Gourachandra Gajapati Narayan Deo (2nd):
Father of Sri Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayan Deo. He had established many Schools for the spread for education. Constructed Railway line from Paralakhemundi to Naupada (now in Andhra Pradesh). For his able leadership and a good ruler, the British Government had conferred him with K.C.I.E.
The sleepy town of Paralakhemundi made its tryst with history in the ‘30s when Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati lead the movement for the formation of Orissa. Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayan Deo, the scion of the great Ganga Dynasty of Paralakhemundi, belongs to both the leagues. An illustrious son of modern India, he played a significant role in the formation of Orissa as a separate state.
He was born on April 26, 1892. At the age of 12, his father, Goura Chandra Gajapati Narayan Deo, died and as Krushna Chandra Gajapati was still a minor, the Paralakhemundi zamindari passed into the hands of the Court of Wards for administration.
The young and enthusiastic Krushna Chandra Gajapati received his elementary education in the local Maharaja High School. After, finishing school, he entered the Newington residential College at Madras. In the college, his mentor and guardian tutor Mr. Cameron Morrison, had an indelible influence on his life.
He returned to Paralakhemundi in 1912. Mr. N. Macmichale, ICS agent to the Court of Wards handed over the charge of the estate to him in Ganjam on April 26, 1913. A year later, he was married to the princess of Kharsuan (now in Jharkhand).
Maharaja Krushna Chandra has made immense contribution, towards the literary movement and other institutions, which were engaged in creating a sense of awareness among not only the people of Orissa but also the Oriya-speaking people in other provinces. For this he had established one printing press named Gajapati Press and published the writings to create awareness among the Oriya-speaking people. He was one of the few men of vision, who thought of the unification of the Oriya-speaking tracts into one province, before the people of Orissa could think in terms of broader perspective of Indian nationalism. An agitation, popularly known as Odiya Raksha, which lasted for 45 years till 1948, was lead by Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati under the common banner of Utkal Sammilani. He took the leadership for formation of the Swatantra Utkal Pradesh and shouldered the responsibility in conducting the 10th Utkal Sameelani at Paralakhemundi in the year 1912. He attended the 1st Round Table Conference on January 16, 1931 at England and presented the memorandum for a separate Oriya province. For this he had again attended the 2nd Round Table Conference on September 07, 1931 and argued for the separate Oriya province. The people of Orissa will ever remain grateful to Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati’s stellar role in the formation of Orissa state.
During World War I, he was made honorary second lieutenant of His Majesty’s Indian Land Forces and later promoted to the rank of Captain. His sincere and efficient discharge of duties as a military officer was very much appreciated by His Majesty’s government. The distinction of Raja Saheb was conferred on him and subsequently, in 1936; he was given the title of Maharaja. Incidentally, he also has the distinction of being the first Prime Minister of the state of Orissa during April 01 to July 18, 1937 and again from November 24, 1941 to June 30, 1944.
Irrigation system in the state received a philip when the Maharaja took personal interest in agriculture and constructed many reservoirs such as Ram Sagar, Seeta Sagar, Laxman Sagar and Krushna Sagar. His approach to agriculture was methodical and scientific, which even drew the attention of the then Madras government and the central government. The central government had gone a step further and appointed him as a member of the Royal Agricultural Commission in 1927. He established the Central Rice Research Institute of Bidyadharpur, Cuttack, which is arguably one of the best institutes of its kind in the world.
The Maharaja has made exemplary contributions to the field of education and activities for the welfare of the people. He had made provisions for free boarding and lodging facilities and also for scholarships for meritorious students who were poor. For the education of women he had constructed one Girl’s High School at Paralakhemundi, tried and succeeded in giving first class status to the Maharaja’s College of Paralakhemundi, which is named in his name as Sri Krushna Chandra Gajapati College. He was also behind the formation of Utkal University in Bhubaneswar and the SCB medical College at Cuttack.
He accomplished the seemingly impossible work of bringing railways to a remote area like Paralakhemundi at a staggering cost of Rs.18.00 lakhs from his own exchequer. The 52 km narrow gauge railway line was extended from Paralakhemundi to Gunupur.
The Maharaja, who choose to distinguish himself through his deeds rather than living in the glorious past, breathed his last on May25, 1974. The pages of Indian history will always have a fond remembrance of this truly majestic king of Paralakhemundi, Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati.
OTHER EMINENT PERSONS
PADMASHREE DR. SATYANARAYANA RAJGURU :
Some men are born great, while some achieve greatness during their lifetime. Dr. Satyanarayana Rajguru was a man of multidimensional character. He was a poet, a writer, a dramatist, a stage director, an actor, a freedom fighter, a linguist, an orator, an historian and a research scholar.
He started his education at the age of five. From his childhood he was a man of independent mind. Though a meritorious student, he could not be qualified in the matriculation examination, intentionally. However, he passed the Oriental Title Examination in ‘Oriya & Sanskrit’ from the Andhra University. In the year 1929 he worked as the manager of the ‘Parala Padmanabha Rangalaya’ and entered in to the field of theater during 1935. He took active part in the ‘Utkal Sameemani’ & ‘Odiya Rakshya’ and helped Sri Krushna Chandra Gajapati in the formation of ‘Utkal Pradesh’. He will be remembered for his thesis presented before the State Re-organisation Commission. He was the President of Ganjam District Education Council from 1942-1945. In the year 1946, he joined as an assistant in the Kalinga Historical Research Society at Bhawanipatana. He worked as a Curator in the Orissa Museum from 1950-1961 and an Epigraphist from 1963-1970. He also worked as a member in the working committee of the ‘Orissa Sahitya Academy’. He was also the Chairman of the Paralakhemundi Municipality for 16 years.
The Andhra Mahasabha conferred him with the ‘Bharati Bhushan’ award. He was also awarded by the Ganjam Sahitya Sammilani (1968), Orissa Sahitya Academy (1968), “PADMASHREE” by the President of India Shri V.V.Giri (1974), D.Litt. by the Berhampur University and a life member in the University Senate (1975), Utkal Pathak Sansad (1977), Orissa Congress (1980), “SARALA SANMAN” (1989) for his outstanding and meritorious research work.
Some of his works are: -
‘PALINKI BAHAKA’: A poem translated IN Oriya from ‘The Palanquin Bearers’ of Sarojini Naidu
‘SWAPANE CHUMBAN’, ‘JANANI UTKAL’, ‘RADHAVISEK’, ‘ODIALIPIRA KRAMABIKASH’, ‘HISTORY OF GANGAS’, ‘THE KORASANDA COPPER PLATE GRANT OF VISAKHAVARMMA’, ‘HISTORY OF EASTERN GANGAS OF KALINGA’, ‘HEIROGRAPHIC LETTERS OF NARAJ’, ‘THE ODRAS AND THEIR PREDOMENANCY’, ‘THE HISTORICAL RESEARCH IN ORISSA’, ‘THE KONDULI COPPER PLATE GRANT OF NARASIMHA DEVA OF SAKA 1305’, ‘SUMANDAL PLATES OF DHARMARAJ’.
KABIRAJ DR. ANNANTA TRIPATHY SHARMA:
A contemporary of Dr. Satyanarayana Rajguru, Dr. Annanta Tripathy Sharma was born in the year 1905 in the village Gunthapada under Jagannathpur Sasan of Ganjam district. But came down to Paralakhemundi and stayed for a long time. He had mastery in Oriya, Sanskrit, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, English and Ayurvedic.
After completion of school studies, he took admission in the Maharaja Sanskrit College, Vijayanagar and studied there for four years. He was awarded ‘SAHITYA SIROMANI’ by the Madras University in the year 1923. In the year 1924, he joined in the Sanskrit College, Paralakhemundi as a lecturer. He established one Ayurvedic Dispensary at Paralakhemundi named ‘VESAJ MANDIR’, in the year 1929. He got ‘MIMANSA VIDYA PRABINA’ from the Andhra University. In the year 1946 he was elected to the State Assembly from Paralakhemundi constituency and to the Lok-Sabha from Berhampur Parliamentary Constituency in the year 1961. He was the President of the ‘All India Ayurvedic Society’. He was also a member in the Senate, Academy of Council & Board of Studies of Andhra University.
MANCHASRI SATYANARAYANA PANDA:
A born dramatist by nature came to lime light by teaching classical song/dance to the actress Bhanumati Devi, who later entered into the cine field and acted in Annapurna Theater.He was a great dramatist, actor, director, singer, composer and a critics. He was awarded with ‘MANCHASHREE’, ‘MANCHANIDHI’ & ‘NATYA SIROMANI’. The ‘ORISSA SANGEET NATYA ACADAMY’ awarded him in the year 1987-88, for his contribution to the drama field. He had also acquired distinction in the field of Ayurvedic Sastra.
Some of his works are: -
1. ‘Bijaya Kumar’ (Nrutya Natika) staged in the Padmanabha Rangalaya, Paralakhemundi and also in the Sri Ramachandra Bhaban, Cuttack in the year1934.
2. ‘Mahalaxmi Puja’ was picturised in the year 1954.
3. ‘Meghaduta’ of Kalidas translated into Oriya (Nrutya Natika) and staged in the ‘All India Congress Conference-1963.
NABIN CHANDRA PATTNAIK:
A trade union leader of Khargapur Railways Union, Nabin Chandra Pattnayak left service and started one news agency named ‘UTKAL NEWS AGENCY’ in the year 1962 at Paralakhemundi and entered into the field of journalism. During 1964, he published
One magazine (critical analysis) named ‘BARUD’. The Maharaja of Paralakhemundi Sri Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayan Deo selected the name of the magazine.
Narayana Mangaraj: A minister in the Court of Khemundi Dynasty. He had composed ‘Haribhakti Sudhakar’.
Ananda Mishra: 1st part of 18th Century: A great scholar and a great tantrika also.
Purushottama Mohapatro: (1853-1905): A reputed Ayurvedic doctor of his time. He was the primary teacher of Padmanabha Narayan Deo. (Bratakathabali)
Shyamsundar Rajguru: (1863-1909): Passed matriculation in 1st division and the 1st Graduate of Ganjam. A teacher by profession was the private tutor of Maharaja Sri Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayan Deo. He had established ‘Utkal Hiteshini Sabha’. He was the Chairman of Paralakhemundi Municipality for 15 years. Member of Srikakole Taluka Board & Ganjam District Board.
Pandita Gopinatha Nanda: (1869 August, 21 – 1924 January, 12): A great Scholar. He is known for his unique work ‘Oriya Bhasatatwa’. He had mastery over Oriya, Hindi, Bengali & Telegu besides Tamil, Kannada, Parsi & English language. (Janaki Parinaya, Draupadi Bastra Harana)
Kamakshi Prasad Panda: (1873-1934): He had mastery over Oriya, Hindi, Bengali & Telegu language. He had depth knowledge in Astrology & Ayurveda. He was a noted Daivi Sadhak of Goddess Kamakshi, Doctor, Singer & also a composer. (Kamakshi Puran.
Binayaka Padhi: (1887-1962): He came from Puruna Patana (boarder village adjacent to Paralakhemundi) and settled at Paralakhemundi. He had a good command over the language and wrote books like ‘Ramakurshna Abhidhan’, ‘Ananda Abhidhan’ & ‘Kuni Sabdamala’.