Odisha Tourism: Land of Unparalleled Culture
Located in the east-coast of India, Odisha (earlier Orissa) is one of the hot tourist destinations of India with an unparalleled culture. As rightly said, there are some places that are considered paradise on earth and Orissa is one of those for all the right reasons.
A state with some 5,000 years of history, Odisha is home to a legendary history under different dynasties. However, a number of tribal clans ? prominently the Odra or Udra tribes (from which Odisha derived its name) ? and rulers of ancient Kalinga, Utkal and Kosal together shaped the whole history of the state.
Modern day Odisha is a wonderful place with a lot of tourist points and religious places. Starting from extraordinary sightseeing with beaches, lakes, waterfalls, wildlife sanctuaries, temples and monuments to unique local tradition and custom, there is lot on offer than you can imagine.
Travel destinations in Orissa
Odisha's main tourist attractions places are the temples in Bhubaneswar, the famous Jagannatha temple and long sandy beach in Puri, and the Sun Temple of Konark which together known as the golden triangle of the state.
Bhubaneswar Tourism: The capital city, also known as the Temple City of India, is an important Hindu pilgrimage centre. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lingaraj Temple is the prime attraction of the city. It also represents a unique style of Hindu architecture with lavishly decorated temple complex.
Once home to some 2000 temples, today you will find at least one ancient temple at every major points of the city. Being the capital of Odisha, Bhubaneswar is now well developed and well connected from every major parts of the state with regular bus and train services.
The Rajarani Temple, Mukteswar Temple, Parsurameswar Temple, Ananta Vasudeva and Bharateswar Temple are just to name few in the long list of ancient temples. Besides, travellers also prefer to extend their Bhubaneswar city tour with a visit to the twin caves of Khandagiri and Udaygiri along with the popular Nandankana Zoo.
Nandankana Zoo Travel ? The name of the zoo literally means the ?Garden of God? and it is rightly so, as this 990 acres of zoo and botanical garden houses numerous species of birds, animals and reptiles in a dense green and natural vegetation. First opened to public in 1963, Nandankanan Zoological Park became a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) in 2009.
More than two million visitors visit the park every year and the park is a great place for family day-out. Locals and holidaymakers make it a must-visit time as a perfect amusement option amid the beauty of nature. The park opens every day from 7.30 am - 5.30 pm during the month of April and September while during winter (October to March) it is 8 am to 5 pm.
Konark Tourism of Odisha: The city is located some 64 km from Bhubaneswar, and known in the tourist circuit for the famous Sun Temple (Surya Mandir). The magnificent Konark Temple is voted amongst the top modern India architectural wonder.
Also referred as the Black Pagoda, the temple was built in the year 1278 by the King Narasimhadeva I. Designed in the form of a chariot with 24 huge wheels and seven horses the entire temple has excellent carvings. Even though it is now partly in ruins, this gigantic chariot of the Sun God is a must?visit place for unequalled art and architecture.
A trip to Konarak is also coupled with a visit to Ramachandi (7 kms from Konark), Kakatapur ? known for the shrine of Goddess Maa Mangala (45 kms), and the village of Pipli (some 40 kms) which is the centre of applique work. This apart, while leaving Konark you also have the option to spend some pleasant time on the pristine Konark beach i.e. just about 3-km from the temple.
Puri Tourism: Probably this is the only place for which Odisha is known worldwide with a deep-rooted tradition, culture and festivals that revolve around the Jagannath cult and Lord Jagannath (or Lord of the Universe). The temple of Puri Srimandir is dedicated to Jagannath who is form of Lord Krishna.
Puri Jagannath Temple is a major tourist destination and one of the sacred pilgrimage spots in India. The typical architecture of the temple belongs to the classical age; however, it also follows the unique pattern of many other temples in Orissa. Interestingly, as many as 30 temples surround the main temple structure with an elaborative daily ritual.
Puri is widely revered for the legendary Rath Yatra (Ratha Jatra) or the ?festival of chariots? held every year in the month of July. Besides, tourists also visit the golden Puri beach, the Chandrabhaga sea beach and the Satapada Dolphin Sanctuary which are not far from the city centre.
Another journeying aspect of the state is the wildlife sanctuaries such as the Bhitar Kanika, Chandaka, Chilika Lake, Simlipal, Tikarpada, Gahirmatha and the earlier mentioned Nandan Kanan Zoo. All in all, Odisha offers numerous places of attractions provided you have the time in hand to explore this magical state.
Getting to Odisha (Orissa):
Regular train and air services make it easy for both domestic and international holidaymakers to come and visit this part of India. While the Biju Patnaik Airport in Bhubaneswar is the only major airport of the state, there are regular trains from Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and some other major cities. Locally, you can hire taxis or other private vehicles of your choice to move in and around a major tourist point.