Dhenkanal District is an administrative division of Odisha, India. It is bordered by Kendujhar to the north, Jajpur to the east, Cuttack to the south and Anugul to the west. Dhenkanal town, the district headquarters has a cluster of temples, archaeological remains and a medieval fort. A former princely state, Dhenkanal has a long history. Hari Singh Vidyadhar, who was the Southern Forces commander of Gajapati Maharaja of Utkal Sri Sri Pratprudra Deva, defeated the local chief and occupied Dhenkanal and Karamul in the year 1529 AD. The Gajapati Maharaja crowned him as the Raja of Dhenkanal. Subsequently, 18 generations of Rajas ruled over Dhenkanal and brought about many administrative, political, socio-economic and cultural evolutions to the State. Hari Singh Vidyadhar started the construction of Sidha Balarama temple at Dhenkanal, which was subsequently completed by Nrusingha Bhamarbar.In 1947, after the independence of India, the Princely State of Dhenkanal merged into the Indian Union, and subsequently with Odisha in 1948.

The majority of this district is covered with dense forest and a long range of hills, which are home to elephants and tigers. Primarily agricultural, the principal forest products of the district are timber, bamboo, firewood and kendu leaf, and medicinal herbs and plants.

The District is the centre of a religious movement called “Mahima Dharma” that has spread throughout India and far east countries since the nineteenth century. The Jagar Jatra (Maha Shivaratri) is a famous festival celebrated here in the winter season.

Dhenkanal was a Princely State until the independence of India and subsequent merger of Princely States. Raja Shankar Pratap Singhdeo Mahindra Bahadur, who was the Raja of Dhenkanal, got elected as an M.L.A. Ranee Ratna Prava Devi was an M.L.A. for two terms. Raja Shankar Pratap Singhdeo Mahindra Bahadur’s son, Brig. K. P. Singhdeo was an M.P. for a long period and a Minister in the Govt. of India Cabinet.

According to the 2011 census Dhenkanal district has a population of 1,192,948, roughly equal to the nation of Timor-Leste or the US state of Rhode Island.This gives it a ranking of 400th in India (out of a total of 640).The district has a population density of 268 inhabitants per square kilometre (690/sq mi).Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 11.82%.Dhenkanal has a sex ratio of 947 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 79.41%.