Odi: ରାୟଗଡ଼ rāẏagaṛa

‘King’s Fort’  Town/District, Odisha 

From Odi:  raya, ‘king’; and Hin/Odi: gaṛh, gardha, gada, ‘fort’.

Rayagada has an ancient history captured in rock inscriptions, and on copper plates and coins. In the 3rdC BCE it was part of the Kalinga Empire.

The city of Rayagada was founded by the 16thC King Vishwanath Dev Gajapati of the Suryavansh Shankara dynasty. He built a fort here and a temple dedicated to the goddess Majjhigarhiani, who is the city’s patron deity.

From his new capital here he went on to found an empire that stretched from Telangana in the south to parts of Bengal in the north. 

It has a majority tribal population including Khonds and Soras. 

For related place names see Indian Place names and Odisha place names.