Odisha Tourism Places – Land of Temples, Culture and Tranquility.
Odisha formerly known as Orissa, located in eastern India is one of the 29 states in India. Surrounded by 500 km long coastlines that extends from Balasore to Ganjam, green mountains, picturesque location, lakes and rivers is drawing attention of many tourists. It is the 9th largest state in terms of area and 11th largest by population. The various places contributing to Odisha tourism are beaches, temples, monuments, wildlife sanctuaries, arts and festivals, handicrafts, traditional dance and music, tribal culture and Buddhist relics. The most popular Odisha tourism places that contribute to this fascinating destination are listed below :
Puri is a city located in the state of Odisha in eastern India, is situated on the Bay of Bengal. It is at distance of 60km from the capital city Bhubaneswar. Also, known as Sri Jagannatha Dhama after the 12th century Jagannatha Temple is one of the original Char Dham pilgrimage sites for Hindus. Famous for its beach, historic antiquities, climate and spiritual significance is one of popular tourist destination in Odisha. The Rath yatra is an annual event held in the month of June or July is visited by many devotees and tourist from all over India and world. The Puri Beach festival has also gained popularity during this recent years and is celebrated annually in the month of November showcasing the art, craft, culture, sports, cuisines of not only Odisha but also of other states. Puri is well-connected by road and rail and is also near to other sought tourist destination places in Odisha.
Bhubaneswar the capital city of Odisha is the largest city and is termed as the ” Temple city of India” is known for its monuments and ancient temples. It replaced Cuttack as the capital city in the year 19th August 1949 and is well maintained and planned city. It houses the state assembly and is important centre for economic and commercial growth with advancement in Information technology and manufacturing sectors. Together with Cuttack it is termed as the “Twin cities of Odisha” and it forms the Golden triangle of Odisha tourism with Puri and Konark. It is a pilgrimage destination for both Hindus and Buddhists. The Lingaraja temple dating back to 10th century is dedicated to Lord Shiva is a masterpiece with carvings, sculpture and architecture. Dhauli, near Bhubaneswar the site of the Kalinga War which transformed the Great emperor Asoka and later he adopted Buddhism. Dhauli Giri, Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves are some of the important sites depicting Buddhism and Jainism culture. Bhubaneswar is well-connected to other cities by air, road and rail.
Cuttack the second largest city and the former capital city until the capital was shifted to Bhubaneswar is known as the “Millenium city” as the history dates back to 1000 years. The word Cuttack is derived from “Katak” which literally means “The Fort” in reference to the ancient Barabati fort around which the city was initially developed. It is also known as the “Silver City” because of the famous silver filigree works. Odisha High Court is situated in Cuttack and is known as the judicial capital of Odisha. Though a modern city but with a lot of traditions attached to it. All the festivals are celebrated throughout the year but Durga Puja is celebrated with great pump and show with almost 1000 – 1500 pandals every year and each decorated with unique style. Cuttack is known as City of Brotherhood where people of all religion and communities live with peace and harmony. The most famous cuisines are “Aaloo Dum Dahibara” and “Chhena Poda” which is available anytime and anywhere. It is well-connected to other cities by rail and road and is at a distance of only 30km from Bhubaneswar.
Konark a small town in puri district is situated on Bay of Bengal. It is at a distance of 70km from Bhubaneswar and 35km from Puri and forms the Golden triangle of Odisha tourism. Konark is famous for the Sun temple dedicated to Hindu God Surya and was built in the 13th century by Narasimhadeva – I of Ganga Dynasty. Built with black granite it is also known as Black Pagoda. The architectural design of the temple is crafted as a gigantic chariot of the Sun God with twelve pairs of wheels pulled by seven horses. The temple was declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1984. Other sites and nearby places that contribute to tourism in Konark are Chandrabagha sea beach, Ramchandi Temple, Archaeological site museum, Astranga. It is well-connected by road and is easily accessible by buses and taxis.
Jeypore is the biggest town in koraput district and is known as the “City of Victory” is blessed with lakes, waterfalls and valleys. It is also famous for the old palaces that mark the rich history of Jeypore and is an important business centre hub of the district. The scenic beauty, hills and green dense forest is a paradise for nature lovers. Three hill temples – A Lord Jagannath Temple, Lord Shiva Temple and Swamy Vivekananda Temple at three different hill tops at three different dimensions is a masterpiece of art and architecture. Jeypore is famous for its Rath Yatra celebration and apart from it Ghata Porbo also known as Thakurani Yatra and Dusshera are celebrated widely throughout the city. Some places to visit are Kolab dam and garden, Jeypore park, Gupteswar cave, Raja Mahal and Surya Mahal, Shakti waterfall and Bagara. It is also well-connected by rail and road and the nearest airport is at Visakhapatnam.
Chilika Lake :-
Chilika Lake is a brackish water lagoon at the mouth of the Daya river, flowing into the Bay of Bengal is the largest coastal lagoon in India and second largest in the world covering the districts of puri, khurda and ganjam of Odisha state. It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds and is home to rare species of plants, animals and has large fishery resources. During the peak season it hosts more than 160 species of birds that travel far from Caspian sea, Lake Baikal, Aral sea, Central and southeast Asia, Mongolia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here. About 14 types of raptors, 152 rare and endangered Irrawaddy dolphins and 37 species of reptiles and amphibians live here. Some popular places to visit are Rambha Bay, Somolo and Dumkudi Islands, Birds Island, Satapada, Kalijai Temple, Mangalajodi. It is well-connected by road and rail and the nearest airport is at Bhubaneswar.
Chandipur Beach :-
Chandipur is a beach resort in Baleswar district of Odisha and is at a distance of 16km from Balasore. Famous for its crystal clear water, casuarina trees, sand dunes is one of the safest and famous beach of Odisha. One of the unique characteristics of the sea being it disappears away and then returns, twice a day. The sea water recedes approximately 5km during low tide and advances to the shore during high tide every day. Watching the sea vanish right in front of the eyes and then awaiting its return is a very rare site and it draws many tourists to experience this rare phenomenon. Some nearby places that can be visited are Panchalingeswar, Remuna, Nilagiri, Simlipal, Bhitarkanika. It is well by road through bus and taxis from Baleswar.
Sambalpur is located in western Odisha and is one of the largest and oldest city of the state. Famous for its sambalpuri sarees, cultural sites, scenic beauties and waterfalls it is widely acclaimed by tourists. During 2nd century it was an important place for diamond trading. The history of Sambalpur as depicted by great historians is full of events including the Indian freedom struggle and it also survived the prehistoric age and holds an important place in shaping the history of Odisha and India. The Sambalpuri textiles are famous internationally and the world-famous Hirakud Dam built in the year 1956 is a major tourist attraction and is the longest dam in the world about 26km in length. It is well-connected by rail and road and the nearest airport is Bhubaneswar.
With so many wonderful and exotic locations , Odisha has remained as the undiscovered beauty which can offer a lot in aspect for holidays. Covered with lush green forest, picturesque location, monuments, art & crafts, tradition & music, temples, wildlife sanctuaries, and a rich history which dates backs to early medieval period. The places listed under Odisha tourism are widely visited by tourist through out the year and have excelled as a tourist destination during the past years.