The foreign accounts also give a good account of knowledge on ancient Kalinga. The Greek historians like Pilny, Diodorus, Curtius, Plutarch have mentioned about the people of Kalinga. Megasthenes refers to Gangaridum Calingarum Regia (Gangetic Kalinga Region). Pliny divides Kalinga into three divisions-Gangarides (Gangetic), Maceo (Middle) and Calingae (Kalinga). “The Peri plus of the Erythrean sea” by an anonymous Greek sailor also gives some information about Kalinga. Ptolemy, the Greek geographer (2nd century A.D.) gives an account of the ports of Kalinga. His indication to a people called ‘Oretes’ living near the mount ‘Maleus’ is significant because the former is identified with Odras whereas the latter with the Malaya mountain.
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’. These are invaluable sources of authentic information. Another Chinese traveller lTsing’s ‘Records of the Buddhistic Religions as practised in India and the Malay Archipelago’ is also of significant help. Gerini’s ‘Researches on Ptolemy’ and Tibetan historian Lama Taranath’s history provide valuable information regarding ancient period of Odisha.
www.historyofodisha.in is an initiative of Brajabandhu Mahanta, with active support from Smabhunath Mahanta to share the glorious past of Odisha among the students and general readers of history.