Odisha (Odi)

Odisha (Odi) Odi: ଓଡ଼ିଶା ōḍiśā ‘Land of the Odras’ [Orissa] From Skt/Pkt: odra/odda. ‘Odra (people)’; Skt/Pkt: visaya/ rāṣṭra,/rājya, ‘kingdom, territory, region’.  In 2011 the state officially changed its name from Orissa to Odisha and the name of its language from...

Angul (Odi)

Odi: ଅନୁଗୋଳ anugoḻa ‘Pleasant City’  [Angulaka-Pattana, Anugul] – City/District, Odisha From Skt: anukūla, ‘favourable’, ‘agreeable‘ (lit. ‘with the slope/current/grain’); and Odi: paṭṭana, ‘town’, ‘city’. Angul is referred to as the...

Asika/Aska (Odi)

Odi: ଆସିକା  āsikā  ‘Sugar City’ [Aska] City/District, Odisha From Odi: ikṡhu, akhuṡaḻa, ‘sugar cane’, ‘sugar processing’ [Skt:  asi, ikṣu, aikṣava, ‘sugar cane’, ‘made of sugar-cane’]. This really is India’s sugar city. The sugar factory here, opened in 1848, was the...

Balangir (Odi)

Odi: ବଲାଙ୍ଗୀର balāṅgīra ‘Balaram’s Fort’ [Balramgarh/Bolangir]- City/District, Odisha From Balarama Deva or Deo and  Hin/Odi: gaṛh, ‘fort’. Balaram Deo, the 16th C Raja of Patna (now in Bihar), founded Balramgarh and even moved his capital here. Balramgarh gradually...

Balasore (Odi)

ବାଲେଶ୍ୱର୍ bālēśॱr ‘Lord of the Forest’ [Baleshwar] – City/District, Odisha It is likely that this name is related to the  town’s ancient Shiva temple, Baneshwar, from Odi/Skt: baṇa/vana, ‘forest’; and Skt: īśvara, ‘lord’, ‘master’. The name metamorphosed in the...

Bargarh (Odi)

ବରଗଡ଼ baragaṛa ‘Great Fort’ City/District, Odisha From Odi: baṛa/baṛd̩a, ‘big’, ‘great’; or Balaram Deva’; and Odi: garha, gardha, ‘fort’. Balaram Deva, the 16th C Chauhan King of Sambalpur, ruled this province when it acquired the name Bargarh and it may, like...

Baripada (Odi)

ବାରିପଦା bāripadā ‘Water Village’  City, Odisha From Odi: bāri , ‘water’; padā, ‘village’. Also Trb: bauri, a large tribal community found here, in West Bengal, Assam and Tripura. Baripada is the HQ of Mayurbhanj district. The city’s Jagannath shrine dates from...

Berhampur/Brahmapur (Odi)

ବ୍ରହ୍ମପୁର brahmapura ‘City of Brahma’ [Brahmapur] City, Odisha From Brahma, the creator god of Hinduism; and Skt: pura, ‘fort’, ‘city’. Brahma is the forgotten god of the Hindu trimurti, ‘trinity’ of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva ; there are only a handful of temples...

Bhadrak (Odi)

ଭଦ୍ରକ bhadraka ‘Auspicious (Kali)’  City/District, Odisha From Skt: bhadra(ka), ‘auspicious’, ‘gracious’; and Kali, a fearsome but protective aspect of the Goddess and destroyer of demons. The Bhadrakali Temple here is one of the most important shaktipithas...

Bhanjanagar (Odi)

Odi: ଭଞ୍ଜନଗର bhañjanagara ‘Poet King City’ [Russellkonda] Town, Odisha Under British rule this city was called Russellkonda  [Tel: konda ‘hill’, ‘hillock’] after George Russell, dispatched to Odisha from the Madras Board of Revenue in 1836 to quell revolt among Hindu...

Bhawanipatna (Odi)

Odi: ଭବାନୀପାଟଣା bhabānīpāṭaṇā ‘City of the Goddess’ City/District, Odisha From Skt: bhavānī, ‘goddess’, ‘Pārvatī, wife of Śiva’; and paṭṭana(m), ‘city’, ‘commercial town’. Although there is a temple here dedicated to Lord Bhavani  Shankar (Shiva), the town and...

Bhubaneswar (Odi)

Odi: ଭୁବନେଶ୍ଵର bhubanēśvara ‘Lord of the (Three) Worlds’  City, Odisha From Skt: tri, ‘three’; bhuvanam, ‘world(s)’; and īśvara, ‘lord’, ‘master’. The traditional ‘three worlds’ in Hinduism are: swarga, the world of the devas (gods); martya or prithivi: ‘Earth’; and...

Cuttack (Odi)

Odi: କଟକ kaṭaka  ‘Royal Fort’ [Bidanasi Katak]  City/District, Odisha From Skt: kaṭakḥ, ‘royal capital, cantonment, fort or metropolis’.  Cuttack is the second largest city in Odisha, but no longer the capital which is Bhubaneswar. Its original name was Bidanasi...

Dhenkanal (Odi)

Odi: ଢେଙ୍କାନାଳ ḍhēṅkānāḷa ‘Dhenka’s Land’  Town/District, Odisha  From Dhenka Sabara, a 16thC Sabara/Saora tribal chief; and Odi: naḻa, ‘strip of land’.  Dhenkanal Palace was the official residence of he Rajas of Ghenkanal. It was built in the 19th century on the site...

Gopalpur (Odi)

‘Town of Gopala-Krishna’  Town/Beach, Odisha  There is an 18thC  temple dedicated to Gopala-Krishna, the ‘protector of cows’ [Skt: go, ‘cow’; and pāla, ‘guardian, ‘protector’]. Gopalpur-on-Sea is a coastal town near Taptapani. It has a port and a popular beach. For...

Jajpur/Jajapur (Odi)

Odi: ଯାଜପୁରିଆ yājapuriā ‘Viraja’s Town’ [Virajam, Yajanagara] Town/District, Odisha  The 13thC Viraja temple is dedicated to the goddess Durga manifested as Viraja and the town has been called ‘Viraja’,  ‘Viraja Kshetra’ and ‘Biraja Pitha’. The...

Jaugarh/Jaugada (Odi)

Odi: ଜଉଗଡ଼ jaugaṛa  ‘Lac Fort’   Fort/Archaeological Site, Odisha  From Odi:  jau, ‘shell lac’;   Hin:  gaṛh, ‘fort’. Shell lac/shellac is the resin secreted by the female lac bug [Kerria lacca]. It is dried into flakes and used as a gloss, glaze, primer, varnish or...

Jeypore (Odi)

Odi: ଜୟପୁର jaẏapura ‘City of Victory’  [Jeypore Kalinga Rajya, Jeypore Samasthanam, Jayapur]  Town, Odisha  From  Skt:  jaya, ‘conquest’, ‘victory’; and pura, ‘fort’, ‘city’. Jeypore was the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Jeypore in the Kalinga region. It was an...

Jharsuguda (Odi)

‘Forest Fort’  [Jhargada] Town/District, Odisha From Odi: jhār(da), ‘thicket’, ‘dense forest’; and gaṟdẖa/gada,  ‘fort’. Jharsuguda was historically a part of the domain of Sambalpur but earlier history may be related to regions now in Jharkhand. Jharsuguda is now...

Kabisuryanagar (Odi)

Odi: କବିସୂର୍ଯ୍ୟ ନଗର kabisūryẏa nagara ‘The Sun of Poets’  [Boirani] Town, Odisha From Skt: kavi, ‘poet’, ‘sage’; sūrya, ‘sun’;  and nagar, ‘city’. Kavisurya Baladeva Ratha (c. 1789 – 1845) was an 18-19thC Odia/Sanskrit poet , composer, musician and literary...

Khandagiri/Udayagiri Caves (Odi)

Caves, Odisha Khandagiri:  ‘Broken Hill’. From Odi:  khaṇḍa; and giri, ‘mountain’, ‘hill’. Lalithagiri: ‘Beautiful Hill’. From  Odi: lalita, ‘graceful’, ‘beautiful’; and giri, ‘mountain’, ‘hill’. Udayagiri: From  Odi: udaya, ‘sunrise’, ‘dawn’; and giri, ‘mountain’,...

Konark Temple (Odi)

Odi: କୋଣାର୍କ kōṇārka ‘Angle of the Sun’  Temple, Odisha From Skt: kōṇ, ‘corner’, ‘angle’; and  arka, ‘the sun’. The temple here is dedicated to Surya, the sun god. The 13thC temple is an astonishing piece of architecture: it is designed as a stone chariot...

Paradip (Odi)

Odi: ପାରାଦୀପ pārādīpa ‘Pigeon Island’  City/Port, Odisha From Odi: pārā, ‘pigeon’; and dīpa, ‘island’. The Port of Paradip is a natural, deep-water port. The harbour is part of an island created by the Bay of Bengal, the Mahanadi river and the Atharbanki Creek....

Phulbani (Odi)

Odi: ଫୁଲବାଣୀ phulabāṇī ‘Flower Grove’ Town/District HQ Odisha From Odi: phula, ‘flower’; and  baṇi/baṇiā, ‘cluster of trees’, ‘grove’. Phulbani is in a Kondh-majority tribal area and the District is now called Kandhamal [From kandha, ‘kond(h) tribe’; and Dra:...

Puri (Odi)

Odi: ପୁରୀ purī ‘City (of the Supreme Being)’ [Purushottama Puri, Sri Jagannatha Dhama] City/District  Odisha From Skt:  purusha ‘spirit’, ‘soul’ ‘(male) being’; and uttama, ‘highest’, ‘greatest’, ‘supreme’. Puri is one of the original char dham [Hin: chār, ‘four’;...

Rayagada (Odi)

Odi: ରାୟଗଡ଼ rāẏagaṛa ‘King’s Fort’  Town/District, Odisha  From Odi:  raya, ‘king’; and Hin/Odi: gaṛh, gardha, gada, ‘fort’. Rayagada has an ancient history captured in rock inscriptions, and on copper plates and coins. In the 3rdC BCE it was part of the Kalinga...

Rourkela (Odi)

Odi: ରାଉରକେଲା rāurakēlā ‘Raura Village’ [Raurkela]  City, Odisha  From Trb: raura/roura, a tribe or caste name; Mun: kel/kela/keli, ‘a village where there are a few houses’. More than a village, it is now a ‘smart city’ and houses a one million tonne integrated steel...

Sambalpur (Odi)

Odi: ସମ୍ବଲପୁର sambalapura ‘City of Samaleswari’ [Hirakhanda]  City/District, Odisha  Goddess Samalei/Samaleswari/Samlesiri is the patron deity of the city, the district and region. It is an ancient city mentioned by Ptolemy, the 2ndC Greek geographer, as  a centre for...

Similipal (Odi)

Odi: ଶିମିଳିପାଳ śimiḷipāḷa ‘Silk Cotton Tree’  National Park/Tiger Reserve, Odisha  Similipal is a 2,750 km2 national park and wildlife sanctuary harbouring Bengal tigers, Asian elephants, gaur (Indian bison), chousingha (four-horned antelopes) and orchids. The name...

Taptapani (Odi)

 Odi: ତପ୍ତପାଣି taptapāṇi ‘Hot Springs’ From Odi: tapta, ‘hot’; and pāṇi, ‘water’. Taptapani has a hot sulphur water spring with a bathing pond next to it to cure visitors’ ailments. For related place names see Indian Place names and Odisha place names....