The territory comprising the district of Balangir was part of the erstwhile Patna State. The Patna State was an important State in western Odisha under the Chauhans since 14th century AD. The Chauhans were one of the most powerful rulers who ruled as many as eighteen Garhs in Western Odisha under them. Ramai Deo founded the kingdom of Patna in 14th century, and within a short span became the head of a cluster of eighteen Garhs. The twelfth king Narasimha Deo handed over to his brother Balaram Deo the territory lying north of the river Ang. The latter founded the State of Sambalpur which became the most powerful of the Garhjat clusters and subsequently the importance of Patna declined. The capital of the Patna State was Patnagarh. During the middle of 16th century Balalaram Deo shifted the capital to 40 km south of Patnagarh, a centrally located place called Balaramgarh, later began to be known as Balangir.
The State of Patna was under the possession of the Marathas of Nagpur since 1755 and was later occupied by the East India Company in 1804 in course of the Second Maratha war but again returned to the Raja of Nagpur in 1806. In 1818 after the Third Maratha war the Patna State was again handed back to the Company. Under the British governance, Patna State was first included in the ‘South Bihar and Chotanagpur Mahals’, an administrative division created in 1819 and then in the South-West Frontier Agency which was organised under Regulation III of 1833. When the Agency was abolished in 1854, the Patna State came under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Chotanagpur. After the creation of Central Provinces in 1861, the Patna State along with the States of Bamara, Rairakhol and Kalahandi and the district of Sambalpur were included in the new province. All the above States were declared as Feudatory States in 1863 and in 1905 were transferred to Bengal along with the district of Sambalpur to form a part of the erstwhile Orissa Division.
In 1905, the post of Political Agent was created for the Orissa States under the Commissioner of Orissa. The Bihar and Orissa Province were constituted in 1912, and the Orissa States continued to be under the supervision of the Commissioner of Orissa Division till 1922, when the Political Agent with his headquarters at Sambalpur was placed directly under the control of the Governor of Bihar and Orissa. As per Provincial Autonomy under the Government of India Act, 1935, the Patna Feudatory State was brought under the direct control of the Governor General exercising his jurisdiction as Crown Representative through the Political Agent at Sambalpur.
The Chauhan rule ended with the merger of the State of Patna with Orissa on the 1st January, 1948. Sri Rajendra Narayan Singh Deo was the last ruler of the princely State of Patna. The ex-States of Kalahandi, Patna and Sonepur were combined together to form a new district called Balangir-Patana district on 1st January 1948. Subsequently, on 1st November 1949 the ex-States of Patna and Sonepur were separated and they together formed a new district called Balangir district with 4 subdivisions, namely Balangir, Patnagarh, Titilagarh and Sonepur. Later, Sonepur Subdivision was divided and Birmaharajpur Subdivision was formed. Sonepur and Birmaharajpur sub-divisions were separated from Balangir district to form a new district called Subarnapur with effect from 1st April 1993. The present territory of Balangir district thus has only three subdivisions of Balangir, Titilagarh and Patnagarh.
The district of Balangir is flanked in the north-west by the Gandhamardan hills, a name of Ramayan fame, and in the south-east by river Tel. It is traversed by many hill streams and is interspersed with forest covers, earlier abode of many wild animals like tigers, bison, sambar, deer and others. The land was believed to be influenced by Tantric culture being the seat of the famous seven maidens, who excelled in esoteric practices of Tantrayana. In Ranipur-Jharial, the temple of Chausathi Yogini is situated and is considered as one of the four such temples in India. Ranipur-Jharial is also known as ‘Soma tirtha’ in scriptures. It comprises a section of religious faith which combines Saivism, Buddhism, Vaisnavism and Tantrism. It is also notable for having experimented in the past a republican form of Government that was later overthrown by Ramai Deo, a Chauhan youth, whose mother hailed from Mainpuri in north India. The ruins of forts not only in the urban areas like Patnagarh and Titilagarh but also in the remote localities like Tusra and Jharial reveal the past glory and magnificence of the kingdom.