Bhubaneswar Knowledge Guide
Dhauli, near Bhubaneswar was the site of the Kalinga War (c. 262-261 BCE), in which the Mauryan emperor Ashoka invaded and annexed Kalinga. One of the most complete edicts of the Mauryan Emperor, Ashoka, dating from between 272–236 BCE, remains carved in rock 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) to the southwest of the modern city. After the decline of the Mauryan empire, the area came under the rule of Mahameghavahana dynasty, whose most well-known rule is Kharavela. His Hathigumpha inscription is located at the Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves near Bhubaneswar. The area was subsequently ruled by several dynasties, including Satavahanas, Guptas, Matharas, and Shailodbhavas.In 7th century, Somavamshi or Keshari dynasty established their kingdom in the area, and constructed a number of temples. After the Kesharis, the Eastern Gangas ruled Kalinga area until 14th century CE. Their capital Kalinganagara was located in present-day Bhubaneswar City. After them, Mukunda Deva of the Bhoi dynasty – the last Hindu ruler of the area until the Marathas – developed several religious buildings in the area. Most of the older temples in Bhubaneswar were built between 8th and 12th centuries, under Shaiva influence. The Ananta Vasudeva Temple is the only old temple of Vishnu in the city. In 1568, the Karrani dynasty of Afghan origin gained control of the area. During their reign, most of the temples and other structures were destroyed or disfigured.In the 16th century, the area came under pachamani Mughal control. The Marathas, who succeeded the Mughals in mid-18th century, encouraged pilgrimage in the region. In 1803, the area came under British colonial rule, and was part of the Bengal Presidency (until 1912), Bihar and Orissa Province (1912-1936) and Orissa Province (1936-1947). The capital of the British-ruled Orissa Province was Cuttack, which was vulnerabile to floods and suffered from space constraints. Because of this, on 30 September 1946, a proposal to move the capital to a new capital was introduced in the Legislative Assembly of the Odisha Province. After independence of India, the foundation of the new capital was laid by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on 13 April 1948.The name of the new capital came from "Tribhubaneswara" or "Bhubaneswara" (literally "Lord of the Earth"), a name of Shiva, the deity of the Lingaraja temple. The Legislative Assembly of Odisha was shifted from Cuttack to Bhubaneswar in 1949. Bhubaneswar was built as a modern city, designed by German architect Otto Königsberger with wide roads, gardens and parks. Though part of the city followed the plan, it grew rapidly over the next few decades, outstripping the planning process. According to the first census of independent India, taken in 1951, the city's population was just 16,512. From 1952 to 1979, it was administered by a Notified Area Council or a nagar panchayat; a municipality was established only on 12 March 1979. By the 1991 census, the population of Bhubaneswar had increased to 411,542. Accordingly, on 14 August 1994, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation was established.
Odissi dance is generally accompanied by Odissi music. Srjan, the Odissi dance academy founded by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, the legendary Odissi dancer is found here. The Rabindra Mandapa in central Bhubaneswar plays host to cultural engagements, theatre and private functions.
Dress and attire
Though Odia women traditionally wear the sari, shalwar kameez and of late, Western attire is gaining acceptance among younger women. Western-style dress has greater acceptance among men, although the traditional dhoti and kurta are seen during festivals. The Odisha State Museum offers archaeological artefacts, weapons, local arts and crafts as well as insights into Odisha's natural and indigenous history. The Tribal Research Institute Museum hosts authentic tribal dwellings created by tribal craftsmen. Nandankanan Zoological Park, located on the northern outskirt of the city, is India's first zoo to join World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The State Botanical Garden (Odisha) and Regional Plant Resource Center, popularly known as Ekamra Kanan, a park and botanical garden, has a large collection of exotic and regional fauna. The Ekamra Haat is a hand-loom and handicrafts market. Nicco Park and Ocean World are amusement parks. Other museums include Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Regional Museum of Natural History, Regional Science Center and State Handicrafts Museum.
On the day of Ashokashtami in the month of March or April, the image of Lingaraja (Shiva) and other deities are taken in a procession from Lingaraja Temple to the Mausima Temple, where the deities remain for four days. Hundreds of devotees participate in pulling the temple car that carries the deities, known as Rukuna Ratha. Ratha-Yatra, "Temple Car Festival," is the most important festival in Odisha and Bhubaneswar. The festival commemorates Jagannatha, who is said to have been the incarnation of India's revered deities, Vishnu and Krishna. Durga Puja, held in September–October, is an occasion for glamorous celebrations.As a part of the Ekamra Festival, many cultural sub-festivals takes place in January in Bhubaneswar which includes Kalinga Mahotsaba (for traditional martial arts), Dhauli-Kalinga Mahotsaba (for classical dance forms), Rajarani Music Festival (for classical music) and Mukteswara Dance Festival (for Odishi dance). Residents engage in khattis, or leisurely chats, that often take the form of freestyle intellectual conversation.Other festivals celebrated include Shivaratri, Diwali, Ganesha Chaturthi, Nuakhai and Saraswati Puja. Eid and Christmas are celebrated by the religious minorities in the city.Adibasi Mela is a fair that displays art, artefacts, tradition, culture, and music of the tribal inhabitants of Odisha is held in January. Toshali National Crafts Mela, held in December, showcases handicrafts from all over India and from foreign countries. Other important fairs in the city include the Rajdhani Book Fair and Khandagiri Utsav. Two international literary festival are held in the city, namely Kalinga Literature Festival and Mystic Kalinga. In modern times Bhubaneswar hosts a literary festival the "Odisha Literary Fest".
Key elements of the city's cuisine include rice and a fish curry known as Machha Jhola, which can be accompanied by desserts such as Rasagola, Rasabali, Chhena Gaja, Chhena Jhilli and Chhena Poda. Odisha's large repertoire of seafood dishes includes various preparations of lobsters and crabs brought in from Chilika Lake.Street foods such as Gupchup (a deep-fried crêpe, stuffed with a mix of mashed potatoes and boiled yellow peas, and dipped in tamarind-infused water), Cuttack-chaat, Dahi bara-Aloo dum (a deep-fried doughnut-shaped lentil dumpling marinated in yogurt-infused water and served alongside potato curry) and Bara-ghuguni are sold all over the city. Traditional Oriya food such as Dahi-Pakhala (rice soaked in water with yogurt and seasonings) which is considered as a body coolant, accompanied by Badi chura or saga are consumed during months of April–June.The Abadha of Lingaraja Temple and Ananta Vasudeva Temple served for devotees is considered a vegetarian culinary delight. Other vegetarian dishes are Dalma (made of lentils and vegetables boiled together and then fried with other spices) and Santula (lightly spiced steamed vegetables). Sweets play a large part in the diet of Bhubaneswarites—especially at their social ceremonies. Bhubaneswar is known for its kora-khhaii which are made up of paddy, jaggery and coconut pieces. Pitha, a kind of sweet cake, bread or dim sum are winter specialties.