Folk culture and Identity: A Micro Level Study of South Odisha

Dr. Achintya Mahapatra



In the history of mankind Orissa always stands great for human values, glory and superb intelligence. Orissa has gifted with nature's bounty, a 482 km stretch of coastline with golden beaches, serpentine rivers, mighty waterfalls, forest-clad blue hills of Eastern Ghats with rich wild life. Orissa is quite rich in its heritage that houses many remarkable monuments of ancient times. The entire length and breadth of Orissa is marked with remarkable tourist places and each place of India has a tale to tell to its tourist. The patrons of culture and Architecture can perceive the marvelous Architecture of the temples, rock-cut caves and also the forts that once belonged to the Great Oriyan Kings, radiating the rich heritage of Orissa. The land, while retaining its pristine glory, also offers the visitors modern amenities. Its territory formed a part of the ancient Kalinga of Mahabharat time. In the ancient time Orissa rose to prominence as a Kingdom under Kharavela, a great conqueror and patron of Jainism, in the second half of the 1st century B.C. Other great rulers belonged to the Keshari dynasty and the Eastern Ganga dynasty who were also great builders. At one point of time the vast kingdom of Orissa had spread from Ganga to Godavari. The flourishing maritime trade with South-East Asian countries i.e. Java, Borneo had brought in a golden era of affluence and opulence. The Kalinga School of architecture flourished from the 7th to 13th century A.D. The most important monuments of this period can be seen in and around Bhubaneswar and Puri. The Mukteswar Temple is the finest piece of architecture of Kalinga. The Lingaraj Temple of Bhubaneswar, the Jagannath Temple of Puri and above all the world renowned world heritage Sun Temple at Konark are the epitome of temple architecture and sculpture of Orissa. The modern Orissa came into existence in April 1, 1936. The Britishers declared it as a separate province. In 1948 and 1949 the area of Orissa was almost doubled and the population was increased by a third with the addition of 24 former princely states.


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