Why the Name is Orissa
The Greek writers refer the people called 'Oretes', the sanskrit equivalent is 'Odras'. Oretas as the inhabitants of the territory where stood the mount Maleous. The mount Maleous hill considered to be no other than the Malyavana or Malaya hill near modern Pallahara in Dhenkanal district of Orissa. The epics and the Purans make us believe that the Odra land existed as early as the time of the Mahabharata war.
The Greek oretes and Sanskrit odras seemed to have been suggested by the term 'Or' or 'Orua' meaning rice. In Greek 'Oruza' means rice and Oruza is a loan word in greek from some oriental source. The 'Oretes' or 'Odra' people may therefore mean either the rice eating or rice growing people. The Gajapati king Kapileswaradeva declared in his proclamation of 1436 A.D. inscribed on the walls of the Sri Jagannath Temple, Puri and Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswara that the territory over which he was ruling was named as 'Odisa rajya'.
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