- GENERAL INFORMATION
- AGRICULTURE & ECONOMY
- FLORA & FUANA
Orissa located between 17o 49’N to 22o 34’N latitude and from 81o 29’E to 87o 29’E longitude on the eastern coast of India. West Bengal in northeast, Jharkhand in the north, Madhya Pradesh in the west, Andhra Pradesh in the south and the Bay of Bengal in the east bound it. Odisha also has approx 480 km of coastline stretched across Bay of Bengal on its east.Orissa was separated from Bihar and came into existence on 1 April 1936. In its long history spanning more than just the present millennium, the region of modern Orissa was known by different names at different points of time-Kalinga, Utkala, Kongada and Odr-desha.
Orissa can be divided into three broad regions – the Coastal plains, the Middle mountainous country and the Plateaus and rolling up lands. The Orissa Coastal Plains region stretches from the West Bengal border i.e. from the River Subarnarekha in the north to the River Rushikulya in the south. The Middle Mountainous Region covers about three-fourth of the entire State and comprises the hills and mountains of the Eastern Ghats. The Plateaus are mostly eroded plateaus forming the western slopes of the Eastern Ghats with elevation varying from 305-610 metres.
There are four groups of rivers, which flow through Orissa 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 Orissa, but flow through other states such as the Bahudu, the Vansadhara, and the Nagavali. Thelast group represents the rivers having a source inside Orissa, but tributary to rivers, which flow, through other states such as the Machkund, the Sileru, the Kolab, and the Indravati. Bhubaneswar is the capital of Odisha.
Standing on the coastal belt, the weather in Odisha (Orissa) is greatly influenced by the sea. There are three major seasons – Summer (March-June), Rainy Season (July-September) and the Winter (October-February). Odisha (Orissa) lying just South of the Tropic of Cancer, has a tropical climate. The temperatures are quite high during summer and the sun very harsh. The maximum temperature of Orissa, in the summer season, goes well above 40 deg C. In Winter he weather in this season is quite chilly, though not freezing, and the minimum temperature dips to as low as 7 deg C. Southwest monsoons head its way in the beginning of June and by July, the whole of the state is under its influence. By the mid October, southwest monsoons withdraw from this region completely. The coastal areas of the state usually experience cyclone and tornado during this season.
Over 76 percent of the people are dependent on agriculture. Rice, pulses, oil seeds, jute, mesta, sugarcane, coconut and turmeric are important crops. There are also cash crops like tea, cotton and rubber. The state contributes one-tenth of the rice production in India. Jute, gram, sesame, ragi, mustard, rape and maize are second-ranking crops in different districts. A combination of coal, iron ore, limestone, bauxite and a host of other minerals on the one hand and port facilities on the other are the unique features in Orissa. In addition, the bountiful forest resources and agricultural products provide ample scope for the development of forest-based and agro-based industries.
The major industries of the state include cement, aluminum, ceramic glass, chemical, fertilizer, heavy water, aeronautical industry, and agri-based industries such as cotton textiles, sericulture, sugar mills and rice mills.
Odisha (Orissa) is immensely wealthy state at its flora and fauna. The emergence of a big range of flora and fauna of Odisha(Orissa) is the answer of the diverse topography of the state.
Its vegetation and wildlife in the coastal area is completely different from that in the plateaus and plains as the back water lagoons – including Chilka, the largest coastal lake of India – have a very significant impact on the region’s ecological and biological balance. Almost one-third of Odisha is covered by forests. Some of the trees which grow in abundance in Odisha are bamboo, teak, rosewood,sal, piasal, sanghvan and haldi. Odisha’s forests yield large quantities of teak and bamboo. Teak, apart from medicinal plants and kendu leaves contribute substantially towards Odisha’s economy.
Odisha (Orissa) wildlife is very diverse. As the flora of Odisha, large variety of wildlife can be observed in state’s forests. They are home to a range of distinctive animals – including Royal Bengal Tigers, Asiatic Elephants, Leopards, Lion Tailed Macaque, Giant Squirrel, Indian Pangolin, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Sloth Bear, Sambar, Chowsinghas, Flying Cat and Wild Dogs, as well as Cobra, Python and Gharial etc. The Bhitarkanika Mangroves, the migratory avian, salt water crocodiles of Bhitarkanika, and the mugger crocodiles of Simlipal, as if the entire wildlife has joined hands in the state on the principles of adaptation.
The forests are also the home for the Reptiles and amphibians like Salt Water Crocodiles, Gharials, Turtle, cobra, python, Olive Ridley Turtles and Water Monitor Lizards. Water bodies, especially the Chilka lagoon is home for the majestic Irrawaddy Dolphins, with huge numbers of migratory birds annually, is the paradise for the bird lovers. Grey Hornbill, Indian Pied Hornbill, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Indian Trogon, Red Jungle Fowl, Hill Mynah, Peafowl, Alexandrine Parakeet, Lesser Flamingos, Goliath Heron, Pond Herons, Night Herons, Grey Herons, Purple Herons, Egrets, Spoonbills, Storks, Black-headed Ibis, Avocets, Stilts, Godwits, Asiatic Dowitchers, Dalmatian Pelican, Pallas’s Fish-eagles, Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Spot-billed pelican can be seen along with the beautiful resident birds.
The majority (over 94%) of people in the state of Odisha are Hindu and there is also a rich cultural heritage in the state. Christians in Odisha account for about 2.4% of the population while Oriya Muslims account for 2.1% as per census figures of 2001. The Sikh, Buddhist and Jain communities together account for 0.1% of the population. Tribal people in Orissa such as, the Santhals and the Mundas follow the Saran tribal religion.