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The Soul of Incredible India
Odisha has been rightly regarded as a land of myriad marvels. The dynamic topographical and vegetational strength of Odisha have combined to extract some of the most stunning destinations which not only offers a visual feast for the inquisitive visitors but also highly educative and culturally pleasing insight into one of the oldest civilizations of the world.
Temples and sanctuaries beaches and waterfalls, hot springs and lakes, wildlife that is visually fascinating, crafts that are colourful and vibrant and the numerous festivals that can take on a “ Juggernaut” – like momentum.. – Odisha has them all and much more for intending tourists and visitors. Cradled between the sunlit water of the Bay of Bengal and the heavily forests blu-hued hills of the Eastern Ghats, Odisha’s beauty has a gem-like reflection, dazzling the visitor with her beguiling charms . Spread over 1,55,707 sqkms, her rural tranquility and great forest lands are home to all manner of wildlife whose ancestral homes lie in the deep reaches of this beautiful land 480 kms of gentle coastland undulates across a terrain that is no variegated as the prisms of a kaleidoscope.
Buddhism , Jainism and Hinduism have flourished in this land with equal ease, which pays homage to its ancient deities with extravagant style from the religious architectural wonders in the Golden Triangle of BBSR-PURI-KONARK ,where tourists can get an encapsulated experiences of Odisha in all its infinite charm, to the mysteries of the ancient tantric temples and yogini shrines that intrigue even the most placid visitor . The glorious beaches beckon visitors with their tranquility and turbulent waters while cavorting dolphins trend the channel waters of Chilika lake in playful abandon Healing springs and limpid lakes in breathtaking hues stun the eye with their vivid visuals.
Odisha’s art and crafts offer visitors an indelible experience of its cultural heritage , brilliantly manifested in its itkat silk, pata paintings , silver filigree and stone carving. The artists villages at Pipili and Raghurajpur bring alive old traditions in to a colourful and flamboyantly rich fusion.
The source of this section
A REFERENCE ANNUAL
RESEARCH, REFERENCE AND TRAINING DIVISION
MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Area : 1,55,707 sq km
Population : 36,804,660 as per 2001 census 41,947,358 (prov.) as per 2011 Census
Capital : Bhubaneswar
Principal Language : Oriya
HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
The history of Odisha dates back to antiquity, its most famous old names being Kalinga, Utkal and Odra. By the time of Mahavir and Buddha, the Kalinga Utkal region on the entire east coast of India acquired recognition and fame. Mauryan Emperor, Ashoka's invasion of Kalinga was an epoch-making event of ancient times of far reaching consequences. Kalinga was conquered but the conquest changed the heart of the conqueror. The change in Ashoka changed the course of religion and cultural history not only of India but also of the whole of Asia.
The next great era of Odisha's history commenced during the reign of Mahameghavahana Kharavela who ruled in the 1st half of the second century B.C. During Kharavela's reign the empire of Kalinga extended upto the river Ganga in the north and the river Godavari in the South. Subsequently the great dynasties such as the Shailodvabas, Bhoumakaras, Somavamsis, Gangas were not only great empire builders, but also promoters of art, literature and culture. The world famous Sun Temple at Konark was built in the thirteenth Century by Narasimha Deva, the famous Jaganath temple at Puri in the twelfth century by Anangabhima Deva and the Lingaraj temple, Bhubaneshwar in the eleventh century by Jajati-II. From mid-16th century Odisha was ruled successively by five Muslim kings till 1592, when Akbar annexed it into the Mughal empire. With the decline of the Mughal empire, Marathas occupied Odisha. They continued to hold it till the British took over in 1803.
Modern Odisha took birth on 1st of April 1936. After Independence, princely States in and around Odisha surrendered their sovereignty to the Government of India. By the States Merger Order 1949 the rest of the princely States of Odisha were completely merged with the State of Odisha in January 1949. Odisha , the land of Lord Jagannath situated on the shores of Bay of Bengal is surrounded by the West Bengal on the north-east, Jharkhand on the north, Chhattisgarh on the west and Andhra Pradesh on the south. Its diverse landscape comprises coastal plains, mountainous terrain, plateaus, verdaut river valleys and slopes dotted with watersheds, springs, lakes and forest cover of varying density.
RICH AGRICULTURAL HERITAGE
Odisha the land of enchanting beauty is well known for its exquisite handicraft, silver filigree, horn work, applique work and stone work which deserve special mention. Pattachitra, a form of traditional painting of Odisha is a unique craft. Silk and cotton handloom products especially sarees are simply bewitching. Besides, the highly lyrical and graceful classical Odissi dance, Chhau, a popular martial dance and Sambalpuri, an enhancing folk dance have earned international acclaim.
Fairs and festivals
The Joyous symphony of fairs and festivals continues round the year. The most colourful festivals in Odisha are the Ashokastami (the chariot journey of Lord Lingaraj at Bhubaneswar), the historic car festival of Lord Jagannath at Puri, the Bali Yatra at Cuttack, the Makar festival at Kalijai island in Chilka and Mayurbhanj, the Magha Saptami at Chandrabha near Konark and at Khandagiri near Bhubaneswar, the Seetal Shasthi at Sambalpur and Dhanu Yatra at Bargarh, Raja, Dola yatra and Dussehra all over the State. Moreover, the State Government sponsors annual dance festival at Konark and the tribal Festival in the State capital Bhgubaneswar. Private entrepreneurs and hoteliers also organise a colourful Beach festival at Puri every year.
Celebrated a day after Ganesh Chaturthi every year, Nuakhai Juhar marks the harvest festival of Odisha
Nuakhai or Nuankhai is one of the most important festivals in Western Odisha, where it is celebrated with great dedication and joy. Also referred to as Nuakhai Parab or Nuakahi Bhetghat the festival's literal translation sums up to new food where nua means new and khai means food.
The festival is often compared to Tamil Nadu's Onam which is also a celebration of fresh harvest and is understandably, of massive significance for the agricultural community.
Here are 5 things you must know about the festival.
1. Nuakhai generally falls during the months of August and September, where it is celebrated just a day after Ganesh Chaturthi.
2. Not just Western Odisha regions like Kalahandi, Sambalpur, Balangir, Bargarh, Sundargarh, the festival is also celebrated across areas of Jharkhand.
3. Where the origins of the festival are said to date all the way back to the Vedic ages, the first records of its existence are believed to be from the 12th century when a certain Raja Ramai Deo saw agriculture as an important entity in maintaining the cohesiveness of a societal arrangement.
4. Nuakhai is said to be associated with nine primary colours which in turn are assigned to nine different rituals.
5. The preparations for the festival begin 15 days in advance.
Sectors of the economy
Agriculture continues to be the backbone of the State's economy. About 70% of the population of the state is dependant on agriculture. As seed is one of the major inputs for boosting productivity of the crop, Government has taken adequate steps to increase seed replacement rate of various crops. During 2010-11, 43,348 ha. of land has been brought under seed production programme. All efforts are being made to make availability of quality seeds at door steps of farmers through setting up of seed processing plants in each district. The State has ample scope to boost horticultural crop. A number of schemes have been taken up and are in operation to exploit the potential of the state in horticulture development. During 2010-11 about 38,418 hect. of land has been brought under different fruit crops.
IRRIGATION AND POWER
Irrigation is the most important input for agriculture. Private Lift Irrigation Points (PLIP) under Jalanidhi scheme are being promoted by providing 50% subsidy. During 2010-11 till December 2010, 16,785 PLIPs have been set up creating additional irrigation potential of 34,000 hect. To accelerate the irrigation potential of the State, Government has formulated a five year perspective plan in 2009-10 with an objective to bring an additional 9% of cultivable land that is 5.6 lakh hectares under irrigation coverage by 2014.
System improvement work of selected major and medium irrigation projects have been taken up under ADB funding. Besides, 1761 minor irrigation tanks and water bodies to revive 88000 hectares have been sanctioned under PR&R scheme of Government of India. An ambitious scheme for construction of 6000 Deep Borewells to provide irrigation to small and marginal farmers in blocks having less than 35% irrigation coverage has been launched during 2010-11. 1000 check dams are completed by the end of 2010-11. By the end of November, 2010, 1,347 lakh hectares of irrigated command area has been handed over to 18,628 Pani Panchayats for operation and maintenance.
Odisha is the first State in India to undertake reform; restructuring of the power sector and privatisation of distribution system. Biju Gram Yoti Yojana is implemented in districts of the State. The State Government has decided to launch a new programme named 'Biju Saharanchal Vidyutikaran Yajana' (BSVY) to provide access to electricity to the people living in the unelectrified areas of wards/villages/slums and also below poverty line households in the urban local areas. MoUs signed with 27 private independent power producers for generation of 32,420 M.W. power.
The Industrial Policy Resolution (IPR) 2007 envisages a robust policy framework for industrial promotion and investment facilities including creation of an enabling environment. As a result, a large number of investment proposals are being received in the state for setting up of mineral based industries such as steel, power, cement, alumina and aluminium. So far 89 companies in different sectors have signed MoUs which cover steel (50) Aluminium (3) Power (30) Cement (3) Auto component (1) Oil refinery (1) and Titanium dioxide (1) Plants with an investment of Rs, 4,61,23600 crore. Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) with an investment of Rs, 2,27,734 crore within an area of 284.15 sqkm is going to be established at Paradeep.
Roads : Government has taken up a number of road and bridge projects in the State with a view to providing connectivity in backward regions for overall development of the state to strengthen the infrastructural facilities to boost the rapidly progressing economic growth. Under economic importance scheme 9 road projects at a cost of Rs, 333.69 crore have been taken up, out of which 7 projects have been completed. An alternative road network from Keonjhar to Jaipur Industrial hub and to Pradeep port to cater to the growing needs of mining and industrial activities is also under construction at an estimated cost of Rs, 302 crore.
Under Inter State Connectivity Scheme, 7 projects have been taken up out of which 5 projects have already been completed and balance 2 projects are expected to be completed by March, 2011. 979.70 km of state road under Vijayawada-Ranchi corridor which largely runs through left wing extremism affected tribal areas, are under implementation and targeted to be completed by 2015. Under the World Bank assisted Odisha State Roads project 451 km. of state road network is programmed to be improved to double lane standard with an investment of j1431,19 crore over a period of five years. Construction work of 204 km of roads covering Berhampur- Taptapani Road, Bhawanipatna-Khariar Road, Chandabali-Bhadrak-Anandapur Road has been taken up.
Railways: Odisha is well connected with the national rail network. It has rail lines of 2339 km. including 91 km narrow gauge. The Odisha railway network is a part of the East Coast Railways, which is the largest carrier of commercial load in both freight as well as passenger traffic in the country.
Aviation: The expansion and modernization of Bhubaneswar airport is in progress. Direct link is available from Bhubaneswar to places like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. There are 13 airstrips and 16 helipads at different places in the state for landing of state Government aircrafts and helicopters.
Ports: Pradeep is the only major port of the State. Gopalpur has been developed as an all-weather port. Besides, Government has identified 15 potential sites for development of ports in the State. Establishment of a mega port at Dhamra is in progress.
Considering the tourism potential of Odisha , Government has identified tourism as one of the focused areas of development, 320 places have so far been identified as tourist centers. Steps have been taken to make Odisha a most preferred tourist destination and place it prominently on the national and international tourist map.
Governor : Shri Senayangba Chubatoshi Jamir
Chief Secretary : Shri Jugal Kishore Mohapatra
Chief Minister : Shri Naveen Patnaik
Jurisdiction of High Court
AREA, POPULATION AND HEADQUARTERS OF DISTRICTS
S. No. District Area (sq km) Population Headquarters (as per Census-2001)
1. Angul 6,375 1,271,703 Angul
2. Balasore 3,806 2,317,419 Balasore
3. Bolangir 6,575 1,648,574 Bolangir
4. Boudh 3,098 439,917 Boudh
5. Bhadrak 2,505 1,506,522 Bhadrak
6. Bargarh 5,837 1478,833 Bargarh
7. Cuttack 3,932 2,618,708 Cuttack
8. Debagarh 2,940 312,164 Debagarh
9. Dhenkanal 4,452 1,192,948 Dhenkanal
10. Gajapati 4,325 575,880 Paralakhemundi
11. Ganjam 8,206 3,520,151 Chhatrapur
12. Jagatsinghpur 1,668 1,136,604 Jagatsinghpur
13. Jajpur 2,899 1,826,275 Jajapur Town
14. Jharsuguda 2,081 579,499 Jharsuguda
15. Kalahandi 7,920 1,537,054 Bhawanipatna
16. Kandhamal 8,021 731,952 Phulbani
17. Kendrapara 2,644 1,439,891 Kendrapara
18. Kendujhar 8,303 1,802,777 Kendujhar
19. Khurda 2,813 2,246,341 Khurda
20. Koraput 8,807 1,376,934 Koraput
21. Malkangiri 5,791 612,727 Malkangiri
22. Mayurbhanj 10,418 2,513,895 Baripada
23. Nawarangpur 5,291 1,218,762 Nawarangpur
24. Nayagarh 3,890 962,215 Nayagarh
25. Nuapada 3,852 606,490 Nuapada
26. Puri 3,479 1,697,983 Puri
27. Rayagada 7,073 961,959 Rayagada
28. Sambalpur 6,657 1,044,410 Sambalpur
29. Subarnapur 2,337 652,107 Subarnapur
30. Sundargarh 9,712 2,080,664 Sundargarh
Odisha in 2017
Wildlife parks and sanctuaries: India
Bhittarkanika is a well-known mangrove ecosystem and is a large brackish water lagoon with the maximum number of mangrove species. It is the most important nesting site for marine turtles. One of the endangered marine turtle species - the Olive Ridley - visit this area in thousands during breeding season in February - March every year. Estuarine crocodiles can also be seen in these mangrove forests.
Area: 170 sq. kms.
Best time to visit: Mid October to mid April
By Air - Bhubaneshwar (190 km)
By Rail - Bhadrak (77 km)
Chilka Lake is one of the most important coastal wetlands. It is an ideal refuge for migratory birds from the Northern Hemisphere and is at its best during December - February. Chilka Lake was a part of the Bay of Bengal but got separated due to the formation of sand dunes. In fact, it is a large lagoon with a number of islands. These islands provide nesting sites for many migratory and resident birds. One can see Iravati dolphins and dugongs near the mouth of the lagoon and there are a number of turtle species that are present here as well.
Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts
Best time to visit: December to February
Area: 400 sq. kms.
Nearest Airport - Bhubaneshwar (100 km) Nearest Railway Stations - Balugaon (right on the banks of Chilka), Rambha and Khallikote By Road - National Highway No.5
Tourist Offices, Bhubaneshwar (Ph.0674-431299) Puri (Ph. 06752-22664) Rambha (Ph.06810-87344)
SIMLIPAL NATIONAL PARK
Simlipal is one of the best forest tracts of the Eastern Ghats and has a good animal population. This has remained so due to two factors. On one hand, the protection given to this area by erstwhile Maharaja of Mayurbhanj to maintain it as a royal hunting preserve and on the other hand, a large number of rivers flowing through this area thus ensuring perennial water source. A number of waterfalls add beauty to the picturesque habitat.
The forest is predominantly rich Sal and sustains a vast diversity of fauna. Elephant, Gaur, Sambar, Spotted deer, Tiger, Leopard, are the major species found here. A report of Black Tiger from this area in recent times gives an added importance.
Bird diversity is very high and the unmistakable call of the hill myna overpowers the other songbirds.
The number of rivers criss-crossing this hilly terrain hampers accessibility into the interior areas. This is considered as a blessing in disguise because the park remains less disturbed. The facilities available are rudimentary compared to the other protected areas, but if you are a keen wildlifer, a visit to this park will always be a rewarding one.
Area: 2200 sq. kms
Best time to visit: October to early June
Habitat: Dense tropical forest, semi-evergreen to dry deciduous, hilly terrain, sal and orchids
Nearest Airports - Jamshedpur (140 km), Calcutta (240 kms) and Bhubaneshwar (350 kms) from Baripada Nearest Railway Stations - Balasore and Jamshedpur (195 kms) from Baripada By Road - Bhubaneshwar (250 kms), Calcutta (220 kms) and Jamshedpur (160kms) from Baripada
Forest Rest Houses and Lodges available at Baripada
Field Director, Simlipal Project Tiger, Baripada Orissa -757002
Nandan Kanan Biological Park is a huge complex comprising of a sanctuary, a zoological park, botanical garden and the lake. It harbours 67 kinds of mammals, 18 types of reptiles, 81 species of birds. The White tiger population here is the highest in the country. White tiger safari and lion safari is organised by the park. The park is named after the mythological pleasure garden of the Gods, known as the Nandan Van.
Location - Bhubaneshwar, Cuttak
By Air: Bhubaneshwar (25 kms) By Rail: Bhubaneshwar/Cuttack By Road: On the Bhubaneshwar-Cuttack road.
WIND SURFING AND YACHTING
Gopalpur-on-sea in Orissa is an attractive beach and offers the right conditions for wind surfing, yachting. and other water sports.