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Glorious History About Orissa ... .. .
WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  The History of Orissa spans over 3,500 years and it is atypical from the history of the northern plains in many ways.

WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  The word Oriya is an anglicised version of Odia which itself is a modern name for the Odra or Udra tribes that inhabited the central belt of modern Orissa.

WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  In ancient times, Orissa was known as Kalinga

WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  Some parts of Southern and South Eastern Asia such as Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Java, Sumatra, Bali, Vietnam and Thailand were colonized by people from Orissa

WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  A major turning point in world history took place around 261 B.C. when the Mauryan emperor Ashoka, invaded Kalinga, which is famously known as Kalinga war.

WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  In the early past of the 1 st century B.C. Kalinga became independent under the Chedi Chief Mahameghavana.

WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  In 1803, the British under the British East India Company occupied Orissa after the Second Anglo-Maratha War. In 1823, Orissa was divided into the three districts of Cuttack, Balasore and Puri, and a number of native tributary states.

History of Orissa

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The History of Orissa spans over 3,500 years and it is atypical from the history of the northern plains in many ways. Many of the common generalizations that are made about Indian history doesn't apply to the Oriya region. The word Oriya is an anglicised version of Odia which itself is a modern name for the Odra or Udra tribes that inhabited the central belt of modern Orissa. Orissa has been the home of the Kalinga, Utkal and Kosal tribes that played a particularly prominent role in the region's history and one of the earliest references to the ancient Kalingas appears in the writings of Vedic chroniclers. In the 6th century, Vedic Sutrakara Baudhayana mentions Kalinga as being beyond the vedic fold, indicating that brahminical influences had not yet touched the land. Unlike some other parts of India, tribal customs and traditions played a significant role in shaping political structures and cultural practices right up to the 15th century when brahminical influences triumphed over competing traditions and caste differentiation began to inhibit social mobility and erode what had survived of the ancient republican tradition.

Kalinga

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In ancient times, Orissa was known as Kalinga. It was a major seafaring nation that controlled and traded with most of the sea routes in the Bay of Bengal. For several centuries, a substantial part of South Asia & Southeast Asia was under its cultural influence. The temple at Angkor Wat is a fine example of Orissan-influenced Indian architecture. Some parts of Southern and South Eastern Asia such as Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Java, Sumatra, Bali, Vietnam and Thailand were colonized by people from Orissa. In Malaysia, Indians are still referred as Klings because of this. Many illustrious Sri Lankan kings such as Nisanka Malla and Parakarama Bahu claim Kalinga origin. The king who destroyed the Sinhalese Buddhist control of Northern Sri Lanka and established a Hindu Kingdom in Jaffna was known as Kalinga Magha. One theory holds that the name of the country "Siam" for Thailand is derived from Oriya/Sanskrit Shyamadesha. The Angkor Wat in Cambodia is Orissan, with local variations. Bali in Indonesia still retains its Orissan-influenced Hindu heritage.

Nanda Rule

Mahapadmananda of Nanda Dynasty who ascended the throne of Magadha in 362 B. C. conquered and instituted Kalinga to his extensive empire. Although Kalinga lost her independence, she became economically prosperous under the Nanda rule. Mahapadmananda undertook irrigation projects to eradicate famine condition in Kalinga. The pre-Mauryan black polished potteries and punch-marked coins having four symbols found in plenty from Asurgarh in Kalahandi district and Sonapur in Bolangir district indicate the flourishing economic condition during the time of the Nanda rule.

After Mahapadmananda his eight sons ruled one after the other and the last Nanda king was overthrown by Chandragupta Maurya who found the Maurya empire in Magadha. During the time of Chandragupta’s rebellion against the last Nanda king, Kalinga declared herself independent and tried to build her strength as an overseas power.

Kalinga War & Mauryan Empire

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A major turning point in world history took place around 261 B.C. when the Mauryan emperor Ashoka, invaded Kalinga, which is famously known as Kalinga war. Ashoka's military campaign against Kalinga was one of the bloodiest in Mauryan history on account of the fearless and heroic resistance offered by the people of Kalinga to the mighty armies of the expanding Mauryan empire. Though Ashoka succeeded in occupying Kalinga but he could not the bear the horrendous slaughter caused by the war and therefore took up the path of non-violence and become the follower of Buddhism. Later on, Asoka was instrumental in spreading Buddhist philosophy all over Asia.

Perhaps on the account of Kalinga's unexpected bravery, emperor Ashoka was compelled to issue two edicts specifically calling for a just and benign administration in Kalinga. Kalinga became one of the administrative provisions in the empire of Magadha with headquarters of a Kumara (Viceroy) located at Tosali. The second headquarters was at Samapa where a high executive officer called Rajavachanika was stationed. Tosali was also the headquarters of the highest judiciary authority of the province.

Asoka aimed at a benevolent administration with a well organized bureaucracy and vigorously worked for the consolidation of the Maurya rule in the newly conquered province. Buddhism spared over Kalinga under his patronage and became the State religion while the art of stone masonry developed to a great extent. Edicts were engraved on the Dhauli and Jaugada rocks to inculcate his administration and religious principles to the people. Asoka died in 232 B.C. and the Maurya empire lasted up to 185 B.C.

Mahameghavahana Kharavela

In the early past of the 1 st century B.C. Kalinga became independent under the Chedi Chief Mahameghavana. The third ruler of this dynasty was Kharavela who flourished during the second half of the 1 st century B.C. The Hatigumpha inscription in Udayagiri near Bhubaneswar furnishes detailed accounts about the life and activities of Kharavela from his boyhood to his 13th reigning year.

British Period

In 1803, the British under the British East India Company occupied Orissa after the Second Anglo-Maratha War. In 1823, Orissa was divided into the three districts of Cuttack, Balasore and Puri, and a number of native tributary states. Orissa was administed as part of the Bengal Presidency. Following famine and floods in 1866, large scale irrigation projects were undertaken in the last half of the 19th century. The coastal section was separated from Bengal and made into the Province of Bihar and Orissa in 1912, in response to local agitation for a separate state for Oriya-speaking peoples. In 1936, Bihar and Orissa separated into separate provinces.

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