Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has released a book on Gajapati kings of the state.
The book titled ‘Gajapati: A king without a kingdom’ and written by Ashok Bal, was released by the chief minister on Saturday.
It deals with the fascinating history of Gajapati kings starting from Suryavanshi Gajapati Kapilendra Deb.
Kapilendra Deb and his successors uninterruptedly used the royal title of Gajapati after the Ganga kings. It is in vogue to date.
The book highlights a unique facet of ritual association between Gajapati kings and Lord Jagannath.
Ganga king Chodaganga Deb held “Purusottam” Jagannath as the supreme. Gajapati kings are referred to as the “Adyasevak” or first servitor of the Lord.
Kapilendra Deb’s regime was the pinnacle of Odia glory and grandeur when the kingdom stretched from Ganga to Cauvery, the book narrated.
People should know about the long history of Gajapati kings, the author said, adding that there is a need to bring historical facts into public domain.
Bal’s attempt to present the Gajapati tradition and its myriad narratives is a praiseworthy attempt, Patnaik said.
As the titular head of the dynasty, the Gajapati Maharaja of Puri now functions as the chairman of the Shri Jagannath Temple Managing Committee after the government took over the management of the 12th century shrine.
He participates in various rituals of the temple during festivals such as Ratha Jatra, Bahuda Jatra, Pusyabhiseka, Snana Jatra and other important events.