Odisha Day or Utkala Dibasa is celebrated on 1st of April every year to commemorate the formation of the state as a separate province
in 1936 and also pay tribute to the great leaders of yesteryears who contributed towards its formation. It was the first state formed on the
basis of linguistic basis. In fact, it had lost its political identity for more than three decades and the formation of the new state was possible
under the leadership of Utkala Gouraba Madhusudan Das, Utkala mani Gopabandhu Das, Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati, Pandita
Nilakantha Das, Fakir Mohan Senapati, Gangadhar Meher, Basudeba Sudhaladeba, Radhanath Ray, Bhubanananda Das, A. P. Patro and
many others with the support of the public.
The newly formed Odisha consisted of six districts namely Cutack, Puri, Baleswar, Sambalpur, Koraput and Ganjam with its capital at
Cuttack. However, today Odisha has thirty districts and the capital of the state is Bhubaneswar.
Dance forms of Odisha :
The heavenly state of Odisha unfurls an array of many vistas of dance forms.
Odissi also known as Orissi is one of the oldest classical dance drama form of India that originated from the Hindu temples of Odisha. It was initially performed predominantly by women folk and expressed spiritual stories and religious ideas.
There are many other famous folk dance forms that originated from different parts of Odisha like Ghumura, Dalkhai, Dhap and many more.
Art & Craft of Odisha :
Since ages the heritage and inspiring artisans of Odisha have awed the world with their exquisite art master pieces.
Pattachitra is a traditional art form of Odisha , intricate paintings based on Hindu mythology. It is created on a special paper hand-made from tamarind seeds and the colours used are natural extracts from fruits & flowers. The colours are mixed in powdered shells from the ocean and the paste is used to make paintings, resulting in a beautiful and highly valued piece of art.
Silver filigree, the most unique & finest of all handicrafts is locally called tarakasi. The process consists of drawing silver through a series of consecutively smaller holes to produce fine strands of wire. The outcome in form of jewellery, artifacts etc. sweeps people off their feet.
Applique work originated as a temple art which is internationally acclaimed. Different coloured cloths are stitched in various shapes and tiny mirrors are stuck or stitched by thread embroidery to create a remarkable work of art . Sarees, bags, garden umbrellas are designed with applique work.
Brass and Dhokra Casting is a tribal craft where artisans patiently combine metallurgical skills with wax technique to express their special views through whimsical yet distinctive beautiful creations. Their art works represents the folk culture.
Horn Products : This is an ancient craft traditionally created by tribes and conveys the rich cultural heritage of Odisha. Artisans use horns of cows and buffaloes and create mould of birds and animals. At times combine filigree work and ivory to form various pieces of jewellery.
Paper Mache : This art form combines waste paper, waste materials and different kinds of natural fibres into truly unbelievably masks, bags, toys and an array of artifacts that are not only beautiful but strong and durable as well.
There are many other crafts like stone carving, sand art, tussar painting, palm leaf etching, coir and terracotta crafts that are also popular in Odisha.
Eco-Tourism in Odisha :
Odisha is the land blessed with beauties and bounties of nature. It is a proud owner of famed forests, mountains, valleys, waterfalls, gorges, soaring peaks with stunning wildlife in their own natural habitats. The state focuses on eco-friendly nature based tourism for nature lovers with enduring passion to admire and enjoy life at its natural best. The important wildlife in state are elephants, tigers, leopards, hyenas, sambars, spotted deers, wild boars, giant squirrels, crocodiles, Hornbills, many migratory birds etc. A total of 110 species of reptiles including three crocodilian species, 20 species of amphibians, 479 species of birds, 86 species of mammals have been recorded so far in the State.
Largest village in Asia :
Bhuban in Dhenkanal district in the state of Odisha, India is well known for its Brass and Metal crafts (Kansa pittal basan) and is the Largest Village of Asia Continent.
Largest Nesting Ground for Olive Ridley Turtles :
The beach of Gahirmatha witnesses an unforgettable sight every year, about half million of the rare Olive Ridley turtles travel across the South Pacific to get to the beach. The beach which is a part of the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary is believed to be the largest nesting and breeding ground in the world for the highly endangered species.