Area :1,55,707 square kilometers.

Capital :Bhubaneswar

Population :3,67,06,920

Language :Oriya

People :Orissa has been inhabited by various people. Orissa has 62 distinct tribal groups,making it the largest collection of tribal people in a single state in the country. Each of these tribal groups has its own indigenous customs and continues to practice them even today.

Most of the tribal people have been influenced by Hindus and have adopted Hindu manners,customs and rituals. Bonda Parajas of Koraput district are the best example of these tribes.

Climate :Orissa enjoys a tropical monsoon type of climate like most other parts of the country. Its annual average rainfall is about 200cm. The three main seasons are summer ( mid-Feb to mid-June ),rainy season ( mid-June to mid-October ) and winter ( mid-October to mid-Feb ).

Culture :One of the most colourful festivals of Orissa is Dola that is more popularly known as Holi. But the grandest of all festivals is the Rath Yatra or the Car Festival,celebrated around the months of June or July. Ardent devotees carry the idols of Lord Jagannath and his siblings to the Gundicha Mandir.

In the month of November a big fair called Bali Yatra is held on the banks of the Mahanadi at Cuttack in order to commemorate the glorious past,when people of Orissa sailed on commercial voyages to the Indonesian islands.

History :Orissa was originally inhabited the tribes,the Buiyas and Gonds. They had confined themselves to the forest and hills. Orissa was known as Kalinga in the early period during the kingdom of great Mauryan king Ashoka. Ashoka on seeing the horrors of war in his battle with the Kalingan army abandoned warfare and,embraced Buddhism.

The Guptas dominated over this region in about the 4th century AD. Till the 10th century Orissa witnessed the rule of the Bhaumakara dynasty,followed by the Soma dynasty. From the 11th to 12th century. The 9th century saw the eastern Gangas emerging as the power in the region. The last Ganga king,Bhanudeva III was overthrown by his minister,Kapilendra,founder of the Suryavamsa Dynasty.

Orissa came under Mughal jurisdiction in 1568. In 1765,the British were given the right to collect revenue from Bengal,Bihar and Orissa by the Mughal emperor Shah Alam II. Eventually the British occupied Orissa.

After a prolonged struggle of the leaders of Orissa,the province of Orissa was created on 1 April,1936. On 19 August 1949,after the independence the princely states were also merged with Orissa,and the present state of Orissa came into being.