About the District

This district was carved out as district from the undivided Koraput district on 2nd Oct, 1992. The administrative headquarters of this district is Malkangiri town. Malkangiri is the new home of the Bangladeshi refugees, who were rehabilitated since 1965 under the Dandakaranya project. Also some Sri Lankan Tamil refugees were rehabilitated in Malkangiri town, following the armed struggle of LTTE in the early 90's (most of them have returned, baring a couple of house holds). Currently it is one of the most naxalite-affected areas of the state.

Geography of the District

Some of the most beautiful locations are, the back waters of Balimela Dam, Satiguda Dam, Bonda Ghati (abode of the Bonda people, a primitive tribe).


According to the 2011 census Malkangiri district has a population of 612,727,[2] roughly equal to the nation of Solomon Islands[3] or the US state of Vermont.[4] This gives it a ranking of 523rd in India (out of a total of 640).[2] The district has a population density of 106 inhabitants per square kilometre (270 /sq mi) . Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 21.53 %. Malkangiri has a sex ratio of 1016 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 49.49 %.


In Malkangiri district there is a mixed kind of festivals found throughout the district. Shivaratri, Holi and Ratha Yatra are amoung the other chief festivals of the Hindus of common people of Malkangiri District. Apart from these festivals that are celebrated in Malkangiri, there are few festivals which is celebrated by the particular people in different parts of Malkangiri district. Every year on the full moon day of Phalgun a great festivals is celebrated by the Harichand Baba and NaraNarayan Sevashram for three days. This is a great festivals for Bengalies on the bank of Potteru. Besides this another festival also takes place by the Kashi Krishana Ashram in the village of M.V.-7. On the Magha Purnima day, there is "Asta Prahari Nama Yagnya" by the bengalies in the Goura Gobinda Ashram at M.V.-3. This attracts large number of gatherings. Free food and accomodation were arranged for the devoties and visitors throughout the festival. In these Yatra one can find the traditional shade of the people of the Bengal. Apart from these festivals " Bada Yatra" is celebrated by the tribes with full cheer and enthuziagum, and is the major festival of Malkangiri district which is celebrated every alternate year.

Bada Yatra

The "Badajatra" of Malkangiri has been celebrated since time immemorialand it has no historical records. Just like other pujas, this puja is based on legends, folktales and people's belief. Primerily the "Kanamraju, Potraju and Balraju, worshiped by Koya Tribe, has been linked with Lord Krishna, Bhima and Arjun. From this pint of view the main source of this Jatra has ben related either to the Mohabharata or to the killing of Jarasandha in Bhagavata. This Badajatra has been celebrated by the premitive tribal community such as Koya and Dravid. Koya belong to Ganda community and they treat and they treat Bhima as their forefather. This Jatra is celebrated every two years. Whatever may be the fact, the worship of KanbamRaju PotaRaju and BalRaju, the three mysterious diety, has been celebrated with traditional method Accoring to that stricture the celebrations of this Jatra and method of worship isdone through two phases. First Phase - Before one month of the commencement of this Jatra that is on the first Wednesday after the Magh Purnima a group of people from the Marali temple of Malkangiri set out to Manmkonda to build the dieties and to do other relevent work. It is a group often reach Manamkonda on Monday via Gurakunta, Kachhalwada, Gumuka, Kangur Konda, Kalimela and Pindikonda. During their ourney the villagers of Dariguda, Pananaguda, Dadimetla, Mandapali, Kangurkonda and Pindikonda give goats for killing. The potters of Pitarkata donate four big earthen tubs and the blacksmith of kutbanpali donate iron rings for the dieties. At Manyamkonda two priests join and the function of the Jatra begins. Balsa chhapar - A temporary camp made of palm leaves is called Balsa. This Balsa is made by the people going from Malkangiri on the otherside of Mutya lamma temple. In this Balsa dieties are set up and preliminary worship is performed. Telapeda - They collect the different materials and oil for the puja BaunsMara of the dieties. After Balsa chhapar on wednesday the priests set out for collection bambo from the jungle of Sadbanpalli. They find three bambo shoolings at a certain place from the side of a hill in the jungle. The priests take bath in the Bandrai or Pandab kunda. Band means rock and Rai means tania. Later on this Bandrai became Pendudhar and now is now is known Pandrai. Legend tells the Pandavas during their exile stayedon this rock and some people call this kunda as Draupadi kunda as Draupadi took bath in it. There are Sita kunda and Amma kunda in Bonda Hill. The priests after their bath in this kunda, they kill a black cock an d a goat cut the bambo shooting with a new knief, they cover the shootings with piece of new cloth and come to Manyamkonda. This work is called Baunsmana which means bambo cutting. Dangamara- After the collection of Bambo shooting the people of Poluru and Dupenkonda cut a big tree and make a boat out of it.They focus this new of with the old one. They placethe three dieties on these baat abd criss tge Sileru or Silariver, Jalachira. Putting the peacock feather in hot water and tearing them upis called the Jalachira. Previously Peacock came at the attraction of thrown rice offered at the puja and leave their feathers. But when they donot come,"Bagrala" a man in the guise of peacock,dances to attract the peacock. People catch the peacock and collect their feathers. Then it is put in hot water to clean them and after the dieties are decorated with the feathers. Pratima Nirman (Making the idols)- It starts on the eleventh day making of idol is done daily one. Bambo shootings are cut and arranged lengthwise. The longst one isfor Kanam Raju, shorter one is for PotaRaju and shortest on is for Bal Raju. Days for making the idols of Kanam raju, PataRaju and BalaRaju and Saturday, Sunday and Monday are respectively. The work starts from morning till noon. The news of making the idols is sent to the Mauli temple of Malkangiri on Tuesday. Bali Bhata - Bali bhata is cooked at Kalia Bhatta in Malkangiri at the Midnight of Tuesday. The blood of a killed goat is mixed with the rice and scatteded in the village. This is done to please the ghosts to escape from their evil eyes. After this second phase of the festival begins. Second phase - After the Balibhata in the Second phase the dieties are taken from Malkangiri to Manyamkonda via Gumuka, Kalimela. After that the diesties are taken to the village Polaru. There they cross the river and the new diesties are bathed in the Tadaka Tutha. After that they are back to Poleru village at Monday night. The villagers welcome the dieties with song and dance and it continues all night. On Tuesday the three dieties are back to Manyamkonda and meet Mutyalamma, the goddess Durga. Bali is offered to Durga and annabhog is given at midnight. The bhog is prepared with covered mouth. On wednesday the dieties set out to Malkangri via Kalimela, Shikapali and Tamasa and on Saturday they reach Malkangiri. The programmes of the Badajatra is a follows.

1st day - Journey to Manyamkonda and First annabhog there.
2nd day - Journey to Kalimela via Gubleru and halt.
3rd day - Journey to Kangurukonda and halt.
4th day - Halt in the morning at Poteru, Day time halt at Shikapalli and in the evening at Tamasa.
5th day - Journey to Kanya Majhi Bandha at Malkangiri in the morning and journey to Mandia Bhatta in the evening and halt.
6th day - Journey to Mauli temple from Mandi Bhatta and halt.
7th day - Journey to Mauli temple yard and halt.
8th day - Last Anna bhog at midnight.
9th day - seeing the dieties off in the moring. Badjatra being the most famous and import and festival of thsi area attracts lots of people.

Culture, Art & Craft

Accoring to the cultue and tradition of tribal people have the entertaintment programmes of Dance and songs. The chief attraction is the evening dance and songs. Though tribal people talk in the own language at home, they use regional language in the market places.
All the tribe adopt music as one of the chief items of amusement and during peak festival season it becomes their main occupation.They are very fond of music and a varity of crude instruments, stringed, and percussive are in use. Women sing in chorus when working in the fields, and men and boys while away in the lonely hours of watching cattle by warbling to themselves plaintive melodies on bamboo flutes or twanging a two stringed mandolin provided with a dried gound for a sounding board. Dancing is however, the dirversion of which all men and women alike are most passionately fond. In time of festivals dancing parties begin at nightfall, last whole night and continue even through the following day. Each tribe has its own particulr dance. The best efforts of the Kondhs are clumsy beside those of some of the tribes. Tribes like Bondas, Gadabas, Kondhs and Koyas have their own distinctive music and musical instruments. The preparation and manipulation of some of these instruments are done with such skill that, exteremely simple though they are, it becomes almost impossible to emulate them. In each tribe different type of music are prescribed for different seasons and different occasions.
On the whole, the Bondas keep their own rules fairly well. they observe the taboos on incest or adultery and their religious obligations with such fidelity that the few exceptions are long remembered. The Bonda spent a great deal of time on their religion and its feasts and holidays are an important part of Bonda life which can hardly be understood apart from them.Cetrain features are common to every festival. The religious occusions are real festivals and holidays; dancing accompanies each festival and there are some relaxation of rules which forbid men and women of the same village to dance together. At every festival there is a routine worship or placeation of every demigod and demon in the calendar. The chief festival amoung the Kondh is the Kedu festival which was once associated with human sacrifice. At present a buffalo is sacrificied in place of the human victim.
Hunting is one of the people's favourite recreations. In the hot season and especially in the month of "Chaitra", when all the world makes holiday, organized beats are held in which all the men and boys of the village take part, armed with bows and arrows, axes or spears and occasionally with matchlocks and slay any live things, irrespective of age or sex, which they may meet in the forest. Such expeditions, as a matter of course, culminate in a feast and earouse inthe village.
The Koyas have an interesting dance i which the men tie buffalo or bison horns on their heads and engage in mimic fight; their women also dance prettily in a ring with their hands in each other's shoulder.
At a Parojas dance all the girls and the younger married women of the village form themselves into a chain, each maiden passing her right hand behind the next girls back and grasping the left elbow of the third. The girls arrange themselves carefuly according to size, the youngest, who are generally nine and ten years old, at one end and at other the leader of the crops de ballet who carries a boton of pecocks feathers in her right hand to mark the time. Three or four men take their stand in the middle of the dancing floor and strike up song which they accompany on their mandolins while the long chain of girls linked together and moving in perfect time, follow the leader with her, swaying baton, through an intricate searies of sinuous lines, curvest spirals, figures-of-eight and then unnavel themselves back into line again.The chain of comenly young maidens dressed in their hair neatly oiled and decked with flowers and all in the height of good humor is a picturesque and pleasing sight.

Dance & Songs

The dances of the Gadabas are simpler but no les spirited. The chain of girls, alldressed exactly alike in their red, white and blue striped sarees reaching barely halfway to the knee, and with their feet loaded with heavy chased brass anklets which they clink together in time, swings around in a circle to the accompaninet of muffled drums.The girls chant together in unison as they go around, and the time gets ever quicker and quicker, their steps longer and longer, but still perfect steps is kept until the chain breaks or the leader is exhausted.

Under the guidence of the director dances and songs were performed in the regional language. Many entertainment and cultural programmes were organised by the officials working in Dandakaranya Project. Public Relation Officers of Dandakarnya Project arranged film shows in villages. At the eneavour of the local people teachers and Government official dramas were shown in the recreation centre of District Hqrs. The Kalamandap is used for entertainment programmes. The Sakhi Dance of Ganjam was also practiced here for some time. Dashera and Kalipuja are celebrated here with much enthusiasm. During puja Bengali Opera and dramas played. At Balimela under the sponshorship Gopabandhu Cultural centre and Tamasa Art centre cultural programmes are also held. Tribal folk songs are also relayed by Jeypore Akashbani centre. Rajesh Hanshada of Anglo vaidic School at M.V.-2 participated in the Bankok Asiad Sports in Archary.

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