The establishment of the British Empire in India through victory at Plassey and its subsequent confirmation at Buxar encouraged them to expand into other parts of India. Odisha’s location within India and proximity to Bengal drew the British to occupy it. The Maratha rulers’ mismanagement, atrocities, and exploitation had rendered Maratha rule intolerable to the Odias. From the time the East India Company was granted Diwani of Bengal, Bihar, and Odisha, the British desired to establish their supremacy on Odisha’s soil. However, the fragile and weak Maratha administration provided an excellent opportunity for the British to realise their ambition of establishing their authority over Odisha. In this regard, steps were taken to occupy Odisha, which was finally occupied by the British in 1803.
Thus, the British occupation of Odisha inaugurated a new era in the modern state’s history. It brought an end to the Marathas’ long reign, during which the people of Odisha suffered. With the British occupation of Odisha, the English gained sole control of the state. When the British introduced their own system of administration, it also brought about numerous changes to the existing administrative structure.