• Dr. Krishan Kumar, IAS
    Dr. Krishan Kumar, IAS
    Administrator, BMC
  • Sj. Samarth Verma
    Sj. Samarth Verma, IAS
    Commissioner, BMC

History of Bhubaneswar

The history of the Bhubaneswar may be viewed as two phases: ancient Bhubaneswar and modern Bhubaneswar. While the ancient city has a history that goes back more than 2000 years, the modern city came into existence in 1948.

The first mention of Bhubaneswar in Indian history is in the infamous Kalinga War which was held near Dhauli (presently located in south Bhubaneswar) in 3rd Century BC. Later Emperor Kharavela established his capital in Sisupalgarh which is on the outskirts of the city. The Hathigumpha inscriptions at the Udayagiri caves and Khandagiri caves by Kharavela give a good account of that period which is estimated as 1st-2nd century BC. Later innumerable temples built throughout ancient and medieval history in tune with its status as Temple City give a chronicle of the city's history till Indian independence in 1947.

In 1936, Odisha became a separate province in British India with Cuttack as its capital. Notably, Cuttack was Odisha's capital since 12th century. When India got independence in 1947, Odisha became one of the states of the Indian union. But for some reasons, most visibly Cuttack's vulnerability to floods and space constraints, the capital was changed to Bhubaneswar which was built into a modern city. The city planning of Bhubaneswar was given by German Architect Otto. H. Koeingsberges. Bhubaneswar was formally inaugurated in 13 April 1948 as the capital of the Indian state of Odisha.

Modern Bhubaneswar was originally planned by Otto Königsberger to be a well planned city with wide roads and many gardens andparks. Though part of the city has stayed faithful to the plan, it has grown rapidly over the last few decades and has made the planning process unwieldy.

The State Museum of Bhubaneswar offers an extensive selection of archaeological artefacts, weapons, local arts and crafts as well as insights into Odisha's natural and tribal history. The Tribal Research Institute Museum with its authentic tribal dwellings, created by the tribal craftsmen offers a bird's eye view of the State's tribal heritage.