhanjas was responsible for alround development of the district.The Bhanjas were known to be the promoters of Art ,Architecture and culture.The Haribaldev temple,the Khichhing temple and numerous other architecture in and around the district stand testimony to this.Also the Bhanjas were responsible for the development and promotion of the Chau dance form which is now acknowledged world wide for its unique martial,tribal and classical elements.

The Kings of Mayurbhanj were pioneering force in the upliftment of Orissa under British rule. In fact, it was one of the most progressive districts in the whole nation during the British rule. The Bhanja kings established the first Medical college of the state in Cuttack. They donated huge sum of money and land for establishment of higher educational institutions like Revenshaw College. They were also responsible for making endeavors and finally persuading the Britishers for a railway route to Orissa. The state got merged in the state of Orissa on 1st January 1949.