VISION OF ORISSA : A SYNTHESIS OF DIVERSE CULTURES

By   Dr. Gitanjali Misra,  Anthropologist

Exotic Orissa on the coast along the Bay of Bengal with its green valleys, blue hills, lush green forests and golden beach have a magical impact. Otherwise, known as ‘Kalinga’, ‘Koshal’ , ‘Orda’, ‘Udra’ or ‘Utkal’ in ancient times mentioned in Ramayana, Mahabharat, the Vedic and early Brahimincal works and Pali literatures was never geographically isolated nor unexplored in the past. At different stages of history it is found that Orissa was ruled by thirty two powerful Kshatriya Kings who either made it the part of a big empire or made it an independent empire playing a role affecting India as a whole.

In the period Mahameghavahana Kharavela, the Kalinga Empire had spread from Kerala to Mathura and from the south of Vindhyas to the Kalinga sea or modern Bay of Bengal. Later, it was extended from the river Ganges to the river Godavari under many political powers from  time such as the Maurya, Chedi, Gupta, Bhaumakara, Ganga, Suryavamsi, Pathan, Mughal, Maratha and the British.

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