The history of the city stretches back over 2000 years. The area first appears as the ancient capital of Kalinga during 4th century BC. Bhubaneswar, the 'city of temples', named after Tribhuvaneswar, 'Lord of Three Worlds', still preserves over 500 of India's finest temples, around which the religious life of the city revolves. Mythological references and the epigraphic sources describe the area as Ekamra Kshetra and Saiva Pitha. In 1936, the Odisha became a separate province with Cuttack as its Capital, which was eventually changed to Bhubaneswar in 1956.
The history of Bhubaneswar may be viewed in terms of ancient medieval and modern eras. The ancient city has a history of more than 2,000 years, while the modern city emerged in 1948. The remains of the ancient city of Sisupalgarh, on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, are claimed to be at least 2,500 years old.
The history of Bhubaneswar takes you back to the 4th century BC to the Chedi dynasty. The rulers of the Chedi dynasty were the first to establish their kingdom in Sisupalgarh where Bhubaneswar is presently located. Although the city was founded by the Chedi kings, it remained unknown to the world for a long time. It was only in the 3rd century BC that the place rose to prominence. It was during this period that the famous Kalinga War took place between the Mauryan Empire and the state of Kalinga. One of the most completeedictsof theMauryanemperor,Ashoka, dating from between 272-236 BCE, remains carved in rock 8 kilometers (5.0mi) to the southwest of the modern city explains about the system of Governance during the era. The hills also preserve the first sculptures of Odisan artists.
During the medieval period, Bhubaneswar saw the dominance of various religious sects. With the introduction of Jainism and Buddhism in the province, the city became deeply involved in matters of philosophy. However, with time, the principles of Jainism and Buddhism began to fade and gave way to Brahmanism and Vaisnavism in the region. It was during this time, when Bhubaneswar reached the pinnacle of its religious status. During the 7th and the 12th century, the city rose to prominence because of its carvings, sculptures and architectural designs. With the invasion of the Mughal rulers in the 15th century on the eastern side of the continent, many of these magnificent sandstone compositions were destroyed and plundered.
During this period the famous temples like Lingaraj, Rajarani, Mukteswar and Parsurameswar etc were built. The Somavamsi and Kesari Kings were the main builders of the prominent and historical structures of Bhubaneswar. The Gangas were responsible for promoting Vaisnavism in Odisha. During their rule a predominantly Saiva city engulfed Vishnu worship. Shiva temples accepted Vaisnavism practices and names.
During the 16th century Odisha was repressed by the mighty rulers belonging to the Mughal dynasty. In the 18th century, the place was overpowered by the British East Indian Company. With the entire region falling into the hands of the English, the state of Orissa, otherwise known as Odisha, underwent some administrative changes. Bhubaneswar lost its importance with the advent of the external rulers
Cuttack was the Capital of Odisha during the Mughal and British rule. The city is vulnerable to flood and is squeezed between two measure rivers. As a result, the capital was shifted to Bhubaneswar in the year 1948, just after India gained its independence from the British. Otto H. Konigsberg, a German architect, was invited to plan the new city of Bhubaneswar. On 13th April 1948, the new city of Bhubaneswar was officially declared as the new capital of Odisha. Just like Jamshedpur and Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar was also planned to provide new and improved amenities to its people.
The site for the New Capital was selected after careful consideration. It has the advantage of lying on the border between the fertile delta land and the hilly forest areas of Odisha. It has the natural advantage with regard to Drainage. The ground slopes from west to east and is divided into two parts intersected by the railway line. The western Part is high land with laterite soil which permits the growth of forest and the eastern part is low with alluvial soil suitable for agriculture. From April to August the prevailing wind is from south and south-west and from September to March it is from north and north-west. The Velocity of the wind is maximum in summer.