Lets Explore the History of Odia Language

today we will know the history of Odia language Who doesn’t love the language they speak and who doesn’t want to know the history of their language that’s why today we’re going to share some information about the evolution and history of our Odia language, based on its vast literary history and lack of widespread linguistic borrowing, Odia has been designated as the sixth Indian language to be classified as a classical language. Around the tenth century CE, the earliest known Odia inscription was written.

History of Odia Language
History of Odia Language

HISTORY of Odia Language

The Eastern Indo-Aryan language of the Indo-Aryan language family is called Odia. It comes from the lineage of Odra Prakrit, which developed from Magadhi Prakrit.The latter is the principal language of early Buddhist and Jain literature, having been spoken in east India more than 1,500 years ago. When considering other main Indo-Aryan languages, Odia seems to have been influenced by Persian and Arabic less than other languages.

Proto Odia (Odra Prakrit) (10th century and earlier):

The development of proto-Odia, or the use of Odra Prakrit or Oriya Prakrit vocabulary alongside Sanskrit, is demonstrated by inscriptions from the 9th century. The inscriptions date to the early Eastern Gangas period, around the third quarter of the 9th century.

Old Odia (tenth century to thirteenth century):

The earliest known inscription, the Urajam inscription of the Eastern Gangas, which was inscribed in Old Odia in 1051 CE, attests to the existence of the Old Odia language.[26] An inscription from 1249 CE contains Old Odia written as joined lines.

Early Middle Odia (13th–15th century):

The Madala Panji of the Jagannath Temple in Puri, which is thought to have been written in the 12th century, contains the oldest instance of prose. This type of Odia is used to write works like Saptanga, Kalasa Chautisa, Gorekha Samhita, Sisu Beda, and Amarakosa.


Middle Odia (15th century–17th century):

Sarala Das is credited with writing the Mahabharata and the Bilanka Ramayana in Middle Odia (15th–17th century). The Odia Bhagabata, Jagamohana Ramayana, Lakshmi Purana, Haribansa, Gobinda Chandra, and other well-known works were written by the Panchasakha “five seer poets” in the 15th century: Balarama Dasa, Jagannatha Dasa, Achyutananda Dasa, Sisu Ananta Dasa, and Jasobanta Dasa.

Late Middle Odia (17th–early 19th century)

Sisu Sankara Dasa’s Usabhilasa, Deba Durlabha Dasa’s Rahasya Manjari, and Kartika Dasa’s Rukmini Bibaha were written. During this time, Upendra Bhanja played a pivotal part in Odia literature with his works, Baidehisa Bilasa, Koti Brahmanda Sundari, and Labanyabati. Two well-known latter kabyas were Rasakallola by Dinakrushna Dasa and Bidagdha Chintamani by Abhimanyu Samanta Singhara. The state’s classical music was led by songpoets such as Upendra Bhanja, Banamali, Kabisurjya Baladeba Ratha, and Gopalakrusna. At the close of the 1800s, Bhima Bhoi came into being.

Modern Odia (from the late 1800s to the present):

In 1861, Balasore saw the publication of Bodha Dayini, the first Odia magazine. Many Bengali academics at the time argued that Odia was really a Bengali dialect used to gain government employment and wield power. In ‘Odia Ekti Swatantray Bhasha Noi’ (Odia not an independent language), for example, Pandit Kanti Chandra Bhattacharya, a teacher at Balasore Zilla School, asserted that Odia was merely a corrupted form of Bengali and was not a distinct language. He proposed that the Bengali vernacular schools replace the Odia vernacular schools, which should be abolished in Odisha. Utkala Deepika, the first Odia newspaper, was initially published in 1866 under the editorship of Gourishankar Ray and Bichitrananda. Bhagavati Charan Das founded Utkal Subhakari, a different newspaper, in 1869. Soon after, more Odia newspapers appeared, including Sambada Vahika from Balasore, Utkal Patra, Utkal Hiteisini from Cuttack, Utkal Darpan, and Sambalpur Hiteisini from Deogarh. Radhanath Ray became a well-known Odia poet during this period, while Fakir Mohan Senapati became a well-known Odia fiction writer. During this period, Madhusudan Das, Madhusudan Rao, Gangadhar Meher, Chintamani Mohanty, Nanda Kishore Bal, Reba Ray, Gopabandhu Das, and Nilakantha Das were among the other well-known Odia writers who contributed to the promotion of Odia.

Odia language in abroad

There are a significant number of Odia speakers living abroad in several nations, totalling about 50 million aprx. Due to the sadhaba, who were traditional Odishan traders who brought the language and culture with them when they traded, it is widely spoken in both eastern nations like Thailand and Indonesia and western nations like the United States, Canada, Australia, and England. Other nations in the Middle East and Burma, Malaysia, Fiji, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka have also adopted the language. The Bonaz population in northern Bangladesh speaks it as their native tongue.

What makes the Odia language unique?

In contrast to Sanskrit, Odia does not permit elision, although it does permit compounding. Compounds are used more frequently in written than in spoken Odia. Odia features no words that end in a consonant, nine diphthongs, six pure vowels, 28 consonants (three of which are retroflex), and four semivowels.

Odia language composing system

The Odia script, also called the Kalinga script, is used by speakers of the Odia language. The primary language written in this Brahmic script is Odia, but it can also be used to write Sanskrit and a few other minor regional languages. The writing has evolved over almost a millennium, with the earliest known trace of it dating back to 1051 AD.

Odia is an abugida, or syllabic alphabet, in which every consonant has a natural vowel. The inherent vowel can have its shape altered by the introduction of diacritical marks, which can occur above, below, before, or after the consonant they belong to.

Vowels are represented as separate letters when they occur at the start of a syllable. Additionally, unique conjunct symbols are employed to integrate the necessary components of a sentence when specific consonants occur together.

The curved appearance of the Odia script is a result of the practice of writing on palm leaves, which tend to tear if too many straight lines are used.

Odia Language Script

Odia is written in the Odia script, which evolved from the ancient Brahmi script. The script contains 64 letters, including vowels and consonants. The Odia script, often called Odia Lipi or Utkala Lipi, is the writing system for the Odia language. Millions of people in the Indian state of Odisha speak Odia, which is the official language. The Odia script is an abugida, which implies that consonants and vowels are merged to produce syllables. Here’s an overview of the Odia script.

Vowels ସ୍ୱର ବର୍ଣ୍ଣ

The Odia script has 12 vowel letters, which are called “Swaras.” These letters represent the different vowel sounds in the Odia language


Consonants ବ୍ୟଞ୍ଜନ ବର୍ଣ୍ଣ

The Odia script has 40 consonant letters, which are called “Vyanjanas.” Each consonant letter represents a specific consonant sound.


Matras (Diacritics):

In addition to consonant and vowel letters, the Odia script has various diacritic marks called “Matras” that are used to modify the vowel sound in a syllable. Matras are placed either above, below, or beside the consonant letter to indicate the specific vowel sound.

Numbers ସଂଖ୍ୟା

The Odia script also has its own set of numerals used for writing numbers. These numerals are derived from the ancient Brahmi numerals and are still used in Odia writing.

Signs, Punctuation



Odia Grammar

The majority of Sanskrit cases are still present in Odia, however, the nominative and vocative as well as the accusative and dative have combined (both without a distinct marker). There are two grammatical numbers (plural and singular) and three genders (masculine, feminine, and neuter). There aren’t any genders in grammar, though. Gender is used semantically, that is, to distinguish between male and female members of a class. Present, past, and future are the three real tenses; additional tenses are constructed with auxiliaries.

Future of Odia Language

The Odisha government will develop a language policy to advance Odia.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik declared that a unique language strategy would be developed to advance the Odia language from now on.

Mr Patnaik declared, “Odia is our language and identity,” during the opening of the first-ever “World Odia Language Conference” here. A race’s unifying characteristic is its language.

“Odia is a historically rich classical language. By including new terms, it can be improved even more. Language is influenced by culture and technology, he stated, urging specialists to discuss these points.

Good Odia literature and how to use it should be discussed. Mr. Patnaik stated, “We need to understand the past of our magnificent language, consider its current state, and establish a foundation for its future.

Declaring that an Odia University had been founded to aid in the spread of the Odia language, he urged everyone to collaborate in the language’s development.

“The government will create a unique language policy and take into consideration the conference’s ideas. The CM expressed confidence in the future strengthening of the Odia language and race.

Attending the three-day conference are around 100 researchers, including linguists from four different nations, who are expected to guide the language’s future development.

Linguist Devi Prasanna Patnaik received the inaugural World Odia Language Award from Mr Patnaik in recognition of his lifetime commitment to the advancement of Odia. A certificate and ₹20 lakhs were presented to him. The Chief Minister honoured Padma Vibhushan Sitakanth Mahapatra and Padma Bhushan Pratibha Roy, the winners of the Odia Jnanpith Award, on this occasion.

People from all around the State joined together to sing “Bande Utkal Janani” in honour of the inaugural World Odia Language Conference in 2024. To honour the significance of Odia, the State administration arranged storytelling sessions and cultural events.

Who is the father of the Odia Language?

Language is a product of many brilliant minds and evolution over hundreds of years, hence we cannot claim any certain person as the father of any language.


Sarala Das, a well-known medieval poet and scholar from the Indian state of Odisha, is regarded as the father of the Odia language.
He lived in the fifteenth century and is credited with establishing the basis for Odia literature and language. Sarala Das is widely known for his epic poem “Mahabharata” in Odia, which is one of the first Odia literary works. The poem adapts the story of the classic Indian epic Mahabharata to the Odia language and regional culture.
His considerable contributions to Odia literature, as well as his attempts to standardize and promote the Odia language, earned him the title of “Adi kavi” (Odia’s first poet). Sarala Das’s literary efforts contributed significantly to the development and recognition of Odia Language.
Source: Wikipedia

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