Subarnapur District also called Sonepur District or Sonapur District is an administrative district of Odisha state in eastern India. The town of Sonepur is the district headquarters. Many loosely call the people of Sonepur region as Sonepuria.
According to historians, the Subarnapur district was known as Paschima Lanka or Western Lanka around the 10th-11th centuries.The evidence comes from a copper plate charter issued in the late 10th century by a Somavansi prince named Kumara Someswaradeva of Subarnapur district.The Prince had identified himself as the king of Paschima Lanka. It was further found that the Mahada copper plate grant of Kumara Someswaradeva was registered on the bank of river Chitrotpala (Mahanadi) and near to the province of Lanka. The presiding deity of Paschima Lanka was goddess Lankeswari.
This district earned the name “Subarnapur” during the time of Somavamsi ruler. The district was established in 1993.
Subarnapur District is known for its influentially rich cultural heritage, arts and crafts. For instance, textiles and terracotta of Sonepur, Brass metal works and Philigri crafts of Tarbha and Binka, Stone carving of Ullunda and Paddy crafts of Dunguripali are recognised all over the state and also in the country. In addition, the great poet and prophet of Mahima Dharma, Santh Bhima Bhoi was from this district. Besides, Subarnapur area is famous for 'Danda-Nata', a religious folk tradition generally performed in the month of Chaitra. Historically Sonepur region was known as Paschima Lanka.
Temple town, Sonepur
- Paschima Lanka
- Lanka Podi
- Sasisena Kavya
- Sasisena Temple
- Sureswari Temple
- Subarnameru Temple
- Kosaleswara Temple
- Lankeswari Temple
- champaswar temple
- metakani temple
- Mahima pitha, Khaliapali
- Metakani Temple, Ullunda
- Patali Srikhetra, Kotsamlai
- Rushyashrunga hill, at Goudgad jungle (border of subarnapur and sambalpur)
- Papakshya Ghat, Binka
- Kapileswar temple, Charda
- Rameswar Shiva Temple at the Sangam of river Mahanadi and Tel.
- Lord Sri Sri Swapneshwar Temple, Goudgad of BirmaharajPur Block.
- Thengo Irrigation Project of Birmaharajpur Block. (A VISITORS PARADISE)
- Maa Umadevi Temple and Siddheswar Temple [Kadodar]
- Maa Ramachandi & Baba Raneswar Temple,Telanda .*godhaneswar shiv temple*sunaribeni shiv temple.
The Hariharnath Temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. According to legend, Lord Rama built this temple while visiting Janakpur. The temple draws a large number of people on the full moon day of the month of Kartik.
The Sashisena Temple was constructed to commemorate the love of sashisena, the princess of Amaravati with Ahimanikya, the son of the minister of that kingdom.
The temple of Sureswari is the oldest Shakti shrine of Subarnapur. Legend associates Lord Parsuram with the installation of Goddess Sureswari after the assassination of the Kshatriyas by him. Her icon is found facing towards the north in the temple. This monument is known be built by king Achal Singh of Chauhan dynasty.
This temple is situated at the confluence of river Mahanadi and Tel. The lingam of the temple is very old. Legend associates Lord Ram with its installation. Lord Kartik and Ganesh along with Goddess Parvati are worshipped here.
The Kosaleswar temple at Baidyanath on the bank of river Tel, situated about 14km. to the south-east of Subarnapur is now in a very bad state of preservation. The structure even in its ruins is a remarkable monument. The temple provides striking features of an earlier Buddhist shrines refurbished by the Hindus. Large sized bricks, polished and well-set mortar, intercolumnation and isolated niches to hold individual images, all.Buddhist structural features are met in Kosaleswar temple which has led scholars like Charls Fabri to suppose that this temple was built on the ruins of a Buddhist monument.
The icon of Goddess Khambeswari in the form of Vanadurga is found in the temple. The earliest reference of the Goddess is found in the Terasinga Copper Plate of Maharaja Trustikara of 5th century A.D. Subarnapur was a very important stronghold of the cult of Khambeswari during the reign of the Bhanjas and the Somavamsis of 9th - 10th century A.D.
Jatesingha, located at a distance of 7 km. from Birmaharajpur is the birth place of Bhima Bhoi, the celebrated poet of 19 century and propagator of Mahima cult. It is important to mention here that when the educated and urban people of Odisha were inclined towards Arya Samaj and Brahmo Samaj, a new faith came into prominence in a rural area which is no other than Mahima cult. Jatesingha can be visited while going to Godhaneswar temple and to the Vaisnavite monastery at Khamar.
The Gokarneswar temple is located on the bank of river Mahanadi in the western corner of Subarnapur. Lord Gokarneswar was the presiding deity of the Imperial Gangas. His temple was constructed by the Chauhan rulers of Subarnapur. Goddess Ramchandi is also worshipped with Lord Gokarneswar here.
The mother Goddess in form of Bhagabati is worshipped here. This temple is situated at a little distance from Rameshwar temple. She is the presiding deity of the people of Subarnapur and is believed to be their protector from all evils. An icon of the Goddess facing towards the west is found in the temple. The Bhagabati temple is said to be built up by the Chauhans. One can reach Subarnapur either by bus or train. From Subarnapur one can visit Bhagabati Temple by bus or taxi.
In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Subarnapur one of the country's 250 most backwards districts (out of a total of 640).It is one of the 19 districts in Odisha currently receiving funds from the Backwards Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).