Monday 30 April 2018

Utkala, Kalinga, Orissa - Some Names of Odisha #AToZChallenge

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Odisha was constituted on April 1,1936, as Orissa.
The word 'Utkala' means 'Utkarsha Kala' or 'the land of exquisite art & craft'.

History refers to Odisha in many names - Kalinga, Utkala, Odra, Kosala, Tosali, Kangoda, Udavisau, Odyadesa, ...

Kalinga is a famous and popular name of Odisha thanks to the Kalinga War. In fact, some refer to Odisha as Kalinga even today!
(At the venue of the Peace Run at Lumbini, Nepal in 2017, they introduced me and Budhia Singh as belonging to Kalinga!)

In the 2018 annual lecture of Sambad and Aama Odisha held on 28th April i.e. on Swabhiman Dibasa, researcher Shri R.Balakrishnan shared: "The word 'Kalinga' means 'a piece of cloth or garment'. This proves how ancient the handlooms are. Odisha has always been known for its weavers and artisans. Kalinga finds mention in the ancient Tamil literature too."

Between the 11th and 16th centuries, in place of the name Kalinga, the old tribal name 'Odra Desha'/'Udra' began to be used. 
Gradually, the name was transformed into Odisha (or Udisha, or Udisa), which in English was named 'Orissa'.
The spelling -'Orissa' was widely used.
An acrobatic foot archer named Orissa Kelly has been named after Orissa.

Many Geography books, Atlas, Maps and Tourism Guides still have 'Orissa' as the spelling of Odisha.
Even some newspapers  and Central Government Offices still have "Orissa" in their names.
(After I contacted @CCidOrissaIndia, they simply changed the place name to Odisha, but the office name still has "Orissa")
Many are not aware that the spelling of 'Orissa' has been changed to 'Odisha' in 2011.
The Rajya Sabha passed the Orissa (the Alteration of Name) Bill and adopted the Constitution 113th Amendment Bill after a debate where members said the name-change was a "process of decolonisation as the Britishers had changed the Indian names of cities and states."
The language of Odisha that was previously known as 'Oriya' (before the name-change of the state) is now 'Odia'.

Since Kalinga is linked to Odisha's maritime glory, and Utkala refers to the rich artistic excellence, the two names are still widely used and well-known.
There are many companies and brands that have Kalinga and Utkala in their names including some recent startups like our company's brand- Utkalamrita.

Post for my second #atozchallenge. U for Utkala.
My Theme is- "Odisha- The Soul of Incredible India".
Odisha is a state in the eastern part of India. Have you visited Odisha and India? 
I am sharing some glimpses from Odisha. Do keep reading and discovering!


  1. Thanks for the information.Still people outside Odisha use the words Orissa and Oriya incorrectly.

    1. Yes. Even some Odias still use "Orissa".
      Official spelling is yet to find wide acceptance & usage.
      Names of institutions and companies that have "Orissa", continue using the same names.
      Name-change has huge costs & implications attached.

  2. Nice to know, Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks for the facts...keep educating us

  4. I liked the name Orissa better...these politicians will change India one day!

  5. The name KALINGA is more good and better than the name ODISSA for the state, Because the kalinga war is the second most popular and great war in India after kurukshetra. So I think it's a proud to call the state as KALINGA.


Your words mean a lot to me.

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