Kalinga, an ancient kingdom in India, is a region steeped in historical significance and natural beauty. Its location has been a subject of curiosity for historians and travelers alike, and its rich cultural heritage continues to captivate visitors from around the world. Join us on a journey to discover the enigmatic land of Kalinga and unravel its geographical and cultural tapestry.

1. Odisha: The Modern-Day Abode of Kalinga

Nestled in the eastern coast of India, Kalinga's geographical boundaries are now encompassed by the modern-day state of Odisha. Spanning over 155,707 square kilometers, Odisha is a land of diverse landscapes, ranging from lush green mountains to serene coastal plains. The state's capital, Bhubaneswar, serves as a gateway to Kalinga's ancient history and modern-day charm.

2. Bhubaneswar: A City Steeped in Kalinga's Heritage

Bhubaneswar, fondly known as the "Temple City of India," is a vibrant metropolis that has preserved Kalinga's cultural legacy. Home to over 700 temples, Bhubaneswar is a testament to the architectural prowess of Kalinga's artisans. The city's most iconic landmarks include the Lingaraj Temple, a colossal structure dedicated to Lord Shiva, and the Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, a network of ancient caves adorned with intricate carvings.

3. Cuttack: The Twin City of Kalinga

Across the Mahanadi River from Bhubaneswar lies Cuttack, Kalinga's other prominent city. Cuttack, often referred to as the "Millennium City," is a bustling urban center known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and delectable cuisine. The city's landmarks include the Barabati Fort, a majestic fortress built by the Ganga dynasty, and the Dhabaleswar Temple, a sacred shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva.

4. Puri: A Holy City in Kalinga's Embrace

Further south along the coast from Bhubaneswar lies Puri, a city considered one of the holiest in India. Puri is home to the Jagannath Temple, a revered pilgrimage site for Hindus worldwide. The temple's annual Rath Yatra, or chariot festival, attracts millions of devotees each year. Puri's pristine beaches, such as the Golden Beach, offer a tranquil escape from the city's spiritual fervor.

5. Aska: A Town with Kalinga's Royal Heritage

In the heart of Ganjam district lies Aska, a town that was once the capital of Kalinga. Aska's rich history is evident in its many ancient temples and monuments. The town is home to the Aska Palace, a magnificent structure that served as the residence of Kalinga's rulers. The nearby Aska Lake adds to the town's scenic beauty, making it a popular spot for picnics and leisurely strolls.


Kalinga, now a part of Odisha, is a region that continues to captivate with its rich history, diverse landscapes, and vibrant culture. From the ancient temples of Bhubaneswar to the pristine beaches of Puri, Kalinga's allure is undeniable. Its legacy lives on through its people, their traditions, and the architectural wonders that dot its landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the geographical extent of Kalinga?

The boundaries of ancient Kalinga roughly correspond to the modern-day state of Odisha in India.

2. Which are the major cities in Kalinga?

The major cities in Kalinga include Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, and Aska.

3. What is the cultural significance of Kalinga?

Kalinga is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, including ancient temples, intricate carvings, and vibrant festivals.

4. What is the economic importance of Kalinga?

Kalinga is known for its fertile agricultural lands, mineral resources, and growing industrial sector.

5. What are some of the key historical events that took place in Kalinga?

Kalinga is famous for the Kalinga War, a battle fought between Emperor Ashoka and the Kalinga kingdom in 261 BCE, which resulted in Ashoka's conversion to Buddhism.

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