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Location of Orissa in India
Coordinates 20°09′N 85°30′E / 20.15°N 85.50°E / 20.15; 85.50
Country  India
District(s) 30
Established 1 April 1936
Capital Bhubaneshwar
Largest city Bhubaneshwar
Governor Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik
Legislature (seats) Unicameral (147)
36706920 (11th)
236 /km2 (611 /sq mi)
Official languages Odia
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Area 155820 km2 (60162 sq mi)
ISO 3166-2 IN-OR
Website Orissa.gov.in
Seal of Orissa

Orissa (Oriya: ଓଡ଼ିଶା) About this sound Orissa.ogg [1], or Odisha, 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 British India[2], and consists, predominantly of Oriya speakers[3]. 1 April is therefore celebrated as Utkal Divas (Orissa Day).

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[4]. Orissa has a relatively unindented coastline[5] (about 480 km long[6]) and lacks good ports[5], except for the deepwater facility at Paradip. 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 10,000 deaths.

Orissa is home to the Hirakud Dam, the longest earthen dam in the world.[8][9] Orissa has several popular tourist destinations. 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 Sun Temple of Konark, The Lingaraja Temple of Bhubaneshwar and the Barabati Fort of Cuttack are important in the archaeological history of India.



Hatigumpha Inscription of King Kharavel, Udaygiri
View of the banks of the Daya river from atop Dhauli hills, the presumed venue of the Kalinga war.
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.

Orissa has a history spanning a period of over 3,000 years. The history of Orissa is in many ways atypical from that of the northern plains, and many of the common generalizations that are made about Indian history do not seem to apply to the Odia region.[citation needed] The name Odia originated from Odra or Udra tribes that inhabited the central belt (Angul, Deogarh, Sundargarh, Sambalpur, Sonepur, Baudh, Balangir) of modern Orissa. Orissa has also been the home of the Kalinga and Utkal 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 BCE, Vedic Sutrakara Baudhayana mentions Kalinga as being beyond the Vedic fold, indicating that Brahminical influences had not yet touched the land.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.

In the third century BCE, Kalinga flourished as a powerful kingdom under the Jaina king, Kharavela.[10] He ruled all the way down south to include parts of the Tamil country. He built the superb monastic caves at Udayagiri and Khandagiri. Subsequently, the kingdom was ruled under various monarchs, such as Samudragupta and Sasanka. It also was a part of Harsha's empire. In 795 AD, the king Yayati Kesari I of Kesari or Soma dynasty united Kalinga, Kosala and Utkala into a single empire. He is also supposed to have built the first Jagannath Temple at Puri,[citation needed] 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 Yayati Keshari III and completed by his son Lalatendu Keshari in the 10th century. King Narasimha Dev is reputed to have built the magnificent Sun Temple at Konark. Although now largely in ruins, the temple may have once rivaled the Taj Mahal in splendour.

The Mughals conquered Orissa in 1576. The last Hindu Emperor of Orissa, Gajapati Mukunda Deva, was defeated and was killed in the battle of Gohiratikiri. The Mughals divided Orissa into two parts, Garjat and Mughalbandi. The coastal plain of Orissa from Medinipur to Rajahmundry came under Mughalbandi rule, which was broadly divided into six parts as Jaleshwar Sarkar, Bhadrakh Sarkar, Cuttack Sarkar, Chicacole (Srikakulam) Sarkar, Kalinga Dandapat and Rajamundry Sarkar or Godavari Province. The Garjat areas of Orissa's Central, Northern, Western and Southern hilly areas were ruled independently by the Hindu kings. These Hindu kings were paying their tribute to the Mughal Subahdar of Orissa who was residing at Cuttack. The Nizam of Hyderabad occupied the area between Rajahmundry to Srikakulam in 16th century. The remaining parts of Orissa, including the Mughalbandi and Garjat areas, were subsequently ceded to the Marathas in 1751.

The British occupied the Northern Circars comprising the southern coast of Orissa as a result of the Carnatic Wars in the 1750s and incorporated them into the Madras Presidency. 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 Odiya-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 linguestic basic 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 Madhubabu, Maharaja Krushna Chnadra Gajapati, Pandit Nilakantha Das, Bhubanananda Das and many other came true. The district of Ganjam was transferred from Madras to the new province of Orissa. From that time onwards people of Odisha celebrate the day 1 April as Utkal Divas or Odisha Day.

Following Indian independence, the area of Orissa was almost doubled and the population was increased by a third by the addition of 30 former princely states. In 1950, Orissa became a constituent state in the Union of India.


There are 30 districts in Orissa—Angul, Boudh, Bhadrak, Bolangir, Bargarh, Baleswar, Cuttack(Cuttack), Debagarh, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Gajapati, Jharsuguda, Jajapur, Jagatsinghpur, Khordha, Kendujhar, 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 Civil 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 Bhubaneshwar is another name is temple city. Other major cities in Orissa are Cuttack, Sambalpur, Berhampur,Rourkela,Bhadrak, Balasore& Puri. .


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

Bhubaneshwar 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 Bhubaneshwar. 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 Bhubaneshwar 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 & have attracted various scientific communities for research & 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.

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 & 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 characterstics, 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.

The Orissa Coastal Plains

The Orissa Coastal 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.

The 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-east (Mayurbhanj) to north-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 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.

The Western Rolling Uplands

These are lower in elevation than the plateaus having heights varying from 153 metres to 305 metres.[11]


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 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 Bahudu, the Vansadhara, and the Nagavali).

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

  • River Mahandi: It is the major river of Orissa and the sixth largest river in India. It originates from the Amarkantak hills of the Bastar Plateau in Raipur district of Madhya Pradesh. It is about 857 kms. Long (494 kms. In Orissa) and its catchment area spreads over 141,600 sq.kms. (65,580sq.kms.) in Orissa). The river carries on an average about 92,600 million m of water.
  • The Brahmani: It is the second largest river in Orissa. It originates as two major rivers like the Sankh and the Koel from the Chhotanagpur 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, 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 kms. Long (541 kms. In Orissa) and its catchment area spreads over 39,033 sq.kms. in Orissa).
  • The Baitarani: It originates from the Gonasika hills of the Kendujhar district. It is 365 kms long and its catchment area spread over 12,790 sq. kms . It entres into the Bay of Bengal after joining of the Brahmani at Dhamara mouth near Chandbali, Baleshwar.
  • The Subarnarekha: It orginates from the Chhotanagpur plateau of Bihar. It is 433kms (70kms in Orissa ) and has a catchment area of 19,500 kms (3,200kms in Orissa ) with a mean annual flow of 7,900 million n.
  • The Budhabalanga: It orginates from the easterns slops of the Similipal massif. It is about 175 kms long having a total catchment area of 4840 sq. kms with an annual flow of 2177 million m. 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 Phulbani district. It is 165 kms long with 8900 sq. kms of catchment areas. It's 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 kms having a catchment area of 1250 sq. kms.
  • The Bansadhara: It originates from the Flanks of the Durgakangar hills (Lingaraj hills) of the eastern ghats in Kalahandi districts. It is 230 kms long out of which only 150 kms in Orissa. It entres in to the Bay of Bengal at Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. It has a catchment area of 11500 sq. kms.
  • The Nagabali: It originates from the Bijipur Hills of the eastern ghats near Lanji garah . It is 210 kms long out of which 100 kms is in Orissa. It has a total catchment area of about 9410 sq. kms.
  • The Salandi: It originates from the Meghasani Hills of the Similipal massif in Keonjhar district. It is 144 kms long with a catchment areas of 1793 sq. kms .
  • The Indirabati: It originates from the eastern ghats in Kalahandi districts. It is 530 kms long with a catchment area of 41700 sq. kms as a tributary it flows into the Godabari river.
  • The Kolab: It originates from the Sinkaran hills of the eastern Ghats in koraput districts. It has catchment areas of 20400 sq. kms .


There are a number of Mountain springs and hotspring in Orissa. The Badaghagara and Sanaghagara in Keonjhar districts Satpasajya in Denkanal districts the Chandikhole in Cuttack distrcts the Barunei in Khorda distrcts, the Narayani and Nirmalajhar in Ganjam and Puri districts, the Patalaganga in Kalahandi districts, the Nursinghanath in Sambalpur distrcts and the Harisankar in Bolangir distrcts and some of the important mountain springs in Orissa .


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 Padhanpuri in Deogarh district khandadhar (Banei) in Sundargarh district Phurlijharan, Khandabaladhar, and Rabandhara in Kalahandi district Kentamari and Putudi in Boudh and Phulbani district DumDuma in Malkangiri district and Bogra in Koraput district are some of the major waterfalls of Orissa.


  • The Chilika Lake is blakish water lagoon located in the southern part of the Orissa coastal plane. It areas varies 780 sq. kms and 144 sq. kms from winter two monsson months having 71 kms long 32 kms breadth. It salinity decleans to a minimum during the monsson. But 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 Banki of Cuttack districts. It is 3 kms in lengh and 1.5 kms in breadth. Sara is another sweet water lake located near Puri. It is 5 kms in length and 3 kms in breadth. Kanjia is another sweet water lake with about 134 acres of area located in Nandankanan of Cuttack districts near Bhubaneswar.



The state is governed by a chief minister and cabinet responsible to an elected unicameral legislature and by a governor appointed by the president of India. Biju Janata Dal (BJD) forms the current government with the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the main opposition. Naveen Patnaik is the current ruling Chief Minister of Orissa.


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
1987 37,080
1985 68,230
1990 109,040
1995 271,180
2000 387,280
2005 670,900[12]

The state's debt is estimated at almost 59 per cent of its GDP in 2005.[13]

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[14] 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 Rs.51,162 million) and Tata Sponge Iron (2005 gross income Rs.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 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. 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. Some vested interests are pushing ahead projects of Mittal, Tata, Vedanta, Birlas causing many human rights violations. 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 Rs. 2,00,846 crore during the last year. Steel and power were among the sectors which attracted maximum investments in the state.[15] Flood and cyclone are the major hurdles in Orissa's development as the important districts are situated near to the Bay of Bengal.

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 devloped 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 (Bhadrakh), Chudamani (Bhadrakh), Inchuri (Balasore), Chandipur (Balasore), Bahabalpur (Balasore), Subarnarekha mouth (Kirtania) in Balasore district and Talsara (Balasore).Most of the locations among them already been devloping as port in the PPP(Public Private Partnership).[16][17][18]


Orissa has a strong media field, one of the best known among other states.The print newspapers like Samaja, Dharitri, Sambad, Samaya, Anupam Bharat, Prajatantra updates daily the Orissa people with the news. Other major dalies are Sambad Kalika, Amari Katha, Pragatibadi, Dinalipi, Orissa Bhaskar, Khabara etc. Some prominent weekly and fortnighty news papers like Loka Samachar, Sarkar, Bartta, Saburi Katha, Neta etc are providing space for people's aspirations and awareness in the state. Orissa has a strong team of journalists and media group. Orissa now has online edition of all its major newspapers as well as websites of news agencies like SamajaEPaper.com [2], Orissalive.com [3], Tathya [4].


Orissa is connected to India through 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.




  • Charbatia Air Base,Cuttack
  • ITR,Chandipur,Balasore


  • Jayapur Airport
  • Utkal Airport
  • Rangeilunda Airport at Bhanja Vihar in Berhampur University Campus
  • Gotma Airport Nuapada
  • Birasal Airport
  • Rasgobindpur Airport
  • Rairangpur Airfield [This is used for private aircrafts mainly during election time for campaigning]


Dists of orissa(newly renamed as odisha)

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


Religion in Orissa
Religion Percent

According to the 2001 census of India, the total population of Orissa is 36,706,920, of which 18,612,340 (50.89%) are male and 18,094,580 (49.11%) are female, or 972 females per 1000 males. This represents a 16.25% increase over the population in 1991. The population density is 236 per km² and 85.01% of the people live in rural areas and 14.99% live in urban areas.

Odia is the official language of Orissa and spoken as a native language by about 90% of the people. Other linguistic minorities in the state are Bengali, Hindi, Telugu. The literacy rate is 63.61% with 75.95% of males and 50.97% of females being literate. 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%. Scheduled Castes and Tribes form 16.53% and 22.13% of the population state, constituting 38.66% of the State population. Some of the important tribes are Santhal, Bonda, Munda, Oraon, Kora and Mahali.

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%, a death rate of 9.1%, 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 HDI of 0.579 in 2004.

The dominant ethnic group are the Odia people. Many other groups are defined as Scheduled Tribes. Odias comprise 75% of Orissa's population while various tribal groups comprise most of the rest.[19]


The history of Odia Literature has been mapped by historians and linguists along the following stages, Old Odia (900–1300 AD), Early Middle Odia (1300–1500 AD), Middle Odia (1500–1700 AD), Late Middle Odia (1700 AD – 1850 AD) and Modern Odia (from 1850 AD till the present). But this rude categorization could not skillfully draw the real picture on account of development and growth of Odia 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 Odia poetry coincide with the development of Charya Sahitya, the literature thus started by Mahayana Buddhist poets.[20] 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-Das 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 Odia.

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.

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 land mark in Odia Literature. Upendra Bhanja was conferred with the title Kabi Samrat of Odia 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 Odia printing typeset was cast in 1836 by the Christian missionaries which made a great revolution in Odia literature. Instead of palm leaf inscription, the books were being printed and the periodicals and journals were published. The first Odia Magazine of 'Bodha Dayini' was published from Balasore in 1861. The main object of this magazine was to promote Odia literature and to draw attention to the lapses in government policy. The first Odia 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 Odia Fiction Prose is the product of that generation. He was considered the Vyasakabi or founder poet of Odia 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 Odia 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 Marxian movements was in full flow in Odia Literature, Kalindi Charan Panigrahi, the brother of Bhagabati Charan Panigrahi, the founder of Marxian 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 Odia 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 (1934– ) 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, Tarun Kanti Mishra, 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 writer in this period, In the field of drama, the traditional Odia 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, Odia literature is a strong wing of Indian Literature to represent in world forum.

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


The official language of the state, spoken by the majority of the people is Odia. Odia 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 still 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 (the original inhabitants of India) is an integral part of modern Odia 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 archaelogical evidence.[21][22] 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 Odia poet Jayadeva, who lived in the twelfth century AD.

Chhau 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 Odia and Sanskrit poetry, wit, and humour. The literal meaning of pala is turn. It is more sophisticated than the other Odia 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 Odia 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 A.D. to 1540 A.D.) 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 Odia 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 a Indian TV channel "Colors" [1]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[2]. They have won the hearts of all Odias, 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 Maataram.


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 Odia 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 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

Applique Art of Orissa
Sambalpuri Baandha Saree

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 while the 'Sambalpuri textiles' equals it in its artistic grandeur.The saree 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.

Although not historically proved, there is an interesting story in the Odia 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 of people in the state of Orissa are Hindu and there is a rich cultural heritage in the state owing to that faith. 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 Odia. 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.[23]

The Supreme Lord of Odians is Jagannath (a form of Krishna.) His popularity has made it even into the Muslim community (perhaps after Hindus were converted to Islam.) There are Muslims that accept Him as their savior and are revered by people of Orissa as His great devotees.[23] Lord Shiva has also had major impact on Orissa as Orissa itself in ancient and medieval times was known as Kalinga (linga indicating the fire form of Lord Shiva.)

Perhaps the oldest Scripture of Orissa is the Madala Panji from the Puri Temple believed from 1042 CE. Famous Hindu Odian Scripture includes the 16th century Bhagabata of Jagannatha Dasa.[24] In the modern times Madhusudan Rao was a major Odia writer, who was a Brahmo Samajist and shaped modern Odia literature at the turn of the 20th century.[25]

Odia Cinema

The Odia film production in the initial years was very slow. After first Odia 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 Odia film having an English name. It was released after 15 years of the first Odia film Sita Bibaha. It was the fourth Odia film produced by Ratikanta Padhi.The eleventh Odia film Sri Lokenath was the first Odia film, which got National Award in 1960 directed by Prafulla Sengupta.[26]

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 Odia Film Industry. He was present in Odia films since 1939, but he became active only after 1976. Nanda served Odia 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 Odia 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 Odia Film Industry. His wife Aparajita Mohanty is also a renowned actress. Raju Mishra is another rising star in Odia film industry. He is an international award wining photographer,director, choreographer & lyricist of Odia film industry. Other well known actors are Bijaya Mohanty, Sidhharth, Sriram Panda, Maheswata, Tandra Ray & others.

Odia newspapers and history of journalism

Orissa Berhampur University was first to start Journalism teaching programme in 1974. Chintamoni Mahapatra, a journalist turned journalism teacher was the person who ushered journalism education in Orissa. Besides Berhampur University, till mid 80s there were not many institutions that provided journalism teaching in Orissa. Things began to change from late 80s. Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) opened a campus in Dhenkanal in August 1993 and offered Post Graduate Diploma in English Journalism with 40 seats. IIMC began to attract, train and provide a steady stream of young professionals to the local papers that were on par with the best in the country. Presently there are more than 15 institutes in Orissa � both government and private � offering various courses in journalism and mass communication. Nearly 300 students pass out from such institutes every year in the State.

Odia Cuisine

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.

Pahala, located on the Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar road is famous for its variety of Rasgulla's. The well-known rice pudding, kheeri (kheer) that is relished all over India, also originated in Puri two thousand years ago. Chena Poda is also a major Orissa sweet cuisine which is made by caramelizing cottage cheese with sugar, cardamom & other ingredients & then burning it over a chula (wood-burning clay hearths). Chenna Jheeli & malpua are other famous sweet deserts. One of the most famous delicacies of Orissa is Kakera Peetha (made of sooji or Finely grained Wheat) especially with coconut filling sauteed with pepper, cardamom, sugar & ghee & sometimes cottage cheese (chena). Its one of the major delicacy during the festival occasions.

Pakhala, a dish made of rice, water, and yoghurt, that is fermented overnight, is very popular in summer, particularly in the rural areas. Odias are very fond of sweets and no Odia 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. Odia desserts are made from a variety of ingredients, with milk, chhenna (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 & vegetables boiled together & then fried with other spices) & Santula. Even the former Indian President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam introduced these into the Rashtrapati Bhavan Menu. Ghanta & poshto curries are also some of the signature dishes.

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

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


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.

The modern higher education system in Orissa is the legacy of the British Raj. There are eleven recognised universities or deemed universities viz. Ravenshaw University at Cuttack,VSS University of Technology Burla Sambalpur (formerly University College of Engineering Burla)Utkal University (at Bhubaneshwar), Sambalpur University at Sambalpur, Berhampur University at Berhampur, North Orissa University at Baripada, Fakir Mohan University at Balasore, Orissa University of Agricultural Technology (OUAT) at Bhubaneshwar, Utkal University of Culture at Bhubaneshwar, Biju Patnaik University of Technology at Rourkela, , Sri Jagannatha Sanskrit University and Sadashiva Kendriya Vidyapeetha Deemed (Sanskrit) University both at Puri and KIIT University in Bhubaneshwar. Many of these universities have numerous constituent colleges some of which are autonomous such as BJB College at Bhubaneshwar, SCS College at Puri, N.C. College at Jajpur, G.M College in Sambalpur, Khalikote college at Berhampur, F.M.College in Balasore 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 and more recently through the Common Entrance Test (CET) conducted by Orissa Private Engineering College Association (OPECA) & Orissa Private Medical College Association (OPMCA), where seats are provided according to order of merit. [27]

Berhampur university is located in the center of Orissa in the city Berhampur way to Gopalpur. Under this you will find three famous college among them Kabi samart Upender Bhanja is the best one. [28]

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 premiere college of Orissa is the University College of Engineering, Burla, which is the first engineering college in Orissa and is famous for its excellent infrastructure and state-of-art teaching methodology.

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.

Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneshwar

The Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneshwar (XIMB) is a premier business school of national and international significance located in the state capital. The National Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhubaneshwar (NISER) is another premier educational cum research institution that is being set up. It will be built along the lines of the reputed IISc, Bangalore. The Government of Orissa has provided 935 acres 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 million sq. ft built up area supported by state of the art, IT & 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. The Indian Ministry of Human Resources Development had also announced its intention of creating an IITs in Orissa,which will be set up at Bhubaneshwar, under the 11th five year plan. 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, VSS Medical college, Burla & 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 & Hi-tech Medical College, Bhubaneshwar are some of the private world-class medical colleges & hospitals serving the state of Orissa. Many students from the neighboring state of Jharkhand, Bihar & Chattisgarh come to Orissa for better education & expertise. Various International & National Universities have signed MoUs with top colleges for various seminars & workshop to be conducted within the campuses. The elite IIT have started its classes in Bhubaneshwar & for which the plans have already been laid out & is already taking shape. (For further details check http://www.iitbbs.ac.in)


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 Odia 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 high deul while the Jagannath Temple at Puri is about 200 feet 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 100 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.

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'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.

[29] 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. If you visit India you must visit the famous Shiva Temple near Dhenkanal.


  1. ^ "Orissa now Orissa". Times of India. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Orissa-now-Orissa-Odia-becomes-Odia/articleshow/5154302.cms. Retrieved 2009-10-24. 
  2. ^ "HC Orissa History". High Court of Orissa. http://Orissahighcourt.nic.in/hchistory.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  3. ^ Jain, Dhanesh (2003). The Indo-Aryan languages. Routledge. pp. 445. ISBN 0700711309. 
  4. ^ "language". Government of Orissa. http://Orissagov.nic.in/people/language.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  5. ^ a b "article on Orissa in MSN Encarta". MSN. http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761563977/Orissa.html. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  6. ^ "Profile of Orissa". Government of Orissa. http://www.Orissa.gov.in/health_portal/healthprofile/profile.html. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  7. ^ a b "Demographic features". Government of Orissa. http://ws.ori.nic.in/gis/html/Orissa/demo.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  8. ^ http://sambalpur.nic.in/hirakud%20dam.htm
  9. ^ http://www.mapsofindia.com/orissa/economy/hirakud-dam.html
  10. ^ http://india.gov.in/knowindia/history_orissa.php
  11. ^ a b [1]
  12. ^ Orissa economy soars to $15b by 2005
  13. ^ Orissa debt estimated at 50 per cent of GDP
  14. ^ Rourkela Steel Plant
  15. ^ http://www.assocham.org/prels/shownews.php?id=2303
  16. ^ http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/orissa-to-notify-talsara-as-14th-port-site/21/21/375446/
  17. ^ http://www.financialexpress.com/news/orissa-to-invite-bids-for-barunei-port/454026/
  18. ^ http://www.financialexpress.com/news/birlaled-consortium-to-develop-ports-in-orissa/157828/
  19. ^ "Odia - Introduction". http://www.everyculture.com/wc/Germany-to-Jamaica/Odia.html. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  20. ^ Mukherjee, Prabhat. The History of medieval Vaishnavism in Orissa. Chapter: The Sidhacharyas in OrissaPage: 55.
  21. ^ http://odissi.itgo.com/
  22. ^ http://www.mardala.com/theory/terms/
  23. ^ a b P. 63 Case studies on human rights and fundamental freedoms: a world survey, Volume 4 By Willem Adriaan Veenhoven
  24. ^ P. 77 Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 30 By Scholastic Library Publishing
  25. ^ Madhusudan Rao By Jatindra Mohan Mohanty, Sahitya Akademi
  26. ^ http://Orissacinema.com/history.html
  27. ^ http://www.nitrkl.ac.in/default.asp
  28. ^ http://www.bput.org/
  29. ^ http://www.seaturtle.org/mtn/archives/mtn82/mtn82p9b.shtml

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Orissa [1] is a state in Eastern India.

  • Bhubaneswar — state capital and transportation hub
  • Brahmapur (previously Berhampore) — also known as Silk City
  • Cuttack — the old capital of Orissa
  • Koraput
  • Paradip — the port city
  • Puri — famous for Jagganath temple and vibrant beach, and the most popular tourist destination in the state
  • Rourkela — known for its steel and fertilizer plants
  • Sambalpur — the biggest city in western Orissa
  • Sunabeda — the Kasmir of Orissa


Orissa borders on the Bay of Bengal. The eastern part, close to the sea is more prosperous, with a lot of tourist locations and religious places. The western part is a hilly and forested area, generally drought prone. It is a predominantly tribal belt. However, the western part of the state contains enormous volumes of iron ore and other minerals that promises to herald a major industrialisation of the state.

It is a culturally rich state. The Bhubaneswar-Puri-Konark golden triangle is the pride of the state.

Traditionally, Orissa descended from the historical kingdom of Kalinga. The script for the Oriya language derives from the Kalinga script which is one of the descendants of the Brahmi script.


Oriya is the local language and Hindi is also spoken here.Many people understand English. Bengali is spoken particularly in the tourist centres.

Get in

By train

There are regular trains from Delhi, Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai.

By plane

There is a airport in the heart of the city of Bhubaneswar with flights operated by all the major public and private airlines. It is well connected to other major destinations like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru (Bangalore).

  • Taxis or hired cars are available in important cities and towns.
  • Private rickshaws cost less than regular taxis but you will have to squash up with whoever else gets inside.


Temples, sea beaches, geographical specialties like Chilka Lake, and wild life. you have time you can visit Shimilipal National Forest which is a paradise for nature lovers.


Breathe fresh air.


Orissa is well-known for handicrafts. Sambalpuri and Kataki sarees in handspun cotton and silk or tussar, have traditional Hindu and Buddhist designs on them. There is filigree work in silver that you will find in Kataka. You will also find fine tribal work in brass and other metal-wire. Pattachitra is traditional painting on palm-leaf or raw silk.


Eat the rasagullas from the dhabas or the little snack stores set in freeways, it comes in yellow white and brown color and are very delicious. Taste chena pod, another traditional sweet-meat from Orissa. If you enjoy spicy food and used to Indian cuisine, you can try out the local Oriya cuisin made out of Sea food (like Fish, tiger prawns and crab curry prepared with exotic spices). Its a foodie's paradise.


Green coconut. Hard drinks are available in most towns. And never forget to drink the sugarcane juice. Its awesome in Orissa


There are several good hotels in Bhubaneswar, such as Trident Hilton, Hotel Mayfair, and Hotel Swosti Plaza. You can also get decent accommodation at the [OTDC] hotels all over the state in tourist locations. In the smaller towns, try and stay in the Forest Bungalows or Inspection Bungalows, mostly run for government officials on tour, but provided to others when vacant.

Stay safe

The area is infested with mosquitoes and so carry mosquito repellent creams, mosquito repellent coils and take the doctor's advice, in advance, about anti-malarial medicines. Its also not advisable to venture out late in the night in deserted places and sea beaches. Its better to have a local tourist guide with you for company.

The people of Orissa are known for their hospitality. It is largely peaceful( Till date, their has never been any large scale violence on communal grounds), and the society is very tolerant and accepting towards other cultures. However, the State, for reasons historical, economic and political,has remained isolated from the country's mainstream and hence has not been able to take in it's stride the tremendrous progress the Indian people have achieved in all spheres, including those the social sphere. The people, especially in the tribal western belt, remain extremely simple in their way of living, and are mostly unaware of the mannerisms of the urban world.


There are cyber cafes in most of the important tourist cities like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri. It would not be difficult to get one. Per hour rate is also as low as Rs. 10/Hour or even less.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ORISSA, a tract of India, in Bengal, consisting of a British division and twenty-four tributary states. The historical capital is Cuttack; and Puri, with its temple of Jagannath, is worldfamous. Orissa differs from the rest of Bengal in being under a temporary settlement of land revenue. A new settlement for a term of thirty years was concluded in 1900, estimated to raise the total land revenue by more than one half; the greater part of this increase being levied gradually during the first eleven years of the term. To obviate destructive inundations and famines, the Orissa system of canals has been constructed, with a capital outlay of nearly two millions sterling.

(See Mahanadi). The province is traversed by the East Coast railway, which was opened throughout from Calcutta to Madras in 1901.

The Division of Orissa consists of the five districts of Cuttack, Puri, Balasore, Sambolpur and the forfeited state of Angul. Total area 13,770 sq. m.; pop. (1901) 5,003,121, showing an increase of 7 in the decade. According to the census of 1901 the total number of persons in all India speaking Oriya was more than 92 millions, showing that the linguistic area (extending into Madras and the Central Provinces) is much larger than the political province.

The whole of Orissa is holy ground. On the southern bank of the Baitarani shrine rises after shrine in honour of Siva, the All-Destroyer. On leaving the stream the pilgrim enters Jajpur, literally the city of sacrifice, the headquarters of the region of pilgrimage sacred to the wife of the All-Destroyer. There is not a fiscal division in Orissa without its community of cenobites, scarcely a village without consecrated lands, and not a single ancient family that has not devoted its best acres to the gods. Every town is filled with temples, and every hamlet has its shrine. The national reverence of the Hindus for holy places has been for ages concentrated on Puri, sacred to Vishnu under his title of Jagannath, the Lord of the World. Besides its copious watersupply in time of high flood, Orissa has an average rainfall of 622 in. per annum. Nevertheless, the uncontrolled state of the water-supply has subjected the country from time immemorial to droughts no less than to inundation. Thus the terrible famine of 1865-1866, which swept away one-fourth of the entire population, was followed in 1866 by a flood which destroyed crops to the value of £3,000,000. Since then much has been done by government to husband the abundant water-supply.

The early history of the kingdom of Orissa (Odra-desa), as recorded in the archives of the temple of Jagannath, is largely mythical. A blank in the records from about 50 B.C. to A.D. 319 corresponds to a period of Yavana occupation and Buddhist influence, during which the numerous rock monasteries of Orissa were excavated. The founder of the Kesari or Lion dynasty, which ruled from A.D. 474 to 1132, is said to have restored the worship of Jagannath, and under this line the great Sivaite temple at Bhuvaneswar was constructed. In 1132 a new line (the Gajapati dynasty) succeeded, and Vishnu took the place of Siva in the royal worship. This dynasty was extinguished in 1532 - 1534, and in 1578, after half a century of war, Orissa became a province of the Mogul empire. It nominally passed to the British in 1765, by the Diwani grant of Bengal, Bhar and Orissa; but at that time it was occupied by the Mahratta raja of Nagpur, from whom it was finally conquered in 1803.

The Tributary States Of Orissa, known also as the Tributary Mahals, or the Garhjats, occupy the hills between the British districts and the Central Provinces. The most important are Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Baud and Nayagarh. In 1905 five Oriya-speaking states (Bamra, Rairakhol, Sonpur, Patna and Kalahandi) were added from the Central Provinces and two (Gangpur and Bonai) from the Chota Nagpur states. This made the total area 28,046 sq. m. and the pop. (190,) 3,173,395.

Up to the year 1888 some doubt existed as to the actual position of the Tributary states of Orissa; but in that year the secretary of state accepted the view that they did not form part of British India, and modified powers were handed over to the Orissa chiefs under the control of a superintendent.

See Sir W. W. Hunter, Orissa (1872).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also orissa




Sanskrit ओड्र (oḍra), Oḍra) + either -त्र (-tra), a place-name suffix or देश (deśa), country).

Proper noun


  1. State in eastern India which has Bhubaneshwar as its capital.


  • Odisha


Related terms

See also



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