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About Orissa Orissa in Brief

About Orissa

Famous as Kalinga, in ancient times, Orissa finds mention in all known ancient works of literature. The Mahabharata describes it as the land inhabited by Rishis and the Brahma Purana calls it as the land blessed and adorned with all the virtues. Traces of Neolithic life are found here and the Juang tribe found here are the last surviving tribes among the vanishing descendants of the Stone Age.

Situated on the coast of Bay of Bengal, Orissa is the ninth largest state by area in India and the eleventh largest by population. The state of orissa  is gifted with generous natural beauty; an unindented coastline of 482 kms, golden beaches, serpentine rivers, mighty waterfalls and equally magnificent plateau region covered with a canopy of dense forest and wildlife. With a forest cover of 33%, the entire state is replete with places of natural splendor which make it one of the most sought after tourist destination in the entire country. Another thing that gives a unique identity to Orissa, is its rich cultural heritage. The landscape of the entire state is dotted with ancient temple architecture; rock cut caves and forts which stand testimonial to its glorious past.

Orissa extends from 17° 49'N to 22° 34'N latitude and from 81° 29'E to 87° 29'E longitude on the eastern coast of India and is bounded by the Bay of Bengal in the east, states of West Bengal in the northeast, Bihar in the north, Madhya Pradesh in the West, and Andhra Pradesh in the south. It covers an area of 1,56,000 square kilometers with seven metropolitan cities. Orissa was separated from Bihar and came into existence on 1 April 1936. The capital was established at the historic city of Cuttack, located at the apex of the Mahanadi delta. In 1956, it was shifted to Bhubaneswar.

The state is inhabited by an estimated 36,706,920 People. Of these, about 87% people live in the villages thus giving Orissa the status of an agricultural economy, rice being the predominantly cultivated crop. As a matter of fact, the state conduces to nearly one tenth of the entire rice production of the country. Other crops that are cultivated here include Pulses, Maize, Bajra and Oilseeds. About 75% of the populations who live on villages depend on agriculture. Of the entire population, 25% is tribal who live in the up lands or in areas nearing the forest regions. People practice a variety of faith that includes Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. 94.35% of its population practice Hinduism while 2.4% practice Christianity followed by Islam at 2%. A literacy rate of 63.5% in the state is compatible with the national average of 65%.Also the state projects a healthy sex ratio of males to females at 1:9.7.

Apart from farming, Industry plays an important role in the economy of the state. Orissa being rich in minerals like iron, coal, aluminum and Zinc is home to many Mining companies. The strategic location with a vast coastline makes is responsible in attracting foreign investment in steel, aluminum, power refineries and infrastructure. In the mining sector, the state boasts of Corporate presence of giants like the Tatas,Birlas,Jindals,Nalco,Vedanta and Bhusan Steel among others .The prospect look bright with Global bigwigs like Arcelor Mittal and Posco due to start in with their projects soon. Power also plays an important part in the economy of the state as the Orissa has reached a point of maximum power production. Utilizing on its abundant water resources to ample use, the state has reached a stage of surplus in power generation and sells electricity to many neighboring states. Orissa is also fast emerging as a player in the outsourcing of IT (Information Technology) and IT services industry. The total planned investment in the state is projected to be 90 billion U.S. dollars.

Among things that are produced in Orissa, include textiles, paper, leather goods, cement, soap and glass. Also it is known worldwide for the production of handicrafts which incidentally ranks as the top exported product from the state. Other items that are exported include gems, fancy jewelry and marine products along with iron ore, coal and aluminum.

With a heritage that defies time, abundant natural bounty, mineral resources and an educated mass that form its spine, Orissa is the state in reckoning. In fact, Orissa has become a multi dimensional, multi colored, vibrant & boisterous modern state all set to make its presence and voice felt in the nooks & crannies of the world.