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Kendujhar District, also known as Keonjhar District(Odia: କେନ୍ଦୁଝର ଜିଲ୍ଲା)is an administrative district of Odisha state and one of the 5th Scheduled areas in Eastern India.[1] The town of Kendujhar or Kendujhargarh is the district headquarters.

କେନ୍ଦୁଝର ଜିଲ୍ଲା
Location in Odisha, India
Location in Odisha, India
Coordinates: 21°37′59″N 85°36′00″E / 21.633°N 85.6°E / 21.633; 85.6Coordinates: 21°37′59″N 85°36′00″E / 21.633°N 85.6°E / 21.633; 85.6
Country  India
State Odisha
Headquarters Kendujhar
 • Collector Ashish Thakare IAS
 • Member of Parliament Sakuntala Laguri, BJD
 • Total 8,240 km2 (3,180 sq mi)
Elevation 480 m (1,570 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 1,802,777
 • Rank 8
 • Density 217/km2 (560/sq mi)
 • Official Odia, Hindi, English
 • Other Local Language Ho, Kudmali
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 758 xxx
Vehicle registration OD-09
Sex ratio 0.987 /
Literacy 69%
Lok Sabha constituency Keonjhar (ST)
Vidhan Sabha constituency 6
Climate Aw (Köppen)
Precipitation 1,535.5 millimetres (60.45 in)

The district has an area of 8240 km², and lies between 21°1' N and 22°10' N latitude and 85°11' E to 86°22' E longitude. It is bounded by Mayurbhanj District, Balasore District and Bhadrak District to the east, Jajpur District to the south, Dhenkanal District, Anugul District and Sundargarh District to the west, and West Singhbhum district of the state of Jharkhand to the north.



The district of Keonjhar presents a panorama of millennia, both from the geographical and anthropological point of view. It is as varied as the whole of Orissa with water-falls roaring gorges, mountains and minerals. The manifold expressions of nature in this district are unique in Orissa.

After the integration of the feudatory states with Orissa on 1 January 1948 the state of Keonjhar emerged as one of its districts of Orissa, with its headquarters at Keonjhar. Since then the name has been changed to Kendujhar District.

The whole district of Keonjhar was a princely state before its merger with Orissa. The early history of the State is not adequately known. It was most probably a part of the old Khijjinga territory with headquarters at Khijjinga Kota, identified with modern Khiching. It became a separate state with Jyoti Bhanja as its ruling chief sometime during the first half of the 12th century A.D. The then State of Keonjhar State comprised only the northern half of the modern district for a long time prior to the installation of Jyoti Bhanja as King. During the latter part of the 15th century the southern half was occupied by King Govinda Bhanja under whose rule Keonjhar was extended from Singhbhum in the north to Sukinda (a Zamindari in Cuttack district) in the South and from Mayurbhanj State in the East to the borders of the States of Bonai, Pal Lahara and Anugul in the West. During the rule of Pratap Balabhadra Bhanja (1764–1792 A.D.) two small areas of Tillo and Jujhpada were purchased from the Zamindar of Kantajhari and were added to the State. These were recognised as parts of Keonjhar in the Sanad granted by the East India Company to Raja Janardan Bhanj in 1804. Since then there had been no territorial changes of the State till its merger with the Province of Orissa. But after merger largely for the reasons of administrative expediency the areas of Tillo (7.51 km2) and Jujhpada ( were transferred to the districts of Baleshwar and Cuttack respectively, while a number of villages called Ambo group (14.84 km2.) of Balasore district were added to Keonjhar district.

The kings of Kendujhar were:

  • Shri Jagannath Bhanja (1688–1700)
  • Shri Raghunath Bhanja (1700–1719)
  • Shri Gopinath Bhanja (1719–1736)
  • Shri Narasingha Narayan Bhanja (1736–1757)
  • Shri Dhaneshwar Narayan Bhanja (1757–1758)
  • Shri Jagateshwar Narayan Bhanja (1758–1762)
  • Shri Pratap Balabhadra Bhanja (1764–1792 / 1762–1797)
  • Shri Janardan Bhanja (1794–1825 / 1797–1832)
  • Shri Gadadhar Narayan Bhanja Deo (1825–1861 / 1832–1861)
  • Shri Dhanurjay Narayan Bhanja Deo (1861–1905)
  • Shri Gopinath Narayan Bhanja Deo (1905–1926)
  • Shri Balabhadra Narayan Bhanja Deo (1926–1948)


Keonjhar is a land locked district with an area of 8240 km2. It is situated in the northern part of Orissa. It is surrounded by Singhbhum district of Jharkhand in the North, Jajpur in the South, Dhenkanal and Sundargarh in the West and Mayurbhanj and Bhadrak in the East. It lies at an altitude of 480 metres.

The National Highway-215 passing through Kendujhargarh approximately bi-sects the district into two similar natural regions. To the East of this Highway are the planes of Anandapur and a portion of Sadar Sub-division. To the West is a range of lofty hills which contains some of the highest peaks of Orissa namely Gandhamardan (3477 ft), Mankadnacha (3639 ft), Gonasika (3219 ft) and Thakurani (3003 ft). About half of the area of this district spreading about 4043 km2. is covered by forests of Northern tropical moist deciduous type and contains Sal, Asan, Piasal etc. The river Baitarani comes out of Gonasika Hills and flows to the north touching the border of Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. It again flows East entering Anandapur Sub-division and the district of Bhadrak. The soil is mostly red throughout the district and in the South there is a small patch of black cotton soil. The important minerals available in huge quantity in the district are Iron-ore, Manganese and Chromites.[2]

Keonjhar has the distinction of containing one of the oldest rocks of the world, approximately 38,000 million years old covering an area of 100 km2 at Asanpat. The district bears the oldest stone inscription found in Orissa, paleogeologically belonging to the Gupta period. In Sitabinj, one finds the fresco paintings in the cave shelter of Ravana Chhaya dating back to the 5th century A.D.

The district of Keonjhar is highly rich in mineral resources and has vast deposits of iron, manganese and chromium ores. About 30 percent of its total area is covered with tracts of dense forests. But the district, in spite of its immense mineral and forest wealth, still remaining economically backward.


The district consists of a compact area and its extreme length from North to South is nearly 145 km. The average breadth from East to West is about 65 km. It is divided into two widely dissimilar tracts-the lower Kendujhar and the upper Kendujhar. The former is a region of valleys and low lands, while the latter includes mountainous highlands with a general slope from North to South. The highlands consisting of clusters of rugged crags afford a safe retreat to its inhabitants in troubled times. The mountaintops appear from the low lands to be sharply ridged or peaked, but in reality they have extensive tablelands on their summits, fit both for pasture and for tillage. The average elevation in its central part is about 500m. At places, isolated hills rise abruptly from the plains. But most of the areas have a general elevation of over 600m. which forms the watershed of some rivers. The Baitarani River takes its rise in the hilly North Western division. In between these two natural divisions passes the State Highway from Chaibasa to Jajpur Road through the headquarters, Kendujhargarh.


The climate of the district is characterised by an oppressively hot summer with high humidity. Summer generally commences in the month of March. Temperature begins to rise rapidly attaining the maximum in the month of May. During the summer the maximum temperature is 44 °C. The weather becomes more pleasant with the advent of the monsoon in June and remains as such up to the end of October. The temperature in the month of December is lowest i.e. 11.7 °C. Sometimes it even drops down to 7 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1,534.5 mm.


In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Kendujhar one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640).[3] It is one of the 19 districts in Orissa currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).As per the amended Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) MMDR Act, 2015 the district is set to receive an estimated 2800 crore from the mining companies and lease holders.[3]



According to the 2011 census, Kendujhar district has a population of 1,802,777.[4] This gives it a ranking of 264th in India (out of a total of 640).[4] The district has a population density of 217 inhabitants per square kilometre (560/sq mi) .[4] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 15.42%.[4] Kendujhar has a sex ratio of 987 females for every 1000 males,[4] and a literacy rate of 69%.[4]

The Scheduled Tribes of the district constitute 44.5% of the total population whereas, the Scheduled Castes constitute 11.62%. The literacy rate of the district is 69.00%.[5] The district has 3 Subdivisions, Anandapur, Champua, and Keonjhar, and ten tehsils.


Odia is the major language in this region.Other languages include Bhunjia, spoken by approximately 7000 Bhunjia Adivasis.[6]


The Scheduled Tribes of Keonjhar district which totalled 4,99,657 in 1981 census increased to 5,95,184 in 1991 census thus registering a growth of 11.90% in a decade (1981–1991). As per 1991 census there were 46 Scheduled Tribes in the district. Out of these the principal tribes were Bathudi, Bhuyan, Bhumij, Gond, Ho, Juang, Kharwar, Kisan, Kolha(Kol), Kora, Munda, Oraon, Santal, Saora, Sabar and Sounti. These sixteen tribes constituted 96.12% of the total tribal population of the district. The Juangs claim to be the most ancient tribe and though they have become more modern in their way of life, there are still noticeable traces of aboriginal practices.

The concentration of Scheduled Tribes is the highest in Keonjhar and lowest in the Anandapur Sub-Division. The majority of the Scheduled Tribes are in agricultural occupations or in mining, quarrying and other services.

The literacy among the Scheduled Tribes was 15.25% in the 1981 census but it has increased to 24.89% in the 1991 census. This percentage is higher than the State average of 22.31%

The spread of education and communication facilities and the implementation of various development projects have helped the Scheduled Tribes a lot to change their manners and customs to some extent.[2]


Vidhan sabha constituenciesEdit

The following is the 6 Vidhan sabha constituencies[7][8] of Kendujhar district and the elected members[9] of that area

No. Constituency Reservation Extent of the Assembly Constituency (Blocks) Member of 15th Assembly Party
20 Telkoi ST Harichandanpur, Telkoi, Banspal (Part) Vedavyasa Nayak BJD
21 Ghasipura None Ghasipura, Ghatagaon, Anandpur (part) Badrinarayan Patra BJD
22 Anandapur SC Anandapur (M), Hatadihi, Anandapur (part) Mayadhara Jena BJD
23 Patna ST Patna, Saharpada, Jhumpura (part), Champua (part) Hrusikesh Naik BJD
24 Keonjhar ST Keonjhar (M), Keonjhar, Jhumpura (part) , Bansapal (Part) Abhiram Nayak BJD
25 Champua None Joda (M), Barbil (M), Joda, Champua (part) Sanatan Mahakud Independent


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b Business Standard (2015-05-31). "Keonjhar may get Rs 2800 cr for MDF". Business Standard. Retrieved 2015-01-11. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ M. Paul Lewis, ed. (2009). "Bhunjia: A language of India". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (16th ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  7. ^ Assembly Constituencies and their EXtent
  8. ^ Seats of Odisha
  9. ^ "List of Member in Fourteenth Assembly". Archived from the original on 2 May 2007. Retrieved 19 February 2013. MEMBER NAME 

External linksEdit