Utkala Dibasa: Lesser known facts about Odisha

 The land that celebrates diversities in true sense. The land that boasts a rich cultural heritage and calendars more festivals than months in a year.  That’s the glorious Odisha!

With constant transformation from an ancient province of Mauriyan empire to the modern Odisha, the land has never lost its essence of socio-cultural magnificence.

Earlier a province of Bihar, Odisha separated into an independent state on April 1, 1936.  To celebrate the united spirits of Odias, this day has been celebrated as Odisha Foundation Day or Utkala Dibasa ever since.

But how well do you know the history of this land?

Here are some lesser known facts about Odisha:

  1. It was initially named ‘Utkala’ as, justifying the Sanskrit term, it was a land of majestic art and crafts where some of the finest artisans settled down.
  2. Around 2000 years ago, the land was home to tribes of civilized, urbanized and cultured people, who resided in Kalahandi, Balangir and Koraput regions with Asurgarh as their capital. This was way before Odisha became the core of Samrat Ashoka’s Kalinga.
  3. The land is mentioned in Ramayan and Mahanbharata as Kantara which altogether included Kalahandi, Koraput and Bastara.
  4. Records from 4th century point out that Odisha, the then ‘Indravana’ was a vessel of precious stones and gems of the Mauryan empire.
  5. After separation from Bihar, Odisha became the first independent state that was formed on linguistic basis.
  6. Newly formed Odisha had six districts- Cuttack, Puri, Baleswar, Sambalpur, Koraput and Ganjam.
  7. It was established at Kanika Palace in Cuttack.
  8. John Austin Hubback became the first Governor of the independent province of Odisha.
  9. The initial capital of the state was Cuttack. Later, Bhubaneswar was declared the state capital.
  10. Utkal Divas is also known as Vishuva Milan.
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