Odisha commemorates its 88th foundation day: Learn about the history of Jagannath’s homeland on Utkal Divas
India’s easternmost state is called Odisha. The state is bordered to the north-east by West Bengal, to the north by Jharkhand, to the south by Andhra Pradesh, to the west by Chhattisgarh, and to the east by the Bay of Bengal. The Indian subcontinent’s easternmost state of Odisha is blessed with an outstanding variety of fantastic tourism goods. Historically known as a centre of culture, but recently emerging as one of the most attractive states in the nation with rapid advancement on all fronts, including the travel & tourist sector.
A visitor to the state of Odisha can have anything they want from the state on a silver platter because of the state’s very special offerings. It has a complicated history of temple building, including beautiful temples and monuments, 480 km of coastline, 35% thick and dense forest cover, Buddhist heritage, 62 ethnic tribes, scintillating classical dance of Odissi, Asia’s largest brackish water lake-Chilika-the intricately woven mangrove forest of Bhitarkanika, and many more.
The new state of Odisha celebrates Utkal Divas, also known as Utakala Dibasa or Utkal Diwas, on April 1 every year. The Odia diaspora also celebrates this day with zeal. To commemorate the creation of the Odisha state, which was declared by the government on April 1, 1936, Utkal Divas is observed.
Prior to its declaration as an independent state, Odisha was a part of the Bihar and Orissa province. This changed following substantial revolutionary activities that lasted for three decades. Discover more about Utkal Divas, its significance, and its history here.
Key Information about Odisha
Geographical Area (sq km)-155,707
State Language-Oriya, Hindi and English
Literacy Rate-72.87 per cent
Main Industries : Iron & Steel Ferroalloy Aluminium Mining Handloom IT and ITeS Tourism
Why Is Odisha The Heart Of India?
Beautiful Odisha: Odisha is known as the “Spirit of Magnificent India.” But why exactly is it the heart of this varied country? Odisha is a stunning state with a wealth of natural beauty; its water features, hills, wildlife, and even its people combine to provide a feast for travellers. This is where you must go if you’ve been hoping to get a feel for another side of India.
Natural splendour: Odisha is home to some of nature’s most beautiful attractions. The beaches are on one side, and the captivating Chilika Lake is on the other. Also worth visiting are the impressive waterfalls in Odisha. You may view the state’s well-known fauna at Similipal National Park, and Olive Ridley Beach is yet another illustration of its varied species.
Spiritual Odisha: In addition to other outstanding religious landmarks, the state is home to the renowned Shri Jagannath Temple in Puri. The ancient Sun Temple is located at Konark, whereas Padmasambhava Mahavihara Monastery in Jeerango is the biggest Buddhist shrine in Eastern India. You can see the magnificent Lingaraja Temple in Bhubaneswar, which first opened its doors in the year 1000 AD.
Beach Life: The beaches in Odisha are breathtaking. No matter if they are the well-known Puri or the eccentric Gopalpur, you can never get enough of them. The stunning Chandrabhaga Beach, which is near to the Konark Temple, is another. It is the first beach in India to receive the Blue Flag designation, which attests to a beach’s cleanliness and consideration for the environment.
A song of the earth: Exploring the tribal cultures of Odisha is one of the best parts of travelling there. The state is home to numerous tribes, including the Santal, Bonda, Bhumia, and Kondh. Each tribe has its own folk dance, music, and other cultural expressions. This is a prime example of the nation’s well-known diversity of cultures and is as diverse as it gets.
What does Utkal Divas mean?
In all of Odisha, Utkal Divas is enthusiastically observed. On this day, individuals offer prayers for the state’s and its citizens’ wellbeing. Although the Odia people had to fight for this independence, celebrating Utkala Divas or Utakala Dibasa is crucial to establishing identity.
Utkal Divas, which began on April 1st in 1936, has been and will continue to be one of the most significant days in Orissa’s history. Hence, some also refer to it as Odisha Day.
History of Utkal Divas
British India’s Orissa and Bihar provinces were divided into a new state called Odisha on April 1, 1936. After three decades of struggle, the Odia people finally achieved their goal of freedom. The first of April is observed as Utkal Divas to remember this occasion. The region currently known as Odisha was formerly a part of Kalinga, one of the numerous kingdoms that sprang from the ruins following Ashoka’s great war.
On Utkal Divas, the Indian Parliament first announced its intention to free Odisha from British domination and create a separate province, then an independent state, with Cuttack as its capital. The day is still widely observed throughout the state with much excitement.
History of the State of Odisha
Historians claim that many dynasties ruled over Odisha at various points throughout history. As Ashoka, king of Magadh, attacked it in 261 BC in order to expand his Mauryan rule, it eventually became the centre of the renowned Kalinga Kingdom. Under the renowned Mauryan Dynasty, the state prospered for about a century. Following the Mauryan era, King Kharavela took control of Odisha when he was successful in fighting Magadh to exact revenge for the Mauryan invasion.
Odisha was conquered by the Mughal Empire in 1576, and the Marathas seized control of several coastal areas in the middle of the 17th century. The southern shore of Odissa was combined with the Madras Presidency by the East India Company following the Carnatic Wars. Bihar and Orissa split out in 1912 and became separate provinces. Modern day Orissa was formed as a province for the people speaking Oriya in 1936. As the state’s first governor, Sir John Hubbak received that title.
Famous figures including Utkala Gouraba, Madhusudan Das, Utkala Mani, Gopabandhu Das, Fakir Mohan Senapati, and Pandita Nilakantha Das battled for the cause of the fight to establish the state’s independence. For many Hindus, Odisha holds great religious and spiritual significance because of its abundance of temples.
One of these, the Jagannath Temple in Puri, which was constructed in 1078, is notable. It is a revered location for Hindu pilgrims and is well-known for the celebrated “Rath yatra” or “Chariot Festival” celebration.
The creation of the cultural and social group Utkal Sammilani fueled the Odias’ fight for independence. This group was established to advocate for the establishment of Odisha as an independent state. This group was established in 1903 by Utkala Gouraba Madhusudan Das, and the creation of Odisha state is commemorated as Utkal Divas in his honour.
Significance of Utkal Divas
Odiasians have great pride in their state and its history. As so many elements contribute to their identity as a state, they have many reasons to commemorate this day. Every year, the Utkal Divas is observed with much fanfare. This day is one that the people of Odisha fervently and enthusiastically commemorate. To commemorate the momentous occasion in 1936 when Odisha separated from Bengal and Bihar, Utkal Divas is observed. The first state founded on the Oriya language was Orissa.
It was the first to be employed in Ashoka’s court and ultimately developed into the region’s official language of administration. Every year on this day, the chief minister of the state of Odisha hoists the flag and gives a speech in a public setting. In the evening, a public gathering is also planned where people come together to honour their ancestors who fought to end British domination.
Every year on this day, the chief minister of the state of Odisha hoists the flag and gives a speech in a public setting. In the evening, a public gathering is also planned where people come together to honour their ancestors who fought to end British domination.
Commemoration of Odisha Formation Day
The state of Odisha celebrates Utkal Divas, also known as Odisha Foundation Day, with great fervour. On this day, the state government declares a holiday and public events. Even the Odia diaspora in other countries observes the day with zeal. Both students and government workers are given the day off. Cultural events and protests are held all throughout the state to commemorate the day.
The state celebrates the day with a variety of cultural events, such as plays, dance performances, and musical concerts. Schools and colleges also observe Utkal Divas. Students organise rallies and processions in addition to cultural performances and poetry recitals to mark the occasion.
To celebrate the Utkal Divas, the State Government of Odisha arranges celebrations and events, including cultural programmes, symposia, and exhibitions at various locations throughout the state. Odisha celebrates Utkal Divas on the anniversary of a significant event that laid the groundwork for their statehood.
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