Orissa Religion


Orissa religion is a mixture of different castes and creeds with a high concentration of Hindus. In the census report of 1971, Hindus comprised 92 percent of the total population. During that time, the Muslims, Buddhists and Christians formed 1.5, 0.04 and 1.7. There are several other tribes like the Santhals and the Mundas who make up for the rest of the religious ethnicity. They follow the tribal faith which is popularly known as 'Sarana'.

Even though the Hindus form the majority of the religious populace, Orissa is a land of religious harmony and it is not uncommon to see Hindus and Muslims living side by side in the same local community.

There are several castes in the Hindu community. Brahmins, Khandayats, Karans etc. are the upper castes whereas there are functional castes like blacksmiths, milkmen, potters, weavers, carpenters, goldsmiths, confectioners etc. as well. A village may be divided into sahi, para or kandi depending on the religious concentration.

In the pre independence eras, untouchability was a major factor. But nowadays, it has been wiped out due to cultural enlightenment and camaraderie. All the religions have their respective rituals which are followed rigorously by the populace.

The religious Diaspora of Orissa is renowned throughout the Indian subcontinent. The entire state is peppered with innumerable temples and pilgrimage sites. One of the biggest tourist destinations of Orissa is the temple town of Puri that hugs the coast of Bay of Bengal. The religious town houses several temples and shrines, the most famous being the celebrated Jagannath Temple. The spiritually inclined people also celebrate a host of religious festivals of through the year. In fact, the grand ceremonies of the Ratha Yatra, the Chandan Yatra and the Snana Yatra is famed all across the globe.





Last Updated on : 2 July 2013

 

     


     

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