Bhawanipatna is a city and the headquarters of Kalahandi district in the Odisha state of India. Bhawanipatna combines ‘Ishtadev Bhavani-Shankar’ and ‘Patna,’ meaning ‘Place’ in Oriya.
The city is adorned with several temples dedicated to various Hindu deities. Bhawanipatna Municipal Corporation governs the city, which is divided into twenty wards, locally known as ‘Pada.’ Over the years, Bhawanipatna has seen the merging of communities, transforming initially diverse neighborhoods into more unified ones.
This place holds deep cultural and historical significance, with each corner resonating with past stories. The temples stand as architectural marvels and as witnesses to the shared emotions and experiences of the people who call Bhawanipatna home.
Bhawanipatna’s charm lies in its historical roots and in the unity that has evolved over the past few decades. Once divided into distinct communities, the city now stands as a symbol of harmony and togetherness.
Exploring Bhawanipatna is like embarking on a journey through time, where the echoes of prayers, laughter, and celebrations from its temples reverberate through the narrow lanes. The city’s essence lies in blending the old with the new, creating a unique tapestry of tradition and modernity.
As you navigate through the vibrant streets of Bhawanipatna, you’ll witness not only the architectural beauty of its temples but also the warmth and hospitality of its people. Each interaction here is more than just a conversation; it’s an emotional exchange that leaves a lasting impression.
In Bhawanipatna, the spirit of community is not just a concept but a way of life. The city is a testament to the strength of embracing diversity and celebrating shared heritage. It is a place where the past and present converge, creating a tapestry woven with threads of emotions, history, and unity.
Geography and Climate
Bhawanipatna is located at 19.9°N 83.17°E in the Odisha state of India, with an average elevation of 248 meters (814 feet). Nestled amidst vast mountains and plateaus, it finds itself at the heart of the eastern ghats, with mountainous terrain marking its eastern border.
A tropical, semi-arid condition characterizes the climate in Bhawanipatna. With warm to hot temperatures prevailing from March to June, the city experiences moderate temperatures throughout the year. In the scorching months of April and May, temperatures can occasionally soar above 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit). The summer brings dry and hot winds, pushing temperatures to 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). The city receives an average annual rainfall of around 1,300 millimeters (51 inches), primarily during the monsoon season from June to early October. Winters, from November to January, are mild, with temperatures occasionally dropping to a minimum of 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit).
Bhawanipatna, as the headquarters of Kalahandi district in Odisha, stands not just as a geographical location but as a place with a profound cultural and historical connection. It is home to various temples dedicated to Hindu deities, with its name derived from ‘Ishtadev Bhavani-Shankar’ and ‘Patna,’ meaning ‘Place’ in Oriya.
The Bhawanipatna Municipal Corporation, led by administrative heads, oversees the city’s governance. The city is divided into twenty wards, locally known as ‘Pada.’ Initially, these wards were inhabited by diverse communities, but over the last few decades, they have transitioned into more homogenous neighborhoods.
In Bhawanipatna, each step taken echoes the stories of the past, where the temples not only stand as architectural marvels but also as witnesses to its people’s shared emotions and experiences. The city is not just a confluence of historical roots but a celebration of unity that has evolved over time.
As you traverse the streets of Bhawanipatna, you not only witness its temples’ architectural beauty but also experience its people’s warmth and hospitality. Every interaction in this city is an emotional exchange, leaving an indelible mark on your heart.
Bhawanipatna is more than just a city; it is a living testament to the strength of embracing diversity and celebrating shared heritage. It’s a place where the past and present seamlessly converge, weaving a tapestry of emotions, history, and unity.
As per the 2011 Census of India, Bhawanipatna had a population of 69,045, or 83,756, including its suburbs. The people of children aged six years or younger was 7,407, accounting for 10.73% of the total population. Within the Bhawanipatna Municipal Corporation, the female-to-male ratio is 945 compared to the state average of 979. Additionally, the child sex ratio in Bhawanipatna, at approximately 911, surpasses the Odisha state average of 941.
Bhawanipatna boasts a literacy rate of 85.00%, exceeding the state average of 72.87%. According to the 2011 census, the male literacy rate in the city is 90.95%, while the female literacy rate is 78.72%.
Of the total population, 23,705 individuals were engaged in employment or economic activities. This workforce included 18,666 males and 5,039 females. The census defines a worker as someone involved in business, employment, service, agriculture, or other labor activities. Of the total working population, 84.55% were engaged in main work, while 15.45% were involved in marginal work.
Beyond the statistical figures, these demographics portray Bhawanipatna as a vibrant and diverse community. The numbers reflect the economic activities and the balance in gender literacy rates, emphasizing the city’s commitment to education and empowerment. Bhawanipatna’s demographic story is one of resilience, progress, and the collective spirit of its people shaping the future.
The heart of Kalahandi resonates with the rich tapestry of languages its people speak. The linguistic diversity is a testament to this region’s cultural mosaic. Among the languages spoken by the people of Kalahandi, Odia, Kalahandiya, and Sambalpuri dialects take center stage. The local weekly newspapers, such as “Arjji” and “Kalahandi Express,” publish articles in standard Odia and Kalahandi languages, serving as the community’s voice.
These linguistic expressions capture the essence of the local narratives, traditions, and daily life. Through the medium of Odia and Kalahandi, the stories of resilience, joy, and challenges find their way into the people’s hearts. The weekly publications, echoing the vibrant pulse of the community, become a bridge connecting the diverse voices of Kalahandi.
Beyond the mainstream languages, there are nuances of Bhatri (another dialect of Odia), Parji, and Bhunjia. These languages, spoken by approximately 7,000 Bhunjia tribals, add unique melodies to the linguistic symphony of Kalahandi. Each word becomes a brushstroke, painting a vivid picture of the cultural richness that thrives in this land.
In the linguistic kaleidoscope of Kalahandi, words are not just spoken; they are infused with emotions, carrying the stories of generations. The languages spoken here are not mere communication tools; they have heritage, identity, and the soulful expressions of the people who call Kalahandi their home.
In Bhawanipatna’s political landscape, the current representative for the Vidhan Sabha constituency is Pradeep Kumar Naik from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). His victory in the 2019 state legislative elections marked a significant moment for the region.
The political narrative of this constituency unfolds through a series of leaders who have left their imprint on the pages of history. With his triumph in 2019, Pradeep Kumar Naik follows in the footsteps of Anam Naik from the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), who secured the seat in 2014. Before her, Dushmant Kumar Naik of the Congress party held the position in 2009.
The political journey of Bhawanipatna has witnessed leaders like Pradeep Kumar Nayak from the BJP, who dominated the scene in 1995, 2000, and 2004. Ajit Das from the Janata Dal won in 1990, while Bhaktacharan Das from the Janata Dal in 1985. Dayanidhi Naik, associated with the Congress (I), made his mark in 1980 and 1977.
In the current scenario, the torchbearer of political responsibilities is in the hands of Basant Kumar Panda, succeeding Arka Keshari Deo, the descendant of Maharaja Pratap Keshari Deo of Kalahandi.
The political landscape of Bhawanipatna is not just a sequence of elections; it is a narrative of leaders who have steered the region through various epochs. Each name etched in the political history of Bhawanipatna is a chapter in the story of a community’s aspirations, struggles, and triumphs. The transitions in political leadership reflect the evolving dynamics and the hopes that the people pin on their representatives to shape a brighter future for Bhawanipatna.
In the picturesque Kalahandi district of Odisha, two enchanting temples dedicated to Goddess Manikeswari stand as spiritual beacons: one in the heart of Bhawanipatna and the other in Thuamul Rampur. The main deity of these temples is Goddess Manikeswari, and the main devotees hail from the Machhua community. A ritualistic animal sacrifice takes place in this temple during the Durga Puja festival, especially during the Chhatra Jatra. It’s a festival where thousands gather in the city to seek blessings from their beloved goddess.
A notable natural attraction in the region is the Furli Jharan, a majestic waterfall approximately 30 feet (9 meters) tall. The evergreen forests surrounding it offer ample opportunities for picnickers to immerse themselves in nature. Another waterfall, Rabandara, stands at a height of about 13 feet (4 meters). Other waterfalls in the area include Sospadar Waterfall and Gadagada Twin Waterfall.
The Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary, nestled in the Kalahandi district, is a popular tourist attraction in Odisha. Spread over 255 square kilometers (98 square miles), this sanctuary is situated within the Eastern Highlands’ Nameri Parnapati forest area. It features a mix of deciduous forests and grasslands, providing a habitat for various wildlife species such as tigers, leopards, elephants, gaurs, sambars, spotted deer, and different birds and reptiles. The sanctuary also holds substantial reserves of high-value minerals like bauxite and manganese.
The District Museum in Bhawanipatna showcases the ancient history of the Kalahandi region, exhibiting artifacts, inscriptions, paintings, and rare historical items like Pandulipi (palm-leaf manuscripts), old coins, and Gudahandi paintings.
Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary (Odia: କର୍ଲାପାଟ ବନ୍ୟଜୀବ ଅଭୟାରଣ୍ୟ; Hindi: कार्लापट) is located in the Kalahandi district and is a popular tourist attraction in Odisha. It is situated within the Nameri Parnapati forest area of the Eastern Highlands, comprising mixed Parnapati forests and patches of grasslands. The sanctuary has several wildlife species, including tigers, leopards, elephants, gaurs, sambars, barking deer, and various birds and reptiles. It also houses rich mineral deposits such as bauxite and manganese.
Pheromone Point, situated atop a great mountain plateau, serves as a picnic spot and an observation point for the valley below. One can witness half of the Kalahandi district, including the Junagarh and Kalampur blocks. The name derives from the fact that anyone can receive signals from all mobile communication services.
These tourist attractions offer scenic beauty and a connection to Kalahandi’s cultural and natural heritage. Each place, whether a temple, waterfall, wildlife sanctuary, or museum, contributes to the emotional landscape of the region, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the diverse tapestry of Kalahandi’s beauty and history.
Media and Broadcasting
Doordarshan Kendra (DD-6)
Doordarshan Kendra (DD-6) began its journey on February 15, 1987, as a low-power transmission station, and on January 20, 1992, it was upgraded to High Power Transmission (HPT). This 10-kilowatt capacity station is one of the three Doordarshan centers in the region, serving the Odisha state, particularly Sambalpur and Bhubaneswar. The studio was inaugurated on September 3, 2002.
In 2004, the station initiated the broadcast of agriculture-related programs sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture. It also started broadcasting agriculture programs in various HPT centers in the KBK region. In addition to entertainment and awareness-building programs, the center has produced programs promoting tribal heritage, culture, and drama. From 2005 to 2009, the center received ten national awards and five nominations for its paid programs.
All India Radio (Akashvani Bhawanipatna 103 FM)
All India Radio (Akashvani Bhawanipatna) was inaugurated on December 30, 1993, on the city’s outskirts near Naktiguda. It has two 100-kilowatt transmitters located in Belamal near Pasticudi. The transmission frequency is 1206 kHz (248 MT) and has two studios.
The station has prepared original programs targeting different audiences, including rural communities, women, children, youth, senior citizens, and light and classical music and film enthusiasts. Programs are broadcast in Odia, Hindi, and English, reaching approximately 1,866,000 people in Kalahandi, Nuapada, and surrounding districts. Recently, FM services have been initiated on the 103 Megahertz frequency on AIR stations.
This station is not only popular in its primary area (Kalahandi and Nuapada districts) but also has a significant audience from Bolangir, Sonepur, Phulbani, Bargarh, Nawrangpur, Rayagada districts of Odisha, and Rayagada districts of Chhattisgarh. Additionally, it serves communities under the KBK plan of the Indian government.
Durga Puja (or Dashara) is a Hindu festival celebrated throughout India, but it holds immense popularity in eastern India, including Odisha, West Bengal, and Assam. Numerous significant festivals, such as Chhatar Jatara, Kakandabasha, and Budharaja Jatara, are observed during Durga Puja. In Kalahandi, the primary goddesses – including Manikeshwari, Lankeshwari, Danteshwari, Khameshwari, and Bhandargharein – are revered as representations of Goddess Durga. Locally, they are known as embodiments of Shakti (‘energy’) and are rooted in tribal traditions.
Nuakhai, a local festival predominantly celebrated in Kalahandi and western Odisha, is inspired by harvesting new crops. It has historical significance and originated from tribal cultures. Nuakhai comes in various forms, with the ‘Dhan’ (rice) Nuakhai being the most widely celebrated. Now, people of all castes, communities, and religions participate in its festivities.
Deepawali (or Diwali) is celebrated in Kalahandi as well. It is gaining popularity, mainly due to the presence of migrant Marwari communities. The festival of lights brings people together, transcending caste, creed, and religion.
The Chhatra Yatra of Goddess Manikeshwari in Bhawanipatna is a popular event held in October. It is a grand celebration that captivates the local community.
Kalahandi Utsav, showcasing the traditional “Ghumura” dance form, is organized at Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium. The festival is a vibrant expression of cultural richness, bringing people together to celebrate their heritage.
- Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium stands tall, not just in size but in Odisha’s sports enthusiasts’ hearts. Formerly a cinema hall near Bhawani Talkies, this stadium has hosted various matches, including the Ranji Trophy and the Kalahandi Cup. Maintained by the Kalahandi District Athletic Association, it’s not just a cricket ground; it’s a hub for football, karate, and various athletic training sessions. The stadium also houses multiple tennis courts, making it a vibrant arena for sports lovers.
- Right next to it is the Indoor Stadium for badminton enthusiasts, adding an extra layer of excitement for those who seek indoor sports thrills.
- The Reserve Police Stadium, the home ground of the Odisha Police, is not just a field; it’s a battleground where discipline, strength, and passion come together. It’s a place where the uniformed heroes showcase their skills and resilience.
- The Government Autonomous College Field in Bhawanipatna is more than just a field; it’s a sprawling expanse where dreams are nurtured. A place where aspiring athletes train, learn, and grow, this field symbolizes the spirit of sportsmanship.
- The city’s DIET Field (District Institute of Education and Training) is more than just a playing ground. It’s a canvas where different sports depict teamwork, dedication, and victories. From club cricket to volleyball and football, this field echoes the cheers of accomplishments and resilience in defeat.
• Once upon a time, Bhawani Talkies, with its UFО technology, was the heartbeat of the city—a cinema hall that echoed with laughter, tears, and the magic of movies. (Now closed) [Till when?]
• Satyam Cinema is the city’s grandest cinema hall, proudly boasting UFO technology and Dolby Digital Sound. It’s not just a theatre; it’s an immersive experience where every frame tells a story, and every sound is a symphony.
• New Star Cineplex, a majestic multiplex with four screens and the prowess of #3D technology, stands tall as the largest in South-West Odisha (KBK-South Odisha). Nestled near the Omfed Plant on NH-16, Raipur Road, Bhangabadi, Bhawanipatna, it’s not just a cinema destination; it’s an entertainment sanctuary.
• Bhagirathi Mall is the pride of Bhawanipatna, where cinema meets shopping extravagance. Multiplex-4 screens in 3D, located near NH-26 Junagarh Road, Bhawanipatna, it’s not just a mall; it’s a rendezvous of dreams and desires.
Parks and Gardens
• Bhagirathi Park, near the Shirdi Sai Temple on NH-44, is not just greenery; it’s a sanctuary of tranquility where nature unfolds its beauty.
• Gandhi Pramod Udyan, located near Statue Square, is not just a park; it’s a canvas where families paint memories, and laughter echoes through the air.
• Parisarhitik Park, one of the oldest parks, standing proudly on NH-26 on the city’s outskirts, is not just a recreational spot; it’s a time capsule where generations have played, bonded, and reveled in the beauty of nature.
Education Hub: Nurturing Minds and Dreams
- Agriculture College, Bhawanipatna
- Government College of Engineering, Kalahandi, Bhawanipatna
- Government Polytechnic College, Bhawanipatna
- Adhyapak Shiksha Mahavidyalay, Bhawanipatna
- Kalahandi University, Bhawanipatna
- Binayak Residential College, Bhawanipatna
- Government Women’s College, Bhawanipatna
- Jayaprakash Sandhya Mahavidyalaya, Bhawanipatna
- Pragati Degree College, Bhawanipatna
- Saraswati Degree College, Bhawanipatna
- Shastriji Science College, Bhawanipatna
- Kendriya Vidyalaya Bhawanipatna
- High-Tech Public School Bhawanipatna
- Citizens Model English Medium Academy, Bhawanipatna
- BM High School
- Municipal Government High School
- Delhi Public Kids and Primary School, Bhawanipatna
- Vimala Convent School
- Manikeshwari High School
- Saraswati Shishu Vidya Mandir
- Satya Sai Vidya Mandir
- Shastriji Model School (English Medium)
- Shastriji Siksha Niketan (Odia Medium)
- NICE (National Institute of Computer Education)
In the heart of Kalahandi, where the sun kisses the soil, education thrives, and dreams take flight. From the rustic corridors of agriculture wisdom to the cutting-edge labs of engineering marvels, our institutions are more than buildings; they are the crucibles of knowledge, sculpting future leaders, innovators, and creators.
The canvas of Bhawanipatna is painted with colleges like Binayak and Government Women’s College, each stroke an ode to empowerment. At Jayaprakash Sandhya Mahavidyalaya, knowledge dances in the air, and at Saraswati Degree College, intellect finds its sanctuary.
Schools like Kendriya Vidyalaya and Shastriji Model School are not just institutions but sanctuaries of wisdom where curious minds find their wings. Vimala Convent and Manikeshwari High School are more than just buildings; they are homes where values are imparted.
And as the fingers dance on the keys of NICE, the National Institute of Computer Education, the youth are not just learning; they are gearing up to shape the digital tomorrow.
In Bhawanipatna, education isn’t just a syllabus; it’s the heartbeat of aspirations, the rhythm of progress, and the melody of dreams.
Healthcare Oasis: Nurturing Lives in Bhawanipatna
In the heart of Bhawanipatna, a haven of healthcare thrives, embracing the city and its people with warmth and compassion. The pulse of this healthcare hub beats strong, echoing through the corridors of medical knowledge and the comforting walls of hospitals.
At the heart of the city lies the District Headquarters Hospital, a healthcare fortress catering to the town’s medical needs and its outskirts. The hospital is a beacon of hope, with various wards tailored for different ailments. A new 6-story hospital building is currently under construction, promising advanced healthcare facilities for the future.
Sardar Patel Medical College, Hospital, and Research Centre (SRMCH) stands proudly, 17 km from Bhawanipatna on NH-26, a medical education and care beacon. The establishment, backed by WODC and the Odisha government, once housed a medical college. However, it is now entangled in a legal battle with the Silvian Trust as medical students continue their fight for justice.
Mother Manikeswari Multispeciality Hospital, formerly known as Life Worth Hospital, was founded in 2004 near Ghodaghat Chowk (SH-16). Offering emergency services during crises has been a lifeline for the people of Bhawanipatna.
Recently, the state government announced the establishment of a government medical college in Kalahandi. In collaboration with Vedanta Group, this endeavor aims to bolster healthcare in the region with a new medical college and a 500-bed hospital in Bhawanipatna.
Health meets care in the intimate spaces of Balaji Nursing Home, Surakhya Nursing Home, and Jagannath Netralaya Eye Hospital. These nursing homes, scattered around the city, are not just medical institutions; they are sanctuaries where healing is an art, and each patient is a cherished story.
In the heart of this healthcare canvas, Bhawanipatna isn’t just a city; it’s a promise of well-being, a testament to resilience, and a sanctuary where health meets heart.
Connecting Hearts and Horizons: Bhawanipatna’s Transportation Tapestry
The whisper of wings graces Bhawanipatna’s skyline, courtesy of the Utkela Airstrip (VEUK), located 22 km away. Under the wings of Air Odisha, this aerial marvel was set to unfurl its charm with daily flights to the state capital, Bhubaneswar, as part of the Civil Aviation Ministry’s Udan scheme in August 2023.
Further away, the Lanjigarh Airstrip (58 km) caters to VIPs and charter flights, painting the sky with tales of journeys beyond. At the same time, Swami Vivekananda Airport in Raipur, Chhattisgarh (262 km), and Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar (631 km by rail) stand as nearby aviation hubs connecting Bhawanipatna to the broader world.
Bhawanipatna’s railway station, inaugurated on August 12, 2012, nestles on the Lanjigarh-Junagarh rail line. Presently, three trains (1 express and two passenger trains) chug from Bhawanipatna to Bhubaneswar, Raipur, and Sambalpur. Kisinga Railway Station further binds the city to major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Surat.
Bhawanipatna’s roads are threads weaving into the fabric of neighboring cities:
- NH-26 (Bargarh – Bolangir – Bhawanipatna – Nabarangpur – Koraput – Vijayanagaram – Nativalsa)
- SH-16 (Bhawanipatna – Borada – Khariar – Raipur)
- SH-6 (Bhawanipatna – Chatiguda – Ambodala – Muniguda)
- SH-44 (Bhawanipatna – Gunupur – Thuamul Rampur – Kashipur – Tikri)
The bustling Bhawanipatna Bus Stand, one of Odisha’s largest, resonates with life as private and government buses embark on journeys connecting the city to various destinations. The Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) operates government buses to Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam, Sambalpur, Berhampur, Cuttack, and Jeypore. Private buses, including AC sleeper coaches, extend their services to nearby cities like Raipur and Durg.
Power and Transmission
Close to the Omfed Dairy on SH-16 lies a 132/33 kV grid station, drawing power from the Theurabali grid. The Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL) oversees the management and maintenance of this grid. A substation in Nakateguda also contributes to the electricity supply, ensuring the city stays illuminated and thriving.
In the rhythmic dance of transport modes, Bhawanipatna isn’t just a city; it’s a crossroads of dreams and destinations. It’s where the skies, rails, and roads converge, etching stories of connections and journeys into the tapestry of this vibrant city.