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|Song||Bande Utkala Janani|
Odisha (Oriya: ଓଡ଼ିଶା ), formerly known as Orissa, is an Indian state on the subcontinent's east coast, by the Bay of Bengal.It is surrounded by the Indian states of West Bengal to the north-east and in the east, Jharkhand to the north, Chattisgarh to the west and north-west and Andhra Pradesh to the south. It is the modern name of the ancient kingdom of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka in 261 BCE. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April 1936, as a province in British India and consisted predominantly of Oriya speakers. 1 April is therefore celebrated as Utkala Dibasa (foundation day of Odisha). Cuttack remained the capital of the state for over eight centuries until 13 April 1948 when Bhubaneswar was officially declared as the new state capital, a position it still holds.
Odisha is the 9th largest state by area in India, and the 11th largest by population. Oriya (officially spelled Odia) is the official and most widely spoken language, spoken by three quarters of the population. Odisha has a relatively unindented coastline (about 480 km long) and lacked good ports, except for the deepwater facility at Paradip, until the recent launch of the Dhamara Port. The narrow, level coastal strip, including the Mahanadi river delta supports the bulk of the population.
On 4 November 2011, the English rendering of the name Orissa was officially changed to Odisha. The change required minor amendments to the Orissa Bill and the Constitution (113th) Amendment Bill which were approved by both houses of parliament. The Oriya language is now officially rendered "Odia" in English. These spellings reflect different transcriptions of the same Oriya names. ଓଡ଼ିଶା Oṛiśā is pronounced in Oriya. The letter ଡ଼ ṛ is a flapped sound resembling the r in most languages, but closer to the d in American English ladder than it is to English r. It is an allophone of ଡ ḍ , and may have been pronounced ḍ centuries ago. The letter ଶ ś is commonly transcribed sh, reflecting the pronunciation of the ancestral letter in Prakrit; however, in modern Oriya it is pronounced the same as ସ s. Thus the name Orissa is closer to the actual Oriya pronunciation of the name, whereas Odisha is an intentionally archaising transcription.
The name Orissa is derived from the Pali or Sanskrit words Ora (Ura) or Odra Desa or Sumera or Odra Visaya The earliest epigraphic reference to Odras is found in the Soro copper plate grant of Somadatta from which it is clear that Uttara Tosali with its visaya Sarepahara identified with Soro of Balasore (Baleswar) district was part of Odra Visaya. Both Pali and Sanskrit literatures mention the Odra people as Oddaka and Odrah, respectively. Ancient writers like Pliny the Elder and Ptolemy described the Odra people as Oretes. In the Mahabharata the Odras are mentioned along with the Paundras, Utkals, Mekalas, Kalingas and Andhras, while according to Manu the Odras are associated with the Paundrakas, Dravidas, Kambojas, Yavanas, Sakas, Paradas, Pallavas, Chinas, Kiratas and Khasas. The location of the Odra territory has been given in the Natural History of Pliny in which it is mentioned that the Oretes were inhabiting the country where the mount Maleus stood. The Greek Oretes is probably the Sanskrit Odra and the Mount Maleus has been identified with Malayagiri near Pala Lahara. Pliny associates the mount Maleus with the people called Monedes and Sharis who were probably the same as the Mundas and the Savaras respectively inhabiting the upland regions of Odisha.
Visitors also called the Odisha with different names. The Chinese pilgrim Hiuen-Tsang who visited Odisha in about 636 CE gives an account of the territory named Wu-Che which is very likely the same as Odra. The pilgrim states that the Wu-Cha (Wu-tu) country was above 7,000 li in circuit and its capital was above 20 li in circuit. The area of the territory, which was 7,000 li or (2,253 km) in circuit, was very extensive. The Muslim geographer Ibn Khurdadhbin who wrote his geography in 846 CE refers to a territory called Ursfin which is identified by the Russian scholar V. Minorsky with Odra Desa. In another Persian geography called Hudad-al Alam written towards the close of the 10th century CE mention has been made of a territory called Urshin (Odra Desa) which has been associated with the territories called N. Myas, Harkand, Smnder and Andhras which were more or less contiguous. The territory called N. Myas may be Mahismati and Harkand is suggested to be Akarakhand (eastern Malwa). Urshin may be the same as Odra Desa and Smnder may be the territory bordering the sea. Andhras is without doubt the same as Andhra Desa. Alberuni has referred to a territory called Udra Vishau located 50 forsakhs towards the sea in the south from the Tree of Prayaga. Fifty forsakhs is equal to about 200 miles or 321.86 km. So Udra Vishau may be the same as Odra Desa.
In the medieval Muslim chronicles like Tabaquat-I-Nasiri, Tabaquat-I-Akbari, Riyadus-Salatin, Tarkh-I-Firuzsahi, etc., the Odra territory has been referred to as Jajnagar probably after the capital Jajatinagar or Jajatinagar. The territory of Jajnagar very probably denotes to the Ganga empire during the period from Chodagangadeva to Anangabhimdeva III when Jajatinagar (modern Jagati on the Mahanadi) was the capital of that empire. It was Anangabhimadeva III who transferred the capital from Jajatinagar to Baranasi Kataka. Even after the change of capital some Muslim chroniclers continued to call this territory as Jajnagar. Shams-I-Seraj-Afif called this territory as Jajnagar-Udisa with its capital city Banaras on the right bank of the Mahanadi. The word ‘Udisa’ added to Jajnagar appears very significant. It is a developed form of the word Ursfin or Urshin used by earlier Muslim writers of the 9th and 10th centuries CE. In Buddhist literature this word is expressed as Odivisa or Udivisa as found in the works of Lama Taranath and the author of Pag-Sam-Jon-Zang. In the Tantric literature of the mediaeval period the word Udisa has been frequently used and in Tantrasara, Jagannath has been referred to as Udisanatha. Poet Sarala Das mentions both the words Odra Rastra and Orissa in his famous treatise Mahabharata while Gajapati Kapileswaradeva (1435–1467 CE) in his proclamation inscribed on the temple walls of Jagannath calls his territory as Orissa Rajya or Orissa Rastra. Thus, from the 15th century CE onwards, the land of the Oriya people was called Orissa.
Since prehistoric days the land of Odisha has been inhabited by various people. The earliest settlers of Odisha were primitive hill tribes. Although prehistoric communities cannot be identified, it is well known that Odisha had been inhabited by tribes like Saora or Sabar from the Mahabharata days. Saora in the hills, and the Sahara and Sabar of the plains continue to be an important tribe distributed almost all over Odisha. Most of the tribal people have been influenced by Hindus and have adopted Hindu manners, customs and rituals. Bonda Parajas of Koraput district are the best example of these tribes. Several pre-historic sites have been excavated in Odisha since the arrival of Britishers. Kaliakata of Angul, Kuchai and Kuliana of Mayurbhanj, Vikramkhol near Jharsuguda, Gudahandi and Yogimath of Kalahandi, Ushakothi of Sambalpur, Similikhol near Bargarh etc.
Odisha has a history spanning a period of over 5,000 years. Before Kalinga it was named as Udra or "Odra Desa". The Ancient Odra desa or Ordesa was limited to the valley of Mahanadi and to the lower course of Subarnarekha River. It comprised the whole of the present districts of Cuttack and Sambalpur and a portion of Midnapur. Bounded on the west by Gondwana, on the north by the wild hill states of Jaspur and Singhbhum, on the east by the sea and on the South by Ganjam, Odisha has a legendary history. The name Oriya originated from Odra or Udra tribes that inhabited the central coastal belt (Khordha District and Nayagarh District) of modern Odisha. Odisha has also been the home of the Kalinga, Utkal, Mahakantara/Kantara and Kosal that played a particularly prominent role in the region's history, and one of the earliest references to the ancient Kalingas appears in the writings of Vedic chroniclers. In the 6th century BCE, Vedic Sutrakara Baudhayana mentions Kalinga as being beyond the Vedic fold, indicating that Brahminical influences had not yet touched the land. Unlike some other parts of India, tribal customs and traditions played a significant role in shaping political structures and cultural practices right up to the 15th century, when Brahminical influences triumphed over competing traditions and caste differentiation began to inhibit social mobility and erode what had survived of the ancient republican tradition.
A major turning point in world history took place in Odisha. The Kalinga War that led emperor Ashoka to embrace non-violence and the teachings of Buddha was fought here in 261 BCE. Ashoka's military campaign against Kalinga was one of the bloodiest in Mauryan history on account of the fearless and heroic resistance offered by the Kalingas to the mighty armies of the expanding Mauryan empire. Perhaps on account of their unexpected bravery, emperor Ashoka was compelled to issue two edicts specifically calling for a just and benign administration in Kalinga. Later on, Ashoka was instrumental in spreading Buddhist philosophy all over Asia. However, Ativ Land (South Western Odisha) was unconquered by Ashoka.
Tel river civilisation put light towards a great civilisation existing in Kalahandi, Balangir, Koraput (KBK) region in the past that is recently getting explored. The discovered archaeological wealth of Tel Valley suggest a well civilised, urbanised, cultured people inhabited on this land mass around 2000 years ago and Asurgarh was its capital. Kalahandi along with Koraput and Bastar was part of Kantara referred in Ramayana and Mahabharata. In 4th century BCE, this region was known as Indravana from where precious gem-stones and diamond were collected for the imperial Maurya treasury. During the period of Maurya emperor Ashoka, Kalahandi along with Koraput and Bastar region was called Atavi Land. This land was unconquered as per Ashokan record. In the beginning of the Christian era probably it was known as Mahavana. In the 4th Century CE, Vyaghraraja was ruling over Mahakantara comprising Kalahandi, undivided Koraput and Bastar region. Asurgarh was capital of Mahakantara.
On the other hand in the 3rd century BCE, in the eastern part of Odisha, Kalinga flourished as a powerful empire under the Jaina emperor, Kharavela. He ruled all the way down south to include parts of the Tamil country. He built the superb monastic caves at Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves. Subsequently, the region was ruled under various monarchs, such as Samudragupta and Shashanka. It also was a part of Harsha's empire. In 795 CE, the king Jajati Kesari I of Kesari or Soma dynasty of Kosala united Kosala and Utkala into a single empire. He is also supposed to have built the first Jagannath Temple at Puri, although the current structure of the temple is entirely different and was built by Kings Choda Gangadeva and Ananga Bhimadeva of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty in the 12th century. The famous Lingaraja temple in Bhubaneshwar was started by Keshari dynasty king Jajati Keshari III and completed by his son Lalatendu Keshari in the 10th century. King Narasimha Dev is reputed to have built the magnificent Konark Sun Temple. Although now largely in ruins, the temple may have once rivalled the Taj Mahal in splendour.
Odisha resisted several Muslim attacks until 1568, when was conqurered by Sultanate of Bengal. The Mughals conquered Coastal Odisha in 1576. The last Hindu Emperor of Odisha, Gajapati Mukunda Deva, was defeated and was killed in the battle of Gohiratikiri. The coastal plain of Odisha from Medinipur to Rajahmundry came under Mughal rule, which was broadly divided into six parts as Jaleswar Sarkar, Bhadrak Sarkar, Cuttack Sarkar, Chicacole (Srikakulam) Sarkar, Kalinga Dandapat and Rajamundry Sarkar or Godavari Province. Odisha's Central, Northern, Western and Southern hilly areas were ruled independently by Hindu kings. The Nizam of Hyderabad occupied the area between Rajahmundry to Srikakulam in 16th century. Medinipur was attached to Bengal province in 18th century. The remaining parts of Coastal Odisha, were subsequently ceded to the Maratha Empire in 1751.
The British occupied the Northern Circars comprising the southern coast of Odisha as a result of the Carnatic Wars in the early 1760s and incorporated them into the Madras Presidency gradually. In 1803, the British under the British East India Company annexed the Maratha province of Odisha after the Second Anglo-Maratha War. The northern and western districts of Odisha were incorporated into Bengal Presidency. Following famine and floods in 1866, large-scale irrigation projects were undertaken in the last half of the 19th century. The coastal section was separated from Bengal and made into the Province of Bihar and Odisha in 1912, in response to local agitation for a separate state for the Oriya-speaking people. In 1936, Bihar and Odisha were split into separate provinces. Thus after a long period of struggle the Oriya people got re-united after centuries of political separation. On 1 April 1936, the new province of Odisha came into existence on linguistic basis during the British rule in India with Sir John Austin Hubback as the first Governor. A long cherished dream of Oriya people and their leaders like Madhusudan Das, Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati, Pandit Nilakantha Das, Bhubanananda Das and many other came true. The district of Ganjam was transferred from Madras Presidency to the new province of Odisha on 1 April 1936. From that time onwards people of Odisha celebrate the 1 April as Utkal Divas or Odisha Day.
Following Indian independence, the area of Odisha was almost doubled, and the population increased by a third, by the addition of 24 former princely states. In 1950, Odisha became a constituent state in the Union of India.
Bhubaneswar is the capital of Odisha, and home to nearly a thousand temples. Cuttack, the former capital of Odisha, is 22 km from Bhubaneswar. With the rapid expansion of two cities and better road connectivity, the two cities are now almost conjoined and considered as twin cities. The city of Puri is about 60 kilometres from Bhubaneswar and lies on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. Puri is considered a holy city and the abode of the deity Lord Jagannath. It is one of the Char Dhams (Four holy places) of Hinduism. The world-famous "car festival" (rath yatra) is celebrated every year in the Hindu month of Ashadha (Mid June to Mid July) in Puri.
The Chota Nagpur plateau occupies the western and northern portions of the state, while along the coast are fertile alluvial plains and the valleys of the Mahanadi, Brahmani, and Baitarani rivers, which fall into the Bay of Bengal. These alluvial plains are home to intensive rice cultivation. The Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Asia's largest rice research Institute is situated along the bank of Mahanadi in Cuttack. One of the major nesting ground for the Olive Ridley sea turtles can be found in the Beaches of Odisha; in Devi, Gahirmatha and Rushikulya, which are known to be the nesting sites for the L. olivacea Indian Ocean population. In 2007, around 130,000 turtles nested on the beaches of Gahirmatha. The shore line also acts as their mating site and have attracted various scientific communities for research and studies.
Although most of Odisha's forest cover has been denuded lately, one of the greatest attractions of Odisha is its still vast expanses of unspoiled natural landscape that offer a protected yet natural habitat to the state’s incredible wildlife. There are many wildlife sanctuaries in Odisha. The Simlipal National Park Tiger Reserve is a huge expanse of lush green forest with waterfalls, inhabited by tigers, elephants, and other wildlife. The Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary has been protecting estuarine crocodiles since 1975.
Chilika 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 and the second largest in the world. It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent. It is protected by the Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary, which harbours over 160 migratory and resident species of birds. Birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, Central and southeast Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here. It also has the small area of Satpada which is a safe sanctuary for the lesser known and endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins.
The highest mountain peak in the state is Deomali (1672 m), which is situated in Koraput district in southern Odisha. It is also the tallest peak of the Eastern Ghats. It is part of the Chandragiri-Pottangi mountain system. Location: 18°40'3"N 82°58'59"E (Deomali on Wikimapia).
There are 30 districts in Odisha— Angul, Boudh, Bhadrak, Bolangir, Bargarh, Balasore, Cuttack (Kataka), Debagarh, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Gajapati, Jharsuguda, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Khordha, Keonjhar, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Koraput, Kendrapara, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Nabarangpur, Nuapada, Nayagarh, Puri, Rayagada, Sambalpur, Subarnapur, Sundargarh.
Each district is governed by a District Collector (District Magistrate), appointed either by the Indian Administrative Service or the Odisha Administrative Service. Each district is subdivided into Sub-Divisions, governed by a sub-divisional magistrate, and thereafter into Blocks. Blocks consists of Panchayats(village councils) and town municipalities.
Government and politics 
Odisha is governed through a parliamentary system of representative democracy, a feature the state shares with other Indian states. Universal suffrage is granted to residents. There are two branches of government. The legislature, the Odisha Legislative Assembly, consists of elected members and special office bearers such as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, that are elected by the members. Assembly meetings are presided over by the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker in the Speaker's absence. The judiciary is composed of the Odisha High Court, located at Cuttack and a system of lower courts. Executive authority is vested in the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister, although the titular head of government is the Governor of Odisha. The Governor is the head of state appointed by the President of India. The leader of the party or coalition with a majority in the Legislative Assembly is appointed as the Chief Minister by the Governor, and the Council of Ministers are appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. The Council of Ministers reports to the Legislative Assembly. The Assembly is unicameral with 147 Members of the Legislative Assembly, or MLAs, including one nominated from the Anglo-Indian community. Terms of office run for 5 years, unless the Assembly is dissolved prior to the completion of the term. Auxiliary authorities known as panchayats, for which local body elections are regularly held, govern local affairs. The state contributes 21 seats to Lok Sabha and 10 seats to Rajya Sabha of the Indian Parliament.
The main players in the Politics in Odisha are the Biju Janata Dal, the Indian National Congress and Bhartiya Janata Party. Following the Odisha State Assembly Election in 2009, the Naveen Patnaik led Biju Janata Dal came to power for the third consecutive time.
Macro-economic trend 
|Year||Gross State Domestic Product|
This is a chart of trend of gross state domestic product of Odisha at market prices estimated by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation with figures in millions of Indian Rupees.
Industrial growth 
Odisha has abundant natural resources and a large coastline. It contains a fifth of India's coal, a quarter of its iron ore, a third of its bauxite reserves and most of the chromite. Rourkela Steel Plant was the first integrated steel plant in the Public Sector in India, built with collaboration of Germany. It receives unprecedented investments in steel, aluminium, power, refineries and ports. India's topmost IT consulting firms, including Mahindra Satyam, TCS (Tata Consultancy Services), MindTree Consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Infosys have large branches in Odisha. IBM, Syntel and Wipro are setting up development centres in Odisha. So far, two of the S&P CNX 500 conglomerates have corporate offices in Odisha, for example, National Aluminium (2005 gross income .51,162 million) and Tata Sponge Iron (2005 gross income .2,044 million).
Odisha is notable as one of the first Indian states to have tackled its structural problems during the post-1994 Indian economic reforms. Odisha was also the first state in India to begin to privatise its electricity transmission and distribution businesses. Over the period between 1994 and 2000 Odisha's former state electricity board (SEB) was restructured to form Gridco. This corporation was then divided into Transco and a collection of distribution companies. Attempts were then made to sell the distribution companies to the private sector. Like many other states, in 1996 Odisha was losing over 50% of the electricity it was delivered. The scale and importance of these reforms is notable and an important milestone in India's dramatic economic development.
Recently the number of companies who have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) to set up steel plants in the state has gone up to 50, including POSCO of South Korea which has agreed to construct a mammoth $12 billion steel plant near Paradip port, named POSCO India. It would be the largest single investment in India's history. Arcelor-Mittal has also announced plans to invest in another mega steel project amounting to $10 billion. Russian major Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Company (MMK) plans to set up a 10 MT steel plant in Odisha too. The state is attracting an unprecedented amount of investment in aluminium, coal-based power plants, petrochemicals, and information technology as well. In power generation, Reliance Power (Anil Ambani Group) is putting up the world's largest power plant with an investment of US $13 billion at Hirma in Jharsuguda district. Vedanta Resources’ 1.4 million tonne alumina project in Kalahandi district is the largest investment in aluminium. Vedanta has also announced a $3.2 billion dollar huge private University project on the lines of major American universities, which is unprecedented in the history of education in India. Bandhabahal is a major area which consist of Open Cast Coal Mines.
The Central Government has agreed to accord SEZ (Special Economic Zone) status to eight sites in Odisha, among which are Infocity at Bhubaneshwar and Paradip. But all these plans are facing massive resistance from the people of the state who mainly depend on agriculture for livelihood.
In the year 2009 Odisha was second top Domestic Investment destination with Gujarat first and Andhra Pradesh in third place according to an analysis of ASSOCHAM Investment Meter (AIM) Study on Corporate Investments. Odisha's share was 12.6 percent in total investment in the country. It received investment proposal worth . 2,00,846 crore during the last year. Steel and power were among the sectors which attracted maximum investments in the state.
Flood and cyclone are the major hurdles in Odisha's development as the important districts are situated near to the Bay of Bengal. In the five-year period between 2004 and 2005 and 2008–09, Odisha's GDP has grown by a stunning 8.74% way beyond the definition of 7% growth. It should be noted that the all-India growth during this period was 8.49%.In this period, Odisha is the fourth fastest growing state, just behind Gujarat, Bihar, Uttarakhand.
Infrastructure development 
Although Paradip is home to Odisha's only large port, the coastal towns of Dhamra and Gopalpur are also undergoing major port development. The government of India has selected the coastal region of Odisha, stretching from Paradip in the north to Gopalpur in the south, to be developed into one of five or six Special Economic Regions (SERs) of the country. The government of India and the state government of Odisha are working together to erect world-class infrastructure in this region to match that of Rotterdam, Houston, and Pudong. This is aimed at further private investment in petrochemicals, steel, and manufacturing. A recent Morgan Stanley report forecasts that Odisha would be flooded with massive investments for manufacturing related activities in the same manner that Bangalore had attracted software investment in the 1990s. The scale of the investments in Odisha would, however, be much higher. As of July 2006, total planned investment in the state is $90 billion. This includes investment in research, education, hospitals, roads, ports, airports, and hotels. There are many multi-state irrigation projects in development, including the Godavari River Basin Irrigation Projects. 14 locations have been identified on Odisha coast to be developed as port. These locations are Gopalpur (Ganjam district), Bahuda Muhan (Sonepur) in Ganjam district, Palur (Ganjam), Bali Harchandi (Puri), Astaranga (Puri), Jatadhari Muhan (Jagatsinghpur), Barunei Muhan (Kendrapara), Dhamra (Bhadrak), Chudamani (Bhadrak), Inchuri (Balasore), Chandipur (Balasore), Bahabalpur (Balasore), Subarnarekha mouth (Kirtania) in Balasore district and Talsara (Balasore). Most of the locations among them already been developing as port in the public private partnership (PPP).
Odisha has 17 airstrips and 16 helipads. The Biju Patnaik airport is being expanded to accommodate wide bodied aircraft. In August 2012, the State Government announced plans to develop five greenfield airports at Rayagada, Paradip, Dhamra, Angul and Kalinganagar in an effort to boost intra-State and inter-State civil aviation. Existing airfields at Gopalpur, Jharsuguda, Barbil and Rourkela were also to be upgraded.
Biju Patnaik Airport at Bhubaneswar is the sole airport in Odisha with scheduled commercial flights. Other airports in Odisha are:
- Barbil airstrip
- Berhampur Airport
- Jharsuguda Airport
- Rourkela Airport
- Hirakud Airstrip
- Jeypore Airstrip
- Nuagaon Airstrip
- Utkela Airstrip
- Port of Dhamara
- Gopalpur-on-Sea (Commenced Operation From January 2007 as Seasonal Port)
- Port of Paradip
Major cities of Odisha like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela, Brahmapur, Sambalpur, Balasore are well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Howrah, Pune, Secunderabad, Kanpur, Patna, Nagpur, Guwahati, Amritsar, Ahmedabad and Jodhpur by direct daily trains and weekly trains. Most of the railway network in Odisha lies under the jurisdiction of the East Coast Railway with headquarters at Bhubaneswar and some parts under South Eastern Railway.
According to the 2011 census of India, the total population of Odisha is 41,947,358, of which 21,201,678 (50.54%) are male and 20,745,680 (49.46%) are female, or 978 females per 1000 males. This represents a 13.97% increase over the population in 2001. The population density is 269 per km².
The dominant ethnic group is the Oriya people, and Oriya is the official language; it is spoken as a native language by 73% of the population. Other linguistic minorities in the state are Bengali, Hindi, Telugu, Santali. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes form 16.53% and 22.13% of the state population, constituting 38.66% of the State population. Some of the important tribes are Santhal, Bonda, Munda, Oraon, Kora and Mahali.
The literacy rate is 73%, with 82% of males and 64% of females being literate, according to the 2011 census.
The proportion of people living below the poverty line in 1999–2000 was 47.15% which is nearly double the all India average of 26.10%.
Data of 1996–2001 showed the life expectancy in the state was 61.64 years, higher than the national value of years. The state has a birth rate of 23.2 per 1,000 people per year, a death rate of 9.1 per 1,000 people per year, an infant mortality rate of 65 per 1000 live birth and a maternal mortality rate of 358 per 1,000,000 live births. Odisha has a Human Development Index of 0.579 in 2004.
Oriya is the language spoken by the majority of the people of the state. English is widely used for official purpose and Oriya is used as regional language. Oriya belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family, and is closely related to Bengali and Assamese. A few tribal languages belonging to the Dravidian and Munda language families are spoken by the Adivasis (original inhabitants) of the state. The state has a very opulent cultural heritage, one of the richest in India. The capital city of Bhubaneshwar is known for the exquisite temples that dot its landscape. The classical dance form Odissi originated in Odisha. Contemporary Odisha has a proud cultural heritage that arose due to the intermingling of three great religious traditions – Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The culture of the Adivasis is an integral part of modern Oriya heritage.
The history of Oriya literature has been delineated by historians and linguists along the following stages, Old Oriya (900–1300 AD), Early Middle Oriya (1300–1500 AD), Middle Oriya (1500–1700 AD), Late Middle Oriya (1700 AD – 1850 AD) and Modern Oriya (from 1850 AD to the present). This categorisation does not outline in detail the development and growth of Oriya Literature. The periods can be split into more stages such as: Age of Charya Literature, Age of Sarala Das, Age of Panchasakha, Age of Upendra Bhanja, Age of Radhanath, Age of Satyabadi, Age of Marxism or Pragati yuga, Age of Romanticism or Sabuja Yuga, Post Independent Age.
The beginnings of Oriya poetry coincide with the development of Charya Sahitya, the literature thus started by Mahayana Buddhist poets. This literature was written in a specific metaphor named "Sandhya Bhasha" and the poets like Luipa, Kanhupa are from the territory of Odisha. The language of Charya was considered as Prakrita.
The first great poet of Odisha is Sarala Dasa who wrote the Mahabharata, not an exact translation from the Sanskrit original, rather an imitation of the same. Among many of his poems and epics, he is best remembered for his Mahabharata. Chandi Purana and the Vilanka Ramayana are also two of his famous creations. Arjuna Das, a contemporary to Sarala Dasa, wrote Rama-Bibha, a significant long poem in Oriya.
Towards the 16th century, five poets emerged; there is approximately hundred years between them. They are known as Panchashakhas as they believed to belong to the same school of thought, Utkaliya Vaishnavism. The poets are: Balaram Das, Jagannath Das, Achyutananada Das, Ananta Das and Jasobanta Das. The Panchasakhas adhere to the school of thought of Vaishnavas. In 1509 Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to Odisha with his Vaishnava message. Before him Jaydev had prepared the ground by heralding the cult of Vaishnavism through his Geetagovinda. Chaitanya’s path of devotion was known as Raganuga Bhakti Marga, but the Panchasakhas differed from Chaitanyas and believed in Gyana Mishra Bhakti Marga, which has similarities with the Buddhist philosophy of Charya literature stated above.
The Panchashakhas, however, are the direct disciples of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Along with another seer Shri Arakhsita Das, they are called also as sada-goswami (six Lords). These five saints primarily believed in Vaishnavism and also additionally cultured and developed Gyana Mishra Bhakti Marga as stated earlier (beliefs about the body, the mind, the soul, and the Parambrahm). They have composed numerous manuscripts, mâlikas, devotional poems, Sadhana descriptions, and other religious scriptures. Also, many prophecies are described by these seers in there numerous literature. Most of the literature were written in hand on palm-leaves using the Devanagari or the Oriya script.
The two prime works from the five writers are the Bhâgavata by Jagannath Das and the Jagamohana Râmâyana by Balarâm Das. Till today Jagannath Das’s Bhâgavata is the most valued book in Oriya literature. Besides this great work he (Jagannath Das) also composed Artha Koili, Darubrahma Geetâ, Shunya Bhâgabata, Dhruba Stuti etc. Balaram Das, apart from Jagamohana Râmâyana, has also composed various works such as the Lakshmi Purâna, Vendântasâra Guptagitâ, Nâma-mâhatmya, Bhâva samudra, Sisu Veda, Kamalalochana Chautisâ, Kânta Koili. Shri Ananta Das, also known as Shishu Ananta Das has composed various devotional literature, e.g., Chumbaka malikâ, Nilagiri charita, Hetu Udaya Bhâgabata, Artha Târeni Prasnottara, Anâkâra Samhitâ, Bhaktimuktipradâyaka Geetâ. Similarly, Shri Jasovanta Das composed Shiba Shirodaya, Premabhaktibrahma Geetâ, Âtmaparatey Geetâ, Gobindachandra.
Acyutananda was the most prolific writer of the Panchasakhas and has written numerous books (called as pothi's), believed not in one life but in many successive lives. He is known as the Mahapurusha, which means – a great man. A few works of him are: Shunya Samhita, Chaurashi Yantra, Gurubhakti Geeta, Khila Haribamsa, Gupta Bhagabata, Kaivarta Geeta, Kaala Nirghanta, Tera Janma Sharana, Brahma Ekahshara Geeta, Gopala Ogâla, Bhava Samudra, Garuda Geeta, Brahma Shankuli, Ananta Bata Geeta, Kali Kalkpa Geeta, Asta Gujjari, Gujjari Raasa, Brahma Kundali, Mahagupta Padmakalpa, Chausathi Patala, Chayalisha Patala, Chabisa Patala, Dasa Patala, Neetya Raasa, Manmatha Chandrika, Shiva Kalpa, Achyutananda Janma Sharana, Chitta Bodha, Raasa Maala, and Panchasakhaa Bhajana. The Shunya Samhita dealt with spiritual knowledge as well as physical sciences like solar science, atomic and molecular concepts, and aerospace concepts. The term Chauraashi Yantra describes '84 yantras' embedded within the human body, the later itself is ~84 fingers in length and each Yantra is located for each finger-length space. However, the most popular one seems to be an "Oracle of Prophecies" named as Bhavishya Malika. Among prophecies also are Aagata bhabishya lekhanaa and Bhavishya Paraardha. About the Identification of his disciple and the primary devotees, he had composed the Jaiphula Malika. Also his copper oracle (Tamrapothi) which appears to mysteriously read the mind and provide suitable answers is still available today, operated by a priest in Kakatpur. Shri Arakhsita Das, the seer of Olasuni, had written the Mahimandala Geeta, the Bhakti Tikaa, the Saptaanga Abadhuta Samhita, and the Tatvasara Geeta.
At the end of age of Panchasakha, the prominent poets are Dinakrushna Das, Upendra Bhanja and Abhimanyu Samanta Simhar. Verbal jugglery, obscenity and eroticism as the characteristics of Shringara Kavyas, became the trend of this period to which Upendra Bhanja took a leading role. His creations were Baidehisha Bilasa, Koti Brahmanda Sundari, Lavanyabati were proved landmark in Oriya Literature. Upendra Bhanja was conferred with the title Kabi Samrat of Oriya literature for the aesthetic poetic sense and verbal jugglery proficiency. Dinakrushna Das’s Rasokallola and Abhimanyu Samanta Simhara’s Bidagdha Chintamani are prominent kavyas of this time.
The first Oriya printing typeset was cast in 1836 by the Christian missionaries which made a great revolution in Oriya literature. Instead of palm leaf inscription, the books were being printed and the periodicals and journals were published. The first Oriya Magazine of 'Bodha Dayini' was published from Balasore in 1861. The main object of this magazine was to promote Oriya literature and to draw attention to the lapses in government policy. The first Oriya paper, 'The Utkal Deepika' made its appearance in 1866 under the editorship of late Gouri Sankar Ray with the help of late Bichitrananda. The publication of these papers during the last part of the 19th century encouraged the modern literature and acted as a media to provide a wide readers range for the writers, The educated intellectuals came in contact with the English literature and got influenced. Radhanath Ray (1849–1908) is the prime figure, who tried to write his poems with the influence of Western literature. He wrote Chandrabhaga, Nandikeshwari, Usha, Mahajatra, Darbar and Chilika wee the long poems or Kavyas. Fakir Mohan Senapati (1843–1918), the prime figure of modern Oriya Fiction Prose is the product of that generation. He was considered the Vyasakabi or founder poet of Oriya language. Fakir Mohan Senapati is well known for his novel Chha Maana Atha Guntha. It is the first Indian novel to deal with the exploitations of landless peasants by the feudal Lord. It was written much before the October revolution of Russia or much before the emerging of Marxist ideas in India.
With rise of freedom movement, a literary though was emerged with the influence of Gandhiji and idealistic trend of Nationalism formed as a new trend in Oriya Literature. Much respected personality of Odisha culture and history, Utkalmani Gopabandhu Dash (1877–1928) has founded a school at avillage Satyabadi near Sakshigopal of Odisha and an idealstic literary movement influenced the writers of this age. Godabarisha Mohapatra, Kuntala-Kumari Sabat the other renowned name of this age.
With the emergence of Soviet Russia in 1935, a Communist party was formed in Odisha and a periodical named "Adhunika" was published by the party. Bhagawati Charan Panigrahi and Sachidananda Routray were the founder members and writer/poets of the party. Bhagwati turned to fiction writing and though Sachidananda Routray (who is better known as "Sachi Routra" or Sachi Babu) has written some short stories is actually remembered for his poems. Influenced by the romantic thoughts of Rabindranath Tagore, during the thirties when the progressive Marxist movements was in full flow in Oriya Literature, Kalindi Charan Panigrahi, the brother of Bhagabati Charan Panigrahi, the founder of Marxist trend in Odisha, formed a group circa 1920 called "Sabuja Samiti." Mayadhar Mansingh was a renowned poet of that time though he was considered as a romantic poet, but he kept the distance away from the influence of Rabindranath successfully.
As the successor of Sachi Babu, two poets Guruprasad Mohanty (popularly known as Guru Prasad) (1924–2004) and Bhanuji Rao came with T.S. Eliot and published their co-authored poetry book "Nutan Kabita". Later, Ramakanta Rath modified the ideas. Sitakanta Mohapatra, Soubhagya Kumar Mishra, Rajendra Kihore Panda, Brajanath Rath, Jayanta Mahapatra, Kamalakant Lenka, J.P. Das, Brahmotri Mohanty, Mamata Dash, Amaresh Patnaik, Hrushikesh Mallick, Sunil Kumar Prusty, Sucheta Mishra, Aparna Mohanty, Pritidhara Samal, Basudev Sunani, Gajanan Mishra, Bharat Majhi are some poets of this contemporary age. In the Post-Independence-Era Oriya fiction assumed a new direction. The trend which Fakir Mohan has started actually developed more after 50’s of last century. Gopinath Mohanty (1914–1991), Surendra Mohanty and Manoj Das are considered as three jewels of this time. The other significant fiction writers are Chandrasekhar Rath, Dr Jagannath Prasad Das, Shantanu Acharya, Mohapatra Nilamani Sahoo, Rabi Patnaik, Debraj Lenka, Krushna Prasad Mishra, Akhil Mohan Patnaik, Jagadish Mohanty, Kanheilal Das.
Satya Mishra, Ramchandra Behera, Padmaja Pal, Binapani Mohanty, Prativa Ray, Yashodhara mishra and Sarojini Sahoo are a few writers whose writings have created a new age in the field of fiction. Jayanti Ratha, Susmita Bagchi. Paramita Satpathy, Hiranmayee Mishra, Chirashree IndraSingh Supriya Panda, Gayatri Saraf, Mamata Chowdhry are few fiction writerw in this period. In the field of drama, the traditional Oriya theatre is the folk opera, or Jatra, which flourishes in the rural areas of Odisha. Modern theatre is no longer commercially viable. But in the 1960s, experimental theatre had influence through the works of Manoranjan Das, who pioneered the new theatre movement with his brand of experimentalism. Bijay Mishra, Biswajit Das, Kartik Rath, Ramesh Chandra Panigrahi, Ratnakar Chaini, Ranjit Patnaik continued the tradition.
Literary magazine: Jhankar, Nabarabi, Apurba, Galpa, Kahani, Kadambini, Istahara, Udbhasa, Amrutayana, Nabalipi, Pratibeshi, Paschima, Bijaya, Bartika, Chitra, Bishwamukti, Ama Samaya, Sananda, Godhuli Lagna, Bigyan Diganta (Science), and pourusha.
Odissi (Orissi) dance and music are classical art forms. Odissi is the oldest surviving dance form in India on the basis of archaeological evidence. Odissi has a long, unbroken tradition of 2,000 years, and finds mention in the Natyashastra of Bharatamuni, possibly written circa 200 BC. However, the dance form nearly went extinct during the British period, only to be revived after India's independence by a few gurus, such as Guru Deba Prasad Das, Guru Mayadhar Raut, Guru Pankaj Charan Das, Guru Mahadev Rout, Guru Raghu Dutta, and Guru Kelu Charan Mahapatra. Odissi classical dance is about the love of Krishna and his supposed consort Radha, mostly drawn from compositions by the notable Oriya poet Jayadeva, who lived in the twelfth century AD.
Ghumura Dance (or Ghumra Dance) is one of the most sought and leading folk dance form in Odisha. It is classified as folk dance as the dress code of Ghumura resembles more like a tribal dance, but recent researchers argue different mudra and dance form present in Ghumura bear more resemblance with other classical dance form of India. The timeline of Ghumura dance is not clear. Many researchers claim it was a War dance in ancient India and used by Ravana in Ramayana. Ghumura dance is depicted in Konark Sun Temple confirming this dance form is since the medieval period. In the Madhya Parba of Sarala Mahabharata Ghumura has been mentioned as: "Dhola Madala Gadi je Ghumura Bajai Ghumura je Ghumu Ghumu Hoi Garajai" In Chandi Purana mentions: "Biratwara Biradhola Daundi Ghumura Kadamardala Bajanti Mari Galatura" Ghumura was also used as a Darbari dance in the princely state of Kalahandi and played by the earstwhile Kalahandi state during war times. The typical mixed sound that comes out of the musical instruments like Ghumura, Nishan, Dhol, Taal, Madal etc. and the expressions and movements of the artists make this dance to be a Heroic Dance. Since thousands of years Ghumura dance has evolved from a war dance to a dance form for cultural and social activities. The dance is associated with social entertainment, relaxation, love, devotion and friendly brotherhood among all class, creed and religion in the present days. Traditionally this dance is also associated with Nuakhai and Dasahara celebration in Kalahandi and large parts of South Western Odisha. Ghumura dance is still hidden in the village level in South Western Odisha and some parts of bordering Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Kalahandi region has taken a leading rule in popularizing and retaining its unique identity of Ghumura dance. Kalahandi is mainly known as land of Ghumura. Ghumura dance has got the opportunity to represent the nation in various international events Delhi, Moscow, Kolkata, and various other cities in India. Ghumura dance is also one of the most researched folk dance form in Odisha.
Chhau dance is a form of tribal martial dance attributed to origins in Mayurbhanj princly state of Odisha and seen in the Indian states of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha. There are three subtypes of the dance, based on the original places where the subtypes were developed. Seraikella Chau was developed in Seraikella, the administrative head of the Seraikela Kharsawan district of Jharkhand, Purulia Chau in Purulia district of West Bengal and Mayurbhanj Chau in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha.
Mahari Dance is one of the important dance forms of Odisha and originated in the temples of Odisha. History of Odisha provides evidence of the 'Devadasi' cult in Odisha. Devadasis were dancing girls who were dedicated to the temples of Odisha. The Devadasis in Odisha were known as 'Maharis' and the dance performed by them came to be known as Mahari Dance.
It was during the reign of Chodagangadeva, Maharis were employed in the temples of Puri. After Chodagangadeva's death, Ananabhimadeva built Natyamandapa in the Jagannath temple for the dance performances inside the temple. Moreover, in those days, the Mahari dancers belonged to different categories namely, the 'Nachunis' (dancers), the Bahara Gauni, the Bhitara Gauni and the Gaudasanis.
The Mahari Dancers of Odisha are supposed to follow certain restrictions, such as:
- They cannot enjoy.
- They should dance on the ceremonies connected to Jagannath.
- They should adhere to the specifications made by the Sastras.
- They must always wear clean cloths.
- The dancer cannot be physically handicapped.
- At the time of the performances, the dancers are not supposed to look at the audience.
- The Maharis are married to the Lord at the age of nine.
- Before their performances, the Mahari dancers pay their obeisance to the Lord.
In Odisha, one can also come across another type of Mahari dancers, who are known as 'Samarpada Niyoga'. The duty of the 'Samarpada Niyoga' is to dance during the ceremonial procession of the deities. These dancers perform during the Ratha Yatra, Jhulana Yatra, Dola Yatra, etc.
The Western Odisha has also great variety of dance forms unique to Odisha culture. The children's verses are known as "Chhiollai", "Humobauli" and "Dauligit", the adolescent poems are "Sajani", "Chhata", "Daika", "Bhekani" : the eternal youth composes "Rasarkeli", "Jaiphul", "Maila Jada", "Bayamana", "Gunchikuta" and "Dalkhai". The work-man's poetry comprises "Karma" and "Jhumer" pertaining to Vishwakarma and the "Karamashani" deities. The professional entertainers perform Dand, Danggada, Mudgada, Ghumra, Sadhana, Sabar – Sabaren, Disdigo, Nachina – Bajnia, Samparda and Sanchar. They are for all occasions, for all time with varieties of rhythm and rhyme.
Pala is a unique form of balladry in Odisha, which artistically combines elements of theatre, classical Orissi music, highly refined Oriya and Sanskrit poetry, wit, and humour. The literal meaning of pala is turn. It is more sophisticated than the other Oriya ballad tradition, Daskathia. Pala is presented in three ways. The names can be mentioned as baithaki or `seated`, in which the performers sit on the ground throughout. The other one is thia or `standing`. This is more popular and aesthetically more satisfying, in which they stand. Badi is a kind of thia in which two groups vie for excellence. This is the most entertaining, as there is an element of competition.
Gotipua dance is another form of dance in Odisha. In Oriya colloquial language Gotipua means single boy. The dance performance done by a single boy is known as Gotipua dance. When decadence and declination came in to Devadasi or mahari tradition due to various reasons this Gotipua dance tradition evolved as sequel as these performance were practised to please the gods. It is totally unknown that when exactly this danced form came in to practice. Still some historians say that this dance tradition appears to have originated during the region of Prataprudradev (1497 AD to 1540 AD) and gained popularity in the subsequent Muslim Rule. Ray Remananda the famous Vaishnavite Minister of King Pratapruda and ardent follower of Sri Chitanya is the originator of this boy dancing tradition. As Vasishnavs were not approving of the females in to dance practices so it possible that the dance tradition must have come after Sri Chaitanya came to Odisha. The Gotipua Dance Tradition is now seen in the village Raghurajpur situated 10 km away from Puri town, situated on the banks of river Bhargabi. It is otherwise known as the Crafts Village as various Oriya handicrafts’ craftsmen reside in this village contributing their expertise in Patta Painting and other handukrafts.
Prince Dance Group, a dance group based in Berhampur, Odisha, India led by Krishna Mohan Reddy. It has won a reality show India's Got Talent on an Indian TV channel "Colors". The group is unique that the members are from a remote part of India and most of them are from disadvantaged sections of different parts of Ganjam district. Two of them, Padmanabha Sahu (24) and Telu Tarini (13) are physically challenged. They have won the hearts of all Oriyas, including chief minister Naveen Patnaik, and even outsiders with their performance in the programme "India's Got Talent". The group, comprising 26 artistes held the audience and the judges engrossed with their act from the mythological Mahabharata and Vande Mataram.
Sixteenth century witnessed the compilation of literature on music. The four important treatises written during that time are Sangitamava Chandrika, Natya Manorama, Sangita Kalalata and Gita Prakasha. Orissi music is a combination of four distinctive kinds of music, namely, Chitrapada, Dhruvapada, Panchal and Chitrakala. When music uses artwork, it is known as Chitikala. A unique feature of Oriya music is the Padi, which consists of singing of words in fast beat.
Being a part of the rich culture of Odisha, its music is also as much charming and colourful. Orissi music is more than two thousand five hundred years old and comprises a number of categories. Of these, the five broad ones are Tribal Music, Folk Music, Light Music, Light-Classical Music and Classical Music. Anyone who is trying to understand the culture of Odisha must take into account its music, which essentially forms a part of its legacy.
In the ancient times, there were poets who wrote the lyrics of poems and songs that were sung to rouse the religious feelings of people. It was by the eleventh century that the music of Odisha, in the form of Triswari, Chatuhswari, and Panchaswari, underwent transformation and was converted into the classical style.
Folk music like Jhumar, yogi gita, kendara gita, dhuduki badya, prahallad natak, palla, sankirtan, mogal tamasa, gitinatya, kandhei nacha, kela nacha, ghoda nacha, danda nacha and daskathia are popular in Odisha. Almost every tribal group has their own distinct song and dance style.
Structural art 
Other cultural attractions include the Jagannatha 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 (palm leaf paintings), famous stone utensils of Nilgiri (Balasore) and various tribal influenced cultures. The Sun temple at Konark is famous for its architectural splendour and erotic sculpture, while the 'Sambalpuri textiles' equals it in its artistic grandeur. The sari of Odisha is much in demand throughout the entire world. The different colours and varieties of sarees in Odisha make them very popular among the women of the state. The handloom sarees available in Odisha can be of four major types; these are Ikat, Bandha, Bomkai and Pasapalli. Odisha sarees are also available in other colours like cream, maroon, brown and rust. The tie-and-dye technique used by the weavers of Odisha to create motifs on these sarees is unique to this region. This technique also gives the sarees of Odisha an identity of their own.
Sand art 
A unique type of art form was developed at Puri, but it has spread all over the world. To carve a sand sculpture, the raw material is clean and fine-grained sand mixed with water. With the help of this type of sand and by the magic of fingers, an artist can carve a beautiful and attractive sculpture on the beach. Sudarshan Pattnaik is one of the major world-class artists in this sculpture.
Although not historically proved, there is a story in the Oriya myths regarding the origin of sand sculpture: "Poet Balaram Das, the author of Dandi Ramayan was a great devotee of Jagannath. Once during Ratha Yatra (Car Festival), he tried to climb the chariot of Jagannath to offer his prayer. He wasn't allowed by the priests of the chariot to climb it and was also insulted by them. With great frustration and humiliation he came to the beach (Mahodadhi) and carved statues of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra on the golden sand.
The majority (over 94%) of people in the state of Odisha are Hindu and there is also a rich cultural heritage in the state. For example, Odisha is home to several Hindu figures. Sant Bhima Bhoi was a leader of the Mahima sect movement. Sarala Dasa, an adivasi, was the translator of the epic Mahabharata in Oriya. Chaitanya Dasa was a Buddhistic-Vaishnava and writer of the Nirguna Mahatmya. Jayadeva was the author of the Gita Govinda.
The Odisha Temple Authorisation Act of 1948 empowered the Government of Odisha to have Hindu temples open for all Hindus including the Harijans.
Perhaps the oldest scripture of Odisha is the Madala Panji from the Puri Temple believed from 1042 AD. Famous Hindu Oriyan scripture includes the 16th century Bhagabata of Jagannatha Dasa. In the modern times Madhusudan Rao was a major Oriya writer, who was a Brahmo Samajist and shaped modern Oriya literature at the turn of the 20th century.
Christians in Odisha account for about 2.4% of the population while Oriya Muslims account for 2.1% as per census figures of 2001. The Sikh, Buddhist and Jain communities together account for 0.1% of the population
The Oriya film production in the initial years was very slow. After first Oriya film Sita Bibaha in 1936, only two films were produced till 1951. A joint consortium of landlords and businessmen who collected funds after 1948 produced those two movies. The first film 'Sita Bibaha' was directed by Mohan Sunder Dev Goswami and was released in Laxmi Theatre, Puri. The 1951 production Roles to Eight was the first Oriya film having an English name. It was released after 15 years of the first Oriya film Sita Bibaha. It was the fourth Oriya film produced by Ratikanta Padhi. The eleventh Oriya film Sri Lokenath was the first Oriya film, which got National Award in 1960 directed by Prafulla Sengupta.
One of the major trail blazers and pioneers of the Oriya film industry were Gour Prasad Ghose and his wife, Parbati Ghose. They introduced and mastered innovative ways of technical story-telling. Over the years, some of their most notable films such as Maa and Kaa brought them national fame and numerous awards, including many National awards and lifetime achievement awards for their contribution to cinema as directors, producers and actors.
The same year, Prasant Nanda won a National Award as best actor for the film Nua Bou with his debut film. The name of Prasantha Nanda would always come while dealing with Oriya Film Industry. He was present in Oriya films since 1939, but he became active only after 1976. Nanda served Oriya Film Industry as an actor, director, screenplay writer, and lyricist and even as a playback singer. Such a versatile genius is quite rare in Indian cinema history. Nanda alone carried Oriya films into the national honour list by winning National Awards three times in 1960, 1966 and 1969 for his acting in Nua Bou, Matira Manisha and Adina Megha. Uttam Mohanty, whose debut film Abhiman won accolades all over, is now the veteran actor of the Oriya Film Industry. His wife Aparajita Mohanty is also a renowned actress. Sarat Pujari was one of the most popular actor of the 60s era. His popular films are Nua Bou, Jeevan Sathi, Sadhana, Manika Jodi, Naba Janma, Matira Manisa, Arundhati, Ghara Sansara, Bhookha, etc. His films portrayed the general condition of the state of Odisha with a strong social message. Sarat Pujari is a prominent figure till now. Apart from being an actor he was also a successful director and an academician. He still continues to act in a few selected films. Currently he is enjoying his retired life and writes columns in the newspapers as his hobby. Raju Mishra is another rising star in Oriya film industry. He is an international award winning photographer, director, choreographer and lyricist of Oriya film industry. Other well-known actors are Bijay Mohanty, Sriram Panda, Mihir Das, Siddhanta Mahapatra, Mahasweta Ray, Tandra Ray, Anubhav Mohanty, Santanu Nayak and many more.
Odisha has culinary tradition spanning centuries if not millennia. The kitchen of the famous Jagannath temple in Puri is reputed to be the largest in the world, with a thousand chefs, working around 752 wood-burning clay hearths called chulas, to feed over 10,000 people each day.
Rasgulla originated from Odisha and became famous throughout the world. The well-known rice pudding, kheeri (kheer) that is relished all over India, also originated in Puri two thousand years ago. Chhenapoda is also a major Odisha sweet cuisine originated in Nayagarh, it is made by caramelising cottage cheese with sugar, cardamom and other ingredients and then burning it over a chula (wood-burning clay hearths). Chhena Jheeli and malpua are other famous sweet deserts. One of the most famous delicacies of Odisha is Kakara Peetha (made of sooji or finely grained wheat) especially with coconut filling sauteed with pepper, cardamom, sugar and ghee and sometimes cottage cheese (chhena). Its one of the major delicacy during the festival occasions. Arisha is another delicacy. The sweet aroma of powdered rice and Gud being deep fried in Ghee is mesmerising. Poda Pitha, Haladi Patra Pitha (enduri pitha), Manda Pitha, Chitou Pitha are more examples of Oriya specialitites. Mudhi (puffed rice) is an integral part of every Oriya household. Baripada is famous for its Mudhi. Mudhi serves the purpose of an instant snacks. It perfectly blends with any thing. Be it Chenachur (mix salty fried snacks), milk, tea, curries, peanuts or mango pulp.
Pakhala, a dish made of rice, water, and yoghurt, that is fermented overnight, is very popular in summer, particularly in the rural areas. Oriyas are very fond of sweets and no Oriya repast is considered complete without some dessert at the end. A typical meal in Odisha consists of a main course and dessert. Typically breads are served as the main course for breakfast, whereas rice is eaten with lentils (dals) during lunch and dinner. The main course also includes one or more curries, vegetables and pickles. Given the fondness for sweet foods, the dessert course may include generous portions of more than a single item. Oriya desserts are made from a variety of ingredients, with milk, chhena (a form of ricotta cheese), coconut, rice, and wheat flour being the most common.
Also one of the most famous veg dishes are Dalma (made of lentils and vegetables boiled together and then fried with other spices) and Santula. Even the former Indian president Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam introduced these into the Rashtrapati Bhavan Menu. Ghanta and Posta curries are also some of the signature dishes.
Odisha food habit is pretty balanced between the non-vegetarian and vegetarian habits. Due to its vast shoreline and number of rivers flowing across, fish is a very important part of the diet. Odisha also expertises in sea food cuisines like Prawn and Crab. The famous Chilika Lake is particularly famous for offering best sea food cuisines that are one of a lifetime experience.
Odisha's food habit is actually the horizon between the South Indian food habit and the North Indian food habits. One can easily find Dosas, Vadas and idlis being served as breakfast and snacks which are typically south Indian food and also can find Poori- Chole, Samosa's (locally called Singada), and other north Indian delicacies in the menu. One of the best combination of both the North and South of India is Dahibara-Aludum-Ghuguni especially in the city of Cuttack. Dahibara (vadaa dipped and soaked in curd), aludum (a spicy curry made from potato) and Ghuguni (chickpea curry) really go well together and is one of the best fusion of the Indian recipes.
The ruins of a major ancient university and center of Buddhist learning, Ratnagiri, were recently discovered in the Jajpur district of Odisha. Scholars from far away lands, such as Greece, Persia and China used to study philosophy, astronomy, mathematics and science at this famed university. Taxila, Nalanda and Ratnagiri are among the oldest universities in the world. The ruins of Ratnagiri University have not been fully excavated yet.
- Educational Institutions
- All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar at Bhubaneswar
- Berhampur University at Berhampur
- Biju Patnaik University of Technology at Rourkela
- Buxi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar College at Bhubaneswar
- Central University of Orissa at Koraput
- College of Engineering and Technology at Bhubaneswar
- Fakir Mohan University at Balasore
- Indian Institute of Technology at Bhubaneshwar
- Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology at Talcher
- Maharaja Krishna Chandra Gajapati Medical College and Hospital at Berhampur
- National Institute of Science and Technology at Berhampur
- National Institute of Science Education and Research at Bhubaneswar
- National Institute of Technology at Rourkela
- National Law University at Cuttack
- North Orissa University at Baripada
- Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology at Bhubaneshwar
- Parala Maharaja Engineering College at Berhampur
- Ravenshaw University at Cuttack
- Sambalpur University at Sambalpur
- Shri Ramachandra Bhanj Medical College at Cuttack
- Utkal University at Bhubaneswar
- Veer Surendra Sai Medical College at Burla
- Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology at Burla
Entry to various institutes of higher education especially into engineering degrees is through a centralised Odisha Joint Entrance Examination, conducted by the Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT), Rourkela] where seats are provided according to order of merit.
One of the prestigious institutions of India, NIT Rourkela, National Institute of Technology was upgraded from Regional Engineering College and is an Institute of National Importance. Another premier college of Odisha is the Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology, Burla, which is the first engineering college in Odisha and is famous for its excellent infrastructure and state-of-art teaching methodology. Odisha is also home to one of the two Indian Institute of Mass Communication IIMC situated in Dhenkanal. This is a premier institute for mass communication and journalism.
The Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB) is a premier business school located in Bhubaneshwar. The National Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhubaneswar (NISER) is another premier educational cum research institution that is located in the state capital. The government of Odisha has provided 935 acres (3.78 km2) of land at Arugul near Jatni Railway Station for IIT Bhubaneshwar, established in 2008. The plans of setting up of an AIIMS is also in advanced stages. Vedanta University, a center for learning and research is planned to be built on the picturesque Puri-Konark marine drive in Odisha. Reliance industries has expressed its intention of establishing a new Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology (DA-IICT), as well as a health city for medical education and research in Bhubaneshwar. Some of the research institutes of Odisha includes Institute of Physics at Bhubaneshwar, Institute of Life Sciences at Bhubaneshwar, Central Rice Research Institute at Cuttack, Central Institute of Fresh water Aquaculture (CIFA)at Bhubaneshwar, Regional Medical Research centre at Bhubaneshwar, Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology at Bhubaneshwar and Regional Plant Resource Centre at Bhubaneshwar. Odisha currently receives the lowest per capita investment of all 28 states from the central government towards human resource development.
Odisha has many renowned medical Colleges such as SCB Medical College, Cuttack, Veer Surendra Sai Medical College, Burla and MKCG Medical College, Berhampur. These colleges have been able to produce excellent doctors who have gone on to head various top posts in the Union Medical Departments. Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneshwar and Hi-tech Medical College, Bhubaneshwar are some of the private medical colleges and hospitals serving the state of Odisha. Many students from the neighbouring state of Jharkhand, Bihar and Chattisgarh come to Odisha for better education and expertise. Various International and National Universities have signed MoUs with top colleges for various seminars and workshop to be conducted within the campuses.
The landscape of Odisha is dotted with a large number of temples. The temples of Odisha conform to the Indo Aryan Nagara style of architecture, with distinctive features specific to this region. The best known of these are the Lingaraja temple at Bhubaneshwar, Jagannath Temple at Puri and the Sun Temple at Konark. The temples of Odisha exhibit a majestic grandeur. An Oriya temple (deula) usually consists of a sanctum, one or several front porches (jagamohana) usually with pyramidal roofs, a dancing hall (nata mandir) and a hall of offerings (bhog mandir).
'The Lingaraj temple at Bhubaneshwar boasts of a 150-foot (46 m) high deul while the Jagannath Temple at Puri is about 200 feet (61 m) high and it dominates the skyline of the town. Only a portion of the Sun Temple at Konark, the largest of the temples of the Golden triangle exists today, and it is still staggering in size. It stands out as a masterpiece in Odisha architecture. Odisha is also well known as a Buddhist and Jain pilgrimage destination. North-east of Cuttack, about 10 km from Bhubaneshwar, there are Buddhist relics and ruins at the three hilltop complexes of Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, which still bear witness to Buddhism's fruitful tryst with this region until well into the 13th century.
Odisha's varying topography – from the wooded Eastern Ghats to the fertile river basin – has proven ideal for evolution of compact and unique ecosystems. Thereby creating such treasure troves of flora and fauna that even seem inviting to many migratory species of birds and reptiles. Bhitar Kanika National Park is famous for its second largest mangrove ecosystem. The bird sanctuary in Chilika (Asia's biggest brackish water lake) and the tiger reserve and waterfalls in Simlipal National Park are integral part of any eco tours in Odisha, arranged by Tourism of Odisha.
The Gharial Sanctuary at Tikarpada and the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles in Gahirmatha turtle sanctuary also feature on the list of avid nature watchers. The city wildlife sanctuaries of Chandaka and Nandan Kanan are a must visit for the lessons they teach is conservation and revitalisation of species from the brink of extinction. Odisha is blessed with around 500 km long coastline and has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Chilika, Asia's largest brackish water lake, not only provides a haven for millions of birds, but is also one of the few places in India where one can view dolphins. The lush green forest cover of Odisha plays host to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including the famed Royal Bengal Tiger. Amidst the picturesque hills and valleys nestle a number of breathtaking waterfalls and rivulets that attract visitors from all over. Odisha beaches include Puri, Gopalpur-on-Sea, Chandipur, Ramachandi Beach, Balighai Beach, Astarang Beach, Paradeep Beach. The famous Shiva Temple is near Dhenkanal. 
See also 
- Outline of India
- Index of India-related articles
- Bibliography of India
- India at Wikipedia books
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