The history of Gajapati District mainly comprises the history of the rule of Gajapati rulers in the district. The king of Paralakhemundi Shri Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayan Deo had the kingship of the majestic Gajapati rulers, who later continued as the supreme authority of Odisha for at least more than seven centuries. At that time the territorial boundary of Odisha was extended from the Ganga in the North to Udoyagiri in Nellore district in the South including the entire District of Ganjam. When Kolahomee, one of the sons of Kapilendra Deo conquered this part of Odisha at the later half of the 15th century then he installed the kingdom and the Raj family of Paralakhemundi. As per the history of Gajapati relates, Paralakhemundi was a zamindary estate at that time, situated at the western nook of the southern most part of the Ganjam district. There was the rule of Maliya tribals in the land during that period. Gajapati district was named after Maharaja Sri Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayan Dev, the Raja Sahib of the Paralakhemundi estate. He is the first Chief Minister of the state. In ancient time, the area was dominated by the Maliya tribals. Now, it comes under the Red Corridor.
Krishna Priya was a devotee of Lord Krishna and a disciple of Sai Baba of Shirdi too who started the Mission called ‘Sadguru’. She wrote several books such as Shri Sai Satcharitra in Telugu (original), Shri Sai Satcharitra in English, Shri Sai Satcharitra in Kannada, Shri Sai Satcharitra in Marathi and Shri Sai Satcharitra in Oriya, etc.
Geographically, the district has a total 4,325 sq. kms. area and occupies the rank 16th in State and 272nd in India on the basis of this size. It lies at 19019'N latitude, 84019'E longitude and 1501 m altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 58.30% forest area of total geographical area. It is bounded by the Kandhamal district, Rayagada district, Ganjam district, Srikakulam district, and Andhra Pradesh. 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 1861.1 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 10 sub-districts, 5 towns and 1,612 villages. Oriya is its official language. It came into existence on 1st April, 1993 with its administrative headquarters located at Paralakhemundi which is situated at a distance of 278 kms. from the State Capital.
Demographically, according to the 2011 census, the district has a total number of 1,28,818 households with a total of 5,77,817 comprising 2,82,882 are males and 2,94,935 are females which leads it to rank 28th in the State and 533rd in India. The density of population of the district is 134 (persons per sq. kms.). The sex ratio is pegged at 1043 (females per 1000 males) while the child ratio stands at 967 (females per 1000 males). The schedule caste population of the district is recorded as 39,175 including 19,037 are males, and 20,138 are females. As per 2011 census the percentage of major religion practiced by the people of this region is Hindu with 61.12% of the total population. The population growth rate during the period of 2001-2011 was 11.37% including 10.75% were males and 11.97% were females. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Oriya with 41.51%. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 10,445 out of which 5,479 were males and 4,966 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 5,613 out of which 3,163 were males and 2,450 were females.
Eonomically, the district is dependent on agriculture primarily. The Gross District Domestic Product during 2011-12 was Rs. 2,48,062 lakh at current price and Rs. 1,46,647 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The Net District Domestic Product during 2011-12 was Rs. 2,29,753 lakh at current price and Rs. 1,34,529 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, at factor cost during 2011-12 was Rs. 39,687 lakh at current price and Rs. 23,238 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The district is receiving the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF) as one of the most backward districts.
Education wise, according to the 2011 census, the literacy rate in the district is 53.49% out of which 64.38% are males and 43.18% are females. The total literate population of the district is 2,62,537 including 1,53,663 are males and 1,08,874 are females. Sri Krushna Chandra Gajapati College (SKCG), Maha Raja's Boys High School (MRBHS), Maha Raja's Girls High School (MRGHS), Jagannath Institute for Technology and Management (JITM), MPX Technologies (MPX), Centurion School for Rural Enterprise Management (CSREM), Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) and Hill Top College are some of the most reputed educational institutions in the district.
The district has several famous historical and religious places to visit. These places are Gandahati Waterfall, Mahendragiri, Chandragiri, Brundavan Palace. In the year of 2018, there were total 3,71,115 domestic tourists and 24 foreign tourists who visited the above places. Adarsh Krushi Farm is located below the Devagiri rang forest. It is a mango orchard. It is a very beautiful place. B.N Palace or “Brundaban Palace” was built by the Maharaja of Paralakhemundi. Presently, Government in Education Department and P.G Classes of S.K.C.G College are located in this palace. Gandahati has a waterfall. A temple is also located near the waterfall. Mahendragiri is a devotional place. There are some temples namely Kunti, Judhistrir & Bheema temples of religious importance. Chandragiri has horticulture plantation on the large scale. Mango, orange, guava, pineapple, etc. are the main fruits grow in the place. Tibetan woolen garments & carpet are also the main products of this place.