Orissa, in ancient times known as Kalinga, was a far-flung national unity, range over the vast regions nearby grounds from the Ganges to the Godavari and occasionally up to the Krishna River. This is between the oldest and most extensive form of handicrafts. Historical records of ancient era have been found in the remains of pottery. It is believed to have existed since 7000 BC in the Neolithic period. If we will consider its timetable and stages of formation, we may conclude that through the early historic period, Orissa succeeded under several names and under several rulers and administrations. Kalinga, as it was known, was very active in national as well as overseas trade associations, being located on the Bay of Bengal coast and being placed as a conference point between north and south India. The vegetation is of tropical deciduous type and the climate is considered by hot summers, high humidity and well-distributed rainfall.
The word ‘Jagannath’ and the word ‘people of Orissa’ mean two separate aspects; the first one narrates to culture of Lord Jagannath and second narrates to Orissan people. Orissa as such at present is comprising of 30 districts, but its cultural borderline is bounded by many ancient States speaking communal language. Oriya which the historians as well as epigraphers say is evolved from Udramagadhi. However, the ancient State of Kaling, Utkal, Trikaling, Dakhinkosal and Kangoda comprise the modern Orissa. The people residing in all the areas are mainly aboriginals, either classes of Sabaras or classes of Gonds and Kandhs. There are many unions and sub-divisions in these three tribal communities and in course of time many sub communities have come out their tribal limitations to have mingled with the on-coming communities namely Kshetriyas and Brahmins as well as business community (Vaishya’s) brought in by the ruling dynasty from both/or South and North.
As known in particular traditional heritage is usually established around river bank because of the fact that cultivation and animal husbandry are easily potential for undertaking in the lands which lay on both the banks ever flowing rivers. To many historians as well as epigraphers and archaeologists, the land of Orissa is very peculiar for the simple reason that even though many tribal collections from the major part of the population, but they almost have a common mystical belief as a result of which the worships of Lord Jagannath as we all know now has been an evolving synthesis of many people, but with a common stream of thought flowing from pre-vedic period as is evident from many Purans and relative study of old civilization as well as archaeological excavation. The worship of Lord Jagannath in Orissa, has led to development of distinct culture which is frequently described as Jagannath culture. Jagannath culture believes in universality but not in sectarianism. Lord Jagannath as we know now is the God of masses, but not of personalities with individual choice and thus naturally Jagannath culture has been observed as a mass culture. People of diverse faith with their distinct social backgrounds have worshipped Lord Jagannath as their own. From the foot prints of the ageless cultural heritage in India and abroad, we find that tribal (original inhabitant of Orissa), Dravidians, Aryans, Orthodox Hindus, Jains, Buddhist, Sikhs and various religions.
When we as pilgrim’s devotees or as companies go to the Lord Jagannath Temple complex, we frequently wait for some time to partake Mahaprasad rather in Anand Bazar. Anand Bazar is located inside the premises of Lord Jagannath Temple, Puri is a place where Mahaprasad in shape cooked rice, dals, curry, sweets and Sukhila Bhog etc. which are offered to Lord Jagannath and reoffered to the governing Lady Deity of Lord Jagannath. Vimala become Mahaprasad and are sold in Anand Bazar by the Suaras (the cooks of the sacred Mahaprasad). Here in Anand Bazar people of numerous categories right from Brahmin to Sudras partake Mahaprasad in a common place from a common ampoule. This designates that there is no sense of discrimination between Brahmin and non-Brahmin or between the touchable and non-touchable or between Hindus, Budhists, Jains and Sikhs. The terracotta or fired clay products are used to store the meal of the temple, these pots are especially made for the temple and has a dimensional shape.
According to "Skanda Purana" Lord Jagannath redeems the devotees by permitting them to partake his Mahaprasad, to have his darshan and to worship him by observing rituals and by offering of gifts. Mahaprasad is treated here as 'Anna Brahma'. The temple kitchen has got the capacity to cook for a lakh of devotees in a day. Mahaprasad is cooked only in earthen pots and medium of food is fire wood only. The steam-cooked food is offered to Lord Jagannath first and then to Goddess Vimala after which it becomes Mahaprasad.