Kangoda

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Kangoda was another geographical unit of ancient Odisha. It was during the Sailodbhava dynasty, Kongoda came into eminence. Kongoda may be explained as the “Land of Honey” as Kongu in Tamil means honey. This was a Mandala state and flourished in the sixth-seventh century A.D. It continued as parts of Kalinga and Odra. The Sailodbhavas gave this Kongoda Mandala (undivided Ganjam district) its true shape. The Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang who visited Kongoda about 638 A. D. states that this country was above 1000 Ii in circuit. The country contained some tens of towns from the slope of the hills to the edge of the sea”. Accordingly, it is presumed that it was about 200 miles in circumference and it was a hilly country bordering on the Bay of Bengal. By the time of Hiuen Tsang’s visit, Kongoda had emerged as a powerful kingdom under the Sailodbhavas.

On Hiuen Tsang’s observation, T. Watters write that “As the towns are naturally strong, there was a gallant army which kept the neighbouring country in awe, and so there was no enemy.” The towns referred to in the Hiuen Tsang’s accounts are Gudda, Kondenda, Saumyapura, Matrachandra-pataka, Jaya Kataka, Devagrama, Nivina and Phasika. These towns have not been satisfactorily identified. Vijaya Kongodvasaka appears to be the capital of Kongoda mandala which has been identified with modern Bankada in the light of the antiquities found there on the river bank of Salia. Harsavardhan, after the death of King Sasanka of Gauda subjugated Kongoda. R. S. Tripathi observes that “Harsa made this region a strong military outpost of his far-flung empire, probably with a view to preventing any foreign incursion on the borders, threatened as they were by the eastward advance of Pulakesin II”. With the death of Harsa in 647 A.D. Madhavaraja II, the Sailodbhava King of Kongoda maintained his power and ruled for a long time which is revealed by his Cuttack charter.


Thus, Kongoda got back her independence shortly after the death of Harsavardhan. With the fall of the Sailodbhavas, in the first half of the eighth century A.D., Kongoda mandala lost its glory. Subsequently, it was reduced to a Visaya (district) of Dakshina Tosali when the BhaumaKaras emerged as a dominant political power and united both the Tosalis i.e. North Tosali and South Tosali.


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