Utkal Divas (Odisha Day)

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 7, 2023, 13:19

Utkal Divas, also known as Utakala Dibasa or Utkal Diwas, is celebrated every year on 1st April by people of the new state of Odisha. The Odia diaspora also observes this day with equal enthusiasm. Utkal Divas is observed to commemorate the formation of the Odisha state, which was announced by the government on 1st April 1936.

Earlier, Odisha was a part of the Bihar and Orissa province, and after significant revolutionary efforts, which lasted three decades, it was announced as an independent state. Learn more about Utkal Divas, its history and its significance here.

Meaning of Utkal Divas

Utkal Divas is celebrated with enthusiasm across Odisha. On this day, people pray for the good health of the state and its people. Celebrating Utkala Divas or Utakala Dibasa is an essential step in asserting identity for the Odia people as they had to struggle for this independence.

Since the year of inception in 1936, Utkal Divas date is 1st April and will continue to be one of the most critical days in the history of Orissa. Hence, some people refer to it as Odisha Day too.

Utkal Divas History

On 1st April 1936, a separate state was carved out of the Orissa and Bihar provinces in British India, which was called Odisha. This event took place after three decades of struggle for independence for the Odia people. To commemorate this event, 1st April is celebrated as Utkal Divas. Here is some more information about the history of this day:

  • The area known as Odisha used to be a part of Kalinga, one of the many kingdoms that emerged from the ashes after the great war of Ashoka.
  • On Utkal Divas, the Parliament of India first declared its resolve to liberate Odisha from British rule and form a separate province – and later, an independent state – with its capital at Cuttack.
  • The day is still celebrated with much fanfare across the state.

History of Odisha State

The struggle for independence for the Odias intensified with the formation of the Utkal Sammilani, a cultural and social organization. This organization was formed to fight for the formation of Odisha as an independent state. Utkala Gouraba Madhusudan Das founded this organization in 1903, and in its honor, the formation of Odisha state is celebrated as Utkal Divas.

Utkal Divas Importance

The people of Odisha are very proud of their state and its heritage. They have many reasons to celebrate this day as so many things contribute to their identity as a state. The Utkal Divas is celebrated with much pomp and show every year. Here is why this day is considered important:

  • The people of Odisha celebrate this day with enthusiasm and fervour.
  • Utkal Divas is celebrated to remember the historical event in 1936 when Odisha became a separate province from Bengal and Bihar.
  • Orissa was the first state to be formed based on the language of Oriya. It was the first to be used in the court of Ashoka, which later on became the official government language in the region.
  • On this day, the Chief Minister of the Odisha government hoists the flag and delivers a speech in a public place every year.
  • A public meeting is also arranged in the evening where people gather and respect their forefathers who struggled to get freedom from British rule.

Odisha Formation Day Celebration

Utkal Divas or Odisha Foundation Day is celebrated with much vigour in the state. The state government announces a holiday and public festivities on this day. Even the Odia diaspora living abroad celebrates the day with equal enthusiasm.

  • On this day, students and government employees are given a holiday. The day is marked by cultural programmes and rallies across the state.
  • The day is marked by various cultural programmes in the state, including dramas, dance, and music performances.
  • Utkal Divas is also observed in schools and colleges. Students celebrate the occasion by holding cultural programmes and poetry recitations, besides organizing rallies and processions.
  • The State Government of Odisha organizes functions and events to mark the Utkal Divas, including cultural programmes, seminars and exhibitions at different places in the state.
  • Utkal Divas is the anniversary of an important day in the history of Odisha and the foundation stone of their statehood.

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FAQs about Utkal Divas

Q1. When is Utkal Divas celebrated in India?

Utkal Divas is celebrated on 1st April every year to commemorate the formation of Odisha as an independent state. Odisha was part of the Bihar and Orissa province, but on 1st April 1936, it was announced as an independent state.

Q2. Why is Utkal Divas celebrated?

Utkal Divas is celebrated to commemorate the independence of Odisha from the Bihar and Orissa province. This day is celebrated on 1st April every year in Odisha. For the Odia people and the Odia diaspora, this day holds immense significance.

Q3. Which state celebrates Utkal Divas?

Utkal Divas is celebrated in the state of Odisha, India, on 1st April every year. On this day, the independent state of Orissa was formed. Hence, it is also known as Odisha Foundation Day or Utkala Dibasa. This day is celebrated with much enthusiasm all across the state.

Q4. Who was the founder of Utkal Divas?

Utkal Divas was founded by the people of Odisha when the state was separated from the Bihar and Orissa province. The state gained independence on 1st April 1936, and since then, the day has been celebrated with much fervour as Utkal Divas.

Q5. What is the history of Odisha Day?

The Parliament of India decided to establish the Odisha province as separate from Bengal and Bihar based on the Odia-speaking community. Odisha officially became a separate province on 1st April 1936. Since then, this day is celebrated as Odisha Day or Utkal Divas.