The history of Kendrapara is not only replete with a rich heritage but also marked by a plethora of events having far reaching consequences . The presiding deity of this land is Shri Baladev Jew and this place owes its name to the mythological anecdote on ‘Kandarasura’ . Notwithstanding this , the place is surrounded by a cluster of villages and Kendrapara being the village centre, earns the name as central village as is viewed by many learned scholars.
Apart from Lord Baladev jew , Kendrapara was a treasure trove of maritime activities. The then maipur , presently known as Mayuri gaan under the Kanika estate of Kendrapara has been depicted as Mayudera port by the historian Ptolemy. In older times it is evident from his description that diamond was available in Kanika.This apart, is the eastern sea coast of kendrapara the island of Jambu, Kaladvipa or Satabhaya were main trading centres. The episode of ‘Taapoi’ is linked with the trading activities of Satavaya. The places like Pattamundai, Boitarkuda ( Boitalapata-Utikara) Chandol and Garapur are notable in the pages of history. In later times, a False point , Light House, and a port were intalled by the British Government on 26th May 1869. The first post office of Odisha adjacent to Jambu was established by the government in 1961. Kujanga, Aul and Kanika were the three estates in ancient Kendrapara.
The rulers of Kujanaga , Aul and Kanika belonged respectively to Sandha dynasty, Dev dynasty and Bhanja dynasty. Independent minded King of Kanika , Balabhadra Bhanja and indomitable Sandha King Chandradhruja Sandha of Kujanga forged and alliance with Nilakantha Mangaraj of Harispur and fought in unison against the British. The present Barahajew temple of Aul and Jagannath temple of Roghaharh were Constructed by Balabhadra Bhanja of Kanika. Two great seers Namacharya Bayababa and Ateist Kshatrabasi Baba were born in Keradagarh. Ananta Narendra Santha , The KIng of Kujanga built a Jagannath temple at Kujanga.
Kendrapara occupies a unique place in the annals of 19th century Odisha. The way Radhashyam Narendra , the renowned landlord of kendrapara fed the “N’anka'” drought affected people for months together without any return would be written in the history of Odisha for all times to come. It is mentioned that Radhashyam Nerendra was complimented in Delhi Durbar and Cuttack in presence of all Kings. The learned poet Abhimanyu Samanta Singhar was the uncle of Radhashyam Nerendra . The eldest sister of Radhashyam Narendra had married Chandradhvaja , the Sandha King of Kujanga . It is evident that Kamala Devi the sister of Narendra’s father was locked in marriage alliance with Abhimanyu Samantha Singhar in 1785. Jagannath Birabar , the grandson of Chandradhvaja Sandha had adopted Narayan Birabar Samanta who was popularly known as ” Kujanaga Gandhi”. The areas like Lalitgiri, Udayagiri and Ratnagiri were under the leadership of Radhashyam Narendra. Those regions were included in “Aalati Pragana” Radhashyam Narendra had donated mount “Olasuni” to Saint Arakshita Das and executed a will in favour of has name. King Narendra acted as a mentor to Binayak Bhanja the King of kanika and extended protection to their family.
<p”>In 19th century when odia language was under the grip of Bengalis, in the meanwhile a new lease of life was given to Odia language by music maestro Gokul Srichandan by promoting rendition of Odiya Songs in the inner circles of Bada Kotha. Renowned musicians like Bada Golam Ali , Rosnara Begum, Hafiz Ali Khan , Raichand Baral were assembling in this musical hub. Later on Padmashree Nimai Harichandan and Sangeeta Sudhakar Balakrishana Das joined this musical meet. Music maestro Gokul Chandra Srichandan had recorded odia song ” sajanire” for the 1st time in 1899 . Banikantha was the son of Brundaban Harichandan and nephew of Gokul Srichandan. Balakrushna Das of village Balakati in the district of Puri was a disciple of Gokul Chandra Srichandan.
Kendrapara occupies an inimitable place in 20th century history of Odisha. Eminent leaders like Jadumani Mngaraj , Narayan Birabar Samanta , Pitamber Jagdev, Aasadulla, Amar Chaterjee , Sahadev Pradhan , the “Gandhi of Aul” together played crucial role in the freedom struggle of India . Gandhiji launched Padayatra in Kendrapara at the call of those stalwarts and quite a large number of women joined this venture.
Kendrapara is ahead of many districts in the field of education. Initially , elementary schools were opened in Haripur , Remuna and Kendrapara in 1844 but not in Cuttack. These schools were converted into middle english schools in 1863 and again developed into high schools in 1883 by the then SDO Kirti Gobinda Gupta, reputed educationists like Jamaluddin and Pallikabi Nanda Kishore Bal were the alumni of this school. Frazer girls’ school was established in Kendrapara in the year 1893 to spread women education. For the 1st time a public library was opened bearing the name Narendra Pathagar which was subsequently renamed as Diamond Jubilee library in the diamond jubilee year of Victoria’s death.
To award self rule to the people , Kendrapara municipality was established on 10.03.1869. This is named as the 1st and the oldest municipality of Odisha which is mentioned in the Gazetteer of Cuttack in page no 733.