Perpetually washed by the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal,
Orissa lies on the east coast of India with a 482-km-long coastal stretch.
It is bounded by West Bengal and
Bihar on the north, Andhra
Pradesh on the south, the Bay of Bengal on the east and
Madhya Pradesh on the west . The state's
history is divisible into the same four periods in which Indian history is
usually analysed, i.e., the Hindu period, the Muslim period, the British
period and the post-Independence period.
Orissa's main attractions are the temples of the capital Bhubaneswar, - the long sandy beach at Puri, the Sun Temple at Konark and Simlipal and Nandankanan sanctuaries of Cuttack. The renowned Jagannatha temple dominate the landscape at Puri as does the Lingaraja temple of Bhubaneswar. 10 kms west of Bhubaneshwar are the Udayagiri Caves, which were occupied by the Buddhist monks as early as the 2nd century BC.
History of Orissa
It's hazy past is linked to the fortunes of Kalinga of which it was once a part. Ashoka's carnage of Kalinga made the emperor foreswore war and till 2nd century AD, Buddhism and Jainism alternately held sway in Orissa. Fast forward to 1514: the time of the European arrival here. After the British conquest in 1804, Orissa was divided into three districts: Cuttack, Puri and Balasore. After independence, Orissa became a state of India in 1950.
Capital of Orissa
Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa, famous as a temple town and a handicraft centre, has, over the last decade, become an upcoming business centre. While the city itself boats of no giant industrial plants, showcased in its main bazaars are craftwork, such as the traditional tie and dye technique of ikat, that date back over several thousand years.
Handicrafts of Orissa
Shopping in Orissa is a joy. You don't look there for what the modern industry can give you, but for unique and exquisite handicrafts, made by those fingers whose forerunners had with such dexterity and skill created the magnificient Orissa temples. The handicrafts of Orissa include silver filigree, horn work, folk paintings (Pattachitra), metalware, applique work, stoneware, silk and cotton handloom etc.
Culture in Orissa
Another expression of Oriyan culture is Odissi, one of the finest forms of Indian classical dance. Evolved out of spiritual consciousness, it formed an essential part of the ritualistic services in the important shrines of Orissa. Devotional in spirit, it is marked for its elaborate grace and lyrical charm, revealed through rounded movements. Orissa also has a rich body of literature with Sitakant Mahapatra being one of the major voices in contemporary Oriya poetry
Festivals of Orissa
Makar Sankranti in January; Magha Mela and Konark Dance Festival in Febraury; Maha Shivratri and Holi in March; Basant Panchami in Febraury / March; Chaitra Parba or Chhow Festival in April; Rath Yatra or the Car Festival of Puri and Raja Sankranti in June / July; Durga Puja in September / October; Kartika and Kumar Purnima in October-November; Lakshmi Puja in December -January.
CLIMATE OF ORISSA
Temperature (deg C): Summer - Max.38, Min.27.1
Winter - Max.28.2, Min.15.2.
Rainfall : Mid June-September 60 inches (152 cms).
Best season : October to March
Population in Orissa: 35 million
Tourism Offices in Orissa:
Tourist office, Barkul - Dist. Khurda, Puri, Orissa - 752030,
Tourist office, Berhampur - New Bus stand (1st floor), Puri, Orissa - 760004
Tourist Counter - Railway station, Puri, Orissa - 760004.
Tourist Office - VIP chhak, station road, Puri, Orissa - 752002.
Tourist Office, Government of Orissa, 55 Lenin Sarani (Beside Wellington Square), Calcutta.