Odisha borders on the Bay of Bengal. The eastern part, close to the sea is more prosperous, with a lot of tourist locations and religious places. The western part is a hilly and forested area, generally drought prone. It is a predominantly tribal belt
It is a culturally rich state. The Bhubaneswar-Puri-Konark golden triangle is the pride of the state.
Traditionally, Odisha descended from the historical kingdom of Kalinga. The script for the Odia (Oriya) language derives from the Kalinga script which is one of the descendants of the Brahmi script.
Biju Patnaik International Airport , also known as the Bhubaneswar Airport, is the primary airport serving Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha. It is situated around 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) south-west from Bhubaneswar railway station and 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) away from the city center.
Named after the former chief minister of Odisha, Biju Patnaik, a famed aviator and freedom fighter. It is the 15th busiest airport in India
Bhubaneswar (Odia pronunciation ) is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Odisha. It is a centre of economic, educational and cultural importance of East India.
The present-day city can be traced to the 3rd century BCE and earlier. It is a confluence of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain heritage boasting of some of the finest Kalingan temples. With many 6th-13th century CE Hindu temples, which span the entire spectrum of Kalinga architecture, Bhubaneswar is often referred to as a "Temple City of India". With Puri and Konark it forms the Swarna Tribhuja ("Golden Triangle"), one of eastern India's most visited destinations.
The museum gives an impressive insight into the culture of the many different tribals living in and around Odisha. Tools, clothes and artwork is presented over several halls. In every area a guide of the museum will take care of you and give you extensive explanations - you really get to know something about the things you see. Anyway there is no entry fee( Mueum is closed on Mondays)
Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, formerly called Kattaka Caves or Cuttack caves, are partly natural and partly artificial caves of archaeological, historical and religious importance near the city of Bhubaneswar in Odisha, India. The caves are situated on two adjacent hills, Udayagiri and Khandagiri, mentioned as Kumari Parvata in the Hathigumpha inscription. They have a number of finely and ornately carved caves built during the 1st century BCE. It is believed that most of these caves were carved out as residential blocks for Jaina monks during the reign of King Kharavela.
Udayagiri means "Sunrise Hill" and has 18 caves while Khandagiri has 15 caves.The caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri, called lena or leṇa in the inscriptions, were dug out mostly during the reign of Kharavela for the abode of Jaina ascetics. The most important of this group is Ranigumpha in Udayagiri which is a double storeyed monastery. Other important caves include Hathi gumpha, Ananta gumpha, Ganesha gumpha, Jaya Vijaya gumpha, Mancapuri gumpha, Bagha/Byaghra/Vyaghra gumpha and Sarpa gumpha.Archaeological Survey of India has listed Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves in the list of "Must See" Indian Heritage.
Lingaraja Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva and is one of the oldest and largest temple in Bhubaneswar and marks as most prominent landmark. The central tower of the temple is 180 ft (55 m) tall.
The temple represents the quintessence of the Kalinga architecture and culminating the medieval stages of the architectural tradition at Bhubaneswar. The temple is believed to be built by the kings from the Somavamsi dynasty, with later additions from the Ganga rulers. The temple is built in the Deula style that has four components namely, vimana (structure containing the sanctum), jagamohana (assembly hall), natamandira (festival hall) and bhoga-mandapa (hall of offerings), each increasing in the height to its predecessor. The temple complex has 50 other shrines and is enclosed by a large compound wall. Bhubaneswar is called the Ekamra Kshetra as the deity of Lingaraja was originally under a mango tree (Ekamra) as noted in Ekamra Purana, a 13th-century Sanskrit treatise.
The temple is active in worship practises, unlike most other temples in Bhubaneswar and Shiva is worshipped as Harihara, a combined form of Vishnu and Shiva. The temple has images of Vishnu, possibly because of the rising prominence of Jagannath sect emanating from the Ganga rulers who built the Jagannath Temple in Puri in the 12th century. Lingaraja temple is maintained by the Temple Trust Board and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The temple has an average of 6,000 visitors per day and receives lakhs of visitors during festivals.
Shivaratri festival is the major festival celebrated in the temple and event during 2012 witnessed 200,000 visitors. The temple compound is not open to non-Hindus, but there is a viewing platform beside the wall offering a good view of the main exteriors. This was originally erected for a visit by Lord Curzon when Viceroy.
Parsurameswara Temple is considered the best preserved specimen of an early Odia Hindu temple dated to the Shailodbhava period between the 7th and 8th centuries CE. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and is one of the oldest existing temples in the state. It is believed to have been built around 650 CE in Nagara style and has all the main features of the pre-10th century Odia-style temples.
The temple is one among the Parashurameshvara group of temples. Parashurameshvara Temple has a vimana, the sanctum, and a bada, the curvilinear spire over its roof, rising to a height of 40.25 ft (12.27 m). It is the first temple to have an additional structure called jagamohana, compared to the earlier temples that had only the vimana.
Though the temple is dedicated to Shiva, it contains sculpted images of Shakta deities, which are otherwise normally part of Shakta temples. The temple is the first in Bhubaneswar to contain depictions of Saptamatrikas, namely, Chamunda, Varahi, Indrani, Vaishnavi, Kaumari, Shivani and Brahmi. The temple is maintained and administered by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as a ticketed monument. Parashurashtami is the major festival celebrated in the temple during June–July every year. The temple is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in the state of Odisha.
Mukteshvara is an aspect of the Hindu god Shiva.
Mukteshvara Temple is a 10th-century Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. The temple dates back to 950–975 CE and is a monument of importance in the study of the development of Hindu temples in Odisha. The temple marks an important transition point between the early and the later phases of the Kalinga architecture.
The highlight is the magnificent torana - the decorative gateway, an arched masterpiece, reminiscent of Buddhist influence in Odisha. It has been constructed in the style that is quite similar to the one used in the Kalinga School of Temple Architecture and know as the 'Gem of Odisha architecture'.
The beautiful sculptures eloquently speak of the sense of proportion and perspective of the sculptor and their unique ability in the exact depiction of the minutest objects. Mukteswara means "Lord of freedom".
The stylistic development the Mukteswar marks the culmination of all earlier developments, and initiates a period of experiment which continues for an entire century, as seen in such temples as the Rajarani Temple and Lingaraj temple, both located in Bhubaneswar. It is one of the prominent tourist attractions of the city.
Rajarani Temple is an 11th-century Hindu temple located in Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha (Orissa previously), India.
This temple got its name from a red-gold sandstone used, which is called Rajarani locally. It has no presiding deity but many intricately carved figurines in various stages of daily chores.
Nandankanan Zoological Park is a 437-hectare (1,080-acre) zoo and botanical garden in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. Established in 1960, it was opened to the public in 1979 and became the first zoo in India to join World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) in 2009.
It also contains a botanical garden and part of it has been declared a sanctuary. Nandankanan, literally meaning The Garden of Heaven, is located near the capital city, Bhubaneswar, in the environs of the Chandaka forest, and includes the 134-acre (54 ha) Kanjia lake.
Nandankanan Zoo, about 15km outside of Bhubaneswar (large numbers of buses ply from Acharya Vihar Square or by auto-rickshaw). The zoo has some rare species of animals and is particularly well known for white tigers.
The Botanical Garden is adjacent to the zoo. Avoid visiting the park on weekends when it gets pretty crowded. Open 8 am - 5 pm. Every Monday closed.
Kanjia Lakeis a natural lake located inside Nandankanan Zoo. While the main lake covers 75 hectares (190 acres), the total wetland covers an area of 105 hectares (260 acres) with the scuba diving facility. It has a rich biodiversity and is a wetland of national importance which is helpful for maintaining the city's ecology.The lake's ecosystem consists of 37 species of birds, 20 species of reptiles, 10 species of amphibians, 46 species of fish and three species of prawns, 10 species of sub-merged macrophytes, 14 species of floating macrophytes and 24 species of emergent macrophytes.
Rereational Boating, and ropeway can be done at the lake.
Puri is a city situated on the Bay of Bengal, 60 kilometres (37 mi) south of the state capital of Bhubaneswar.
It is also known as Sri Jagannatha Dhama after the 12th-century Jagannatha Temple located in the city. It is one of the original Char Dham pilgrimage sites for Hindus. Puri is known by several names since the ancient times, and was locally known as "Sri Kshetra" and Lord Jagannatha temple is known as "Badadeula".
Puri and the Jagannatha Temple were invaded 18 times by Muslim rulers, from the 4th century AD till the early 19th century with the objective of looting the treasures of the temple. Odisha, including Puri and its temple, were part of British India from 1803 till India attained independence in August 1947. Even though princely states do not exist in India today, the heirs of the Gajapati Dynasty of Khurda still perform the ritual duties of the temple.
The temple town has many Hindu religious mathas or monasteries. The economy of Puri is dependent on the religious importance of the Jagannatha Temple to the extent of nearly 80 percent. The 24 festivals, including 13 major ones, held every year in the temple complex contribute to the economy; Ratha Yatra and its related festivals are the most important which are attended by millions of people every year. Sand art and applique art are some of the important crafts of the city. Puri has been chosen as one of the heritage cities for Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) scheme of Government of India.
Dhauli is located on the banks of the river Daya, 8 km south of Bhubaneswar in Odisha, India. It is a hill with vast open space adjoining it, and has major Edicts of Ashoka engraved on a mass of rock, by the side of the road leading to the summit of the hill.
From Bhubaneswar after travelling 20km there is a place known as Pipili. Pipili is a town in Puri district .
This place is famous for patching cloth design locally known as Chandua. Also for designing beautiful Applique handicrafts. It is a town of artisans famous for their colourful fabrics.
From the centre of Pipili market one has to take a left turn to go towards Konark and the straight road goes to Puri.
Konark Sun Temple (Surya Mandira) is a 13th-century CE Sun temple at Konark about 35 kilometres (22 mi) northeast from Puri on the coastline of Odisha, India. The temple is attributed to king Narasinga Deva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty about 1250 CE.
Dedicated to the Hindu Sun God Surya, what remains of the temple complex has the appearance of a 100-foot (30 m) high chariot with immense wheels and horses, all carved from stone. Once over 200 feet (61 m) high, much of the temple is now in ruins, in particular the large shikara tower over the sanctuary; at one time this rose much higher than the mandapa that remains. The structures and elements that have survived are famed for their intricate artwork, iconography, and themes, including erotic kama and mithuna scenes.
Also called the Surya Devalaya, it is a classic illustration of the Odisha style of Architecture or Kalinga Architecture .The cause of the destruction of the Konark temple is unclear and remains a source of controversy. Theories range from natural damage to deliberate destruction of the temple in the course of being sacked several times by Muslim armies between the 15th and 17th centuries.
This temple was called the "Black Pagoda" in European sailor accounts as early as 1676 because its great tower appeared black. Similarly, the Jagannath Temple in Puri was called the "White Pagoda". Both temples served as important landmarks for sailors in the Bay of Bengal. The temple that exists today was partially restored by the conservation efforts of British India-era archaeological teams. Declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1984, it remains a major pilgrimage site for Hindus, who gather here every year for the Chandrabhaga Mela around the month of February.
Shree Jagannath Puri Temple. One of the four dhams ie four most sacred pilgrimage places of Hindus. Constructed in 11th century and is the starting point of the world famous Rath Yatra held in July. Entry is limited to Hindus. Do lean against the Shani temple and watch the summit of the temple and do savour the temple food or bhog. The temple complex is huge and has some very interesting stories associated, priests or pandas are generally the ones who conduct the non Oriya people around and generally mention all these stories although they can demand exorbitant amounts; bring it down to something reasonable. It is possible to go into the sanctum sanctorum and touch the deities in the main temple for a fee.
The most important festival of Odisha,Ratha Yatra or the Chariot Festival (earlier known as Car Festival to the Europeans), is held with religious grandeur at Puri, the seashore town in Odisha.
There are many Mandapas or Pillared halls on raised platforms within the Jagannath Temple complex meant for religious congregations. The most prominent is the Mukti Mandapa the congregation hall of the holy seat of selected learned Brahmins.
Enjoy the splendour of the Golden Beach of Puri. It is ideal for surfing and cool for a dip. The beach is covered in golden sand. The waves can also be high and rough during purnima (full moon).
Also, "Please Do not litter the beach" to keep its magnificent view intact.
Chilika Lake is a brackish water lagoon, spread over the Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Odisha state on the east coast of India, at the mouth of the Daya River, flowing into the Bay of Bengal, covering an area of over 1,100 km. It is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest brackish water lagoon in the world after The New Caledonian barrier reef.
It has been listed as a tentative UNESCO World Heritage site.It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent. The lake is home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals.The lake is an ecosystem with large fishery resources. It sustains more than 150,000 fisher–folk living in 132 villages on the shore and islands.The lagoon hosts over 160 species of birds in the peak migratory season. Birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Kazakhstan, Central and southeast Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here. These birds travel great distances; migratory birds probably follow much longer routes than the straight lines, possibly up to 12,000 km, to reach Chilika Lake.
In 1981, Chilika Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.According to a survey, 45 percent of the birds are terrestrial in nature, 32 percent are waterfowl, and 23 percent are waders. The lagoon is also home to 14 types of raptors. Around 152 rare and endangered Irrawaddy dolphins have also been reported. Plus, the lagoon supports about 37 species of reptiles and amphibians.The highly productive Chilika Lagoon eco-system with its rich fishery resources sustains the livelihood for many fishermen who live in and near the lagoon.
The water spread area of the lagoon ranges between 1165 and 906 km2 during the monsoon and summer respectively. A 32 km long, narrow, outer channel connects the lagoon to the Bay of Bengal, near the village Motto. More recently a new mouth has been opened by CDA which has brought a new lease of life to the lagoon. Microalgae, marine seaweeds, sea grasses, fish and crab also flourish in the brackish water of the Chilika Lagoon. Especially the recovery of seagrass beds in recent years is a welcoming trend which may eventually result in re-colonization of endangered dugongs.
Satapada - Is close to Dolphin point, where the critically endangered Irrawady dolphins and occasionally, bottle-nosed dolphins can be seen. Chilka is one of the only 2 lagoons in the world where Irrawady dolphins can be seen. Go for boating to Rajhans island to spot these Irrawaddy Dolphins
Take a stroll around and indulge in exotic sea food, Shop for beach souvenirs and local crafts etc.,
Raghurajpur is a heritage crafts village out of Puri district, India, known for its master Pattachitra painters, an art form which dates back to 5 BC in the region and Gotipua dance troupes, the precursor to the Indian classical dance form of Odissi. It is also known as the birthplace of one of the finest Odissi exponents and Guru, Kelucharan Mohapatra. Apart from that, the village is also home to crafts like Tussar paintings, palm leaf engravings, stone and wood carvings, wooden, cowdung and papier mache toys, and masks.
In 2000, after a two-year research and documentation project by INTACH, starting 1998, the village was chosen to be developed as state's first heritage village and developed as a Crafts village, soon the village had an interpretation centre, commissioned artwork on the walls of the artists’ homes and a rest house.It also has the distinction of the only place where the traditional decoration called Patas, used under the throne of Lord Jagannath and on the three chariots during the annual Rath Yatra festival, that takes place at pilgrimage town of Puri, some 14 km away, known for the Jagannath Temple.
End the trip with lot of memories.