Orissa : The Land of Lord Jagannath

General Information

Area: 155707 sq km

Language: Oriya, Hindi, English and local dialects.

Best Time to Visit: October to March.

Capital City: Bhubaneshwar.

Airports: Bhubaneshwar.
About Orissa

Location: Situated on the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent, Orissa is one of the ancient states of India. Surrounded by the states of West Bengal in the north - east, the newly formed state of Jharkhand in the north and another new state of Chhattisgarh in the west with the Telgu state of Andhra Pradesh in the south, Orissa has a big coastline and a good fertile land.
Climate: The state which is on the far eastern coast of India, experiences a typical tropical climate. The summers are hot and the winters are cool. The places on the coastline experience a uniform weather throughout the year. But the state suffers the rashes of nature quite often. It reels under the heat wave or typhoons those which frequent the coastline and destruct many a habitations.
About Orissa: The undaunted lush greenery, the charming villages and the happy folk busy singing and dancing to the praises of the Lord, Orissa is a sure destination of India not to be missed. Wrapped in the age old mysteries of History, the ancient ruins those dot throughout the state prove the ambiguity of the state. One of the most ancient kingdoms of India, Orissa finds a mention in the old Hindu scriptures, Buddhist scriptures and also in the travelogues of the Chinese traveler, Xuan Zhuang. The place was known as Kalinga or Utkal due to the tribes those ruled the state. The name Orissa has probably been derived from the word Odra or Udra, which was also a tribe which inhabited the place for ages.

Oriyan civilization is nearly 2500 year old. Mostly ruled by the tribal government, there was hardly any Brahmanical influence and thus the tribes were free of the clich� prominent in the other societies of that time. The people of Kalinga were therefore known to be the most fierce and brave races of their times. The battles of Kalinga were the toughest ones that the Emperor Ashok faced during his time. The resistance he faced by the masses of Kalinga compelled him to issue two edicts specifically calling for a just and benign administration in Kalinga. Also it was the aftermath of the Kalinga battles that the Emperor Ashok was stunned by the bloody massacre and embraced Buddhism. No wonder that the Mauryan Empire could not last long in Kalinga and was soon by taken over by the Kalinga king Kharavela. An eminent ruler of his time, many ruins of his rule are still found in Orissa. Till the 16th century the rulers of Kalinga rules fearlessly on their land until the Islamic rule took over. Later for a brief period of time it was the Marathas who ruled the Utkal and eventually along with the whole of India, even the ancient kingdom was passed on to the British. The modern state of Orissa has a unique blend of the Dravidian and Bengali cultures and traditions as the land is bordered by the two states of Andhra and West Bengal. Both the states have influenced much of the culture, the rituals, the eating habbits, the dressing and also the language of this place to some extent. Orissa has a rich cultural extravaganza along with the natural splendours. The ancient temples and the more ancient cave paintings, the dance performances those were developed in the temples as praise to God, the lush green paddy fields irrigated by the ever flowing rivers, the blue clear waters of the Bay of Bengal kissing the golden sands, the white tigers and the migratory birds in the thick forests, the virgin land which is a home to many a tribes and the beautiful handicrafts and the fabulous lip smacking delicacies prepared by the Oriyas, all these and much more is enough reason to be this pristine state of Orissa for a relaxing vacation.

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