Raibania Fort: Exploring the Early Medieval Fort of Odisha in Balasore

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Raibania Fort: Exploring the Early Medieval Fort of Odisha in Balasore

Raibania Fort: Exploring the Early Medieval Fort of Odisha in Balasore:  The Raibania Fort is a group of ancient forts located in the Baleswar district of Odisha, India. This fort complex is considered to be the biggest medieval fort in eastern India, built during the reign of Eastern Ganga ruler Narasingha Deva I. The forts are home to 161 fort goddesses, revered as “Durga devata” or “Iṣṫa devata,” and Daṣasharu, an aniconic form of the goddess Jayacaṇḍi.

  • The distance From IIT Kharagpur to Rabania Fort Is Approx. 55Km Via SH5 Keshiary-Nayagram
  • Google Map: Raibania Fort

While the Ain-i-Akbari records three forts in the area, four forts have been discovered here, with two of the larger ones located closer to the village of Raibania and the other two closer to the village of Phulta (Phulahatta). However, the Balasore Gazetteer reveals that the forts were devastated after the Kalapahada invasion of Utkala. Though remnants of the forts exist today, only Raibania Fort has remained relatively intact, while the other forts have been utilized for construction by the local Zamindars and villagers.

This is a partial list of forts in Odisha.

Barabati Fort, Cuttack
Chudanga Gada, Bhubaneshwar
Potagarh Fort, Ganjam
Raibania Fort, Balasore
Shishupalgarh, Bhubaneshwar

Where Raibania Fort Is Situated?

The Raibania fort complex is situated in the village of Laxmannath, approximately 9 miles (14 km) from Jaleswar and 2 miles (3.2 km) from the Subarnarekha River. In addition to Raibania, there are other forts located in the region, including Hatigarh, Chudamanipur, Olmara, Garhsahi, and Dolgram Fort.

Dolgram Fort, situated in Nayagram Block under the Jhargram district of West Bengal, is historically significant as it was once the site of the popular regal game, Pasha, played between Raja Narasingha Deb-iV (King Raibania Fort) and Raja Chandra Ketu (King of Chandrarekha-Dhumsai). The Dolgram Fort is home to the Pakshiraj statue, deul pukur, Dolmanch, and the ancient Jagannath Temple.

The Dolgram Balakesher High School, built on the palace of Dolgram Pakshiraj Fort, features a majestic Winged horse (Pakhiraj) statue near its cultural stage, which is a symbol of culture and architectural innovation. The Dolgram Pakshiraj Trust (Nayagram), a historical research organization, is working tirelessly to uncover the hidden ancient history of Deulgaon (Dolgram) Pakshiraj Fort. The Charak Festival and Dol Utsav are also celebrated annually in the Dolgram region.

History Of Raibania Fort

Narasingha Deva I, the renowned ruler of the Eastern Ganga dynasty in Utkala, is credited with constructing the Raibania forts. He built them after successfully defeating Humayun Khan, with the aim of blocking the entry of the Turks into Odisha.

His strategic planning and military prowess helped establish the Raibania forts as a formidable defense system that served as a bulwark against external aggression. Narasingha Deva I’s legacy as a warrior king and a patron of the arts and culture continues to inspire the people of Odisha to this day.


Read More: Devkund Odisha

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