Odisha is also known as Orissa and lies on the east coast of the Indian subcontinent. Its capital is Bhubaneswar. The state is an important part of the country with modern infrastructure and facilities. After independence, there has been a tremendous improvement to develop the rural parts of the state.
It is also the land of temples as there are plenty of temples that are beautifully carved and proud testimony to the empires that were established here. The land is also famous for its cultural heritage. The major attraction here is the classical Odissi dance form. Odisha has more than just culture and tradition.
History of Odisha
|Odisha - Facts |
Below is a table representing important facts about Odisha
Geography of Odisha
Odisha lies on the east coast of the country and is lined with the beautiful seashore of the Bay of Bengal. It has an area of around 1,55,802 square kilometers. The state is surrounded by states like Madhya Pradesh to the west, Andhra Pradesh to the south, west Bengal to the north east and Jharkhand to the north. The Bay of Bengal is to the east of the state. The state has diverse habitats and hilly terrain along with lush greenery. The coastal plains and river valleys are incredible. The state has major rivers like Mahanadi, Brahmani and Bansadhara Rivers. The state comprises of three main regions like the plateaus, mountains and coastal plains. You will find several deltas or all shapes that are formed by rivers like Subamarekha, Baitarani, Rushikulya and Budhabalanga. Three fourths of the entire state comprise of hills and mountains of the Eastern Ghats. One of the major attractions here is the natural habitat of the wildlife. There are many wildlife sanctuaries in Odisha. More Detail...
Tourism of Odisha
The state of Odisha can be found from the ancient times which mean that you will find various monuments that are now a world heritage site and plenty of other monuments that are architectural marvels today. There are hundreds of temples here from the ancient times and of rulers who had built their vast empire here. The temples are worth having a look as they are grander and more beautiful than any other temples in the world. The Sun Temple of Konark in Bhubaneshwar and Puri has been awarded a World Heritage Site. Besides, you get to enjoy the vast seashore of 500 km that has world famous beaches to enjoy water sports or simply bask in the sun. Chilka is the famous black water lake that has been recognized as the haven for millions of species of birds. Dolphins are also seen here. Some of the major beaches here are Gopalpur, Chandipur, Puri and Chandrabhaga. Besides you can also have a picnic on smaller beaches like Aryapalli, Astarange, Balaramgadi, Paradeep, Talasari and Ramchandi. The lush greenery plays host to a number of flora and fauna and has given rise to the famous Royal Bengal Tiger. There are plenty of wildlife sanctuaries here due to the greenery found everywhere. Besides, there are waterfalls, lakes and museums as well. More Detail...
Popular Tourist Destinations in Odisha
- Chilka Lake - The lake is a haven for migrant birds. The site is famous for dolphins and sea turtles as well.
- Bhitarkanika National Park
- Pipli - It is known all over the globe for its handicraft items.
- Daringbadi - For its scenic features, it is dubbed as the Darjeeling of Odisha.
- Simlipal National Park - It is a big wildlife reserve in the northern part of the state and contains a number of elephants and tigers.
- Brahmapur (formerly known as Berhampore) - The place is called as Silk City as well
- Bhubaneswar - The capital of the state and main transportation center
- Cuttack - The erstwhile capital of the state
- Puri - Is known for the Jagannath Temple and lively seashores. This famous religious hub is a major tourist draw in Odisha.
- Paradip - Named as the Port City.
- Sambalpur - The largest city in the western part of the state.
- Rourkela - Famous for the fertilizer factories and steel plants it houses.
- Sunabeda - Known as the Kashmir of Odisha
Government and politics
Regarding politics, the state has some major parties like the Biju Janata Bal, the Bhartiya Janata party, the Indian National Congress. Every party has able leaders who are interested in the development of the state. More Detail...
Education in Odisha
Odisha has been a seat of education from primary to the highest level since the ancient times. We can see the ruins of educational institutions of the past era. The state was famous as an education hub in ancient days. Recently, a Buddhist learning center has been found in Ratnagiri in the district of Jaipur. Nalanda too has a place of prominence in the education sector. There used to be students from far away countries like Persia, Greece and China to study mathematics, philosophy and astronomy.
Today the state has some of the renowned universities in the country. The prestigious NIT Rourkela is an institute of national importance. There are plenty of engineering colleges, science colleges, technology, higher studies and many more. The state is famous for mass communication course known as the IIMC, which is one of the two premium institutions in mass communication. There are also famous medical colleges located in various parts of the state. Some of the major universities are the Biju Patnaik University of Technology, Kalinga institute of Industrial Technology, Shir Jagannath Sanskrit Vishvavidyalaya, Fakir Mohan University, National Institute of Technology, Orissa University of Agriculture and many more. More Detail...
Economy of Odisha
Odisha has major of its population in agriculture. The total area of cultivation is 87.46 lakh hectares. Out of which 18.79 lak hectares are irrigated. The major crop produced is rice and is one of the major rice producing state in the country. District wise the state produces different crops. Besides rice, oil seeds, jute, pulses, coconut, mesta, turmeric and sugarcane are important crops. Tea, rubber and cotton are the cash crops. The other crops that rank second in the state are ragi, jute, rape, gram, mustard, sesame, maize.
The state also has a mineral production like coal, limestone, bauxite, iron ore and various other minerals. It has a third position of bauxite reserves in the country. Rourkela steel plant was the first ever integrated steel plant in India. Major industries like the Jindal steel, ESSAR steel authority of India, Nilachal Ispat Nigam limited and Posco, etc. have played a great role in the industrial sector. There are plenty of small scale industries of handicrafts and handloom which contribute in a major way to the economy of the state.
Fishery has also emerged as one of the major components of the economy of the state. Due to the vast coastline there is a wide scope for inland, brackish water and marine fisheries. More Detail...
In the year 2011, the population of Odisha was 41,947,358, out of the total population, the male population was 21,201,678 and female population was 20,745,680. The ratio of female and male is 978 females per 1000 males. The population density is 13.97% and is 269 per sq km.
The literacy rate is around 73% in Orissa of which around 82% are males and 64% females are literates. These figures are according to the 2011 census. The poverty line is nearly double of the country's average which is 26.10%, and in Orissa it is 47.15%.
The population of the state is rising at a greater speed. The urban population is 16.69% of the total populationand the rural population is 83.31%. The initiative has been taken by the government to focus on the female literacy and the infant mortality rate. However, the infrastructure is getting better and with it other facilities like hospitals, transport, education and jobs are also improving.
Culture and Tradition
Odisha is the bastion of rich culture and tradition and is evident due to the historical monuments, sculpture, artists, dance and music. The state has a department that looks after the culture and promotes systematic and comprehensive fields of arts and culture. The culture of Odisha can be seen from the ancient times that have left their mark in the form of temples and monuments. The state is full of temples that have earned appreciation from the world.
The classical dance form Odissi originated here and is famous all over the world. The dance form is all about the love of Lord Krishna and his consort Radha. Besides, there are many folk dances and folk theater as well. The culture has been influenced by religions like Jainism, Hinduism and Buddhism. The tribes and the adivasis too have played a part in the culture of Orissa. The popular Rath Yatra of Orissa is held in Puri, which is carried out with great faith and devotion. It is popular all over the country and here you can see the rituals, the culture and the customs of the people. Noteworthy here is the rich handicrafts and handloom textiles. The silver filigree work, picture frames, saris and ikat fabrics are quite famous. The famous painting form calls the Raghurajpur can be prominently seen here. The paintings are comprised of scenes from Indian mythology and the prime characters are deities of Puri temple - Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra.
Oriya has been recognized as the official lingual of Odisha. The native inhabitants belonged to the Aryan family and the language here is similar to that of Bengali, Assamese and Maithili. Over the years Oriya has formed many other variations in the language like the Baleswari, Bhatri, Laria, Sambalpuri, Ganjami, Chattisgarhi, and Medinipuri. Oriya can be found to have a different tone and the version in the hilly terrains and peculiarities. Oriya has been first discovered in Urajang in 1051 A.D. the script has been defending from the Brahmi and has a Dravidian finish.
The state has 84% of population speaking Oriya. It is also one of the oldest languages in India and spoken in the neighboring states as well. There are other languages that are spoken here by people who come from different states. Hindi is the second most spoken language that is popular and is widely accepted. Besides, there are Urdu and Bengali along with Telugu which is also spoken by some people. English is spoken only by those who are literate people.
Odisha is a melting pot of religion. The state comprises of various religions like Jainism, Buddhism, Brahmanism, Shaivism, Islam, Vaishnavism and Nath Dharma. Hinduism is the prominent religion here. Odisha also has many tribal religions and one of them is Sarana.
People here celebrate 13 festivals in 12 months which is incredible. The festivals and celebrations go on the whole year with the same enthusiasm and energy. Some of the grand festivals here are the Rath Yatra, Chandan Yatra, Chaitya Parva, Ekamra Utsav, Kalinga Mahotsav, Parab tribal festival, Puri beach festival and the Snana Yatra.
Food of Odisha
The state is full of temples and is famous for its rich culture and heritage, which means the food too is found in elaborate style and rich. Although it is a land of festivals and celebrations, the people love simple and delicious food. Rice is the major food crop found here and is therefore the staple food of the people. Vegetables are grown in plenty, and you can see them cooked in every household. It is an integral part of the meal. Odisha people are vegetarians due to the religious practice and Hinduism religion. But due to a proximity to the sea and as the fish are found in abundance here, many people relish on fish and other seafood like crabs, lobsters, prawns, etc.
People in Odisha are fond of sweets, which is why you can find a number of mouth-watering sweet dishes that have now become world famous. Rassulla, Rice Kheer are the specialty here.
Transport in Orissa
Transport here is as good as in other states of India. The state has a great network of roads along with national highways. National highway numbers 5, 6, 23, 42 and 43 run through the state. There are also railways, waterways and airways in Odisha. The total railway route of Orissa in 2004 was 2.37 lakh km and 91 km of narrow gauge railway. Bhubaneshwar railway station is a major railhead in the state. Several trains like Konark, Rajdhani, Express and the Coromondal express, etc make it convenient and comfortable travel. Paradeep is the only major port here, where import and export take place. Ordisha also has a domestic airport and is well connected to all major cities in the state as well as major Indian cities. Transport facilities are quite developed here. Due to the development projects going on in the state and as the state is being recognized as a prominent tourist state, transport is being given greater significance and the government is focusing on projects like international airports and many more roads and railways that will run all across the country.
Last Updated on : 8 July 2013