(Last Updated on : 01/01/2009)
Amongst the most popular and erudite languages of India, Oriya deserves a special mentioning. It is the official language of Orissa
, a popular state in Eastern India. Other Oriya speaking states are the West Bengal
(Midnapore District); Jharkhandand (Saraikela Kharsawan District ); and also some provinces of Andra Pradesh. Due to the rising immigration of laborers, the state of western India, namely, Gujarat also has got a handful of Oriya speaking population.
Also West Indian state, Surat is the second largest Oriya speaking region in Indian subcontinent. The renowned organization IMA conducted a survey and inferred that Oriya speakers are 30,158,000 in Indian subcontinent.
Oriya is an integral part of Eastern zone group of the famous Indo-Aryan language family. Oriya also has got a rich heritage. It is believed that Oriya has been directly derived from the Prakrit , better known, as Purva Magadhi. This ancient language was spoken in East India almost more than one hundred five hundred years ago. Oriya bears a resemblance to some of the modern languages like Bengali, Maithili, and Assamese.
Oriya has a rich literary inheritance dating back as early as 13th century. Sarala Dasa who lived in the fourteenth century is a famous Oriya literaute, known as ` Vyasa of Orissa`. He undertook the important task of translating Mahabharata into Oriya language. For writing, Oriya script is used till date.