Dhenkanal Princely State

By: Shibashish Mahapatra

Dhenkanal District is an administrative division of Odisha, India. Dhenkanal town itself was  the head quarter of the erstwhile Dhenkanal Princely State. Dhenkanal is notable for its famous BARA and goddess Gajalaxmi Puja. Dhenkanal Palace is the official palace of the Singhdeo Dynasty of the Dhenkanal Princely State.

In this Dhenkanal Princely State, there were numerous incidents fallen out and the Palace is the only left witness of the rich bygone days. This Palace is not only important with respect to history but also from the prospect of Art, Heritage and Culture.
Just a kilometre far from the Dhenkanal bus stand, the stands on the slopes of Paniohala hill. This is the one and only fort Palace in Odisha. The kings used to keep a vigilant eye upon the enemies and they were guarding the palace.
The then king Bhagirath Mahendra Bahadur made this Palace during the year 1850-1860. This Palace is an example of modern architect.

Singha Dwara or the entrance gate is beautiful and a perfect example of modern work and architect. The top part of the entrance hall has a room type structure that is called as Mohabbat Khana. From this place the royal musicians used to welcome the guests.

The palace of Dhenkanal Princely State also encompasses a beautiful garden. There are many mangoes trees in the garden. The garden inside the palace is well maintained and provides a pleasing view of the Paniohala hill.

The Durbari hall of this Palace has left no stone unturned in its beautification. The royal things in the Durbari hall welcomes the guests. One can find many antique and vintage things in the Durbari hall.
One can see a head of an elephant in the Durbari hall. In the Kalapani Jungle of Dhenkanal there was an angry mad elephant killed many innocent people. The then king Nrusingha Prasad killed that elephant and kept its head in the Durbari hall to showcase the power of the kings.


Another artifact is the Piano kept in the Durbari hall. Before around 200 years this Piano was gifted from a king to this royal family.
The Ranga Mahal is the place where many artists had showcased their talents. In its wall it reflects all the old memories of this Place with the portrayals of the kings who ruled here. If there is any special guests in the Palace the Ranga Mahal turns to a cultural place.

There is a small temple of Shree Ram inside the Palace. The idol of Shree Ram, Laxman and Sita gives an example of idol worship of the ancient time. Veer Hanuman has a small temple opposite to the Ram idol.

The Palace has more than one hundred rooms in it. All the rooms are well equipped with modern facilities and still holds the memory of the Singhdeo Dynasty of the Dhenkanal Princely State.

Now a part of the beautiful Palace is used as a resort. The foreign tourists travelling in and around Dhenkanal gets a chance to experience the royal service. The same rooms are upgraded to modern facilities and carries the smell of the royal Dynasty.

From its rooms there is a beautiful view of the hill. It is for those people having an eagerness to know more about the Indian royal Palaces and about the ancient kings.

The work and architect of this Palace can be experienced after a visit. It can never be described. One of the best place to visit.

The current king of Dhenkanal is Brig Kamakhya Prasad Singhdeo. He was commissioned into territorial army in 1971 and was awarded Ati Vishistha Seva Medal. He was Aide-de-camp to the President of India. He belongs to the Indian National Congress and was a member of 4th, 7th, 8th, 10th & 13th Lok Sabha of India representing Dhenkanal Constituency of Odisha. Now a days he is living a simple life with the people of Dhenkanal.

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