Odisha (formerly Orissa), an eastern Indian state on the Bay of Bengal, is known for its tribal cultures and its many ancient Hindu temples. The capital, Bhubaneswar, is home to hundreds of temples, notably the intricately-carved Mukteshvara. The Lingaraj Temple complex, dating to the 11th century, is set around sacred Bindusagar Lake. The Odisha State Museum is focused on the area’s history and environment.
Odisha is one of the States of India.It is located between the parallels of 17.49'N and 22.34'N latitudes and meridians of 81.27'E and 87.29'E longitudes. It is bounded by the Bay of Bengal on the east; Madhya Pradesh on the west and Andhra Pradesh on the south. It has a coast line of about 450 kms. It extends over an area of 155,707 square kms. Accounting about 4.87 of the total area of India. According to the 1991 census, it has a total population of 31,512,070 (3.73 percent of the total population of India) out of which about 16,237,000 are male and 15,275,070 are female. Odisha (formerly Orissa), an eastern Indian state on the Bay of Bengal formed a part of the ancient Kalinga of Mahabharat fame. Ashok the Mauryan King of Magadh, invaded Kalinga in 261 BC and this event has gone down in history as the Great Kalinga war. The capital, Bhubaneswar, is home to hundreds of temples, notably the Nagara-style Mukteswar and the Lingaraj, both built in the 11th century and set around sacred Bindusagar Lake. The country of Kalinga was conquered when King Priyadarshan, beloved of the Gods had been anointed eight years. One hundred and fifty thousand were there from captured, one hundred thousand were there slain, and many times as many died. The ancient state rose to prominence as a Kingdom under Kharavela , a great conquerer and patron of Jainism, in the second half of the Ist century B.C. Other great rulers belonged to the Keshari dynasty and the Eastern Ganga dynasty who were also great builders. At one time the vast kingdom spanned from Ganga to Godavari. The flourishing maritime trade with South-East Asian countries i.e. Java, Bornio had brought in a golden era of affluence and opulence. The Kalinga School of architecture flourished from the 7th to 13th century A.D. The most important monuments of this period can be seen in and around Bhubaneswar and Puri. The Mukteswar Temple is the finest piece of architecture of Kalinga. The Lingaraj Temple of Bhubaneswar, the Jagannath Temple of Puri above all the world renowned world heritage Sun Temple at Konark is the epitome of temple architecture and sculpture. The construction of Konark Temple utilized 12 years of state revenue which can be compared to the mighty Moghul Empire, which also utilized its resources of 12 years for building world famous Taj Mahal. It has also shown its military strength and prowess during Buxi Jagabandhu, period of the warrior of Khurda Paikas. The glories of Odisha ended in later half of 16th century. Two centuries later the British administered the final blows by dividing the original territory in to several administrative units. In 1936, ultimately an independent state Odisha was constituted as a separate province by carving out certain portions from the provinces of Bihar, Odisha and Madras. As centuries rolled by, Odisha continued to invite heros, Scholars and prophets alike. Famous Kings like Samudra Gupta and Harsha Siladitya came to Odisha on political missions while scholars like Prajna and Hieuen-Tsang came to learn at centers of learning. Hieuen-Tsang, the famous Chinese pilgrim of the 7th century who visited Odisha was surprised to see the University of Puspagiri imparting knowledge to innumerable scholars now lying buried under Buddhist complex at Ratnagiri-Lalitgiri-Udayagiri. Various prophets visited Odisha, the significant among those visits is the visit of Adi Sankaracharya in 9th century to Puri to make it a center of his mission and a towering citadel of his spiritual ideology & message. He established four monasteries in four corners of Indian Peninsula out of which The Gobardhan Pitha of Puri was one of the most significant. Another Great Saint Ramanujacharya, the propounder of Visista Dwaita philosophy also visited Puri and established the Emar Matha. In the same century Jayadev composed his world famous lilting treatise Gita Govinda. Subsequently in 16th century Sri Chaitanya, the exponent of the Bhakti Cult came to Odisha and made Puri his abode for last 18 years of his life. His contemporary Pancha Sakha i.e. Sri Jagannath Das, Sri Achyutananda Das, Sri Balaram Das, Ananta & Yasobanta were spiritual stalwarts and literary luminaries of the time. Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja, Kabi Surya Baladev Ratha, Radhanath Ray, Fakir Mohan Senapati, Pandit Gopabandhu Dash, Pandit Nilakantha Das, Godabaris Mishra, Kalandi Charan Panigrahi, Sachidananda Routray & many others have contributed substantially to the language & literature of Odisha. Utkal Gaurav Madhusudan Das was the architect of Modern Odisha and subsequently Sri Nabakrushna Chowdhury, Dr. Harekrishna Mahatab, Sri Bijayananda Patnaik & others engineered their best efforts for catapulting Odisha to himalayan heights of fame & glory. In fact, Odisha has become a multi dimensional, multi coloured, many splendoured, vibrant & boisterous modern state all set on its journey in the present millenium to make its presence and voice felt in the nooks & crannies of the world through the Universal Cult of brotherhood, its unique cultural heritage, luxuriant forests & wild life, sprawling Chilika Lake, bountiful coastline, wide range of tribes & colourful canvass of art & culture. Odisha has been resurgent again rejuvenating and resuscitating its ancient glory, glamour & greatness.
There are four groups of rivers which flow through Odisha into the Bay of Bengal (Table-2). They are :
(i) Rivers that have a source outside the State (the Subarnarekha, the Brahmani and the Mahanadi).
(ii) Rivers having a source inside the State(the Budhabalanga, the Baitarini, the Salandi, and the Rushikulya).
(iii) Rivers having a source inside the Odisha, but flow through other states (the Bahudu, the Vansadhara, and the Nagavali).
(iv) Rivers having a source inside Odisha, but tributary to rivers which flow through other states (the Machkund, the Sileru, the Kolab, and the Indravati).
It is the major river of Odisha and the sixth largest river in India. It originates from the Amarkantak hills of the Bastar Plateau in Raipur district of Madhya Pradesh. It is about 857 kms. Long (494 kms. In Odisha) and its catchment area spreads over 141,600 sq.kms. (65,580sq.kms.) in Odisha). The river carries on an average about 92,600 million m of water.
It is the second largest river in Odisha. It originates as two major rivers like the Sankh and the Koel from the Chhotanagpur Plateau of Bihar and both join at veda Vyasa near Rourkela of Sundargarh district of Odisha forming the major River Brahmani. It flows through the Easter Ghats in Sundargarh, Kendujhar, Dhenkanal, Cuttack and Jajpur districts into the Coastal Plains and enters into the Bay of Bengal along with a combined mouth with the Mahanadi known as the Dhamra. The Brahmani is 799 kms. Long (541 kms. In Odisha) and its catchment area spreads over 39,033 sq.kms. in Odisha).
It originates from the Gonasika hills of the keonjhar districts. It is 365 kms long and its catchment area spread over 12,790 sq. kms . It entres into the Bay of Bengal after joining of the Brahmani at Dharma mouth near Chandabali Subarnrekha.
It orginates from the Chhotnagpur plateau of Bihar. It is 433kms (70kms in Odisha ) and has a catchment area of 19,500 kms (3,200kms in Odisha ) with a mean annual flow of 7,900 million n.
It orginates from the easterns slops of the Similipala massif. It is about 175 kms long having a total catchment area of 4840 sq. kms with an annual flow of 2177 million m . It is major tributaries are the Sone, the Gangadhar, the Catra etc.
It originates from the Rushyamala hills of the eastern ghats in Phulbani district. It is 165 kms long with 8900 sq. kms of catchment areas. It's tributaries are the Baghua the Dhanei Badanadi etc. It has no delta at its mouth.
It originates from the Ramgiri hills of the eastern ghats in Gajapati districts and joins the bay of Bengal in Andhra Pradesh . Its length 73 kms having a catchment area of 1250 sq. kms .
It originates from the Flanks of the Durgakangar hills (Lingaraj hills) of the eastern ghats in Kalahandi districts. It is 230 kms long out of which only 150 kms in Odisha. It entres in to the Bay of Bengal at Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. It has a catchment area of 11500 sq. kms .
It originates from the Bijipur Hills of the eastern ghats near Lanji garah . It is 210 kms long out of which 100 kms is in Odisha. It has a total catchment area of about 9410 sq. kms.
It originates from the Meghasani Hills of the Similipal massif in Keonjhar district. It is 144 kms long with a catchment areas of 1793 sq. kms .
It originates from the eastern ghats in Kalahandi districts. It is 530 kms long with a catchment area of 41700 sq. kms as a tributary it flows into the Godabari river.
It originates from the Sinkaran hills of the eastern Ghats in koraput districts. It has catchment areas of 20400 sq. kms .
There are a number of Mountain springs and hotspring in Odisha. The Badaghagara and Sanaghagara in Keonjhar districts Satpasajya in Denkanal districts the Chandikhole in Cuttack distrcts the Barunei in Khorda distrcts, the Narayani and Nirmalajhar in Ganjam and Puri districts, the Patalaganga in Kalahandi districts, the Nursinghanath in Sambalpur distrcts and the Harisankar in Bolangir distrcts and some of the important mountain springs in Odisha .
Most of the rivers, either at the point of origin or over the mountainous bed, have waterfalls. The Barehipani and Joranda (Similipal ) in Mayurbhanja districts, Sanaghagara and Badaghagara in Keonjhar district Padhanpuri in Deogarh district khandadhar (Banei) in Sundargarh district Phurlijharan, Khandabaladhar, and Rabandhara in Kalahandi district Kentamari and Putudi in Boudh and Phulbani district DumDuma in Malkangiri district and Bogra in Koraput district are some of the major waterfalls of Odisha.
The Chillika Lake is blakish water lagoon located in the southern part of the Odisha coastal plane. It areas varies 780 sq. kms and 144 sq. kms from winter two monsson months having 71 kms long 32 kms breadth. It salinity decleans to a minimum during the monsson. But in winter due to the overflow of the tidal water through the narrow opening from the Bay of Bengal, it is maximum.
Ansupa is a sweet water lake located in Banki of Cuttack districts. It is 3 kms in lengh and 1.5 kms in breadth. Sara is another sweet water lake located near Puri. It is 5 kms in length and 3 kms in breadth. Kanjia is another sweet water lake with about 134 acres of area located in Nandankanan of Cuttack districts near Bhubaneswar.
Bihar became the first state in India to have separate web page for every city and village in the state on its website www.brandbihar.com (Now www.brandbharat.com)
See the record in Limca Book of Records 2012 on Page No. 217