Narasingha Deva I

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Narasingha Deva I was a great monarch and warrior of early mediaeval Odisha's Eastern Ganga Dynasty who reigned from c. 1238 until 1264. From the reign of his father Anangabhima Deva III, the Muslim troops of Bengal had been threatening the Eastern Ganga dynasty's rule over his kingdom of Kalinga (ancient Odisha). He was the first king of Kalinga and one of the few monarchs in India to take the attack against Turko-Afghan invaders' Islamic spread across India. His father had successfully defended his kingdom against Bengal's Turko-Afghan overlords, crossing into Rarh, Gauda, and Varendra on the run from the invaders.

After achieving some initial success, the Muslim army pursued Narasingha Deva's soldiers, who were on a tactical retreat towards the frontier fort of Katasin (Contai in today's West Bengal), which was surrounded by jungles and dense cane-bushes and provided a strategic defensive. The Odia army prepared trenches to slow and stop the advancing Muslim cavalry, and they also left some of their elephants unattended in the open fields with feed to entice the advancing foes and expose them to capture.

Narasingha Deva I is also known as a great builder who built the Konark Sun Temple.