Eminent Personalities

Various Eminent Personalities of Sambalpur District


Born on 23rd January, 1809 in  Khinda village near Lapanga on the way to Jharsuguda about 40 km to the north of Sambalpur, Odisha. He ascended the throne of Sambalpur in the year 1827. Popularly known as a warrior, Surendra Sai led a revolution against the British Rulers, assembling thousands of protesters. He was incarcerated by the then British Rulers and breathed his last on 28th February, 1884. Called as Sivaji of Odisha, Surendra Sai has been remembered for his unflinching patriotism, dedication for the motherland. He is regarded as the foremost fighter of Freedom movement of the Country


Born on August 9, 1862 on the day of Sravana Purnima at Barpali, Bargarh Diistrict (undivided Sambalpur Dist.) in a weaver family. Educated up to 5th Class. Dr. Mayadhar Mansingh has high esteem for Gangadhar Meher and in his History of Odia literature he has opined “All told, Gangadhar Meher is one of the rarest personalities and poets in the whole range of Odia Literature”. His poetic creation includes ‘Pranaya Ballari’, ‘Kichaka Badha’, ‘Indumati’ , ‘Utkal Laxmi’, ‘Ayodhya’, ‘Bharati Bhabana’, ‘Bhakti Upahar’,  Kabita Mala’ & ‘Krushaka Sangita’ Gangadhar is idely known as poet of nature. He is rated as a great poet in Indian Literature. Died on April 4, 1924. His poetries can be decided into lyrics, devotional, patriotic, reformative, ethical, agricultural, elegy and narration of nature. His prose creation include ‘Atma Jeevani’, Shri Nruparaj Singh’, ‘Purana Kabi Fakir Mohan’, Swargriya Kasinath Panda, Ehaki Prothibira Sabda, Sikshit, Asikhsit & Sikshya Bhimanini.’


Born in the year 1850, Baisakh Purnima, the celebrated religious poet and devotee Bhima Bhoi, it is said, was bron in a Kandha Family in village Granadihs of Rairakhol Sub-Division in Sambalpur District of Odisha. Bhima Bhoi was died in 1895, Siva Chaturdasi. He was born blind. According to the poet him-self, he could acquire his poetic prowess and knowledge about religion only by the blessings of his guru “Mahima Mahaprabhu”, A list of books written by Bhima Bhoi are Stuti Chintamani, Sruti Nisedha Gita, Ashtaka Bihari Gita, Bhajanamal etc.. His own feeling of compassion for the mankind is most sticking . He says, the suffering can tolerate, let my life in hell, but let the suffering of Universe Mitigate. I would prefer to stay in hell foreve, if that would save the world.


Known as the pioneer of Sambalpuri language and grammer, Satya Narayan Bohidar was born on 1st August, 1913 at Sonepur. His formative and creative years were spent in Sambalpur that produced a good no. of literary translations and biographies. Fighting against all odds, Sri Bohidar was successful in preparing the dictionary and grammer specially in Sambalpuri Language which provided a significant identity to it. Satya Narayan Bohidar died on 31st December, 1980, leaving a great legacy behind him to influence the future generations.


Swapneswar Das was born on 25th January, 1866 in Rohinia village of Bargarh in un-divided Sambalpur district. He was primarily a grammarian and translator . Swapneswar was known as an accomplished poet and eminent journalist. He edited the news weeklies such as “Utkal Sebaka”, “Hirakhanda”, “Sadhana” and composed a masterpiece “Veda Kalpadruma”, divided into 75 volumes. Endowed with “Vidyalankar” honour, Swapneswar died on 3rd June, 1962. He is remembered amidst literary circles for his immense contribution to language and literature.


Born in the year 1887 in a Zamindar family of Rampella, Gokulanand Panda was a poet of extraordinary caliber. His works include “Hrudaya Lahari”, a collection of poems written on myriad thought of life and experiences. Besides Gokulanand was an artist of taste. He met an immature death in the year 1951.


A renowned writer of humour and social satire, Sunil Mishra was very popular in field of journalism and drama. He was the founder – editor of “Jana Samikshya”, a magazine on humour. As a play Wright, Sunil also composed dramas among which “Manikya Munda”, “Nursingha Nath” and “Akbar Ray” are much acclaimed. He died on 31st August, 1986.


Academician, political activist, agriculturist, social worker and littérateur rolled in to one, Braja Mohan Panda who was born on 5th June, 1890 in village Larambha of un-divided Sambalpur district. He was educated from a primary school at Sambalpur, Revenshaw Collagiate School at Cuttack and later on from Presidency Collage of Calcutta in literature and law. Braja Mohan was instrumental in establishment of Larambha College, the oldest College of Western Odisha. Being a great reader of literature and an enthusiastic publisher of the works of many luminaries, Braja Mohan breathed his last on 15th May, 1965. He has been regarded as an Educationist of repute even today.


Born on 29th September, 1901 in village Rohania in un-divided Sambalpur district, Siba Prasad Das was an eminent writer of children’s literature and history. Besides compiling the rare history of Sambalpur i.e “Sambapur Itihas” and “Atitara Odisha”, Siba Prasad has also written a good number of valuable books on sports, environment. He has compiled a discourse on Geeta and Letters written by poet Gangadhar Meher at different times. Seriously involved in his avocation as a teacher, Siba Prasad started a printing press “Biswa Bharati” in Sambalpur Town and was admired for its transparency in publishing industry. He died on 24th May, 1976.


Born in the year 1901, Nrusingha Guru, well known as the Gandhi of Western Odisha, was a simple, dedicated and patriotic Freedom Fighter who had been jailed for several times for his active participation inn Indian Freedom Movement. Associated in the service of the poor and downtrodden, Nrusingha Guru was incharge of Thakar Bapa Ashram and other socio – welfare organizations. He was a Journalist of commitments who had worked for the news paper “Samaj” for more than two decades. Clad in simple loin cloth and unshaken by all material temptations, the Gandhian greatman died on 3rd January, 1984.


Eminent Freedom Fighter, first lawyer in Sambalpur, Chardra Sekhar Behara was born on 20th May, 1873 in Dhankauda Village near Sambalpur Town. Remembered for his dedicated works for restoration of Odia Language in Western Odisha, Chandra Sekhar was actively concerned with the freedom movement and was jailed for several times. He was involved in a good no. of socio – political and cultural organizations. He was instrumental in the activities of Utkal Sammilani in formation of the separate statehood for Odisha. Chandra Sekhar breathed his last on 23rd January, 1936.


Born on 10th February, 1931 in an artisan’s family of Sambalpur town, Padmashree Jadunath Supakar was educated from National Arts School of Santiniketan. Starting as an artist of portraits, Jadunath earned his name as a great master of handicraft who continued his undying effort for popularity of forgotten traditional weaving . Working for national handloom Board, Jadunath tied his hand in Serriculture. His designs were highly appreciated in London, Paris, New York and he was engaged in weavers service center, established for the cause of artisans development. Jadunath was also known for his mastery in playing musical instruments.


Being an accomplished personality Sradhakar Supakar was born on 8th April, 1915 in Jharuapara of Sambalpur district. Supakar was a multifaceted potential, bearing ample marks of academic performance, patriotism, political activism and Gandhian values. He was opposition leader in the Odisha Legislative Assembly. Besides being a renowned research scholar who had been conferred a Doctorate in Humanities, Supakar was also a writer of eminence. His biography “Madhayama Purusa” and book of poems “Premara Aneka Ranga” have been much discussed in the literary circles. He died on 5th January, 1993.


Migrated from Baisotyara of Northern India, Kasinath Singh permanently settled in Sambalpur as a physician. Kasinath served the patients affected by Cholera, Small Pox, Chiken Pox in Sambalpur. Besides he initiated many social works in Sambalpur and established a trust for such purposes in 1874. He was the family physician of Sambalpur Royal Family but treated all the patients, rich and poor alike without any prejudice.


Known for his service and benevolence par excellence, Isaac Santra was born in the year 1892 at Sambalpur. Being a Christian, he was persuaded by his family to join a missionary at Bolangir but his interest was different. He graduated as a Doctor from Cuttack and decided to dedicate himself in Leprosy Eradication Mission. He established a Lepor home at Hatibari, a village surrounded by dense forests and spent his time in serving the patients. Highly admired by the patients, academic circles in abroad, even by Mahatma Gandhi during later’s visit to Sambalpur for his humanitarianism and philanthropy, Isaac Santra was honoured by Govt. of India with “Padmashree” award. He also edited a magazine “Prabhatee”, propounding human values and qualities. He died on 29th August, 1968.


Born in Sambalpur in the year 1887, Biswaksen had proved an illustrious example of talent in fighting against poverty. He was educated at Sambalpur and Kolkata, later became a lawyer who associated himself in social service and creative activities. Rejecting the government job, Biswaksen took active interest in farmers’movement and cooperative struggles. Leading a sage-like life characterized by utter simplicity and honesty, Biswaksen breathed his last on Dussera 1957.


One of the committed and ideal teachers and lawyers, Balunkeswar Mishra had influenced the formative years of many great men as their teacher. He was instrumental in establishment of Pruthiraj High School at Bolangir and George High School at Bargarh. He had worked as the Secretary of the reception committee on the eve of Utakal Sammilani Convention at Sambalpur in the year 1915. He was extremely  reedom-loving, honest, principle-oriented and simple. He breathed his last on 27th May, 1949 at Bargarh.


Janardan Pujari, well known as the “Doctor Papa” in Sambalpur, was born on 10th November, 1893, in Rairakhol of Sambalpur district. Very truthful and contemplative from child-hood, Janardan completed his Medical Degree from Calcutta and spent his life time through health services. He was deeply religious and had established Satsangha Asharam as well as Kalyan Ashram in Sambalpur. Extensively traveled, Janardan Pujari had proved himself as a brilliant example in academics and public service. He died on 5th December, 1961.


Eminent Freedom Fighter, known for his selfless and sincere service to the motherland, Laxmi Narayan Mishra was born in the year 1906 and had left school as a student to join India’s Freedom Movement. He was imprisoned for seventeen years, for his active role in National struggle for Independence. Jail provided him advantage to be a scholar and Laxmi Narayan had become a real Pandit with his education on religion, culture and political thought. He was an expert in the languages like Sanskrit, Urdu, Bengali, Telugu, Hindi, English and had earned a fame as an extraordinary orator. He was assassinated during a train journey at Jharsuguda.