Some information about the cultural and linguistic identity of Koshal Region or Western Orissa

April 16, 2010 at 8:10 am Leave a comment

Following information is taken from The Sambalpur Lok Mahotsav web page:

The association says western Orissa has developed a unique culture which expresses itself in a language called Sambalpuri that is distinct from Oriya. The folk songs and dances of Sambalpur are not only expressions of emotions but also of finer elements of life and living scientifically, fused into the rhythm of the percussion instruments of the region. In fact, the songs and dances have been revived and recognised in the past quarter of a century. In Orissa, Sambalpuri dance is so popular that it comes next only to the State’s classical dance, Odissi.

The Sambalpuri dance has a number of forms, with different lyrics and rhythms, that have originated from different castes/tribes and ethnic groups in the area and are based on different religious festivals/rituals and deities. Although a number of folk instruments were used in Sambalpuri music, song and dance, only four among the oldest percussion instruments such as dhol, mandal, nishan and tasha are now used, the association says.

Tours to Sambalpur are unforgettable journeys through the varying landscapes, rich cultural and folk traditions, and art forms that are unique to the western region of Orissa. Long considered a gateway to unlocking the treasures of beauty and art housed within Orissa, tours to Sambalpur is a must at least once in your lifetime.

A famous university town in Orissa, Sambalpur has fascinating escapes all planned for the adventurous traveler who wills to explore the raw gregarious beauty of the region. Tourism of Orissa helps you realize your wishes with its customized tour packages to Sambalpur.

Covered in dense evergreen forests, Sambalpur is an exposition of waterfalls, wildlife, tribal culture, folk dance and music, handicrafts and monuments. Known as Sambalaka in Ptolemy’s account of Orissa, Sambalpur was once the center of Vajrayana Buddhism propagated by the then ruler of the region – Indrabhuti. The major tourist attractions within Sambalpur are the temples of Samaleswari, Patneswari, Budha Raja, Brahmapura and the Gopaljee monastery. Also shop in the local markets such as the Gole Bazaar and the state emporiums or co-operatives for Sambalpuri textiles (ikat weaving). You can also attend a show of Sambalpuri dance in the nearby tribal villages.

There are many attractions within easy reach of Sambalpur that ought not to be missed on your tour to Sambalpur, Orissa. Hirakud Dam across the mighty Mahanadi River is the longest dam in the world that affords breathtaking view of the expansive river and the banks that recede from view. The most spectacular views can be seen from the minarets at the two ends of the dam – Gandhi and Nehru Minar.

Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary and the Badrama National Park are popular tourist destinations with the wildlife enthusiasts. The national park and sanctuary extend shelter to endangered species such as elephants, tigers, gours, sambars, black-panthers, deers and wild boar.

Other places that are also popular tourist destinations in Rourkela include the temples of Vidala-Nrusimha and Harisankar along with the mesmerizing waterfalls at Nrusimhanath; the only Leaning Temple of Orissa at Huma; caves with undeciphered pictographic inscriptions at Vikramkhol; and waterfalls of the Pradhanpat Hills.

There are many hotels and lodges in Sambalpur where you can stay comfortably during your tour to Sambalpur.

The western Orissa has also great variety of dance forms unique to Orissa culture.The children’s verses are known as “Chhiollai”, “Humobauli” and “Dauligit”, the adolescent poems are “Sajani”, “Chhata”, “Daika”, “Bhekani” : the eternal youth composes “Rasarkeli”, “Jaiphul”, “Maila Jada”, “Bayamana”, “Gunchikuta” and “Dalkhai”, The work-man’s poetry comprises “Karma” and “Jhumer” pertaining to Vishwakarma and the “Karamashani” deities. The professional entertainers perform Dand, Danggada, Mudgada, Ghumra, Sadhana, sabar – Sabaren, Disdigo, Nachina – Bajnia, Samparda and Sanchar. They are for all occasions, for all time with varieties of rhythm and rhyme. Pala is a unique form of balladry in Orissa, which artistically combines elements of theatre, classical Odissi music, highly refined Oriya and Sanskrit poetry, wit, and humour. The literal meaning of pala is turn. It is more sophisticated than the other Oriya ballad tradition, Daskathia. Pala is presented in three ways. The names can be mentioned as baithaki or `seated`, in which the performers sit on the ground throughout. The other one is thia or `standing`. This is more popular and aesthetically more satisfying, in which they stand. Badi is a kind of thia in which two groups vie for excellence. This is the most entertaining, as there is an element of competition.

Entry filed under: Books, Dalkhai, Rasarkeli, Bhamara, Nialmalli, Jaiphula and others, Danda Naach, Kosli Culture, Kosli language and literature, Language, Lok mahotsav, Rangabati.

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