Historical past, Heritage and Legends of Jajpur in Odisha

India is an historical land. This implies it has areas which have been steadily inhabited since proto-historic instances to our gift instances. Whilst we do know of historical, historical, and sacred towns like Ayodhya or Kashi, there are lots of different identical websites around the nation. One such instance is the traditional town of Jajpur in Odisha.

Jajpur as of late is a district in Odisha. It’s recognized each as being the seat of Adi Shakti Biraja Mata Shaktipeeth and for being a metal hub, endowed with wealthy mineral deposits in its soil. As you learn thru its historical past, you spot this the town taking many names and every identify carries the essence of the time it was once in style.

Include me to stroll throughout the temporary historical past of Jajpur thru its names.

Transient Historical past of Jajpur

Baitarani River is the oldest residing entity at Jajpur. It’s the legendary Vaitarni that we crossover to go into the upper geographical regions. At Jajpur, she flows quietly nurturing this historical land. On its banks stand many aged and sacred temples. Many periodic gala’s are held alongside its banks.

Baitarani River at Jajpur
Baitarani River at Jajpur

It’s integral to the Tarpana rituals carried out right here and therefore is also referred to as Baitarani Tirtha.

In fashionable instances, it serves as an extended boundary of the district of Jajpur.

Brahmani is any other necessary river that flows thru and nurtures the area.

Pauranic Instances

Yajna Kshetra, Sati Pitha, Biraja Kshetra are probably the most names that take us again to the tale of the well-known Yajna that was once carried out right here.

Biraja Devi Shaktipeeth in Jajpur

Brahma carried out a Yagna right here at Brahma Kund and from the Yagna Vedi or modify seemed the goddess Biraja. Brahma himself put in the Murti right here.  For the reason that Devi seemed from Yajna, Yajnapura is the oldest identify related to town.

It is named Nabhi Gaya for it’s believed to be where the place the navel of the Gayasur is situated, making it at par with Gaya in Bihar. Each puts are recognized for the Pinda Dana or the Tarpana.

Nabhi Gaya
Nabhi Gaya Koop

It’s also house to a temple devoted to Shweta Varaha – which is the identify of the current Kalpa as in keeping with the Hindu Calendar. Shakti could also be worshipped right here in type of Saptamatrika whose temple stands proper subsequent to the Baitarani river.


Vana Parva of Mahabharata tells us that Pandavas visited this area right through their pilgrimage around the nation. Yudhishthira, the eldest Pandav carried out a Dharma Yajna right here.

Duryodhan’s spouse Bhanumati was once a princess of Kalinga whose capital Rajpur is recognized with Jajpur. Her father Shatruyudh fought at the facet of the Kauravas in Mahabharat Conflict.

Gada Kshetra

Odisha has 4 sacred areas named after the 4 guns or Ayudhas of Vishnu. Puri is named Shakha Kshetra, Konark is named Padma Kshetra, Bhubaneshwar is named Chakra Kshetra and Biraja’s Kshetra i.e. Jajpur is referred to as the Gada Kshetra.

Pre-Historical Instances

Data of pre-historic instances seem on their very own every so often. Jajpur area has many archaeological websites belonging to other eras of Pre-historic instances. For instance, there are six open-air paleolithic websites at Darpangarh, Sunamukhi Tanger, Ranibandi, Dhanmandal and Mahagiri Tanger.

Ancient Subha Stambh at Jajpur
Historical Subha Stambh in stone at Jajpur

Hundreds of artifacts similar to blades, flakes, scrappers, chisel and many others were came upon from those websites.

An Iron age website has been came upon at Chandikhole. Except for quite a lot of iron smelting apparatus, various kinds of ceramic pots have additionally been came upon right here.

Historical Instances

Repeatedly within the historical past of Jajpur, it was once the capital of the area. Actual limitations and the names of the area modified every now and then like Kalinga, Utkala, Odra, Toshali, Odisha, and many others however the town persevered to be the capital. Kingdoms exchanged arms between successive dynasties however Jajpur maintained its standing as a capital town for a very long time.

It’s stated that once Mahabharata, 32 generations of kings dominated Kalinga and then it got here below Nandas of Magadh round 4th BCE. It once more changed into an impressive impartial kingdom on the crack of dawn of the Mauryan empire.

Mauryan king Ashoka’s Kalinga warfare is legendary for lots of causes. At Jajpur, it intended the arrival of Buddhism which might in the end flourish right here for a very long time.

After Mauryans, the area got here Chedi kings with their capital at Shishupalgarh close to present-day Bhubaneshwar. Jajpur was once not the capital town of the area however was once part of North Kalinga below Kharvelas right through the 1st and a pair ofnd BCE. It handed directly to Kushanas right through the early centuries of the primary millennium and who dominated the area thru their vassals, in all 13 Murunda kings.

We actually have no idea if the Gupta dynasty dominated the area, however their affect at the tradition is visual. It’s believed that the Murti of Biraja Mata dates again to their instances. Their gold cash have additionally been recovered from the area. Additionally they funded the Buddhist monasteries at Ratnagiri and Lalitgiri.

Within the 6th CE, Prithvi Vigraha dominated the area. Within the early 7th CE, it got here below Harshavardhan when the area was once known as Odra-Visaya which is none instead of Viraja Mandala or Jajpur.

Ornate door of Ratnagiri Monastery
Ornate door of Ratnagiri Monastery

7th CE traveler Huan Tsang visited Jajpur and mentions it as Jajapur in his travelogue. He mentions folks of the area as tall and dark-complexioned, with nice love for finding out. He talks about hundred-odd monasteries and greater than fifty Hindu temples within the area.

Within the mid-Eighth CE, Bhaumakars emerged as an impressive dynasty from Jajpur to rule maximum of present-day Odisha and past. What could be very fascinating about this dynasty is that of the 18 rulers who dominated for greater than 200 years, 6 of them have been ladies rulers. Of those Tribhuvana Mahadevi was once the primary ruler. I wonder whether every other dynasty has nurtured such a lot of robust feminine rulers.

Jajpur right through this time was once referred to as Guhadeva Pataka or Guheswara Pataka, and the time is known as Bhauma Generation in lots of copper plate inscriptions. Tradition flourished within the type of artwork, structure, literature, language, and social design. This is named the golden duration of Jajpur.

It’s believed that Odia language took form right through this time.

Jajati Keshari and Golden Generation of Jajpur

Within the mid-10th CE, Bhaumakars fell to Jajati-I of South Kosala. After a duration of turmoil, Chandihara, who known as himself Jajati-II of the Somvamshi dynasty rose to energy. He was once later known as Jajati Keshari, and could be remembered for construction many temples like Viraja temple, Varaha temple and Subhastambha.

He renamed the capital Abhinava Jajatinagara. His son Udyota Keshari would later construct the Lingaraja temple at Bhubaneshwar.

King Jajati sought after to accomplish Dashashwamedha Yagna right here to mark his empire. For this, he introduced 10,000 Brahmins from Kannauj in North India.  He settled them throughout his kingdom through giving them land grants known as Sansanas. Even as of late many purohits within the area hint their starting place to this migration.

Dashashwamedha Ghat at the banks of the Baitarani river is a reminder of this primary yajna carried out through Jajati Keshari.

Within the early 12th CE, Jajpur got here below the Japanese Ganga dynasty however Jajpur persevered to be the capital for just about a century and then it moved to Cuttak. Jajpur reworked from being a cultural and political capital to being a military cantonment to handle the Afghan invaders.

Within the 16th CE it needed to undergo destruction by the hands of Kala Pahad, who destroyed virtually each temple within the area. Temples have been demolished, Murtis have been mutilated and thrown into river Baitarani.

Brahma Kund at Jajpur
Brahma Kund at Jajpur

Right through the following years, Raja Guy Singh of Rajasthan and Bhosle Marathas of Nagpur did rebuild probably the most temples like Jagannath temple, Saptamatrika temple, Siddheshwar temple, and many others. From the early 19th CE until Indian independence, it was once in fact below British Governance.

Folks of Jajpur performed their function within the freedom motion, responding to the calls given through leaders like Gandhi ji.

Jajpur as a cultural and political Capital

Cash recovered from quite a lot of excavations point out that Jajpur was once a part of business routes right through other instances.

All 3 historical Indic religions – Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism flourished on Jajpur, from time to time even concurrently. That is glaring within the presence of many massive Buddhist monasteries within the district like Udayagiri, Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri, and Langudi Pahada or Pushpagiri.

Jajpur Nowadays

Jajpur district was once carved out of Cuttak district in 1993. Nowadays it is likely one of the maximum densely populated districts of Odisha.

The mining business right here provides us minerals like chromite, iron ore, and nickel. In truth, Jajpur is a pacesetter in Chromite Ore which is utilized in many business productions like metal.

Kalinga Nagar Built-in Commercial Advanced is a metal hub with many giant and small metal vegetation. In some way, it’s residing its historical legacy of iron ore smelting, even as of late.

Those fashionable industries co-exist with conventional ones like tussar silk weaving, wooden carving, and stone carving. We will be able to discuss those in next posts. Agriculture and mining are the most important financial drivers of the district. Someday, it might be house to outstanding waterways within the nation.

Total, Jajpur is an ideal aggregate of an historical land with layers of historical past and heritage, blessed with herbal assets this is house to each heavy in addition to cottage industries. There’s a lot for the curious traveler to discover on this hidden gem of Odisha.

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