The Bargarh district lies
between 20° 43’ to
21° 41’ North
latitude and 82° 39’ to 83° 58’ East longitude. It is one of the western most districts of the
State of Orissa
and came in to existence as a district from 1st April 1993. It is bounded
on the north by the State of Chhatisgarh and on the east by the district
of Sambalpur, on the south lies the district of Balangir and Subarnapur
and on the west the district of Nawapara.
The district has an area
of 5837 Sq.Kms. The population of the district as per 2001 census is 13.46
Millions out of which 6.81 millions are male and 6.65 millions are female.
The Bargarh district can be divided into 3 natural divisions, (1) Bargarh Plain (2) Borasambar (3) Ambabhona & Lakhanpur. The greater portion is an open plain of considerable fertility drained by the Danta and the Jira, the two tributaries of Mahanadi. To the north of this plain runs the Barapahar range of hills and to the south-west lie the valley of river Ong (Ang). The Bargarh plain is not a flat alluvial tract but an expanse of undulating country sloping down from the Barapahar hills in the north, to the Mahanadi valley in the east. It contains a good portion of the cultivated land of the district and its undulating character affords excellent scope for irrigation reservoirs. The soil is a mixture of sand and gravel as well as of clay. Its a good rice soil and unlike the more fertile black cotton soil it grows few seeds and does not harbour dangerous insect pests. This tract is nowhere bare of vegetation and the villages are found embowered with mango groves.
The Borasambar (Padampur) tract lies to the south-west of the Bargarh plain. It is bounded by the high hills on the north and south and the intervening plain is drained by river Ong (Ang), the valley of which particularly in the eastern portion is best suited to agriculture. Its soil contains some river slit and enriched by hill drainage.
The Ambabhona and Lakhanpur area is cut off from the rest of Bargarh plain by a long spur of the Barapahar hills running south-west for a distance of nearly 48 Km. This hill forms a barrier to communication with the rest of the district. Ambabhona is a fairly level tract sloping down from the hills to the river Mahanadi and is under close cultivation. Lakhanpur is a wide valley sorrounded by forest clad hills and is also closely cultivated.
The Barapahar (literaly, 12 hills) are the main hill range in the Bargarh district covering an area over 777 Sq.Km. and attaining a height of 2,267 feet (691.1 m.) at the peak of Debrigarh. Debrigarh is one of the few hills of the range offering level ground and good water supply near the summit. It is one of the best hill sites in the district suitable for health resort. The river Mahanadi formed a lake in geological times to the north of the this range till in burst and the lake emptied. The Hirakud Dam (in Sambalpur district) has reconstructed the barrier and repeated the ancient lake.
The second group of hills is the Gandhamardhan range running along the southern boundary of the ex-Zamindari of Borasambar, separating it from Bolangir district. The hill range rises to 2,000-3,000 feet (629.60 m to 914.40m) in height and reaches its highest point (3,234 feet or 985.72m) in the peak of Nrushinghanath, one of the picturesque places in the district. Another range braches off to the west of Nrushinghanath running first north-south and then north-east near Jagdalpur, where it is broken by the Ong (Ang) river. Another range runs eastward to Tal and then to the north-east forming the boundary between the district and Raipur of Chhatisgarh.
The major rivers in the district are tributaries of Mahanadi river. Jira and Jhaun rivers flow through the Bargarh district and join the river Mahanadi in the extreme south of the district. The Jira has main tributary, the Danta which joins it a few miles north of its confluence with the Mahanadi near the village Gandturum in Bheden.
The other river that flows through the district is Ong (Ang) which rises in the Nawapara district and enters Borasambar (Padampur) at its extreme south-west corner. It flows through in a wide-semi-circle from west to east and leaves the district a few miles to the east of Gaisilat eventually joining the Mahanadi in the Subarnapur district.
Spring, Waterfall and Tanks.
There are natural springs at Nrushinghanath at the foot of Gandhamardhan hills of Padampur subdivision forming streams flowing in cascades down the steep hill side. The waterfalls are called Kapil dhar, Bhim dhar and Chal dhar, which are considered to be very sacred. In the Barapahar hills there are a few springs notable among them is the one near the village Ghens.
There are many tanks in the district, some of which serve the purpose of irrigation. Notable among them are the Victoria Sagar near Ghens, Yogimunda in Barpali and Ranisagar in Bijepur.
The climate of this district is characterised by a very hot dry summer and well distributed rains in the south-west monsoon season. The cold season commences from November and lasts till the end of February. The hot season follows thereafter and continues till about the second week of June. the south-west monsoon season is from mid June to the end of September.
The headquarter of the district Bargarh is situated on the left bank of Jira River. The town Bargarh is on the National Highway-6. The original name of the place was "Baghar Kota" as known from an inscription of the 11th Century A.D. It was called "Bargarh" probably from the time of Balaram Dev, the Chauhan Raja of Sambalpur, who made it for some time his headquarters and constructed a big fort for its protection. Narayan Singh, the last Chauhan Raja granted this place in "Maufi" (free hold) to 2 Brahmin brothers Krushna Dash and Narayan Dash, sons of Baluki Dash who was killed in action by the Gond rebels led by Baldia Ray and Mahapatra Ray. The another part of the district popularly known as "Borasambar" was formerly the headquarters of the Borasambar Zamindari extending over 2178 Sq.Kms. Later, the headquarters of the Zamindari shifted to Padampur, one of the present sub-divisional headquarter. The Zamindar belongs to the Binjhal family and is called Pat-Bariha
Oriya is the main language spoken in the district. The Oriya spoken in the district differs from the spoken in the costal districts of Orissa. It is generally known as Sambalpuri Oriya and is spoken in western parts of Orissa. Hindi is one of the other languages prevalently spoken in the district, mostly in the urban areas.
The South Eastern Railways runs through this district covering 46 K.Ms. N.H.6 linking Mumbai to Kolkotta passes through Bargarh dist. covering 96.3 K.Ms. There are 5303 K.M. of G.P.Roads, , 117 no. of R.D. roads covering 1105.26 K.Ms, 112.792 K.M. major dist. roads, 138.8 K.M. State Highway and 135.05 K.M. other dist. roads in this district.
Bargarh District has two distinctly different kinds of scenario in the field of economic development. The area under the Command Area of Hirakud Dam Project has a fairly developed agricultural sector, which contributes for the development of other sectors also. The rainfed area like Padampur Sub-Division and Bhatli & Ambabhona Blocks of Bargarh Sub-Division are backward with traditional agriculture and lack of development of other sectors as well.
the recent years, there is an increased demand for taking up allied
industries and service activities. Poultry, Diary schemes are becoming
increasingly popular. The unemployed youths are evincing more interest in
self-employment opportunities. The programmes of the government aim at
direct attack on poverty as well as providing employment opportunities
through creation of rural infrastructure.
Agriculture is the most important economic activity in the district. Allied activities like Diary, Poultry, Goatery and Piggry are also popular. In the milk-route areas, diary farming is taken up in a systematic manner. Poultry farming is coming up in a big way. There are, handloom weavers concentration in the district. Besides, there are Potters, Blacksmiths, Construction Workers etc.
The major crops are Rice, Pulses like Arhar, Mung and Biri, Oil-seeds like Groundnuts, Til and Mustard. The only commercial crop taken up is Sugarcane. The major horticulture crop are Vegetables, Mango, Banana, Citrus, Papaya, Guava, Litchi, Ber etc.