Subarnapur district

Subarnapur District, also called Sonepur District or Sonapur District is an administrative district in western Odisha state in eastern India. The town of Sonepur is the district headquarters. Many loosely call the people of Sonepur region as Sonepuria.

Subarnapur district

Lankeswari Temple, Subarnapur
City of Temples & Crafts
Location in Odisha, India
Location in Odisha, India
Coordinates: 20°51′N 83°54′E / 20.85°N 83.9°E / 20.85; 83.9Coordinates: 20°51′N 83°54′E / 20.85°N 83.9°E / 20.85; 83.9
Country India
State Odisha
RegionWestern Odisha
EstablishedApril 1st, 1993
 • Collector & District MagistrateMonisha Banerjee, IAS
 • Divisional Forest Officer Cum Wildlife WardenSushant K. Samantaray, OFS
 • Superintendent of PoliceDebi Prasad Dash, OPS
 • Total2,284.4 km2 (882.0 sq mi)
 • Total610,183
 • Density231/km2 (600/sq mi)
 • OfficialOdia, English
 • SpokenSambalpuri
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
767 xxx
Telephone code+91 665x
Vehicle registrationOD 31
Nearest cityBalangir
Sex ratio1000:966 /
Lok Sabha constituencyBolangir
Vidhan Sabha constituency064-Birmaharajpur (SC)
ClimateAw (Köppen)
Precipitation1,443.5 millimetres (56.83 in)
Avg. annual temperature30 °C (86 °F)
Avg. summer temperature45 °C (113 °F)
Avg. winter temperature24 °C (75 °F)


The earliest history of the region is from the 8th century CE when it was known as Swarnapur and ruled by feudatories of the Bhaumkaras of Tosali. It was then taken over by the Somavamsis. Eventually, Subarnapur became the headquarters for one of the two parts of the Somavamsi empire. According to historians the Subarnapur district was known as Paschima Lanka or Western Lanka around the 10th-11th centuries.[1] The evidence comes from a copper plate charter issued in the late 10th century by a Somavamsi prince named Kumara Someswaradeva of Subarnapur district.[2] The Prince had identified himself as the king of Paschima Lanka. It was further found that the Mahada copper plate grant of Kumara Someswaradeva was registered on the bank of river Chitrotpala (Mahanadi) and near to the province of Lanka. The presiding deity of Paschima Lanka was goddess Lankeswari.[3]

This district earned the name “Subarnapur” during the time of Somavamsi ruler. The district was established in 1993.


In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Subarnapur one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640).[4] It is one of the 19 districts in Odisha currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).[4]



According to the 2011 census Subarnapur district has a population of 610,183,[5] roughly equal to the nation of Montenegro[6] or the US state of Vermont.[7] This gives it a ranking of 512th in India (out of a total of 640).[5] The district has a population density of 279 inhabitants per square kilometre (720/sq mi) .[5] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 20.35%.[5] Subarnapur has a sex ratio of 959 females for every 1000 males,[5] and a literacy rate of 74.42%.[5] Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes made up 25.6% and 9.8% of the population respectively.[8]

At the time of the 2011 Census of India, 99.00% of the population in the district spoke Odia as their first language.[9] People here speak the Sambalpuri dialect.

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.

Languages of Subarnapur district in 2011 census

  Odia (99.00%)
  Others (1.00%)


Subarnapur District is known for its influentially rich cultural heritage, arts, and crafts. For instance, textiles and terracotta of Sonepur, Brass metal works and Philigri crafts of Tarbha and Binka, Stone carving of Ullunda and Paddy crafts of Dunguripali are recognized all over the state and also in the country. In addition, the great poet and prophet of Mahima Dharma, Santh Bhima Bhoi was from this district. Besides, Subarnapur area is famous for 'Danda-nata', a religious folk tradition generally performed in the month of Chaitra.[11] Historically Sonepur region was known as Paschima Lanka.

Temple town, SonepurEdit

Tourist attractionsEdit

  • Mahima pitha, Khaliapali
  • Gyaneswar Baba Shiv temple and dwadasa jyotirlinga (museum) at Kenjhiriapali village near ghungi river (birmaharajpur block).
  • Metakani Temple, Ullunda
  • Patali Srikhetra, Kotsamlai
  • Rushyashrunga hill, at Goudgad jungle (border of subarnapur and sambalpur)
  • Papakshya Ghat, Binka
  • Kapileswar temple, Charda
  • Nabagrahakunda
  • Rameswar Shiva Temple at the Sangam of river Mahanadi and Tel.
  • Lord Sri Sri Swapneshwar Temple, Goudgad of BirmaharajPur Block.
  • Thengo Irrigation Project of Birmaharajpur Block. (A VISITORS PARADISE)
  • Maa Umadevi Temple and Siddheswar Temple [Kadodar]
  • Maa Ramachandi & Baba Raneswar Temple, Telanda .*godhaneswar shiv temple*sunaribeni shiv temple.
  • Gupteswar Baba Temple, Gailmura-ULUNDA
  • Bhimtangar(Prachin Mandir), Gailmura-ULUNDA
  • Baunsa Bana, Dunguripali


  • Sambalpuri Pata Saree
  • Sonepuri Saree

Eminent PersonsEdit

  • Kailash Chandra Meher, Eminent Painter awarded Padma Shri by Govt. of India.
  • Nila Madhab Panda, film maker and director of I Am Kalam.
  • Sabyasachi Mohapatra, Odia film director and producer.
  • Jitamitra Prasad Singh Deo
  • Kapileswar Prasad Mohapatra, Eminent writer of Sala Budha series. His two stories has been made into feature films .Both the films were selected in Indian Panorama section.Sala Budha had been awarded 6 Odisha State Film Awards including Best Film.He has also been awarded Best Social Worker in Jan 26 parade by Sonepur Administration prompting the Odisha Govt to recommend for Padmasri that he didn't get from Center.
  • Chaturbhuj Meher, awarded Padmasri for Sambalpuri Handloom weaving or Sambalpuri Baandha.Sambalpuri sarees, dress materials are famous for its rich colour values and softness.

Education in Subarnapur districtEdit

Reputed Schools:

  • Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya,Tarbha
  • Sri Aurobindo Shikshyakendra, goudgad, po- amarpali
  • Ganapati Adarsha Shikshya Niketan, Biramaharaj Pur
  • Swami Vivekananda Adarsha Vidyalaya,Khandahata
  • Maa maheswari college,Khambeswaripali
  • Anchalik Uchha Vidya Pitha, Kenjhiriapali (birmaharajpur).
  • Centurion Public School, Dunguripali
  • Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Dunguripali
  • Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Rampur
  • Sahara Trust High School, Sonepur
  • Vishwabharti Chintan Shikshya Niketan, Sonepur

Renowned Colleges:

  • Sonepur College, Sonepur-Raj
  • Model Degree College, Subarnapur
  • Shree Ram College, Rampur
  • Maharaja High School, Sonepur


This district is a part of Balangir (Lok Sabha constituency).

Vidhan Sabha ConstituenciesEdit

The followings are the two Vidhan sabha constituencies[12][13] of Subarnapur district and the elected members[14] of that area

No. Constituency Reservation Extent of the Assembly Constituency (Blocks) Member of 14th Assembly Party
64 Birmajarajpur SC Ulunda, Birmaharajpur, Binka (NAC), Binika (part) Padmanabh Behera BJD
65 Sonepur None Sonepur, Tarabha, Tarabha (NAC), Sonepur (M), Dunguripali, Binka (part) Niranjan Pujari BJD

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Web site of Planning Commission of India
  2. ^ Some New Facts About Goddess Samlei
  3. ^ Encyclopaedia of tourism resources in India, Volume 2
  4. ^ a b Ministry of Panchayati Raj (September 8, 2009). "A Note on the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme" (PDF). National Institute of Rural Development. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 5, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  6. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. Montenegro 661,807 July 2011 est.
  7. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-30. Vermont 625,741
  8. ^ "Demography | Subarnapur District,Government of Odisha | India". Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  9. ^ 2011 Census of India, Population By Mother Tongue
  10. ^ Decadal Variation In Population Since 1901
  11. ^ (Pasayat,1994:413-427;2003)
  12. ^ Assembly Constituencies and their EXtent
  13. ^ Seats of Odisha
  14. ^ "List of Member in Fourteenth Assembly". Archived from the original on 2 May 2007. Retrieved 19 February 2013. MEMBER NAME

External linksEdit