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.
WHY IS ODISHA DAY IMPORTANT FOR THE PEOPLE OF ODISHA?
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.
STRUGGLE FOR INDEPENDENCE OF ODISHA
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
Naveen Patnaik, a Biju Janata Dal (BJD) member, is currently serving as the Chief Minister of
CELEBRATION OF UTKAL DIVAS
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.
HISTORY OF UTKAL DIVAS
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
HISTORY OF THE STATE: ODISHA
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.