Orissa from ancient time remained land of vedic learning. It preserves distinct and very unique living tradition of paippalAda shAkhA ( of aTharva veda ) and kANva shAkhA ( of shukla yajurveda ) . The Orissan version ( samskrita term being Utkala pATha ) of kANva samhitA is unique in nature having 41 adhyAyas and 2095 mantras ( according to some manuscripts 2100 ) mantras in contrast with printed vulgate version comprising 40 adhyAyas and 2086 mantras in total . This 41 adhyAya samhitA is called EkachAlishA mantra ( meaning : 41 chapters containing mantra , in Orissan dialect ) in Orissan kANva tradition .This 41 chapter samhitA is divided in 2 parts of 20 and 21 chapters. The first 20 adhyAyas are called ‘Tala kudi‘ ( meaning : lower twenty ) and later 21 adhyAyas are called ‘Upara kudi‘ ( meaning : upper twenty ). Also the recital style
of kANva samhitA in Orissa have very distinct features :
(1) It is independent of rigveda style ( in contrast with recitation style in other parts of india where it is very similar to rigveda ) .
(2) Use of hand gestures ( in contrast with reciters of other parts of india who don’t show hand gestures ) which is peculiar in nature and not similar to hand gestures of mAdhyAndina shAkhA .
(3) Recital have many pATha bhedas in contrast to published vulgate kANva samhitA .
(4) Purpose ( prayoga:vidhI ) of each chapter is mentioned in starting of chapter in orissan kANva samhitA .
adhyAyas 1-34 of orissan kANva samhitA with some pAThabhedas is similar to published vulgate kANva samhitA . Chapter 35 of vulgate kANva samhitA contains 4 anuvAkas of 55 mantras , in contrast orissan kANva samhitA spilt this chapter into three : chapter 35 of two anuvAkas having 32 mantras , chapter 36 in one anuvAka with 2 mantras and chapter 37 in one anuvAka 22 mantras .The last anuvAka of
vulgate kANva samhitA which forms chapter 37 of orissan kANva samhitA contains only 21 mantras , the extra mantra in the orissan kANva samhitA being the one beginning with ‘dadhikrAvRnO…’which finds a place also in chapter 34 of both recession. Chapter 37 and 38 of the vulgate kANva samhitA containing 3 and 7 anuvAkas respectively , together form chapter 39 in 10 anuvAkas of orissan kANva samhitA . The last two chapters 39 and 40 of vulgate kANva samhitA correspond to the last two chapters 40 and 41 of orissan kANva samhitA . Some extra mantras found in orissan kANva text are arranged in chapters 8,22,23,25,39 and 40 . Total mantras in orissan kANva samhitA are 2095/2100 . Vulgate kANva text have 2089 mantras.
Many pAThashAlas are there in Utakala desha teaching this orissan kANva text to new age brahmacharins for preservation of peculiar tradition of Utkala desha .