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Medieval History Of Odisha

Discover the rich tapestry of Odisha's medieval history, where ancient kingdoms thrived and cultural wonders flourished. Unearth tales of valor, dynasties, and architectural marvels that shaped the medieval era in this East Indian state. Delve into the fascinating world of Odisha's past, where each monument and artifact whispers stories of a bygone era. Explore the hidden gems of medieval Odisha and embark on a historical journey like never before. Immerse yourself in the heritage of this vibrant region, where the echoes of the past resonate with the present.

medieval history of odisha

During the mediaeval era, the Kalinga area was ruled by a number of great monarchs. Among them were Ganga kings, Gajapatis, Bhois, and others. Mukundadeva of the Bhoi dynasty's dominance in the area paved the way for Afghan domination. Between the 11th and 16th centuries CE, Kalinga was progressively supplanted by Odra Desa or Utkala, and then Odisha.


The Ganga dynasty was created in Odisha following the demise of the Somavasi dynasty in the 10th century. This dynasty had a significant impact on Odisha's mediaeval history.

The Mediaeval era witnessed the establishment of powerful empires in Odisha that lasted for centuries and contributed to the state's art, architecture, and culture. In 1038 AD, the Ganga or Eastern Ganga Dynasty was the first. It went on for 400 years.


Ganga monarchs constructed temples such as Konark and Jagannath. It was succeeded by the Gajapati Dynasty in 1434 AD, which lasted for 100 years. In 1541, the Bhoi Dynasty was created. It lasted for 200 years. The Karrani Dynasty, founded in 1568, was Odisha's first Muslim empire.

It was short-lived, and the Mughals quickly took over. They nominated Governors to oversee Odisha's administration. Following the Naib Nazims of Bengal in 1703, Odisha fell into the hands of the Marathas. Odisha was subjected to British authority after the Marathas, as detailed in Odisha's Modern History.


Mughal Dynasty in Odisha

The arrival of Raja Mansingh, Akbar's Rajput General, marks the beginning of Mughal control in Odisha. In 1590, Qutlu Khan Lohani, an officer of Daud Khan Karrani declared himself independent and adopted the title of 'Qutlu Shah'.


Nasir Khan, Qutlu Shah's son, was named Governor of Odisha, and the province of Puri was surrendered. On April 18, 1592, Mansingh, the Governor of Bihar, invaded Nasir Khan and decisively beat him. By 1593, Odisha had been annexed by the Mughal Empire and was part of the Bengal Subah.

medieval history of odisha

Odisha under Akbar and Jahangir

• Odisha was split into five sarkars under Akbar's reign: Jaleswar (containing Midnapore), Bhadrak, Cuttack, Chika Khol, and Raj Mahendry Dandpat. Akbar largely avoided interfering in the affairs of local chieftains. But Jahangir had a different approach. Odisha was declared a distinct Subah under him, and a Governor, styled Subahdar, governed in the name of the Mughal emperor.



• During Jahangir's reign, the governors of Odisha were Quasim Khan (1606 AD), Kalyan Mal (1611 AD), Mukarram Khan (1617 AD), and Ahmed Beg (1621).


Odisha under Shah Jahan

• When Shahjahan became Mughal Emperor in 1628, he assigned Muhammad Bagar Khan as Governor of Odisha. Zaman Teharani was appointed Governor of Odisha after 1645.

• During Shah Jahan's reign, Cuttack served as the government seat.


Odisha under Aurangzeb

After the succession struggle, Aurangzeb came to the throne in 1659. Several chieftains in Odisha declared their independence at this time. Under Aurangzeb (1660-1667), Khan-i-Duran was appointed Governor of Odisha.

During this time, he vanquished numerous rebel chieftains as well as Mukundadeva I, the then-Khurda monarch.



Odisha under the Naib Nazims of Bengal

During Aurangzeb's reign, the Mughal empire faced several threats from the Qutb Shahis and Adil Shahis of Deccan, Sikhs, Rajputs, and other local rulers. Odisha slipped under the hands of the Naib Nazims of Bengal when Murshid Quli Khan took over the government.


Odisha under the Marathas

The Maratha administration of Odisha started in 1751 AD, when Raghuji Bhonsle I became the new lord of the area and a new form of governance was established. The Maratha reign began with the 1751 Peace Treaty. Odisha was divided into two large political divisions by the Marathas:


Mughalbandi is a kind of Mughalbandi. It included the coastal areas and was divided into 150 Parganas, which were overseen by 32 Revenue Commissioners or Amins.

The Garhjat This province included Odisha's hill tracts and was allowed to be administered by 24 tributary chieftains who paid light payments to the Maratha government.



Maratha Subahdars in Odisha

Sheo Bhatt Sathe was Odisha's first Maratha Subahdar. He obtained Chauth from Bengal's Nawab. Sheo Bhatt was discharged in 1764 after failing to pay his arrears to Januji during the Battle of Buxar.


Sheo Bhatt, Chimma Sau, Bhawani Pandit, Shambhaji Ganesh, Babuji Naik, Madhoji Hari, and Rajaram Pandit were the following Subahdars in that sequence.

The Anglo-Maratha battle between the Marathas and Governor General Warren Hastings was also observed in Odisha. Sadashiv Rao, the last Maratha representative in Odisha, was appointed in 1793.



Administration of the Marathas

For the first time in the state's history, the Marathas imposed a pilgrimage fee on visiting visitors.

• Grants were made available for temple repairs.

• The temple of Jagannath was placed under the direct supervision of the Maratha Governers, with special care devoted to its preservation and maintenance; and

• The big festivities at Puri gained full government support. Rath Yatra became famous thanks to the Marathas.

medieval history of odisha

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