Centrally located on the Geo-Political map of Odisha, Dhenkanal District is surrounded by beautiful wild lives and forests.The District is situated on the Cuttack-Sambalpur road (NH 55) and on the Cuttack-Sambalpur or Baranga-Sambalpur railway line. The Dhenkanal District touches the boundary of Kendujhar district on its north, Cuttack district on south and bounded by Jajpur District on the east and Angul District on its west. It is commonly believed that the Dhenkanal District owes its name to a Savara chief named ‘DHENKA’ who formerly ruled over in this tract. Dhenkanal District covers an area of 4452 Sq Km. It has a vast area covered with dense forests and a long range of hills.This is the reason of calling the District as ‘Home of Elephants and tigers of the country’. The District lies between 85 degree 58’ E to 86 degree to 2’ E longitude and between 20 degree 29’ N to 21 degree 11’ N latitude.Dhenkanal District has a moderate climate.The District experiences hot with high humidity during April and May and cold during the winter months, i.e. December and January. The monsoon generally breaks during the month of June with the average annual rainfall being 1421.1 mm. As per the agriculture is concerned, the District produces a substantial agricultural yield and paddy, ground nut, cashew nut, potato, mango, jackfruit, sugarcane and some vegetables as its primary agricultural products.
Dhenkanal is very rich in case of eminent personalities. Baji Rout (freedom fighter), Bira Baishnaba Pattanaik (Freedom Fighter), Brajanath Badajena (Eminent Poet), Sarangadhar Dash, Nandini Satpathy (First and only woman Chief Minister of Odisha), Kalpana Das (First woman from Odisha to scale Mt Everest) are some of the prominent personalities born in this District.
Dhenkanal District is very much famous for its fairs and festivals. Gajalaxmi Puja is very much popularly known festival to be celebrated in the District. Every year this festival begins from Kumar Purnima and continues for eleven days. Kapilash is the abode of Lord Chandra Sekhar which is one of the famous tourist spot of Odisha. Every year during Mahashiv Ratri “Jagar Yatra” is being observed. Dussehera festival of Kamakhyanagar bears a special significance in the culture of Dhenkanal District. Maghamela at Joronda is yet another most famous festival of ‘Mahima Dharma’. Every year it begins on ‘Magha Purnima’ and continues for four days at Jorondo. Bullock festival of Bhuban has a special identity. Racing competition is held among the bullocks and prizes are awarded to the owners.
The Dhenkanal district has its administrative headquarters in Dhenkanal town. In the present scenario of the administrative set up, there are 3 sub divisions, 8 tahsils and 8 CD blocks. There are total number of 198 gram Panchayat, 4 Urban Bodies (1.Dhenkanal Municipality 2.Bhuban NAC, 3.Kamakhyanagar NAC and 4.Hindol NAC) and 15 police stations running in the District of Dhenkanal.As per 2011 Provisional Census the Dhenkanal District has 1237 villages having 11,92,948 population out of which 6,12,597 Male population and 5,80,351 Female Population. The Dhenkanal District is having 79.41% literacy rate with total numbers of 4,71,681 male literates and 3,70,307 female literates.
As per Educational Institutions are concerned, Dhenkanal District is famous all over the world for Indian Institutes of Mass Communication (IIMC). Educational Institutes like Dhenkanal College, Dhenkanal Law College, Brajanath Badajena High School, Sarangadhar High School, Kamakhyanagar and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sarang are in the Dhenkanal District. Other major Technical Institutes imparting Technical Education are also located in the District like Indira Gandhi Institute of technology, Sarang, Govt. Polytechnic, Dhenkanal, Govt. ITI, Synergy Institute of Engineering and Technology, Odisha Institute of Engineering and Technology and Pathani Samanta Institute of Engineering and Technology.
For the promotion of the different Industrial activities, there is the District Industries centre functioning with effect from 1st, September, 1978, with the jurisdiction of undivided Dhenkanal District. After bifurcation of Angul district, the jurisdiction of DIC Dhenkanal was both Dhenkanal and Angul Districts till 31.12.1999. In Angul District, a full-fledged DIC was opened with effect from 01.01.2000.There are five numbers of Industrial Estates/Areas established in this District by Industrial Development Corporation of Odisha (IDCO). Different schemes have also been introduced in the District for the betterment of the Industrial scenario. For the development of Handicrafts enterprises, the schemes being implemented in the District are related to the followings: (a) Setting up of handicraft enterprises (b) Rehabilitation of handicraft artisans and (c) Cluster development programmes. Certain industries are also based on the agricultural and forest products available. Dhenkanal consists of many chief minerals like chrome ore and granaite stone sustaining many industries. Some large scale industries like Nilachal Refractories, Utkal Asbestos Ltd, M/S Nababharat Ventures Ltd., M/S. Bhusan Steel & Strips Ltd., M/S. GMR Energy Ltd. and Shakti Sugars are established in the District. The Dhenkanal District is famous all over the world for its Dokra casting, Bell Metals, Horn works, Straw works, Wood carving, Stone carving, Tribal jewellery and Silver Filigree.
It is commonly believed that Dhenkanal District owes its name to a Savara chief named “Dhenka”, who ruled the land. Historical facts of Dhenkanal in its prehistoric times are still in dark limbo due to non availability of any written documents. But the archeological evidences and rock inscriptions help out in getting some information regarding prehistoric facts of the District.
The Nasik rock inscription discloses that the Sattavahana Dynasty ruled the District during 2nd Century A.D. While in the 3rd and 4th Century A.D Guptas were at head of the administration. In the 6th and 7th Century A.D, Dhenkanl was ruled by Bhauma Karas. Finally, the Sulki Dynasty became the absolute authority of Dhenkanal District and continued to rule till 9th Century. As the history of Dhenkanal contemplates, the authority of Dhenkanal has been passed under various kings and chiefs belonging to various Dynasties.