Purusottamadeva (1607-1622 A.D.) and Narasimhadeva (1622-1647 A.D.)

Purusottamadeva (1607-1622 A.D.)
(Representation Only)

Purusottamadeva succeeded his father Ramachandradeva in 1607 A.D. His reign witnessed the vigorous Mughal atrocity over Odisha. During his reign, the Mughal emperor at Delhi was Jahangir who appointed Hasim Khan as the Subahdar of Odisha. He wanted to march towards Khurda and settle score with Purusottamadeva. One of his subordinates, named Raja Keso Das Maru went with his Rajput soldiers and entered into the temple of God Jagannath. Though, Purusottamadeva besieged the temple, the soldiers of Keso Das Maru threw rags socked with oil and ghee setting fire in them which burnt the Chariots of the Raja who ultimately surrendered and came in terms with Keso Das Maru. Raja Kalyana Mal, who succeeded Hasim Khan, was much more titanic than the former. He invited Vidyadhara, the Prime Minister of Purusottamadeva and made him captive at Ghantasila Tangi and attacked Khurda. Purusottama concluded peace with him. . After Kalyan Mal, Mukarram Khan was appointed as Governor of Odisha who brought injury to the image of Sakshigopal.

Being infuriated, Ramachandra advanced to cross sword with this fanatical governor appointed by Jahangir but he was defeated. He immediately fled away from Khurda and sought asylum with the king of Rajahmundry. It appears that Khurda was temporarily annexed to the Mughal empire. He was removed in 1620 A.D. and Husain Ali Khan became the Subahdar of Odisha for a short time. After him, Ahmad Beg who succeeded Husain Ali Khan as the Governor of Odisha in 1621 enabled Purusottamadeva to deal with the Mughals. Gathering support from the local chiefs, Purusottamadeva marched against him. Ahmad Beg proceeded from Khurda todeal with him. While h olding a camp near Banapur, Purusottamadeva passed away in 1622 A.D.

King Purusottamadeva was a great devotee of God Jagannath. He also patronized the Brahmins. He is credited with the establishment of three Brahmin Shasanas namely, Purusottamapura Shasana, Sri Purusottamapura Shasana and Pratapa Purusottamapura Shasana.

After the death of Purusottamadeva, his son Narasimhadeva ascended the throne of Khurda in 1622 A.D. He could not escape the wrath of Ahmad Beg, the then Subahdar of Odisha. As his humiliating proposal that the royal family of Khurda should remain as security at the Mughal court in Cuttack was not accepted by Narasimhadeva, the former invaded Khurda. Narasimhadeva gave a toe fight to the Mughal Governor and defeated him. This infuriated Ahmad Beg who wanted to lead a second expedition to Khurda. At this juncture, prince Khurram (Shah Jahan) revolted against his father Jahangir and proceeded towards Odisha from Golkunda. This foiled the plan of Ahmad Beg’s attack on Khurda and he fled immediately with his family towards Burdwan and then to Akbar Nagar. The rebellious Mughal prince was treated with humility. Being fully satisfied with the behaviour of Narasimhadeva, Shah Jahan left for Bengal. However, the alertness of Mahabbat Khan prompted the prince to retreated towards Golkunda via Odisha.

After the departure of Shah Jahan, Ahmed Beg again returned and remained as Governor of Odisha till 1628 A.D. and did not create any trouble for Narasimhadeva. During the governorship of Baquar Khan Nazim Sani who was appointed after Ahmad Bag, Narasimhadeva faced fresh troubles. Nazim Sani led an expedition to the Sun temple at Konarka. Knowing well the attitude of that Subahdar, Narasimhadeva had already removed the image of Sun god from Konarka temple to that of God Jagannath. Raja Narasimhadeva showed regards to God Jagannath. During the governorship of Ahmad Beg, the idols of Jagannatha, Balabhadra and Subhadra had been transferred to Garah Manitri from the Puri temple. Narasimhadeva brought back these images again to the temple and reinstalled them. The Madala Panji states that he had ordered to plaster the temple of God Jagannath at Puri. Further, after a long gap, he again arranged car festival during the Spring season which was not being celebrated due to the fear of Mughal governors. From the Rasika Mangala, it is known that Sri Rasikananda Deva Gosvami, the famous disciple of Syamananda, visited Puri and propagated his faith in the nook and corner of the kingdom of Narasimhadeva. The removal of the image of sun god from the temple ofKonarka prompted Mutquad Khan to attack Khurda. In that fierce battle, Narasimhadeva met his end at the hands of his enemy.