Koraput is a town and a Municipality in Koraput district in the Indian state of Odisha.Koraput town is the district headquater of Koraput district. The district of Koraput derives its name from its headquarters the present town of Koraput. In ancient times when the Nalas were ruling over this tract, Pushkari near modern Umarkot was the capital city. In the medieval period Nandapur developed as the capital under the Silavamsi kings and sometimes under the kings of the Solar dynasty. Vikram Dev of the Solar dynasty shifted his headquarters to Jeypore about the middle of the 17th century and this town prospered as the capital. Koraput was chosen by the British in 1870 for better health prospects. The origin of the name of Koraput is obscure. There are several theories, none of which are convincing. According to Mr. R.C.S.Bell the name of the town is ‘Kora-Putti’ or”the hamlet of the nux-vomica” and it is derived presumably from a tree or trees that must at one time have been prominent near the site. But today not a single tree of nux-vomica is to be found near about the town of Koraput and so the assumption or Mr. Bell is open to question. According to second theory, Koraput is corrupted form of ‘Karaka pentho’ Karaka literally mans ‘hail-stone’. It is also believed that one ‘Khora Naiko’ laid foundation of the village during the time of Nandapur kings. He hailed probably from Ranpur and served under the Nandapur kings in the Militia, and for his faithful and meritorious services he has permitted to establish this village which was named after him as Khora Putu, and later on the name has been abbreviated to ‘Koraput’. Koraput is also a Tourism Place.The town is surrounded by mountains, thick forests and waterfalls. Marking a social success for others to emulate, the past two years, around 220 tribal villagers of the non-descript Bondaguda village under Similiguda block in the district has become totally free of open defecation with each of its 45 families constructing toilets in their homes. This district is a part of the tribal belt in southern Odisha. As the word 'tribal' often denotes a negative connotation, the indigenous people here prefer to be known as 'Adivasis' meaning 'original inhabitants'. Most of the area was under thick forest cover until a few years ago. Many adivasi communities live in this district. Largely due to deforestation, industrialization and urbanization these communities have almost come to modernity and are adopting new ways of life. However, on any Sunday one can see the adivasis selling their products (vegetables and fruits of organic origin) in Sunday markets popularly known as HAT PODA. Tha hat poda or the 'haat' plays an important role in maintaining Adivasi identity. In the month of December (1st-2nd week), a famous festival of tribals, organised by the district administration DONGAR FESTIVAL or PARAB is being organised every year to showcase the life of adivasis. In reality, one could see the Adivasis being paraded as 'museum specimens' for the sake of the voyeuristic tourist. Many foreign tourists also visit this place to witness this festival. The adivasi languages, culture and traditional knowledge are closely connected with their ecosystem. Koraput is mostly famous for its Jagannath Temple which is also known as Sabara Srikhetra. Srikhetra is normally referred to as Puri Jagannath, but the unique identity of the Koraput temple is because of the fact that no section of the society is barred entry. Thousands of persons flock to the temple every day for darshan. The Temple trust has built huge accommodation centres for pilgrims and is an important force behind the growing number of tourist arrivals. The trust also runs COATS (Council of Analytical Tribal Studies), a university–like educational institute is a successful attempt to restore and educate tribal way of life, customs, tradition, medicine, language, social structure and history. This quite paradoxical: A group of people building a Hindu temple on one hand and running COATS for tribal culture restoration on the other. Being at the heart of tribal belt in South Odisha, it has also many hill stations though they are not that famous as other hill stations of India. Places like Machkund, Onukadelli, Jalaput, Chindri, Hatipathar,(Deomali) Potangi etc. are places to be visited for their scenic beauty. Koraput has good linkage with other parts of the state as well as some major cities of neighboring states, by means of rail and road. National highway number 26(43) passes through the town which connects it with Raipur and Visakhapatnam. Buses are a plenty from Visakhapatnam and Vijayanagaram to Koraput. Buses to Jeypore, Jagdalpur, Umerkote, etc., also passes through Koraput. By Railways, it is also well connected with Rayagada, Visakhapatnam, Berhampur, Jagdalpur, Howrah, Bhubaneswar, Rourkela. Also new proposed Biju Expressway will connect this city with Rourkela.

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