Mayurbhanj State
Princely State of British India
c. 12th century–1948
Flag of Mayurbhanj
Coat of arms of Mayurbhanj
Coat of arms

Mayurbhanj State in a 1901 map of the Imperial Gazetteer of India.
Haripur (c. 1400)
Baripada (c. 1800)
• 1901
10,982 km2 (4,240 sq mi)
• 1901
• Established
c. 12th century
c. 1508
c. 1751
c. 1803
• Merged with Odisha
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Eastern Ganga dynasty
Dominion of India
Today part ofOdisha, India
Shri Hari Baladev Jiu Temple in Baripada, built under royal patronage.

Mayurbhanj State (Odia: ମୟୁରଭଞ୍ଜ ରାଜ୍ୟ; colloquially Morbhanj) was one of the princely states of India during the period of the British Raj.[1] It was one of the largest states of the Eastern States Agency and one of the three states of the Bengal States Agency.[1] The emblem of the state were two peacocks for according to legend the ancestors of the ancient rulers originated from a peafowl's eyes.[2][1]

The state included a vast mountainous area inhabited by many different people groups such as the Santal, Munda, Ho and Kisan people.[3] Its former territory lies in the present-day state of Odisha, bordering West Bengal. The capital of the state was the town of Baripada[1] since the 15th century and Daspur was another important town. Large tracts of Mayurbhanj State were covered with forest.


See also: Bhanj dynasty, Mayurbhanj Palace, and Mayurbhanj State Railway

Four division of Mayurbhanj state

The rulers of Mayurbhanj state were descendants of the Bhanj dynasty of the Khijjinga mandala of the ancient local Kshatriya lineage.[4] According to the early inscriptions of Ranabhanja and Rajabhanja, the dynasty has its origins from the mythical peahen likely pointing out to the early peafowl related traditions of the ancient Bhanja clans which is observed on their emblems which is also shared by the successive branches.[5][6]

Their influence likely declined with the dominance of the Somavamshis in the Utkal region, but centuries later came back to prominence in the region with the rise of the Eastern Ganga dynasty after uniting the three realms of Trikalinga with the Bhanjas as their feudatories. Traditions point to numerous origins of the dynasty but lack of records renders them unlikely although it is generally accepted that the founder, Adi Bhanja of the 12th century established the current dynasty of the Mayurbhanj state with his brother Jyoti Bhanja founding the Keonjhar State succeeding from the Khijjinga Adi Bhanja dynasty.[7]

Mayurbhanj State had been under Maratha rule during the 18th century and became a British protectorate in 1829, many years after the Third Anglo-Maratha War.

During the British Raj, the kings of Mayurbhanj pioneered the upliftment of the region. Under their enlightened rule Mayurbhanj became one of the most progressive areas. The Bhanj dynasty's kings established the first medical college of the state in Cuttack, donating funds and land for the establishment of higher education institutions such as Ravenshaw College and welfare schemes, such as the one undertaken by the Evangelical Missionary Society of Mayurbhanj (EMSM), established in 1895 at the instance of Maharaja Shree Rama Chandra Bhanja Deo.[8] Mayurbhanj Palace was built by Maharani Sumitra Devi Bhanja Deo in 1804.[9][10]

The Mayurbhanj State Railway was started by the erstwhile ruler of Mayurbhanj Maharaja Shree Rama Chandra Bhanja Deo. The first section of 52 km from Rupsa to Baripada railway station being opened for traffic on 20 January 1905.[11][12]

After the independence of India, Mayurbhanj State under Maharaja Pratap Chandra Bhanja Deo acceded to the Dominion of India on 1 January 1949, and was merged with Orissa Province, which became later the state of Odisha.


The rulers of Mayurbhanj State of the Bhanj dynasty.[13] They were entitled to a 9 gun salute.[14] The rulers of Mayurbhanj are;[15]

  1. Succession from the Khijjinga mandala Bhanjas (8th–10th cen)
  2. Adi Bhanja of Mayurbhanj
  3. Santai Bhanja
  4. Chakkai Bhanja
  5. Lakshmana Bhanja
  6. Kalpi Bhanja
  7. Surjya Bhanja
  8. Ramachandra Bhanja
  9. Batuli Bhanja
  10. Iswanath Bhanja
  11. Jagannath Bhanja
  12. Nilakantha Bhanja
  13. Baidyanath Bhanjadeba (1556–1600)
  14. Jagannath Bhanjadeba (1600-1643)
  15. Harihara Bhanjadeba (1643–1668)
  16. Sarvesvara Bhanjdeba (1688–1711)
  17. Viravikramaditya Bhanjadeba (1711–1728)
  18. Raghunath Bhanjadeba (1728–1750)
  19. Chakradhar Bhanjadeba (1750–1761)
  20. Damodar Bhanjadeba (1761–1796)
  21. Rani Sumitra Devi (f) - Regent of Mayurbhanj (1796–1810)
  22. Rani Jamuna Devi (f) - Regent of Mayurbhanj (1810-1813)
  23. Tribikram Bhanja Deo (1813–1822)
  24. Jadunath Bhanja Deo (1822–1863) - became a British protectorate during his reign
  25. Shrinath Bhanja Deo (1863–1868)
  26. Krushna Chandra Bhanja Deo (1868–29 May 1882)
  27. Sree Rama Chandra Bhanja Deo (29 May 1882– 22 February 1912)
  28. Purna Chandra Bhanja Deo (22 February 1912 – 21 April 1928)
  29. Pratap Chandra Bhanja Deo (21 Apr 1928–1 January 1949)



Historical population
Source: Mayurbhanj district Gazetteer & Census of India[16][17]

Languages of Mayurbhanj State (1931)[18]

  Odia (41.02%)
  Santali (29.1%)
  Ho (12.42%)
  Bhumij (7.73%)
  Bengali (4.14%)
  Kurmali (2.94%)
  Others (2.64%)

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Morbhanj" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 18 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 820.
  2. ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 17, p. 242.
  3. ^ The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India
  4. ^ Hermann Kulke (1976), Kshatriyaization and social change: A Study in Orissa setting (PDF), Popular Prakashan, p. 404
  5. ^ Chanda, Ramapradas (1929), Bhanja Dyansty of Mayurbhanja and their ancient capital at Khiching, AD, Mayurbhanj
  6. ^ Sahu, NK (1956), "The Bhanja Kings of Orissa", Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, 19, Indian History Congress: 130–131, JSTOR 44140816
  7. ^ ODISHA DISTRICT GAZETTEERS MAYURBHANJ (PDF), GAD, Govt of Odisha, 1990, pp. 61–66
  8. ^ Special Report Archived 9 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine at Hindu Vivek Kendra website
  9. ^ "Mayurbhanj palace in shambles". Web India 123. 15 October 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  10. ^ "Mayurbhanj palace wallows in royal neglect". The Times of India. 29 October 2011. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  11. ^ Malleson, G. B. (1875). An historical sketch of the native states of India (Reprint Delhi 1984 ed.). London.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)[page needed]
  12. ^ "Power of Creativity". Vol. 2. March 2009. p. 34. Retrieved 2 April 2023.
  13. ^ Princely States of India
  14. ^ Mayurbhanj Princely State (9 gun salute)
  15. ^ "Orissa District Gazetteers: Mayurbhanj". Indian Culture. pp. 87, 90. Retrieved 2 March 2022.
  16. ^ Senapati & Sahu 1967, pp. 92–93.
  17. ^ "A-2 DECADAL VARIATION IN POPULATION SINCE 1901 (21 A-2 Odisha)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 June 2014.
  18. ^ Laeequddin 1937, p. 224.


Further reading

21°56′N 86°43′E / 21.94°N 86.72°E / 21.94; 86.72