Missing image

Date of formation 1 April 1936
Capital Bhubaneshwar
Governor Rameshwar Thakur
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik
Area 155,707 km
 - Total
 - Density

Literacy rate
 - Total
 - Male
 - Female

Urbanization 14.97%

Orissa (2001 provisional pop. 36,706,920), 60,162 sq mi (155,820 sq km) is a state situated in the east coast of India.

Orissa is bounded on the north by Jharkhand, on the north-east by West Bengal, on the east by the Bay of Bengal, on the south by Andhra Pradesh and on the west by Chhattisgarh.

The relatively unindented coastline (c.200 mi/320 km long) lacks good ports save for the deepwater facility at Paradwip. The narrow, level coastal strip, including the Mahanadi River delta, is exceedingly fertile. Rainfall is heavy and regular, and two crops of rice (by far the most important food) are grown annually. The temple-dotted cities of Konarak, Puri, and Bhubaneswar attract many tourists and the state offers its tranquility and simplicity.

The dense population, concentrated on the coastal alluvial plain, is Oriya-speaking. The interior, inhabited largely by aborigines, is hilly and mountainous. Orissa is subject to intense cyclones; in October 1999, Tropical Cyclone 05B caused severe damage and some 10,000 deaths.



The capital of Orissa is Bhubaneswar, otherwise referred to as the Land of Temples, with about 1000 temples. The city of Puri is nearby on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. Puri is a famous holy city and the site of the annual festival of Lord Jagannath.

The Eastern Ghats range and the Chota Nagpur plateau occupy the western and northern portions of the state, while fertile alluvial plains occupy the coastal plain and the valleys of the Mahanadi, Brahmani, and Baitarani rivers, which empty into the Bay of Bengal. These alluvial plains are home to intensive rice cultivation.

History and Culture

Oriya is the State's official language. The state has a very opulent cultural heritage, and the capital city of Bhubaneswar is known for its temples. Other popular cultural interests include the well known Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri, known for its annual Rath Yatra or Car Festival, the unique and beautiful applique artwork of Pipili, silver filigree ornamental works from Cuttack, the Patta chitras (silk paintings) and various tribal influenced cultures.

In ancient times the region of Orissa was the center of the Kalinga kingdom, although it was temporarily conquered (c.250 B.C.) by Asoka. This region was scene of the bloody war fought by king Asoka the Great of Magadha, and whose death and destruction later served as a precursor as one of the main centers of Buddhism. After Asoka, the regiond was held for almost a century by the Mauryas.

With the gradual decline of Kalinga, several Hindu dynasties arose and built temples at Bhubaneswar, Puri, and Konarak. A list of various dynasties that ruled Orissa from 3rd Century B.C. is as below:

  • Murundas Dynasty
  • Matharas Dynasty
  • Nala Dynasty
  • The Vigrahas and the Mudgalas
  • Sailodbhava Dynasty
  • Bhaumakaras Dynasty
  • Nandodbhavas Dynasty
  • Somavamsis Dynasty
  • The Eastern Gangas
  • Suryavamsi Dynasty

After long resistance to the Muslims, the region was overcome (1568) by Afghan invaders and passed to the Mughal empire.

After the fall of the Mughals, Orissa was divided between the Nawabs of Bengal and the Marathas. In 1803 it was conquered by the British. The coastal section, which was made (1912) part of Bihar and Orissa Province, became in 1936 the separate province of Orissa. In 1948 and 1949 the area of Orissa was almost doubled and the population was increased by a third with the addition of 24 former princely states. In 1950, Orissa became a constituent state of India. The state is governed by a chief minister and cabinet responsible to an elected unicameral legislature and by a governor appointed by the president of India.

Natural Areas

Chilka Lake, a brackish water coastal lake on the Bay of Bengal, south of the mouth of the Mahanadi River, is the largest coastal lake in India. It is protected by the Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary, which harbors over 150 migratory and resident species of birds.


Orissa is among the poorest states of India. It has a population of 32 million with a high percentage of scheduled tribes and scheduled castes, approximately 24% of the total population.

About 87% of the population live in the villages and one third of the rural population does not own any land other than homesteads. The small marginal farmers who constitute around 80% control only 47% of the land. Medium and large farmers who constitute 5% control 24% of the land.

The aborgines or tribes, known as Adivasis, constitute 24% of the population, belonging to 62 different ethnic communities, and are mostly backward. Their traditional livelihood revolves around the forest ecosystem. Over the years collection of forest produce, hunting and persuasion of other traditional ways of living have become increasingly difficult, influencing socio-cultural life. Issues with modernisation and industrial citvities, such as mining, construction of dams, roads, railways have grown to become a concern affecting their very traditional livelihood and have displaced the Adivasi communities.

The Dalits who comprise 16% of the total population, considered as the lower caste in India, suffer from deprivation and ignominy. For historical reasons, most of the Dalits are landless and depend on various service occupations, petty business and crafts for their livelihood.

The infant mortality rate of 97 remains highest in India. In terms of infrastructure Orissa is relatively impoverished with regards to railways, telecommunication, literacy and irrigation coverage. Only 20% of the road network is paved. In rural areas more than 65% of the population have no access to safe drinking water, around 96% do not have sanitation facilities, over 82% of families do not have electricity and over 87% live in temporary houses.

To add to the aforesaid, Orissa faces frequent natural disasters such as cyclones, floods, and droughts as a combination of both natural and man-made causes.

Religion, Temples, and Festivals

[1] (http://www.ignca.nic.in/orist001.htm)

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Stone work at Konark

Konark Temple - This is also known as the Sun Temple and is famous for its exquisite Orissan style of architecture. The sun temple was built in the 13th century A.D. The Sun Temple (Surya Deul) at Konark includes in its decoration many vignettes of military life. The thousands of elephants marching around the base of the temple are not figments of the imagination. Rather, they demonstrate pride in the superb war elephants for which Orissa was famous.

Jagannath Temple (12th Century A.D.) at Puri is Famous for Rathyatra (Car Festival). Every year millions of devotees come to Puri during the Rathyatra. It is a festival during which Jagannath along with his brother Ballabhadra and sister Subhadra come out of the temple to meet their devotees.

Charchika Mandir

Maa Charchika's Mandir is situated on Ruchika parbat near the Renuka river.

It is considered as one of the most beautiful places of Orissa, where religion and nature intermix with each. It is situated in a place called Banki which is 52KMs away from Orissa's business capital Cuttack and 60 km from political capital Bhubaneswar. Another important picnic spot is Sunadei temple on the bank of river Mahanadi. During winter season many migratory birds visit mahanadi - which is in its largest width near the Sunadei Temple.



In the south are the Eastern Ghats, which yield valuable timber. A canal system links the Mahanadi River with the Hugli River in West Bengal. Supporting a major industrial zone in the north are deposits of iron, manganese, coal, and mica.

The rate of growth in Orissa has been abysmally poor in comparison with the national average, for instance; in the 1990s Orissa's rate of growth was 4.3% in comparison to the national average of 6.7%. The agricultural sector accounts for 32% of the GSDP and 62% of the total employment, there is a stagnation in per capita income in the past two decades. Around 17.5 million people live below the poverty line. Poverty is significantly worse in the western and southern districts of the state. The literacy rate is 50% , well below the national standard of 66%.

Information Technology

Heavy Industry


  • Food Grains


  • Aqua Culture
  • Fresh Water Fishing


Orissa is home to many colleges and universities, deemed and otherwise.


Management Colleges

Engineering Colleges

Medical Colleges

  • Shri Ramachandra Bhanj Medical College, Cuttack.
  • Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati Dev Medical College, Berhampur.
  • Veer Surendra Sai Medical College, Burla, Sambalpur.
  • Institute of Health Sciences, Bhubaneswar.

Rehabilitative Education

  • Institute of Health Sciences, Bhubaneswar.
  • Training Centre for Teachers of the Visually Handicapped, Bhubaneswar
  • Chetna Institute for the Mentally Handicapped (Jewels International), Bhubaneswar
  • National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research,Olatpur
  • Training Centre for Teachers of the Deaf (A Joint Project of State Govt. & AYJNIHH, Bhubaneswar
  • Open Learning System, Bhubaneswar
  • Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre, Bhubaneswar

Ayurvedic Colleges

  • Anata Tripathy Ayurvedic College,Bolangir.
  • Berhampur Govt. Ayurvedic College, Berhampur.
  • Govt. Ayurvedic College, Puri.
  • Gopalbandhu Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya, Puri.
  • Government Ayurveda College, Balangir.
  • K.A.T.A. Ayurvedic College, Ganjam.
  • Nrusingh Nath Govt. Ayurvedic College, Paikmal, Sambalpur.
  • S.S.N.Ayurved College and Research Institute, Nursingnath.

Homoeopathic Colleges

  • Govt. Homoeopathic Medical College, Berhampur.


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Orissa districts

See also

External link

Template:Indiade:Orissa et:Orissa fr:Orissa hi:उड़ीसा no:Orissa pl:Orissa pt:Orissa sv:Orissa or:ଓଡ଼ିଶା uk:Орісса


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