Puri was never a sovereign or Princely state in its history.But this city had played a very pivotal role in Odisha's governance and politics since time immemorial.In the ancient Kalinga, Udra or Utkal, Puri was a port city, people congregated here for both business and religious reason.The beginning of the modern civilisation has witnessed this city of Puri as the Religious capital of Eastern India. Not only it was the epicenter of Sanatana Hindu culture but Buddhism & Jainism also flourished and expanded here. Some opined that Lord Jesus Christ has visited this pious place in his life.
During the Eastern Ganga period, Puri was considered as the religious capital of Odisha. Gajapati Kings also dedicated the entire administration in the name of Jagannath and they ruled on behalf of the Lord at Puri. Though Monarchy or hereditary rule was abolished in India but here in Puri still the royal family members are getting importance due to the religious practices and traditions at Sri Jagannath Temple. The titular Raja is also called as the Gajapati maharaja of Puri and gets administrative importance because of the temple rituals.
The study on Rajas at Puri puts clear documentary evidences of their origin and establishments. They settled here in Puri after the fall of Khurda fort during the British rule. They were designated as Maharajas of Puri and assigned to manage the religious rites in SriJagannath temple. During the initial phase The English administrators considered Puri as a very dangerous area and never tried to interfere because of its religeous and political cause. Till today almost all Jagannath lovers adhered the Gajapati Maharaja raja as the CHALANTI VISHNU and RAJADHIRAJA.