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Kalinga c265 BCE
Kalinga ( ) was an early kingdom in central-eastern India, which comprised most of the modern state of Odissamarker / Utkal, as well as some northern areas of the bordering state of Andhra Pradeshmarker. It was a rich and fertile land that extended from the river Damodar / Gangamarker to Godavari and from Bay of Bengalmarker to Amarkantakmarker range in the West.This region was scene of the bloody Kalinga War fought by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka the Great of Magadha circa 265 BCE.

Kharavela was the warrior king of Kalinga . He was responsible for the propagation of Jainism in East Indiamarker but his importance is neglected in many accounts of Indian History. According to the Hathigumpha inscription near Bhubaneswarmarker, Orissa, he attacked Rajagrihamarker in Magadha, thus inducing the Indo-Greek king Demetrius to retreat to Mathuramarker.

The Kharavelan Jain kingdom had a formidable maritime empire with trading routes linking it to Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Borneo, Bali, Sumatra and Java. Colonists from Kalinga settled in Sri Lanka, Burma, and the Maldive and Indonesian archipelagos. Even today Indians are referred to as Kelingin Malaysia because of this.

Kalinga is mentioned in the Adiparva, Bhismaparva, Sabhaparva, Banaprava of Mahabharata so also is the conquest of Karna. Kalinga King Srutayu stated to have fought the Mahabharat war for the Kauravas. Kalinga is also mentioned as Calingae in Megasthenes' book on India - Indica & Megasthenes states that Magadha & Kalinga were Jain Dominant Kingdoms:

"The Prinas and the Cainas (a tributary of the Gangesmarker) are both navigable rivers. The tribes which dwell by the Ganges are the Calingae, nearest the sea, and higher up the Mandei, also the Malli, among whom is Mount Mallus, the boundary of all that region being the Ganges." (Megasthenes fragm. XX.B. in Pliny. Hist. Nat. V1. 21.9-22. 1.)

"The royal city of the Calingae is called Parthalis. Over their king 60,000 foot-soldiers, 1,000 horsemen, 700 elephants keep watch and ward in "procinct of war." (Megasthenes fragm. LVI. in Plin. Hist. Nat. VI. 21. 8-23. 11.)

The Kalinga script ( ref), derived from Brahmi, was used for writing. Among the offshoots, Kalinga script had the maximum resemblance with the parent script, Brāhmī and later modified to Oriya script in the beginning of the second millennium. This makes the Oriya Script as the most distinctive and least distorted script among the Indic scripts. [87734]


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