Situated on the coast along the Bay of Bengal, Orissa stands for its ancient glory and modern endeavour. Endowed with nature's bounty, a 482 km stretch of coastline with virgin beaches, serpentine rivers, mighty waterfalls, forest-clad blue hills of Eastern Ghats with rich wild life, Orissa is dotted with exquisite temples, historic monuments as well as pieces of modern engineering feat. The land, while retaining its pristine glory, also offers the visitors modern amenities.
Places to See in Orissa
Bhubaneshwar || Cuttack || Jeypore || Konark || Puri || Rourkela
Barehipani & Joranda Falls: These picturesque falls (Barehipani - 399 metres and Joranda - 150 metres) situated in the core area of Simlipal National Park are perfectly complementary to their surroundings and are a beautiful bonus to the visitors of the sanctuary.
Orissa People & Lifestyle
Ancient Orissa was a confluence of racial streams. History tells us that the Aryans entered Orissa from the north-east, subjugated the primitive people living there and imposed on them their language and culture. The story could not be so simple; for the people then living in the land were not perhaps all of the primitive type, nor were they subjugated culturally. What might have happened in all Probability was a racial and cultural amalgamation.
One of the greatest benefits of Orissa ‘s vast expanses of unspoilt natural landscape has been its ability to offer a protected yet natural habitat to the state’s incredible wildlife.There are many wildlife sancturies which are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna ,bird life reptiles and water creatures.Some of the most important experiments of wildlife conservation are taking place in these natural habitat, giving the tourists an excellent opportunity to see nature’s bounty,propagated .
Orissa Buddhist Temples
Dhauli The rock outcropping on Dhauli hill at the bank of the river Daya, is a little away from the main road as one drives 8 km south of Bhubaneswar. It is the site of a set of rock edicts left by the Indian emperor Ashoka in about 260 BC.
Orissa Art & Craft
Orissa boasts of a long and rich cultural heritage. Due to the reigns of many different rulers in the past, the culture, arts and crafts of the state underwent many changes, imitations, assimilations and new creations, from time to time. The artistic skill of the Orissan artists is unsurpassable in the world. The discovery that traditional artists still live and work throughout Orissa, producing various objects in many media, is an exciting part of any visit to the state.
Not only does the bracing and invigorating climate of Orissa add freshness to the soul, its beaches too add a slice of serenity in environs that are conducive to introspection and conviviality. Orissa has such beaches where the waves speak volumes. One can spend hours soaking in the sun, surfing or just frolicing in the lovely blue waters.
Orissa Jain Temples
Just 7 kms west of Bhubaneswar are the twin hills of Khandagiri and Udaygiri, the next major Orissan historical monument after Ashoka's rock-cut edict. The rocks of the Khandagiri and Udaygiri hills were carved and tunneled, to create this multi-storied ancient apartment residence for Jain monks. They were the work of the first known Orissan ruler, King Kharavela, and probably begun in the first century BC.
Orissa Dance & Music
Orissa has a glorious tradition of music.The figures or dancers musicians Carved on ancient temple walls speak of Orissa's rich musical heritage. There were saint-poets of Orissa who composed lyrical poems to be sung. Bards usually went from place to place singing these songs which were meant to propagate religious ideas in various religious. instructions were usually given by the poet himself as to how the lyric was to be sung, i.e. the raga or tune to be employed and the tala or beat scheme to be followed.
Orissa Picnic Spots
Darjeeng Scenic Spot: 51 kms from Rourkela, on the banks of the river Bramhini, is another of Orissa's beautiful picnic spots. The presence of the picturesque Deodhar Gorge about 2 kms from Darjeeng is an added attraction.
Orissa Hindu Temples
Puri Jagannath Temple: The temple of Lord Jagannath ('Lord of the Universe') at Puri is one of the most sacred pilgrimage spots in India, one of the four abodes (dhamas) of the divine that lie on the four directions of the compass. The present temple structure was built in the twelfth century by the Ganga king, Chodagangadeva, replacing an earlier structure which probably dated to the tenth century.
Orissa Fairs & Festivals
Orissa being a land of ancient and sacred temples, and a state where three religions flourished, is thronged by pilgrims throughout the year. There are a large number of fairs and festivals celebrated in the state. There are festivals relating to each religion, tribal festivals, festivals relating to Lord Jagannath, the presiding deity of the Puri Temple, and many seasonal exhibitions and fairs as well as special festivals such as the Konark Dance Festival, the Rajarani Music Festival, the Puri Beach Festival etc.
Orissa is a thickly tribal inhabited state, consisting of sixtytwo tribes living in different parts of the state - in the highlands, forests, valleys and in the foot hills. They make their own traditional ethnic cottage and live in it. In order to proclaim the self identity intra groupwise, socially and culturally different tribes live in different places. Each tribal community has separate mode of living and they differ significantly in their dress, ornaments, skill in building houses, and moreover in their way of life. This difference in their life is clearly decernible from their material culture, art objects from the paintings and drawings and also from the size and shapes of different objects that they use. To the tribals, dress is a cultural need and it is also a part of their tradition.
Chilka Lake: Just south of Puri, the sea mixes in with the 1100 sq.km inland Chilika Lake to create the largest brackish water lake in Asia. These shallow waters enclose an immense area of marshes, lowlands, and islands. There are more than 160 varieties of fish, and, in the winter season (from November through March), the area is home to hundreds of thousands of migratory birds as well.
Orissa' is famous for her handicrafts which exhibit the skill and creativity of her artisans. Her brass work, silver work, terracotta art objects, and applique work are unique examples of artistic excellence.
In India there is an amalgam of 437 tribes, and in Orissa the number is sixty two. According to 1991 Census, in Orissa the total strength of tribal population is approximately seven million which constitutes 22.21% of the total population of the State.
Culture of Orissa Tribals
Orissa occupies an unique position in the ethnographic map of India for having the largest variety of tribal communities.Although they are found in all the districts of the State, yet more than half of their total strength are found in the districts of Koraput, Rayagada, Naurangpur, Malkangiri, Kalahandi, Nauapara, Kandhamal, Baudh, Keonjhar, Sundargarh and Mayurbhanj.