—  State  —

Location of Orissa in India
Map of Orissa
Coordinates (Bhubaneswar): 20°09′N 85°30′E / 20.15°N 85.50°E / 20.15; 85.50Coordinates: 20°09′N 85°30′E / 20.15°N 85.50°E / 20.15; 85.50
Country  India
Established 1 April 1936
Capital Bhubaneswar
Largest city Bhubaneswar
Districts 30
 – Governor Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare
 – Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik (BJD)
 – Legislature Unicameral (147 seats)
 – Parliamentary constituency 21
 – High Court Orissa High Court
 – Total 155,820 km2 (60,162.4 sq mi)
Area rank 9th
Population (2011)
 – Total 41,947,358
 – Rank 11th
 – Density 269.2/km2 (697.2/sq mi)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
ISO 3166 code IN-OR
HDI increase 0.452 (low)
HDI rank 27th (2005)
Literacy 83.45%
Official languages Oriya
Website orissa.gov.in

Orissa (Oriya: ଓଡ଼ିଶା [oˑɽisaˑ]), officially Odisha since Nov 2011,[1][2] is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. It is the modern name of the ancient nation of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April 1936, as a province in India,[3] and consists predominantly of Oriya speakers.[4] 1 April is therefore celebrated as Utkal Divas. Bhubaneswar is the capital of Orissa.

Orissa is the ninth largest state by area in India, and the eleventh largest by population. Oriya is the official and most widely spoken language with 93.33% Oriya speakers according to linguistic survey.Other languages spoken in the state are Hindi, Bengali, and Telugu, Orissa has a relatively unindented coastline[5] (about 480 km long[6]) and lacked good ports,[5] except for the deepwater facility at Paradip, until the recent launch of the Dhamara Port (The Dhamra Port Company Limited (DPCL) is a 50:50 joint venture of L&T and Tata Steel. DPCL has been awarded a concession by Government of Orissa to build and operate a port north of the mouth of river Dhamra in Bhadrak district). The narrow, level coastal strip, including the Mahanadi River delta supports the bulk of the population.[7] The interior of the state is mountainous and sparsely populated.[7] Deomali at 1672 m is the highest point of the state. Orissa is subject to intense cyclones. The most intense one, in October 1999, Tropical Cyclone 05B caused severe damage and some 10,256 deaths.

Orissa is home to the Hirakud Dam, near Sambalpur the longest earthen dam in the world.[8][9] Orissa has several popular tourist destinations. Puri, Konark & Bhubaneswar are known as Golden triangle of eastern India. Puri, with the Jagannath temple near the sea (famous for Rath Yatra or the Car Festival), and Konark, with the Sun Temple, are visited by thousands of tourists every year. The Jagannath Temple of Puri, the Konark Sun Temple, the Lingaraj Temple, Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, Dhauligiri of Bhubaneshwar, Ashoka's famous Rock Edict at Jaugada near Berhampur city and the Barabati Fort of Cuttack are important in the archaeological history of India.



Origin of the name of the State

The name Orissa derives from the ancient Sanskrit[10] words Ora (Ura) or Odra Desa or Sumera or Odra bisaya The earliest epigraphic reference to Odras is found in the Soro copper plate grant of Somadatta from which it is clear that Uttara Tosali with its visaya Sarepahara identified with Soro of Baleswar district was part of Odra Visaya.[11] Both Pali and Sanskrit Literatures mention the Odra people as Oddaka and Odrah, respectively. Ancient writers like Pliny the Elder and Ptolemy described the Odra people as Oretes. In the Mahabharata the Odras are mentioned along with the Paundras, Utkals, Mekalas, Kalingas and Andhras, while according to Manu the Odras are associated with the Paundrakas, Dravidas, Kambojas, Yavanas, Sakas, Paradas, Pallavas, Chinas[clarification needed], Kiratas and Khasas. The location of the Odra territory has been given in the Natural History of Pliny in which it is mentioned that the Oretes were inhabiting the country where stood the Mount Maleus. The Greek Oretes is probably the Sanskrit Odra and the Mount Maleus has been identified with Malayagiri near Pala Lahara. Pliny associates the Mount Maleus with the people called Monedes and Sharis who were probably the same as the Mundas and the Savaras respectively inhabiting the upland regions of Orissa.

The Chinese pilgrim Hiuen-Tsang who visited Orissa in about 636 AD gives an account of the territory named Wu-Che which is very likely the same as Odra. The pilgrim states that the Wu-Cha (Wu-tu) country was above 7,000 li in circuit and its capital was above 20 li in circuit. The area of the territory, which was 7,000 li or (2,253 km) in circuit, was very extensive.

General Cunningham who calls this territory Odra or Odra Desa writes as follows: "The ancient province of Odra desa or Or-desa was limited to the valley of the Mahanadi and to the lower course of the Subarnarekha river. It comprised the whole of the present districts of Cuttack and Sambalpur and a portion of Midnapore. It was bounded on the West by Gondwana, on the North by the wild hill states of Jashpur and Singhbhum, on the East by the sea and on the South by Ganjam. These also must have been the limits in the time of Hiuen-Tsang as the measured circuit agrees with his estimate".

The Muslim geographer Ibn Khurdadhbin who wrote his geography in 846 AD refers to a territory called Ursfin which is identified by the Russian scholar V. Minorsky with Odra Desa. In another Persian geography called Hudad-al Alam written towards the close of the 10 th century AD mention has been made of a territory called Urshin (Odra Desa) which has been associated with the territories called N. Myas, Harkand, Smnder and Andhras which were more or less contiguous. The territory called N. Myas may be Mahismati and Harkand is suggested to be Akarakhand (eastern Malwa). Urshin may be the same as Odra Desa and Smnder may be the territory bordering the sea. Andhras is without doubt the same as Andhra Desa. Alberuni has referred to a territory called Udra Vishau located 50 forsakhs towards the sea in the south from the Tree of Prayaga. Fifty forsakhs is equal to about 200 miles or 321.86 km. So Udra Vishau may be the same as Odra Desa.

In the mediaeval Muslim chronicles like Tabaquat-I-Nasiri, Tabaquat-I-Akbari, Riyadus-Salatin, Tarkh-I-Firuzsahi, etc., the Odra territory has been referred to as Jajnagar probably after the capital Jajatinagar or Jajatinagar. The territory of Jajnagar very probably denotes to the Ganga empire during the period from Chodagangadeva to Anangabhimdeva III when Jajatinagar (modern Jagati on the Mahanadi) was the capital of that empire. It was Anangabhimadeva III who transferred the capital from Jajatinagar to Baranasi Kataka. Even after the change of capital some Muslim chroniclers continued to call this territory as Jajnagar. Shams-I-Seraj-Afif called this territory as Jajnagar-Udisa with its capital city Banaras on the right bank of the Mahanadi. The word ‘Udisa’ added to Jajnagar appears very significant. It is a developed form of the word Ursfin or Urshin used by earlier Muslim writers of the 9 th and 10 th centuries AD. In Buddhist literature this word is expressed as Odivisa or Udivisa as found in the works of Lama Taranath and the author of Pag-Sam-Jon-Zang. In the Tantric literature of the mediaeval period the word Udisa has been frequently used and in Tantrasara, Jagannath has been referred to as Udisanatha. Poet Sarala Das mentions both the words Odra Rastra and Orissa in his famous treatise Mahabharata while Gajapati Kapileswaradeva (1435–1467 AD) in his proclamation inscribed on the temple walls of Jagannath calls his territory as Orissa Rajya or Orissa Rastra. Thus from the 15th century AD onward the land of the Oriya people was called Orissa.

On 4 November 2011, Orissa was officially renamed Odisha after Presidential assent and notification in the official Gazette.[12][13] The change required minor amendments to the Orissa (the Alteration of Name) Bill and the Constitution (113th) Amendment Bill which were approved by both houses of parliament.[14] The state's official language has also been renamed Odia from Oriya.[13][15][16][17][18][19]

Orissa in pre-historic age

Pre-historic painting from Gudahandi, Kalahandi

Since prehistoric days the land of Orissa has been inhabited by various people. The earliest settlers of Orissa were primitive hill tribes. Although prehistoric communities cannot be identified, it is well known that Orissa had been inhabited by tribes like Saora or Sabar from the Mahabharata days. Saora in the hills and the Sahara and Sabar of the plains continue to be an important tribe distributed almost all over Orissa. Most of the tribal people have been influenced by Hindus and have adopted Hindu manners, customs and rituals. Bonda Parajas of Koraput district are the best example of these tribes.

Several pre-historic sites have been excavated in Orissa since the arrival of Britishers. Kaliakata of Angul, Kuchai & Kuliana of Mayurbhanj, Vikramkhol near Jharsuguda, Gudahandi and Yogimath of Kalahandi, Ushakothi of Sambalpur, Similikhol near Bargarh etc.

History of Orissa

Orissa has a history spanning a period of over 5,000 years. Before Kalinga it was named as Udra or "Odra Desa". The Ancient Odra desa or Ordesa was limited to the valley of Mahanadi and to the lower course of Subarnarekha River. It comprised the whole of the present districts of Cuttack and Sambalpur and a portion of Midnapur. Bounded on the west by Gondwana, on the north by the wild hill states of Jaspur and Singhbhum, on the east by the sea and on the South by Ganjam, Orissa has a legendary history.[20] The name Oriya originated from Odra or Udra tribes that inhabited the central coastal belt (Khordha District and Nayagarh District) of modern Orissa. Orissa has also been the home of the Kalinga, Utkal, Mahakantara/Kantara and Kosal that played a particularly prominent role in the region's history, and one of the earliest references to the ancient Kalingas appears in the writings of Vedic chroniclers.[21] In the 6th century BC, Vedic Sutrakara Baudhayana mentions Kalinga as being beyond the Vedic fold, indicating that Brahminical influences had not yet touched the land.[21] Unlike some other parts of India, tribal customs and traditions played a significant role in shaping political structures and cultural practices right up to the 15th century,[21] when Brahminical influences triumphed over competing traditions and caste differentiation began to inhibit social mobility and erode what had survived of the ancient republican tradition.

View of the banks of the Daya river from atop Dhauli hills, the presumed venue of the Kalinga war.

A major turning point in world history took place in Orissa.[21] The Kalinga War that led emperor Ashoka to embrace non-violence and the teachings of Buddha was fought here in 261 BC. Ashoka's military campaign against Kalinga was one of the bloodiest in Mauryan history on account of the fearless and heroic resistance offered by the Kalingas to the mighty armies of the expanding Mauryan empire. Perhaps on account of their unexpected bravery, emperor Ashoka was compelled to issue two edicts specifically calling for a just and benign administration in Kalinga. Later on, Ashoka was instrumental in spreading Buddhist philosophy all over Asia. However, Ativ Land (South Western Orissa) was unconquered by Ashoka.

Tel river civilization put light towards a great civilization existing in Kalahandi, Balangir, Koraput (KBK) region in the past that is recently getting explored.[22] The discovered archaeological wealth of Tel Valley suggest a well civilized, urbanized, cultured people inhabited on this land mass around 2000 years ago[23] and Asurgarh was its capital. Kalahandi along with Koraput and Bastar was part of Kantara referred in Ramayana and Mahabharata.[24] In 4th century B.C. this region was known as Indravana from where precious gem-stones and diamond were collected for the imperial Maurya treasury.[25] During the period of Maurya emperor Ashoka, Kalahandi along with Koraput and Bastar region was called Atavi Land.[26] This land was unconquered as per Ashokan record.[27] In the beginning of Chrisitan era probably it was known as Mahavana.[28] In 4th Century AD Vyaghraraja was ruling over Mahakantara comprising Kalahandi, undivided Koraput and Bastar region.[29] Asurgarh was capital of Mahakantara.[30]

Hatigumpha Inscription of Emperor Kharavela, Udaygiri
Konark Sun Temple built by the Eastern Ganga dynasty is one of the most well renowned temples in India and is a World Heritage Site.

On the other hand in the third century BC, in the eastern part of Orissa Kalinga flourished as a powerful empire under the Jaina emperor, Kharavela.[31] He ruled all the way down south to include parts of the Tamil country. He built the superb monastic caves at Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves. Subsequently, the region was ruled under various monarchs, such as Samudragupta and Shashanka. It also was a part of Harsha's empire. In 795 AD, the king Jajati Kesari I of Kesari or Soma dynasty of Kosala united Kosala and Utkala into a single empire. He is also supposed to have built the first Jagannath Temple at Puri,[32] although the current structure of the temple is entirely different and was built by Kings Choda Gangadeva and Ananga Bhimadeva of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty in the 12th century. The famous Lingaraja temple in Bhubaneshwar was started by Keshari dynasty king Jajati Keshari III and completed by his son Lalatendu Keshari in the 10th century. King Narasimha Dev is reputed to have built the magnificent Konark Sun Temple. Although now largely in ruins, the temple may have once rivaled the Taj Mahal in splendour.

Orissa resisted several Muslim attacks until 1568, when was conqurered by Sultanate of Bengal. The Mughals conquered Coastal Orissa in 1576.[33] The last Hindu Emperor of Orissa, Gajapati Mukunda Deva, was defeated and was killed in the battle of Gohiratikiri. The coastal plain of Orissa from Medinipur to Rajahmundry came under Mughal rule, which was broadly divided into six parts as Jaleswar Sarkar, Bhadrak Sarkar, Cuttack Sarkar, Chicacole (Srikakulam) Sarkar, Kalinga Dandapat and Rajamundry Sarkar or Godavari Province. Orissa's Central, Northern, Western and Southern hilly areas were ruled independently by Hindu kings. The Nizam of Hyderabad occupied the area between Rajahmundry to Srikakulam in 16th century. Medinipur was attached to Bengal province in 18th century. The remaining parts of Coastal Orissa, were subsequently ceded to the Maratha Empire in 1751.

The British occupied the Northern Circars comprising the southern coast of Orissa as a result of the Carnatic Wars in the early 1760s and incorporated them into the Madras Presidency gradually.[34] In 1803, the British under the British East India Company annexed the Maratha province of Orissa after the Second Anglo-Maratha War. The northern and western districts of Orissa were incorporated into Bengal Presidency. Following famine and floods in 1866, large scale irrigation projects were undertaken in the last half of the 19th century. The coastal section was separated from Bengal and made into the Province of Bihar and Orissa in 1912, in response to local agitation for a separate state for the Oriya-speaking people. In 1936, Bihar and Orissa were split into separate provinces. Thus after a long period of struggle the Oriya people got re-united after centuries of political separation. On 1 April 1936, the new province of Orissa came into existence on linguistic basis during the British rule in India with Sir Jhon Austin Hubbak as the first Governor. A long cherished dream of Oriya people and their leaders like Madhusudan Das, Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati, Pandit Nilakantha Das, Bhubanananda Das and many other came true. The district of Ganjam was transferred from Madras Presidency to the new province of Orissa on 1 April 1936. From that time onwards people of Orissa celebrate the day 1 April as Utkal Divas or Orissa Day.

Following Indian independence, the area of Orissa was almost doubled and the population was increased by a third by the addition of 24 former princely states. In 1950, Orissa became a constituent state in the Union of India.

Orissa becomes Odisha

According to source news, dated 5 Nov 2011, the name "Orissa" has been changed to "Odisha".[35]


There are 30 districts in Orissa—Angul, Boudh, Bhadrak, Bolangir, Bargarh, Balasore, Cuttack (Kataka), Debagarh, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Gajapati, Jharsuguda, Jajapur, Jagatsinghpur, Khordha, Keonjhar, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Koraput, Kendrapara, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Nabarangpur, Nuapada, Nayagarh, Puri, Rayagada, Sambalpur, Subarnapur, Sundargarh. Each district is governed by a district collector or district magistrate, appointed either by the Indian Administrative Service or the Orissa Administrative Service. Each district is subdivided into Sub-Divisions, governed by a sub-divisional magistrate, and again into Blocks. Blocks consists of panchayats (village councils) and town municipalities.

The capital and largest city of the state is Bhubaneswar and it is also famous by the name "Temple City". Other major cities in Orissa are Cuttack, Brahmapur, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Bolangir, Balasore , Kendrapara & Puri.


Bhubaneswar is the capital of Orissa. It is famed for its magnificent temples, numbering around a thousand. Cuttack, the former capital of Orissa, is 22 km from Bhubaneswar. With the rapid expansion of two cities and better road connectivity, the two cities are now almost conjoined and considered as twin cities. The city of Puri is about 60 kilometers from Bhubaneswar and lies on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. Puri is considered a holy city and the abode of the deity Lord Jagannath. It is one of the Char Dhams (Four holy places) of Hinduism. The world-famous "car festival" (rath yatra) is celebrated every year in the Hindu month of Ashadha (Mid June to Mid July) in Puri.

The Chota Nagpur plateau occupies the western and northern portions of the state, while along the coast are fertile alluvial plains and the valleys of the Mahanadi, Brahmani, and Baitarani rivers, which fall into the Bay of Bengal. These alluvial plains are home to intensive rice cultivation. The Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Asia's largest rice research Institute is situated along the bank of Mahanadi in Cuttack. One of the major nesting ground for the Olive Ridley sea turtles can be found in the Beaches of Orissa; in Devi, Gahirmatha and Rushikulya, which are known to be the nesting sites for the L. olivacea Indian Ocean population. In 2007, around 130,000 turtles nested on the beaches of Gahirmatha. The shore line also acts as their mating site and have attracted various scientific communities for research and studies.

Although most of Orissa's forest cover has been denuded lately, one of the greatest attractions of Orissa is its still vast expanses of unspoiled natural landscape that offer a protected yet natural habitat to the state’s incredible wildlife. There are many wildlife sanctuaries in Orissa. The Simlipal National Park Tiger Reserve is a huge expanse of lush green forest with waterfalls, inhabited by tigers, elephants, and other wildlife. The Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary has been protecting estuarine crocodiles since 1975.

Map of lake Chilka with near-by settlement of Puri.

Chilka Lake, a brackish water coastal lake on the Bay of Bengal, south of the mouth of the Mahanadi River, is the largest coastal lake in India and the second largest in the world. It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent. It is protected by the Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary, which harbors over 160 migratory and resident species of birds. Birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, Central and southeast Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here. It also has the small area of Satpada which is a safe sanctuary for the lesser known and endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins.

The highest mountain peak in the state is Deomali (1672 m), which is situated in Koraput district in southern Orissa. It is also the tallest peak of the Eastern Ghats. It is part of the Chandragiri-Pottangi mountain system. Location: 18°40'3"N 82°58'59"E (Deomali on Wikimapia).


On the basis of homogeneity, continuity and physiographical characteristics, Orissa has been divided into five major morphological regions : 1) the Orissa Coastal Plain in the east, 2) the Middle Mountainous and Highlands Region, 3) the Central plateaus, 4) the western rolling uplands and 5) the major flood plains.

Orissa Coastal Plains

The Orissa Coastal Plains or Utkal Plains are the depositional landforms of recent origin and geologically belong to the Post-Tertiary Period. The 75 metre contourline delimits their western boundary and differentiates them from the Middle Mountainous Region. This region stretches from the West Bengal border, i.e. from the River Subarnarekha in the north to the River Rushikulya in the south.

This region is the combination of several deltas of varied sizes and shapes formed by the major rivers of Orissa, such as the Subarnarekha, the Budhabalanga, the Baitarani, the Brahmani, the Mahanadi, and the Rushikulya. Therefore, the coastal plain of Orissa is called the "Hexadeltaic region" or the "Gift of Six Rivers". It stretches along the coast of the Bay of Bengal having the maximum width in the Middle Coastal Plain (the Mahanadi Delta), narrow in the Northern Coastal Plain (Balasore Plain) and narrowest in the Southern Coastal Plain (Ganjam Plain). The North Coastal Plain comprises the deltas of the Subarnarekha and the Budhabalanga rivers and bears evidences of marine transgressions. The Middle Coastal Plain comprises the compound deltas of the Baitarani, Brahmani and Mahanadi rivers and bears evidences of past 'back bays' and present lakes. The South Coastal Plain comprises the laccustrine plain of Chilika lake and the smaller delta of the Rushikulya River.

Middle Mountainous and Highlands Region

The region covers about three-fourth of the entire State. Geologically it is a part of the Indian Peninsula which as a part of the ancient landmass of the Gondwanaland. The major rivers of Orissa with their tributaries have cut deep and narrow valleys. This region mostly comprises the hills and mountains of the Eastern Ghats which rise abruptly and steeply in the east and slope gently to a dissected plateau in the west running from north-west (Mayurbhanj) to south-west (Malkangirig). This region is well marked by a number of interfluves or watersheds. The Eastern Ghats is interrupted by a number of broad and narrow river valleys and flood plains. The average beight of this region is about 900 metres above the mean seal level. The highest peak is Deomali.


Forest cover in Raghurajpur.

Almost one-third of Orissa is covered by forests which make up about 37.34% of the total land area of the state. These forests cover most of southern and western Orissa. The eastern plains adjacent to the coast are covered by farmlands.The forest cover of Orissa extends over an area of 58,136.869 square kilometres out of which reserve forests make up an area of 26,329.12 square kilometres (10,165.73 sq mi), demarcated protected forests make up 11,687.079 square kilometres (4,512.406 sq mi) and undemarcated protected forests make up 3,638.78 square kilometres (1,404.94 sq mi). Other types of forests make up 16,261.34 square kilometres (6,278.54 sq mi) while unclassed forests make up 20.55 square kilometres (7.93 sq mi) of the total forest cover. The State Government of Orissa also classifies forests based on their density. About 538 square kilometres (208 sq mi) of land are classified as very dense forests with a canopy density of over 70 percent, 27,656 square kilometres (10,678 sq mi) of forests are classified as moderately dense cover with a canopy density of 40 to 70 percent and 20,180 square kilometres (7,790 sq mi) of land are classified as open forest with a canopy density of 10 to 40 percent.

Central Plateaus

The plateaus are mostly eroded plateaus forming the western slopes of the Eastern Ghats with elevation varying from 305–610 metres. There are two broad plateaus in Orissa : (i) the Panposh – Keonjhar -Pallahara plateau comprises the Upper Baitarani catchment basin, and (ii) the Nabrangpur – Jeypore plateau comprises the Sabari basin.

Western Rolling Uplands

These are lower in elevation than the plateaus having heights varying from 153 metres to 305 metres.[36]


Mahanadi River

There are four groups of rivers which flow through Orissa into the Bay of Bengal (Table-2). They are :

(i) Rivers that have a source outside the State (the Subarnarekha, the Brahmani the IB and the Mahanadi).

(ii) Rivers having a source inside the State (the Budhabalanga, the Baitarani, the Salandi, and the Rushikulya).

(iii) Rivers having a source inside the Orissa, but flow through other states (the Bahuda, the Vamsadhara River, and the Nagavali River).

(iv) Rivers having a source inside Orissa, but tributary to rivers which flow through other states (the Machkund, the Sileru River, the Kolab, and the Indravati River).

  • River Mahanadi: It is the major river of Orissa and the sixth largest river in India. It originates from the sihawa hills of the Bastar Plateau in Raipur district of [Chhattishgarh]. It is about 857 km Long (494 km in Orissa) and its catchment area spreads over 141,600 km2. (65,580 km².) in Orissa. The river carries on an average about 92,600 million m of water.
  • River Kathajodi: Around Naraj Bridge which is approx. 10 K.M. from Cuttack City there are following villages:- Naraja Marthapur (Local Railway Station), Godi Sahi, Sandhapur, Bidyadharapur, Nua Sahi & Ratagarh. All these villages are rich in ancient heritage. Ratagarh, there is an ancient Shiva Temple of Chola Dynasty. It is 15  K.M. (approx.) distance from the City of Bhubaneswar & 6  K.M. (approx.) from Nandan Kanan, the Zoological Park. A canal arises from the Main Mahanadi River at Naraj Bridge is running besides which is the main source of water system.In Ratagarh there are 3-4 small hills which connects to the Chandaka-Damapada elephant reservoir. The main cultivation of the people of these villages are paddy besides vegetales also. The railway line running between the above villages connects Bhubaneswar with Talcher, the thermal power station, Sambalpur, Athagarh and then run into the states of Madhya Pradesh.
  • The Brahmani: It is the second largest river in Orissa. It originates as two major rivers like the Sankh and the Koel from the Chota Nagpur Plateau of Bihar and both join at Veda Vyasa near Rourkela of Sundargarh district of Orissa forming the major River Brahmani. It flows through the Eastern Ghats in Sundargarh, Deogarh, Kendujhar, Dhenkanal, Cuttack and Jajpur districts into the Coastal Plains and enters into the Bay of Bengal along with a combined mouth with the Mahanadi known as the Dhamara. The Brahmani is 799 km long (541 km In Orissa) and its catchment area spreads over 39,033 km2. in Orissa).
  • The Baitarani: It originates from the Gonasika hills of the Kendujhar district. It is 365 km long and its catchment area spread over 12,790 km2. It entres into the Bay of Bengal after joining of the Brahmani at Dhamara mouth near Chandbali, Bhadrak.
  • The Subarnarekha: It originates from the Chhotanagpur plateau of Bihar. It is 433 km (70 km in Orissa) and has a catchment area of 19,500 km (3,200 km in Orissa) with a mean annual flow of 7,900 million.
  • The Budhabalanga: It originates from the easterns slops of the Similipal massif. It is about 175 km long having a total catchment area of 4840 km2 with an annual flow of 2177 million. It is major tributaries are the Sone, the Gangadhar, the Catra etc.
  • The Rushikulya: It originates from the Rushyamala hills of the Eastern Ghats in Kandhamal district. It is 165 km long with 8900 km2 of catchment areas. Its tributaries are the Baghua the Dhanei Badanadi etc. It has no delta at its mouth.
  • The Bahuda: It originates from the Ramgiri hills of the Eastern Ghats in Gajapati districts and joins the Bay of Bengal in Andhra Pradesh. Its length 73 km having a catchment area of 1250 km2.
  • The Vanshadhara: It originates from the Flanks of the Durgakangar hills (Lingaraj hills) of the Eastern Ghats in Kalahandi districts. It is 230 km long out of which only 150 km in Orissa. It entres in to the Bay of Bengal at Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. It has a catchment area of 11500 km2.
  • The Nagavali: It originates from the Bijipur Hills of the Eastern Ghats near Lanji Garah. It is 210 km long out of which 100 km is in Orissa. It has a total catchment area of about 9410 km2.
  • The Salandi: It originates from the Meghasani Hills of the Similipal Massif in Keonjhar district. It is 144 km long with a catchment areas of 1793 km2.
  • The Indravati: It originates from the Eastern Ghats in Kalahandi districts. It is 530 km long with a catchment area of 41700 km2 as a tributary it flows into the Godavari river.
  • The Kolab: It originates from the Sinkaran hills of the Eastern Ghats in Koraput districts. It has catchment areas of 20400 km2.
  • Tel River: It is one of the largest river of Orissa originating in Nabaramgpur district and touching Chhattisgarh, Kalahandi, Balangir, Sonepur districts of Orissa and finally falling in Mahanadi.


There are a number of Mountain springs and hotspring in Orissa. The Badaghagara and Sanaghagara in Keonjhar districts Saptasajya in Denkanal districts the Chandikhole in Jajpur distrcts the Barunei in Khorda districts, the Narayani and Nirmalajhar in Ganjam district, the Patalaganga in Kalahandi districts, the Nursinghanath in Bargarh distrcts and the Harisankar in Bolangir distrcts.


Most of the rivers, either at the point of origin or over the mountainous bed, have waterfalls. The Barehipani and Joranda (Similipal) in Mayurbhanja districts, Sanaghagara and Badaghagara in Keonjhar district, Pradhanpat in Deogarh district, khandadhar (Banei) in Sundargarh district, Koilighugar in Jharsuguda district, Phurlijharan, Khandabaladhar, and Rabandhara in Kalahandi district, Kentamari and Putudi in Boudh and Phulbani district Duduma in Malkangiri district and Bogra in Koraput district are some of the major waterfalls of Orissa.


  • The Chilika Lake is brackish water lagoon located in the southern part of the Orissa coastal plane. It areas varies 780 km2 and 144 km2; during the two monsson months it is 71 km long and 32 km wide. It salinity decleans to a minimum during the monsson. However in winter, due to the overflow of the tidal water through the narrow opening from the Bay of Bengal, it is maximum.
  • Anshupa is a sweet water lake located in Athagarh of Cuttack district. It is 3 km long and 1.5 km wide. Sara is another sweet water lake located near Puri. It is 5 km long and 3 km wide. Kanjia is another sweet water lake with about 134 acres (0.54 km2) of area located in Nandankanan of Cuttack district near Bhubaneswar.[37]
  • Pata is another sweet water lake located alongside the town of Chatrapur. It is 4 km long and 0.5 km wide.
  • Hirakud Dam: Artificial Lake in Sambalpur and Jharsuguda largest in Asia.
  • Indravati Dam: Artificial Lake in Kalahandi and Nabarangpur.
  • Kolab Dam: Artificial Lake in Koraput. And khandadhar at Rourkela.


Macro-economic trend

This is a chart of trend of gross state domestic product of Orissa at market prices estimated by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation with figures in millions of Indian Rupees.

Year Gross State Domestic Product
1985 37,080
1987 68,230
1990 109,040
1995 271,180
2000 387,280
2005 670,900[38]

The state's debt is estimated at almost 59 per cent of its GDP in 2005.[39]

Industrial growth

Orissa has abundant natural resources and a large coastline. It contains a fifth of India's coal, a quarter of its iron ore, a third of its bauxite reserves and most of the chromite. Rourkela Steel Plant[40] was the first integrated steel plant in the Public Sector in India. It receives unprecedented investments in steel, aluminium, power, refineries and ports. India's topmost IT consulting firms, including Mahindra Satyam, TCS (Tata Consultancy Services), MindTree Consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Infosys have large branches in Orissa. IBM, Syntel and Wipro are setting up development centers in Orissa. So far, two of the S&P CNX 500 conglomerates have corporate offices in Orissa, for example, National Aluminium (2005 gross income INR.51,162 million) and Tata Sponge Iron (2005 gross income INR.2,044 million).

Orissa is notable as one of the first Indian states to have tackled its structural problems during the post-1994 Indian economic reforms. Orissa was also the first state in India to begin to privatise its electricity transmission and distribution businesses. Over the period between 1994 and 2000 Orissa's former state electricity board (SEB) was restructured to form Gridco. This corporation was then divided into Transco and a collection of distribution companies. Attempts were then made to sell the distribution companies to the private sector. Like many other states, in 1996 Orissa was losing over 50% of the electricity it was delivered. The scale and importance of these reforms is notable and an important milestone in India's dramatic economic development.

Performance of Indian states in providing basic social services like education, healthcare, etc., in 2001. Darker states have done better.

Recently the number of companies who have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) to set up steel plants in the state has gone up to 50, including POSCO of South Korea which has agreed to construct a mammoth $12 billion steel plant near Paradip port, named POSCO India. It would be the largest single investment in India's history. Arcelor-Mittal has also announced plans to invest in another mega steel project amounting to $10 billion. Russian major Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Company (MMK) plans to set up a 10 MT steel plant in Orissa too. The state is attracting an unprecedented amount of investment in aluminum, coal-based power plants, petrochemicals, and information technology as well. In power generation, Reliance Power (Anil Ambani Group) is putting up the world's largest[citation needed] power plant with an investment of US $13 billion at Hirma in Jharsuguda district. Vedanta Resources’ 1.4 million tonne alumina project in Kalahandi district is the largest investment in aluminium. Vedanta has also announced a $3.2 billion dollar huge private University project on the lines of the Ivy League Universities, which is unprecedented in the history of education in India. Bandhabahal is a major area which consist of Open Cast Coal Mines.

The Central Government has agreed to accord SEZ (Special Economic Zone) status to eight sites in Orissa, among which are Infocity at Bhubaneshwar and Paradip. But all these plans are facing massive resistance from the people of the state who mainly depend on agriculture for livelihood.

In the year 2009 Orissa was second top Domestic Investment destination with Gujarat first and Andhra Pradesh in third place according to an analysis of ASSOCHAM Investment Meter (AIM) Study on Corporate Investments. Orissa's share was 12.6 percent in total investment in the country. It received investment proposal worth INR. 2,00,846 crore during the last year. Steel and power were among the sectors which attracted maximum investments in the state.[41]

Flood and cyclone are the major hurdles in Orissa's development as the important districts are situated near to the Bay of Bengal. In the five-year period between 2004–05 and 2008–09, Orissa's GDP has grown by a stunning 8.74% way beyond the definition of 7% growth. It should be noted that the all-India growth during this period was 8.49%.In this period, Orissa is the fourth fastest growing state, just behind Gujarat, Bihar, Uttarakhand.

Infrastructure development

Although Paradip is home to Orissa's only large port, the coastal towns of Dhamra and Gopalpur are also undergoing major port development. The government of India has selected the coastal region of Orissa, stretching from Paradip in the north to Gopalpur in the south, to be developed into one of five or six Special Economic Regions (SERs) of the country. The government of India and the state government of Orissa are working together to erect world-class infrastructure in this region to match that of Rotterdam, Houston, and Pudong. This is aimed at further private investment in petrochemicals, steel, and manufacturing. A recent Morgan Stanley report forecasts that Orissa would be flooded with massive investments for manufacturing related activities in the same manner that Bangalore had attracted software investment in the 1990s. The scale of the investments in Orissa would, however, be much higher. As of July 2006, total planned investment in the state is $90 billion. This includes investment in research, education, hospitals, roads, ports, airports, and hotels. There are many multi-state irrigation projects in development, including the Godavari River Basin Irrigation Projects. 14 locations have been identified on Orissa coast to be developed as port. These locations are Gopalpur (Ganjam district), Bahuda Muhan (Sonepur) in Ganjam district, Palur (Ganjam), Bali Harchandi (Puri), Astaranga (Puri), Jatadhari Muhan (Jagatsinghpur), Barunei Muhan (Kendrapara), Dhamra (Bhadrak), Chudamani (Bhadrak), Inchuri (Balasore), Chandipur (Balasore), Bahabalpur (Balasore), Subarnarekha mouth (Kirtania) in Balasore district and Talsara (Balasore). Most of the locations among them already been developing as port in the public private partnership (PPP).[42][43][44]


Orissa has a network of roads, railways, airports and seaports. Bhubaneshwar is well connected by air, rail and road with the rest of India. The Biju Patnaik airport is being expanded to accommodate wide bodied aircraft. Some highways are getting expanded to four lanes.[45]

Regular airports

Air strips

Barbil, Keonjhar by State Govt.

Baripada (Rajabasa), Mayurbhanj by Ex-Maharaja

Birsal, Dhenkanal by State Govt.

Hirakud (Jamadarpalli), Sambalpur by State Govt.

Jeypore, Koraput by State Govt.

Jharsuguda, Jharsuguda by AAI

Raisuan, Keonjhar by State Govt.

Nuapada (Gotma), Nuapada by State Govt.

Padampur (Sativata), Bargarh by State Govt.

Phulbani (Gudari), Kandhamal by State Govt.

Rairangpur (Dandbose), Mayurbhanj by State Govt.

Rangeilunda (Gopalpur), Ganjam by State Govt.

Rourkela, Sundergarh by SAIL

Therubali, Rayagada by IMFA

Tusura, Bolangir by State Govt.

Utkela, Kalahandi by State Govt.

Amarda Road, Mayurbhanj by Defence


  • Port of Paradip
  • Port of Dhamara[2]
  • Port of Gopalpur (Commenced Operation From January 2007 As Seasonal Port)

Dists of Orissa

1:Balasore 2:Bhadrak 3:Anugul 4:Baragarh 5:Bauda 6:Cuttack 7:Deogarh 8:Dhenkanal 9:Gajapati 10:Ganjam 11:Jagatsinghapur 12:Jajapur 13:Jharsuguda 14:Kalahandi 15:Kandhamal 16:Kendrapara 17:Kendujhar 18:Khordha 19:koraput 20:Malkangiri 21:Mayurbhanj 22:Nabarangpur 23:Nayagarh 24:Nuapara 25:Puri 26:Rayagada 27:Sonepur 28:Sundergarh 29:Balangir 30:Sambalpur


Religion in Orissa[46]
Religion Percent

According to the 2011 census of India, the total population of Orissa is 41,947,358, of which 21,201,678 (50.54%) are male and 20,745,680 (49.46%) are female, or 978 females per 1000 males. This represents a 13.97% increase over the population in 2001. The population density is 269 per km².

The dominant ethnic group are the Oriya people and Oriya (Oriya) is the official language of Orissa and spoken as a native language by about 73% of the people.[47] Other linguistic minorities in the state are Bengali, Hindi, Telugu, Santali. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes form 16.53% and 22.13% of the state population, constituting 38.66% of the State population. Some of the important tribes are Santhal, Bonda, Munda, Oraon, Kora and Mahali.

The literacy rate is 73.45% with 82.4% of males and 64.36% of females being literate,according to 2011 census.

The proportion of people living below the poverty line in 1999–2000 was 47.15% which is nearly double the all India average of 26.10%.

Data of 1996–2001 showed the life expectancy in the state was 61.64 years, higher than the national value of years. The state has a birth rate of 23.2 per 1,000 people per year, a death rate of 9.1 per 1,000 people per year, an infant mortality rate of 65 per 1000 live birth and a maternal mortality rate of 358 per 1,000,000 live births. Orissa has a Human Development Index of 0.579 in 2004.


The history of Oriya Literature has been mapped by historians and linguists along the following stages, Old Oriya (900–1300 AD), Early Middle Oriya (1300–1500 AD), Middle Oriya (1500–1700 AD), Late Middle Oriya (1700 AD – 1850 AD) and Modern Oriya (from 1850 AD till the present). But this rude categorization could not skillfully draw the real picture on account of development and growth of Oriya Literature. Here, we split the total periods in different stages such as: Age of Charya Literature, Age of Sarala Das, Age of Panchasakha, Age of Upendra Bhanja, Age of Radhanath, Age of Satyabadi, Age of Marxism or Pragati yuga, Age of Romanticism or Sabuja Yuga, Post Independent Age.

The beginnings of Oriya poetry coincide with the development of Charya Sahitya, the literature thus started by Mahayana Buddhist poets.[48] This literature was written in a specific metaphor named "Sandhya Bhasha" and the poets like Luipa, Kanhupa are from the territory of Orissa. The language of Charya was considered as Prakrita.

The first great poet of Orissa is the famous Sarala Dasa who wrote the Mahabharata, not an exact translation from the Sanskrit original, rather an imitation of the same. Among many of his poems and epics, he is best remembered for his Mahabharata. Chandi Purana and the Vilanka Ramayana are also two of his famous creations. Arjuna Das, a contemporary to Sarala Dasa, wrote Rama-Bibha, a significant long poem in Oriya.

Towards the 16th century, five poets emerged, though there are hundreds year gap in between them. But they are known as Panchashakhas as they believed to same school of thought, Utkaliya Vaishnavism. The poets are: Balaram Das, Jagannath Das, Achyutananada Das, Ananta Das and Jasobanta Das. The Panchasakhas are very much Vaishnavas by thought. In 1509 Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to Orissa with his Vaishnava message of love. Before him Jaydev had prepared the ground by heralding the cult of Vaishnavism through his Geetagovinda. Chaitanya’s path of devotion was known as Raganuga Bhakti Marga, but the Panchasakhas differed from Chaitanyas and believed in Gyana Mishra Bhakti Marga, which has similarities with the Buddhist philosophy of Charya Literature stated above.

The Panchashakhas, however, are the direct disciples of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Along with another seer Shri Arakhsita Das, they are called also as sada-goswami (six Lords). These five saints primarily believed in Vaishnavism and also additionally cultured and developed Gyana Mishra Bhakti Marga as stated earlier (beliefs about the body, the mind, the soul, and the Parambrahm). They have composed numerous manuscripts, mâlikas, devotional poems, Sadhana descriptions, and other religious scriptures. Also, many prophecies are described by these seers in there numerous literature. Most of the literature were written in hand on palm-leaves using the Devanagari or the Oriya script.

The two prime works from the five writers are the Bhâgavata by Jagannath Das and the Jagamohana Râmâyana by Balarâm Das. Till today Jagannath Das’s Bhâgavata is the most valued book in Oriya literature. Besides this great work he (Jagannath Das) also composed Artha Koili, Darubrahma Geetâ, Shunya Bhâgabata, Dhruba Stuti etc. Balaram Das, apart from Jagamohana Râmâyana, has also composed various works such as the Lakshmi Purâna, Vendântasâra Guptagitâ, Nâma-mâhatmya, Bhâva samudra, Sisu Veda, Kamalalochana Chautisâ, Kânta Koili. Shri Ananta Das, also known as Shishu Ananta Das has composed various devotional literature, e.g., Chumbaka malikâ, Nilagiri charita, Hetu Udaya Bhâgabata, Artha Târeni Prasnottara, Anâkâra Samhitâ, Bhaktimuktipradâyaka Geetâ. Similarly, Shri Jasovanta Das composed Shiba Shirodaya, Premabhaktibrahma Geetâ, Âtmaparatey Geetâ, Gobindachandra.

Acyutananda was the most prolific writer of the Panchasakhas and has written numerous books (called as pothi's), believed not in one life but in many successive lives. He is known as the Mahapurusha, which means - a great man. A few works of him are: Shunya Samhita, Chaurashi Yantra, Gurubhakti Geeta, Khila Haribamsa, Gupta Bhagabata, Kaivarta Geeta, Kaala Nirghanta, Tera Janma Sharana, Brahma Ekahshara Geeta, Gopala Ogâla, Bhava Samudra, Garuda Geeta, Brahma Shankuli, Ananta Bata Geeta, Kali Kalkpa Geeta, Asta Gujjari, Gujjari Raasa, Brahma Kundali, Mahagupta Padmakalpa, Chausathi Patala, Chayalisha Patala, Chabisa Patala, Dasa Patala, Neetya Raasa, Manmatha Chandrika, Shiva Kalpa, Achyutananda Janma Sharana, Chitta Bodha, Raasa Maala, and Panchasakhaa Bhajana. The Shunya Samhita dealt with spiritual knowledge as well as physical sciences like solar science, atomic and molecular concepts, and aerospace concepts. The term Chauraashi Yantra describes '84 yantras' embedded within the human body, the later itself is ~84 fingers in length and each Yantra is located for each finger-length space. However, the most popular one seems to be an "Oracle of Prophecies" named as Bhavishya Malika. Among prophecies also are Aagata bhabishya lekhanaa and Bhavishya Paraardha. About the Identification of his disciple and the primary devotees, he had composed the Jaiphula Malika. Also his copper oracle (Tamrapothi) which appears to mysteriously read the mind and provide suitable answers is still available today, operated by a priest in Kakatpur. Shri Arakhsita Das, the seer of Olasuni, had written the Mahimandala Geeta, the Bhakti Tikaa, the Saptaanga Abadhuta Samhita, and the Tatvasara Geeta.

At the end of age of Panchasakha, the prominent poets are Dinakrushna Das, Upendra Bhanja and Abhimanyu Samanta Simhar. Verbal jugglery, obscenity and eroticism as the characteristics of Shringara Kavyas, became the trend of this period to which Upendra Bhanja took a leading role. His creations were Baidehisha Bilasa, Koti Brahmanda Sundari, Lavanyabati were proved landmark in Oriya Literature. Upendra Bhanja was conferred with the title Kabi Samrat of Oriya literature for the aesthetic poetic sense and verbal jugglery proficiency. Dinakrushna Das’s Rasokallola and Abhimanyu Samanta Simhara’s Bidagdha Chintamani are prominent kavyas of this time.

The first Oriya printing typeset was cast in 1836 by the Christian missionaries which made a great revolution in Oriya literature. Instead of palm leaf inscription, the books were being printed and the periodicals and journals were published. The first Oriya Magazine of 'Bodha Dayini' was published from Balasore in 1861. The main object of this magazine was to promote Oriya literature and to draw attention to the lapses in government policy. The first Oriya paper, 'The Utkal Deepika' made its appearance in 1866 under the editorship of late Gouri Sankar Ray with the help of late Bichitrananda. The publication of these papers during the last part of the 19th century encouraged the modern literature and acted as a media to provide a wide readers range for the writers, The educated intellectuals came in contact with the English literature and got influenced. Radhanath Ray (1849–1908) is the prime figure, who tried to write his poems with the influence of Western literature. He wrote Chandrabhaga, Nandikeshwari, Usha, Mahajatra, Darbar and Chilika wee the long poems or Kavyas. Fakir Mohan Senapati (1843–1918), the prime figure of modern Oriya Fiction Prose is the product of that generation. He was considered the Vyasakabi or founder poet of Oriya language. Fakir Mohan Senapati is well known for his novel Chha Maana Atha Guntha. It is the first Indian novel to deal with the exploitations of landless peasants by the feudal Lord. It was written much before the October revolution of Russia or much before the emerging of Marxist ideas in India.

With rise of freedom movement, a literary though was emerged with the influence of Gandhiji and idealistic trend of Nationalism formed as a new trend in Oriya Literature. Much respected personality of Orissa culture and history, Utkalmani Gopabandhu Dash (1877–1928) has founded a school at avillage Satyabadi near Sakshigopal of Orissa and an idealstic literary movement influenced the writers of this age. Godabarisha Mohapatra, Kuntala-Kumari Sabat the other renowned name of this age.

With the emergence of Soviet Russia in 1935, a Communist party was formed in Orissa and a periodical named "Adhunika" was published by the party. Bhagawati Charan Panigrahi and Sachidananda Routray were the founder members and writer/poets of the party. Bhagwati turned to fiction writing and though Sachidananda Routray (who is better known as "Sachi Routra" or Sachi Babu) has written some short stories is actually remembered for his poems. Influenced by the romantic thoughts of Rabindranath Tagore, during the thirties when the progressive Marxist movements was in full flow in Oriya Literature, Kalindi Charan Panigrahi, the brother of Bhagabati Charan Panigrahi, the founder of Marxist trend in Orissa, formed a group circa 1920 called "Sabuja Samiti." Mayadhar Mansingh was a renowned poet of that time though he was considered as a romantic poet, but he kept the distance away from the influence of Rabindranath successfully.

As the successor of Sachi Babu, two poets Guruprasad Mohanty (popularly known as Guru Prasad) (1924–2004) and Bhanuji Rao came with T.S. Eliot and published their co-authored poetry book "Nutan Kabita". Later, Ramakanta Rath modified the ideas. Sitakanta Mohapatra, Soubhagya Kumar Mishra, Rajendra Kihore Panda, Brajanath Rath, Jayanta Mahapatra, Kamalakant Lenka, J.P. Das, Brahmotri Mohanty, Mamata Dash, Amaresh Patnaik, Hrushikesh Mallick, Sunil Kumar Prusty, Sucheta Mishra, Aparna Mohanty, Pritidhara Samal, Basudev Sunani, Gajanan Mishra, Bharat Majhi are some poets of this contemporary age. In the Post-Independence-Era Oriya fiction assumed a new direction. The trend which Fakir Mohan has started actually developed more after 50’s of last century. Gopinath Mohanty (1914–1991), Surendra Mohanty and Manoj Das are considered as three jewels of this time. The other significant fiction writers are Chandrasekhar Rath, Dr Jagannath Prasad Das, Shantanu Acharya, Mohapatra Nilamani Sahoo, Rabi Patnaik, Debraj Lenka, Krushna Prasad Mishra, Akhil Mohan Patnaik, Jagadish Mohanty, Kanheilal Das.

Satya Mishra, Ramchandra Behera, Padmaja Pal, Binapani Mohanty, Prativa Ray, Yashodhara mishra and Sarojini Sahoo are a few writers whose writings have created a new age in the field of fiction. Jayanti Ratha, Susmita Bagchi. Paramita Satpathy, Hiranmayee Mishra, Chirashree IndraSingh Supriya Panda, Gayatri Saraf, Mamata Chowdhry are few fiction writerw in this period. In the field of drama, the traditional Oriya theatre is the folk opera, or Jatra, which flourishes in the rural areas of Orissa. Modern theatre is no longer commercially viable. But in the 1960, experimental theatre made a mark through the works of Manoranjan Das, who pioneered the new theatre movement with his brand of experimentalism. Bijay Mishra, Biswajit Das, Kartik Rath, Ramesh Chandra Panigrahi, Ratnakar Chaini, Ranjit Patnaik continued the tradition. As a whole, Oriya literature is a strong wing of Indian Literature to represent in world forum.

Literary magazine: Jhankar, Nabarabi, Apurba, Galpa, Kahani, Kadambini, Istahara, Udbhasa, Amrutayana, Nabalipi, Pratibeshi, Paschima, Bijaya, Bartika, Chitra, Bishwamukti, Ama Samaya, Sananda, Godhuli Lagna, Bigyan Diganta (Science), and pourusha.


The language spoken by the majority of the people is Oriya. English is widely used for official purpose and Oriya is used as regional language. Oriya belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family, and is closely related to Bengali and Assamese. A few tribal languages belonging to the Dravidian and Munda language families are spoken by the Adivasis (original inhabitants) of the state. The state has a very opulent cultural heritage, one of the richest in India. The capital city of Bhubaneshwar is known for the exquisite temples that dot its landscape. The famous classical dance form, Odissi originated in Orissa. Contemporary Orissa has a proud cultural heritage that arose due to the intermingling of three great religious traditions – Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The culture of the Adivasis is an integral part of modern Oriya heritage.


Odissi or Orissi dance and music is classified as a classical music of India. Odissi is the oldest surviving dance form in India on the basis of archaeological evidence.[49][50] Odissi has a long, unbroken tradition of 2,000 years,[citation needed] and finds mention in the Natyashastra of Bharatamuni, possibly written circa 200 BC. However, the dance form nearly went extinct during the British period, only to be revived after India's independence by a few Gurus, such as Guru Deba Prasad Das, Guru Mayadhar Raut, Guru Pankaj Charan Das, Guru Mahadev Rout, Guru Raghu Dutta, and Guru Kelu Charan Mahapatra. Odissi classical dance is about the love of Krishna and his supposed consort Radha, mostly drawn from compositions by the notable Oriya poet Jayadeva, who lived in the twelfth century AD.

Ghumura Dance

Ghumura Dance (or Ghumra Dance) is one of the most sought and leading folk dance form in Orissa. It is classified as folk dance as the dress code of Ghumura resembles more like a tribal dance, but recent researchers argue different mudra and dance form present in Ghumura bear more resemblance with other classical dance form of India.[51] The timeline of Ghumura dance is not clear. Many researchers claim it was a War dance in ancient India and used by Ravana in Ramayana. Ghumura dance is depicted in Konark Sun Temple confirming this dance form is since the medieval period. In the Madhya Parba of Sarala Mhabharata Ghumura has been mentioned as: "Dhola Madala Gadi je Ghumura Bajai Ghumura je Ghumu Ghumu Hoi Garajai" In Chandi Purana mentions: "Biratwara Biradhola Daundi Ghumura Kadamardala Bajanti Mari Galatura" Ghumura was also used as a Darbari dance in the princely state of Kalahandi and played by the earstwhile Kalahandi state during war times.[51] The typical mixed sound that comes out of the musical instruments like Ghumura, Nishan, Dhol, Taal, Madal etc. and the expressions and movements of the artists make this dance to be a Heroic Dance.[52] Since thousands of years Ghumura dance has evolved from a war dance to a dance form for cultural and social activities. The dance is associated with social entertainment, relaxation, love, devotion and friendly brotherhood among all class, creed and religion in the present days. Traditionally this dance is also associated with Nuakhai and Dasahara celebration in Kalahandi and large parts of South Western Orissa. Ghumura dance is still hidden in the village level in South Western Orissa and some parts of bordering Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Kalahandi region has taken a leading rule in popularizing and retaining its unique identity of Ghumura dance. Kalahandi is mainly known as land of Ghumura.[52] Ghumura dance has got the opportunity to represent the nation in various international events Delhi, Moscow, Kolkata, and various other cities in India. Ghumura dance is also one of the most researched folk dance form in Orissa.

Kau dance (or Chau dance) is a form of tribal martial dance attributed to origins in Mayurbhanj princly state of Orissa and seen in the Indian states of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa. There are three subtypes of the dance, based on the original places where the subtypes were developed. Seraikella Chau was developed in Seraikella, the administrative head of the Seraikela Kharsawan district of Jharkhand, Purulia Chau in Purulia district of West Bengal and Mayurbhanj Chau in Mayurbhanj district of Orissa.

Mahari Dance is one of the important dance forms of Orissa and originated in the temples of Orissa. History of Orissa provides evidence of the 'Devadasi' cult in Orissa. Devadasis were dancing girls who were dedicated to the temples of Orissa. The Devadasis in Orissa were known as 'Maharis' and the dance performed by them came to be known as Mahari Dance.

It was during the reign of Chodagangadeva, Maharis were employed in the temples of Puri. After Chodagangadeva's death, Ananabhimadeva built Natyamandapa in the Jagannath temple for the dance performances inside the temple. Moreover, in those days, the Mahari dancers belonged to different categories namely, the 'Nachunis' (dancers), the Bahara Gauni, the Bhitara Gauni and the Gaudasanis.

The Mahari Dancers of Orissa are supposed to follow certain restrictions, such as:

  • They cannot enjoy.
  • They should dance on the ceremonies connected to Jagannath.
  • They should adhere to the specifications made by the Sastras.
  • They must always wear clean cloths.
  • The dancer cannot be physically handicapped.
  • At the time of the performances, the dancers are not supposed to look at the audience.
  • The Maharis are married to the Lord at the age of nine.
  • Before their performances, the Mahari dancers pay their obeisance to the Lord.

In Orissa, one can also come across another type of Mahari dancers, who are known as 'Samarpada Niyoga'. The duty of the 'Samarpada Niyoga' is to dance during the ceremonial procession of the deities. These dancers perform during the Ratha Yatra, Jhulana Yatra, Dola Yatra, etc.

The Western Orissa has also great variety of dance forms unique to Orissa culture. The children's verses are known as "Chhiollai", "Humobauli" and "Dauligit", the adolescent poems are "Sajani", "Chhata", "Daika", "Bhekani" : the eternal youth composes "Rasarkeli", "Jaiphul", "Maila Jada", "Bayamana", "Gunchikuta" and "Dalkhai". The work-man's poetry comprises "Karma" and "Jhumer" pertaining to Vishwakarma and the "Karamashani" deities. The professional entertainers perform Dand, Danggada, Mudgada, Ghumra, Sadhana, Sabar – Sabaren, Disdigo, Nachina – Bajnia, Samparda and Sanchar. They are for all occasions, for all time with varieties of rhythm and rhyme.

Pala is a unique form of balladry in Orissa, which artistically combines elements of theatre, classical Odissi music, highly refined Oriya and Sanskrit poetry, wit, and humour. The literal meaning of pala is turn. It is more sophisticated than the other Oriya ballad tradition, Daskathia. Pala is presented in three ways. The names can be mentioned as baithaki or `seated`, in which the performers sit on the ground throughout. The other one is thia or `standing`. This is more popular and aesthetically more satisfying, in which they stand. Badi is a kind of thia in which two groups vie for excellence. This is the most entertaining, as there is an element of competition.

Gotipua dance is another form of dance in Orissa. In Oriya colloquial language Gotipua means single boy. The dance performance done by a single boy is known as Gotipua dance. When decadence and declination came in to Devadasi or mahari tradition due to various reasons this Gotipua dance tradition evolved as sequel as these performance were practiced to please the gods. It is totally unknown that when exactly this danced form came in to practice. Still some historians say that this dance tradition appears to have originated during the region of Prataprudradev (1497 AD to 1540 AD) and gained popularity in the subsequent Muslim Rule. Ray Remananda the famous Vaishnavite Minister of King Pratapruda and ardent follower of Sri Chitanya is the originator of this boy dancing tradition. As Vasishnavs were not approving of the females in to dance practices so it possible that the dance tradition must have come after Sri Chaitanya came to Orissa. The Gotipua Dance Tradition is now seen in the village Raghurajpur situated 10 km away from Puri town, situated on the banks of river Bhargabi. It is otherwise known as the Crafts Village as various Oriya handicrafts’ craftsmen reside in this village contributing their expertise in Patta Painting and other handukrafts.

Prince Dance Group, a dance group based in Berhampur, Orissa, India led by Krishna Mohan Reddy. It has won a reality show India's Got Talent on an Indian TV channel "Colors". The group is unique that the members are from a remote part of India and most of them are from disadvantaged sections of different parts of Ganjam district. Two of them, Padmanabha Sahu (24) and Telu Tarini (13) are physically challenged. They have won the hearts of all Oriyas, including chief minister Naveen Patnaik, and even outsiders with their performance in the programme "India's Got Talent". The group, comprising 26 artistes held the audience and the judges engrossed with their act from the mythological Mahabharata and Vande Mataram.


Sixteenth century witnessed the compilation of literature on music. The four important treatises written during that time are Sangitamava Chandrika, Natya Manorama, Sangita Kalalata and Gita Prakasha. Odissi music is a combination of four distinctive kinds of music, namely, Chitrapada, Dhruvapada, Panchal and Chitrakala. When music uses artwork, it is known as Chitikala. A unique feature of Oriya music is the Padi, which consists of singing of words in fast beat.

Being a part of the rich culture of Orissa, its music is also as much charming and colorful. Odissi music is more than two thousand five hundred years old and comprises a number of categories. Of these, the five broad ones are Tribal Music, Folk Music, Light Music, Light-Classical Music and Classical Music. Anyone who is trying to understand the culture of Orissa must take into account its music, which essentially forms a part of its legacy.

In the ancient times, there were poets who wrote the lyrics of poems and songs that were sung to rouse the religious feelings of people. It was by the eleventh century that the music of Orissa, in the form of Triswari, Chatuhswari, and Panchaswari, underwent transformation and was converted into the classical style.

Folk music like Jhumar, yogi gita, kendara gita, dhuduki badya, prahallad natak, palla, sankirtan, mogal tamasa, gitinatya, kandhei nacha, kela nacha, ghoda nacha, danda nacha and daskathia are popular in Orissa. Almost every tribal group has their own distinct song and dance style.

Structural art

Other cultural attractions include the Jagannatha Temple in Puri, known for its annual Rath Yatra or Car Festival, the unique and beautiful applique artwork of Pipili, silver filigree ornamental works from Cuttack, the Patta chitras (palm leaf paintings), famous stone utensils of Nilgiri (Balasore) and various tribal influenced cultures. The Sun temple at Konark is famous for its architectural splendour and erotic sculpture, while the 'Sambalpuri textiles' equals it in its artistic grandeur. The sari of Orissa is much in demand throughout the entire world. The different colors and varieties of sarees in Orissa make them very popular among the women of the state. The handloom sarees available in Orissa can be of four major types; these are Ikat, Bandha, Bomkai and Pasapalli. Orissa sarees are also available in other colors like cream, maroon, brown and rust. The tie-and-dye technique used by the weavers of Orissa to create motifs on these sarees is unique to this region. This technique also gives the sarees of Orissa an identity of their own.

Sand art

A unique type of art form was developed at Puri[citation needed], but it has spread all over the world. To carve a sand sculpture, the raw material is clean and fine-grained sand mixed with water. With the help of this type of sand and by the magic of fingers, an artist can carve a beautiful and attractive sculpture on the beach. Sudarshana Pattanaik is one of the major world-class artists in this sculpture.[citation needed]

Although not historically proved, there is a story in the Oriya myths regarding the origin of sand sculpture: "Poet Balaram Das, the author of Dandi Ramayan was a great devotee of Jagannath. Once during Ratha Yatra (Car Festival), he tried to climb the chariot of Jagannath to offer his prayer. He wasn't allowed by the priests of the chariot to climb it and was also insulted by them. With great frustration and humiliation he came to the beach (Mahodadhi) and carved statues of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra on the golden sand.


Gita Govinda manuscript

The majority (over 94%[46] of people in the state of Orissa are Hindu and there is also a rich cultural heritage in the state. For example, Orissa is home to several Hindu figures. Sant Bhima Bhoi was a leader of the Mahima sect movement. Sarala Dasa, an adivasi, was the translator of the epic Mahabharata in Oriya. Chaitanya Dasa was a Buddhistic-Vaishnava and writer of the Nirguna Mahatmya. Jayadeva was the author of the Gita Govinda.

The Orissa Temple Authorisation Act of 1948 empowered the Government of Orissa to have Hindu temples open for all Hindus including the Harijans.[53]

Perhaps the oldest scripture of Orissa is the Madala Panji from the Puri Temple believed from 1042 AD. Famous Hindu Oriyan scripture includes the 16th century Bhagabata of Jagannatha Dasa.[54] In the modern times Madhusudan Rao was a major Oriya writer, who was a Brahmo Samajist and shaped modern Oriya literature at the turn of the 20th century.[55]

About 2.4% of the population is Christian and 2.1% is Muslim.[46]


The Oriya film production in the initial years was very slow. After first Oriya film Sita Bibaha in 1936, only two films were produced till 1951. A joint consortium of landlords and businessmen who collected funds after 1948 produced those two movies. The first film 'Sita Bibaha' was directed by Mohan Sunder Dev Goswami and was released in Laxmi Theatre, Puri. The 1951 production Roles to Eight was the first Oriya film having an English name. It was released after 15 years of the first Oriya film Sita Bibaha. It was the fourth Oriya film produced by Ratikanta Padhi. The eleventh Oriya film Sri Lokenath was the first Oriya film, which got National Award in 1960 directed by Prafulla Sengupta.

One of the major trail blazers and pioneers of the Oriya film industry were Gour Prasad Ghose and his wife, Parbati Ghose. They introduced and mastered innovative ways of technical story-telling. Over the years, some of their most notable films such as Maa and Kaa brought them national fame and numerous awards, including many National awards and lifetime acheivement awards for their contribution to cinema as directors, producers and actors.

The same year, Prasant Nanda won a National Award as best actor for the film Nua Bou with his debut film. The name of Prasantha Nanda would always come while dealing with Oriya Film Industry. He was present in Oriya films since 1939, but he became active only after 1976. Nanda served Oriya Film Industry as an actor, director, screenplay writer, and lyricist and even as a playback singer. Such a versatile genius is quite rare in Indian cinema history. Nanda alone carried Oriya films into the national honor list by winning National Awards three times in 1960, 1966 and 1969 for his acting in Nua Bou, Matira Manisha and Adina Megha. Uttam Mohanty, whose debut film Abhiman won accolades all over, is now the veteran actor of the Oriya Film Industry. His wife Aparajita Mohanty is also a renowned actress. Sarat Chandra Pujari was one of the most popular actor of the 60S era. His popular films are Nua Bou, Jeevan Sathi, Sadhana, Manika Jodi, Naba Janma, Matira Manisa, Arundhati, Ghara Sansara, Bhookha, etc. His films portrayed the general condition of the state of Orissa with a strong social message. Sarat Chandra Pujari is a prominent figure till now. Apart from being an actor he was also a successful director and an academician. He still continues to act in a few selected films. Currently he is enjoying his retired life and writes columns in the newspapers as his hobby. Raju Mishra is another rising star in Oriya film industry. He is an international award wining photographer, director, choreographer and lyricist of Oriya film industry. Other well known actors are Bijaya Mohanty,Utam Mohyanty, Sriram Panda, Mihir Das, Sidhhant, Aparajita, Maheswata, Tandra Ray, Anubhav Mohanty and many more.


Orissa has culinary tradition spanning centuries if not millennia. The kitchen of the famous Jagannath temple in Puri is reputed to be the largest in the world, with a thousand chefs, working around 752 wood-burning clay hearths called chulas, to feed over 10,000 people each day.[citation needed]

Rasagollas have become popular throughout India.
Chhenapoda is a major cuisine.

The famous Indian sweet "rasogolla" has its origin from this state. Salepur Rasogolla is famous and it is mainly prepared by Kar and Brothers (Bikalananda Kar) of salepur. Its branches are also present in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. Pahala, located on the Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar road, is famous for its variety of Rasgullas. The well-known rice pudding, kheeri (kheer) that is relished all over India, also originated in Puri two thousand years ago. Chhenapoda is also a major Orissa sweet cuisine originated in Nayagarh, it is made by caramelizing cottage cheese with sugar, cardamom and other ingredients and then burning it over a chula (wood-burning clay hearths). Chhena Jheeli and malpua are other famous sweet deserts. One of the most famous delicacies of Orissa is Kakara Peetha (made of sooji or finely grained wheat) especially with coconut filling sauteed with pepper, cardamom, sugar and ghee and sometimes cottage cheese (chhena). Its one of the major delicacy during the festival occasions. Arisha is another delicacy. The sweet aroma of powdered rice and Gud being deep fried in Ghee is mesmerizing. Poda Pitha, Haladi Patra Pitha(enduri pitha), Manda Pitha, Chitou Pitha are more examples of Oriya specialitites. Mudhi (puffed rice) is an integral part of every Oriya household. Baripada is famous for its Mudhi. Mudhi serves the purpose of an instant snacks. It perfectly blends with any thing. Be it Chenachur (mix salty fried snacks), milk, tea, curries, peanuts or mango pulp.

Pakhala, a dish made of rice, water, and yoghurt, that is fermented overnight, is very popular in summer, particularly in the rural areas. Oriyas are very fond of sweets and no Oriya repast is considered complete without some dessert at the end. A typical meal in Orissa consists of a main course and dessert. Typically breads are served as the main course for breakfast, whereas rice is eaten with lentils (dals) during lunch and dinner. The main course also includes one or more curries, vegetables and pickles. Given the fondness for sweet foods, the dessert course may include generous portions of more than a single item. Oriya desserts are made from a variety of ingredients, with milk, chhena (a form of ricotta cheese), coconut, rice, and wheat flour being the most common.

Also one of the most famous veg dishes are Dalma (made of lentils and vegetables boiled together and then fried with other spices) and Santula. Even the former Indian President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam introduced these into the Rashtrapati Bhavan Menu. Ghanta and Posta curries are also some of the signature dishes.

Orissa food habit is pretty balanced between the non-vegetarian and vegetarian habits. Due to its vast shoreline and number of rivers flowing across, fish is a very important part of the diet. Orissa also expertises in sea food cuisines like Prawn and Crab. The famous Chilika Lake is particularly famous for offering best sea food cuisines that are one of a lifetime experience.[citation needed]

Orissa's food habit is actually the horizon between the South Indian food habit and the North Indian food habits. One can easily find Dosas, Vadas and idlis being served as breakfast and snacks which are typically south Indian food and also can find Poori- Chole, Samosa's (locally called Singada), and other north Indian delicacies in the menu. One of the best combination of both the North and South of India is Dahibara-Aludum-Ghuguni especially in the city of Cuttack. Dahibara (vadaa dipped and soaked in curd), aludum (a spicy curry made from potato) and Ghuguni (chickpea curry) really go well together and is one of the best fusion of the Indian recipes.


Ratnagiri University

The ruins of a major ancient university and center of Buddhist learning, Ratnagiri, were recently discovered in the Jajpur district of Orissa. Scholars from far away lands, such as Greece[citation needed], Persia and China used to study philosophy, astronomy, mathematics and science at this famed university. Taxila, Nalanda and Ratnagiri are amongst the oldest universities in the world. The ruins of Ratnagiri University have not been fully excavated yet.

Recognized Universities or Deemed Universities
  1. Berhampur University at Berhampur
  2. Biju Patnaik University of Technology at Rourkela
  3. Central University of Orissa, Koraput.[56]
  4. Fakir Mohan University at Balasore
  5. IIT Bhubaneshwar at Bhubaneshwar
  6. KIIT University in Bhubaneshwar
  7. National Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhubaneswar
  8. National Institute of Technology Rourkela at Rourkela
  9. National Law University, Orissa
  10. North Orissa University at Baripada,
  11. Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) at Bhubaneshwar
  12. Ravenshaw University at Cuttack
  13. Sambalpur University, Sambalpur
  14. Siksha O Anusandhan University
  15. Sri Jagannatha Sanskrit University Puri
  16. Government Ayurvedic College, Bolangir
  17. M.K.C.G. Medical College, Berhampur
  18. SCB Medical College, Cuttack
  19. SCB Dental College, Cuttack
  20. Veer Surendra Sai Medical College, Burla
  21. Utkal University (at Bhubaneshwar)
  22. Utkal University of Culture at Bhubaneshwar
  23. Vedanta University
  24. Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology, Burla
Other Universities and Colleges
  1. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bhubaneswar,[57]
  2. Bibhuti Kanungo College of Art & Crafts,Bhubaneswar
  3. Centurion University at Paralakhemundi
  4. College Of Engineering, Bhubaneswar
  5. Food and Craft Institute, Titilagarh, Bolangir
  6. Gangadhar Meher College, Sambalpur
  7. Gopabandhu Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya, Puri
  8. Government Autonomous College, Bhawanipatna
  9. Government College Of Engineering, Kalahandi at Bhawanipatna
  10. Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology Sarang, Dhenkanal
  11. IIIT Bhubaneswar
  12. J.K.B.K Govt Jr. College at Cuttack
  13. Kaviraj Ananta Tripathy Sharma Ayurveda College, Akuspur Berhampur
  14. Kendrapara Autonomous College, Kendrapara
  15. Orissa Engineering College, Bhubaneswar
  16. Orissa School of Mining Engineering, Keonjhar
  17. Padmanava College of Engineering, Rourkela
  18. Parala Maharaja Engineering College at Berhampur
  19. Raj College, Sonepur
  20. Rajendra Autonomous College, Bolangir
  21. Regional College of Management, Bhubaneswar.[58]
  22. Rourkela Institute of Management Studies, Rourkela.[59]
  23. Silicon Institute of Technology at Bhubaneswar
  24. CV Raman College of Engineering at Bhubaneswar

Many of these universities have numerous constituent colleges some of which are autonomous such as BJB College at Bhubaneshwar,MPC (A) College at Baripada, SCS College at Puri, N.C. College at Jajpur, G.M. College at Sambalpur, Khalikote college at Berhampur, F.M. College at Balasore, Vikram Deb college at Jeypore among others.

Entry to various institutes of higher education especially into engineering degrees is through a centralised Joint Entrance Examination, conducted by the Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT), Rourkela where seats are provided according to order of merit.[60] Berhampur university is located in the center of Orissa in the city Berhampur way to Gopalpur.[61]

One of the prestigious institutions of India, NIT Rourkela, National Institute of Technology was upgraded from Regional Engineering College and is an Institute of National Importance. Another premier college of Orissa is the Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology, Burla, which is the first engineering college in Orissa and is famous for its excellent infrastructure and state-of-art teaching methodology.[citation needed] Orissa is also home to one of the two Indian Institute of Mass Communication IIMC situated in Dhenkanal. This is a premier institute for mass communication and journalism.[citation needed]

Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneshwar

The Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB) is a premier business school of national and international significance[citation needed] located in the state capital. The National Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhubaneswar (NISER) is another premier educational cum research institution that is located in the state capital. The government of Orissa has provided 935 acres (3.78 km2) of land at Arugul near Jatni Railway Station for IIT Bhubaneshwar. Classes have already started from 2008 batch.IIT BBSR The plans of setting up of an AIIMS is also in advanced stages. Meanwhile Vedanta University Project, a not-for-profit initiative by the Anil Agarwal Foundation, is an epoch-making dream to have a world class centre for learning and research on the picturesque Puri-Konark marine drive in Orissa. It will have about 100,000 students with an international mix of students pursuing around 95 diverse streams of learning in a sprawling campus of around 56,000,000 sq ft (5,200,000 m2) built up area supported by state of the art, IT and Communications systems. Even more recently, Reliance industries has expressed its intention of establishing a new Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology (DA-IICT), as well as a health city for medical education and research in Bhubaneshwar. Some of the research institutes of Orissa includes Institute of Physics at Bhubaneshwar, Institute of Life Sciences at Bhubaneshwar, Central Rice Research Institute at Cuttack, Central Institute of Fresh water Aquaculture (CIFA)at Bhubaneshwar, Regional Medical Research centre at Bhubaneshwar, Institute of Minerals and Material Technology at Bhubaneshwar and Regional Plant Resource Centre at Bhubaneshwar. As of now, Orissa receives the lowest per capita investment of all 28 states from the central government towards human resource development.

Orissa also boasts of many renowned medical Colleges such as SCB Medical College, Cuttack, Veer Surendra Sai Medical College, Burla and MKCG Medical College, Berhampur. These colleges have been able to produce excellent doctors who have gone on to head various top posts in the Union Medical Departments. Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneshwar and Hi-tech Medical College, Bhubaneshwar are some of the private world-class medical colleges and hospitals serving the state of Orissa. Many students from the neighboring state of Jharkhand, Bihar and Chattisgarh come to Orissa for better education and expertise. Various International and National Universities have signed MoUs with top colleges for various seminars and workshop to be conducted within the campuses. The elite IIT have started its classes in Bhubaneshwar and for which the plans have already been laid out and is already taking shape.[62]


Konark Sun Temple built by the Eastern Ganga dynasty is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ranigumpha part of Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves

The landscape of Orissa is dotted with a large number of temples. The temples of Orissa conform to the Indo Aryan Nagara style of architecture, with distinctive features specific to this region. The best known of these are the Lingaraja temple at Bhubaneshwar, Jagannath Temple at Puri and the Sun Temple at Konark. The temples of Orissa exhibit a majestic grandeur. An Oriya temple (deula) usually consists of a sanctum, one or several front porches (jagamohana) usually with pyramidal roofs, a dancing hall (nata mandir) and a hall of offerings (bhog mandir).

'The Lingaraj temple at Bhubaneshwar boasts of a 150-foot (46 m) high deul while the Jagannath Temple at Puri is about 200 feet (61 m) high and it dominates the skyline of the town. Only a portion of the Sun Temple at Konark, the largest of the temples of the Golden triangle exists today, and it is still staggering in size. It stands out as a masterpiece in Orissa architecture. Orissa is also well known as a Buddhist and Jain pilgrimage destination. North-east of Cuttack, about 10 km from Bhubaneshwar, there are Buddhist relics and ruins at the three hilltop complexes of Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, which still bear witness to Buddhism's fruitful tryst with this region until well into the 13th century.

Orissa's varying topography – from the wooded Eastern Ghats to the fertile river basin – has proven ideal for evolution of compact and unique ecosystems. Thereby creating such treasure troves of flora and fauna that even seem inviting to many migratory species of birds and reptiles. Bhitar Kanika National Park is famous for its second largest mangrove ecosystem. The bird sanctuary in Chilika (Asia's biggest brackish water lake) and the tiger reserve and waterfalls in Simlipal National Park are integral part of any eco tours in Orissa, arranged by Tourism of Orissa.[63]

The Gharial Sanctuary at Tikarpada and the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles in Gahirmatha turtle sanctuary also feature on the list of avid nature watchers. The city wildlife sanctuaries of Chandaka and Nandan Kanan are a must visit for the lessons they teach is conservation and revitalization of species from the brink of extinction.

Orissa is blessed with around 500 km long coastline and has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Chilika, Asia's largest brackish water lake, not only provides a haven for millions of birds, but is also one of the few places in India where one can view dolphins. The lush green forest cover of Orissa plays host to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including the famed Royal Bengal Tiger. Amidst the picturesque hills and valleys nestle a number of breathtaking waterfalls and rivulets that attract visitors from all over. Orissa beaches include Puri, Gopalpur-on-Sea, Chandipur, Ramachandi Beach, Balighai Beach, Astarang Beach, Paradeep Beach. The famous Shiva Temple is near Dhenkanal. [64]

See also


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  • Orissa — ଓଡ଼ିଶା Status: Bundesstaat Hauptstadt: Bhubaneswar Fläche: 155.707 km² Einwohner: 41.947.358 (2011) Bevölkerungsdichte …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Orissâ — Orissa Orissa Vue de cet État sur la carte de l Inde Administration Pays   …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Orissā — Orissa Orissa Vue de cet État sur la carte de l Inde Administration Pays   …   Wikipédia en Français

  • ORISSA — État de la république de l’Inde, situé au nord est de la péninsule, et traversé d’ouest en est par la vallée de la Mahanadi, l’Orissa s’étend sur 155 707 kilomètres carrés, avec une population qui s’élevait à 31 659 736 habitants lors du… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Orissa — Estado de la India …   Wikipedia Español

  • Orissa — (sonst Atkala, Utkala), 1) Landschaft in Ostindien, welche sich im Süden von Bengalen zwischen der Meeresküste u. Nagpore, von 17°16 bis 22°23 nördl. Br. u. 81°35 bis 87°20 östl. Länge (von Greenwich) ausdehnt, ein Areal von 2404 QM. einnimmt u.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Orissa — (sanskrit. Ordra), Division der britisch ind. Provinz Bengalen (s. Karte »Ostindien«), begrenzt von Tschutia Nagpur, dem eigentlichen Bengalen, dem Bengalischen Meerbusen, der Präsidentschaft Madras und den Zentralprovinzen, 23,446 qkm mit (1901) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Orissa — es un estado situado en la costa este de la India. Ocupa una superficie de 156.000 Km² y su población según el censo del año 2001 era de 36.706.920 habitantes. La capital del estado es la ciudad de Bhubaneshwar que cuenta con 646.350 habitantes.… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Orissa — (Urissa), Landschaft der brit. ostind. Präsidentschaft Bengalen, an der Nordostecke der vorderind. Halbinsel, zerfällt in die Div. O. (25.518 qkm, 1901: 4.350.372 E.) und die 17 Vasallenstaaten (Katak Mehall; 37.261 qkm, 1.947.802 E.); Hauptstadt …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Orissa — Orissa, Provinz der Präsidentschaft Kalkutta im engl. Vorderindien, über 1500 QM. groß mit 3 Mill. E.; Hauptstadt Kuttak od. Kattak am Mahanaddy; 100000 E.; andere Orte: Dschagarnat (s. d.); Balasore, mit Hafen, Werften, Seesalzbereitung …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

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