Odia people

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ଓଡ଼ିଆ ଲୋକ (Oṛiā Lōka)
Total population
c. 34 million[1]
Regions with significant populations
 India33,026,680 (2011)
 United Kingdom104,000[2]
 Australia97,000 [3]
 Germany72,000 [4]
 New Zealand38,000[5]

The Odia (ଓଡ଼ିଆ), formerly spelled Oriya, are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group native to the Indian state of Odisha who speak the Odia language. They constitute a majority in the eastern coastal state, with significant minority populations existing in the neighboring states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal.[6]


Entrance of the Hathigumpha

Medieval period[edit]

The Shailodbhava dynasty ruled the region from the sixth to the eighth century. They built the Parashurameshvara Temple in the 7th century, which is the oldest known temple in Bhubaneswar. The ruled Odisha from the 8th to the 10th century. They built several Buddhist monasteries and temples, including Lalitgiri, Udayagiri and Baitala Deula. The Keshari dynasty ruled from the 9th to the 12th century. The Lingaraj Temple, Mukteshvara Temple and Rajarani Temple in Bhubaneswar were constructed during the Bhauma-Kara dynasty.[7] They were introduced as a new style of architecture in Odisha, and the dynasty's rule shifted from Buddhism to Brahmanism.[8]

Modern period[edit]

Odisha remained an independent regional power until the early 16th century. It was conquered by the Mughals under Akbar in 1568 and was thereafter subject to a succession of Mughal and Maratha rule before coming under British control in 1803.[9]

In 1817, a combination of high taxes, administrative malpractice by the zamindars and dissatisfaction with the new land laws led to a revolt against Company rule breaking out, which many Odias participated in. The rebels were led by General Jagabandhu Bidyadhara Mohapatra Bhramarbara Raya.[10][11]

Under Maratha control, major Odia regions were transferred to the rulers of Bengal that resulted in successive decline of the language over the course of time in vast regions that stretched until today's Midnapore district of West Bengal.[12][better source needed]

Odisha became a separate province and the first officially recognized language-based state of India in 1936, after the amalgamation of the Odia regions from Bihar and Orissa Province, Madras Presidency and Chhattisgarh Division was successfully executed. 26 Odia princely states, including Sadheikala-Kharasuan in today's Jharkhand, also signed a merger with the newly formed state, while many major Odia-speaking areas were left out due to political incompetence.[13]


The Odia people are subdivided into several communities such as the Brahmin, Jyotish, Karan, Khandayat, Gopal, Kumuti (Kalinga Vaishya),[14] Chasa, Bania, Kansari, Gudia, Patara, Tanti, Teli, Badhei , Kamara, Barika, Mali, Kumbhar, Siyal caste(panjab origin),[15] Sundhi, Keuta, Dhoba, Bauri, Kandara, Domba, Pano, and Hadi.[16]



Seafood and sweets dominate Odia cuisine. Rice is the staple cereal and is eaten throughout the day. Popular Odia dishes are rasagolla, rasabali, chhena poda, chhena kheeri, chhena jalebi, chenna jhilli, chhenagaja, khira sagara, dalma,tanka torani and pakhala.[17][18]


A wide variety of festivals are celebrated throughout the year; There is a saying in Odia, ‘Baarah maase, terah parba’, that there are 13 festivals in a year. Well known festivals that are popular among the Odia people include the Ratha Yatra and Durga Puja.[19]


Odisha is one of the most religiously homogeneous states in India. More than 94% of the people are followers of Hinduism.[20] Hinduism in Odisha is more significant due to the specific Jagannath culture followed by Odia Hindus. The practices of the Jagannath sect is popular in the state and the annual Ratha Yatra in Puri draws pilgrims from across India.[21]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Odia". ethnologue.
  2. ^ "Odias in the UK". Times Now. 21 April 2022.
  3. ^ "Census shows Indian population and languages have exponentially grown in Australia". SBS Australia. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  4. ^ Baumann, Martin. "Immigrant Hinduism in Germany". Harvard University.
  5. ^ "New Zealand". Stats New Zealand. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  6. ^ Minahan, James (2012). Ethnic Groups of South Asia and the Pacific: An Encyclopedia. Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9781598846591.
  7. ^ Smith, Walter (1994). The Mukteśvara Temple in Bhubaneswar. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 27. ISBN 978-81-208-0793-8.
  8. ^ Smith 1994, p. 26.
  9. ^ GYANENENDRA NATH MITRA (25 December 2019). "Book by British ICS officer covers 'Orissa' as a whole". dailypioneer. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  10. ^ Sayed Jafar Mahmud (1994). Pillars of Modern India 1757-1947. APH Publishing. p. 10. ISBN 978-81-7024-586-5. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  11. ^ "'Paika Bidroha' to be named as 1st War of Independence - NATIONAL - The Hindu". The Hindu.
  12. ^ Sengupta, N. (2011). Land of Two Rivers: A History of Bengal from the Mahabharata to Mujib. Penguin Books Limited. ISBN 978-81-8475-530-5.
  13. ^ Sridhar, M.; Mishra, Sunita (5 August 2016). Language Policy and Education in India: Documents, contexts and debates. Routledge. ISBN 9781134878246. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  15. ^ Indian Antiquary: A Journal of Oriental Research in Archaeology, History, Literature, Languages, Folklore Etc. Education Society's Press. 1884.
  16. ^ Nab Kishore Behura; Ramesh P. Mohanty (2005). Family Welfare in India: A Cross-cultural Study. Discovery Publishing House. pp. 49–. ISBN 978-81-7141-920-3.
  17. ^ "Cuisine Of Odisha". odishanewsinsight. 16 November 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Odia delicacies in Bengaluru's first 'Ama Odia Bhoji' to tickle taste buds". aninews. 12 January 2020. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  19. ^ "The tenacious people of Odisha". telanganatoday. 2 December 2018. Archived from the original on 5 April 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  20. ^ "Population by religion community – 2011". Census of India, 2011. The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Archived from the original on 25 August 2015.
  21. ^ "Lord Jagannath's Rathyatra as a Marker of Odia Identity". thenewleam. 23 July 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2020.

External links[edit]