Puri Estate

PuriDynasty: Ganga Vanshi
Emblem:  Chhati and two elephants 
Area: 1528sq miles
Maharaja title: 1817
Ascended: 1956

Longitude: 19 degree 28 and 20degree 26 inch North and
Latitude: 84 degree 56’ and 86 degree 25’
District Boundary: North and North East by Cuttack,  South East and South by Bay of Bengal, West District of Ganjam, North West Nayagarh, Khandapara, & Ranapur*
Present Status: District HQ of Puri District
Distance from Bhubaneswar: 67 Km ( approx) on NH 316



During the rule of Anatvarman Chodaganga Deba the 22nd king of Eastern Ganga Dynasty, the city of Puri flourished as the religious capital of the Odishan Empire.  Indravarman was the founder of this  dynasty and ruled Kalinga till 537 AD. Mukhalingam near Vijaynagar of present Andhra Pradesh was the capital during Indravarman. Not less than 36 kings of his line ruled the state at different times.  The last ruler of Ganga dynasty was Bhanudeva-IV who ruled from 1414 to 1434 in Odisha at Cuttack. 

Ananta Barman Chodaganga Deva was a shaivite and latter turned vaishnav under the influence of great Ramanuja. He built famous Lord Jagannath Temple and made it the center of excellence for the Vaisnavites. He also declared himself as the servant of the lord and started ruling the state under the name of Shri Jagannath God. His followers established Konark sun temple and Nrusinha temple at Simanchalam.
Following the tradition of Gangas, the Gajapatis also regarded Lord Jagannath as the state deity and declared themself as his servant. They tried to unite the Hindu feudatory kingdoms under the rule of Lord Jagannath to protect their empire.

Puri Gajapati kingdom
In 1434 Surya Vanshi Kapilendra Deva established his rule in Odisha. He titled himself as the Gajapati king and so founded the Gajapati dynasty. Now this Gajapati title  is treated as a title for the chief servitor of Lord Jagannath. It is believed that Kapilendra Deva’s ancestors had served as feudatory chiefs under Eastern Ganga kings. After the death of Bhanugangadeva-IV ( last ruler of Ganga dynasty),  he acquired the throne and ruled over for at least 33 years. During his rule Mohammadan rulers had occupied neighboring states like Bengal. So they were treated as threats to Odisha. In 1444 Kapilendra 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.  

During this period Odisha was invaded from the south by the Reddy King Devaraya-I of Vijayanagaram. Kapilendra's elder son Hamvira defeated the Reddys and occupied their state. So the Gajapati kingdom eventually extended 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 his empire.

Kapilendra Deva expanded Jagannath culture through Odia plays ( dramas) and dances. Odishi dance played a pivotal role like cultural ambassador during his period. He died in 1466. Before death he choose his youngest son Purussottam Deva as his heir and said he was choosen as per the order of  God Jagannath but his elder son Hamvira Deva and allies could not accept this and rebelled against him. So Purusottam had to fight against his 18 brothers in 1472. In 1476 he restored the reign of Utkal. Purusottam Deba was the only son of Phoola Bai ( Kapilendra's illegitimate wife). Purusottam was very much popular in Odisha for his south expedition and affair with Rupambika. Though Chherapanhara ( sweeping) on the chariots was an event to show the humbleness of Gajapati Kings was there before Purusottam but it was verymuch popularised after him.

Purusottam Deba was succeeded by Prataprudra Deba in 1497 and he ruled over Utkal till 1540. Though the Muslims in Bengal had knocked against Odisha, Prataprudra Deva could not understand it so didn't take any step to revoke the infiltration. He was a great admirer of Srichaitnya. Srichaitanya visited Puri during his reign and started Bhakti movement. It is alleged that this movment had spoiled the war policy of Gajapati kingdom and downed the morale of paikas (soldiers) of Odisha. So it became responsible for the fall down of Gajapati dynasty in Odisha.
After Prataprudra Deva in 1540, Kalua Deva alias Ramachandra Deva ruled Odisha for one and half  years. His minister Gobinda Vidyadhar killed him in a very intelligent way while playing Hingidi ( Polo). Then Kakharua Deva allias Purusottam Deba-II installed on the throne of Gajapati but he was also killed in 3 months by that crude minister Govinda. He captured the throne and  ruled at Cuttack from 1541 to 1548.

The treachery Mohommadan invasion
Gobinda Bidyadhar Established the Bhoi dynasty ceasing it from Surya Bansha in 1541. One of his nephews Raghubhanj Chhotray often created disturbances during his rule but it was sidelined by Govinda Vidyadhar.  After him his son Chakrapratap ruled Odisha from 1548 till 1557 at Cuttack. Then the throne was ascended by Narasingha Jena and Raghuram Jena, two sons of Chakra Pratap. They had ruled cuttack for some few days.

Mukunda Harichandan, one Army chief of Gajapati at Cuttack fort ceased the throne in 1559 by defeating Narasingha Jena in the name of Gajapati Mukunda Deba. He ruled here from Cuttack till 1568 and secured Odisha many times from the attack of Mohammadans. He was killed in Gohira Tikiri fort near modern Jajpur.  Then Odisha came under direct rule of the Moghuls. Without a native ruler Odisha had seen devastations in its culture, heritage and economy for some years together in the hands of mohammedans.

During the rule of Keshari, Gangas and the Gajapati dynasty, Odisha had excelled a lot in terms of 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.

In 1568, Odisha was suppressed by Mohammedan rule. Kalapahar, General of Afghan Army captured the strong chain of fort in Raibania on the bank of Subarnarekha made by Gajapati Mukunda Deba in 1550. It is alleged that the General of these forts had taken high amount of bribe for helping Kalapahar to enter into Odisha. He directly entered Puri and ransacked the holy city. Later he defeated and deposed Mukunda Deba and killed him at Gohira Tikiri fort of Jajpur and obtained possession of the whole province.

During Muslim rule, Afghan and Mughol officers looted the state and ransacked temple This has created Pandemonium and chaos all over and the holy city of Puri was in complete mess. During the Muslim rule Puri Jagannath temple was attacked  not less than 17 times. The Kings of Puri tried many times to save the deities with the help of Sevayats during this period. The native kings were thrown out of Barabati fort.

Royals Family



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