- Area: 155820 km sq
- Altitude: 3000 feet
- Geographical Location: 20.15°N 85.50°E
- Climate: hot summers cool winters
- Rainfall: 150cm
- Primary Rainy season: July to September
- Temperatures: 3-46c
- Language: Odia, Hindi and English
- Population: 36706920
Vibrant culture in the captivating state of Orissa is complimented by an unrivalled architectural pedigree.
Orissa is celebrated for its great history, the link to powerful deities, amazing stone carvings and a stunning web of tribal people that maintain a steadfast link to traditions some of which predate the greatest empires of the subcontinent.
Bordering on the Bay of Bengal the eastern side of the state is more prosperous with many tourist locations and religious places. The western side of the state contains large amounts of iron ore and several other minerals that are set to lead to the industrialization of the western side of Orissa.
While there has never been any large scale violence in Orissa and it is very tolerant and accepting of other cultures it is worth noting that especially in the tribal areas the people here have been isolated from mainstream India. Be warned that the people here in Orissa especially in the west of the state can be unaware of outside mannerisms from the urban world.
The official language of Orissa is Oriya (Odia) although many people understand Hindi and English. The state of Orissa has an exquisite history which doesn’t stop at the temples that dot the entire state with the capital city set in Bhubaneswar. Odissi one of the famous classical dances of India originated in Orissa.
Due to the presence of the three major religions in India- Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism which have intermingled for centuries and come out with the result of Orissa culture. This coupled with the culture of the Adivasi tribal people of India and the original inhabitant’s means a rich cultural heritage that is somewhat unique to much of India.
Tourism in Orissa
Temples are a huge attraction in Orissa. The temples in Orissa are of immense importance due to their following the Indo Aryan Nagara style of architecture. For some great examples of this work we suggest visiting Lingaraja temple, Jagannath Temple and Sun temple in Bhubaneshwar, Puri and Konark, while on your vacation in Orissa.
Orissa is also known for being a well known Buddhist and Jain pilgrimage center. The Buddhist relics at Cuttack and the ruins at three hilltop complexes known as Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves are the best representations of Buddhism up until and well into the 13th century.
Orissa is a state of a varied topography which included the Eastern Ghats and river basins. Bhitarkanika National park is famous for having the second largest mangrove eco-system supporting a rich and varied niche system.
Orissa holds the record for being home to the Hirakud Dam which is the longest earthen dam in the world.
Shop till you drop in Orissa
Well known for its handicrafts Orissa is great if you want to buy souvenirs and gifts. Saris in handspun cotton and silk with traditional Buddhist or Hindu designs on them are a specialty here. Filigree work in silver is also popular which you will find in Kataka, you will also find amazing tribal work in brass and other metal wire. Pattachitra is a traditional painting on a palm leaf or raw silk.