We all know about the wealthy heritage of India that dates back quite a few thousands of years. Even though there are quite a few common heritage destinations strewn all across the nation, there are some lesser identified ones also. I like to point your focus to the state of Odisha that has quite a few such unexplored heritage gems. From some of India’s oldest cave temples to shadow puppetry, from ancient Buddhist websites to 2500 year old art types, from some of the most intricate temple architecture to some of the oldest maritime trade centers and from wonderful sand art to some of the most graceful dances, Odisha appears to have it all. This photo story aims at bring these unexplored heritage gems to light. Thank you Odisha Tourism and Occasions Passion Trails for letting me encounter them up close and in genuine.
Do program a vacation to Odisha, India’s very best kept secret, if this write-up piques your interest!
Above photo: Odisha is the dwelling of planet renowned sand artist and Padma Shri awardee Sudarsan Pattnaik who has represented India in more than 60 international sand sculpture championships. Hailing from poor family members and with the blessings of Lord Jagannath, it was at Puri beach that Mr. Sudarsan Pattnaik honed his art. If you occur to be in Puri, do stop by his Sudarsan Sand Art Institute.
Above photo: Mentioned to have originated sometime in 5th century B.C in India, Greece or China, Shadow puppetry nonetheless exists in Odisha. Known as Ravana Chhaya, these shadow plays of Odisha, portray the abduction of Sita, the Quest for Sita, Mahalaxmi Katha and quite a few other mythological and modern stories. It is from Eastern and Southern India that such shadow puppetry come across its way to South East Asia and East Asia, possibly throughout the reign of King Ashoka and the Chola Kings, each of whom have been exceptionally powerful sea farers.
Above photo: Regarded as to be the gem of Kalinga architecture, the Mukteshwar temple dates back to 950 AD. Preceding each the Lingaraj and the Rajarani temples of Bhubaneshwar, the Muktesvara temple is the only temple in this area that has a torana or porch. It is complete of lattice operate and intricate carving and sculpting. It is believed that quite a few artisans of the later years took inspiration from this temple for their styles.
Above photo: Someplace in the 5th to 6th century AD, there have been Buddhist monasteries and universities in Odisha exactly where Buddhist monks focussed on their monastic life and meditation research. Ratnagiri, along with Lalitgiri and Udaygiri is portion of the Pushpagiri Buddhist maha vihara is believed to have the birth location of all the preachers of Buddhism. It is from these Buddhist universities that Buddhism is believed to have traveled to China, South East Asia and the far east. Such huge Buddha statues and quite a few votive stupas can be observed all across Ratnagiri ruins.
Above photo: The UNESCO Planet Heritage Konark Sun Temple is some thing that most of us are conscious of. It you are not, just appear at the back of the new 10 rupee currency note and you will see it. This magnificent Sun temple is a beautiful operate of art, creativity, size and technological brilliance. The evening sound and light show at this temple is a fantastic way to rewind the years and realize the why, how and when of this temple. Even though some of the story is factual, the other bit is folk lore and mythological. Nonetheless, a captivating 35 minutes in front of a single of India’s very best temples.
Above photo: Have you observed the colorful umbrellas that defend the Lord Jagannath, Balram and Subadhra from the components throughout the Rath Yatra? That umbrella is the operate of artisans from a smaller village named Pipili and their craft is named Chandua or Indian applique operate. What began as a craft to decorate the gods has now evolved into wedding shamianas, bags, wall hangings, lamp shades, umbrellas and so a lot a lot more.
Above photo: 1 of the earliest websites of Buddhism in Odisha, it is believed that Buddhism was practiced, preached and taught unbroken from the 3th century BC till the 10th century AD. Even though a large stupa nonetheless stands intact even now, quite a few brick and stone primarily based remnants adorn the rest of the landscape. Stupas, sculptures of Buddha, Avalotikeshvara and Tara can also be discovered right here.
Above photo: For more than 700 years, the Anant Basudev temple in Bhubaneshwar has cooked meals in their temple kitchen and presented it to the temple gods. There have been wars, famines, fires and quite a few other calamities throughout these 700 years, but the temple under no circumstances as soon as shut down its kitchen. This temple constructed in the 13th century overlooks the Bindu Sagar lake and is just a stone’s throw away from the well-known Lingaraj temple.
Above photo: Present day Odissi classical dance types have been influenced by this dance kind that originates in the village of Raghurajpur and exactly where boys dress as girls and show a mixture of grace, strength and acrobatics via their dance. Gotipua, which indicates ‘single boy’ in Odia language, is a regular dance kind of Odisha exactly where young boys dress as females to praise Lord Jagannath and Lord Krishna.
Above photo: A lot more than 500 years old, Tarakasi is a sort of silver filigree operate that flourishes in the old components of Cuttack even now. Wealthy in patterns, Tarakasi jewellery specializes in necklaces, toe rings, anklets and arm jewellery. Primarily based on mythological themes and regular styles, they are heavily sought following by temples and pandals to decorate their gods, by Odissi dancers and throughout marriage functions.
Above photo: Odisha is land of quite a few indigenous communities or tribes and every single tribe adds a bit of wealthy heritage to this state. Like the well-known Madhubani art from Bihar and the Warli art of Maharashtra, the Saura (Saora) tribe of Odisha, deemed to be amongst the most ancient tribes of India, have their personal exceptional art kind that is referred to as Saura art. Saura art utilizes clear geometric frames and shapes, organic dyes and raw components that they can come across in the earth about them. Initially utilised to paint the walls of their houses, they have been use extensively in festivals and cultural occasions. Nowadays, they can be discovered in every thing from T shirts to wall hangings, mugs, lamp shades and a lot more.
Above photo: When you go on your Bhubaneshwar heritage stroll, you will stroll via a maze of temples. Apparently, these temples have been like prototypes prior to the final operate item. You will notice quite a few smaller temples subsequent to the completed and a lot more prominent a single. You will see this trend at Muktesvara, Raja Rani, Linggaraj and Parasurameswar temples. Such practice guarantees that the final temple is a operate of correct class. See for oneself in this beautifully sculpted wall of the 7th century Parasurameswar temple.
Above photo: A lot of of you would not know, but Kalinga was deemed a gateway to the east in the 3rd to 1st century BC, thanks to the maritime ambitions of King Ashoka and the Maurya and Kalinga empires. The kings utilised it for maritime trade then. Buddhism spread far and wide thanks to this maritime trade. Then, the British got on to that maritime bandwagon. And we continue to use it even now. Paradip and Gopalpur on sea are some of the most important port places. In Cuttack’s Odisha State Maritime Museum that was opened in 1869, you can see all of this wealthy maritime history ideal from the days of King Ashoka and how it has been documented in all the religious scripts and documentation of that era.
Above photo: For a quite lengthy time, I believed West Bengal was the dwelling of the Rasgulla, till I visited Pahala and learnt of its wealthy history with chenna primarily based items, particularly Chenna Gaja, Chenna Poda and Rasgulla. Even although, this is in dispute, there is a lot of folklore and history that says that Odisha’s initial Rasgulla was created at Pahala. West Bengal’s Rasgulla is distinct from the a single created in Odisha and is deemed to be a variation of the Odisha Rasgulla. You have to attempt out these milk primarily based desserts for an genuine Odisha vacation encounter.
Above photo: Most of our ancient scripts in India have been written on palm leaves. Right after all, this leaf and the inscriptions on it are believed to exist for quite a few centuries. The artisans of Raghurajpur also use palm leaves, a blunt metal pencil and soot to make wonderful paintings. These paintings are named Tala Patra or Tadopatra and are believed to withstand the correct test of time. Mythological stories from Hinduism and Buddhism are ordinarily portrayed right here.
Above photo: Along with Lalitgiri and Ratnagiri, Udaygiri types the Pushpagiri Buddhist university. In this image, you can see the ruins of Udayagiri with living quarters for the monks, meditation rooms, massive college premises, a nicely laid out drainage program and a stepwell to draw water. Some of these ancient brick structures have withstood the test of time and are a treat for all heritage lovers.
Above photo: Udayagiri caves close to Bhubaneshwar are dwelling to some of the oldest living cave temples of India. Dating back to 2nd century BC, each Udayagiri and Khandagiri that is ideal opposite it, is created up of finely ornate and nicely sculpted figures. They have been initially constructed as residence for Jain ascetics throughout the reign of King Kharavela.
Above photo: Along with Patta chita, Tala Patra and Goti Pua, Raghurajpur is dwelling to however a different handicraft. There are a group of artisans who make toys and smaller figures with papier mache, waste items and cow dung. Faces of gods are the usual theme, but in some cases normal birds and animals are also created employing these raw components. After the item is completed and prepared, it is then colored employing organic dyes.
Above photo: You can not come to Odisha and not watch a regular Odissi classical dance overall performance. The grace with which they enact Krishna Leela and Ram Leela is a treat for the eyes. In case you didn’t know currently, this is an ancient dance kind and is believed to have originated in the Hindu temples of Odisha. If you watch closely, you will notice that quite a few sculptures of dancers in these temples are in this dance position.
Above photo: Did you know that Netaji Subash Chandra Bose was born in Cuttack? We all know his Bengali roots, his fight for freedom, his revolutionary thoughts and his expertise in funds, law, articulation, flying and tactic. All of this began in Cuttack exactly where he was born. Nowadays, his birth dwelling is preserved as a museum and shows several facets of his life.
Above photo: 1 of Odisha’s very best handicrafts, you can say that I have kept the very best for the final. Pattachitra is that 2500 year old art kind that as soon as started for the gods and then evolved in so a lot a lot more. Stories of Ganesha, Shiva, Krishna, Rama, Durga, Buddha and so quite a few other individuals have been created on this hand created cloth employing colors and items that are discovered naturally in the land of Odisha. These paintings can final for hundreds of years with no losing even a bit of their brilliance. Nowadays, the Pattachitra enjoys iconic status and they are even replicated on silk sarees for custom orders and marriages.