Initially Orissa was known as “Udra” or “Odra Desa” and later on it was known as Kalinga. The history of Orrisa goes back to almost 5000 years ago, when it was inhabited by the hilly tribal folks. Orissa was the home to Kalinga’s, Mahabharata, Utkal’s, and the rulers of the Mauryan Empire. It is during the Kalinga war that led the Mughal emperor, Akbar to give up violence and embrace the teachings of Buddhism.
Much later on during the 1st century, Jainism flourished a lot and this is when the monastery caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri were excavated as very significant Jain centers.
However later on during the 7th century AD, Hinduism overtook Jainism, and under the rulership of the Hindu kings like Kesari and Ganga, many prominent Hindu temples were constructed. Temple like the Jagannath temple at Puri, Lingaraja temple and the Konark Sun temple came into existence. Trade and commerce increased by leaps and bounds during the rule of the Hindu Kings.
Orissa was then conquered by the Sultanate of Bengal in 1568; this is time when many Hindu temples in Bhubaneswar were destroyed at the hands of the Mughal rulers. Over the years Orissa was ruled by the Afghans, Mughals and then the Britishers.
In 1950 Orissa was included as a state in the Union of India. Not many of us would be aware that on the 4rth of November, 2011, the Name Odisha was officially changed from Orissa to Odisha.