By Srikanta Mohanty: “Odisha is miniaturized India. What reminds the people that the entirety of India has been encapsulated? While stepping into this peaceful land, every one discovers there are things that simply bind it with rest of the nation. The unique heritage simply reminds people visiting from outside that they have come to the very place, where they have their roots. The language does not make a difference as hearts speak in silence and connect. From time immemorial, The people of the place are innocent and easily accept everyone with great hospitality. Odisha has stayed the unique culture that is simply incomparable”-says Ashish Gupta in an animated group- discussion with his mates in the classroom. Being a native of Chhattisgarh, he feels completely at home despite the problem in speaking Odia language.
“It is dotted presence of temples. Wherever you step in, you discover the pantheon of Gods and Goddesses getting worshipped. The ancient as well as the new temples have omnipresence all over the places and belong to the same legacy that we find in rest of India. Everything is so familiar yet the customs are so unique. Just take the instance of Jagannath Temple. But where would you find the great tradition of Rath Yatra (Car Festival)? The customs followed there are so exceptional!!”- Gushes out Suchitra Sharma, who hails from Uttar Pradesh.
“Guru Nanak was born in Punjab (now in Pakistan) and history does not find any mention about the birth-place of Kabir maharaj. But all of them found their ties with this holy and pristine land. They came here only to leave lasting memories of divinity. This Kalinga war only paved the way for highest spread of Buddhism. The state has the unique mosaic of spirituality that leaves no doubt that it is the melting- pot of all religions and many cultures”- says Navneet Singh of Punjab, who is pursuing engineering in a reputed college at Bhubaneswar.
“Art and Craft has greater similarities and significance. Many families of artisans came over to this state in search of livelihood. For instance, the weavers of Sambalpur sarees came over to this state from northern India. The ambience in the state and unusual hospitality sheltered them here for good. It is theplace that transformed every art and took it to excellence”- Says Usha Joshi from Surat of Gujarat. As the daughter of a rich mill owner in her state, she wants to excel in her study here in Textile Engineering and take the fabrics and designs of Sambalpur clothes to the pinnacle of fashion.
“But Odisha is uniquely a carbon-copy and small version of India because of the magnificent flora and fauna. The natural spots, lakes, forests, and superb lush greenery that people find at different locations here just remind every visitor that the place has greater heritage. Despite the rapid loss of greenery in rest parts of India, here the natural spots are so much treasured”- says Anandita Ghosh of Bengal, who is a passionate nature- lover.