In 1949 a new chapter opened in the history of Odisha with the excavation at Sisupalgarh conducted by B.B. Lal. A fort with impressive gateways led historians to identify it with Kalinganagari which is assumed as the capital city of Kharavela. The art and architecture of Khandagiri and Udayagiri added another source to the history of ancient Odisha.
The earliest coins available in Odisha are punch-marked coins which were in circulation between 4th century B.C. to 4th century A.D. These coins were profusely available in coastal eastern parts of Odisha.
The inscriptions of the Bhaumakaras provides a great deal of knowledge for the reconstruction of the history of Odisha. It is because the rule of the Bhauma-Karas (8th-9th century A.D.) forms glorious epoch in the annals of Odishan history.
The most valuable of the foreign accounts is that of the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang who visited Odisha in 638-39 AD. His writings have been made available to us as ‘On Yuan Chwang’s Travels’ by T. Watters, ‘Life of Hiuen Tsang’ by Hwuie and ‘Records of the Buddhist World’.
The Mahabharata makes the earliest reference to Kalinga and Odra. The Mahabharata mentions about this land and its sacred river Vaitarani and Goddess Viraja.
Kosala as a geographical unit was existed in ancient Odisha. The earliest depiction of Kosala is found in the Parisistha of the Atharvaveda. The Epics and the Puranas also throw light on its ancient history. It was named after- like Kalinga, Utkala and Odra – an ancient people called Kosalas. The kingdom of Kosala was …
It was during the Sailodbhava dynasty, Kongoda came into eminence. Kongoda may be explained as the “Land of Honey” as Kongu in Tamil means honey.
In Asoka’s inscription at Dhauli, Tosali has found mention as a city which has been identified by some scholars with modern Sisupalagarh, but Tosali or Tosala as the name of a territory also occurs in the subsequent literature and epigraphic records.