Synonymous with straw painting, Jirala in Dhenkanal district has carved a place for itself in the art map of Odisha due to the efforts of Pradeepta, who is the lone craftsman in the state practicing and promoting straw painting.
The architectural marvels are carefully crafted by a team of 75 carpenters under the watchful eyes of three Mukhya Biswakarmas (chief carpenters)— Bijay Mohapatra, Krushna Chandra Maharana and Nrusingha Mohapatra— within a 58-day deadline that begins on Akshya Trutiya.
While just two to three families prepare these cards in Puri district, there is only one family each in Sonepur, Ganjam and Gajapati districts who are carrying on with the tradition.
With a coastline of 485 km along the Bay of Bengal, Odisha is home to some of the best beaches in India. From Balasore to Ganjam, these pristine and beautiful beaches have everything to offer to a visitor from a clean sea bed to turquoise blue waters to golden sparkling sand.
Diwali is a unique celebration in Odisha. Here, the ‘Festival of Lights’ is not just limited to customary bursting of crackers and exchange of lip-smacking sweets, but also accompanied by Kali Puja and the ritualistic ceremony of ‘Badabadua Daka’. The celebrations are special in the Millennium City of Cuttack, Coastal town of Bhadrak and the very-popular Pilgrim Town of Puri.
For those interested in mangroves and their hidden treasures, Bhitarkanika is the place to be in this holiday season.