Ganjam is a town and a notified area council in
Ganjam district in the
state of Odisha, India.
Ganjam Fort/Potagarh Fort
Ganjam is located at 19°23′N 85°04′E / 19.38°N
85.07°E / 19.38; 85.07 in the
Ganjam district of
Odisha with an
elevation of 3 metres (9 feet).
Ganjam has been blessed with
beautiful and mineral rich coast line which is extended over
60 km. It provides unique opportunity for fishing and port
facility at Gopalpur for international trade. The rivers like
Rushikulya, Dhanei, Bahuda, Ghoda Hada are the source of agriculture
and power sectors of the town. Economic wise,
Ganjam is a sub
industrial town. The
Chilika Lake which attracts international
tourists, known for its scenic beauty and a marvelous birds sanctuary
is situated in the eastern part of district, near the City of Ganjam.
Ganjam shares its boundary with Andhra Pradesh.
Ganjam is an ideal choice for its scenic beauty, monuments, rivers and
religious spots. A mix of moist peninsular high and low level Sal
forests, tropical moist and dry deciduous and tropical deciduous
forest types provide a wide range of forest products and unique
lifestyle to wild life. Bhairabi, which consists of 108 temples, is a
place of worship and popular destination for tourists. Taptapani,
which consist of a hot sulphur spring that is 56 km from
Berhampur, near Ganjam, is also a tourist destination. Tara Tarini
Temple sits on Taratarini Hill near Angu. Solaghar, Raipur is also a
famous destination for tourists. Twin Goddess Tara and Tarini are
Rushikulya flows at the foot of the Taratarini Hill.
The temple of the Goddess Mahuri KaluaMahuri Kalua is near a famous
picnic spot by the same name located at the center of the town.
As of 2001[update]
Ganjam had a population of
Ganjam has an average literacy rate of 63% while male
literacy is 70%, and female literacy is 54%. Total Child Population
(Age between 0–6 years)are 420158. Sex ratio is 983 and density of
the overall population is 429 (persons per km2).
The district has own international reputation for its cottage
industries and handicrafts. The main crafts are brass, appliqué,
bamboo craft, stone carving, wood carving, terracotta, textile toys
etc. and thousands of artisans are operating individually and through
co-operative societies. Cultivation is one of the major occupation in
the town, which has engaged approximately 75% of the total workers.
Livestock, forestry, fishing, mining, construction, trading and
transport are few of the work-related categories being the source of
income for another 25% of the workers. The major crops grown in the
district are paddy, groundnut, cotton, sugarcane and green vegetables.
The district has a prosperous live stock population and potentially is
very rich in inland and brackish water fisheries. The Chilika coastal
area and extended sea shore are the source of rich marine products
which serves for the production of like shells and salt.
Ganjam Fort/Potagarh Fort
Ganjam Fort Map
Located at 19°13′N 85°29′E / 19.22°N 85.49°E / 19.22;
Ganjam Fort (also called Potagarh Fort) is the main spot
for tourists in Ganjam. This star fort is located 8 km from
Chatrapur. The fort of Potagarh was the first Collectorate complex of
Ganjam. Later on it was shifted to Berhampur in 1815 and subsequently
Chhatrapur in 1835, where it is still is.
Potagarh or the "buried fort" is named as such since it is buried. It
is situated at present near a village named
Ganjam on the mouth of the
river Rushikulya. The fort is in ruins and still it stands as the mute
witness to many rulers, who have used it as their administrative
Headquarters to rule over this region named in different periods as
Kalinga, Kalinga, Dandapat, Ganjam, Chichacole Circar etc. It is not a
single fort, rather a cluster of forts erected by different
governments, the remnants of which tell the stories of their
administrative procedures. Thus the history of Potagarh is the history
Ganjam Collectorate that involves the history of Ganjam,
Northern Circars, French Government, Madras Presidency, Bengal
Presidency and the history of the East
India Company as a whole.
Potagarh fort in
It is said that the construction of Potagarh fort was commenced in
1768 by Edward Costford, the first Resident of Ganjam. But the
star-shaped design of the fort and a very old Masjeed standing near it
attest more of its Mahammadan origin than British. During the
Kutabsahi rule in 17th century
Ganjam was extended from Chilika to
Chicacole and designated as Chicacole Circar which was the
Northern-most Circar of the Northern Circars and was controlled from
Golconda. In 1641 a Faujdar named Mahammed Khan was appointed in
Srikakulam for the first time by Abdul Kutab Shah, the ruler of
Golconda. He constructed some fine mosques at Srikakulam and Icchapur.
The old Kalinga Dandapat (Ganjam) was then divided into two divisions
namely Chicacole (Srikakulam) and Icchapur. Most probably it was
Mahammed Khan who erected a fort at the present site of Potagarh for
administration of Icchapur division. Some scholars are of the opinion
that the fort was erected by the Fourth Sultan Ibrahim Kutabshah.
In 1753 the Northern Circar was granted to the French and Monsieur De
Bussy, the French Commander took control over
Ganjam and functioned
from Potagarh. He must have erected a fort there for him as well as
his French people. The presence of the French people is proved by two
tombs erected in the cemetery close to Potagarh in honour of two souls
of French origin. in 1765, the Northern Circars were granted to
English by an imperial farman. French power ended and Edward Costford
was appointed as the British Resident of
Ganjam in 1766 and took
direct charge of
Ganjam in 1768. He constructed there another fort.
The fort is spread in a vast area close to the river in star-shape.
Inside the compound there are three residential buildings of three
different architectural designs, most probably assigned to the
Mahammadans, French and British. The first one probably of Mahammadan
or Kutabshahi origin is completely in ruined state. The other two are
also not in so good condition. Besides, two magazine houses are there.
Two passages are there in the eastern side of the compound wall
opening to the river.
One was probably used as a secret passage to escape into the sea and
the other for the queen to go to the river to take bath. The compound
wall is about 8' thick with a moat encircling it. The fort has two
nicely designed doors, one is in the front side the other one is in
the back side, close to the river. The fort of Potagarh is described
by the celebrated historian W.W.Hunter having towers in the star
angles except in the east front where there is a large gateway, the
walls neither under 18 nor above 22 feet in height and a ditch running
in three sides in many parts with deep water and in the fourth side
defended by a thick wood which runs to 150 yards from the walls".
Potagarh tells many stories of horror relating to the wrath of the
fort-goddess on the ancient village of
Ganjam and the escape of the
king through the secret passage into the Bay of Bengal by a boat at
the time of attack. The fort Potagarh is an archaeological asset of
the state and deserves preservation.
India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities,
villages and towns (Provisional)".
Census Commission of India.
Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
Towns and villages
Municipalities of Odisha