The Oriyas are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group
speaking people who mainly reside in the state of Orissa
. About 85% of state speaks Oriya as its first language and this proportion is higher in the Mahanadi Delta and less in the borders of states like West Bengal, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh. The state also has a substantial tribal population who fall into two distinct groups viz. the 'Munda' speaking (Santhal, Savara, Juang) and 'Dravidian' speaking (Khond, Gond). The tribes have over a period of time have been undergoing a process of hinduization. The non-tribal population is mainly Oriya speaking and Hindu
.Oriyas and Oriya culture revolves around Shri Jagannatha.The abode of Shri Jagannatha , Puri is one of the four dhamas of Hindu Culture.
History of the Oriyas
has been known by various names since ancient and medieval times including Utkal
Desha. These names were associated with the people who inhabitated these land. Kalinga was a formidable power in the 3rd & 4rth century BC and withstood and frustrated the might of the Magadha
Kingdom. Buddhist sources reveal that king Brahmadatta ruled Kalinga at the time of Buddha's death1
Mahapadma Nanda of the Nanda dynasty conquered Kalinga
, though Kalinga
soon became independent. Kalinga
stood as an independent entity even when the Mauryas
were establishing their empire.Oriyas have always maintained their sovereignty throughout the span of Indian history.Neither the Muslims nor the Britishers could enter into Orissa as they could in the rest of the provinces.
The Turn of the Eastern History
A war which probably played a seminal role in the history of Asia and the world took place when the Mauryan
in 260 BC
, the last independent kingdom. The brutality and horrors of the war had an indelible effect on Ashoka
, who it has been said, became a Buddhist
after seeing the suffering, death and destruction wrought by the Kalinga
war. The site of the Kalinga war is in the outskirts of modern day Bhubaneswar
marked by an Ashokan edict. A Peace Pagoda has been recently built near the edict. The new imperial convert laid the foundation of growth of Buddhism which until then was restricted to pockets in India. He sent his missionaries carrying the teaching of Buddha
to Sri Lanka
, besides making Buddhism
the state religion which extended from Afghanistan in the north to the Malabar coast in the south (near Chennai).
The Mauryan empire became less powerful after Ashoka and Kalinga soon became an independent kingdom.
The Great Maritime Power
was a formidable maritime power by 1st century AD
which culminated in establishment of Sailendra empire in Java
by 8th century AD1
The Bhauma-Kara dynasty ruled Orissa between 9th to 10th Century followed by the Soma dynasty.
The entire indo-China and present day Indonesia was under the influence of Oriyas,the Indian Culture as seen in these placs is due to the movement of Oriyas to these places.Still a festival named " Bali Jatra/Yatra " is celerated in Orissa to mark the age-old ceremony of bidding the 'Sadhabas
', the maritime merchants best of luck for their trip to Bali,Indonesia.