Puri is believed to be synonymous with Lord Jagannath and vice versa. Several attempts have been made to find the real historical roots of the city but not much has been forthcoming. Folklore has it that the Jagannath Dharma was in existence since the beginning of humanity. Puri and the Jagannath Temple were invaded 18 times by Hindu and Muslim rulers from 4th century AD till the early 19th century. Throughout the 16th to 18th centuries Odisha was under Mughal tutelage. Later in mid-18th century, the Marathas came into the fray and partitioned Odisha into four districts.\n\nPuri came under the British from 1803 till independence in August 1947. In 1803 when the British were ruling Odisha, they again changed the divisions of the state and they isolated the whole state into two districts, north and south. In 1805 the districts were again combined. Puri was declared as the capital of Odisha under the British till 1816. Throughout 1813 to 1819, a joint magistrate presided over Puri. In 1828 the whole territory was separated into three regions, Katak, Balasore, and Jagannath Puri. In 1936 Odisha was divided from the state of Bihar and Puri was formed in 1948. In 1995 Puri District was partitioned into 3 regions, Nayagarh District containing Nayagarh sub-division, Khurda District involving Khurda and Bhubaneswar sub-divisions and Puri District comprising of the Puri Sadar sub-division. Though princely states do not exist in India today, yet the heirs of the Gajapati Dynasty of Khurda still perform the ritual duties of the temple.
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