Rajkanika Palace and Kanika Kingdom’s Royal monuments in Odisha’s Kendrapara district: Watch

The Rajkanika Palace and the Kanika kingdom’s royal monuments in Kendrapara district of Odisha tell about the past glory of the Kanika Empire. The Bhitarkanika National Park area was part of the Kanika Royal administration during their reign. However, the monuments are now in a dilapidated condition due to lack of preventive maintenance. Here is a report.

Before independence, Bhitarkanika was part of the erstwhile Kanika Royal administration. Its picturesque beauty, the sound of chirping of the birds, deep forest and the siren atmosphere had mesmerised the then Kanika king Rajendra Narayan Bhanja Deo. The king along with his queen was spending leisurely time here in the lap of the nature.

Earlier in the Royal days, many people were being killed of crocodile attack in this area. Reportedly, once a particular crocodile had become the horror and it had killed a number of people.

Hence, the then Kanika Raja Rajendra Narayan Bhanja Deo had shot it to protect the locals and saved them from the fury of the crocodile. It is said, then, it was the largest crocodile of the world with a length of 24 feet 6 inches. The skeleton of this crocodile has been kept as a memento in the Royal palace.

Apart from the crocodile skeleton the Kanika Royal Palace also houses many antiques including a wooden fan, Chess Board, tiger skin, deer head, elephant head and leg. We can also find a 200 year old Sun God idol and photo of the erstwhile king with Queen Elizabeth in the palace.

A copper plate inscription dating to 1909 is also available. However, all these precious things are now in poor condition due to lack of proper maintenance. Even some of them are stolen. The locals hope if these elements would be properly maintained, it would attract tourists.

Even today we can witness the Shikar Kothi, Padma pokhari (pond full of lotus), Lord Shiva temple, Goddess Durga temple and the Watch tower. These properties of the then Royal family are the monuments to be preserved. These historical edifices and monuments attract tourists from around the world. After the monarchy was abolished, all of these monuments went to the hand of the Government. Yet, these are now in dilapidate condition due to lack of proper maintenance.

Established by the Kanika Royal family there is a museum here that has rare antiques associated to the Kanika Kingdom. Also, there are many temples that convey the past glory of the kingdom.

The Bhitarkanika is the living place of salt water crocodiles, the foreign birds, deer and many more flora and fauna species.  The Biological diversity, mangrove forests and the rare wild animals are there in Bhitarkanika. Especially the place is famous as the breeding place of salt water crocodiles (Baula Kumbhira). A number of salt water crocodiles are seen in the water bodies of Bhitarkanika. The locals depend on the water bodies for fish, crab etc.

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