The original name of the Bargarh District was “Baghar Kota” as known from an inscription of the 11th Century A.D. It was called “Bargarh” probably from the time of Balaram Dev, the Chauhan Raja of Sambalpur, who made it his headquarters and constructed a big fort for its protection.The old fort walls can be traced near the ‘Jira’ river towards the plane of Ambapali. Narayan Singh, the last Chauhan Raja granted this place in “Maufi” (free hold) to 2 Brahmin brothers Krushna Dash and Narayan Dash, sons of Baluki Dash who was killed in action by the Gond. Another part of the District known as “Borasambar” was formerly the headquarters of the Borasambar Zamindari extending over 2178 Sq.Kms. Later, the headquarters of the Zamindari shifted to Padampur, one of the present sub-divisional headquarter.
History of Bargarh District suggest that buddhism played a role in defining the lifestyle of the people for a short period of time. Some ancient buddhist monasteries and sculptures can be seen along a belt starting from Bijepur block (Ganiapali) to the Paikmal block (Nrusinghanath), which has a clear mention in Huen–Tsang’s literature as Po–Li–Mo–Lo–Ki–Li(Parimalagiri).
There are many historical places and monuments in the District of Bargarh that speaks the historical events of this District. Temples like Nrusinghanath and Asta Sambhu are some of the temples that have got the historical evidences of rulers in the District. There are villages in the District with rich historical and mythological significance and are a must visit places for the travellers.
One of the historically significant places of Odisha, Bargarh is also known for the Legendary Veer Surendra Sai who led his war against the British from Debrigarh, which is a peak on the Barapahad Range. Debrigarh today is a tiger sanctuary. Barabakhra(12 caves) used to be a secret meeting place during this period. Bargarh District is also famous for many historical personalities who has taken birth here. Gangadhar Meher also known as Swabhab kavi, was a literary Midas, who transformed everything into gold by the alchemic touch of his genius. His poems of 19th century bears eloquent testimony to the change in religious outlook .
Parbati Giri is among the freedom fighters who participated in the freedom struggle for Independence. She was just 16 when she was in the forefront of agitation following Mahatma Gandhi’s “Quit India” call.
Padmashree Kruthartha Acharya
Padmashree Kruthartha Acharya pioneered in making the Sambalpuri design and fabric based on “Tie and Dye” method inside and outside the country. Padmashree Kunjabihari Meher is another famous personality who have endeavored to enrich and glorify the splendid style of Sambalpuri fabrics at home and abroad.