It was known by various names in different ages and eras. Although it’s early history is uncertain, but there are mentions about it in ancient literatures like Mahabharata and some Puranas. During Kalinga War, King Ashoka conquered this region. There was a time when the Sultanate of Bengal, Marathas and the Britishers also gained control over it. In 1936, the province of Odisha was formed on the basis of populations of Odia-speaking people.
Located in the eastern coast, it is surrounded by the states of West Bengal to the north-east, Jharkhand to the north, Chhattisgarh to the west and north-west, Andhra Pradesh to the south.
Fairs and Festivals
The Mukteswar Dance Festival celebrates the unrivalled charisma of Odissi, the classical dance form of Odisha. Star Odissi dancers tapping their feet to the strokes of the accompanying instruments like mardal mesmerise the audience with their classic attire and graceful movements.
Held in July or August, the Rath Yatra festival also help in increasing tourism. Tourists from around the world visit the Jagannath temple for a glimpse of Lord Jagannath on the chariot. Being able to touch the chariot is considered very auspicious.
The Annual Puri Beach Festival held every November has made this place a favourite haunt for Indian and foreign tourists.
If you are a vegetarian, then you will miss the delicious and authentic Odisha cuisine which consist mainly of meat and seafood. Crab and shrimp are very popular, while chicken and mutton are consumed occasionally. Odisha dishes are Luchi, Chungdi Malai, Crab Kalia, Maccha Ghanta and Bhendi Bhaja. Please note that these dishes are not very spicy.
Best Time To Visit
Between October to March is the time for migratory birds in Orissa. You can have a look at these migratory birds at Chilka Lake and other national parks in Orissa.
How To Reach
It is well-connected by road, air and train. Some highways are getting expanded to four lanes. Plans for metro rail connecting Bhubaneswar and Cuttack is also there.
Similipal, Sambalpur, Rourkela, Phulbani, Jeypore, Dhenkanal, Bhawanipatna, Berhampur, Baripada and Balangir are some of the destinations not to be missed for it’s art, famous temples, silk sarees and nature. If you are a beach lover, then white sands of Puri beach will leave you stunned. The beautiful beach is one of the famous holiday destination for tourists.