Utkal Festival India 2023

  • TypeType:Cultural
  • Dates:01-Apr-2023, Wednesday
  • Location:Odisha


Utkal Divas, also known as Odisha Day, is celebrated on April 1 every year to honour the formation of the state of Odisha. The state was established after a battle to be recognised as independent. On this day, the state of Odisha was created from Bihar and the Orissa Province, with the addition of Koraput and Ganjam from the Madras Presidency as a separate state. After the defeat and death of the last king, Mukunda Dev, in 1568, the state lost its political identity. Still, in 1936, efforts established a politically distinct state under British control based on language. Odisha was part of the Bengal presidency during British rule, including modern-day Bihar and West Bengal. The day is celebrated as a limited holiday and referred to as Vishuva Milan and Odisha Foundation Day.


During 261 BC, Magadha King Ashoka gained power over the region to expand his Mauryan rule, which became a part of Kalinga. Following the Mauryans, King Kharavela ruled over Odisha. By overthrowing Magadh, Kharavela sought revenge for the Mauryan invasion. Kharavela is praised for establishing Odisha as a centre for art, architecture, and sculpture and creating a robust political state. Gajapati Mukunda Deva was the final Hindu ruler of Odisha, but the Mughals defeated him in 1576. Hundreds of years later, the British conquered and divided the state, integrating the western and northern districts into the Bengal presidency.


On April 1, 1936, the ongoing resistance of the populace led to the establishment of the new province of Odisha, with Sir John Hubbak as its first governor. The movement had notable leaders such as Utkala Gouraba, Madhusudan Das, Utkala Mani, Gopabandhu Das, Fakir Mohan Senapati, and Pandita Nilakantha Das, among others. In March 2011, the Lok Sabha approved the Orissa Bill and Constitution Bill (113th amendment) to rename the state from Orissa to Odisha.

Naveen Patnaik, a Biju Janata Dal (BJD) member, is currently serving as the Chief Minister of Odisha.


Every year on April 1, the state of Odisha celebrates Odisha Dibasa, or Utkala Dibasa, with great enthusiasm. This celebration features numerous merchants and Jhankis, making it even more attractive. Popular local politicians host events such as fireworks competitions, which add to the beauty of the sky. Across the nation, Odia families organise cultural programs, including sing-song programs. Utkala Dibasa promotes unity among all Odias, and it is enthusiastically observed throughout Odisha. On this day, individuals offer prayers for the state's and its citizens' well-being. Celebrating Utkala Dibasa was crucial in establishing identity since the Odia people had to fight for independence.

Utkal Divas, which started on April 1, 1936, continue to be one of the most important days in Orissa's history, and some refer to it as Odisha Day.


British India's Orissa and Bihar provinces were divided into a new state called Odisha on April 1, 1936. After three decades of struggle, the Odia people finally achieved their goal of freedom. April 1 is observed as Utkal Divas to remember this occasion.

Here is some more information about the history of April 1:

  • The area known as Odisha used to be a part of Kalinga, one of the many kingdoms that emerged from the ashes after the great war of Ashoka.
  • On Utkal Divas, the Parliament of India first declared its resolve to liberate Odisha from British rule and form a separate province – an independent state – with its capital at Cuttack


Utkal Sammilani, a cultural and social organisation, was crucial in fueling the Odias' fight for independence. Its establishment aimed to advocate for creating an independent state of Odisha. The organisation was founded in 1903 by Utkala Gouraba Madhusudan Das, and the day of the creation of the Odisha state is celebrated as Utkal Divas in his honour.

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FAQs about Utkal Festival

Q.What is Utkal Divas?
Utkal Divas is the day that celebrates the formation of Odisha as a separate state on April 1, 1936.
Q.Which state celebrates Utkal Divas?
Utkal Divas is celebrated in Odisha, India, on April 1 every year. On this day, the independent state of Orissa was formed. Hence, it is also known as Odisha Foundation Day or Utkala Dibasa.
Q.Who was the founder of Utkal Divas?
Utkal Divas was founded by the people of Odisha when the state was separated from Bihar and Orissa provinces.
Q.How are Utkal Divas celebrated?
Utkal Divas is celebrated with great enthusiasm across the state, with cultural programs, processions, flag hoisting, and speeches.
Q.What is the significance of the Odisha flag?
The Odisha flag, also known as the Kalinga flag, has a deep cultural and historical significance for the people of Odisha. It symbolises the rich cultural heritage of the state.
Q.What is the meaning of the term 'Utkal'?
The term 'Utkal' means 'ancient Odisha.' It is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Utkalini,' which means 'high land.'
Q.When did Odisha get its name?
Odisha was originally known as Kalinga, and it got its present name in 1936 when it became a separate state.
Q.What are a few famous tourist attractions in Odisha?
Some famous tourist attractions in Odisha include the Konark Sun Temple, the Lingaraj Temple, the Jagannath Temple, the Chilika Lake, and the Puri Beach.
Q.What is the official language of Odisha?
Odisha's official language is Odia, also known as Oriya.
Q.What are some of the famous festivals celebrated in Odisha?
Some famous festivals celebrated in Odisha include the Rath Yatra, Durga Puja, Diwali, and Makar Sankranti.
Q.What is the state animal of Odisha?
The state animal of Odisha is the Sambar deer.