The city which has been changed drastically over the last 5 years in terms of administration, IT, education and tourism sector, Bhubaneswar was ranked as the best place to do business in India by the World Bank in 2014. Bhubaneswar has emerged as one of the fastest-growing, important trading and commercial hub in eastern India. Even now the city is being compared with other foreign metropolitan cities. So let me take you through back in time how it all started.
Today’s smart city Bhubaneswar got it’s name from “Tribhubaneswara” or “Bhubaneswara” (literally “Lord of the Earth”), the name of Shiva, the god of the Lingaraja temple. Bhubaneswar was built as a modern city by German architect Otto Königsberger with wide streets, gardens, and parks. Although part of the city followed this plan, it grew rapidly in the next few decades, overcoming the planning process.
Bhubaneswar is located near the ruins of Sisupalgarh, the ancient capital of the former province of Kalinga. Dhauli, near Bhubaneswar, was the site of the Kalinga War 262-261 BCE, when Mauryan Emperor Ashoka invaded and occupied Kalinga. One of the most comprehensive instructions of the Mauryan Emperor, Ashoka, from between 272 and 236 BCE, remains engraved on a rock, 8 Kilometres southwest of the present city. The Legislative Assembly of Odisha was moved from Cuttack to Bhubaneswar in 1949.
After the decline of the Mauryan Empire, the area came under the control of the Mahameghavahana dynasty, whose dynasty best known for the Kharavela. His Hathigumpha inscription is found in the caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri near Bhubaneswar. The area was then ruled by several kings, including the Satavahanas, Guptas, Matharas, and Shailodbhavas.
By the seventh century, the Somavamshi or Keshari empires established their empire in the area, and they built many temples. After the Kesharis, the Eastern Gangas ruled the Kalinga area until the 14th century CE. Their capital, Kalinganagara, was in modern-day Bhubaneswar City.
After them, Mukunda Deva of the Bhoi dynasty – the last Hindu ruler of the area as far as Maratha – built many religious buildings in the area. Most of the oldest temples in Bhubaneswar were built between the 8th and 12th centuries, under the influence of Shaiva. The Ananta Vasudeva Temple is the only ancient Vishnu temple in the city. In 1568, the Afrikaner kingdom, originally from Afghanistan, gained a foothold. During their reign, most of the temples and buildings were either destroyed or disfigured.
In the 16th century, the area came under the control of the Mughal. The Maratha, a successor of the Mughals in the mid-18th century, encouraged the movement to the region. In 1803, the area came under British colonial rule, and was part of the Bengal Presidency (until 1912), in the province of Bihar and Orissa (1912-1936) and in Orissa Province (1936-1947). The capital of the British province of Orissa Province was Cuttack, which was in danger of flooding and suffering from space. As a result, on September 30, 1946, a motion was passed to move the new capital to the Odisha Provincial Legislature. After India’s independence, the foundation of the new capital was laid by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on April 13, 1948.