Odia people

Odias
ଓଡ଼ିଆ ଲୋକ
Total population
c. 34 million[1]
Regions with significant populations
 India33,026,680 (2011)[2]
Languages
Odia
Religion
Predominantly:
Om.svg Hinduism
Minorities:

The Odia (ଓଡ଼ିଆ), formerly known as Oriya, are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group native to the Indian state of Odisha and have the Odia language as their mother tongue. They constitute a majority in the eastern coastal state of Odisha, with significant minority populations in Chhattisgarh and West Bengal.[3]

Etymology

The earliest Odias were called Odra or Kalinga, which later on became Utkal.

The word Odia has mentions in epics like the Mahabharata. The Odras are mentioned as one of the peoples that fought in the Mahabharata. Pali literature calls them Oddakas. Ptolemy and Pliny the Elder also refer to the Oretas who inhabit India's eastern coast. The modern term Odia dates from the 15th century when it was used by the medieval Muslim chroniclers and adopted by the Gajapati kings of Odisha.