Odisha is a rich and diversified state in eastern India, located along the Bay of Bengal’s coasts. Odisha, a historic tribal territory with a thriving culture that has translated into rising tourism for the state, offers a magnificent array of attractions that include ancient temples, animal reserves, beautiful beaches, and a friendly local populace. With a history spanning almost two millennia, Orissa has been known by various names over the years, including Kalinga, Kongada, Utkala, and Odrdesha.
Odisha provides a wealth of sights worthy of every globetrotting individual’s attention, ranging from river valleys to coastal plains and even green hillsides. Here is a thorough travel guide to Orissa to assist you in planning your next trip.
The borders of modern-day Odisha correspond with the ancient kingdom of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka in 261 BCE (and then reclaimed by king Kharavela) resulting in the Kalinga War. When Orissa Province, consisting of the Odia-speaking regions of Bihar and Odisha Province, was founded on April 1, 1936, the British Indian administration delineated the contemporary boundaries of Odisha. Utkala Dibasa, which falls on April 1st, is a Hindu festival.
Anantavarman Chodaganga proclaimed Cuttack the capital of the province in c. 1135, and the city was used as the capital by several monarchs during the British era until 1948. Following that, Bhubaneswar was designated as the state capital of Odisha.
Odisha’s economy is India’s 16th largest state economy, with a gross domestic product of US$71 billion and a per capita GDP of US$1,500. In the Human Development Index, Odisha is ranked 32nd among Indian states. Acheulian implements dating from the Lower Paleolithic era have been recovered at several locations throughout the region, implying an early human settlement. Ancient scriptures such as the Mahabharata, Vayu Purana, and Mahagovinda Suttanta mention Kalinga.
In the Mahabharata, the Sabar people of Odisha are also mentioned. Kalinga was not yet influenced by Vedic traditions, meaning that it followed largely tribal practices, according to Baudhayana. In the ninth year of his reign, Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty conquered Kalinga in the terrible Kalinga War.
According to his own edicts, around 100,000 people were slaughtered, 150,000 were captured, and many more were harmed during the war. Ashoka is claimed to have been deeply touched by the war’s bloodshed and suffering. He became a Buddhist convert and became a peacemaker.
Emperor Kharavela, who may have been a contemporary of Demetrius I of Bactria, controlled a large portion of the Indian subcontinent by c. 150 BCE. Kharavela was the king of the Jain community. On top of the Udayagiri hill, he also built a monastery. Following that, rulers such as Samudragupta and Shashanka governed the region. Harsha’s empire included it as well.
The city of Brahmapur in Odisha is also known to have served as the Pauravas’ capital in the late fourth century CE. Because the Pauravas were annexed by the Yaudheya Republic, which in turn succumbed to the Mauryans, nothing was heard from them until the third century CE. After 700 years, they finally established kingship at Brahmapur at the end of the 4th century CE. Later, the Somavamsi dynasty’s monarchs began to unite the territory.
They had united the region into a unified kingdom by the reign of Yayati II, around 1025 CE. The Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar is said to have been erected by Yayati II. The Eastern Ganga dynasty took their place. Anantavarman Chodaganga, who began re-construction on the present-day Shri Jagannath Temple in Puri (c. 1135), and Narasimhadeva I, who built the Konark temple, were notable monarchs of the dynasty (c. 1250).
The Gajapati Kingdom came after the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. Until 1568, when it was seized by the Sultanate of Bengal, the region resisted assimilation into the Mughal empire. Mukunda Deva, Kalinga’s last independent king, was beaten and murdered in combat by a rebel called Ramachandra Bhanja.
Bayazid Khan Karrani assassinated Ramachandra Bhanja. Man Singh I, the ruler of Bihar at the time, led an army to conquer Odisha from the Bengal Karranis in 1591. Because their leader, Qutlu Khan Lohani, had recently died, they agreed to a treaty. They then violated the contract by assaulting Puri, a temple town. In 1592, Man Singh returned and brought peace to the region. The territory was given to the Maratha Empire by the Nawab of Bengal, Alivardi Khan, in 1751.
As a result of the Second Carnatic War, the British had seized the Northern Circars, which included the southern coast of Odisha, by 1760, and progressively absorbed them into the Madras Presidency. During the Second Anglo-Maratha War in Odisha in 1803, the British drove the Marathas out of the Puri-Cuttack region. The Bengal Presidency took over the northern and western districts of Odisha. The 1866 Orissa famine killed an estimated 1 million people.
After it, large-scale irrigation projects were implemented. The Utkal Sammilani movement was created in 1903 to call for the merger of Odia-speaking regions into a single state. The Bihar and Orissa Province was established on April 1, 1912. Bihar and Orissa were separated into two provinces on April 1, 1936.
During British administration in India, the new province of Orissa was established on a linguistic basis, with Sir John Austen Hubback as the first governor. On the 15th of August 1947, 27 princely states signed a document to join Orissa following India’s independence. After the Eastern Nations Union collapsed in 1948, the majority of the Orissa Tributary States, a group of princely states, acceded to Orissa.
Odisha is located between 17.780N and 22.730N latitudes and 81.37E and 87.53E longitudes. The state covers 155,707 km2, or 4.87 percent of India’s total land area, and has a 450-kilometer coastline. The coastal plain is located in the state’s eastern region. It stretches from the north to the south, from the Subarnarekha River to the Rushikulya River.
The coastal plains include the lake Chilika. The six major rivers that drain into the Bay of Bengal: Subarnarekha, Budhabalanga, Baitarani, Brahmani, Mahanadi, and Rushikulya, have deposited fertile silt on the plains. The Central Rice Research Center (CRRI), a rice gene bank and research institute recognized by the Food and Agriculture Organization, is located on the banks of the Mahanadi in Cuttack. The length of Odisha’s coast between Puri and Bhadrak juts out into the sea, rendering it prone to cyclonic activity.
Mountain ranges cover three-quarters of the state. Rivers have carved deep and vast valleys in them. The soil is fertile, and the valleys are densely populated. Plateaus and rolling uplands, which are lower in elevation than plateaus, are also found in Odisha. Deomali, at 1,672 meters, is the highest point in the state, located in the Koraput district. Sinkaram (1,620 m), Golikoda (1,617 m), and Yendrika are some of the other high peaks (1,582 metres).
Winter (January–February), pre-monsoon season (March–May), south-west monsoon season (June–September), and north-east monsoon season (October–December) are the four seasons that the state experiences. The year is split into six traditional seasons (or rutus) in India: Grishma (summer), Barsha (rainy season), Sharata (autumn), Hemanta (dewy season), Sheeta (winter season), and Basanta (winter season) (spring).
Odisha contains 48,903 km2 of forest, accounting for 31.41 percent of the state’s total area, according to a Forest Survey of India report published in 2012. The forests are divided into four types: thick forest (7,060 km2), medium dense forest (21,366 km2), open forest (20,477 km2), and scrub forest (4,734 km2).
Bamboo forests (10,518 km2) and mangroves are also found throughout the state (221 km2). Timber smuggling, mining, industrialization, and grazing are all destroying the state’s forests. Conservation and replanting efforts have been made. Odisha’s evergreen and damp forests are appropriate homes for wild orchids due to the climate and abundant rainfall. A total of 130 species have been identified in the state. There are 97 of them in the Mayurbhanj area alone. Some of these species may be found at Nandakanan Biological Park’s Orchid House.
Simlipal National Park is a protected wildlife region and tiger reserve in the northern section of Mayurbhanj district, covering 2,750 km2. It is home to 1078 plant species, including 94 orchids. The sal tree is the most common type of tree found there. Barking deer, Bengal tiger, common langur, four-horned antelope, Indian bison, Indian elephant, Indian giant squirrel, Indian leopard, jungle cat, sambar deer, and wild boar are among the park’s 55 mammals.
The park has 304 bird species, including common hill mynas, grey hornbills, Indian pied hornbills, and Malabar pied hornbills. The king cobra, banded krait, and tricarinate hill turtle are among the 60 reptile species found there. In adjacent Ramtirtha, there is also a mugger crocodile breeding facility.
The Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary is a 190-square-kilometer protected area in Bhubaneswar, the state capital. However, urbanization and overgrazing have depleted the woodlands, forcing elephant herds to migrate. There were roughly 80 elephants in 2002. Their numbers had been down to 20 by 2012.
The Barbara reserve forest, Chilika, Nayagarh district, and Athagad have all seen a large influx of animals. Some elephants have perished as a result of clashes with people, while others have died as a result of being electrocuted by power lines or being hit by trains while migrating. Poachers kill them outside of the protected region. The refuge also features Indian leopards, jungle cats, and chitals, in addition to elephants.
The Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district spans 650 square kilometers, with 150 square kilometers of mangroves. The world’s largest nesting place for olive ridley sea turtles is Gahirmatha Beach in Bhitarkanika. Rushikulya, in Ganjam district, and the mouth of the Devi river are also important turtle nesting places in the state.
The salt-water crocodile population in the Bhitarkanika refuge is also noteworthy. Migratory birds stop by the sanctuary in the winter. The black-crowned night heron, darter, grey heron, Indian cormorant, Oriental white ibis, purple heron, and sarus crane are among the bird species seen in the sanctuary. This area is also home to the possibly endangered horseshoe crab.
Chilika Lake is a 1,105-square-kilometer brackish water lagoon on Odisha’s east coast. It is part of the Mahanadi delta and is connected to the Bay of Bengal by a 35-kilometer-long narrow waterway. The tides bring salt water in during the dry season. The salinity of the lagoon decreases during the rainy season when rivers flow into it.
In the winter, birds travel to the lagoon from regions like the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, various parts of Russia, Central Asia, South-East Asia, Ladakh, and the Himalayas. Eurasian wigeon, pintail, bar-headed goose, greylag geese, flamingo, mallard, and Goliath heron are among the birds seen. There is also a small colony of endangered Irrawaddy dolphins in the lagoon. Finless porpoises, bottlenose dolphins, humpback dolphins, and spinner dolphins have all been spotted in the state’s coastal waters.
Satapada is close to Chilika Lake’s northeast cape and the Bay of Bengal. It is well-known for its dolphin-watching opportunities in their natural habitat. On the way to see dolphins, there is a small island where travelers frequently stop for a quick break. Aside from that, small red crabs call this island home. According to a 2016 census, there are approximately 2000 elephants in the state.
In India, a parliamentary system of governance based on universal adult franchise governs all states. The Biju Janata Dal, the Indian National Congress, and the Bharatiya Janata Party are the main political parties in Odisha. Following the Odisha State Assembly Election in 2019, Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal remained in power for the sixth consecutive term, making him the state’s 14th chief minister since 2000.
Odisha is governed by a unicameral legislature. The Odisha Legislative Assembly is made up of 147 members who are elected by the people, as well as special office bearers such the Speaker and Deputy Speaker who are chosen by the people. The Speaker, or the Deputy Speaker in the Speaker’s absence, preside over Assembly meetings. Although the Governor of Odisha is the formal head of government, executive responsibility is vested in the Council of Ministers, which is led by the Chief Minister.
The President of India appoints the governor. The governor appoints the Chief Minister, who is the leader of the party or coalition that has a majority in the Legislative Assembly, and the Governor appoints the Council of Ministers on the Chief Minister’s suggestion. The Legislative Assembly receives reports from the Council of Ministers.
Members of the Legislative Assembly, or MLAs, are the 147 elected representatives. The governor may propose one MLA from the Anglo-Indian community. Unless the Assembly is dissolved before the end of the term, the post is for a five-year term. The Odisha High Court, which is based in Cuttack, and a system of lower courts make up the judiciary.
Odisha’s economy has been steadily growing. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has highlighted the state’s outstanding growth in gross domestic product. Odisha’s rate of growth is higher than the national average. The Urban Development Ministry of the federal government recently released the names of 20 communities that would be developed as smart cities.
Bhubaneswar, the state capital, is the first city on the Indian government’s list of smart cities, which was revealed in January 2016. The declaration also included a development budget of Rs 508.02 billion for the next five years.
Odisha has a wide coastline and abundant natural resources. Odisha has emerged as the most popular investment destination for international investors. It holds a fifth of India’s coal, a quarter of its iron ore, a third of the country’s bauxite deposits, and the majority of the country’s chromite.
The Rourkela Steel Plant was India’s first integrated steel plant, and it was developed with German assistance. Arcelor-Mittal has also announced intentions to invest $10 billion in a new giant steel plant. Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Company (MMK), a Russian conglomerate, also aims to build a 10-million-tonne steel plant in Odisha.
In Odisha, Bandhabahal is a prominent area of open cast coal mining. In aluminum, coal-fired power plants, petrochemicals, and information technology, the state is attracting unprecedented investment. Reliance Power (Anil Ambani Group) is building the world’s largest power plant in Hirma in Jharsuguda district, with an investment of US$13 billion.
According to an examination of the ASSOCHAM Investment Meter (AIM) report on corporate investments, Odisha was the second top domestic investment destination in 2009, with Gujarat first and Andhra Pradesh third. Odisha received 12.6 percent of the country’s total investment. Steel and power were two of the most popular investment industries in the state.
Odisha has a total population of 41,974,218 people, with 21,212,136 men (50.54 percent) and 20,762,082 women (49.46 percent), or 978 females for 1000 males, according to the 2011 Indian census. This is an increase of 13.97 percent over the population in 2001. The population density is 270 people per square kilometer. According to the 2011 census, the literacy rate is 73 percent, with 82 percent of males and 64 percent of females being literate.
In 2004–2005, the proportion of persons living in poverty was 57.15 percent, substantially double the Indian average of 26.10 percent. The state’s poverty rate has dropped by 24.6 percentage points since 2005. According to recent estimates, 32.6 percent of individuals live below the poverty line.
According to data from 1996 to 2001, the state’s life expectancy was 61.64 years, which was higher than the national average of years. The state has a birth rate of 23.2 per 1,000 people per year, a death rate of 9.1 per 1,000 people per year, a 65 per 1000 live birth infant mortality rate, and a 358 per 1,000,000 live births maternal mortality rate. As of 2018, Odisha has a Human Development Index of 0.606.
Odisha has a large Hindu population (almost 94 percent), and the state has a diverse cultural heritage. Odisha, for example, is home to a number of Hindu figures. Sant Bhima Bhoi was a Mahima sect leader. Sarala Das, an Odia-speaking Hindu Khandayat, was the translator of the Mahabharata epic. Chaitanya Das, a Buddhistic-Vaishnava and author of the Nirguna Mahatmya, was a Buddhistic-Vaishnava. The Gita Govinda was written by Jayadeva.
The Odisha Temple Authorisation Act of 1948 gave the state of Odisha the authority to build temples for all Hindus, including Dalits. The Madala Panji from the Puri Temple, which dates from 1042 AD, is possibly Odisha’s oldest scripture. The 16th-century Bhagabata of Jagannatha Dasa is a well-known Hindu Odia scripture.
Madhusudan Rao was a notable Odia writer in contemporary times, a Brahmo Samajist who shaped modern Odia literature around the turn of the twentieth century. According to 2001 census data, Christians make up roughly 2.8 percent of the population in Odisha, while Muslims make up 2.2 percent. Together, the Sikh, Buddhist, and Jain communities make up 0.1 percent of the population.
According to the 2011 Indian census, Odia is the official language of Odisha and is spoken by 81.32 percent of the population. It is also one of India’s classical languages. The official language of correspondence between India’s states and the union is English. Odia is not a homogeneous language, as numerous varieties are spoken throughout the state. Sambalpuri, Cuttacki, Puri, Baleswari, Ganjami, Desiya, and Phulbani are some of the prominent dialects spoken in the state.
In addition to Odia, the state has a sizable population of speakers of other major Indian languages such as Hindi, Telugu, Urdu, and Bengali. The many adibasi people, most of whom live in Western Odisha, speak their own languages that are related to the Austroasiatic and Dravidian languages families.
Santali, Kui, and Ho are some of the primary adibasi languages. Many of these indigenous languages are slowly becoming extinct or are on the verge of becoming extinct as a result of increased interaction with foreigners, migration, and socioeconomic factors.
Odisha has a centuries-old culinary culture. The kitchen at the Shri Jagannath Temple in Puri is said to be the world’s largest, with 1,000 chefs manning 752 wood-burning clay hearths known as chulas to feed over 10,000 guests every day. Pahala rasagola, a syrupy treat prepared in Odisha, is famous all over the world.
Another popular Odisha sweet delicacy is chhenapoda, which originated in Nayagarh. Dalma (a mixture of dal and veggies) is a popular dish that is best served with ghee. After a long dispute with West Bengal about the origins of the famed sweet, the “Odisha Rasagola” was issued a GI tag on July 29, 2019.
The deula of Bhubaneswar’s Lingaraja Temple is 150 feet (46 meters) high, while the Jagannath Temple in Puri is about 200 feet (61 meters) high and dominates the skyline. Only a section of the Konark Sun Temple, the greatest of the temples of the “Holy Golden Triangle,” exists today in Konark, Puri district, yet it is still massive.
It is regarded as a work of art in Odisha architecture. Sarala Temple, in Jagatsinghpur district, is recognized as one of the most spiritually exalted representations of Shaktism. It is also a prominent tourist destination and one of Odisha’s holiest sites. Maa Tarini Temple, in the region of Kendujhar, is also a popular pilgrimage site. Devotees pay Maa Tarini thousands of coconuts every day in exchange for her fulfilling their desires.
Odisha’s diverse topography, which ranges from the forested Eastern Ghats to the fertile river valley, has proven perfect for the evolution of compact and distinct ecosystems. This results in treasure troves of flora and fauna that attract numerous migrating bird and reptile species. The second largest mangrove environment in the world is found in Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapada district. Chilika Lake (Asia’s largest brackish water lake) has a bird sanctuary.
Odisha Tourism organizes eco-tourism in Odisha, which includes a tiger reserve and waterfalls in Simlipal National Park in Mayurbhanj district. Daringbadi is a hill station in the Kandhamal district of the state of Maharashtra. Because of its climatic resemblance, it is known as “Kashmir of Odisha.” Chandipur, in the Baleswar district, is a peaceful and beautiful location that is largely undiscovered by tourists. The ebb tides, which can recede up to 4 kilometers and disappear in a cyclic pattern, are a unique feature of this beach.
Hirakud Dam in the Sambalpur district of western Odisha is the world’s longest earthen dam. It also serves as Asia’s largest manmade lake. Near Hirakud Dam is the Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary. Samaleswari Temple is a Hindu temple in Sambalpur devoted to the goddess ‘Samaleswari,’ the presiding deity of Sambalpur.
It is a powerful religious influence in western Odisha and Chhattisgarh. Near Sambalpur, the Leaning Temple of Huma may be found. The temple is dedicated to Lord Bimaleshwar, a Hindu god. The Sri Sri Harishankar Devasthana temple is located in the Gandhamardhan hills in the Balangir district. It is well-known for its natural scenes and links to the Hindu gods Vishnu and Shiva. The temple of Sri Nrusinghanath is located at the foothills of Gandhamardhan Hill near Paikmal, Bargarh district, on the opposite side of the Gandhamardhan hills.
The Taratarini Temple, located on the Kumari hills near Berhampur city in Ganjam district, is located in the southern region of Odisha. Breast Shrine (Sthana Peetha) and Adi Shakti manifestations are revered here.
The Tara Tarini Shakti Peetha is one of the Mother Goddess’s oldest pilgrimage places and one of India’s four major ancient Tantra Peetha and Shakti Peethas. Deomali is an Eastern Ghats high peak. It’s in the Koraput district. This peak, at an elevation of around 1,672 meters, is Odisha’s tallest. At the national level, the state’s share of foreign tourist arrivals is less than 1% of overall foreign tourist arrivals.
How To Reach Orissa
Odisha, sometimes known as Orissa, is one of India’s 29 states, located along the country’s eastern coast. Orissa, which has India’s third-largest tribal population, has a nearly two-thousand-year-old history and rich cultural traditions that are still alive in its people today. The state has several attractions and old cities on offer that are waiting to be discovered by true travel aficionados.
It is one of the most regularly visited states in the country in recent years. While it is well connected on all fronts, Orissa also has seaports on its coast that connect it to countries such as China, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. These ports, on the other hand, are primarily used for cargo shipping and do not currently operate vessels for commercial travel. Here’s a step-by-step guide on getting to Orissa in the most convenient way possible.
1. By Air
The Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa’s capital, is the state’s only international airport. It also has domestic terminals that connect it to all of the country’s major cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata, via a number of regularly scheduled domestic flights. While Bhubaneshwar may have the only international airspace in the state, domestic airports may be found in a number of major cities throughout the state.
2. By Rail
While the state of Orissa has a variety of railway stations, the most notable is the Bhubaneshwar Railway Station, which is located in the city. Trains, which are administered by the South-Eastern Railway Zone, are an excellent way to see India’s rural splendor. Coromandal Express, Konarak Express, and the superfast Rajdhani Express are just a few of the trains that connect Orissa to every important location in the country.
3. By Road
Orissa has a good network of roadways that connect it to surrounding states via National Highways and State Highways, despite being surrounded by land on all sides but one.
From outside and within the state, all types of public and private transportation are accessible to take you to your desired location in Orissa. National Highways 5, 6, 23, 42, and 43 run through the state, making it easy to get to Orissa by car from a variety of locations.
4. Getting Around
Orissa is a large state with many cities that are well connected by railway lines, domestic airports, and a well-developed road and highway network. It is simple and convenient to go from one region to another, with private and public buses, taxis, and rental automobiles available in all cities.
Weather In Orissa And The Best Time To Visit
Orissa, located on India’s eastern coast, is a state rich in beautiful cities and cultural traditions that draws thousands of tourists each year and has earned the moniker of “Soul of India.” Orissa has a religious and spiritual significance unlike any other state in eastern India, with hundreds of temples.
Orissa has a primarily tropical climate all year, surrounded on one side by the Eastern Ghats and on the other by the Bay of Bengal. While there is always plenty to look forward to in this diverse state at any time of year, here is a comprehensive guide on the ideal time to visit Orissa and its shifting weather.
1. The season of winter (October – February)
The winter months of October to February are the finest time to visit Orissa. The moderate temperatures of the winter climate, as well as the dry, clear skies and atmosphere, make for ideal tourist conditions, as most of Orissa’s visit-worthy locations need being outside.
It is also the season when migratory birds visit this part of the country, making it a great place for bird watchers to explore. With an average temperature range of 10OC-25OC, it is also the season when migratory birds visit this part of the country, making it a great place for bird watchers to explore.
2. The Summer (March-June)
Summers in Orissa are hot and humid, with temperatures reaching 45 degrees Celsius during the day. While it is best to avoid the searing heat in the afternoons, the nights can be comfortable enough to enjoy some outdoor sightseeing. Summer festivals like as the Chandan Yatra, Mahabisuva Sakranti, and the most significant of them all, the Rath Yatra, are all held during this period, making it worthwhile to come despite the harsh weather.
3. The monsoon season (July – September)
The rainy monsoon season, which begins in July and lasts until September, is not the best time to visit Orissa, which is influenced by the southwest monsoons and receives considerable rainfall that averages around 150 cm yearly. Due to its location on the coast, Orissa has numerous cyclones and tornadoes during the monsoon season, and the state’s major rivers periodically overflow and create flooding.
Tourist Attractions in Orissa
Orissa is one of India’s most fascinating and exciting places. It is a treasure trove of fine handicrafts and traditional art forms, a confluence of different civilizations, the country of ancient temples and monuments, and home to sixty-two tribes.
There is no end to investigating and decoding the mysteries of Orissa, whether it is the revered Puri Jagannath Temple, the sensual sculptures of Konark Sun Temple, the pristine beaches and sanctuaries, the magnificent Pipli appliqué art, or the classical Odissi music and dance form. For your next trip to Orissa, here are the top 6 tourist attractions.
Orissa’s capital is known as the ‘Temple City of India.’ Bhubaneswar’s environment is defined by several temples, which contribute to the city’s prominence as a major Hindu pilgrimage destination. The temples of Bhubaneswar, such as Lingaraj Temple, Mukteswar Temple, Parasuramewar Temple, and Rajarani Temple, are among the best examples of the Kalinga style of architecture that flourished in Orissa.
Apart from temples, the Jain rock cut caves of Udaygiri and Khandagiri, which date from the 2nd century BC, are worth seeing. One of the city’s most popular tourist attractions is the Nandankanan Zoological Park and Botanical Garden, which is also located in Bhubaneswar.
2. Puri (Puri)
Lord Jagannath’s dwelling is one of India’s four Dhams, or well-known pilgrimage destinations. The Jagannath Temple is awe-inspiring architectural beauty set in a large complex of 400,000 square feet, aside from its apparent religious significance. Puri is also a coastal city, with the Bay of Bengal washing its shores. It is one of eastern India’s most popular seaside getaways.
This masterpiece from the 13th century is a stunning example of artistic excellence. It is the pinnacle of the Kalinga architectural style. The Konark temple is devoted to the Sun God and is built in the shape of a chariot with twelve pairs of enormous wheels carried by seven horses. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple’s sculptures and craftsmanship are stunning.
The sea meets the 1100 square kilometer landlocked Lake Chilka here, forming Asia’s largest brackish water lake. The lake, which is rich in prawns, crabs, and fish, encompasses a vast region of marshes, islands, and lowlands. Lake Chilka is also home to a significant number of migratory species, making it a great place for nature lovers to visit.
5. Orissa Beaches
Apart from Puri, Odisha has a vast coastline with several gorgeous beaches to offer its visitors. The beaches of Gopalpur, Chandipur, and Chandrabhaga are quieter and less crowded than those of Puri, providing a welcome respite from the daily grind.