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The story begins in the earliest days of Indian history. An ancient kingdom, Kalinga existed for centuries along the eastern coast of the subcontinent. In 1936, the region is declared a province for Odia speaking people and called Orissa. Around 85 years later, the name is officially changed to Odisha.
A state with a vibrant culture, Odisha is known for its famous temples Jagannath in Puri and the Sun Temple in Konark. However, there is a lot more to Odisha waiting to be discovered.
The spongy, syrupy Rasgulla is a delectable little dessert that is said to be centuries old in origin. Both Odisha and West Bengal stake claim to the Rasgulla, citing different stories of its origin.
Picture credit: theyoungbigmouth.com
Try the Pahala variant of the Rasgulla. From the Pahala region of Odisha, the dessert is said to be a descendant of a preparation called Khiramohana.
With 62 tribes, Odisha has the largest tribal community in India. The tribal artisans have developed artisanal techniques over the centuries. While some of these art forms have been dying, a lot still remain.
Picture credit: tourmet.com
A treasure trove of tribal arts and crafts, The Museum of Tribal Arts and Artifacts in Bhubaneswar preserves the artistic heritage of the state for posterity.
Odisha has a maritime history that is centuries old. The Odisha State Maritime Museum curates this history with ancient artifacts that indicate an impressive seafaring tradition.
Picture credit: wikimedia.org
It is the largest open air theatre in the world. Dhanu Yatra is an annual dramatic performance conducted over a 6 kilometre area in Bargarh, Odisha.
Picture credit: flickr.com
It enacts the mythological story of Krishna and his demon uncle Kansa. Dhanu Yatra has been staged every year since 1947. It is said to symbolize the end of British rule in India.
Odisha is renowned for its ancient handloom heritage, producing handcrafted goods that are unmatched in quality. The Odisha Ikat style originated in the state and the weaver communities from different parts of Odisha developed their uniques styles like Sambalpuri, Bomkai and Kotpad.
So let’s celebrate Odisha, beginning with their gorgeous handlooms.
It's time to experience Odisha.
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As the world moves indoors, in a coordinated effort to carry out social distancing, we've begun to see and hear remarkable things around us. There's the sky above, now bluer than ever before, the excited chirps and chitter-chatter of birds and squirrels and a sense of prevailing calm.