The history of Odissi dance has been traced to an early sculpture found in the Ranigumpha caves at Udaygiri(Orissa). dating to the 2nd century BC. Thus Odissi appears to be the oldest classical dance rooted in rituals and tradition. Infact the NătyaShăstra refers to Odra Magadhi as one of the vrittis and Odra refers to Orissa. But since the exact tradition of the dance could not be found, the Maharis and the Achariyas adapted the existing format of BharatNătyam along with the sculpures on the walls of the temples to the present form of new Odissi.
Textual and Literary Evidence
Revival of Odissi