Origin and Historical Background:
The present district of Kalahandi was in ancient times a princely state, part of south Kosals. After independence of the country, merger of princely state with India took place on 1st January 1948. Kalahandi was merged in Orissa along with other princely states on November 1, 1949. Subsequently, in 1962, Kashipur Police Station was taken out from this district and merged with Koraput.
Kalahandi district occupies the south-western portion of Orissa and is situated between 19 degree 3′ N and 21 degree 5′ N latitude and 82 degree 30 E and 83 Degree 74′ E longitude. It is bounded in the north by the district of Balangir and Nawapara, on the south by the district of Rayagada, on the west by the district of Nawarangpur and Raipur (Chhatisgarh) and on the east by the district of Rayagada and Boudh. It extends over an area of 8,364.89 sq. km. The district headquarters is at Bhawanipatna town, which stands almost to the eastern border.
The language spoken by the people of Kalahandi is locally known as Kalahandia or Kalahania. It is considered to be a dialect of Oriya language which is spoken throughout the Western Orissa region with little variations .For official purpose people use Standard Oriya language which is the only Govt. recognized Official language of Orissa. Hindi is the second preferable language after Oriya.
Rainfall and Climate:
The average annual rainfall of the district is 1378.20 mm. The variation in the rainfall from year to year is not large. The monsoon starts late in June and generally lasts unto September. 90% of the rainfall is received from June to September. August is the month with more number of rainy days.
May is the hottest month when the maximum temperature is about 45 C (82 degree F). December is the coldest month, as the mean daily minimum temperature is recorded at 11 degree C. Relative humidity is generally higher from June to December. It is lower (27%) in the non-monsoon months. During August, it is in the higher side of 70% and during March, it is the lowest, at around 27%.
Tel, Indravati, which are tributaries of large rivers like Mahanadi and Godavari, may be mentioned amongst the principal rivers of Kalahandi. However, Tel is by far the longest and most important river of the district. Other important rivers are Hati, Sagada, Ret, Uttei, Raul, Sundary, Undanti, Nagavali. Most of the rivers go dry during summer. Indravati and Nagavali have originated from Thuamul Rampur of this district.
Nearly half of the total Geographical area of Kalahandi district, 4,962 sq. km. was covered with forest. In the recent times this has been a considerable shrinkage in forest areas due to denudation.
Rail: The total length of the Railway in the district is only 44 km. The Raipur-Vizianagaram broad-gauge link of the S.E. Railway passes through this district and connects 5 stations (Kesinga, Kandel, Rupra Road, Narla, Lanjigarh Road) in the district. It links the district with important places like Raipur, Vizianagaram, Rourkela, Bolangir, Sambalpur, Khariar Road.
The only air-strip in the district is at Utkela, 25 km. from Bhawanipatna.
- Sub-divisions: 2 (Bhawanipatna and Dharamgarh)
- Police Station: 12 (Bhawanipatna, Junagarh, Dharamgarh, Narla, Lanjigarh, Thuamul-Rampur, Mandanpur-Rampur, Koksara, Jaipatna, Ampani, Kesinga, …)
- Tehsil: 13
- Block: 13
- Municipality: 1
- N.A.C.: 2
- Treasury: 1
- Sub-Treasury: 5
- Gram Panchayat: 195
- Villages: 2185