: 155,707 SqKm
| : 36,706,920
|| : 63.61%
extends from 17o 49'N to 22o 34'N latitude and from 81o
29'E to 87o 29'E longitude on the eastern coast of India. It has
an area about 155,707 Sq Km. according to the Census of India 1991. It is bounded
by West Bengal in north-east, Bihar in the north, Madhya Pradesh in the west,
Andhra Pradesh in the south and the Bay of Bengal in the east. Orissa was separated
from Bihar and came into existence on 1 April 1936. The capital was established
at the historic city of Cuttack, located at the apex of the Mahanadi delta.
In 1956, it shifted to Bhubaneswar, a planned modern town of the post-independence
Physiographically, Orissa can be
divided into three broad regions 1) The Coastal plains, (2) The Middle mountainous
country (3) The Plateaus and rolling up lands.
The coastal plains of Orissa stretch on the eastern coast of India from
the Subarnarekha in the north-east to the Rushikulya in the south-west.
This fertile region is known as the 'rice bowl' of Orissa. This
is narrow in the north, widest in the middle, narrowest in the Chilika coast
and broad in the south.
coastal plain is a gift of six major rivers. The formation of the coastal plains
depends on the rivers and their catchment's area. The rivers are: From north
to the south, the Subarnarekha, the Burhabalanga, the Baitarani,
the Brahmani, the Mahanadi and the Rushikulya. Most of the rivers have failed
to develop true deltaic characteristics because of the strong off shore current
which moves from Chennai to the Andhra coast and passes through Orissa coast.
to the location, the coastal plain can be divided into three sub regions
north coastal plains - the deltas of the Subarnarekha and the Burhabalanga upto
the river Baitarani
The middle coastal plains - the combined deltas of the Baitarani, the Brahmani
The southern coastal plains - the Rukshikulya plains, it can be divided into
three zones parallel to the shoreline
The salt track along the coast.
The arable tract or rice country in the middle
The sub-montane tract to the west
salt tract is a narrow belt which stretches just beyond the shore line for about
4.8 to 9.6 Km in land. In many places it is impregnated with salt and is completely
deprived of agriculture. The innumerable sluggish and blackish streams make
the area difficult to traverse. In the Mahanadi delta, this salt tract is covered
with tidal forest known as the "Little Sunderbans", off Paradeep-Dhamra
coast. In the Devi-Daya sector, Casuarina forests and plantations are found.
The forest belt all along the coast merges with a narrow belt of pasture.
grass belt merges into the vast plains. The endless stretches of rice lands
is the fundamental characteristic. Most of these places are occupied by village
sites so as to be free from the annual inundation. The rivers have formed levees
and during high floods they inundate vast areas, causing grave danger to human
lives, cattle population and agriculture parts of this arable tract are protected
from floods and are irrigated by gravity.
is the richest part of the whole of Orissa as far as agriculture is concerned.
Sub montane tract:
is the meeting zone of the arable tract and the spurs of the Eastern Ghats.
It is termed as the 'zone of transition'. Soil erosion is rampant here. Under
this predominating red soil, blocks of laterite are buried and at times they
crop up to the surface, turning the area barren and desolate. In this zone low
level laterites are formed. But patches of fertile area are not uncommon having
rich vegetation. The natural vegetation varies from prickly thorns and stunted
shrubs to Sal forests. The absence of a coastal forest belt is most striking.
This is because of the lack of a marshy strip due to higher orography.
Mahanadi delta has developed in seven different stages. The stages of development
have occurred at 26, 18, 15, 9, 6 and 1.5 metre contours. After the seventh
stage of delta development there is an upliftment as a result of which
three sets of parallel sand dumes developed along the coast. These raised sand
ridges brought changes in the drainage pattern and in deltaic morphology. These
parallel sand dumes have the maximum development between the Chilika and the
Devi mouth and from there up to north of Dhamra. Several lagoons of varied sizes
have been formed. The best examples are the Sar Pata and the Samagara Pata located
to the north of Puri.
has a coastal line of 529 Km from the marshes of Ichhapuram in the south to
the east of Subarnarekha in the north-east. The Orissa coast has bulged out
in the middle portion from Brahmagiri on Chilika lake in the south-west to Chandbali
in the north-east where the Mahanadi, the Brahmani and the Baitarani have formed
a combined delta.