In Orissa, a former king now depends on villagers for meals

Orissa kingMahapatra is the erstwhile king of Tigiria. ranjit kumar patnaik
There are no rusting swords or throne in his house. No trophies on walls to serve as reminders of his hunting trips. No yellowing photographs of his younger, glory days. The palace where he lived with his wife and children till 1960 now houses a girls' high school.
All that 92-year-old Brajraj Kshatriya Birbar Chamupati Singh Mahapatra, erstwhile king of Tigiria in Cuttack district, has is a mud hut with some plastic chairs. The asbestos roof is leaking, so a torn tarpaulin sheet covers his wooden cot. There are a few books, a plastic saline bottle, a torch, some raw tomatoes and lots of cobwebs.
Estranged from his family, the former king now leads an impoverished life. While cataract has taken a toll on both his eyes, he finds it increasingly difficult to hear too. In Puruna Tigiria village, where he has been living alone since 1987, few know that he is the only surviving royal member of the 26 erstwhile kings of the princely states of Orissa who signed the merger agreement with India on December 15, 1947. Tigiria was the smallest of the 26 princely states of Orissa, with an area of just 119 sq km.
With his palace sold to the government for Rs 75,000 in 1960, the former king-turned-recluse now survives on the charity of his former subjects. "The villagers give him his meals everyday. It's a lonely life for him," says Lalit Krishna Das, a local advocate.
Dharanidhar Rana, a villager, says Mahapatra is a frugal eater. "He just takes tea and a couple of biscuits for breakfast, some rice and dal for lunch and a roti at night. He eats chicken once in a while," says Rana's daughter Champei.
Clad in a lungi and kurta, as he walks with the aid of a stick, it is difficult to picture the bearded Mahapatra as a former king.


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1 day ago - Mahapatra, the Raja of Tigiria, was once known for his playboy antics, ... Chamupati Singh Mahapatra, former king of Tigiria in Cuttack district, ...

File photo: Brajraj Kshatriya Birbar Chamupati Singh Mahapatra, former king of Tigiria in Cuttack district, Orissa, IndiaFile photo: Brajraj Kshatriya Birbar Chamupati Singh Mahapatra, former king of Tigiria in Cuttack district, Orissa, India

Tigiria State

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tigiria State
Princely State of British India
[[Orissa Province|]] 16th century–1948 [[India|]]
Location of Tigiria
Tigiria State in the Imperial Gazetteer of India
 • 1682 - 1742Sankaraswar Mandhata
 • 1743 - 17..Gopinath Chamupati Singh
 • 17.. - 1793Jadumani Rai Singh
 • 1797 - 1844Jagannath Chamupati Singh
 • 1886 - 1933Harihar Kshatriya Birbar (b. 1826 - d. 1886) Chamupati Singh
 • 1886 - 1933Banamali Kshatriya Birbar (b. 1857 - d. 19..) Chamupati Singh
Historical eraBritish Colonisation of India
 • Established16th century
 • Accession to the Union of India1948
 • 1931119 km2 (46 sq mi)
 • 193124,822 
Density208.6 /km2  (540.2 /sq mi)
Today part ofOdisha India
Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911).Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Tigiria State (Odiaତିଗିରିଆ), also known as Tigiria Nizigarh, was one of the princely states of India during the period of the British Raj. It was located in present-day Tigiria block of Cuttack districtOdisha. Although it was the smallest of the states of the Orissa States Agency it was the most densely populated.[1] The last ruler of Tigiria joined the state to the Indian Union in 1948.[2]
The state was bound in the north by Dhenkanal State, in the east it was bound by Athgarh State, in the south by the Mahanadi River and in the west by Baramba State.[1]


Tigiria was founded at an uncertain date in the sixteenth century by a ruler named Nityānanda Tunga. According to legend he was directed to the place by means of a dream while coming from the west on a pilgrimage to Puri.
The rulers of Tigiria Princely State gave importance to education and built and maintained a network of schools. The last Raja signed the accession to the Indian Union on 1 January 1948.[2]
The name 'Tigiria' most likely originated in the Sanskrit Trigiri, meaning "Three Hills". Most of the inhabitants of Tigiria were Hindu, members of the Chasa caste, and important places of worship were located within the area of Tigiria State.[3]


Rulers of Tigiria bore the title Raja.[4]
  • 1682 - 1742 Sankaraswar Mandhata
  • 1743 - 17.. Gopinath Chamupati Singh
  • 17.. - 1793 Jadumani Rai Singh
  • 1797 - 1844 Jagannath Chamupati Singh
  • 1844 - 8 Apr 1886 Harihar Kshatriya Birbar (b. 1826 - d. 1886) Chamupati Singh
  • 8 Apr 1886 - 1933 Banamali Kshatriya Birbar (b. 1857 - d. 19..) Chamupati Singh
  • 1933 - 1943 Sudarshan Kshatriya Birbar (d. 1943) Chamupati Singh
  • 1943 - 15 Aug 1947 Brajraj Kshatriya Birbar (b. 1921 - d. 2015) Chamupati Singh Mahapatra[5]

See also[edit]

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