Bonai: Hundreds of local residents Thursday demanded development and beautification of the Bonaigarh Palace in Sundargarh district. Despite being a place of much interest for historians, researchers, scholars and tourists, it has been suffering neglect, they alleged.
“Bonaigarh palace has witnessed the days of as many as 58 rulers. Lone surviving ruler is Veer Kishore Indra Deo Dev, who is regarded as 59th king of the erstwhile princely state. The historic palace is situated in the Bramhani riverbank. The first ruler Veer Pratap Bhanu Indra Deo lived here starting from 1082 AD,” the locals stated.
Family members of Indra Deo Dev include his wife Sushameswari Devi, daughter Karishma Devi and son Digaraj Pratap Kishore.
As history goes, seven brothers initially came from Sinhala Island to Puri town of Odisha, long days ago. One of them named King Pratap relocated to Bonai (erstwhile Bonaigarh) in the district passing through Dhenkanal. However, the Bonai area was full of dense forests and Bhuyan and Kolha castes of people were reigning here.
It is said that the then king was hiding behind Baneswar temple fearing the Bhuyans when a peacock hid him behind its feathers. After witnessing the interesting scene the Bhuyans thought that certainly the man has some specialty. Later, they came to know about his caste that he was a Kshyatriya (the race of warriors). They made him their king and since then rule of the dynasty started in Bonaigarh. A number of edifices were constructed during his reign, including the main palace, a court and a queen’s palace (Ranimahal).
“During the rule of Dharanidhar Indra Deo Dev in Bonaigarh, in 1902, prices of tickets to visit the royal court were of a few Annas (erstwhile currency). The royal edifice has dilapidated over years and now become a dumb witness of the royal days,” the locals said.