Nestled between the Eastern Ghats, the Coromandel Coast and the North Coastal Plains of Andhra Pradesh is the district of Srikakulam. Ancient India witnessed Srikakulam as an integral part of Kalinga. To understand the emergence of Srikakulam as a distinct district, we will have to turn the pages of history.
This region was once the fosterer of the early Ganga Dynasty with Mukhalingam near Srikakulam being the capital of the Early Gangas. But subsequent events lead to the decline of the dynasty. Centuries after, Qutb Shahis reigned over Kalinga. It was the beginning of Muslim rule.
The Qutb Shahis appointed fauzdars( local governors) to rule over provinces and collect revenues. One such fauzdar, prominent on the pages of history is Sher Muhammad Khan who ruled over the province that included current Srikakulam and extended till Ichapuram in 1641 AD.
Sher Muhammad Khan being very aggressive and authoritative restored order in the province and constructed the monumental mosque in Srikakulam called the Jamia Masjid. However with the onslaught of Moghuls the power of Qutb Shahis began diminishing and after Moghul emperor Aurangzeb came to power, the Qutb Shahis went completely out of the picture.
Aurangzeb appointed viceroys called fauzdars who were bestowed with similar responsibilities. Srikakulam remained the centre of tax collection and was christened ‘Shikakhole’ or ‘Chicacole’ which means ‘open the purse’ in Arabic and later this Chicacole region was occupied by French.
But in collaboration with Ananda Raju, one of the successors of the Vijayanagaram throne, the French were expelled. After India’s independence, Srikakulam formed from parts Ganjam and Vishakaptnam on 15th August 1950.