that was Kalinga
Arun Kumar Panda
mentioned in the ancient scriptures as Kalinga the Braves (Kalinga Sahasikha).
This is evident right from the famous Kalinga War to the victory of Emperor
Kharavela from North to South and from the martial arts of Bhoumakar and Soma
Dynasty rulers. Similar evidence is also gathered from the military expeditions
of achievements of Ananta Verma, Brajahasta, Devendra Verma and Kamarnaba Deb
regarding the bravery of the Kalinga warriors.
During the 3rd
century B.C. the Greek ambassador Megasthenes in his tour of India had mentioned
about the military strength of the Kalinga army of about one lakh which
consisted of 60 thousand soldiers, 1700 horses and thousands of elephants.
Kalinga was also powerful in the naval force. The vast military strength of
Kalinga was the cause of jealousy for the Magadha empire. According to the
historians the Magadha Emperor Ashoka invaded Kalinga in 261 B.C. Nearly one
lakh soldiers lost their lives in the Kalinga War and one and half lakh soldiers
invasion the capital of Kalinga was Toshali near Dhauli. The vast wealth,
military power and the maritime activities of the Kalinga was the cause of
jealousy for the Magadha empire. Though both Emperor Chandragupta Maurya and
Bindusar wanted to conquer Kalinga, neither ventured a war with Kalinga.
The Kalinga war
was the first and last war of Ashoka where he himself declared that the conquest
through dharma was the real conquest than the conquest through violence. The
terrible killings and bloodshed in the war converted him from Chandasoka to
Dharmasoka and led Ashoka to become a Buddhist.
After the death
of Ashoka, the Great Kharavela became the emperor of Kalinga. He was the monarch
of the Chedi Dynasty. The inscription found in the Elephant Caves of Khandagiri
and Udaigiri mountains near Bhubaneswar describes in detail the reign of Emperor
Towards the end
of the 1st century B.C. there was a sharp decline in the Kalinga kingdom and no
remarkable achievements was noticed. This period is known as the Dark Age of
adopted Jainism and spread Jainism not only in Kalinga but also in the conquered
kingdoms. But after the death of Kharavela Kalinga was converted into a weak
empire which lasted about 300 years. During this period rulers of Mathars,
Basistha, and Bigraha dynasty ruled Kalinga.
there came the golden period of Kalinga. From 5th century AD to 8th Century AD
the emperors of Saila Bhaba dynasty ruled over Kalinga. Like Kharavela, King
Sailendra also reorganised the Kalinga army and converted it into a valourous
Sailendra's reign, the business through sea-route reached its height. The
merchants of Kalinga went to Sri Lanka and many islands of South-East Asia and
established business empire there.
During the rule
of the Mathar king Vijayavardhana Kalinga witnessed tremendous progress in the
field of education and economic developments. The famous Panchatantra was
written by Pundit Vishnu Sharma, a courtier of his time.
occupied the throne, the progress and developments gained momentum. As a result
of which the brave Oriya merchants sailed from Dantapur port of Kalinga (now
Palur) and from the Mahanadi Coast to Java, Sumatra, Bali, Borneo islands and
established cultural kingdoms there.
a Muslim dominated country and Islam being the principal religion the effect of
Hinduism and the Ramayana was prevalent. The former Presidents Sukarno and
Suharto, and the present vice-President Megawati, although having Sanskrit
names, are all Muslims by religion. Ramayana Festival is the national festival
of Indonesia and its airline company is named as Garuda Air-ways. A tribe named
Kling is settled in the Bali islands. It is understood that the Kling tribe is
the immigrants of Kalinga.
of boat worship and boat sailing on the fullmoon day of Kartik throughout Orissa
awakens the memory of brave Kalinga merchants sailing to the distant islands.
Each year the famous Baliyatra celebration is held for seven days starting from
Kartik Purnima on the Baliyatra field near the famous Barabati fort, Cuttack.
According to the historians the Baliyatra is celebrated to commemorate the
sailing expedition of the brave Kalinga merchants.
The people of
Indian origin in the whole of South-East Asia are known as "Kunsun"
(inhabitants of Kalinga). According to the famous historian R.C. Majumdar, the
Hindus of Kalinga and the Muslims of Gujarat spread the Indian culture first in
Java and then in the west of South-East Asia. The people of Java and Bali
Islands have high regards for Indian epics and they recite the slokas and
mantras the way we Indians do. The use of the word Jaganath is seen in their
slokas and many Sanskrit words are also used in their languages.
ambassador Huan Tsang had visited Kalinga in the 7th century AD Huan Tsang's
travel-account shows that during that period the Kalinga kingdom was divided
into three parts namely Udra, Kangoda and Kalinga. Also during that period
Buddhism spread far and wide. The universities at Puspagiri Vihar, Udaigiri and
Dhaulgiri were established to teach Buddhism.
under the Bhouma dynasty kings after the reign of King Sailendra. Kalinga was
given the name Utkal by Bhouma Dynasty king Sibarkar Deb in 8th century A.D. In
1055 AD the Soma Dynasty monarch of South Koshala took the reign of Utkal.
Biraja Khetra (Jajpur) was the capital of Bhouma royal dynasty and later it was
shifted to Suvarnapur. Soma dynasty monarch Jajatikeshari again established the
capital of his kingdom in Jajpur (Jajati Nagar). The territory of Utkal again
expanded during the reign of Maharaja Jajati. His reign witnessed the
establishment of Lingaraj temple and many Shiva temples in Ekramakhetra. He
recovered and restored Sri Jagannath relics stolen by Raktabahu and at the same
time performed Ashvamedha ceremony in Jajatinagar.
dynasty ruled Utkal after the fall of Soma dynasty. Ananta Vardhan Chodaganga
Deb had ruled Utkal for about 70 years from 1078 AD to 1147 AD. The famous
Jagannath Temple was built during his reign. The other two monarchs of the Ganga
dynasty who had proved their calibre in administration were Anangabhima Dev-III
and Narasingha Deb-I. Anangabhima Deb did not accept the Moghul supremacy and
for this he was attacked by Banga Nawab, which he won at last. It was during his
period that the construction of the famous Jagannath Temple at Puri (in 1230AD)
was completed. It was during the period of Narasingh Deb-I (1236-1264 AD) the
military power of Utkal reached its zenith and its territory expanded further.
After the fall
of the Ganga dynasty, the Sun dynasty King, Kapilendra Deb ruled Utkal. His fame
spread far and wide in the 15th century and he was regarded as the greatest
conqueror next to Kharavela. After the death of Kapilendra Deb in 1446 Gajapati
Purusottam Deb and Prataprudra Deb ascended the throne of Utkal. During his
reign Sri Chaitanya Deb came from Bengal and settled in Puri and this resulted
in the wide spread of Vaishnab cult in Utkal. After the demise of Prataprudra
Deb, the last king of Sun dynasty, Utkal lost its glory and grandeur in military
power. A Muslim ruler from Bengal gained control over Utkal in 1568 AD after
imprisoning Mukunda Dev.
regime to British rule in 1803 in Orissa, the people of forest, urban and rural
areas reorganised themselves in martial skills to encounter the plunders. During
this period Orissa came under the rule of the Afghan, the Moghul and the
Marathas. Instead of giving them a good administration they oppressed and looted
the people of Orissa. Many revolts raised their head against these oppression.
and artistic skill of Konark, Puri and Lingaraj temple of Bhubaneswar, Jayadev's
Gitagovinda, Samant Chandra Sekhar’s astro-physics gave recognisation to
Orissa in the whole world.
It is only in
the Jagannath cult where equality, friendship and secularism prevails. Sikhs,
Jains and Buddhists also worship Lord Jagannath as their Supreme God. The car
festival of Sri Jagannath is celebrated through out the world by the Krishna
declared a separate State on April 1, 1936, by uniting the scattered areas of
Orissa under the British rule. Some Oriya-speaking areas remained with Bengal,
Bihar, Madras and Madhya Pradesh. Those Oriya leaders who had strived hard for
the unification of Oriya-speaking areas and for the development of Oriya
language are paid homage on April 1 every year on the eve of Orissa day