April 1, 2021: Every year, Utkal Divas is celebrated to commemorate the formation of the state of Odisha under the British provinces on linguistic grounds. People sing songs of glory and other indigenous songs for the state with cultural evenings and fireworks.
The first state to be formed on the linguistic basis in 1936 was the state of Odisha, after being a part of Bihar for years. Covering the major part of ancient Kalinga, it is here in Odisha that the epic Kalinga War that was led by King Ashoka who conquered the region in 260 B.C, was witnessed. For years, the state of Odisha was invaded and captured by the Mughals until the British provincials captured the administrative powers and divided it into small units in 1803.
The state of Odisha perpetuates eternal glory, elegance and history. The very epitome of serendipity, the symbol of sublimity and the anchor of scenery, the state of Odisha is regarded as India’s best kept secret till date.
Odisha is rich with not just culture and literature, but brims fully with talent and caliber.
History of Utkal Divas and the formation of the state
Utkal Divas is celebrated every year since 1936 to commemorate the formation of the state as a separate one out of Bihar and Odisha Province with addition of Koraput and Ganjam from the Madras Presidency.
After losing its political identity to the defeat and demise of its last King Mukunda Dev in 1568, efforts resulted in the formation of a politically separate state under the British rule on a linguistic basis in 1936.
The main revolution in Odisha continued for three decades prior to the day of formation of Utkal Sammilani that led to the foundation of a separate Odisha Province.
The present-day Odisha covered a major portion of the ancient Kalinga and witnessed the great Kalinga war, which was led by the great conqueror Ashoka. Ashoka conquered the region in 260 BC and subsequently the region was also captured by Mughal until the British took over the administrative powers and divided it into small units in 1803.
The western and northern districts became a part of the state of Bengal while the coastal region was allocated as Bihar and Odisha. After three decades of revolution under prominent leaders, the state was separated from Bihar and became a separate province on 1 April, 1936.
Under the leadership of these prominent leaders, the movement gained more intensity and more support from the public. Leaders like Utkala Gouraba Madhusudan Das, Utkala mani Gopabandhu Das, Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati, Pandita Nilakantha Das, Fakir Mohan Senapati, Gangadhar Meher, Sir Basudeba Sudhaladeba, Radhanath Ray, Bhubanananda Das, A. P. Patro and many others fueled the movement.
However, the newly formed Odisha consisted of six-districts namely Cuttack, Puri, Baleswar, Sambalpur, Koraput and Ganjam. The capital of the state was Cuttack and the oath of office was taken by Sir John Hubbak and he became the first Governor of Orissa Province.
Utkal Divas celebrations
Every year, Utkal Divas is celebrated all around the state with utmost joy and enthusiasm. Thousands of shops and Jhankis add to the beauty of this festival and make it more beautiful. Numerous programs and competitions are arranged by the local politicians, like the firework competition which makes the night sky look more stunning.
On that day all across the country, the family of Odia arranges different cultural programs like a sing-song program. Utkala Divasa the day of remembrance for all Odia helps everybody to be united.
The beautiful state of Odisha
Spread across an area of 155,707 sqkm in the east coast of India by the Bay of Bengal, stands high the state of Odisha with its rich culture and traditions. It is the ninth largest state by area in India and the eleventh largest by population.
History is witness to the fact that the state of Odisha has witnessed some of the harshest of cyclones and storms in the history of mankind and has emerged out with highness and glory. Odisha is best known for its effective and fully equipped disaster management techniques. After being hit by an intense tropical cyclone in the year 1999 which led to 10256 deaths and severe damages on an extreme level, Odisha has emerged out as a resilient state by outcasting all the damages and perishes and has shone higher.
Odisha is home to several tourist attractions and natural spots like the Jagannath Temple of Puri, the Konark Sun Temple, the Lingaraj Temple, Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves Dhaulagiri of Bhubaneshwar, Ashoka’s famous Rock Edict at Jaugada near Berhampur city and the Barabati Fort of Cuttack, etc. The state is of high archeological importance and significance. No wonder why it is known as India’s best kept secret.