KEONJHAR (Princely State)

AREA: 8,332.03 kmē PRIVY PURSE: Rs 111,500 ACCESSION: 1st January 1948
STATE: Orissa DYNASTY: Kachhawa (Bhanja) RELIGION: Hindu
AGENCY: Eastern States Agency POPULATION: 460,609 (1941) REVENUE: Rs 15,05,415 (1940)

PRESENT RULER: Raja Shri ANANT NARAYAN BHANJA Deo, present Raja Saheb of Keonjhar
married and has issue.
  • Tikka Dhananjay Narayan Bhanja Deo, he married Rajkumari Sunandini Kumari, daughter of Raja Veer Vikram, 78th and present Raja of Keonthal, and his wife, Rani Vijay Jyoti Kumari.
  • Rajkumar Janmejay Narayan Bhanja Deo
PREDECESSORS AND SHORT HISTORY: Founded sometime in the first half of the 12th century, the founder being Jati Singh (Jyoti Bhanj), brother of Adi Singh (Adi Bhanj), founder of the state of Mayurbhanj (#2), a slightly different version goes like this:- "Jai Singh, a son of Man Singh, the Maharaja of Jaipur in Rajputana, came to visit the shrine of Jagannath in Puri. He married Padmavati, the daughter of the Gajapati King of Puri, Pratapendra Deb, and received as her dowry the State of Hariharpur, which then comprised the two States of Moharbhanj and Keunjhar. Two sons were born to him, the elder of whom was named Adi Singh and the younger Joti Singh. In mauza Rarua in kila Hariharpur, there was a petty Zamindar named Mayura Dhwaja in possession of five pirs. He was conquered by Prince Adi Singh, and deprived of his Zamindari. The Gajapati King of Puri, hearing of the success of Prince Adi Singh, conferred on him the title of Bhanj." The Maharaja maintains a military force of 2949 infantry and 32 guns (as of 1892). Rulers were...
    Raja GOVIND BHANJ, Raja of Keonjhar fl.1480

  1. Raja JAGANNATH BHANJ, 35th Raja of Keonjhar 1688/1700

  2. Raja RAGHUNATH BHANJ, 36th Raja of Keonjhar 1700/1719

  3. Raja GOPINATH BHANJ, 37th Raja of Keonjhar 1719/1736

  4. Raja NARSINGH NARAYAN BHANJ, 38th Raja of Keonjhar 1736/1757, married and had issue.
    • Raja Daneshwar Narayan Bhanj (qv)
    • [?Raja Chakradhar Bhanj, adopted by Raja Raghunath Bhanj of Mayurbhanj]

  5. Raja DANESHWAR NARAYAN BHANJ, 39th Raja of Keonjhar 1757/1758

  6. Raja JAGATESHWAR NARAYAN BHANJ, 40th Raja of Keonjhar 1758/1762

  7. Raja PRATAP BALBHADRA BHANJ, 41st Raja of Keonjhar 1764/1792 or 1762/1797, married and had issue.
    • Raja Janardhan Bhanj (qv)
    • Raja Tribikram Bhanj, adopted by the Raja of Mayurbhanj.

  8. Raja JANARDAN BHANJ, 42nd Raja of Keonjhar 1794/1825 or 1797/1832, he received the estate of Pal-Lahara as his wife's dowry, but the people there objected to his succession and Pal-Lahara subsequently became independent, married 1794, Rani Krishnapriya, died 1825, daughter of Raja Munipal of Pal-Lahara, and had issue.
    • Raja Bisheswar Bhanj Deo (qv)

  9. Raja BISHESWAR BHANJ Deo, ?43rd Raja of Keonjhar 1831/1838, married and had issue.
    • Raja Gadadhar Narayan Bhanj Deo (qv)

  10. Raja GADADHAR NARAYAN BHANJ Deo, 43rd Raja of Keonjhar 1825/1861 or 1832/1861 or 1838/1861, maternal nephew of the Raja of Porahat, he expolited the local people, the Bhuyans and Juangas, forcing them to work without wages which was the cause of the Ratna Nayak rebellion which broke out after his death; he was a poet and authored Labanya Rasamruta Laharee and Rasamuktabalee; married (a), Senior Rani Bishnupriya, married (b), Junior Rani Kamala Devi, daughter of Kunwar Ajambar Singh of Seraikella, and had adoptive issue, as well as natural issue. He died spl on 22nd March 1861.
    • (A) Kumar Brundaban Bhanj Deo, younger brother of the Raja of Mayurbhanj, he was adopted by Rani Bishnupriya, as the intended successor, but he was not recognized as such by the British Authorities.
    • (A) Maharaja Dhanurjai Narayan Bhanj Deo, adopted by Rani Kamala Devi (qv)

  11. Maharaja DHANURJAI NARAYAN BHANJ Deo, 36th or 44th Raja of Keonjhar 1861/1905, born 27th July 1849, he succeeded to the gadi on 4th September 1861 (#1), he was formally confirmed in the title of Raja as a hereditary distinction in 1874 and the title of Maharaja was granted on 1st January 1877 as a personal distinction, another Bhuyan revolt broke out in 1891, for much the same reasons as before, the rebels captured the Palace forcing the Raja to flee, help was sought from the British authorities who quickly caught the rebel leader and sentenced him to seven years jail, the Raja was deposed, but he was restored some time afterwards after appealing, though he remained under British supervision; married and had issue, three sons. He died 27th October 1905 (#4 p.215).
    • Raja Gopinath Narayan Bhanj Deo (qv)
    • Routrai Saheb Basudev Bhanj Deo, married and had issue, two sons.
      • Kumar Janardan Bhanj Deo, educated at Rajkumar College, Raipur; Staff Officer of the Personal Staff of the Raja Saheb, he entered politics after the merger of the Princely States into the Republic of India; M.L.A. (Orissa) 1952/1965 (three terms); interests were Reading, Sports, Shooting and Horse riding; married Kumari Sarada Sundari Devi, and had issue, one son and two daughters. He died 1st May 1965.
      • Kumar Radheshyam Bhanj Deo, a mine owner, married and had issue, three sons.
        • Kumar Prasanta Bhanjdeo, married and has issue.
          • Kumar Mukesh Kumar Bhanjdeo
        • Kumar Pratap Bhanjdeo
        • Kumar Pradyumna Bhanjdeo

  12. Raja GOPINATH NARAYAN BHANJ Deo, 45th Raja of Keonjhar [27.10.1905] - [12.8.1926], born 3rd February 1883, he succeeded to the gadi on 27th October 1905 (#4 p.215), the next year he was certified as mad for offering a pregnant womas as a sacrifice to the goddess, Danda Devi, and was removed from authority and the state was administered by State Superintendent McMillan; married and had issue. He died 12th August 1926.
    • Raja Shri Balbhadra Narayan Bhanja Deo (qv)
    • Chotrai Saheb Shri Laxmi Narayan Bhanj Deo M.A., born 25th July 1912, educated at Rajkumar College, Raipur; M.L.A. (Orissa) 1946/1957 (two terms); Member of the Lok Sabha; Development Commissioner, Keonjhar; Revenue Minister, Keonjhar (xx.8.1945) - (xx.6.1947); Chief Minister, Keonjhar in 1947 (June to December); Nominated Member, Orissa Legislative Assembly 19491952; Member, Orissa State Red Cross Society; Member, Nrutya Natyakala Parishad, Orissa; Member of Senate, Utkal University since its inception till February 1948; an Elected Fellow from Registered Graduates Constituency till 1952; Fellow, Royal Economic Society and Royal Society of Arts, London; Member, South Club, Calcutta; National Sports Club, New Delhi; and Gymkhana Club, New Delhi; interests were Shikar and Photography, Motoring and Travel; married Akhand Saubhagyavati Shrimant Preemlatika Raje, and had issue, one son and three daughters. He died 9th July 1986.
      • Raja Shri Anant Narayan Bhanja Deo (qv)
    • Rajkumari Lakshmi Priya Devi, married 1923 (as his first wife), Raja Kishor Chandra Deo Samant of Athmalik. She died 1927.

  13. Raja Shri BALBHADRA NARAYAN BHANJA Deo, 46th Raja of Keonjhar [12.8.1926] - [19xx], born 26th December 1905 (#4 p.216) and succeeded to the gadi on 12th August 1926 (#3), and was granted ruling powers in 1929; educated at Rajkumar College, Raipur; during his rule, he established Gibson High School in Keonjhargarh in 1934 and Balabhadra Narayana High School in Anandpur in 1944 as well as the Residential School for Bhuyans at Suakati; married in June 1929, Rani Sahiba Shrimati Manoj Manjari Devi, daughter of Raja Sriram Chandra Singh Deo of Kharsawan, and his wife, Rani Giriraj Devi, and had issue, one son and one daughter.
    • Raja Shri Nrusingh Narayan Bhanj Deo (qv)
    • Rani Swarna Prabha Manjari Devi, married Raja Prasanna Chandra Deo, Raja Saheb of Jarada, second son of Raja Hrudaya Chandra Dev Birabar Harichandan Mahapatra of Talcher, and had issue, three daughters and two sons. She died 2005.

  14. Raja Shri NRUSINGH NARAYAN BHANJ Deo, 47th Raja of Keonjhar fl.1970, married (div.), a daughter of HH Thakore Saheb Shri Pradyumansinhji Lakhajirajsinhji of Rajkot, and his wife, HH Thakorani Padma Kunverba Sahiba, no issue. He died after 1970.

  15. Raja Shri ANANT NARAYAN BHANJA Deo, 48th Raja of Keonjhar (see above)
1. "The Golden Book of India"; LETHBRIDGE, Roper, MacMillan & Co., 1893 , p.242
2. S. N. Sarkar in "Maharaja Sri Ram Chandra Bhanj Deo" gives the following as the origin of the state, Jai Singh, a relative of the ruler of Jaipur, came to Puri with his two sons, defeating the local chief named Mayurdhwaja, and was succeeded in Mayurbhanj by his elder son, and in Keonjhar by his younger son. This occurred in 618AD.
3. "Indian Annual Register" ; N. N. Nitra, Calcutta 1945
4. "Memoranda on Native States in India, 1907" Vol. 1, Calcutta, Superintendent Government Printing, India. 1908