Krushna Chandra Gajapati

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Maharaja Sir
Krushna Chandra Gajapati
Narayana Dev KCIE
ମହାରାଜା କୃଷ୍ଣଚନ୍ଦ୍ର ଗଜପତି ନାରାୟଣ ଦେବ
Krushna Chandra Gajapati.jpg
Prime Minister of Odisha
In office
29 November 1941 – 29 June 1944
Preceded by Biswanath Das
Succeeded by Harekrushna Mahatab
In office
1 April 1937 – 19 July 1937
Preceded by Post created
Succeeded by Biswanath Das
Personal details
Born (1892-04-26)26 April 1892
Paralakhemundi, Odisha
Died 25 May 1974(1974-05-25) (aged 82)
Nationality Indian
Parents Shri Goura Chandra Gajapati
Smt. Radhamani Devi
Residence Paralakhemundi
Alma mater Newington College, Madras
Occupation King of paralakhemundi, social activist
Religion Hinduism
Painting of Gajapati Maharaja Krushna Chandra Dev

Krushna Chandra Gajapati (26 April 1892 – 25 May 1974), honorably known as Maharaja Sir Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayana Dev KCIE, was a key personality in the formation of an Independent Odisha State. He is regarded as the architect of the modern Odisha state. The present Gajapati District of Odisha was named after him.[1] He was the Honorary Captain in the First World War.

He had great interest in Oriya literature, art, music, culture, sports, games and horse-riding (in which sport he himself excelled).

Early Life and education[edit]

Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayan Dev, the scion of the great Ganga Dynasty of Paralakhemundi, was born on 26 April 1892 to the King of Paralakhemundi Goura Chandra Gajapati and Radhamani Devi.

Shri Gajapati received his elememntary education at the local Maharaja High School of Paralakhemundi and then entered the exclusive Newington College in Madras for higher studies. During his studies in Madras, he lost his father Shri Goura Chandra Gajapati.[2] After completing his studies at Madras he returned to Paralakhemundi and in the year 1913 married the princess of Kharasuan State. In the same year he held the reign of the State on 26 April 1913.

Role in the formation of Independent Odisha State[edit]

Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati was the pivot of the Oriya movement for the formation of an Independent Odisha state on the basis of Language and homogeneity. He spent extensively from his royal treasury to materialise this effort. Utkal Gourav Madhusudan Das, Utkalamani Gopabandhu Das, Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati, Fakir Mohan Senapati and other eminent members of Utkal Sammilani demanded a separate Odisha state with an amalgamation of Oriya speaking areas in the then Orissa-Bihar-Bengal province. This proposal was approved in the Bihar-Orissa Legislative Assembly. As a member of the Utkal Sammilani, he put forward the proposal of a separate Odisha state in the first Round table conference held in London on 16 November 1930.[3]

Finally, with the effort of Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati and Utkal Sammilani, the separate state of United Odisha was formed on 1 April 1936.[4] From that day, 1 April is celebrated by the Oriya people as Utkal Divas. Gajapati's own state of Paralekhemidi in Vizagapatam district was partitioned into two – with the capital and most of the princely state coming under Orissa and the remaining Telugu-majority areas remained in Madras Presidency. In 1937, the first Governor of Odisha, Sir John Austin Hubback invited Krushna Chandra Gajapati Dev to form the cabinet. Shri Gajapati was the first Prime Minister of the Odisha state from 1 April 1937 to 18 July 1937. He was the Prime Minister of Odisha for the second time from 24 November 1941 to 30 June 1944.

Social and Philanthropic Services[edit]

He was instrumental in the establishment of the Utkal University, the SCB Medical College and also the famous Central Rice Research Institute in Bidyadharpur, Cuttack, which is one of the largest of its kind in Asia. He set up many hospitals, schools, colleges, industrial institutions, modern agricultural farms and provided a record number of 1281 irrigation sagars or water-tanks in his agriculturally dominant native taluk. For this reason, the undivided Ganjam District was given the title 'the rice-bowl of Odisha'. Under Gajapati, scholarships were awarded to thousands of poor and meritorious students in humanities, science, agriculture, medicine, and engineering, among others.

Political Services and honours[edit]

Shri Krushna Chandra Gajapati was an Honorary Captain in the First World War. He received a rare Sanad in 1920 from the then Viceroy and Governor General of India, in recognition of his services rendered to the Indian Army during the Great War and as a mark of commendation. He was a Member of the Royal Commission on Agriculture, under the Chairmanship of Lord Linlithgow. He was also a Member of the Madras Legislative Council.

He was awarded honorary Doctorates by the Utkal University and the Berhampur University, and was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE) in the 1946 New Year Honours.[5] He was one of the founding fathers of the Indian Constitution, being a Member of the Constituent Assembly of India. His contribution to horse-racing and his encouragement for horsebreeding in India are notable.


The son of Odisha, Sri Krushna Chandra Gajapathi died on 25 May 1974 at the age of 82, leaving behind numerous relatives, friends, admirers and well wishers. He was accorded a state funeral by the Government of Odisha and was cremated with full honours at Paralakhemundi.


  1. ^ "District Portal of Gajapati". 
  2. ^ "Shri Krushna Chandra Gajapati". 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012. At the age of 12, his father, Goura Chandra Gajapati Narayan Deo, died and ... Krushna Chandra Gajapati was still a minor 
  3. ^ "Gajapati Maharaja Krushna Chandra Dev in India". 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012. He took part in the Round Table Conference held in 1931 and 1933 and placed a demand for the creation of a separate state of Orissa. 
  4. ^ "Utkal Divas also called Orissa day is being celebrated on April 1st today". 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012. Utkal Sammilani lead by Utkal Gourab Madhusudan Das, Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati, Pandit Nilakantha Das, Bhubanananda Das and many others played a key role in the formation of Odhisa state 
  5. ^ "No. 37407". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 1945. p. 10. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Post created
Biswanath Das(2nd term)
Prime Minister of Odisha
1 April 1937 to 19 July 1937 (1st term)
29 November 1941 to 29 June 1944 (2nd term)
Succeeded by
Biswanath Das(1st term)
Harekrushna Mahatab(2nd term)