Rashmi Rekha Das

Rama Kumari Devi, the last queen of the erstwhile Jeypore kingdom, passed away in the wee hours of Monday after a prolonged illness. She was 90.

Rama Kumari’s youngest daughter-in-law Sagarika Devi and grandson Chandrachuda were present when she breathed her last. Soon after her death news spread, many noted personalities paid a visit to the royal palace to pay tributes to the queen. 

Her body will be cremated at Chandanbada-based royal cremation ground with royal honours, informed her family members.   

Rama Kumari Devi was the wife of last King of Jeypore kingdom, Ramakrushna Deo. The king was the adopted son of Maharaj Bikram Dev Verma. 

Notably, Maharaj Ramakrushna Deo had ruled the dynasty for two days. 

Sources said Jeypore is one of the largest towns and a place of historical significance in Koraput district. The town was established as a capital of the kingdom of Maharaja Veer Vikrama Dev in 1648-49CE. 

It was the largest kingdom of Kalinga until the rebellion of Balram Dev III. Later, the kingdom was defeated by the East India Company and was made a baronial estate or Zamindari in 1780 until its dissolution in 1947. 

Historically, the erstwhile kingdom was spread over the modern regions of North Andhra and South Odisha Jeypore is surrounded by hills of the Eastern Ghats and the Araku hills on three sides like a horseshoe with the western side opening up to Chhattishgarh in central India. 

Most importantly, this place was chosen by the Maharaja because of its strategic relevance.