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The History of Orissa is very glorious. From Mahabharat period to modern days, the position of Orissa in history is unique. In Mahabharat we read about Kaliga Sena. The great poet Kalidas wrote how the hero crossed the bridge of elephant in Kalinga. In ancient time, Orissa was combined form of Kalinga, Utkala, Udra, Kosala and Kangoda. Many rulers ruled over Orissa and they made many temples. So Orissa was affected by many religions.

The first religion patronised by Kharavela was Jainism. The Great Emperror Kharavela make Khandagiri and Udayagiri   Gumphas and there the dance performance was held.

The second religion of Orissa was Budhism. At that time, Orissa was so influenced by Buddhism that great monasteries built. These are Udayagiri, Ratnagiri and Lalitagiri.

 The third religion was Shaktism. In the last period of Buddhism the Tantras took a place in society. So to protest Buddhism, Shaktism was developed. So many temples like Baitala, 64 yoginis at Hirapur and Ranipur Jharial was built.

The fourth religion was Saibism. A that time many temple was built and the kings were great devoties of Lord Shiba. So they bult numerous temples. The major temples are Lingaraj, Mukteswara and Indreswara.

The fifth religion was Baishnabaism. The baishnabaism cult was spread by great Oriya poet Sri  Jayadev. He wrote the melodious poetry Geetagovinda. Many writers wrote numerous chandas,champus, chausatisas, bhajanas and jananas by the influence of Geetagovinda. The great king Chodagangadeva built the magnificient Sri Jagannath Temple . He introduced Mahari seva for dance.

 Orissa was influenced by other religions also. They are Sourism, Ganapatyaism. The spetacular and stupindious Konark temple is unique in this category. King L.Narasimha Deva built this temple. The architecture and sculpture designs of this temple is spellbound for everyone.

Dance Culture

 The traditional dance of Odisha, Odissi has originated from the temple culture of Orissa. At that time the kings consecrate dancing girls as the daily rituals of Seva. So the numerous nos. of dancing girls perform dance in the time of dhupas and bhogas. The girls are called as Debadasis. In Srimandir the dancing girls are called as . With the decline of the Devadasi or the Mahari Dance tradition for various reasons, the class of the boy dancers called came into existance, who could carry this tradition. So the Odissi Dance has originated from the combination of Mahari & Gotipua. So after Independence, Odissi dance had to be fully reconstructed with the fragmentary details collected from Temple sculptures, text books & different sources.

Classification of Odissi Dance

The Odissi Dance is classified into 5 sections. They are Mangalacharana, Stayee or Batu, Pallabi, Abhinaya and Mokshya.

Mangalacharana- It is the offering piece dadicated to any deity. It is further classified into Manchapravesh, Bhumipranama, Sloka and Sabhapranama.

Stayee or Batu- It is the 2nd piece which defines different postures of temple walls.

Pallabi- It is the 3rd piece which defines to elaborate. The movements in this item are extremely graceful and lyrical.

Abhinaya- In abhinaya the artist describes the meaning of song.

Mokshya- It is the last piece of Odissi Dance.

Types of Abhinaya

Abhinaya is further classified into 2 types. Tandaba and Lasya. Abhinaya is also of different test or rasas, feelings. Numerous poets wrote poetries dedicated to Lord Krishna and Radha are used in abhinaya. The songs of Banamali, Gopalkrushna, Upendrabhanja, Kabisurya & Sri Jayadeva are performed in abhinayas.

Sri Jayadeva & Geetagovinda

Sri Jayadev, the great Oriya poet of 12th century A. D was born at Kenduli village near Puri. He wrote the great Sanskrit poetry Geetagovinda. It was taken as dance-drama including many works of dramatized prose dealing with the theme of love between Radha and Krishna. The Geeta Govinda padas have been rendered in the sophisticated Classical Musical styles of both Hindustani and Karnataki Music. So, due to its purely musical excellence dealing with different Ragas, Talas and Chhandas, the artists of music and dance appreciate Geeta Govinda widely. The songs are Dasabatara, Srita Kamala, Dhira Samiray, Chandana Charchita, Rasey, Yahi Madhaba, Nindati Chandana etc.

Nabarasa is the 9 expression of daily life. They are  Sringar, Bira, Karuna,  Adbhuta,  Hasya,  Bhaya, Bibastya, Roudra & Shanta



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