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Nilgiri (Princely State)

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AgencyOrissa States Agency
Accession1st January 1948
Area736 km²
Population50,972 (1892)
Privy Purse₹ 40,000
Hindi Nameनीलगिरी
Also known asNilagiri
Last Updated04th Dec, 2023

Present Head/Ruler

Raja JAYANT CHANDRA MARDRAJ HARICHANDAN, 39th Raja Saheb of Nilgiri since the 30th May 2001, born 1956, educated at Hartley’s School, Calcutta, at Stewart School, Cuttack, at Rajkumar College, Raipur, at B.J.B. College, Bhubaneswar and at Utkal University (B.A., LL.B.); he is a very strong enthusiast and activist in the Preservation of Wild Life; General Secratary, Art and Culture Cell, Orissa Pradesh Congress Committee 2003/2004; Member, State Election Committee, Youth Congress, 1996; President (nominee) P.K.Bidya mandir, Dompara, 1989/1992; Vice President of the Governing Council of Rajkumar College, Raipur 2001/2004; Member, Managing Committee 2009/2014; Honorary Wild life Warden, Forest Dept., Odisha; Member, Panchlingeshwar Development Committee, Tourism Deptt. Odisha; Advisor, Ekrata Baleswar, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha; Member State Board for Wild Life, Govt., Odisha; Member, State Expert Committee, critical wild life habitat, Forest Dept., Odisha; Member, Executive Committeem, Nature Wildlife Conservation Society; Member, Odisha State Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF-India), New Delhi; Secretary/Co-convenor, Natural Heritage division, Odisha chapter, INTACH-New Delhi (Indian National Trust of Art and Cultural Heritage); Member, Selection Committee, State Afforestation Awards, Forest Dept., Odisha 2000/2001; Member, District Environment Society, collectorate, Khurda 2001/2003; Member, District Implementation and Monitoring Committee, Eco-Clubs, N.G.P.C., Odisha; Team Leader, Status survey of Birds 2001/2004; Member Irrawady dolphin census; Approved Consultant, Wildlife tourism Simlipal/Nilgiri Govt. Tourist Dept., Odisha; Chief Advisor, Relocation and Rehabilitaion;Y.R.D.O. tiger reserve, Odisha; Advisor Tribal medicinal Research project; Member, Expert study team, O.E.S. Mahendragiri hills mini-Biosphere; Consulting editor, American Biograpical Institute Inc (A.B.I.), North Carolina, U.S.A.; Member, selection committee, Biju Patnaik Awards for Wildlife Conservation-2013, Forest dept., Govt of Odisha; Member, Rath Yatra preparatory committee, Dompada Debottar, Law Dept, Govt. of Odisha, Odisha State President of Akhil Bharatiya Khsatriya Mahasbha; married Rani Manoja Manjari Devi, eldest daughter of Raja Kirti Chandra Deo Harishchandra Jagadev of Surangi, and his wife, Rani Soubhagya Manjari Devi; she was also the adopted daughter of the Senior Rani Srimanta Manjari Devi, wife of Raja Kishore Chandra Deo Samanta of Athmalik; she was educated at St. Joseph’s Convent and Sailabala Women’s College, Cuttack and has a diploma in Interior Decoration and a Post Graduate Degree in Psychological Counselling. Vice President, State Mahila Congress (OPCC). She is a Reiki Grandmaster (Reiki is a healing therapy recognized by the W.H.O. as an alternate therapy). She is the Director of Svadhyaya Foundation involved in Reiki teaching and practising. She is also a Founder Member of AOL Bhubaneswar Chapter. She is proud to have represented AOL in World Faith Conference in 1999 as its youngest delegate. She was associated with the Training Division of Amway International, which was awarded for its express efforts at setting up the Pick up Centre at Bhubaneswar. She is the Hereditary Trustee and President of Nilgiri Debotar and is involved in many religious and charitable services through it. She is a Trustee of Visamo Foundation involved in educating brilliant children from BPL families. Besides Social activities, her literary awards have been rewarded by Swami Tejomayananda in Chinmay International Magzines. President, Sree Jagannath Prachar Gabesana Sangathan, Balasore District, Odisha. Member, Debottar Advisory Board, Athmallik Debottar (Endowments), District Angul, Odisha. Some of her works have been published in Asian Age, Sambad and Bhubaneswar Club Magazine of which she was on the Editorial Board. She has addressed the Rotary Club of Bhubaneswar on two occasions, once on Reiki and recently on Life After Death, appointed as Trustee (ITB) of Lord Lingaraj Mahaprabhu, Bhubaneswar by Honorable Commissioner of Endowments, Odisha; and has issue, one son.

  • Yuvraj Janmejay Chandra Mardaraj Harichandan, born 25th May 1986; educated at Rajkumar College Raipur, at Delhi Public School, Ahmedabad, at Utkal University (B.Com., Hons. with Distinction) and at Asia Pacific Institute of Management Studies, New Delhi (M.B.A.), married Rajkumari Harshita Singh, daughter of Raja Bahadur Ghanshyam Singh of Kothi, District Satna, Madhya Pradesh.
    • Tikayet Raghvendra Chandra Mardaraj Harichandan, born 3rd April 2018.

Short History

Raja of Nilgiri belongs to a Kshatriya family claiming descent from Narayan Singh Bhujang Mandhata Birat Basant Harichandan, a scion of the House of Chhota Nagpur, who married a daughter of Raja Rudra Pratap Dev, Raja of Orissa, around the commencement of the fifteenth century and founded the Nilgiri Raj.

The title of Raja has always been enjoyed by the family and was formally recognized by the British Government in 1874; every Raja bears the title of Mardaraj Harichandan, and the family cognizance is a karaila flower.


  • Raja NARAYAN SINGH Bhujang Mandhata Birat Basant Harichandan, Raja of Nilgiri 1521/1564, a scion of the Chhota-Nagpur Royal Family, married about 1510, a daughter of Raja Pratap Rudra Dev of Orissa.
  •  …… (23 intervening rulers)
  • Raja RAM CHANDRA MARDRAJ HARICHANDAN, 32nd Raja of Nilgiri 1797/1832
  • Raja GOVIND CHANDRA MARDRAJ HARICHANDAN, 33rd Raja of Nilgiri 1832/1833.
  • Rani Chira Devi, 34th Rani of Nilgiri 1833/1843
  • Raja KRISHNA CHANDRA MARDRAJ HARICHANDAN, 35th Raja of Nilgiri 1843/1893, born 1827, succeeded 22nd November 1832, title of Raja formally recognised in 1874.
  • Raja SHYAM CHANDRA MARDRAJ HARICHANDAN, 36th Raja of Nilgiri 1893/1913, adopted in 1882, son of Maharaja Krishna Chandra Bhanj of Mayurbhanj, married, and had issue, one son and one daughter.
    • Raja Kishore Chandra Mardraj Harichandan (qv)
    • Rani Basant Manjari Devi, born 1906, entered politics as the Rajmata of Ranpur; M.L.A. (Orissa) 1952/1961 (two terms); Deputy Minister, Health (20.2.1952) – (6.4.1957); Health Minister of Orissa (27.4.1957) – (22.5.1959), she was the first Woman of the State to be included to the State Ministry; she proved to be popular and a TB Hospital in Chandpur is named after her; married 1928, Yuvaraj Biranchi Narayan Singh Deo of Ranpur, and had issue. She died 7th June 1961.
  • Raja KISHORE CHANDRA MARDRAJ HARICHANDAN, 37th Raja of Nilgiri 1913/1960, born 2nd February 1904 and succeeded as the 37th Raja Saheb of Nilgiri on 6th July 1913, he was granted full ruling powers on 2nd February 1925, and installed on 20th April 1925; educated at Mayo College, Ajmer; married 1stly, 28th February 1922, Rani Anand Kumari, daughter of HH Raja Sir Pratap Singhji of Alirajpur, married 2ndly, 19th June 1925, Rani Giriraj Kumari Devi, daughter of the Thakore Saheb of Thakurgaon in Ranchi, Bihar, and had issue, five sons and three daughters. He died 29th March 1960.
    • Rajkumari Kamlesh Manjari Devi (by Rani Anand Kumari), born 1923, married 1944, Maharaj Naharsinghji, born 1909, died 1966, of Chhota Udaipur in Gujarat, and had issue, one son. She died 2010.
      • Maharaj Tarun Dev
    • Rajkumari Swarnalata Manjari Devi (by Rani Giriraj Kumari), born 1924, married Maharajkumar Shri Shri Shri Madhav Sundar Gajapathi Narayana Deo of Parlakhimedi (later Raja Madhav Sundar Gajapati Narayan Deo of Delang, Balaramnagar and Manikprasad), born 1919, died 1995, second son of Capt. Maharaja Saheb Shri Shri Shri Krishna Chandra Gajapathi Narayana Deo of Parlakhimedi, and had issue, one son.
      • Rajkumar Birendra Gajpati, born 1947, died unmarried 2001.
    • Raja Rajendra Chandra Mardaraj Harichandan (by Rani Giriraj Kumari) (qv)
    • Rajkumari Snehalata Manjari Devi [Maharani Suryamani Pattamahadei of Puri] (by Rani Giriraj Kumari), born 1935, married Sri Gajapathi Maharaj Bira Kishore Deb of Puri, and had issue, two sons and one daughter. She died in 1994.
    • Rajkumar Chotrai Bharatendra Chandra Mardaraj Harichandan, born 1941, married the daughter of Lal Saheb of Thakurgaon, Ranchi and has issue, one son and two daughters. He died 21st March 2016.
      • Kumar Gautam Mardaraj, married Rajkumari Sweta Devi, daughter of Lal Saheb of Palkot, Jharkand.
      • Kumari Upasana Devi, married in Lucknow, Kunwar Myankeshwar Sharan Singh of Tiloi, and has issue.
      • Kumari Archana Devi (now Bhavanidevi Singh), married Kumar Devendra Pratap Singh, son of Late Kumar Surendra Pratap Singh of Raigarh, Chattisgarh.
    • Rajkumar Routrai Saheb Rathendra Chandra Mardaraj Harichandan (by Rani Giriraj Kumari), born 1943 in Nilgiri, educated at Rajkumar College, Raipur; married 9th May 1976 in Badagaon, Balasore, Rajkumarani Prativa Devi, daughter of Shri Radhashyam Das of Badagaon, Balasore, and has issue, one son and one daughter.
      • Kumar Sandeep Mardaraj, married Debismita Samal of Jajpur.
      • Kumari Vidya Devi, married Sri Prakash Misra of Balasore.
    • Rajkumar Badkumar Surendra Chandra Mardaraj Harichandan (by Rani Giriraj Kumari), born 1945, married the daughter of the Raja of Kalkala Estate, Cuttack, and has issue, one son. He died 2011.
      • Kumar Hara Prasad Mardaraj, married Sasmita Debi of Kalyansinghpur, Rayagada, Odisha and has issue.
    • Rajkumar Sankumar Kirendra Chandra Mardaraj Harichandan (by Rani Giriraj Kumari), born 1947, married Rajkumarani Renuka, daughter of a Lal Saheb of Jharia Estate, Ranchi, and has issue, two sons.
      • Kumar Prakash Chandra Mardaraj, M.Sc., born 6th May 1981, Ranchi, Jharkhand, graduated in 2006 with an M.Sc. degree in Wildlife and Conservation Biology, he was working with the Wildlife Institute, Dehradun and is presently pursuing a Doctorate degree on the Ecology of the Sloth Bear in Nilgiri, Odisha from University of Reading.
      • Kumar Bikash Mardaraj Harichandan, born in 23June 1994, completed his Masters with Computer Science in 2018. Working with multinational IT firms, presently joined Tata Consultancy services, Hyderabad as a Senior System Engineer.
  • Raja RAJENDRA CHANDRA MARDRAJ HARICHANDAN, 38th Raja of Nilgiri 1960/2001, born 9th April 1930, succeeded his father on 29th March 1960; educated at Rajkumar College, Raipur, at Ravenshaw College, Cuttack, at MS Law College, Cuttack (LL.B.) and at Jadavpur University, Calcutta (M.A.); joined Ganatantra Parishad in 1960; he has helped to establish the Girls M. E. School at Nilgiri; Member of Managing Committee of Rajkumar College, Raipur; M.L.A. (Orissa) for three terms 1961/1967, 1974/1977 and 1977/1980; interests and pastimes were Reading, Music and Photography, Billiards, Tennis and Shikar; married Rani Indira Devi, only daughter of Raja Amarendra Mansingh Bhramarbar Rai of Dompada in Cuttack, and his wife, Rani Pritam Kumari, and had issue, two sons and one daughter. He died 30th May 2001.
    • Raja Jayant Chandra Mardraj Harichandan (qv)
    • Maharajkumar Jagdish Mardaraj, born 7th Oct 1960; educated at Rajkumar College, Raipur, B.A. (HONS) from Utkal University; he is also specialized in Public Relations (PGDM) from Indian Foundation for PR Education and Research=. Presently, he is Head Corporate Communication & Administration at RSB Metaltech Pvt. Ltd, and have worked in past at Next Management Services Pvt. Ltd. as Senior Consultant; Reliance Group, VP Corporate Affairs; Reliance Industries Ltd, General Manager (Corporate Affairs); Indian Metals and Ferro Alloys Group, Manager (Liaison); Prachi Group of Hotels, Bhubaneswar, Manager (Operation, Administration & Sales). Also, he has been Founder President of ROTARACT club, Bhubaneswar; Founder Member & Chairman PRSI, Bhubaneswar, Vice President Eastern Region, PRS1 Member; Programme advisory committee, Doordarshan; Telecom Advisory Committee (Odisha Circle); ZRUCC, South Eastern Railways, Member, Bhubaneswar Club Ltd; President, Nilgiri Environmental Society; Member, Tourism Institute Bhubaneswar; Secretary, UN Organization, Orissa Chapter; Married on 6th Dec 1987 to Maharajkumari Jyotsna Devi Mardaraj, eldest daughter of Sri Lalchand Navani (Sindhi Kshatriya from Mirpur Khas), Retd. Vigilance Inspector Northern Railways. She has worked with Ballarpur Industries Ltd, Indian Airlines, has been an active member of Rotary Club. Presently, she is the Managing Director of Pritam Kumari Consultants Pvt. Ltd., Member of INTACH, Bhubneswar Club, Bhubneswar Music Circle; has issues, two daughters.
      • Kumari Prakriti
      • Kumari Akriti, a Lawyer by profession and passionate towards the cause of animal welfare and safeguarding heritage. She is a Patron at Council Of Royal Roots as part of the Chamber of Prince & Princess. She advocates Intellectual Property Rights and property-related matters. She is a registered Advocate under Delhi Bar Council Of India. She advises many prominent families and high net worth individuals on their estate and succession planning and family arrangements which typically include family members and assets situated in different jurisdictions. She believes her experience and knowledge in the field of legal services should benefit the one in need and it should become useful for the betterment of safeguarding Indian Art, Culture and Heritage.
    • Rajkumari Jaishree Devi, married Rajkumar Dhruv Narain Singh of Shivrati, and has issue, one son.
      • Shriman Maharaj Sahib Shri Raghav Raj Singh of Shivrati
  • Raja JAYANT CHANDRA MARDRAJ HARICHANDAN, 39th Raja of Nilgiri (see above)

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