About Odisha

Ancient Kalinga, also known as Odra, Utkala, Kosala in different periods of history is now referred as Odisha, after the parliament resolution of 23 September 2011. The reference of Kalinga in Shanti Parva of Mahabharata while traces back its history to antiquity, Odisha’s entry into the period of recorded history is said to be during the period of Nanda dynasty of Magadha. 

History of Odisha has many interesting episodes where mighty king Kharavela revived Kalinga from the ruins and established a far flung empire with Kalinganagari as its capital, extensive maritime trade that was once carried out from its ancient ports to South East Asian countries, and it also witnessed powerful women rulers in Bhaumakara dynasty. While in one hand great Buddhist centers were established in the golden triangle of Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri and Udaygiri, it also saw the rise of Saivite faith with construction of magnificent temples under the Somavamshis and the Ganga dynasty. Subsequently different religious faiths that evolved through centuries in Odisha got assimilated into the cult of Jagannath.

Odisha also saw repeated invasions from the foreign powers like the Muslim Sultans of Bengal followed by Moghuls and finally the British. In India’s struggle for Independence Odisha played a significant role with the Paika rebellion. Thus the history of Odisha is indeed a glorious tale of its achievements and contributions in different aspects like architecture, religion, tribal culture, arts and craft, festivals, foods and literature.

Awesome Places

Odisha is an enchanting land of sea, sand and fabulous temples along the long coastal stretch of the Bay of Bengal. This state has its mention in the epic Mahabharata and attracts tourists with its gorgeous beaches and grand architectural splendors. The natural splendor of this land with affluent culture and heritage is simply awe-inspiring.

Arts and Crafts of Odisha

Utkala, ancient name for Odisha means ‘excellence in arts’ and Odisha’s cultural vibrancy is still retained to the present day with the rich legacy of inherent artistic excellence. Odisha’s earliest form of indigenous art work pattachitra, has been traditionally associated with the Lord Jagannath where intricate patterns are drawn with natural colors on cloth canvas after making it sturdy or on dried palm leafs. The native genius could also be witnessed in the filigree works where silver wires are shaped to form intricate designs on decorative pieces and jewelry.

Odisha's Festivals

Odisha is renowned to have numerous festivals bringing together people of common faith and devotion. Osa (fasting) and brata (votive tales) are integral to Odia festivities too.

Odia Cuisine

Odia love food, owing the importance of it in the religious culture of the state. Odia
cuisine is very simple yet delicious, prepared in little or no oil which gives out the flavors
of the spices that are sparingly used themselves. The spread is vast and is very easy on
the palate.
Rice is the staple food of Odisha with mustard oil used as a cooking medium in
many households. Yoghurt forms a major part of many dishes of Odisha while many
sweets are based on chhena (a form of cheese). Odisha is like a quintessential
gourmet central for every foodie.
Fish and other  seafoods  are eaten mainly in coastal areas. Several curries are prepared
from prawn and lobster with spices. Freshwater fish is available from rivers
and irrigation canals. Rohi, Bhakura and Ilishi are the famous freshwater fishes used in

Dance of Odisha

Odisha has achieved a distinct place with her contributions in to the Indian performing arts traditions with Odishi and Chhau dance forms. Odishi dance owes its origin to the Devadasis attached to Lord Jagannath, known as Maharis (someone in deep love with the Lord) practiced in 12th century. Subsequently it was popularised by the Gotipuas (young boys dressed as girls) and this age old tradition has been kept alive in its originality and vitality.

Chhau dance originated in the mock fights of the odiapaikas (warriors) who fought to the tune of musical instruments for amusements as well as for physical fitness. Gradually this war dance developed into art forms under two different centres of Mayurbhanj and Saraikela (now in Jharkhand).

There are many folk and tribal dance forms portraying the collective tradition of a particular community. They are intimately connected to life, nature, and worship of gods and goddesses. Popular dance forms include KelaKeluni, ChaitiGhoda, Baunsa Nata, JhamuNacha, Dalkhai, Karamaetc.

Tourist Places of Odisha!

Teeming with a vibrant cultural history, Orissa is home to some of the most stunning places to visit. The temples of the state are some of the most popular tourist places in Orissa. The temples here boast of stunning architectural details that stand testament to the various kingdoms that flourished in the state’s history. While the 12th century Jagannath temple in Puri welcomes pilgrims from across the world, the 7th century Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneshwar is revered by Shaivites everywhere. Other popular temples here include Bhubaneshwar’s Rajarani Temple, Mukteshwar Temple andParshurameshvara Temple.