Odisha is one of such Indian state, known for its cultural richness and diversified land of heritage and tradition. Located at the Eastern end of India, Odisha is imbibed with a long stretch of coastline, museums, temples, biosphere reserves, wildlife, nature and so much more and that actually makes it one of the worthy and must-see destinations of the country. The natural and bewitching beauty of sun-kissed sand beaches and lakes along with the fantabulous architectural artwork of the centuries ago manufactured forts and temples to unseen and rare wildlife experiences to adventure and fun activities; make the land of Odisha like an eye-catching treat for travelers, tourists, and visitors coming from all corners of the globe.
There are some places in India that are special, and Odisha (Orissa) tourism is definitely one of them. Filled with exquisite temples and extraordinary monuments, home to many thousands of prolific artists and craftsmen; and possessing beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, and natural landscape of often-enchanting beauty, Odisha (Orissa) tourism is a unique and fascinating land that is, nevertheless, still largely undiscovered by tourists.
Geographically Odisha stands as a coastal corridor between the northern and southern India cut off by the intractable Vindhyas. It is natural therefore that an assimilation of the races and cultures of the Aryans and the Dravidians must have taken place. With an area of about 1,55,707 square kilometers, the state offers diverse habitats from lush green and hilly terrain to coastal plains and rolling river valleys, crises-crossed by the Brahmani, the Mahanadi, and the Bansadhara rivers. With its long history spanning several centuries, the region of modern Odisha is today one of the most popular destinations with tourists.
Geographical Location of Odisha comprises of many facets of Topology. There are the burning Chotnagpur plateaus on one hand while on the other lies the mystifying Bay of Bengal. The topography of the states reveals the exact location of Odisha on the axis of the earth and enlightens us about the unique physical features of the state. It lies between the 81.27'E and 87.29'East longitude and 17.49'N and 22.34'North latitude. It is the 9th largest state of India with an area of around 155,707 square kilometers. The Bay of Bengal fences its boundaries from the eastern side with a coastline of around 450 km. Madhya Pradesh lies on its western part while it has Andhra Pradesh on its South; towards the North, it has West Bengal as its neighbor.
There are four meteorological seasons are felt in Odisha namely: Winter season (January-February) Pre-monsoon season (March-May) Southwest monsoon season (June-September) Post monsoon or northeast monsoon season (October-December) However in Odisha locally there are six seasons: Grishma, Barsha, Sarata, Hemanta, Sisira, Basanta which cover the whole year.
There are four groups of rivers, which flow through Odisha into the Bay of Bengal. The first group is the rivers that have a source outside the State such as the Subarnarekha, the Brahmani and the Mahanadi. The second group is the rivers having a source inside the State such as the Budhabalanga, the Baitarini, the Salandi, and the Rushikulya. The third group represents the rivers having a source inside the Odisha, but flow through other states such as the Bahudu, the Vansadhara, and the Nagavali. The last group represents the rivers having a source inside Odisha, but tributary to rivers, which flow, through other states such as the Machkund, the Sileru, the Kolab, and the Indravati.
Odia one of the oldest languages in the country is the predominant language spoken in the state and its outlying tracts. Odia is the official language of the state and 84 percent of the people speak in Odia. Besides Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, and Telugu are widely understood and sometimes spoken. English is spoken by the educated few. There are also a number of tribal languages by the tribal people of the state.
A direct descendant of eastern Magadhi, Oriya is the principal and regional language of Odisha (Orissa). Belonging to the Aryan family of languages, it is closely related to Assamese, Bengali, and Maithili. Under the influence of neighboring regional languages of the Aryan and Dravidian families, Oriya has developed many linguistic variations, such as Baleswari (Balasore), Bhatri (Koraput), Laria (Sambalpur), Sambalpuri (Sambalpur and other western districts), Ganjami (Ganjam and Koraput), Chhattisgarhi (Chhatisgarh and adjoining areas of Odisha (Orissa)) and Medinipuri (Midnapur district of West Bengal).
Odisha Tourism has bagged the PATWA International Award under the category “Best Heritage State in India” for 2012 in a prestigious award ceremony at ITB Berlin. Director Tourism, Shri H. S. Upadhyay, and President Tour Operator Association Mr. Simon Benjamin were present in the ceremony to receive the award.
The PATWA award is given in cooperation with Messe Berlin, to recognize Governments, individuals, organizations involved in the promotion of tourism from various sectors such as aviation, hotels, travel agencies, tour operators, government agencies and the like. The PATWA is the world's biggest 'Travel Writers' organization, represented by members from 70 countries across the world. The aim of the PATWA International Award is to honor the destinations, entrepreneurs, who have made an invaluable contribution in Aviation, Hospitality and Tourism industry.