The capital of Orissa is Bhubaneswar, famed for its magnificent temples numbering around a thousand is known as the Cathedral City. The city of Puri is nearby on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. Puri is a famous holy city and the site of the annual festival of the deity Jagannath and is one of the four Dhams (holy places) of Hinduism.
The Eastern Ghats range and the Chota Nagpur plateau occupy the western and northern portions of the state, while fertile alluvial plains occupy the coastal plain and the valleys of the Mahanadi, Brahmani, and Baitarani rivers, which empty into the Bay of Bengal. These alluvial plains are home to intensive rice cultivation.
One of the greatest benefits of Orissa ‘s vast expanses of unspoilt natural landscape has been its ability to offer a protected yet natural habitat to the state’s incredible wildlife. There are many wildlife sancturies in Orissa. The Similipal Tiger Reserve is a vast expanse of lush green forest with waterfalls, inhabited by tigers, elephants, and other wildlife. The Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary has been protecting estuarine crocodiles since 1975.
Orissa's gross state domestic product for 2004 is estimated at $18 billion in current prices.
Following India's independence, Orissa has not been a focus of investment by the central governments in New Delhi, causing its infrastructure and educational standards to lag behind the rest of the nation. About 20% of the road network is paved. In rural areas over 65% of the population have no access to safe drinking water.
Orissa has abundant natural resources and a large coastline. It contains a fifth of India's coal, a quarter of its iron ore, a third of its bauxite reserves and most of the chromite! It is receiving unprecedented investments in steel, aluminium, power, refineries and ports. India's topmost IT consulting firms, including Satyam Computer Services,TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) and Infosys have large branches in Orissa.
Orissa is projected to become one of the industrial powerhouses of India in a decade's time. Recently 43 companies have lined up to set up mammoth steel plants in the state, including POSCO of South Korea which has agreed to construct a mammoth $12 billion steel plant, which would be the largest investment in India in history. The state is attracting huge investments in aluminum, coal-based power plants, and petrochemicals. Although Paradip is Orissa's only large port, the coastal towns of Dhamra and Gopalpur are being developed into major ports as well. The government of India has selected the coastal region of Orissa, stretching from Paradip in the north to Gopalpur in the south to be developed as one of the five or six Special Economic Regions (SERs) of the country with world class infrastructure for rapid economic growth along the lines of the Rotterdam, Houston, and Pudong regions.
The state also has huge tourism potential. It is blessed with beautiful beaches and pristine forests containing exotic wildlife. The landscape is dotted with temples and ancient monuments.
Angul, Bolangir, Balasore, Bargarh, Boudh, Bhadrak, Cuttack, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, Gajapati, Ganjam, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi,
Kendrapara, Keonjhar, Khurda, Koraput, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Nabarangapur, Nayagarh, Nuapara, Kandhamal, Puri, Rayagada, Sambalpur, Sonepur, Sundargarh