11 January 2020
Parlakhemundi: With Princess Kalyani Gajapati coronation she became the first woman to head the Gajapati dynasty. She ascended to the throne after the sad demise of Gopinath Gajapati Narayan Deo passed away yesterday.
The previous Gajapati breathed his last in a private hospital in Bhubaneswar after a prolonged illness of over three years. The coronation of Kalyani Gajapti as the 17th head of the dynasty was conducted as per Vedic rituals.
The coronation was done before the cremation of Kalyani’s father as per tradition and a puja was performed at Ramaswami temple near the palace. Kalyani was taken in a procession to the Darbar Hall where she sat on the throne in traditional attire of a princess. After coronation, Kalyani issued her first order - the funeral of her father, as per palace tradition.
A spinster, the 51-year old Gajapati had left for Bangalore for her education and then settled in Chennai. Kalyani returned to the palace in 2017 to look after the affairs of the Gajapati Palace after allegation of house arrest of her father and subsequent hospitalisation. Later, she had taken her father to Chennai for treatment when he got critical and single-handedly looked after his ill-health and the palace affairs.