New book captures Odisha’s picture perfect canvas

New Delhi: A pictorial narrative capturing the beauty, ancient monumental legacy, majestic wildlife and long beaches among other things of Odisha as well as changes in language, culture, lifestyle and habits of its people is now out in a new book.

Accompanied by scholarly articles, "Imaging Odisha"- the two-volume book, tracks the history of the state since the reign of the Kalinga dynasty.

The Sun temple of Konark, stone carvings from the early Buddhist sites, the tiger reserve Similipal National Park and Asia's largest lagoon the Chilika lake as well as various customs and traditions of the adivasis have been documented in the book.

German historian and Indologist Hermann Kulke along with four other authors – G N Dash, Nivedita Mohanty and Dinanath Pathy and P K Dash took nearly five years to compile the tome brought out Prafulla, the publication wing of Society for Development of Rural Literature, the Odisha-based non-profit organisation.

"The book depicts the very texture of life in Odisha. The way people live, how they celebrate, what they eat, their wholesome cuisine, their festivals and religions, their song and dance forms and many other facets of life. It is rather sad that the art and culture of Odisha is not adequately presented or highlighted beyond the frontiers of the state particularly at the national level."

"Despite its rich artistic traditions and extraordinary cultural depth, Odisha is primarily projected in terms of its poverty and deprivation," says P K Dash, Managing Editor of the book.

The volumes also contains pictures of rare collections from the Victoria and Albert museums, Copenhagen Museum, Rietberg museum, and National Museum of India.

The book goes beyond the obvious aspects to document the changes in the ancient traditions and customs of the people.

For instance not many would know that Kalahandi, a district in Odisha is home to the enchanting dance form 'Ghoomra'. Bolangir, the predominantly rural western district of the state produces the Bomkhai sarees, whose traditional designs are highly sought after. .