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List of State in Central India

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Odisha at a glance

Orissa, officially spelled Odisha, is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. 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 April 1, 1936, as a province in British India and consisted predominantly of Oriya speakers. April 1 is therefore celebrated as Utkala Dibasa (foundation day of Orissa). Cuttack remained the capital of the state for over eight centuries until April 13, 1948 when Bhubaneswar was officially declared as the new capital of Orissa, and still is the present capital of this state.
Orissa 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. Orissa has a relatively unindented coastline 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.

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  • Area 1,55,820 sq km
    Capital Bhubaneswar
    Population 4,19,47,358
    Official Languages Oriya
    Boundary Bordered by the Indian states of Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and the Bay of Bengal in the east.
  • Kalinga Mahotsav

    Kalinga Mahotsav or the National Festival of Martial Dance is celebrated to pay tribute to the Kalinga. It shows the vibrant traditions of martial art of India through dance and music. It is in the essence to mark the victory of peace over war. It took place on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar at Dhauli Shanti Stupa on the 10th and 11th of January this year. This Mahotsav attracts Martial artists from all over India. At this Festival in Odisha (Orissa) you can see live performance of artists from different arts of India like Chhow and Paika from Odisha (Orissa), Kalaripayattu from Kerela, Thang Ta from Manipur. In this Mahotsav artists shows their skills with sticks, swords and various acrobatics concentrating their mind and body.

  • Konark Dance Festival

    The Konark dance festival is organized by eminent Odissi guru Gangadhar Pradhan's Odisha (Orissa) Dance Academy in association with the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, Kolkata at Konark Natya Mandap in Konark. As the sun sets, the open air auditorium gains life in the form of musical beats and rhythmic movements under the star lit sky. With the poem in stone at the backdrop, the festival proves to be a true cultural feast. A celebration of Odissi, Bharathnatyam, Manipuri, Kathak and Chau Dances; the festival truly comes as a lavish feast for the eyes and ears. The sound of Ghungroo bells, flute and Pakhauj add on to the festive mood.

  • Puri Beach Festival

    As its very name suggests, the Puri Beach Festival is held on a beautiful beach namely Sea Beach, Swargadwara at Puri and comes as a celebration of the beauteous and splendid Oriya spirit. Being a festival of various classical and folk dances of India, this festival offers a unique opportunity to the visitors to interact with the local populace and enjoy the bountiful charms of Odisha (Orissa). The festival is also marked by an exhibition of Handicrafts, Handloom and Sand Art. To add more fun to the festival, events like fashion shows and rock shows are also made a part of it that leaves every present soul extremely happy and delighted.

  • Rath Yatra

    Also known as Car Festival, this spectacular Chariot Festival is celebrated in the month of Asadha, on the second day of the lunar fortnight that falls during June-July. Popularly known as Rath Yatra, this festival is celebrated in the honor of Lord Jagannath who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. On the day of the festival, the wooden idols of Krishna, Balrama and Subhadra are taken out in procession in three chariots to their summer temple for a week. The main chariot is 14 meters high and 10 meters square with 16 wheels. The actual construction of the carts begins two months before the festival day, on the third day of the bright fortnight of Vaisakha. The ropes of the huge chariots are pulled by millions of devotees. In the ancient times, devotees would occasionally throw themselves in front of the chariot of Sri Jagananath, for it was believed that to be crushed to death under its sixteen wheels was to go straight to heaven. Since Sri Jagannath is a form of Vishnu and Sri Krishna, many of the rituals observed in Puri temple are associated with events in the life of Sri Krishna. Thus, this annual Car Festival represents Sri Krishna's Journey from Gokul to Mathura.

  • Ekamra Utsav

    A lively downtown 15 days festival at Bhubaneswar in early January, Ekamra Utsav is a life time experience for the vacationers. The highlight of the festivities is Mukteswar Dance Festival held on the courtyards of this famed temple where the eminent exponents of Odissi dance enliven the stage with their magical performances. Besides the dance performances, the visitors to Ekamra Utsav are treated to an expo of traditional art and craft, a flower show, a multicultural food court, a heritage walk and the attractive discounts offered by the leading shopping centres to the tourists complement the festival mood. A Half Marathon, the biggest ever in the State, traversing through important intersections of the city will add spice to this year's Utsav.

  • Heritage & Culture

    The reservoir of the handicrafts of Orissa is very large, consisting of numerous items. One of the basic reasons for the existence of such a wide variety of arts and crafts in the state is that it has witnessed the rule of many rulers. Each of them influenced its culture and its arts and crafts. Orissa witnessed a number of changes in its craft galore, from time to time. This has resulted in the plethora of handicrafts, of which the state can be proud today.

    During festivities, artisans are engrossed with the task of making beautiful handicrafts for decoration. This gives them an excellent opportunity to exhibit their talent. It is the artistic work of Odissi people that has brought them in the limelight. Their creations are now recognized worldwide. Infact, the handicrafts of Orissa have opened avenues for trade and commerce with dif

  • Cuisine

    Rice, both sun dried and par-boiled, is the staple food of the people of Orissa. However, in the urban areas, there is a shift in the eating patterns and people are turning towards chapati (wheat bread), as an alternative to rice. The sun-dried rice is usually cooked at the festive occasions. Oriya people also like to consume pakhal, which is basically cooked rice soaked in water, overnight. Typical desserts consist of Chhenapoda, Rasabali (milk preparation), Chhenajhilli and Pitha (cakes).

    Majority of the people of Orissa, a coastal state in India, are non-vegetarian and fish forms an integral part of their traditional cuisine. A distinctive cooking style is followed in the preparation of the dishes. Mouthwatering curries are cooked using different vegetables. Main course consists of rice or chapatti, along with dal, bhaji, bharta (mixed vegetable curry), ambila/sakara (sweet and sour preparation) and dessert. All these eatables are placed on a plate, made from bell metal.

  • Applique Work

    Applique Work is a technique by which the decorative effect is obtained by superposing patches of coloured fabrics on a basic fabric, the edges of the patches being sewn in some form of stitching. It is distinct from what is known as patch work in which small pieces of cut fabrics are usually joined side by side to make a large piece of fabric or for repairing a damaged fabric. The base cloth is usually coloured. Some of the specially prepared motifs have exclusive embroidery work and some have mirror work.

  • Metal Work

    Dhokra or Brass and Bell Metal craft is perhaps the single most important craft in terms of the number of artisans engaged in its practice. The craft is practiced by the people of the Kansari caste while a particular variety, 'dhokra', is practiced mainly by Sithulias. The products of this handicraft can be broadly classified into three groups-items produced through process of beating or 'pifa', those produced by casting and the third group would include the residual items, which consist of mainly the unique flexible brass items like the brass fish and snakes made by the craftsmen of Belguntha in Ganjam district. Dhokra casting, a variety of metal casting is essentially a folk craft and is limited to a few pockets of Orissa. While the lost wax process is followed the raw materials used is not pure brass but contains miscellaneous scraps of other metals which give it is typically antique look. Its motifs are mostly drawn from folk culture. While among the animals, elephant is most popular, the other motifs include human heads, kings, manas or miniature replica of measures, containers with lids, with or without locking devices, images of deities like Ganesh and Durga, and lamps and lampstands, the last being made in several intricate designs in shape of trees and branches with as many as a hundred lamps in one stand.

  • Silver Filigree & Metal Work

    Of all the handicrafts of Orissa the most unique and the finest, in fact the queen among them, is Silver Filigree, locally called tarakasi. The craft is localised at Cuttack town and a few villages in Cuttack district. The process consists of drawing silver through a series of consecutively smaller holes to produce fine strands of wire. These wires are then made into various shapes by deft hands of the craftsmen by bending them into different designs and soldering them with pincer and scissors. The silver filigree and other silver items have, like other handicrafts, a very important socio-cultural function. The child's first solid food, usually a sweet dish of rice, kheer, is served in a silver bowl in a function known as anna prasana. The bride too is usually presented a set of silver dishes which is reserved for offering food to the deities during religious festivals. Many temples have a set of silver ornaments for the presiding deities including silver crowns which are used on ceremonial occasions. Silver filigree has been an important export items of Orissa from ancient times.

  • Stone Work

    Stone carving is a major handicraft of Orissa. As is evident from the innumerable archaeological monuments, rock-cut sculptures, caves and temples, the art of carving in stone had reached in Orissa dizzy heights of excellence perfected through centuries of disciplined efforts of generations of artisans. Unlike sculptors of other places, the artisans of Orissa are at home with a variety of materials. They handle with equal facility the ultra soft white soap stone, or 'Khadipathara', as the slightly harder greenish chlorite or 'Kochilapathara' and the still harder pinkish Khandolite or 'Sahanapathara' or 'Baulapathara' and the hardest of all black granite or 'mugunipathara'. The craftsmen making these articles are concentrated at Baulagadia and Nilgiri.

  • Wood Work

    Wood carving is another important handicraft of Orissa. This again can be broadly grouped into three sub-groups-painted wood carvings, plain wood carvings and wood turned items. In the first group we have painted wooden toys of Puri and Bargarh masks, and idols and chariot decorations. Usually light varieties of wood are preferred and vegetable and mineral colours are used. The plain wood carvings are mostly done on a soft creamish wood called gambhari or white teak. This variety of wood carving is mostly practiced in Cuttack town though a few craftsmen are also found at Bhubaneswar and Puri. Wood turned articles using the creamish 'gambhari' and the harder and darker sisu or rose wood is a specialty of the artisans from Daspalla area in Puri district. Popular items are small pitchers with mango leaves and coconut, glass, bowls, and incense stands.

  • Horn Work

    Horn articles of Orissa are mystical and are blended with a superb fashion design. Lacquer Work is yet another form of handicraft Odisa is famous for.

  • Textile Work

    Ikat - that gloriously woven, blurry edged, gemcoloured design, in gorgeous yarns of silk and cotton has become synonymous with Orissa. Speaking eloquently of its old maritime linkages with Bali, the Ikat tradition of Orissa is the intricate process of Tie and Dye i.e., knotting selections of yarn before dipping them in separate colours one at a time and finally weaving them to produce one of the most delightful designs in multi-hued tones, in motifs drawn from the richness of nature, in threads both silken and gold. The double-ikat designs from Sambalpur are great buys as are the gold embroidered ones from Sonepur. The Bomkai ikats have motifs drawn from the Shakti Cult.

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