History of Mayurbhanj DC
Mayurbhanj, an erstwhile princely state during the colonial regime, has an unenviable and chequred history. The name of the district traces its origin to Bhanj Dynasty, who ruled over this state in unbroken succession since about 9th Century A.D., the rulers of which were great patrons of Art, Culture, Education and Architecture. The progressive mindset of the erstwhile rulers can be fathomed from the fact that as early as in the year 1905, the Mayurbhanj state railway started operating from Rupsa to Baripada. The successive kings of Mayurbhanj were a pioneering force in upliftment of Odisha under British Rule who had magnanimously donated huge sum of money and land for the establishment of higher education institutions in Odisha, notably among them is S.C.B. Medical College at Cuttack.
The district unfolds an enormous panorama of nature’s beauty and bounty which amongst others is the home to the Simlipal Biosphere Reserve, which became a source of international attention in the 1960s. Myriad landscapes & valleys, mountain peaks, vibrant waterfalls, thick coverage of forests and foliage offers a breathtaking view to the connoisseurs. In the midst of surroundings evolved the beautiful, virile Chhou Dance form which integrates martial, tribal and classical elements, and has gained worldwide fame and recognition for its beauty, vigour and marvel of the art.
Presently, being the biggest district of Odisha geographically with a total area of 10,418 sq. kms, it is situated at the northern boundary of the state. It is bounded in the north-east by Midnapore district of West Bengal, Singhbhum district of Jharkhand in the north-west, Balasore district in the south-east and by Keonjhar in the south-west. As per the Forest Survey of India 2011, Mayurbhanj district has maximum dense forest area followed by Sundargarh and Kandhamal.
According to the Census 2011[update], it is the third-most-populous district of Odisha, after Ganjam and Cuttack, which also boasts of the largest tribal population. The total population of the district is 25,19,738, with a sex ratio of 1006 females per 1000 males. It constitutes 6% of total population of Odisha. The Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste population constitute 58.72% & 7.33% of the total population respectively. The district has a population density of 242 inhabitants per square kilometre and literacy rate 63.17%.
Baripada, which was the capital of Mayurbhanj state since 15th century, is the present headquarters of the district. The district comprises of four sub-divisions namely Baripada, Rairangpur, Karanjia & Udala with 26 blocks with 382 Gram Panchayats and 3945 villages.
To provide justice, the rulers of Mayurbhanj had established a well organized justice delivery system in pre-independence era. History reveals that Sri Madhusudan Das, the leading Oriya statesman and lawyer, appointed Utkalmani Pandit Gopabandhu Das as the State Pleader of the State of Mayurbhanj in 1909. The state of Mayurbhanj got merged in the state of Odisha on 1st January, 1949 and the Court of the District & Sessions Judge, Mayurbhanj at Baripada has been established with effect from 1st January, 1949. Shri P.C. Ghosh was posted as the first District & Sessions Judge of the Judgeship. However, in present scenario, in three tier system of Subordinate Courts, Mayurbhanj district headquarters and all the sub-divisional headquarters have Courts. Karanjia and Udala have no Court presided by an Officer of district judge cadre. Besides the Sub-divisional headquarters, Betnoti Court was established on 9th November 2013, inaugurated by Hon’ble Shri Justice A.K. Goel, the then Chief Justice of High Court of Orissa.