Historically, the rulers of the Bhanja dynasty continued to rule over this state in unbroken succession since about the 9th century A.D. Legends believe that under the early Bhanja rulers, the place was well known as Khijjinga Mandala named after the Capital Khijjinga Kotta. The boundary of Bhanja was extended to the Bay of Bengal. During the Mughal Period, the territory of Bhanja rulers extended as far as the sea. By that time, the capital had shifted from Khijjinga Kotta to Haripur. In the 18th century, it was under the control of Marathas. The Third Anglo-Maratha War was occurred in 1829 and the region became the part of British territory. The Kings of Mayurbhanj were pioneering force in the development of Odisha under British rule. Moreover, it was one of the most progressive districts in the entire country during the British rule. On the other hand, the Bhanja kings also set up the first Medical college of the state in Cuttack. They donated a huge sum of money and land as well for the establishment of higher educational institutions like Ravenshaw College. They were also responsible for making endeavors and finally persuading the Britishers for a railway route to Odisha. Mayurbhanj as a separate district came into existence on 1st January, 1949 and included in the Indian Union.
Jatin das is a painter and sculptor. He was awarded with the Utkala Awards in the year 2006, Italian President Award in the year 2007, Bharat Nirman Award in the year 2007 and Padma Bhushan in the year 2012. Adikanda Mahanta is an Indian folklorist and researcher on folk culture. He also worked for children's literature. Tatwa Prakash Satapathy also popularly known as Papu Pom Pom is an Indian film, television, jatra actor, standup comedian. He is a candidate of Odisha Legislative Assembly.
Geographically, the district has a total 10,418 sq kms. area and occupies the rank 1st in State and 64th in India on the bases of this size. It lies at 21°93' N latitude, 86°74' E longitude and 559 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 39.35% forest area of total geographical area. It is surrounded by Midnapure district of West Bengal in the North-East, Singhbhum district of Jharkhand in the Northwest, Baleshwar district in the South-East and Kendujhar in the South-West. The principal river of the district passes through it is Budhbalanga River. The climate of the district is extremely hot in the summers and fairly cold in the winters. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1808.6 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administratively, the district is divided into 31 sub-districts, 5 towns and 3,950 villages. Oriya is its administrative language. The district has its administrative headquarters located at Baripada town which is situated at the distance of 256 kms. from the State Capital.
Demographically, according to the 2011 census, the district has a total number of 5,87,648 households with a total of 25,19,738 comprising 12,56,213 are males and 12,63,525 are females which leads it to rank 3rd in the state and 171st in India. The density of population of the district is 242 (persons per sq kms.). The sex ratio is pegged at 1006 (females per 1000 males) while the child ratio stands at 960 (females per 1000 males). As per 2011 census the percentage of major religions practiced by the people of this region is Hindu with 83.86% of the total population. The population growth rate during the period of 2001-2011 was 13.33% including 11.84% were males and 14.84% were females. According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Oriya and Santali with 54.33% and 24.81%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 37,433 out of which 19,106 were males and 18,327 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 22,018 out of which 12,676 were males and 9,342 were females.
Economically, the district is dependent on agriculture primarily. In the year 2011-12 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 10,00,697 lakhs at current price and Rs. 5,92,956 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2011-12 was Rs. 9,04,079 lakh at current price and Rs. 5,27,767 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2011-12 was Rs. 35,742 at current price and Rs. 20,865 at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. Mayurbhanj is one of the most backward districts and currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). Paddy, pulses, oilseeds, groundnut, etc are the main agricultural products here. Mineral grinding, stone crushing, china clay washing, ceramic industries, soap manufacturing, cables, aluminum utensils, paper mill, paint and chemicals, safety matches, cement products, flour mills are the main industries available in this region.
Education wise, according to the 2011 census, the literacy rate in the district is 63.17% including 73.76% are males and 52.71% are females. The total literate population in the district is 13,69,397 out of which 7,94,171 are males and 5,75,226 are females. Rairangpur College, Karanjia College, Udala College, Govt. Women’s College, U.N College, Utkal Mani Gopabandhu B.Ed. Training College, Mayurbhanj Law College, Mayurbhanj Ayurved Mahavidyalaya, Mayurbhanj Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital, North Orissa School of communication & Management Studies, Seemanta Engineering College and many more are some of the main institutes here.
Sarojini Hembram belongs to the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) party. She was appointed as the state the minister for textile, handlooms and handicrafts in 2009. He was the member of Rajya Sabha in 2014. Bhagirathi Majhi is the member of Bharatiya Janata Party. He represented Orissa in the Rajya Sabha. Sudam Marndi represented the Mayurbhanj constituency in the 14th Lok Sabha of India. He is also a member of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) political party. Sushila Tiriya is a member of Indian National Congress party. He is representative of Odisha in the Rajya Sabha.
The district has some historical and religious places to visit which are famous worldwide. These places are Shimilipal, Khiching, Bhimkund. In the year of 2019, there were total 17,35,473 domestic tourists and 133 foreign tourists. Simlipal National Park is reserved for tigers It has some beautiful waterfalls like Joranda and Barehipani. In 2009, it became the part of UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserve. Simlipal is known for gaurs (Indian bison), chausingha and an orchidarium. Baripada is a good tourist place in the Mayurbhanj region. It is consisting of the wildlife parks, lush valleys, forest lands and scores of ancient temples. Khiching is an ancient village in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, India. It is abode of Maa Kichakeswari Devi. It has a fabulous temple, built from black stone. A festival is celebrated in Khiching on Shivratri. Temple Of Maa Kichakeswari is also located here. Maharaja Purna Chandra Bhanjdeo established a museum in this place in the year 1922. Bhimkund is a holy park which has a natural water tank. The water of the sacred Bhimkund is blue in color.