Historically, the district belongs to prehistoric period. One of the Shakti Pithas is situated here. It is also called as Parvati Tirth. It also has reference in Maha Bharat. According to the some scholars, the name of the place is originated from the word ‘Yajnapura’ and according to some others, it derived from ‘Jajatipura’. King Jajati of Somavansa made this place as his capital.
Ramakanta Panda is the Chief Consultant for Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgery. He is also serving as the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Asian Heart Institute. In 2002, he established the Asian Heart Institute. He is famous as 'one of the safest heart surgeons in the world' and the 'surgeon with the safest hands'.
Geographically, the district has a total 2,899 sq. kms. area and occupies the rank 24th in State and 402nd in India on the bases of this size. It lies at 20°85'N latitude, 86°33'E longitude and 331 m altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 10.56% forest area of total geographical area. Baitarani River passes through the district. 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 1841.9 mm in the year of 2019-2020.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 18 sub-districts, 08 towns and 1,783 villages. Oriya is its official language. It came into existence on the 1st April, 1993 with its administrative headquarters located at Panikoili which is situated at a distance of 94 kms. from the State Capital.
Demographically, according to the 2011 census, the district has a total number of 4,07,572 households with a total of 18,27,192 comprising 9,26,034 are males and 9,01,158 are females which leads it to rank 7th in the state and 261st in India. The density of population of the district is 630 (persons per sq. kms.). The sex ratio is pegged at 973 (females per 1000 males) while the child ratio stands at 926 (females per 1000 males). As per 2011 census the percentage of major religions practiced by the people of this region is Hindu with 94.44% of the total population. The population growth rate during the period of 2001-2011 was 12.49% including 12.42% are males and 12.56% are females. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Oriya with 90.27%. In the year 2018 the number of live births in the district was 25,767 including 13,617 were males and 12,150 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 11,290 including 6,395 were males and 4,895 were females.
Economically, the district is dependent on agriculture primarily. The GDDP or Gross District Domestic Product during 2011-12 was Rs. 12,03,567 lakh at current price and Rs. 5,60,803 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The Net District Domestic Product during 2011-12 was Rs. 9,78,731 lakh at current price and Rs. 4,23,498 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, at factor cost during 2011-12 was Rs. 53,277 at current price and Rs. 23,053 at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The district has six big steel plants as Jindal Stainless Limited, Neelanchal Ispat Nigam Limited, VISA Steel, Maithan Ispat Ltd., Mesco Steel, Tata Steel.
Education wise, according to the 2011 census, the percentage of literate persons is 80.13% out of which 86.84% are males and 73.29% are females. The total literate population of the district is 12,90,455 including 7,06,396 are males and 5,84,059 are females. The district has several educational institutes including schools and colleges. N.C Autonomous College, Jajpur, Sadhu Goureswar College, Sadhu Goureswar College and Vyasanagar College are some of the main colleges of the district.
Baishnab Charan Parida belongs to a Bihu Janta Dal. He is also a write, social activist and Rajya Sabha member. He is appointed as the Member of the Standing Committee on Social Justice & Empowerment and Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. Managobinda Samal or Mana Babu, was a politician and social activist. He was represented as a Member of Legislative Assembly, twice.
The district has many famous historical and religious tourist places to visit. These places are Biraja Khetra, Chandikhol, Duburi, Ratnagiri, Chhatia, Mahabinayak, Atharanala Polo, Dasawamedha Ghat, Gokarneswar Temple, Jaganath Temple, Langudi Hill, Saptamatruka Temple, Trilochaneswar Temple, Udayagiri, Galagali Sankha. In the year of 2018, there were total 21,38,812 domestic tourists and 2,659 foreign tourists who visited these places. Jaganath temple is a very famous temple, situated on the bank of river Baitarani. The temple has oldest construction style. Dasaswamedha Ghat is famous holy place. Pilgrims take bath here for blessings. Famous Gokarneswar temple is another famous place for worship here. it is believed that the Pandavas paid homage to their forefathers here at the bank of river Brahmani. Chandikhole town is named after Goddess Chandi. Bhairabananda Bramhachari established this temple of Maa Chandi. Ratnagiri has Buddhist sculptures.