Jeypore Estate

  (Redirected from Kingdom of Jeypore)

Jeypore Estate[1][2][3] or Jeypore Zamindari[2][4][5] was a Zamindari estate of the Madras Presidency in British India. Historically it was a kingdom known as Jeypore Kingdom, located in the highlands of the western interiors of the Kalinga region that existed from the mid-15th century to 1777 CE as a tributary state of the Gajapati Empire and following its decline retained various degrees of semi-independence until it became a vassal state of the British. It eventually formed a part of the linguistic Orissa Province in 1936 upon transfer from the Madras Province[6] and became a part of the independent Union of India in 1947.[7][8][9]

Jeypore Estate
Kingdom of Jeypore 1443-1777
Zamindari of British India 1777-1947
Jeypore referred to as ‘Jayapura’ in Madras Presidency.jpg
Jeypore State in the Madras Presidency
  • Nandapur (1443-1550; 1581-1649)
  • Rayagada (1550–1581)
  • Jeypore (May 1649 – 1711; 1758-1947)
  • Narayanapatna (1711–1758)
• 1911
31,079 km2 (12,000 sq mi)
• 1925
38,849 km2 (15,000 sq mi)
• Established
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Gajapati Empire
Bhoi dynasty
Today part ofOdisha, India
Jeypore Palace


Royal elephants of the Jeypore State

Vinayak Dev, a prince claiming descent from the mythical Suryavansh dynasty, took over the Jeypore area of the Eastern Ghats in 1453.[10] The region was a hilly jungle, relatively unfertile, and populated mostly by aboriginal tribal peoples. The assimilation of tribal cult deities such as Majhighariani by Hindu invaders who sought to legitimize their rule and gain local support was characteristic of the region. Throughout most of the history of the dynasty, the family has principally worshipped Durga as their deity but simultaneously adopted the practice of adapting their devotions to those of the populace.[11]

Vishwanath Dev, known as Maharajah Vishwanath Dev Gajapati, became the king of Nandapur in 1527. His realm grew such that it stretched as far as Bengal in the north and Ellore in the south, thus encompassing most of the territory once held by the Kalingas.[citation needed][clarification needed] He claimed the title of Gajapati which had been symbolically used by the powerful Gajapati dynasty before its end in 1541.[citation needed] It was during this reign that the capital city was briefly moved from Nandapur to Rayagada.[11]

In 1565, the dynasty that had previously succeeded in forcing several "little kings" to be tributaries was itself forced into tributary status by the Shah of Golkunda.[12]

In the mid-17th century, Maharajah Veer Vikram Dev, the eighth king, founded the city of Jeypore and moved his capital there.[13] This move is recorded as taking place because astrologers had determined that the reason each of the preceding six rulers had each fathered only one son was because Nandapur was cursed; however, Schnepel notes that the gradual movement of Muslim invaders from Coastal Andhra into Orissa probably influenced the decision.[11] He died in 1669 and was succeeded by his only son, Krishna Dev.[14]

Narayanapatna was the capital for several rulers, including Vishwambhara Dev II (r. 1713–1752), whom the later panegyrist of the family (himself a member by marriage) said was an ardent follower of the Vaishnavite teachings of Chaitanya. That bhakti sect, which remains popular in Orissa to this day, formed a significant bond between the royal family and their Khond tribal subjects. The bond, however, could be tenuous and the dynasty ruled by consent of their notional subjects. Although the dynasty could rely on support from tribal warriors at times, Schnepel notes, as an example of shaky authority, the unrest in the "quasi-royal estate ... or 'little little kingdom'" of Kalyansingpur. There the Khond people at one point sought to take advantage of a dispute over succession to appeal to the zamindari to appoint a king more local and approachable than the rulers at Jeypore.[15][a] Schnepel notes of Bissam Cuttack, which was another area within the dynastic realm, that "powerful local rulers ... held a position which was nominally subordinate to the Jeypore kings but in fact was held independently of them".[11]

British India

L-R Viscount George J Goschen, Maharajah Ram Chandra Deo, Viscountess Goschen
Maharajah Sir Sri Sri Vikram Dev III

Jeypore covered an area of around 10,000 sq mi (26,000 km2) and was assessed to pay a tribute of 16,000 rupees in the 1803 permanent settlement. Vikram Dev I (r. 1758–1781) had joined other minor kings of the region in military opposition to the British colonial influence, leading to an attack by the British in 1775 which destroyed the fort at Jeypore. His son, Rama Chandra Dev II (r. 1781–1825) reversed the strategy, preferring co-operation to resistance and was favoured by the British for that reason. An additional factor in the vastly improved status of the dynasty was that the British fell out with Vizianagaram, another minor kingdom and long a rival of Jeypore. Flushed with confidence, Rama Chandra Dev arranged for a new capital and palace to be built at Jeypore, some distance away from the ruined fort.[11]

Vikram Dev III (1889–1920), also known as His Highness Maharajah Sir Sri Sri Vikram Dev, was aged 14 when his father died, and he could not legally assume his responsibilities as ruler until he turned 28. His father had made arrangements for his education to be continued by a Dr. Marsh until that time. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE) and granted the title of His Highness for use by him and his successors.[when?] The British Raj granted him and his successors the right, from 1896, to use the title Maharajah, which was originally held by his ancestors.[clarification needed] In 1893, he was married to the princess of Surguja State. He laid the foundation of the new palace known as Moti Mahal and was a liberal philanthropist, donating to many institutions that helped the public. He funded the construction of bridges over the Kolab and Indravati rivers. He died in 1920.[citation needed]

Ramchandra Dev IV (1920–1931), also known as His Highness Lieutenant Maharajah Ramchandra Dev, ascended the throne in 1920. He received the rank of a Lieutenant for his aid in the First World War by sending his navy's twelve ships and a small unit of his troops. The king died in Allahabad in 1931 without any issue and was succeeded by his uncle, who was also named Vikram Dev. Although he died unexpectedly and young, he is known for building the grand Hawa Mahal, or the Palace of Winds, on the beach of Visakhapatnam.[17]

Statue of Sahitya Samart Maharajah Vikram Dev IV in Andhra University

Vikram Dev IV (1931–1951), known as Sahitya Samrat HH Maharajah Vikram Dev, was crowned as the last king of the kingdom in 1931. He was a scholar, poet, playwright and leader. Being a prolific writer and proficient in five different languages—Telugu, Odia, Hindi, Sanskrit, and English—he earned the literary epithet of Sahitya Samrat, meaning the "Emperor of Literature", and a doctorate degree (D.Litt.) from Andhra University. He donated large amounts to Andhra University and served as the vice-chancellor of Andhra and Utkal universities. He married his daughter to an aristocratic family of Bihar and had his son-in-law Kumar Bidyadhar Singh Deo look after the affairs of his kingdom. His daughter gave birth to two sons and, as per traditional vedic rule, which suggests that the younger son belongs to the mother, eventually Ram Krishna Dev, being the younger prince, was appointed as the crown prince. He was the last king, as the kingdom merged into the newly formed Union of India.[18]

Post-independence India

Maharajah Sri Ramkrishna Dev

Ram Krishna Dev was the last king of the estate, as the titles were abolished in independent India soon after its creation with the first amendment to the constitution of India which amended the right to property as shown in Articles 19 and 31.[19][20]

Ram Krishna Dev (1951–2006) became the titular king of Jeypore at his coronation in 1951, following the death of his grandfather. He married Rama Kumari Devi of Sitamau State, in Malwa, and had three children: a daughter, Maharajakumari Maya Vijay Lakshmi; and two sons, Yuvraj Shakti Vikram Dev and Rajkumar Vibhuti Bhusan Dev. The senior prince was married to Mayank Devi and had a daughter named Lalit Lavang Latika Devi; the junior prince was married to Sarika Devi of Nai Garhi royalty and had a son named Vishweshwar Chandrachud Dev. However, after the untimely deaths of both princes in 1997 and 2006, respectively, the right to the throne was disputed.[21]

On 14 January 2013, Vishweshvar Dev was crowned as the Pretending Maharaja of Jeypore. The coronation took place on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti and the royal rituals were performed by Bisweswar Nanda, a descendant of the early Raj Purohit lineage. On days of cultural importance and festivals, Vishweshvar appears as the Maharaja and conducts the royal ceremonial duties at Dussehra and Ratha Yatra.[22]


The royal genealogical table of Jeypore mentions 25 kings.[23]

1443–1675 (from Nandapur and Rayagada)

Rulers 1443–1675
Name Reign began Reign ended
1 Vinayak Dev 1443 1476
2 Vijaychandraksha Dev 1476 1510
3 Bhairav Dev 1510 1527
4 Vishwanath Dev Gajapati 1527 1571
5 Balaram Dev I 1571 1597
6 Yashasvan Dev 1597 1637
7 Krishna Raj Dev 1637 1637

1675–1947 (from Jeypore)

Rulers 1675–1947
Name Reign began Reign ended
8 Veer Vikram Dev 1637 1669
9 Krishna Dev 1669 1672
10 Vishwambhar Dev 1672 1676
11 Malakimardhan Krishna Dev 1676 1681
12 Hari Dev 1681 1684
13 Balaram Dev II 1684 1686
14 Raghunath Krishna Dev 1686 1708
15 Ram Chandra Dev I 1708 1711
16 Balaram Dev III 1711 1713
17 Vishwambhar Dev II 1713 1752
18 Lala Krishna Dev 1752 1758
19 Maharajah Vikram Dev I 1758 1781
20 Ram Chandra Dev II 1781 1825
21 Maharajah Vikram Dev II 1825 1860
22 Ram Chandra Dev III 1860 1889
23 Vikram Dev III 1889 1920
24 Ram Chandra Dev IV 1920 1931
25 Vikram Dev IV 1931 1951
26 Ram Krishna Dev (titular) (pretender) 1951 2006
27 Vishweshvar Dev (pretender) 2013

See also



  1. ^ The date of this incident is unclear. There appears to be either a typographical error in Schnepel's writing or in the Raj gazetteer upon which he relies.[16]


  1. ^ Nanda, Chandi Prasad (1997), "MOBILISATION, RESISTANCE AND POPULAR INITIATIVES: Locating The Tribal Perception Of Swaraj In The Jeypore Estate Of Orissa (1937-38)", Indian History Congress, 58: 543–554, JSTOR 44143959, Jeypore Estate Of Orissa
  2. ^ a b Pati, Biswamoy (1980), "Storm over Malkangiri : A Preliminary Note on Laxman Naiko's Revolt(1942)", Indian History Congress, 41: 706–721, JSTOR 44141897, Jeypore Estate
  3. ^ "Ramakrishna Deo vs Collector Of Koraput And Anr. on 14 November, 1956". Indian Kanoon. November 14, 1956. Jeypore Estate
  4. ^ "CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY OF INDIA DEBATES (PROCEEDINGS)- VOLUME III" (PDF). Lok Sabha. May 2, 1947. p. 11. Jeypore Zamindari
  5. ^ "Maharaja Of Jeypore vs Rukmini Pattamahadevi on 12 January, 1919". Indian Kanoon. January 12, 1919. Jeypore Zamindari
  6. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Madras (presidency)" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 290.
  7. ^ MaClean, C. D. (1877). Standing Information regarding the Official Administration of Madras Presidency. Government of Madras.
  8. ^ Delhi, American Libraries Book Procurement Center, New (1970). Accessions List, India. American Libraries Book Procurement Center. p. 461. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  9. ^ Sciences, Indian Academy of (1949). Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences. Indian Academy of Sciences. p. 35.
  10. ^ Schnepel 2020, p. 191.
  11. ^ a b c d e Schnepel 1995.
  12. ^ Mohanty 2013.
  13. ^ "History | Koraput District, Government Of Odisha | India". Retrieved 2021-06-02.
  14. ^ Dutt 2015, p. 43.
  15. ^ Schnepel 2020, pp. 198–200.
  16. ^ Schnepel 2020, pp. 198–199.
  17. ^ "The story behind Visakhapatnam's historic building". May 8, 2018.
  18. ^ Mahalik, Nirakar. "Vikram Dev Verma" (PDF). Odisha Magazine. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  19. ^ Guha, Ramachandra (2011). India After Gandhi. Ecco. pp. 219–220. ISBN 978-0-330-54020-9.
  20. ^ Ramusack, Barbara N. (2004). The Indian princes and their states. Cambridge University Press. p. 278. ISBN 978-0-521-26727-4. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  21. ^ "Who owns Hawa Mahal? Battle lines drawn within Royal family to stake claim". July 28, 2018.
  22. ^ "Jeypore hails its new 'lord'". The Times of India. 15 January 2013. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  23. ^ Dutt 2015, p. 45.


Further reading