Orissa Travel Guide

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Boatman In Orissa

Boatman In Orissa

Sujit Mahapatra

Orissa, one of the 25 states of India, is the best of ancient and modern India. It is the one of the areas where people share a strong sense of holiness, a sense of belonging and attachment to their beautiful land, and cherish their enduring links with the past. It contains exquisite temples, superb monuments, inviting beaches, enchanting wildlife and astonishing natural landscapes. It is a must on the itinerary of any tourist visiting India.

The state capital Bhubaneswar offers an impressive combination of traditional architecture and modern imput, due to a throroughly planned attempt to make the city into a modern thriving town. Both within and in the surroundings of the capital, there are several historically interesting temples and caves, such as the Udayagiri and Khandagari caves. An impressive piece of Kalinga architecture, also listed on the World Heritage list, is the General at Konark. Another place of interest is Puri, one o

The State of Orissa is located in the east coast of India, bounded by the States of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. Broadly the territory of the State can be divided into four distinct regions: The Eastern plateau (the districts Of Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Sundargarh and the Palalahara, the latter being a subdivision of the Dhenkanal district) is an undulating upland frequently intersected by hill ranges.It slopes down from north to south. The Central River Basin (the districts of Balangir, Sambalpur and Dhenkanal) is washed by many major rivers of the state and contains some of the most fertile parts of the state. The Eastern Hill Region to the south and south-west of the Central River Basin (erstwhile districts of Phulbani, Ganjam and Koraput) comprise of wide open upland plateaus fringed by forests. The Coastal Belt (the districts of Balasore, Cuttack, Puri and Konark a portion of Ganjam) has extensive alluvial tracts in between the hills of the west and the salty tracts of the east. Orissa, with her 156,000 sq. kms. of land, 13 percent of which is urbananized, is home to nearly 32 million people. The literacy rate grazes below the national average of 52%.

Through the centuries, Orissa has been a meeting place for various cultural migrations from different parts of the country. The economic life of the people of Orissa centers mainly around agriculture where one out of every four persons in Orissa is a tribal. Any tourist is bound to get amazed by vast lands of varied kinds of agriculture spread out throughout the state. At the same time, the state is on the threshhold of an industrial growth with an emphasis electronics, iron and mine industries and the production of cash crops such as tea, coffee and rubber.

One of the most ancient and well known village in Orissa is Village Kusupur known for village poet Nandakishore Bal. Modern literate Suryamani Jena and Artist Bimbadhar Varma. Village Kusupur is also famous for its live traditional sword fighting by the warrier class (kshetriyas) during Dussera Festival in the month of October every year organised by Kusupur Dussera Sabha.

Dussera or Vijayadashami, the tenth day of the bright half of Aswin is celebrated as the day of victory to rejoice about Durga's triumph over the demon Mahishasura.

In the Indian states including the state of Orissa, Dussera celebrates the homecoming of Rama the hero of the epic Ramayana, after his victory over Ravana, the king of Lanka. In vast open spaces, Ramleela, the folk play with music and spontaneous dialogues, retelling the story of the life of Rama, are enacted till the wee hours. Songs are sung in praise of Rama and people in thousands witness this traditional theatre with its exaggerated costumes, jewellery, makeup and drama. Larger than life figures of Ravana and other demons are burnt on cold dark nights with fireworks lighting up the sky. In the traditional villages in the state of Orissa has their own way of celebrating the Dussera. Traditional sword fighting were organised by the village associations (Akharas) mostly from the warrior class (Kshetriyas). One of the oldest tradition in the Orissa’s Village Kusupur is being kept alive for last more than hundred years by Kusupur Dussera Sabha, which has the history of its uniqueness in itself.    

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