Whenever we claim of knowing our state Odisha perfectly, we basically rejoice in knowing only the locally known facts. None of us actually do a deep research and delve into the not-so-known aspects of the state.
Odisha which is largely accredited as a poor state with presumably poor infrastructure and large number of people suffering from malnutrition and being illiterate.
The National media covers it only when there are floods, cyclones, Naxal attacks or some poverty related tales. But it is also a state with a rich heritage, culture, natural beauty. So what are some unknown interesting facts about Odisha?
- Odisha was the first state in India to be formed on linguistic basis.
- Odisha hosts the world’s largest open air theatre – Dhanu Yatra.
- Odissi dance, the pride of Odia culture is the oldest surviving dance form of India.
- Long before Tajmahal, the Konarka Sun temple was built in such audacious architecture, inside sea. The breathtaking architecture even in those era is a testimony to the creativity and craftsmanship of Odias.
- Bhuban in Dhenkanal is the largest village in Asia.
- Odisha is very ancient and the oldest rocks (from Mayurbhanj) date back to 3 billion years (Our planet is believed to be 4.5 billion years old)
- Chandragupta Maurya was hesitant for 60 long years to attack Kalinga (old name of Odisha) as the Kalinga army of 60,000 managed to annihilate one lakh enemy soldiers, a quarter of the empire’s army.
- Over 62 distinct tribal groups live in Odisha, each one with its own culture and traditions different from the other.
- The tiger reserve in Similipal National Park, apart from Royal Bengal Tigers has all the varieties of Orchids in the world. No other place has all the Orchid varieties.
- Jagannath temple in Puri of Odisha is one among Char Dham (pilgrimages) that a Hindu is expected to make in one’s lifetime.
- The Jagannath temple kitchen is reputed to be the largest kitchen in the world, with 400 cooks working around 200 hearths to feed over 10,000 people each day.
- At Puri Jagannath temple kitchen, 7 pots are kept one on top of another and cooked on firewood. In this process the contents in the top pot get cooked first & then the bottom one.
- The quantity of cooked food inside the Temple remains same for the entire year. But that same quantity of prasadam can feed few thousand people & 20 lakh people, still it won’t get wasted.
- Odisha became the first state in the country to launch special drives to register migrant labourers working in different states
- Odisha became the first state to enact the Lokayukta Bill law after the central act was passed in Parliament.
- Famous sweet Rasagola originated in Odisha.
- The Chandipur Beach is a hide and seek beach of Odisha that appears and disappears with every high and low tide to approximately 5 kms.
- Bhubaneswar, the capital city was the home of over 600 magnificent temples in medieval times. It is called the Temple City of India. The only city in the world with such highest number of temples.
- World’s highest electrified track (at a height of 7.45 metres for running of Double Stack Container (DSC) goods trains) is situated at Odisha in Jakhapura-Daitari section. Constructed by East Coast Railway of Odisha.
- The Sinhala (people of Sri Lanka) are named after Raja Jai Sinha, an ancient Odia king.
- A 23-feet giant Estuarine crocodile in Odisha has been crowned the world’s largest.
- Largest Brackish Water Lagoon Chilka lake is in Odisha, the largest water body in Asia, has an area of 916 sq km now. It used to be 1,165 sq km.
- Odisha is popular for having 3 mass nesting beaches of rare Olive Ridley Sea Turtles including world’s largest nesting ground of Olive Ridley Sea Turtle, Lepidochelys Olivacea. Largest wetland of Asia (Chilika) now designated as a Ramsar site in Odisha.
- The largest Lion Safari of India and the only White Tiger Safari in the world are located in the Nandankanan Zoological Park of Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
- Land Revenue System was first started in the district of Ganjam before getting even implemented in India.
- Hirakud Dam, the fourth largest in the world, is situated in Sambalpur.
- Odisha hosts the largest arribada, the turtle nesting ground, in the world.
- Odisha – highest producer of hematite ore. Odisha has 25% of Hematite ore of India.
- World’s largest egg, with approximate dimension of 13 inches and width of 9.5 inches is of the gigantic herbivorous flightless elephant bird (zoologically termed as Aepyornis maximus) that lived last till 1650 AD, is preserved at Regional Museum of Natural History, Bhubaneswar.
- Konark temple, built in 13th century, has 12 pair of wheels (24 wheels representing 24 hours) which are uniquely designed and has scientific significance. One can calculate the precise time of the day by just looking at the shadow cast by these 8 spokes signifying prahars (3 hour period).
- The Leaning Temple of Huma, situated near Sambalpur in India is the only leaning temple in the world.
- The Sambalpuri sari is made from fabric woven on a hand-loom and is one of the most popular throughout India. This became popular when late Prime Minister, Smt. Indira Gandhi started wearing.
- Wheeler Island, south of Chandipur in Odisha is a place where most of missiles of India are tested such as Akash missile, Agni missile, Prithvi Missile of only some of them.
- India Surf festival, a festival organised by like-minded people who combine surfing, yoga, and nature is observed Ramchandi beach, near Puri in Odisha. It is one of the unique festival observed in India.
- Shanti Stupa at Dhauligiri is a place where the great king, Ashoka laid the foundation when he witnessed the darkest side of Kalinga war after seeing the river Daya turning red due to bloodbath and became the propagator of peace.
- According to mythology, Mahabharata was written by Lord Ganesha in a place called Vedvyas in Rourkela, which is named after Vedavyasa who was dictating to Lord Ganesha.
- Rourkela Steel Plant is the first ever integrated steel plant under public sector which came into existence in 1954 – 55.
- Odisha state museum is one of the world famous museum for having a wide collection of manuscripts of which Abhinava Gita Govinda dates back to 1496 but the text can date back to 2nd century.
- Puri Temple is the only Dhama (pilgrimage) in India where Folk, Shaiva, Sakta, Vaishnaba cult of worship is done.
- DHAMRA is one of the deepest port of India after Gujurat port.
CHECK: Jagannath Mahaprasad – 10 unknown and interesting facts
There are so many things to cheer about our state but we don’t as we are normally feel ashamed of ourselves. Every state, every country has something to be ashamed about but they counter it with their positive points and create an environment where people feel belonged to their state or origin.