Orissa is located in the eastern part of India. It
extends from latitude 17o 49' to 22o 34' in north, and from longitude 81o
29'E to 87o 29'E longitude on the eastern coast of India. It
is surrounded by West Bengal in north-east, Bihar in the north, Madhya
Pradesh in the west, Andhra Pradesh in the south and the Bay of Bengal
in the east.
Geographically, Orissa may mainly be categorized
into three regions:
- The Coastal plains: Orissa has fertile coastal
plains on the eastern coast known as the 'rice bowl' of Orissa. This
is narrow in the north, widest in the middle, narrowest in the Chilika
coast and broad in the south. The coastal plains are enriched with six
rivers namely, the Subarnarekha, the Burhabalanga, the Baitarani, the
Brahmani, the Mahanadi and the Rushikulya. Strong off-shore current
moves from Chennai to the Andhra coast and passes through Orissa
coast, and thus, the rivers don't have deltaic characteristics. Orissa
has a coastal line of 529 Km from Ichhapuram in the south to the east
of Subarnarekha in the north-east.
The coastal line consists of the lakes, lagoons, marshes, bays and
islands and natural harbours. The Lakes in Orissa are either natural
or artificial. One of the blazing example of the natural lake is the
Chilika Lake. To elicit some examples of artificial lake are the
reservoir Rengali made over the Brahmani, Balimela on the river Sileru.
But the area of the lake doesn't remain constant throughout the year.
It fluctuates with the seasonal changes. The Sar lake, the
Samagarapata and the Tampara are only three old lagoons initially
cut-off from the Bay of Bengal.
There is only one bay in Orissa which is the Hukitola bay. Eventually
there are only two islands in Orissa the Short's Islands and the
Wheeler Islands. Among the natural harbour there is only one of its
type in Orissa i.e. Paradeep which holds its recognition as the
deepest natural port in the whole of India. An example of Marsh is the
Udyankhanda having blackish water. It is on the coast of Ichhapur on
the border of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.
- The Mountainous Regions: The mountainous portions
of Orissa cover about three-fourth of entire state, and consist of
eastern ghat mountain ranges and hilly regions. The major mountain
ranges extend from 600 to1,350 meters. The Deomali peak with 1,672
meters in height is the highest in Orissa and the tallest in the whole
of the Eastern Ghats.
- Plateaus and Rolling Uplands: The high plateaus
are found in mountain ranges with an average elevation of 300-600
meters. They are almost flat. Generally the rolling uplands vary
between 150 and 300 metres and they are lower in elavation. Since the
soil of these areas is rich in nutrients they are ideal for