The land of Odisha or former Kalinga has undergone several changes in terms of its boundaries since ancient ages. It was also known by different names like Odra Desha, Kalinga, Hirakhanda, Mahakantara or Utkala in different eras. Unlike other Ancient Kingdoms in India, Odisha for most part of the History remained a stable and major power till medieval era due to wide spread martial culture and prosperity brought by successive native ruling dynasties.
The year 1568 is considered a turning point in the history of Odisha. In 1568, Kalapahad invaded the state. This, aided by internal conflicts, led to a steady downfall of the state from which it did not recover.
According to Mahabharata and some Puranas, the prince 'Kalinga' founded the Kalinga Kingdom, in the current day region of coastal Odisha, including the North Sircars. The Mahabharata also mentions one 'Srutayudha' as the king of the Kalinga kingdom, who joined the Kaurava camp. In the Buddhist text, Mahagovinda Suttanta, Kalinga and its ruler, 'Sattabhu', have been mentioned.
This dynasty is mentioned in Chullakalinga Jataka and Kalingabodhi Jataka. The last ruler of First Kalinga dynasty is said to have broken away from the Danda kingdom along with the kings of Asmaka and Vidarbha as its feudal states, and established rule of Second Kalinga dynasty.
After Kalinga War (261 BCE), Kalinga Kingdom beacame a part of Mauryan Empire, after which Kalinga Kingdom was succeeded by [[Mahameghavahana dynasty
|Mahameghavahana Empire]] between 230–190 BCE which ruled till 350 CE.
Hātigumfā inscription of Emperor Kharavela at Udayagiri Hills.
Mahamegha Vahana was the founder of the Kalingan Chedi or Cheti Dynasty. The names of Sobhanaraja, Chandraja, Ksemaraja also appear in context. But, Kharavela is the most well known among them. The exact relation between Mahamegha Vahana and Kharavela is not known.
It is not known that, if Vakadeva was a successor or predecessor of Kharavela. From the inscriptions and coins discovered at Guntupalli and Velpuru, Andhra Pradesh, we know of a series of rulers with the suffix Sada who were possibly distant successors of Kharavela.
Not much is known about this dynasty. Everything known about them, comes from the inscriptions on copper plates and coins. They may or may not have also been known as the Amararyakula dynasty. This dynasty is supposed to have started by one Sarabha, who may have been a feudal chief under the Guptas. They ruled over the modern-day region of Raipur, Bilaspur and Kalahandi.
They ruled from the region ranging from coastal Orissa to Mahanadi and to Mahendragiri in Paralakhemundi. This region was called the Kangoda mandala. Sailobhava, the founder of dynasty, is said to have born of a rock, hence the name Shailodbhava. Sailobhava was the adopted son of one Pulindasena, who was possibly a chieftain. They were possibly the subordinates of Shashanka during Madhavaraja II, then they later rebelled.
The Bhauma or Bhauma-Kara Dynasty lasted from c. 736 CE to c. 940 CE. They mostly controlled the coastal areas of Kalinga. But by c.850 CE, they controlled most of modern Orissa. The later part of their reign was disturbed by rebellions from the Bhanja dynasty of the Sonepur and Boudh region.
Later, the mandala was divided into two parts, Yamagartta Mandala and Airavatta Mandala. The Bhaumas allowed the Tunga and the Nandodbhava families to rule over Yamagartta Mandala and Airavatta Mandala respectively.
Tungas of Yamagartta Mandala
The Mandala refers to the northern part of modern Dhenkanal district. Jayasimha was ruler of the mandala before the Tungas, he was not a member of the Tunga dynasty.
Jayasimha (c. 864 )
It is not clearly known if Apsara Deva belonged to the Tunga family or not.
Nandodbhavas of Airavatta Mandala
This region extended over the territory comprising southern part of Dhenkanal district, some western portion of Cuttack district and almost the entire Nayagarh district.
Devananda II (c. 920–?)
Dhruvananda (c. 929–?)
Mayuras of Banei Mandala
This region roughly comprised the modern-day Banei sub-division and parts of Panposh subdivision of Sundergarh district.
Gangas of Svetaka Mandala
The capital of Svetaka known as Svetakapura has been identified with modern Chikiti.
Janmejaya, the predecessor of Karnadeva and the son of Janmejaya II, was not considered a ruler by his successors, as he captured the throne in a violent coup and soon-after lost it.
The Chindaka Nagas are believed by certain historians to have arrived in the Chakrakota Mandala region (Bastar and Koraput) with the expedition of Rajendra Chola. The Telugu Chodas who invaded the region later, settled as their feudal rulers. This dynasty continued to rule the region till the thirteenth century with not many details known about their rulers excepting a few.
According to Gangavansucharitam written in sixteenth or seventeenth century, Bhanu Deva IV also known as Kajjala Bhanu founded a new small princedom in southern Odisha at Gudari in modern Rayagada district after he was toppled from power by his general Kapilendra Deva.
Pratap Keshari Deo (1939-1947 AD until the merger with Orissa state)
Early Chauhan rulers
This Rajput dynasty had arrived from Mainpuri or Garh Sambhor amidst a conflict with the Muslim rulers of Delhi around 13th or 14th century. The founder Ramai Deva was still in the womb of his mother when his father was murdered by the Yavanas and she fled to the hilly and forest terrains of western Odisha to seek refuge. The early 17th-century works by the Poet Gangadhar Mishra (a descendant of the famous Sanskrit poet Sambhukara from Puri) known as Kosalananda and early 18th-century work by the Chauhan king Vaijala Deva known as Probodha Chandrika and Jayachandrika give detailed descriptions about their origins and foundation of the state first at Patna and then Sambalpur.
Ramai Deva was first adopted by a local priest or Brahmin chief known as Chakradhara Panigrahi who provided shelter and refuge to his fleeing mother during her pregnancy. Ramai Deva later won over other local chiefs and established the Patna state. He married the daughter of the Eastern Ganga King Bhanudeva III
Bhoi dynasty was short-lived but during their reign, Orissa came into conflicts with the invaders from Golconda. After being deposed by Mukunda Deva, the dynasty shifts its power centre to Khurda where they continue as Rajas of Khurda.
Instigated by Mukunda Deva's alliance with Akbar, Sulaiman's army led by Kalapahad invaded Orissa in 1568. The Karranis of Bengal had control over much of Northern Odisha coast above Cuttack, while the Bhoi dynasty established the Khurda Kingdom and the Garhjat Kings had control over much of the interior regions of Odisha.
In the Battle of Tukaroi, which took place in modern-day Balasore, Daud was defeated and retreated deep into Orissa. The battle led to the Treaty of Katak in which Daud ceded the whole of Bengal and Bihar, retaining only Odisha. The treaty eventually failed after the death of Munim Khan (governor of Bengal and Bihar) who died at the age of 80. Sultan Daud Khan took the opportunity and invaded Bengal. This would lead to the Battle of Raj Mahal in 1576.
Man Singh I attacked Nasir Khan when the later broke a treaty by attacking the temple town of Puri. Orissa was annexed into the Bengal subah (province).The Mughal rule was weak in the region, this allowed local chieftains to somewhat enjoy a semi-independence.
By 1717, with the weakening of Mughal Empire following Mughal–Maratha Wars in which the Marathas became the dominant power in the subcontinent, the Bhoi dynasty of Khurda kingdom and the semi-autonomous Garhjat kings of Odisha became independent of the Mughal sovereign authority, while the Nawabs of Bengal retained control over the Northern coast of Odisha from Cuttack to Subarnarekha river until the region was finally conquered by the Maratha Empire in 1741.
The Nawabs of Bengal controlled the controlled the Northern Odisha coast from Cuttack to Subarnarekha river which was conquered by the Marathas in 1741 and eventually ceded following the peace treaty.
The Baudh princely state had gradually become a small state after it had ceded away large sways of territories in the west and south to the Chauhans of Sambalpur and Daspalla region in Nayagarh which became a separate Bhanja princely state later.
The founder of Jeypore Suryavanshi dynasty married the daughter of the last Silavanshi ruler of Nandapur Pratap Ganga Raj and became an heir to the throne. With the decline of the Gajapati monarchs, the kingdom came under the influence of Golconda rulers and by 18th century due to conflicts, the region suffered major backlash on the northern and eastern parts as they came under the reign of Marathas and the independence of Vizianagaram rulers on the coast who became the founder of the Vizianagaram estate and the region eventually came under British rule.
After 1576, with the advent of Mughal rule, the centre of power of Bhoi dynasty had shifted from Cuttack to Khurda. They continue to remain as vassal of the Mughal empire until 1717 and later under the Maratha empire from 1741 until they were eventually ceded to the British empire under the control of the British East India Company in 1803 following the Second Anglo-Maratha War with the signing of the Treaty of Deogaon.
The Rajas of Khurda continued to rule the region well into the early 1800s but by then their power had diminished. Then the Raja of Khurda along with other local chieftain led a series of rebellions against the British which was suppressed and the Raja of Khurda was later exiled to Puri.
Mukundeva Deva II was discontent under Maratha rule, so he agreed to help British troops to march through his territory without resistance. In 1803, Maratha ceded Orissa to the British empire. The Rajas and other local chieftains lead a series of rebellions against the British. Notable among the rebellions is that of Surendra Sai.
Odia speaking people at this time were placed in different provinces. Around 1870, a movement was started to unify the Oriya-speaking
within a state. In 1936, the new state of Orissa was formed. About 25 princely states, remained independent but they were later integrated by 1947, except Saraikela, Kharsawan, Bastar, Parlakhemundi Zamindari (rest of today's Vijayanagaram).