Ancient Odisha was a confluence of cultures of different races. In this holy land, assimilation of the cultures of the Austrics, the Drvidians and the Aryans took place. Geographically, Odisha provides a culture corridor that connects the North with the South.
The sea-faring activities and maritime glory made it the most attractive destination of the eastern coast of India. Successive tides from all sides surged up, rolled in and broke over this land culminating in cultural synthesis. This passage over ages transcended the traditional vision of culture.
Culture in its essence is viewed here as ways of loving together.
Odisha has a unique distinction of acting as a confluence of diverse faiths by striking harmony amongst religious faiths from animism, fetishism, shamanism, ancestore worship to highly evolved forms of religions like Brahminism, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam, Chiristianity and Mahima Dharma.
Vaishnavism, Saivism, Saivism, Sakta , Ganapatya, Sour-all forms of Brahminic worship are conceived in the wonderful matrix of the great and grand cult of Jagannath that embraces in its grandeur quintessences of different religions signifying world-view. The Oriya literature contained this world-view in its essence;
“Let my lie rot in hell”
But be the world saved’’ –(Bhima Bhoi)
These lines of the saint poet Bhima Bhoi express sentiments of self-sacrifice and selflessness for the well-being of the world at large. Through centuries, the state retained its cultural identity within the mainstream of pan-India culture. Odisha is a land of rich and diverse artistic achievements. Its ageless art and flourishing cultural are the products of a long historical process. Spiritual, philosophical, professional and human dimensions are merged into the process to yield finest efforts of cultural life. Against this background, Odisha Justifiable pioneered the establishment of the first ever University of culture of the country.
The Utkal University of culture came into existence by virtue of an ordinance promulgated on the 9 June, 1999, which was later replaced by “Utkal University of culture Act 1999’’. It was established as a teaching-cum-affiliating university. It was set up in order to engage itself to preserve, promote, propagate and protect the richness of our cultural values by way of making substantive accomplishment through study, research, documentation and continuing education. The University was recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) on 1 December, 1999, under Section 2(f) of the U.G.C Act, 1956. It has also been accredited by the Association of India Universities (AIU) since 1 April 2000.