Small-town scholar traces history of Sonepur - Sudam Naik has written more than 100 articles and four books on western Orissa

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By SUDEEP KUMAR GURU
  • Published 9.06.11
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Sudam Naik (top) and books written by him. Telegraph pictures

Sonepur, June 8: For 37-year-old Sonepur youth Sudam Naik, who comes from a humble background, achieving the distinction of being of the most successful researchers of the history of Western Orissa is no mean achievement.

He never studied in big cities or in renowned institutions. He passed matriculation from Maharaja High School in Sonepur and went to Sonepur College for graduation. Yet he has made a name for himself in the field of research on the history of Western Orissa, particularly Sonepur.

Naik has written over 100 articles in different Oriya journals and authored four books — Subarnapur Sahityara Itihasa (2006), Subarnapur Darbari Sahitya (2008), Mandira Malini Subarnapur (2006) and Subarnapur Itihasa (2011) — on the history of Sonepur.

Naik developed an interest for research on the history of Western Orissa in 1989-90 when he was studying in Sonepur College. “It was 1989-90. I was doing my graduation and developed an interest in research on arts and culture of Western Orissa. Eminent historian Prof Jagnya Kumar Sahu was the principal of our college and there was a book written by him in our course. When I came in his contact, I took interest in the history of Western Orissa, particularly Sonepur”, Naik said.

Naik said Prof Sahu acted as his philosopher and guide in his mission to work on the history of Western Orissa. “It was Prof Sahu who inspired me to take to research. Noted historian Sadananda Agrawal also helped and guided me,” Naik said.

Naik’s first book was Mandira Malini Subarnapur (temple town Subarnapur), which was published in 2006. “My articles on the temples of Subarnapur were serialised in various Oriya newspapers and later compiled into a book called Mandira Malini Subarnapur in 2006,” Naik said.

Talking about his source of research, Naik said he largely depended on the ‘darbari’ literature of Sonepur, which was published during the regime of Maharaja Bikramitradaya Singhdeo.