Rayagada is a municipality in Rayagada district in the Indian state of Odisha. It is the administrative headquarters of Rayagada district.
Rayagada is a district of meadows, forests, water falls and terraced valleys, peopled by many primitive tribal groups. The scenic beauty and heritage on the land is an unexplored paradise.
The pattern of people living in the district show unity in diversity of races, languages, and culture. The Scheduled Tribes living in the district possess dissimilar economics ranging from food gathering to settled cultivation. Their languages/dialects, societies and culture show inter-societal and -cultural variations because of the ethnic mosaic.
Rayagada is nearly 390 km from Bhubaneswar by road. It is connected by rail with important cities like: Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Visakhapatanam, Koraput, Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
As of 2001 India census, Rayagada had a population of 57,732. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Rayagada has an average literacy rate of 64%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 72%, and female literacy is 56%. In Rayagada, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.
The tribals of Rayagada
The district has a predominant tribal population of 57.52%. All the 11 blocks of the district have been covered under tribal sub-plan with three micro projects in operation for the pre-literate indigenous tribal communities.
The topography of Rayagada gives a prefect platform for the tribals in sustaining their ethno-cultural identity in the district. Forest area covers an extent of 4785.36 km2 out of which 777.27 km² is Reserved forest.
The district has been the homeland of various tribal communities with their sub-tribes, who are found in different levels of development depending upon their assimilation with the mainstream or modern communities. In the ethno-cultural map of Odisha, two tribes stand out quite prominently for their education backwardness and continuing ethnic and cultural identity, the Kandhas and the Souras.
For the past six decades, Rayagada has seen institutions like IMFA, JKPAPER mills enriching the economy.
Rayagada has a great mineral source, with full of bauxite, silicon. According to a survey India has 56% of total bauxite storage of the world out of which Odisha has 62%. Out of that Rayagada has a 84% share. Depending on this, other industries like Birla, L&T, Sterlite showed an interest in Rayagada.
Rayagada is a destination for hotel industry: Hotels like Sai International, Jyotimahal, Vamsikrishna, Tejaswini, Kapilas, Raj Bhawan are a step ahead in this.
Besides these, small- and mid-scale industries enrich economy of Rayagada.Notable among them are Konark Alum Industries, Satyam Packers and Processors Pvt. Ltd.,etc.
Other industries like Jeypore Sugars Ltd., ferro manganese were supplementing economy of Rayagada, but due to shortage in supply these were closed. The jeypore sugars was established by the British which attracted loads of people from nearby states to Rayagada. The industrial atmosphere, great location and availability of resources around made Rayagada a prominent town in Odisha.
Rayagada railway station is an important station from where direct trains to Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, New Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Puri, Vishakapatnam and other cities can be boarded.
Rayagada, the district of many charms, is a thrill to the searching eyes. It has the facilities to serve as a base for visiting the nearby place of interest.
Maa Majhighariani Temple is famous in Southern Division of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Most of the devotees come from Madhyapradesh Chhatishgarh, Andhrapradesh including undivided Koraput District. Only the face of the Maa MajhiGhariani is worshiped. During Sunday, Wednesday and Friday a large number of devotees come to worship the Goddess. The temple is famous for Chaitra-Parba, i.e., March–April of every year.
Maa Mangla Maa Temple lies in the Raniguda area of Rayagada.it is near the hathipathar
Hatipathar is only 3 km from the district headquarters. It is a place of great scenic beauty with two waterfalls on the course of river Nagavali. The scenic beauty is impressive and the boulders here appear like huge elephants. Visitor are not welcome after heavy rains in 2006 changed the course of the Nagabali.
Gayatri Temple at MITS College: A beautiful temple with Goddess Maa Gayatri, Saraswati and Maa Majhighariani. Engineering students do meditation and pooja after their studies in the temple. Lot of devotees come to the temple regularly. A Spiritual Library is present under the temple ground floor. Lot of books on Indian culture are there.
Laxminarayan temple is at IMFA Factory, Therubali. The deities Laxminarayan, Hanuman, Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra and Lord Siva are worshiped by thousands devotees.
Paikapada is famous for so many Siva Lingams. The deities like Lord Jagannath, Maa Dhakineswar Kalika, Samudra, etc. are worshiped here. The car festival of Lord Jagannath is also celebrated. During Sivaratri a large number of pilgrims come to observe the function. The place is near Theruballi. It is believed that there are 99,99,999 shivlingams (only one less than 1 crore) in and around Paikapada shrine.
Chatikona is located about 48 km from Rayagada surrounded by a series of valleys and wooded hills of varying colours and the place is a center of pilgrimage for the temple of Mahadev. It offers picnickers gorgeous view of the waterfall. The Siva temple is the focus of hectic activities on Siva Ratri. The Dongaria Kondha of Chatikona represent the primitive section of the tribe.
Minajhola is only 134 km from Rayagada. It is a beauty spot of nature, has a siva temple at the confluence of three rivers. It is situated in the heart of dense forest, rich in wildlife. Sivaratri is a popular festival of this place. Though there is no good all-weather road yet, the place is worth visiting. Regular bus service is available from Rayagada and Gunupur up to Gudari. The rest 25 km road is Jeepable.
The Devagiri hill rises to a height of 120.2 meters. Unlike other hills it is not narrower upwards. The top of the hill is a flat platform of rectangular plain, which can be approached only from the northern side. There are 476 steps which are the unique feature of the Devagiri. At the top of the hill, there are perennial poles of water called the Ganges, Yamuna, Saraswati, Bhargavi and Indradyumna. There is a cave looking like two jaws. The Siva Lingam is enshrined at the meeting point of the jaws. Sivaratri is its biggest festival, which draws a large crowd every year. It is 50 km from Rayagada. Regular bus services are available from Rayagada to Kalyansingpur and the sacred hill is close to Kalyansingpur.
Padampur houses the shrine of Manikeswari Siva. It is identified to be the seat of Dharmakirti, the Budhist-Logician-philosopher. It is a 7th-century temple. It is 90 km from Rayagada.
Gayatri Temple at Padampur is a beautiful temple with Goddess Maa PanchMukhi-Gayatri, Maa durga and Maa Mahalakshmi.The temple is famous for Saraswati Puja Sri panchami in January–February. It is 90 km from Rayagada.
Maa Markama Temple is located at Bissam Cuttack, 40 km from Rayagada. The temple got a new look and surrounded by lush green forest. Many people visit from near and far especially on Tuesdays. The town college has also been named after Goddess Markama.
GUMA GHATI: it is about 20 km from rayagada it is souranding by dence forest n very good place to see . many citizen come here for picnik . a small water fall also here
RAYGADA KORAPUT RAILWAY LINE: the distance form rayagada to koraput is about 176 k.m . this route is full of adventure since there 36 turnels and about 250 bridges fall in this route. this route is like konkan railway route and one can see animals while this journey. the koraput distinct is situated at the height of 870 meter from the sea level.
The latest attraction of Rayagada is the Hanging Bridge File:HatiJhola.jpgthat connects the two sides of river Nagavali, which created a deep trench when it changed its flow path in 2006. The bridge resembles the Laxman Jhola of Rishikesh and is a popular tourist attraction.