Rayagada is a mineral-rich district in the southern part of the state of Odisha, in India. The city Rayagada is its headquarters. The population of this district consists mainly of tribals. The Kondhas or Kondhs form the majority of population followed by Souras. Apart from Odia and Telugu which are the important languages, several adivasi languages like Kui, Kondha, Soura are spoken by the indigenous population of the district.

The District occupies a total area of 7,584.7 km2. Rayagada is divided into eleven blocks.The district generates income mainly through agriculture based activities. Paddy, wheat, ragi, green gram, black gram, groundnut, sweet potato and maize are the major crops grown in the area.

In the third century B.C, during the reign of Ashoka the Great, it was under Kalinga empire (ancient Odisha). The hilly track between Vamsadhara and Nagavali was famous for spices.The Rastriks were defeated by Kharvela, the only Aryan Emperor of Kalinga, during the Chawpagada battle.

During the rule of Gangavansi and Suryavanshi Kings in Odisha, it was under feudatory chief of Kalinga-Utkala empire Dadarnab Dev of Gudari Kataka This region went to the Bahamanis when the last Hindu Gajapati emperor of Odisha, Mukund Dev was defeated at Gohera Tikiri in 1519. It came under the Nandapur Kingdom for 47 years. Biswambar Dev was defeated and killed by Hasin Khan of Mughal Chicacole Sarkar rulers of Odisha,was perhaps the third king installed at Rayagada.

The Sati Kunda Goddess Majhi Ghairani and the mudfort around it speaks much about its evidence. In subsequent years it was under Bobbili Tahasil of Vijayanagaram. During the English regime, Rayagada came under Jeypore administration and later was part of Koraput District. As part of the extension plan of districts in Odisha state, On 2 October 1992 Rayagda District was carved out of the erstwhile Koraput district.

The Rayagada district covers an area of 7584.7 km2. There are several hills including Baphlimali, Azimali, Tikrimali known for rare medicinal plants and wildlife.

Rayagada has a great mineral source, with full of bauxite, silicon. According to a survey India has 56% of total bauxite storage of the world out of which Odisha has 62%. Out of that Rayagada has an 84% share. Depending on this, other industries like Birla, L&T, Sterlite showed an interest in Rayagada.

According to the 2011 census Rayagada district has a population of 9,67,911 roughly equal to the nation of Fiji or the US state of Montana.This gives it a ranking of 454th in India (out of a total of 640).The district has a population density of 136 inhabitants per square kilometre (350/sq mi).Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 15.74%.Rayagada has a sex ratio of 1048 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 50.88%.

The primitive Kondhs who are divided into Desia Kondhs, Kutia Kondhs and Dongria Kondhs are nature worshippers. The reigning deity of the Desia Kondhs is Baphlai Budhi, who stays on the Baphliamali mountain. The Budhi is regarded by Desia Kondhs as the heart of the Kondh cosmology.