Odisha formerly known as Orissa, is an Indian state on the subcontinent’s eastern part. It is surrounded by the Indian states of West Bengal to the north-east, Jharkhand to the north, Chhattisgarh to the west and north-west and Andhra Pradesh to the south.Odisha also has approx 480 km of coastline stretched across Bay of Bengal on its east. It is the modern name of the ancient kingdom of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka in 261 BCE resulting in the bloody Kalinga War. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April 1936, as a province in British India and consisted predominantly of Oriya speakers. 1 April is therefore celebrated as Utkala Dibasa (foundation day of Odisha). The region is also known as Utkala when mentioned in India’s national anthem, “Jana Gana Mana”. Cuttack remained the capital of the state for over eight centuries until 13 April 1948 when Bhubaneswar was officially declared as the new state capital, a position it still holds.
Odisha is the 9th largest state by area in India, and the 11th largest by population. Oriya (officially spelled Odia) is the official and most widely spoken language, spoken by three quarters of the population.