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Odisha

Odisha is a state/Union Territory of India.

Odisha or Orissa is bounded on the north by Bihar, on the north-east by West Bengal, on the east by the Bay of Bengal, on the south by Andhra Pradesh and on the west by Chhattisgarh. The Eastern Ghats range and the Chota Nagpur plateau occupy the western and northern portions of the state while fertile alluvial plains occupy the coastal plain and the valleys of the Mahanadi, Brahmani, and Vaitarani rivers, which empty into the Bay of Bengal.

Orissa is situated on the eastern coast and is among the poorest states of India. It has a population of 32 million with a very high percentage of scheduled tribes and scheduled castes, approximately 40% of the total population. The agricultural sector accounts for 32% of the GSDP and 62% of the total employment. Around 17.5 million people live below the poverty line. Poverty is significantly worse in the western and southern districts of the state. The literacy rate is 50% and the rate of literacy is even worse in case of Adivasis and Dalits.

The capital of Orissa is Bhubaneswar. The city of Puri is nearby on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. Puri is a famous holy city and site of the annual festival of Lord Jagannath. Oriya is the State's official language. Orissa is one of the eastern states of India. The region, earlier known as the kingdom of Kalinga was scene of the bloody war fought by king Asoka the Great of Magadha.

Chilka Lake, a brackish water coastal lake on the Bay of Bengal, south of the mouth of the Mahanadi River, is the largest coastal lake in India. It is protected by the Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary, which harbors over 150 migratory and resident species of birds.

Odisha has a history spanning a period of over 5,000 years. Before Kalinga it was named as Udra or "Odra Desa". The Ancient Odra desa or Ordesa was limited to the valley of Mahanadi and to the lower course of Subarnarekha River.

A major turning point in world history took place in Odisha.[10] The Kalinga War that led emperor Ashoka to embrace non-violence and the teachings of Buddha was fought here in 261 BC. 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 Kalingas to the mighty armies of the expanding Mauryan empire. Perhaps on account of their unexpected bravery, emperor Ashoka was compelled to issue two edicts specifically calling for a just and benign administration in Kalinga. Later on, Ashoka was instrumental in spreading Buddhist philosophy all over Asia.

The landscape of Odisha is dotted with a large number of temples. The temples of Odisha conform to the Indo Aryan Nagara style of architecture, with distinctive features specific to this region. The best known of these are the Lingaraja temple at Bhubaneshwar, Jagannath Temple at Puri and the Sun Temple at Konark.

Bhubaneswar is well connected by air to all major cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore or Hyderabad. Bhubaneswar, Puri, Balasore, Cuttack, Khurda Road and Berhampur are major railheads on the East Coast Railway. Besides, other locations like Rourkela, Sambalpur, Talcher, Dheknanal and Koraput are also linked to the major cities by rail. Orissa has a fine network of roads crisscrossing through the length and breadth of the state.

High court is situated in Cuttack. Cuttack and Bhubaneshwar are the main cities of Odisha. Missile Reaserch and Test Centre of India is situated in Chandipal of Baleshwar district. Paradweep port is in Odisha. Puri is famous for Lord Jagannath temple, and other important temples are Sun Temple at Konark, Lingaraj Temple, and Chandi Mandir in Cuttack. Main festivals of Odisha are Raja, and other like Rathayatra, Akshay Tritiya, Dushera, Kali Puja, Holi, Diwali, etc.

Chief minister of Odisha is Naveen Patnaik as of December 2012. Famous persons of Odisha are Madhusudan Rao, Gopabandhu Das, Harihar Das, Biju Patnaik, Netaji Shubash Chandra Bose, Fakir Mohan Senapati, Upendra Bhanj etc.

Tourist places of Odisha are Nandan Kanan, Abhayaranya, Similpal etc. Hirakud dam in Odisha is largest dam in Asia.