Overview of Orissa
Orissa is a beautiful state which is located on the east coast of India. Orissa is the new and modern name of the ancient Kalinga kingdom which was invaded by Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC which triggered a turning point in Emperor Ashoka's life as he was highly disappointed to see the bloodshed in the famous battle of Kalinga in which he was involved. This inspired Ashoka to resort to Buddhism to search inner peace for his soul. Orissa was established on April 1st 1936 as a province and today the day is marked as Utkal Divas (Orissa Day).
Orissa today is the ninth largest state of India in terms of area and the eleventh largest state of the country in terms of population.Oriya is predominant and official language of the state though people speaking other languages also stay in the state. Orissa has got an impressive coastline which is almost 500 km long. In spite of the elaborate coastline the state lacks good ports except the Paradeep Port. The coastal part of the state is an important part of the economy as it supports a major part of population though fisheries, tourism etc. The interior part of the state has a lot of mountain ranges, with Deomali at 1672 m being the highest point of the state.
Orissa is a state which has been witness to several intense cyclones with the super cyclone that hit the state in October 1999 being the most devastating one causing over 10,000 deaths.
Hirakud Dam is in Orissa and is one of the longest dams in the world. Orissa has been known over the years for its rich cultural heritage and wonderful tourist destinations. Some of the popular tourist destinations of Orissa are Puri, the abode of Lord Jagannath which is famous for Rath Yatra or the Car Festival and The Sun Temple of Konark. The Lingaraj Temple of Bhubaneswar and the historic Barabati Fort are other wonderful tourist attractions of Orissa.
Orissa has been blessed with natural heritage and and rich culture. Puri, a religious place is renowned for the holy temple of Lord Jagannath and Rath Yatra (Car festival) and is visited by thousands of tourists all round the year. The other attraction of Puri is its beautiful beach which also is an absolute delight for numerous tourists visiting this holy town. Some other important tourist attractions of Orissa are Lingaraja Temple, Nandan Kanan Zoo, Planetarium, Indira Gandhi Park, ISKCON Temple, Utkal University, Museum, Khandagiri, Udayagiri, Dhauli etc. Chilika Lake is another wonderful tourist spot of Orissa known for its picturesque setting and beautiful migratory birds.
Orissa has a rich collection of arts like Tarakashi kama (Silver works) and Pipili for Chandua. Mr Sudarshan Pattnaik, is well known all over the world for his remarkable art of Sand.
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