Odisha, previously called Orissa is a beautiful State filled with beaches, temples and wildlife in the Eastern most part of India. The name of the State has been derived from the ancient Prakrit word “Odda Visaya”. Odisha was even mentioned in the ancient texts of Tirumalai inscription during the times of Emperor Rajendra Chola I (year 1025). This is the 9th largest state in terms of area, the 11th largest in terms of population and also 3rd most populous state of India in terms of tribal population. The border of today’s Odisha matches with the ancient kingdom of Kalinga which was attacked by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka in 261 BCE which ended with the massive bloodshed at the Kalinga war and finally embracing Buddhism by the Mauryan Emperor. The neigbouring States of Odisha is West Bengal to the north-east, Jharkhand to the north, Chattisgarh to the west and north-west and Andhra Pradesh to the south. Odisha’s largest and capital city is Bhubaneswar and the State is divided into 30 districts after gaining the Statehood in 1 April, 1936.
|High Court||Odisha High Court, Cuttack|
|Rivers||Mahanadi, Brahmani River, baitarani, subarnarekha, Budhabalanga River, Rushikulya, Vamsadhara River, Nagavali River etc.|
|National Parks||Simlipal National Park, Kanger Ghati National Park, Bhitarkanika National Park|
|State Animal||Sambar Deer|
|State Bird||Indian roller|
|Literacy Rate (2011)||76.68|
|Females per 1000 males||978|
|Lok Sabha constituencies||26-May-00|
The history of Odisha dates back to the pre-historic times since Acheulian tools were found in many areas of this State. This also indicates early settlement of human beings too. During the ancient times, Odisha was known as Kalinga and this region was also mentioned in olden texts of Mahabharata, Vayu Purana and Mahagovinda Suttanta. Mahabharata states that the Sabar people belong to this State. In addition to this, Baudhayana mentions that Odisha followed tribal culture instead of Vedic culture. The Mauryan ruler Ashoka the Great has turned out the history of Odisha by declaring war upon Kalinga which led to massive bloodshed of over one lakh people during the Kalinga war (261 BCE). Later, Odisha was ruled by Emperor Kharavela, Samudragupta, Shashanka, Harsha, Somavamsi dynasty, Eastern Ganga dynasty rulers like Anantavarman Chodaganga- the creator of Jagannath temple in Puri, Narasimhadeva I – creator of Konark temple, Gajapati Kingdom, Mughal empire, Nawabs of Bengal and finally on the hands of the mighty British empire.
Odisha covers an area of 155,707 km2, which is 4.87% of total area of India, and seashore of 450 km. Odisha’s eastern region lies in the coastal plains. These coastal plains expand towards Subarnarekha River in the north to the Rushikulya River in the south. The Chilika Lake is part of the coastal plains. These plains are very rich and fertile sand deposits which are done by Odisha’s major rivers flowing into the Bay of Bengal. Odisha’s major rivers Subarnarekha, Budhabalanga, Baitarani, Brahmani, Mahanadi and Rushikulya. Apart from coastal plains Odisha also consists of mountain ranges, bottomless and extensive valleys, plateaus and continuing highlands. Deomali is the highest point in the State at an altitude of 1672 metres.
According to the 2011 Census of India, the total population of Odisha is estimated at 41,947,358. This includes around 50.54% of the population of the state consists of male population (21,201,678) and 49.46% of the population consists of female population (20,745,680). The literacy rate of the State is 73%, with 82% of males and 64% of females being literate. Odisha has a healthy sex ratio of 979 females per 1000 males. Odisha has a Human Development Index of 0.442 as of 2011.
Odisha’s Gross Domestic Product in the year of 2017-2018 was approximately Rs. 4.12 lakh crore. Odisha is also one of the top FDI destinations in India since it received around Rs. 53,000 crore worth investment from FDI in the fiscal year of 2012-13. Agriculture and fishing is the largest contributor of Odisha’s economy and more than 60 % of the working populations are involved in this. Rice is the supreme crop grown in this State. Odisha being a coastal area is also the largest producer and exporter of sea food. During 2013-14, the state exported 4.13 lakh tonnes worth Rs. 1,800 crore of seafood. It is India’s fourth largest shrimp producing state. Industries in Odisha include manufacturing; mining and quarrying; electricity, gas and water supply and construction. The State is rich in minerals and is the top aluminium producing region in the country. Two of the largest aluminium plants in India are in Odisha- NALCO and Vedanta Resources. Odisha also has rich power sectors including Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC), Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) and Grid Corporation of Odisha (Gridco).
This State has a good network of roadways, railways, airways and waterways. The capital city of Bhubaneswar is well connected with other parts of India via air, rail and road. Moreover the national and state highways of Odisha are also getting expanded into 4 lanes. Even there are plans for metro rail services between Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are on the talk. This led to the start of 30 Km journey too. Odisha has a total of 17 airstrips and 16 helipads. Biju Patnaik International Airport is the largest airport located in Bhubaneswar. The railway network of this State is under East Coast Railway, South Eastern Railway and South East Central Railway. Moreover, Paradip, Dhamara, Gopalpur, Chandipur, Subarnarekha, etc are the sea pofts of Odisha.
In the recent years, Odisha has become an offbeat travel destination with attractive sites like Chillika Lake, the Lingaraja Temple in Bhubaneswar, the Jagannath Temple in Puri and the Sun Temple in Konark. Other famous tourist attractions in Odisha are: Puri beach, Bhitarkanika Sanctuary, Simlipal National Park, and Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, Nandankanan Zoo, Daringbadi, etc.
The popular sports of Odisha are Cricket, Hockey and Football. Odisha has produced some of very renowned sportsperson like Padmashree Dillip Tirkey, Padmashree Ignace Tirkey and Rachita Mistri Panda who have bagged Olympic medals for India.
The annual Rath Yatra or Car Festival is the most important festival of Odisha Puri to be one of the four holiest places or Char Dham for Hinduism. This region is also famous for its sand art practiced in the beaches of Puri. It is also famous for beautiful appliqué artwork of Pipili, silver filigree ornamental works from Cuttack, the Patta Chitras (palm leaf paintings), textiles like Bomkai and Sambalpuri silk and famous stone utensils of Nilgiri (Balasore). Odissi is the main dance form of this region.
The State of Odisha is filled with renowned educational institutions making the State a popular education hub. The famous educational institutes include Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Bhubaneswar, National Law University at Cuttack, National Institute of Technology Rourkela (NIT) at Rourkela, Indian Institute of Management (IIM-SB) at Sambalpur, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Bhubaneswar, Biju Patnaik University of Technology at Rourkela, and many more educational institutes of various fields.
Hospital and Healthcare
Odisha has some of the best hospitals which provide great healthcare services all the modern medical amenities, in both rural and urban areas equally. The medical facilities at the state include 158 Community Health Clinics, 157 Block Private Health Clinics, 1167 New PHC, 80 Mobile Health Units, 115 Area Hospitals and 5927 Sub centers along with 519 Ayurvedic, 462 Homeopathy and 9 Unani dispensaries. A mobile health care programme has also been started by the name of ‘Smile on Wheels in various districts. It is mobile van and a running hospital treating patients in marginal areas. Around 87000 people from 102 villages have been benefited by this initiative. This State has some of the best hospitals like Kalinga Hospital, Padma Hospital, Apex Hospital, Ayurvedic Hospital, etc.