80 Interesting Facts About Odisha

Facts About Odisha: Odisha (Orissa) is a state on the east coast of India. Odisha is bordered by Jharkhand, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Its capital is Bhubaneswar. Odisha is 30 km to its east. Has a long sea shore. The state of Odisha is famous for its temples, especially the temples at Puri and Konark.

In ancient times this state was known as Kalinga state. The kingdom was invaded by King Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty in 61 BC and the historic battle of Kalinga took place here.

The modern state of Odisha was established on 1 April 19 in British India. Oriya-speaking areas were included in the state. In Odisha, April 1 is celebrated as "Utkal Dibas (Day)" as the founding day. The state is included in the national anthem of India as "Utkal". Cuttack remained the capital of Odisha for the first 5 years. The capital of Odisha was shifted to Bhubaneswar after 14 April.

Odisha is the 7th largest state in India in terms of area. Odisha ranks 11th in terms of population. Oriya is the most widely spoken language in the state, spoken by almost a quarter of the population.

80 Interesting Facts About Odisha

Amazing Facts About Odisha

  • Odissi is the famous classical dance of the state.
  • Bhuban in Dhenkanal is the largest village in Asia.
  • Odisha hosts the world’s largest open air theatre – Dhanu Yatra.
  • Subarnarekha and Budhabalanga are the important seasonal rivers.
  • Deomali is the highest peak of state with an altitude of 1672 m.
  • Chadya, Dandanata and Chhau are the popular folk dances of Odisha.
  • Odisha was the first state in India to be formed on a linguistic basis.
  • Odisha is drained by three main rivers – Mahanadi, Brahmani and Baitarni.
  • Odisha hosts the largest arribada, the turtle nesting ground, in the world.
  • Paradeep is the major sea port of Odisha. Gopalpur is the all-weather port.
  • Hirakud Dam which is built on Mahanadi river is the fourth largest dam of world.
  • A 23-feet giant Estuarine crocodile in Odisha has been crowned the world’s largest.
  • Odisha – highest producer of hematite ore. Odisha has 25% of Hematite ore of India.
  • Odissi dance, the pride of Odia culture is the oldest surviving dance form of India.
  • DHAMRA, in Bhadrak district is one of the deepest ports of India after Gujurat port.
  • The Sinhala (people of Sri Lanka) are named after Raja Jai Sinha, an ancient Odia king.
  • The ancient name of Odisha was Kalinga which was invaded and plundered by Mauryan King Ashoka.
  • Mayurbhanj is the largest district of Odisha by area. Ganjam district is largest by population.

Cultural Facts About Odisha

  • Lingaraja temple is the most famous tourist place of Bhubaneshwar. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  • The Leaning Temple of Huma, situated near Sambalpur in India is the only leaning temple in the world.
  • Land Revenue System was first started in the district of Ganjam before getting even implemented in India.
  • Odisha became the first state to enact the Lokayukta Bill law after the central act was passed in Parliament.
  • Hirakud Dam, the fourth largest in the world, is situated in Sambalpur. It is the longest earthen dam in Asia.
  • Puri Temple is the only Dhama (pilgrimage) in India where Folk, Shaiva, Sakta, Vaishnaba cult of worship is done.
  • Over 62 distinct tribal groups live in Odisha, each one with its own culture and traditions different from the other.
  • Chilka lake is about 64 Km long and about 20 Km wide. There are two beautiful islands in the lake – Parikud and Malud.
  • In 1936, even before independence, a new province of Orissa was formed by separation from Bihar, on a linguistic basis.
  • As per 113th amendment of Constitution, the name of Orissa was changed to Odisha and language Oriya was changed to Odiya.
  • Odisha borders with 4 states – Jharkhand in north, West Bengal in northeast, Andhra in South West, Chhattisgarh in west.
  • Odisha became the first state in the country to launch special drives to register migrant labourers working in different states
  • Literacy rate of Odisha is 73.4 % which is just below national average of 74.04 %. Odisha is 19th most literate state of India.
  • Jagannath temple in Puri of Odisha is one amongst the Char Dham (pilgrimages) that a Hindu is expected to make in one’s lifetime.

Geographical Facts About Odisha

  • The Chandipur Beach is a hide and seek beach of Odisha that appears and disappears with every high and low tide to approximately 5 kms.
  • Mineral Resources of Odisha – Chromite, Bauxite, Dolomite, graphite, iron-ore, coal, copper, kaolin, lead, quartzite, steatite and tin.
  • Throughout the medieval and British period Cuttack was the capital of Odisha. The capital was changed from Cuttack to Bhubaneshwar in 1948.
  • Odisha is very ancient and the oldest rocks (from Mayurbhanj) date back to 3 billion years (Our planet is believed to be 4.5 billion years old)
  • Largest Brackish Water Lagoon Chilka lake is in Odisha, the largest water body in Asia, has an area of 916 sq km now. It used to be 1,165 sq km.
  • The largest Lion Safari of India and the only White Tiger Safari in the world are located in the Nandankanan Zoological Park of Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
  • Odisha also boasts of being the largest producer of Aluminum and steel. It is also the largest producer of Manganese, Iron ore, Bauxite and Chromite.
  • Puri (Lord Jagannath) is one of the Char Dham (holy places of pilgrimages), other three are Kedarnath in north, Rameswaram in south and Dwarka in west.
  • This region is also known as “Utkal” which is mentioned in National Anthem also. The foundation day of Odisha i.e. 1st April is celebrated as “Utkal Divas”.
  • The Jagannath temple kitchen is reputed to be one of the largest kitchens in the world, with 400 cooks working around 200 hearths to feed over 10,000 people each day.
  • The tiger reserve in Similipal National Park, apart from Royal Bengal Tigers has all the varieties of Orchids in the world. No other place has all the Orchid varieties.

Mysterious Facts About Odisha

  • According to mythology, Mahabharata was written by Lord Ganesha in a place called Vedvyas in Rourkela, which is named after Vedavyasa who was dictating to Lord Ganesha.
  • Wheeler Island, south of Chandipur in Odisha is a place where most of missiles of India are tested such as Akash missile, Agni missile, Prithvi Missile are only some of them.
  • At Puri Jagannath temple kitchen, 7 pots are kept one on top of another and cooked on firewood. In this process the contents in the top pot get cooked first & then the bottom one.
  • The quantity of cooked food inside the Temple remains same for the entire year. But that same quantity of prasadam can feed few thousand people & 20 lakh people, still it won’t get wasted.
  • Odisha state museum is one of the world famous museum for having a wide collection of manuscripts of which Abhinava Gita Govinda dates back to 1496 but the text can date back to 2nd century.
  • The Sambalpuri sari is made from fabric woven on a hand-loom and is one of the most popular throughout India. This became popular when late Prime Minister, Smt. Indira Gandhi started wearing.
  • Odisha police pigeon service started on an experimental basis in 1946 to deliver messages to remote areas of the state. This form of communication was used until very recently, as much as 2008.
  • The main industries are Steel Plant at Rourkela, SAD complex at Chhatarpur, Heavy water project at Talchar, Coach repairing workshop at Mancheswar, HAL at Koraput, Fertilizer plant at Paradeep.
  • Bhubaneswar, the capital city was the home of over 600 magnificent temples in medieval times. It is called the Temple City of India. The only city in the world with such highest number of temples.

Historical Facts About Odisha

  • Chandragupta Maurya was hesitant for 60 long years to attack Kalinga (old name of Odisha) as the Kalinga army of 60,000 managed to annihilate one lakh enemy soldiers, a quarter of the empire’s army.
  • Students across the world were coming to Kaling’s Puspagiri University to aquire knowlede like Nalanda & Takhshila University. This Pushpagiri University was in Jajpur district near Ratnagiri in Odisha.
  • India Surf Festival, a festival organised by like-minded people who combine surfing, yoga, and nature is observed Ramchandi beach, near Puri in Odisha. It is one of the unique festival observed in India.
  • Puri Rath Yatra is internationally famous Rath Yatra in which chariots of Lord Jagannath (Sri Krishna), Balbhadhra(Balram- Krishna’s elder brother) and Subadhra (Krishna’s sister) travels to Gundicha temple.
  • 3.6 billion-year-old zircon containing granite rock formations were found in the Keonjhar district of Odisha. It is evidenced to be the second oldest rock formation in the world after Jack Hills in Australia.
  • Long before Taj Mahal, the Konarka Sun temple was built in an audacious architecture, inside the sea. The breathtaking architecture even in that era is a testimony to the creativity and craftsmanship of Odias.
  • World’s highest electrified track (at a height of 7.45 metres for running of Double Stack Container (DSC) goods trains) is situated at Odisha in Jakhapura-Daitari section. Constructed by East Coast Railway of Odisha.
  • There are about 62 different tribes in Odisha alone, each with their own set of dressing, tradition and languages. The cultural diversity of the tribes is huge, and this has been highlighted in mainstream media in recent years.
  • The dance form Odissi is among the oldest dance forms, and is almost 700 years old. It is performed even today, with very little modification. It is intricately connected to temple worship and is mentioned in many ancient texts.
  • Shanti Stupa at Dhauligiri is a place where the great king, Ashoka laid the foundation when he witnessed the darkest side of Kalinga war after seeing the river Daya turning red due to bloodbath and became the propagator of peace.

Economic Facts About Odisha

  • Rourkela Steel Plant is the first ever integrated steel plant under public sector which came into existence in 1954 – 55. It had an installed capacity of 1 million tonnes in 1966. Initially it was known as Hindustan Steel Limited.
  • Odisha hosts India Surf Festival at Ramachandi Beach in Puri every year. It has massive international participation and an array of activities. It themes around spiritual surfing through various activities like boardsport, yoga, music and dance.
  • Agricultural Products of Odisha – Rice, pulses, oil seeds, jute, mesta, coconut and turmeric. Sugarcane is important cash crop of Odisha. 64% of population is dependent on agriculture. The state contributes one-tenth of rice production of India.
  • Odisha is popular for having 3 mass nesting beaches of rare Olive Ridley Sea Turtles including world’s largest nesting ground of Olive Ridley Sea Turtle, Lepidochelys Olivacea. Largest wetland of Asia (Chilika) now designated as a Ramsar site in Odisha.
  • Every year, the city of Bargarh and the adjoining areas turn into the largest open-air-theatre, known as the Dhanu Jatra. The enactment of Krishna Leela from his birth to killing Kansa attracts a lot of devotees from across the state as well as the country.
  • The Chandipur Beach of Balasore is famously nicknamed as the “hide and seek beach”. This is because during low tide, the water recedes up to 5 kilometres every day only to return during the high tides. This marvelous phenomenon is rarely seen anywhere else in the world.
  • The Paika Rebellion (1817) of Odisha can be considered as the first organized struggle for Independence from the British Raj. It was organised by Bakshi Jagabandhu, the highest-ranking army officer working for Gajapati Mukund Dev, in an attempt to take back their homeland.
  • World’s largest egg, with approximate dimension of 13 inches and width of 9.5 inches is of the gigantic herbivorous flightless elephant bird (zoologically termed as Aepyornis maximus) that lived last till 1650 AD, is preserved at Regional Museum of Natural History, Bhubaneswar.
  • Located in Huma on the bank of Mahanadi, this temple is dedicated to the Hindu God, Lord Shiva (worshipped as Bimaleshwar). The reason of this tilt may be flooding or earthquake, or it might be intentional planning. However, the tilt of the temple has not been measured yet at any time.
  • Konark temple, built in 13th century, has 12 pair of wheels (24 wheels representing 24 hours) which are uniquely designed and has scientific significance. One can calculate the precise time of the day by just looking at the shadow cast by these 8 spokes signifying prahars (3 hour period).
  • Chilka lake is the biggest and most famous Brackish water (partial saline) lagoon. This is India’s biggest and World’s second biggest coastal lagoon. { Sambhar salt lake near Jaipur is the biggest saline lake of India, Wular lake of Kashmir is the biggest fresh water lake of India and Asia}
  • Situated merely 15 kilometres away from Sambalpur, this massive structure, which was inaugurated in 1957, stretches to 26 kilometres in length. It is a composite structure of earth, concrete and stonework that stretches across the river Mahanadi. It also boasts of being the biggest artificial lake in Asia.
  • Konark is famous for great temple of Sun god. The temple is of the shape of huge charriot with 24 carved wheels, drawn by seven horses. It is also called as Black Pagoda while Puri Jagannath temple is called White Pagoda. It is designed in such a fashion that first Sun rays falls on the main entrance of temple. It was built in 13th century by king Narsimhadeva I. This temple is also known for its erotic sculptures.
  • Mahaprasad, the devotional food-offerings to Lord Jagannath, is cooked in the largest functioning kitchen amidst the temple premises of the Puri Jagannath Temple, and is enough to feed lakhs of devotees every day. It somehow never goes to waste even though the same proportion of food is cooked every day. Interestingly enough, 7 pots are placed one over another but the food in the topmost one gets coooked before the lower ones.
  • “Bara masa re 13 jata”(2 months and 13 festivals) is not just another saying in Odia, but it is a fact that holds true for the festive land of Odisha. It essentially means that there are more festivities in the state than there are months in the year. These festivals revolve around the central deity of the state, Lord Jagannath and his various “leelas”. Each of these festivals has a lot of significance in Odia culture and lifestyle.
  • Located offshore, Abdul Kalam Island, previously known as Wheeler Island was granted for missile testing in 1993 by Biju Patnaik on request of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam himself. It started with testing of the Prithvi Missile in an uninhabited Wheeler island in November 1993. Since then, the missiles Akash, Agni, Astra, BrahMos, Nirbhay, Prahaar, Prithvi, Shaurya, Advanced Air Defence and Prithvi Air Defence have been successfully tested ever since.

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