Indian State And Union Territory - Odisha

Chief Minister: Mr. Naveen Patnaik
Shri Ganeshi Lal
Area: 1,55,707 sq. km sq. km
Capital: Bhubaneshwar
Population: 41947358
Male Population: 21201678
Female Population: 20745680
Total Literacy(%): 73.45
Male Literacy(%): 82.40
Female Literacy(%): 64.36
Sex Ratio: 978
No of District: 30
Principal Languages: Oriya
Other Languages: Oriya

About Odisha (Orissa)

The name Orissa is derived from Sanskrit word "Odra Vishaya" or "Odra Desa". The ancient province of "Odra desa" or "Or-desa" was limited to the valley of the Mahanadi and to the lower course of the Subarnarekha River. It comprised the whole of the present districts of Cuttack and Sambalpur and a portion of Midnapore. It was bounded on the West by Gondwana, on the North by the wild hill states of Jashpur and Singhbhum, on the East by the sea and on the South by Ganjam.

The Orissa state, which was once a land of Kings and Kingdoms, now boasts of being rich source of natural resources. Its people, temple architecture, classical dance, religions, fairs and festivals, unique handlooms and handicrafts, green woodlands, rock caves, charming blue hills have always attracted historians, tourists and travellers from all over the world. Its rich history, revolutionary freedom movement, fascinatingly sculptured temples and monuments, tribal life characterized by dance, music, rituals, hunting, gaiety and wild ways have become important topics of research for great historians and scholars.

Odisha History

The history of Odisha dates back to antiquity, its most famous old names being Kalinga, Utkal and Odra. By the time of Mahavir and Buddha, the Kalinga Utkal region on the entire east coast of India acquired recognition and fame. Maury an Emperor, Ashoka's invasion of Kalinga was an epoch-making event of ancient times of far reaching consequences. Kalinga was conquered but the conquest changed the heart of the conqueror. The change in Ashoka changed the course of religion and cultural history not only of India but also of the whole of Asia. The next great era of Odisha's history commenced during the reign of Mahameghavahana Kharavela

who ruled in the 1st half of the second century B.C. During Kharavela's reign the empire of Kalinga extended upto the river Ganga in the north and the river Godavari in the South. Subsequently the great dynasties such as the Shailodvabas, Bhoumakaras, Somavamsis, Gangas were not only great empire builders, but also promoters of art, literature and culture. The world famous Sun Temple at Konark was built in the thirteenth Century by Narasimha Deva, the famous Jaganath temple at Puri in the twelfth century by Anangabhima Deva and the Lingaraj temple, Bhubaneshwar in the eleventh century by Jajati-II. From mid-16th century Odisha was ruled successively by five Muslim kings till 1592, when Akbar annexed it into the Mughal empire. With the decline of the Mughal empire, Marathas occupied Odisha. They continued to hold it till the British took over in 1803.

Modern Odisha took birth on 1st of April 1936. After Independence, princely States in and around Odisha surrendered their sovereignty to the Government of India. By the States Merger Order 1949 the rest of the princely States of Odisha were completely merged with the State of Odisha in January 1949.

Odisha, the land of Lord Jagannath situated on the shores of Bay of Bengal is surrounded by the West Bengal on the north-east, Jharkhand on the north, Chhattisgarh on the west and Andhra Pradesh on the south. Its diverse landscape comprises coastal plains, mountainous terrain, plateaus, verdaut river valleys and slopes dotted with watersheds, springs, lakes and forest cover of varying density.

Origin of the name of the State

The name of Orissa is derived from the Sanskrit Odra Vishaya or "Odra Desa". Greek writers like Pliny and Ptolemy described the Odra people as Oretes. The Greek Oretes is probably the Sanskrit Odra and the Mount Maleus has been identified with Malayagiri near Pala Lahara. The ancient province of "Odra desa" or "Or-desa" was limited to the valley of the Mahanadi and to the lower course of the Subarnarekha River. It comprised the whole of the present districts of Cuttack and Sambalpur and a portion of Midnapore. It was bounded on the West by Gondwana, on the North by the wild hill states of Jashpur and Singhbhum, on the East by the sea and on the South by Ganjam.

The Gajapati Kings of Orissa ruled over a kingdom in the 15th century AD but the Oriya-speaking central region began a downfall with Vijaynagar coming to prominence in 16th century and Ganjam was conquered. In the early 17th century, the districts north to the river Subarnarekha were annexed to the Bengal Subah of the Mughal Empire and the Marathas. The East India Company had no intention of unifying the Oriya-speaking territories which it had conquered piece by piece. The Oriyas were administered by five separate political authorities, i.e. Bengal and its Orissa Division, Chota Nagpur, the Central Provinces, Madras and the Garhjat Mahals of feudatory states of Orissa.

The formation of the linguistic province of Orissa in 1936 may be regarded as one of the landmarks in the history of the evolution of the Indian Union and after the 'Na Anka' famine of 1866. Raja Baikunthanath Dey of Baleshwar and Bichitrananda Das and the 'Ganjam Utkal Hitabadini Sabha' with the Raja of Kalinga, Venkates Beu greatly advocated the amalgamation of united Orissa. On the 28th November, 1874, there was a vast congregation of all the Rajas, Zamindars, met and finally in July 1877 'Utkal Sabha' was formed under the leadership of Utkal Gourab Madhusudan Das. Utkal Gourab Madhusudan Das, Biswanath Kar, Nanda Kishore Bal and Gopal Chandra Praharaj met the eminent British officers and submitted memorandums to unite Orissa. The Utkal Union Conference at Cuttack on the 30th December, 1903 under the leadership of Utkal Gourab Madhusudan Das played the most significant role for the amalgamation of the Oriya-speaking areas. Besides the Utkal Union Conference, the Oriya Peoples’ Association, the Balasore National Conference, the Udit Club of Singhbhum, the Utkal Milan Samaja and the Utkal Hitaisini Samaja of Ganjam also played leading roles for the union of the Oriya-speaking areas. A counter movement called the Ganjam Defence League was organized by the Telugus in Ganjam to oppose the Oriya movement.

In 1917 the Montagu-Chelmsford Commission visited India on the subject of self-Government and its report recognized the need for an administrative union of the Oriya-speaking people and recommended for a sub-province for the Oriyas. On the 20th February, 1920 Satchidananda Sinha and A.B. Latthe, supported by Brajasundar Das, moved a resolution in the imperial Council for the amalgamation of the Oriya-speaking tracts. On the 25th November, 1921, Viswanath Kar and Sasibhusan Rath moved resolutions of separate Orissa province. C.L. Philip and A.C. Duff Commission made positive remarks about Orissa. The report of the Simon Commission, under the Chairmanship of the Sir John Simon, led to the summoning of the Round Table Conference. Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayan Dev, the Maharaja of Paralakhemundi represented Orissa in the Conference. The Orissa Boundary Commission was appointed with D’Donnell as the Chairman. The Committee examined the claims of the Oriyas and finally recommended for inclusion of the plains in Orissa and the agency areas excluding Paralakhemundi, in the Ganjam district; and Khariar and Padmapur, excluding Phuljhar in the Central Provinces.

The "white paper" was published on the 17th March, 1933, containing the draft proposals for the reforms in the Indian Constitution. It proposed to create two new provinces, viz., Sind and Orissa. The Maharaja of Paralakhemundi, authorized Utkal Union Conference Committee, by his powerful arguments, convinced the Parliamentary Committee for the transfer of Jaypur (Jeypore) agency and a portion of Paralakhemundi to Orissa. The union also recommended that a portion of the Jaypur estate which the O’Donnell Committee proposed to transfer to Orissa, the Paralakhemundi and Jalantar Maliahs and a small portion of the Paralakhemundi estate including Paralakhemundi town would also be added to the Orissa Province. But no step was taken for the transfer of Oriya-speaking areas from Bengal and Bihar. By this recommendation the total area was raised from 55,799 to 84,677 sq. km. (21,545 to 32,695 sq. miles). The Government of India Bill 1935 was passed by the Parliament and the new province of Orissa as an administrative unit came into being on the 1st April, 1936 with the following areas as per the Government of India (Constitution of Orissa ) Order,1936.


British Government occupied Odisha in the year 1803. British Administrators fed difficulty in uttering the name of Odisha and its language Odisa. So they changed the anme as Orissa and its language as Oriya. However, the use of the name of Odisha driving from "Odra" can be dated back to AD 1435. In independent India after 74 years, people of Orissa and the State Government made endeavour to change the name from Orissa to Odisha and its language Oriya to Odia. In the year 2008, Orissa Legislative Assembly initiated appropriate procedure in this regard. From the ethical point of view it may be stated that the emotion of a race is attached with the correct pronunciation. Apart from this, there is also a meaning behind the utterance of a name. After a long exercise and as a result of the legitimate demand of the people of Orissa and consistent efforts of the State Government, the Bill relating to change of the name of our State from "Orisa" to "Odisha" and its language "Oriya" to "Odia" was passed in the Rajya Sabha on 24 March 2011. The Gazette of India was published to this effect on 1 November 2011 on the passing of the Orissa (Alteration of Name) Bill, 2010 and the Constitution (113th Amendment) Bill by the Parliament which effectuated the change of the name of "Orissa" to "Odisha" and its language "Oriya" to "Odia".


The state of Orissa has become a centre of learning in the eastern India after it became a separate state on 1st April 1936. After Independence a lot of reforms have been made in the education system of Orissa to make it appreciated. Because of the reforms the standard of education in Orissa is qualitative. Subsequent Governments have taken a lot of initiatives to make the standard of education more attractive. The education system of Orissa has given base to a lot of Engineering and professional institutes. The students of various faculties of Orissa are earning reputation globally because of a sound infrastructure of education in Orissa. In recent years students from different part of India are coming to Orissa for higher education. It can be said that a revolution in the sphere of education has been started in Orissa after 90s. Orissa now a day is providing best infrastructure for general education, technical education, professional education and vocational education. So many institutes of national and international reputation are eagerly choosing Orissa as their destinations because education in this soil has a bright and prosperous future. The education system in Orissa is very much well designed.

Agriculture & Irrigation

Agriculture continues to be the backbone of the State's economy. About 65% of the population of the state is dependant on Agriculture. Government has been giving priority to the development of Agriculture Sector through a number of pro-active measures.

As seed is the most important input for boosting productivity of crops, effective steps are taken to increase Seed Replacement Rate (SRR) of various crops. The SRR of paddy, which was 6.35% by end of 10th Plan period, has now gone up to 21% at the end of Kharif-2011. During 2011-12, about 37,047 ha of land (18,551 ha paddy,18,496 ha non-paddy) has been brought under seed production programme and it has been programmed to cover about 40,760 ha (20,410 ha paddy and 20,350 ha non-paddy) for the year 2012-13. Besides, 6 mobile Soil Testing Laboratories have been engaged to expedite the soil analysis process in rural areas. In spite of erratic climatic condition leading to drought and severe floods, this year the fertilizer consumption could reach up to 56.57 Kg/ha during Kharif. Programme has been drawn up to increase fertilizer consumption to 90 Kg/ha during 2012-13.


Irrigation is the most important input for agriculture. Private Lift Irrigation Points (PLIP) under Jalanidhi scheme are being promoted by providing 50% subsidy to farmers. During 2011-12,15,283 PLIPs (8,639 shallow Tube Wells, 4,986 Bore Wells, 1,655 Dug Wells and 3 River Lifts) have been set up creating additional irrigation potential of about 30,000 ha. Due emphasis has also been given on judicious utilization of water for crop production through promotion of micro irrigation system over 4,564 hect. under drip and sprinkler irrigation.

The State has a cultivable land of 61.65 lakh hectare, out of which 49% of the land has been provided irrigation facilities by end of March 2011. For accelerated irrigation Development, Government is implementing various farmer centric schemes such as Biju Krushak Vikash Yojana (BKVY), Deep Bore Well construction programme, Megalift and Check Dam construction. During 2011-12, 979 Check Dams, 150 Deep Bore Wells, 707 Lift Irrigation Projects have been constructed and additional irrigation potential of 20.88 thousand hectares has been created up to end of December 2011. Construction activities of major and medium irrigation projects have also been scaled up to complete the ongoing projects in 12th Plan period. Besides, modernization of major, medium, minor flow irrigation projects have been taken up under ADB funded "Orissa Integrated Irrigated Agriculture and Water MKanagement Investment Programme" (OIIAWMIP) & centrally funded "Repair, Restoration and Renovation" (RR&R) schemes.

Minerals in Odisha

The mineral resources of Orissa form a very important constituent of India’s mineral wealth. Her possession includes a wide variety of ores and minerals such as Iron-ore, Chromite, Manganese-ore, Bauxite, Non-coking Coal, Limestone, Dolomite, Nickel- ore, Vanadium-ore, Copper ore, Lead ore, Fireclay, China clay, Graphite, Quartz and Quartzite, mineral sands like Limonite, Sillimanite, Zircon and Tin ore.


On the strength of Good Governance and industry friendly atmosphere, Odisha is well as its way to becoming the premier manufacturing hub for companies. This has enabled the State to sign MoU with 93 reputed investors across various sectors such as Steel (50), Aluminium (3), Power (29), Cement (4), Auto Component (1), Oil Refinery (I), Titanium Dioxide (I) and four Ancillary and Downstream industries with an investment of Rs. 4,62,768.74 crore. Such industrialization is creating opportunities for broad-basing the growth of ancillary and downstream industries in the State.

Out of the 50 Steel Companies, 30 Companies have commenced partial production. Besides, one Aluminium, two Power, one Auto Ancillary and one Cement Industry have also commenced partial commercial production. These industries have created employment for more than 89,340 persons.

Petroleum, Chemicals & Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) with an investment of Rs. 2,77,734 crore within an area of 284.15 sq.kms. is going to be established at Paradeep covering the districts of Kendrapara for which the Government of India has already accorded approval. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in IDCO is formed for implementing the projects. MoU ha already been signed between Government of India and Government of Odisha in this regard.

Infrastructure Development

Government is in the process of formulating a robust public- private-partnership (PPP) policy to promote private investments in infrastructure development. Some successful efforts to initiate PPP projects include Paradeep Haridaspur Railway Link, Dhamra Port and Gopalpur Port etc. The state has already taken the initiative of promoting Special Economic Zones (SEZs) for attracting exports oriented industries and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).


Roads : Government has made significant efforts for building roads and bridges with a view to strengthen road infrastructural facilities in the State with special focus on backward regions. Government has completed 149 Roads and 120 Bridge Projects under RIDF till the end of 2010-11 and during the year 2011-12,1 bridge and 11 road projects have been completed in addition to improvement works in 152 kms. of road in different stretches. 8 No. of road projects out of 9 have been completed under Economic Importance Scheme.

Rails : Odisha is well connected with the national rail network. It has rail lines of 2339 km. including 91 km narrow gauge. The Odisha railway network is a part of the East Coast Railways, which is the largest carrier of commercial load in both freight as well as passenger traffic in the country.

Aviation:The expansion and modernization of Bhubaneswar airport is in progress. Direct link is available from Bhubaneswar to places like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. There are 13 airstrips and 16 helipads at different places in the state for landing of state Government aircrafts and helicopters.

Ports : Government is taking steps to develop modern all weather deep sea ports at the potential port sites to give impetus to maritime trade & port based industries. Dhamra Port, which has been developed in PPP mode has started its commercial operation during this year.

Fairs and Festivals

The state of Orissa is considered unique apart from other states of India due to a reason, i.e., here people celebrate more than 13 festivals in twelve months. The festivals of Orissa are designed in such a manner that it has relevance with science, spiritualism, history, mythology etc. One of the most amazing acts is that festivals and fairs of Orissa differ from one region to another. This also means that every festival is uniquely celebrated and makes the Oriya bonding even tighter. In the temple of Lord Jagannath many festivals and fairs are celebrated where people of each caste, color and creed get a chance to participate. It is the Jagannath cult, which has shown the seeds fellow-feeling, not only in the soil of Orissa but also in soil of India. Through a number of fairs and festivals, Orissa gets a chance to extend its hands to human society for brotherhood, because Orissa soil believes in "Vasudheiba Kutumbakam".


 A new Tourism Policy is being formulated by the Government aiming at strengthening the tourism prospects of Odisha, increasing private sector participation, augmenting tourism infrastructure and improving marketing and promotion of Odisha Tourism.

To further enhance the security of the tourists, Government has created a separate wing called tourist policy and deployed them at Sea Beach at Puri, Konark and Gopalpur. Tourist Police cells have also been created in Golden Triangle and Diamond Triangle.

To promote Odisha Tourism in the international tourism market and to establish a direct relationship with leading tour and hospitality agencies from India & abroad, Odisha Tourism and participated in Pata, New Delhi, ITB-Asia t Singapore and WTM London.

Considering the tourism potential of Odisha, Government has identified tourism as one of the focused areas of development. 320 places have so far been identified as tourist centres. Steps have been taken to make Odisha a most preferred tourist destination and place it prominently on the National and INternational Tourist Map.

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