• Stories from the bygone era- Khandagiri and Udaygiri

    Situated a few miles away from the capital city of Odisha, Bhubaneswar, the Udaygiri and Khandagiri caves are the main attractions on the map of Odisha Tourism.One of the oldest surviving caves in the country, they date back to somewhere between the 1st and 2nd century and bring you face to face with the Jain ascetics of the ancient era. The caves are believed to have been carved out during the reign of King Kharavela and were initially created to serve as residential cells for Jain monks. The mute bystanders of various tales of the glorious history, these caves are also an abode to numerou

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  • Julie 222

    Akshaya Mohanty – Khoka Bhai - the icon, symbolises seamless creativity and rooted modernism. The original and unorthodox creator of music and literature in Orissa who dared to challenge the dogmas of conservative Oriya society and ignited a mass following. ‘Kalankita Nayak’ knew the art of creating an impression with a profile not so “aligned to the stereotypes”. In a way he was a great impressionist. I remember his saying proudly that he can never sing while playing the harmonium in a staid, standing position looking only in one direction. He was an interacti

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  • Smile Please

    There was always humour, comedy and a certain cheekiness in public life in Odisha. I have heard; that in one of the meetings of Utkal Sammilani in the early days, Lingaraj Panigrahi and Khallikote Maharaja were in a riling spree because one was a little late to the meeting;so what was the big work which kept you occupied on the road? The other said; I like Biswa Rath's; Jibana ta dukha, Sansara ta mohmaya.(By the way, Biswa is now a famous stand-up comedian of India, young, qualified and from Odisha). His opening line quite explains the ever-proud display of glum on everyones look and voice

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  • Jagannath Sadak: The Road that Led to the Path of Divinity

    Stretching from Kolkata to Puri, Jagannath Sadak once held a lot of significance for the innumerable devotees of the Lord of universe. With the passing time, it went into oblivion, and was not really discussed much.

    Jagannath Sadak  was rediscovered by Anil Dhir, a heritage enthusiast and author. In an exciting narrative, he says evocatively:

    ‘In 2011, I undertook a bullock cart journey on the old road, trying to retrace it. The journey was undertaken to highlight the sad plight of this once great and now forgotten road on which the pilgrims travelled to visit

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  • Pitru Paksha and Mahalaya

    The new moon day known as the 'Mahalaya Amavasya' or 'Teela Shraddha' is a special day observed as a remembrance of our ancestors. Mahalaya marks the ending of Pitru Paksha which begins on Pratipada, i.e. the first day of the fortnight, following the Bhadrav Purnima and continues for fifteen days. Ahead of Durga Puja, before breaking into the celebrations of the Goddess’ arrival, almost every Odia family perform 'Shraddha' or 'Tarpana' (offering of water and sesame seeds/Rashi or Til), to pay homage to the se

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  • Jhoti Chita and Muruja-Folk Art of Odisha

    The tribal art of Odisha has a unique appeal. Beautiful to look at, these have intricate designs that are woven by combining several designs together. The jhoti chita art of Odisha is one such ethnic artwork.

    Jhoti Chita is essentially a native Odishan folk art that is seen designed in the entrances of every Odia household. Essentially, it is made to mark the celebration of a local festival. The design is also done during auspicious occasions such as marriage and thread ceremonies.

    Unlike rangoli, which is practiced extensively in the northern parts of India, chita is no

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  • Annapurna Theatre – The Broadway of Odisha

    There is no Annapurna theatre today, but there was Annapurna theatre, once upon a time - the alma mater of stage performance and the Eton of Odia culture and entertainment.

    They have made Broadway, a theatre district which has become a popular tourist attraction in New York City. And in the district, theatrical performances are presented in over 41 professional theatres with 500 or more seats at any point in time. Not at this scale or proliferation but certainly about five or six performances were playing at Annapurna theatre in a year. And in 1933 started movement, Puri and later

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  • Magic of Khati

    Do you think that  Raj Mahal khati in Bhubaneswar can have a GI tag? Why not if we build a case, because there is a case.

    I have seen a lot of khati in places I had not expected - Greece, Spain, Estonia. Small group of men (mostly men) milling around a street corner and spending time aimlessly or leisurely, without any haste. Remarkable is the way people find out time and newness every time they meet the same set of people and in similar social and physical settings, day in and day out. This is an ode to the human spirit, which is always craving for intimacy despite close pro

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  • Devadasi and the origin of Odissi

    We have Lord Jagannath, the Lord of the Cosmos with us and everything emanates from Him and everything dissolves in Him. Every “thing” and every “nothing” is in Him.
    Jatta chhaya lokamatra tribhubana janata badhate na tritap”.
    जत्त छय लोकमात्र त्रत्रभुबन जनता बाधते न त्रत्रतप् ….. Brahma Geeta
    (The inhabitants of all Lokas, or spheres, are under the protection of Lord Jagannath.)
    So simple and non – complex are His ways that Jagannath &

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    Kokoli sukhua (dry fish) is a delicacy in Odisha, and more so in South Odisha. The film Kokoli is an audacious attempt to bring the climate emergency to the fore. With a powerful script, the film tries to weave three sub plots into one – personal, between Kokoli & Raju (the hero and the heroine), community (in the neighbourhood dealing with Kokoli’s unwed mother) and the social change (with the social change agents Deepak and Sujata). My friend, with whom I was watching the movie found one of the early scenes of a bitter spat between the mothers of Kokoli and Raju, quite app

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  • Art and Life in Odisha

    Art is the proper task of life, said Nietzsche and Bertolt Brecht thinks that “if art reflects life, it does so with special mirrors”. Maybe yes but both the thoughts are conjoint. Art is certainly a proper task and reflects life in diverse paradigms without deviating from the influence of centrality, which is life itself. The self-conscious aim of life is to find expression, and art offers it beautiful forms through which life gets interlaced in a ‘mirror-continuum’. We are all the sum of the parts of our history, present and future and as guardians of the age, we r

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  • Demolition Of Mutts: Bold Move To Remove Symbols Of Decadence

    The blackmail has been blunted. This is no mindless endorsement of the demolition drive around Jagannath Temple in Puri. The pulling down of dilapidated structures overcrowding the precincts of the Lord of the Cosmos is a rare bold step, taken after centuries of ‘slumming’. The mutts need to be razed because the 12th century shrine needs more fortification and tidying, which is overdue. Some 5-6 centuries ago these mutts ( also the other mutts in general) were intended to impart Sanskrit lessons to young scholars, visiting scholars, offer boarding facilities to pi

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    With some highly acclaimed and award winning movies like ‘Sri Lokanath’, ‘Nua Bou’, ‘Kaa’, ‘Sesha Srabana’, ‘Chilika Teeray’, etc. These movies depicted a pragmatic view of Odia society - the traditions, culture, superstitions and conventions. The stories were innately Odia. The characters were drawn from reality. Dance numbers by lead characters was unheard of; songs were soft, romantic and melodious.

    You can still find yourself humming ‘Jochhana luchana’, ‘Bou lo ki kahibi nua bhauja nka katha’,

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    Gupchup, chaat, dahi bara – ask any Odia staying outside Odisha what they miss the most about Odisha, and these items will certainly top the list. The quintessential street food of Odisha is close to the heart of every Odia. No matter how short their vacation might be to their native state, Odias never fail to queue up at the street food hotspots famous for their ware. Raghu dahi bara, Sahoo chaat, Rama Nana gupchup, Sura bhai egg chop, Basanta budha chicken roll – every non-resident Odia has a favourite food item by a special vendor to gorge on.

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    With #StartUpIndia getting the right fillip in recent times, India has witnessed a surge in the number of new businesses being launched each day. Odisha too, is seeing an impressive number of young entrepreneurs join the bandwagon. Leaving behind established jobs, living passions to create something new – each of these entrepreneurs is willingly addressing risks and challenges to set up his dream business. The success of some noteworthy entrepreneurs from the state, like Ritesh Agarwal, Srikumar Mishra, Pritam Panda, Uttam Tripathy, etc, is providing the right kind of encouragement to

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    A clear demarcation can be seen between Gen-X and the previous generations of Odias when it comes to savouring the traditional pitha pana of Odisha. While the older generations are literally crazy about arisa, kakara, manda, chitau and other pithas, the kids of today tend to turn up their noses and have to be coaxed to sample these age-old delicacies. They prefer to have pastries, ice creams, cheese cakes and chocolates on their plate any day. If at all they try Indian, the Jalebis and the Gulab Jamuns sound and look fancier and hold more sway than the Od

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    Visit the India Surf Festival held at Ramchandi beach along the Konark-Puri coastline and you will be astonished at the number of participants and visitors that eagerly show up every year. Surfers from India, Italy, Brazil, Singapore, Spain, Morocco, etc throng the festival with thousands of avid visitors turning up to cheer them on. However, though the festival is being organised at a happening place in Odisha to encourage adventure sports in the state, there is sparse participation of local residents, which is disheartening and surprising as well. Top honours are never bagged by anyo

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    The land of scenic beaches, verdant forests, awe-inspiring mountains and vast plains, Odisha is a nature lover’s delight. Though it is not touted hugely as a tourist destination, any non-Odia who has visited Odisha is all praises for the virgin beauty of this pride of the East.So, in this land of mostly unexplored territories, where do you find the most awesome sunsets? Here is our top 5, as per our nature photographer friends.





    Puri – No list on sunsets in Odisha can ever be complete

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    If there is anything that Odisha Parba 2017 established without an iota of doubt, it is the love of Odias for their traditional cuisine, especially sweets. At the annual festival held in New Delhi last year, thousands lined up to have a taste of the lip-smacking rasogolla and chhenapoda. Those who could get their hands on the delectable sweets were seen drooling over them, while the angst of the anxious queue when stocks ran out had to be seen to be believed. Each day, the karigaras kept increasing the quantity made, only to see them disappear within hours of sale.

    While it is a f

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Odia Samaj

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