Keonjhar was a princely state before its merger with Orissa. It is as varied as the whole of Orissa, featuring a rare combination of water-falls and roaring gorges. Headquartered at Keonjhar, the district encompasses an area of 8,337 sq km, and holds a population of 1.5 million. The climate is characterized by oppressively hot summers with high humidity.
Keonjhar is a green land of panoramic beauty and a storehouse of mineral wealth. It occupies a prominent place in the mineral map of India with its vast deposits of iron, manganese and chrome ores. The region is home to industries such as Kalinga Irons Works, the Ferro Manganese Plant, and forest products of the surrounding area.
Keonjhar Town is dotted with attractions such as the Vishnu temple and the Jagannath temple. The picturesque settings on the outskirts of Keonjhar District are the shrines of Siddha Jagannath, Siddha Kali, and Panchabati. The region holds the distinction of containing one of the oldest rocks in the world. It is estimated to be 38,000 million years old. The rocks also bear the oldest stone inscription belonging to the Gupta period. Other places worth visiting are Ghatagaon, Mrugamahdev, Gonasika, and Sitabinj. Sitabinji has ancient fresco paintings on a rock shelter called Ravana Chhaya.