Odisha was established as a state on 1 April, 1936. It is actually one of the most beautiful states in India. Bhubaneswar in Odisha is known as the temple city of India. Bhubaneswar is the capital of Odisha now. Earlier, Cuttack was the capital of Odisha. Odia is the official language of Odisha. The famous ruler Asoka and the war of Kalinga all are connected with the state of Odisha. The state celebrates some of the most interesting festivals of Odisha such as Durga Pooja and Konark Dance Festival. Odisha’s main income is agriculture. The state is developing steadily for the last 10 years.
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Durga Pooja is undoubtedly the most popular among the festivals of Odisha. It is celebrated by everyone in Odisha with full fun and enjoyment. Durga Pooja is celebrated in the Odiya month of Kartik or Ashwin as per Odisha calendar. Streets of Odisha will be in high mood of celebrations. They decorate the streets with lights and flowers. People keep enormous idols of Durga Maa in Pandals with elaborate decorations. They keep Mahalakshmi and Saraswathi also along with Durga Maa in the Pandals. The festival is actually for 10 days and people will have total fun during these days. Every day, pooja is held in the morning as well as the evening in the Pandals according to Hindu rituals. Odisha is one of the states, where majority of the population are Hindus.
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Kalinga was a major part of the present Odisha. As we know, it was under the Maurya Dynasty and Asoka was their famous ruler. This festival has a mythical story behind the celebrations. Kalinga was the place where most of the people died in the war of Kalinga and Asoka decided to stop all violence. He got converted to Buddhism. Asoka wanted to make a point that war is not the solution for any dispute and peace is the ultimate need in the human life. Asoka decided to start a Mahotsav that gave the message of peace to the people.
Kalinga Mahotsav is the occasion where everyone gives honor to the Maurya dynasty and participates in the martial arts performance. The function takes place at Dhauli Santi stupa of Bhubaneswar, which is on the outskirts. People from around the world come to take part in this festival to witness some extraordinary talents in Martial Arts perform. It is one of the famous festivals of Odisha that attracts a lot of tourists.
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Chandan Yatra or Gandhalepana Yatra is one of the longest festivals of Odisha and it is very famous. This festival is one which takes place at Puri Jagannath temple. The idol of Puri Jagannath will be worshiped for 42 days with sandal water. Later, the idol will be kept in the boat, known as ‘Chapa’. The boats will be decorated in white and red colors to look like a swan. The boat will carry the idol to the Shiva or Vishnu temple of Puri. Festival ends when the idol reaches its destination. People from all over Odisha come and participate in this festival.
Konark Dance festival
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This festival is actually very famous all over the world because of its exclusivity. The festival is dedicated to Konark Sun temple. There is no religion or ritual associated with this festival which is celebrated in the month of February. Most of the people who are interested in Art and Science participate in this festival. By evening, Konark will look exciting with colorful lights to celebrate the festival. Konark Dance festival is actually conducted by Gangadhar Pradhan’s Odisha dance Academy of Konark Natya Mandap. All celebrated classical dancers from around the world will participate in this festival. You can see tourists from all over the world planning their vacations to witness this festival.
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Mahabisuva Sankranti is the New Year celebration for the Odisha people as per the Odia calendar. This comes in the month of April. It is very famous in the name Pana Sankranti and is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Hanuman. Bela Pana is a drink which is made of Bael fruit or Woodapple, honey or jaggery and yogurt. It is known to be an auspicious day for agricultural and farming activities. You can see most of the Odisha people going to the temples to pray for their good health and prosperity. Offerings will be given to Hanuman, Shiva, and Vishnu on this special day.
Featured Photo by BOMBMAN