(Last Updated on : 02/08/2013)
Orissa`s beauty has been preserved through its monuments, landscape and the history. The capital of Orissa (officially known as Odisha) is Bhubaneshwar
, the ancient name of Orissa, remained unconquered till King Ashoka
captured this state. The state of Orissa has preserved its past in about 500 delicately carved temples and monuments. Bhubaneshwar and Puri
are popular destinations for pilgrims in search of peace and happiness. The annual Ratha Yatra
has for years attracted devotees from India and abroad. Every morning the sun breaks over the Konark Temple
or the Black Pagoda, with its striking Sun temple, which is famous for its beautiful and erotic images. Chilka Lake
is an attraction not only to the tourists but also to the migratory birds
. This lake is a treasure house of aquatic flora and fauna
History of Orissa
The state of Orissa has a glorious history of its own with more than two thousand years old of rich culture and heritage. Orissa was known in different names in different periods like Kalinga, Utkal
or Odradesha. Kalinga had made its mark in the Indian history during the Nanda dynasty
who ruled the kingdom of Magadha
. In ancient times the people of Orissa had made contact with the South-East Asian kingdoms and posed a serious threat to the Maurya Empire
, the Mauryan
king, invaded Kalinga in 261 B.C. and conquered her. It is said that hill tribes were the earliest known inhabitants of Orissa, particularly Sarbar tribe, who finds mention in Mahabharata
Geography of Orissa
Orissa is located between the parallels of 17.49`N and 22.34`N latitudes and meridians of 81.27`E and 87.29`E longitudes. It has a coastline of about 450 kms. It extends over an area of 155,707 square kms accounting about 4.87 of the total area of India. The modern state of Orissa is located between 170-48` and 220-34` North latitude and 810-24` and 870-29` East longitude. The territory may be divided into four distinct geographical regions the Eastern Plateau, the Central River Basin, the Eastern Hill Region and the Coastal Belt. The entire territory lies in the tropical zone as a result of which high temperature is recorded particularly during April-May. Orissa
is situated on the coast along the Bay of Bengal
and stands for its ancient glory and modern endeavour.
Demography of Orissa
According to the 2011 census of India, the total population of Orissa is 41,947,358. The main occupation of sixty four percent of the people of Orissa is agriculture. The industrial belt also provides healthy working opportunities for the labour class. The male population is 21,20,1678 and the female population is 20,745,680.
Culture of Orissa
The state of Orissa is enriched in its culture and heritage which provides the backdrop of hundred years of Indian history. The cuisine of the state is simple and delicious that mainly includes delicacies of prawns, crabs, fish, and chicken etc. The people of Orissa
uses curd as an essential source of flavour. Most residents of Orissa communicate through the local Oriya Language
, though English Language
is also used as an official language.
The most popular crafts Patachitra
and palm-leaf engraving serve as souvenirs from the state. The silver filigree
(jewel work of a delicate kind made with twisted threads usually of gold and silver) and Appliqu
‚ is the art of sewing smaller pieces of fabric onto a larger background) are distinct art forms of great detail holding the observer in admiration. Puri beach in Orissa boasts of a beautiful contemporary art known as `sand art` which is utilized to create sand sculpture, which is quite popular in India.
The traditional dance of Orissa is `Odissi
` which is known for its beauty, stylishness and elegance. The complex parody and rhythm of this dance form mix together giving birth to various graceful expressions. The `Ghumra` dance is one of the most significant folk dances of the state. Other dances practised are `Chhau
` (tribal martial dance of Orissa), `Mahari` and `Gotipua`.
Education in Orissa
According to census 2011 the overall literacy rate is 73.45%. Male literacy is 82.40% and female literacy is 64.36%. Among the districts, Nabarangpur
has the lowest literacy rate of 49.49%. Khordha district
which includes Bhubaneswar city has the highest literacy of 87.51%. This district also has the highest female literacy of 82.06%. Important educational institutions located in Orissa are All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Bhubaneshwar, Central University of Orissa at Koraput, IIT at Bhubaneshwar, National Institute of Science Education and Research at Bhubaneswar, National Law University at Cuttack
, Ravenshaw University at Cuttack and numerous others.
Administration of Orissa
General Administration includes the Nodal Department for higher Civil Services i.e. All India Services and Orissa Administrative Service (OAS Class-I and above). The department deals with the entire range of personnel management in the Government- recruitment, training, performance evaluation, promotion, discipline, placement, service conditions etc. Some important institutions associated with the department include Orissa Public Service Commission (O.P.S.C), Staff Selection Commission (S.S.C) for recruitment; Orissa Administrative Tribunal for dispensation of justice to Government employees; Gopabandhu Academy of Administration for training; and Vigilance Department for correctional measures.
Economy of Orissa
Situated in a tropical savannah that is subject to cyclones the state has a largely rural population which is engaged mainly in agriculture. Crops include rice
. The economy of the state is mainly dependent upon sectors like agriculture
, fishing, art and crafts, industrial sectors and the emerging IT sector.
Tourism in Orissa
Located on the east coast of India, Orissa is also known as `The Soul of India`. It is a mystical land where mysterious past and the modern today form a harmonious blend. A land filled with awe inspiring monuments, thousands of master craftsmen and artists, numerous wildlife sanctuaries, stunning natural landscapes etc. comprises the natural beauty of the state. Orissa is also a place where one can let their hair down and relax on the tranquil beaches or make friends with dolphins at the Chilka Lake
. It is really a wonder that such a vast and fascinating collection of sights and experiences can be found at one place.
The state of Orissa is rich in culture and heritage that is more than two thousand years old and has a glorious history of its own. It comprises of temples, monuments, shrines and is well known for Hindu ritualistic places and temples alike. Its natural beauty encompasses the various other aspects of the states where it fairs not so well in comparison to other states of India.
The people of Orissa is blessed with the touch of creativity and have thousands of artists who have given expression to the miles of unspoilt coastline, lakes, ancient monuments, temples through their artisanship and craftsmanship. Every morning the sun breaks over the Konark temple
, bringing to life one of the most beautiful states of India. Bhubaneshwar, the capital city of Orissa possesses some of the most spectacular temples which display architectural grandeur.