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Orissa Geography
 

Bhubaneshwar is the capital of Odisha. It is famed for its magnificent temples, numbering around a thousand. Cuttack, the former capital of Odisha, is 22 km from Bhubaneshwar. With the rapid expansion of two cities and better road connectivity, the two cities are now almost conjoined and considered as twin cities. The city of Puri is about 60 kilometers from Bhubaneshwar and lies on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. Puri is considered a holy city and the abode of the deity Lord Jagannath. It is one of the Char Dhams (Four holy places) of Hinduism. The world-famous "car festival" (rath yatra) is celebrated every year in the Hindu month of Ashadha (Mid June to Mid July) in Puri.

The Chota Nagpur plateau occupies the western and northern portions of the state, while along the coast are fertile alluvial plains and the valleys of the Mahanadi, Brahmani, and Baitarani rivers, which fall into the Bay of Bengal. These alluvial plains are home to intensive rice cultivation. The Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Asia's largest rice research Institute is situated along the bank of Mahanadi in Cuttack. One of the major nesting ground for the Olive Ridley sea turtles can be found in the Beaches of Odisha; in Devi, Gahirmatha and Rushikulya, which are known to be the nesting sites for the L. olivacea Indian Ocean population. In 2007, around 130,000 turtles nested on the beaches of Gahirmatha. The shore line also acts as their mating site and have attracted various scientific communities for research and studies.

Although most of Odisha's forest cover has been denuded lately, one of the greatest attractions of Odisha is its still vast expanses of unspoiled natural landscape that offer a protected yet natural habitat to the state’s incredible wildlife. There are many wildlife sanctuaries in Odisha. The Simlipal National Park Tiger Reserve is a huge 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.

Chilka Lake, a brackish water coastal lake on the Bay of Bengal, south of the mouth of the Mahanadi River, is the largest coastal lake in India and the second largest in the world.It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent. It is protected by the Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary, which harbors over 160 migratory and resident species of birds. Birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, Central and southeast Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here. It also has the small area of Satpada which is a safe sanctuary for the lesser known and endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins.

The highest mountain peak in the state is Deomali (1672 m), which is situated in Koraput district in southern Odisha. It is also the tallest peak of the Eastern Ghats. It is part of the Chandragiri-Pottangi mountain system

 
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    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orissa
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