Malkangiri district

Malkangiri district is the southwesternmost district in the Indian state of Odisha. It has two Vidhan sabha constituencies and has more than 600,000 population. It is a tribal-dominated district.

Malkangiri district
A Bonda family basking near a fire in Mudulipada
A Bonda family basking near a fire in Mudulipada
Location in Odisha, India
Location in Odisha, India
Coordinates: 18°15′N 82°08′E / 18.25°N 82.13°E / 18.25; 82.13Coordinates: 18°15′N 82°08′E / 18.25°N 82.13°E / 18.25; 82.13
Country India
State Odisha
 • Collector & District MagistrateManish Agarwal, IAS
 • Superintendent of PoliceRishikesh Dnyandeo Khilari, IPS
 • Total5,791 km2 (2,236 sq mi)
195 m (640 ft)
 • Total613,192
 • Density83/km2 (210/sq mi)
 • OfficialOdia, English
 • Other Local LanguageKoya, Kuvi, Gutob
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
764 xxx
Vehicle registrationOD-30
Sex ratio1.004 /
Lok Sabha constituencyNabarangpur(ST)
Vidhan Sabha constituency2
ClimateAw (Köppen)
Precipitation1,700 millimetres (67 in)
Avg. summer temperature47 °C (117 °F)
Avg. winter temperature13 °C (55 °F)


One etymology of Malkangiri is that of Mallikeshwar, who was worshipped by ancient kings of the area, after whom they named their kingdom: Mallika Nagari. This eventually shortened to Malkangiri. The district was formerly known as Malikamardhangiri, named for Malikamardhana, the name of a king of Jeypore. He took the title after defeating a general of the Golconda Sultanate named Malik Mohammad. He also constructed a fort named Malikamardhanghada: for which the entire area was named.


Local legend claims Valmiki wrote the Ramayana on the banks of the Tamasa river. The region was known as Malyavantagiri in the Ramayana, and it was believed Sitakunda was the bathing-place of Sita, near Mudulipada. Local legend claims the Pandavas spent a year in exile in the dense forests of Malkangiri. Kanamraju, Balaraju and Poturaju are the three famous Lords of this area, who are being worshiped by the people. On every alternative year, Badayatra, the festival of these Lords is celebrated throughout the district.

Malikangiri was established as an independent kingdom. Malkangiri was known as Kumbudiri during the reign of the Ganga dynasty. In Kondakamberu, there are two inscriptions recording a gift to the God Nilakantheswar by the Queen of Pandu Singh, in 1376. Kondakamberu was formerly known as Kambudiri.

During the period from 1400 to 1872, this princely state was ruled by as many as twenty six Kings. The entire state was divided into four Muthas, namely, ‘Mout’, ‘Podia’, ‘Korukonda’ and ‘Padmagiri’. The head of each Mutha was called ‘Muthadar’. Each Mutha was further divided into a number of villages, of which ‘Peda’ was the head. The post of ‘Muthadar’ and ‘Peda’ were hereditary and recognized by the King of Malkangiri. An annual meeting was held on Vijayadashami at Sardar Basani Ambatota of Deva Dangar. The meeting was attended by all the Muthadars and Pedas of the state. The King used to preside over this meeting and all important decisions were taken in this meeting. The King gave power to the Muthadars in these meetings to execute his decisions.

The last Queen of Malkangiri, Bangaru Devi ruled from 1855 to 1872. She defeated King Ramachandra Deva III of Jeypore by her powerful and extra–ordinarily large Koya army. She along with her Koya army fought bravely against the mighty British army and finally deposed in 1872 A.D., resulting in a complete accession of Malkangiri state into Madras Presidency. Queen Bangaru Devi tried her best and fought for another 8 years unto 1880 to have power but failed. In 1880, Tama Dora led a Koya revolt against the British and declared himself as the ruler of Podia and Motu. In this incident, one Inspector and six policemen of Podia Police Station were killed. Colonel Macqoid of Hyderabad contingent marched with 100 men to protect, but failed by the severe attack of the Koya Army, under the leadership of Tama Dora. However, he was killed by the Military Police of Hyderabad state in Rampa Forests near Mout on 28/07/1880, and then the army was fragmented.

In 1915, Alluri Sitarama Raju raised up a tribal army and fought against the British army in the area. Chitrakonda and Kondakamberu were the headquarters of Sitarama Raju. Agitating against the tribal exploitation, he became popular in the area from Bhadranchalam in Andhra Pradesh to Malkangiri. Raju, after being released from police custody made himself involved in direct battle against the British police. They were active until early 1924, when the Assam Rifles and Malabar Troops were sent to Malkangiri to suppress the rebels. The troops quelled the revolt and killed Sitarama Raju.

Again Malkangiri came into national news when Laxman Naiko, a Gandhian freedom fighter, led the tribals for a non–cooperation movement against the British. In 1942 he led a demonstration in Mathili on 21 August, but police opened fire at the protestors, killing three demonstrators. In this incident a forest guard was killed, for which Laxman Naiko was accused and arrested. The trial continued for four months and Naiko was sentenced to death, and the appeals failed. On 29 March 1943, he was hanged at Berhampur jail.

Prior to 1936, Malkangiri was a part of Koraput district of the Madras Presidency. In 1936, Koraput District was merged into Odisha and Malkangiri Tahasil was included in Koraput District. This Tahasil was a part of Nawarangpur sub-division of Koraput District. On 1 January 1962, Malkangiri subdivision was carved out. In 1958, refugees from East Pakistan were settled in the area in the Dandakaranya Project. This project continued for 30 years until it was declared closed in the year 1988.

Finally on 2 October 1992, Malkangiri was carved out of Koraput District. Today, the district has become known as a hotbed for Maoist activities.[2]

Administrative setupEdit

There are 07 Blocks and 07 Tahasils under one Sub-Division in Malkangiri district are listed in the following table.

# 07 Blocks 07 Tahasils
1 Malkangiri Malkangiri
2 Mathili Mathili
3 Khairput Khairput
4 Chitrakonda Chitrakonda
5 Korukonda Kudumulgumma
6 Kalimela Kalimela
7 Podia Motu

There are 12 Police Stations under two Police Sub-Divisions in Malkangiri district are listed in the following table.

Malkangiri Police Sub-Division Chitrakonda Police Sub-Division
1 Malkangiri P.S. Chitrakonda P.S.
2 Mathili P.S. Mudulipada P.S.
3 Podia P.S. Orkel P.S.
4 Kalimela P.S. Jodamba P.S.
5 M.V. 79 P.S. Papermetla P.S.
6 Motu P.S.
7 Energy P.S., Malkangiri


In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Malkangiri one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640).[3] It is one of the 19 districts in Odisha currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).[3]


According to the 2011 census Malkangiri district has a population of 613,192,[4] roughly equal to the nation of Solomon Islands[5] or the US state of Vermont.[6] This gives it a ranking of 523rd in India (out of a total of 640).[4] The district has a population density of 106 inhabitants per square kilometre (270/sq mi) .[4] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 21.53%.[4] Malkangiri has a sex ratio of 1016 females for every 1000 males,[4] and a literacy rate of 49.49%.[4] 22.6% and 57.8% of the population are made up of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes respectively.

The largest tribes are the Koya and Bhumia. Other major tribes include the Porja, Khond and Gadaba.

At the time of the 2011 Census of India, 41.99% of the population in the district spoke Odia, 23.40% Koya, 21.48% Bengali, 2.97% Telugu, 2.59% Kuvi and 1.36% Halbi as their first language.[7]

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.

Languages of Malkangiri district in 2011 census

  Odia (41.99%)
  Koya (23.40%)
  Bengali (21.48%)
  Telugu (2.97%)
  Kuvi (2.59%)
  Halbi (1.36%)
  Gutob (0.59%)
  Hindi (0.52%)
  Santali (0.49%)
  Others (4.61%)


Vidhan sabha constituenciesEdit

Malkangiri has 2 Vidhan Sabha constituencies, electing members to the Odisha Legislative Assembly:[9][10][11][12]

No. Constituency Reservation Extent of the Assembly Constituency (Blocks) Member of 14th Assembly Party
146 Malkangiri ST Malkangiri (NAC), Kalimela, Malkangiri, Podia, Korukunda (part) Aditya Madhi BJP
147 Chitrakonda ST Balimela (NAC), Mathili, Kudumulugumma, Khairaput, Korukonda (part) Purna Chandra Baka BJD


  1. ^
  2. ^ "History | District Malkangiri, Government Of Odisha | India". Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b Ministry of Panchayati Raj (8 September 2009). "A Note on the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme" (PDF). National Institute of Rural Development. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  5. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 1 October 2011. Solomon Islands 571,890 July 2011 est.
  6. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 28 October 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011. Vermont 625,741
  7. ^ 2011 Census of India, Population By Mother Tongue
  8. ^ Decadal Variation In Population Since 1901
  9. ^ Assembly Constituencies and their EXtent
  10. ^ Seats of Odisha
  11. ^ "List of Member in Fourteenth Assembly". Archived from the original on 2 May 2007. Retrieved 19 February 2013. Member Name
  12. ^ "Odisha Legislative Assembly". Retrieved 2 July 2020.

External linksEdit