Odisha Royals

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With the introduction of Aryans, Odisha has witnessed the fall of its ancient pattern of ruling. The Aryan rulers got victory over aboriginal rulers or chieftains.  Some of them may be traced like the Bhuyans, Savaras, Gonds and Kondhs. They were more or less independent by building small hilly provinces.  In course of time the Hilly retreats were penetrated and   forced to accept the superior prowess of these invaders.
Gradually the Aryans were accepted and their rule spread all over.  Sometimes the invaders kept these ancient rulers as their subordinates and in other places they became priests and denizens of their own land. Gradually their culture and civilization is converged with the external forces.
Time has witnessed the division among the Aryans, flourishing of several dynasties, war and invasion. Their dexterity, intelligence, art, culture and architecture are still able to guide us in this era of technology, machines and super computers.
If we study the royal history, genealogy in udra, Kalinga, Koshala, trikalinga or Odisha, in the second century CE we can find the then Kalinga was absorbed by the Andhras as foreign entity. The Satabahans, Sailodvabhas, Cholas have ruled us and left their finger prints in some architectural findings.

Somavanshis or the kesharis can be identified as 1st kalinga based dynasty who ruled Odisha for  three centuries. Though this dynasty claimed their origin from the moon and named themselves as descendants of Chandra or Soma Vamshis (lunar dynasty), but some historians opined that, their ancestors were acting as the feudatory chiefs under the Guptas. In India Gupta era is considered as the golden age of growth and properity in kind of administration, knowledge and wealth. After the fall down of Guptas the region was invaded by other dynasties many times.
The Soma Vamshis of the Kesharis settled capital in Jajpur or cuttack of Odisha and established by Janmejay Keshari in 882CE. He ruled the empire till 992 and the Gaddi ascended by Jajati Keshari-1 till 955. Not less than 11 kings have ruled Koshala and Trikalinga at that time. After Jajati Keshari we found the the rule of Bhimaratha from 955 to 980 CE, Dharmasrath 980 to 1005, Nahusha 1005 to 1021, Indranatha 1021 to 1025, Jajati keshari II from 1025 to 1040, Udyota Keshari from 1040 to 1065, Janmejay Keshari II from 1065 to 1080, Puranjay from 1080 to 1080 and Karnadeva from 1090 to 1110. The Keshari dynasty came to an end after the death of Karnadeva Keshari in 1110.
Udyota Keshari founded the temple of Someswar in Bhubaneswar and defeated the Cholas, Singhals and Gaudas. After him the Keshari dynasty probably lost the pride because history has witnessed Anantbarman Chodaganga in Odisha.

Anatvarman Chodaganga was considered as the 22nd king of Eastern Ganga Dynasty whose 1st ruler was Indravarman who ruled till 537 AD. Mukhalingam near vijainagar of present Andhra Pradesh was the capital during Indravarman of Eastern Ganga dynasty. Not less than 36 kings of this dynasty have flourished In India.  The last ruler was Bhanudeva-IV who ruled from 1414 to 1434 in odisha.  Chodaganga deva is considered as shaivite and latter turned vaishnav in the influence of great Ramanuja. He built famous Lord Jagannath Temple and is followers established Konark, Simanchalam.

In 1434 Surya Vanshi Kapilendra Deva established his rule in Odisha. He declared himself as the Gajapati king and so founded the Gajapati dynasty. Now this Gajapati is treated as a title for the chief servitor of Lord Jagannath. It is believed that Kapilendra Deva’s ancestors were served as feudatory chiefs under Eastern Ganga Chiefs. When Bhanugangadeva died he acquired the throne and ruled over 33 years. During his rule Mohammadan rule in the adjacent states has became threat to the country. In 1444 he fought against Sultan of Jaunpur Mohamud Shah and won the battle. In 1448 Son of Kapilendra Himvira deva fought against Bahmuni Sultan Alladin Ahmmed shah-Ii and won the battle.  the kingdom was invaded from the south by theReddy kingdom of Rajamundry and king Devaraya II of Vijayanagar. His son Hamvira defeated the Reddys and the Gajapati kingdom eventually came to occupy a large region from Midnapore in Bengal till Guntur in Andhra. In the meanwhile Gajapati Kapilendra Deva crushed the Bengal Sultan, Ahmed Shah to secure the northern and north western frontiers of the empire.The sultanates of Jaunpur and Bengal were supported by the sultanate at Delhi. The victories of Kapilendra Deva echoed right up to the walls of the Siri fort and was instrumental in checking the ambitions of the Delhi sultanate.
Kapilendra Deva expanded Jagannath culture through drama and dance. Odisha dance played a pivotal role during his period. He died in 1466. Before death he chooses his youngest son Purussottam Deva as his heir but Hamvira Deva rebelled against. He has to fight against his brothers in 1472. In 1476 he restored the reign of Utkal.
Purusottam deva was succeeded by Prataprudra Deva in 1497 and he ruled over Utkal till 1540. Though the Muslims in Bengal has knocked and warned the reign of Odisha, Prataprudra Deva was unaware about it. He was a great admirer of Srichaitnya. Srichaitanya visited Puri during his reign and started Bhakti movement. This has spoiled the war policy and downed the morale of paiks of Odisha. So it became responsible for the falldown of Gajapati dynasty in odisha.

After Prataprudra Deva in 1540 Kalua Deva alias Ramachandra Deva ruled odisha for 1 year. But his minister Gobinda Vidyadhar killed him in a very intelligent way. He also killed Kakharua Deba allias Purusottam Deba-II and captured the throne from 1541 to 1548. Gobinda Bidyadhar started the Bhoi dynasty ceasing Surya Bansha. One of his nephew Raghubhanj Chhotray often created disturbance in his rule. In 1548 Chakrapratap ruled Odisha till 1557 from Cuttack. Narasingha Jena and Raghuram Jena are two kings ruled cuttack for some few days and everywhere we found  chaos in Puri and Utka.
One Army chief of Gajapati ceased the throne in 1559 to 1568 and secured Odisha from the attack of Mohammadan. But he was killed in Gohira Tikiri fort by a conspiracy created by his minister Janarddan Bidyadhar and Odisha came under direct rule of the Moghuls.
In the stable and confident ruling of Keshari, Gangas and the Gajapati dynasty Odisha has excelled a lot in terms of growth in commerce, welfare, art, dance, culture and language. It is believed that the modern Odia Language was adopted during the rule of Chodaganga deva as the importance of Sanskrit was suppressed by the growth of provincial languages.

Inspired by the rich culture and heritage kings and members from other royal families of India visited many times. Some of them settled here and married to the royal family members of Odisha. In some time the kings of Odisha has offered jagirs or some regions to those guests and settled in some parts of the state. Further new dynasties were created in odisha and they supported the Gajapatis in latter part.
Some came from the north as pilligrim from the north and remained behind to found kingdoms and new dynasties. The folk tales about many of the feudal states of Odisha has witnessed it. ( Bengal District Gazetteers feudal states of Odisha by Cobden-Ramsey) Some times the expelled royal heirs and dissidents  came to Odisha to find a selter and started their part also.
Patna is a great example of this school of thought. Chauhan Rajputs of Mainpuri expelled from his territory by the Mohammadans came to Odisha near about 600 years ago and established Patna kingdom and sway over 18 Garhjats.
Folktales say Jaysingh, son of Raja Man Singh- the Maharaja of Jaipur in Rajputna came to visit jagannath in Puri. He fall I love with Padmavati- the daughter of Gajapati King  of Puri and  received Harishpur as dowry. In latter part Harishur devided in to Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar.
Similarly Daspalla and Boud were also divided by two Rajput Brothers. Athamallick, Narasighapur, Pallahara, Talcher and Tigiria are part of one Rajput family. Nayagarh and Hindol were given to rajputs from Rewa. A scion of this family own the Kendrapara House ( zamindari), sold in latter part. Athgarh, Baramba, Dhenkanal owe their origin to the distinguished servants of the ruling sovereigns of Odisha. The state of Ranpur is alleged to be the most ancient in the list of its chiefs being said to cover a period of 3,600 years.
These dynasties have made Odisha rich in their art, architecture and culture. Though most of them are ruined because of the disturbances in their family and loss of power but still some are the point of discussions now and it is sure that they will pull your eyes in the first sight to make you imaginary by searching the stories of the then rulers.
The British rule has categorized the feudatory states of Odisha into three categories. 1. Feudatory states, 2. Zamindars and 3. Princly states. These categories were fixed as a token of loyalty to the british rule and dense jungle or hilly region. But some ancient traditions and ancient cultures were smashed by this categorization.