Odisha celebrates the 85th foundation day of the state today, known as ‘Utkal Divas’, with utmost pride and glory. It is on this day that the state became independent in the year 1936.Utkal Divas, also known as Odisha Day and Utkala Dibasa, is celebrated on April 1 every year in memory of all the struggle that went into gaining a separate identity for the state that was once part of Kalinga.
The Indian state of Odisha came into being on April 1, 1936, around a decade before India achieved independence from the British colonisation. The state was established as a separate British India province and the day is celebrated as Orissa Day to encourage the remembrance of the same and foster a spirit of unity among all the citizens of the state. The region became part of Kalinga after it was conquered by Magadha King Ashoka in 261 BC to expand his Mauryan rule. After Mauryan rule, King Kharavela’s rule began in Odisha. Kharavela managed to avenge the Mauryan invasion by defeating Magadh.
In 1576, coastal Orissa fell to the Mughal Empire. Parts of the coast were taken over by the Marathas in the mid, the 1700s. After the Carnatic wars, the southern coast of Orissa was merged with the Madras Presidency by the East India Company. Bihar and Orissa became separate provinces born of the Bengal coastal region in 1912. Modern-day Orissa was formed as a province for the people speaking Oriya on April 1, 1936
The entire state indulges in merrymaking on Utkal Diwas with decorated shops, competitions arranged by local politicians, and cultural programs arranged by various families.
Odisha is the third state in India in terms of tribal population. It has been ruled by a number of rulers in history. Cuttack was the capital of the state from 1135 till 1948, after which Bhubaneswar took the mantle. Over 31 percent of the state is covered with forests and it boasts a great variety of flora and fauna. Odisha has the imprints of early human civilisation as well and many prehistoric tools dating to the Lower Paleolithic era have been discovered across the region.Orissa was renamed Odisha by the Parliament of India on November 9, 2010. The Oriya language was also simultaneously renamed Odia.