Krushna Chandra Gajapati

Krushna Chandra Gajapati (26 April 1892 – 25 May 1974), honorably known as Maharaja Sir Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayana Dev KCIE, was a key personality and regarded as the architect of an Independent united Odisha State. Sir Gajapati was a scion of the great Eastern Ganga Dynasty of Paralakhemundi, a Great Freedom Fighter, the first Prime Minister of Odisha and one of the founding fathers of the Indian Constitution, being a Member of the Constituent Assembly of India. The present-day Gajapati District of Odisha which was earlier a part of the historic Ganjam district was named after him.[1]

Maharaja Sir

Krushna Chandra Gajapati

Narayana Dev KCIE
ମହାରାଜା କୃଷ୍ଣଚନ୍ଦ୍ର ଗଜପତି ନାରାୟଣ ଦେବ
Prime Minister of Odisha
In office
29 November 1941 – 29 June 1944
Preceded byBiswanath Das
Succeeded byHarekrushna Mahatab
In office
1 April 1937 – 19 July 1937
Preceded byPost created
Succeeded byBiswanath Das
Personal details
Born(1892-04-26)26 April 1892
British India Paralakhemundi, Odisha
Died25 May 1974(1974-05-25) (aged 82)
ParentsShri Goura Chandra Gajapati
Smt. Radhamani Devi
Alma materNewington College, Madras
Reign1913 CE - 1947 CE
1947 CE - 1974 CE (titular)
PredecessorGoura Chandra Gajapati Narayan Deo II
SuccessorGopinath Gajapati Narayan Deo
HouseEastern Ganga dynasty (Paralakhemundi branch)
Painting of Gajapati Maharaja Krushna Chandra Dev

He was interested in Odia culture including its literature, art and music. He was also interested in sporting, in particular, horse-riding (in which sport he excelled).

Early life and educationEdit

Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayan Dev, the scion of the great Eastern Ganga Dynasty of Paralakhemundi, was born on 26 April 1892 to the King of Paralakhemundi Goura Chandra Gajapati and Radhamani Devi.

Shri Gajapati received his elementary education at the local Maharaja High School of Paralakhemundi and then entered the exclusive Newington College in Madras for higher studies. During his studies in Madras, he lost his father Shri Goura Chandra Gajapati.[2] After completing his studies at Madras he returned to Paralakhemundi and in the year 1913 married the princess of Kharasuan State. In the same year he held the reign of the State on 26 April 1913.

Role in the formation of Independent Odisha StateEdit

Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati, Utkal Gourav Madhusudan Das, Utkalamani Gopabandhu Das, Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati, Fakir Mohan Senapati and other eminent members of Utkal Sammilani demanded a separate Odisha state with an amalgamation of Oriya speaking areas in the then Orissa-Bihar-Bengal province.[3]

Finally, with the effort of Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati and Utkal Sammilani, the separate state of United Odisha was formed on 1 April 1936.[4] From that day, 1 April is celebrated by the Oriya people as Utkal Divas. Gajapati's own state of Paralekhemidi in Vizagapatam district was partitioned into two – with the capital and most of the princely state coming under Orissa and the remaining Telugu-majority areas remained in Madras Presidency. In 1937, the first Governor of Odisha, Sir John Austin Hubback invited Krushna Chandra Gajapati Dev to form the cabinet. Shri Gajapati was the first Prime Minister of the Odisha state from 1 April 1937 to 18 July 1937. He was the Prime Minister of Odisha for the second time from 24 November 1941 to 30 June 1944.

Social and philanthropic servicesEdit

He was instrumental in the establishment of the Utkal University, the SCB Medical College, the famous Central Rice Research Institute in Bidyadharpur, Cuttack, which is one of the largest of its kind in Asia and later MKCG Medical College & Hospital in Berhampur. He set up many hospitals, schools, colleges, industrial institutions, modern agricultural farms and provided a record number of 1281 irrigation sagars or water-tanks in his agriculturally dominant native taluk. For this reason, the undivided Ganjam District was given the title 'the rice-bowl of Odisha'. Under Gajapati, scholarships were awarded to thousands of poor and meritorious students in humanities, science, agriculture, medicine, and engineering, among others.

Political services and honoursEdit

Shri Krushna Chandra Gajapati was an Honorary Captain in the First World War. He received a rare Sanad in 1920 from the then Viceroy and Governor General of India, in recognition of his services rendered to the Indian Army during the Great War and as a mark of commendation. He was a Member of the Royal Commission on Agriculture, under the Chairmanship of Lord Linlithgow. He was also a Member of the Madras Legislative Council.

He was awarded honorary Doctorates by the Utkal University and the Berhampur University, and was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE) in the 1946 New Year Honours.[5] He was one of the founding fathers of the Indian Constitution, being a Member of the Constituent Assembly of India. His contribution to horse-racing and his encouragement for horse-breeding in India are notable.


Sri Krushna Chandra Gajapathi died on 25 May 1974 at the age of 82. He was accorded a state funeral by the Government of Odisha and was cremated with full honours at Paralakhemundi.


  1. ^ "District Portal of Gajapati".
  2. ^ "Shri Krushna Chandra Gajapati". 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012. At the age of 12, his father, Goura Chandra Gajapati Narayan Deo, died and ... Krushna Chandra Gajapati was still a minor[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Gajapati Maharaja". Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Utkal Divas also called Orissa day is being celebrated on April 1st today". 2012. Archived from the original on 5 May 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2012. Utkal Sammilani lead by Utkal Gourab Madhusudan Das, Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati, Pandit Nilakantha Das, Bhubanananda Das and many others played a key role in the formation of Odhisa state
  5. ^ "No. 37407". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 1945. p. 10.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Post created
Biswanath Das (2nd term)
Prime Minister of Odisha
1 April 1937 to 19 July 1937 (1st term)
29 November 1941 to 29 June 1944 (2nd term)
Succeeded by
Biswanath Das (1st term)
Harekrushna Mahatab (2nd term)