City India


It is the modern name of the ancient kingdom of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. The modern state of Orissa was established as a province in British India and consisted predominantly of Oriya speakers.

About Orissa

Orissa 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, and consists predominantly of Oriya speakers. 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 (about 480 km long) and lacked good ports, 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. The interior of the state is mountainous and sparsely populated. 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 nearly 15,000 deaths.

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. 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. 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. 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, 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. 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.

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.

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.

States of India

Orissa Updates

Banks in Orissa
Pan Card

Top Schools in Dehradun

Best Play School

Best Residential Schools