Odisha- A Fascinating Tourist Destination

Odisha- A Fascinating Tourist Destination

Odisha has paramount scope of the growth of tourism. Its exotic shores, the cliffs of the Eastern Ghats and the glorious temples and perennial cultural facets allure the multitudes of tourists. Millions are domestic and overseas tourists are seen thinning the ancient cities of Puri, kanark and Bhuvneshwar. These age old cities standing on the positive beaches tell the saga of man’s love for divinity and art and culture.

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Location- Odisha is situated on the Eastern coast of India. This state is blessed by the boundaries of nature and has a West Bengal and Jharkhand states to the Nath and Chhattisgarh to the West. On to the South of Odisha Andhra Pradesh is a bordering state.

How to Reach Odisha?

The capital of Odisha – Bhuvneshwar is linked to all important cities of India with an indie network of trains, air, and road. Besides this, the intent journey or intercity travel is also made easy with the development of expressways and state highways.

By Air – You can book your air tickets to Odisha. Biju batnaik International Airport of Bhuvneshwar has direct flights from Major tourist cities of India.

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By Train – To get the Eastern experience you can approach Bhuvneshwar by trains as it is connect with all major cities of india such as Kolkata, Chennai, Tripati, Guwahati, Delhi etc. There are some other major railways stations also which are connected to Bhuvneshwar, katek and other important cities of Odisha. Rajdhani express, utkal Kaliga express and various other trains link Bhuvneshwar to Delhi.

By Road – Odisha is well connected with a large network of express highways and state highways. Thus you can easily reach to Bhuvneshwar, puri and other destination by car or by taking taxi.

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What is golden triangle tour of Odisha?

The travel circuit made by three cities of Odisha- Bhuvneshwar, Puri and Kanak is known as the Golden triangle of Odisha. These three important tourist cities are based in the shape of a triangle one can start this tour from Bhuvneshwar as this is the state capital and has international airport and major railway station. From Bhuvneshwar you can travel to puri and from Puri to kanark at the end you can travel from Kanark to Bhuvneshwar.

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This you will have the wonderful experience of the architecture of the capital city, the beaches and temples of Puri and the heritage of Kanark. You will also get a chance to explore the beauty of Chilka lake and the amazing charms and splendors of Dhanli.

Tour Itinerary of Odisha Golden Triangle    

Day 1- Bhuvneshwar

Today you reach Bhuvneshwar Airport or Railway station. Now you can use the pre-booked taxi services for your transfer to the hotel in Bhuvneshwar. After cooling down and a siesta you can start your half day tour of Bhuvneshwar. The tour includes the visit of Udaigiri and Khardagiri caves and the lingraj temple. You can also browse the local markets for any artifacts. Overnight stay at the hotel.

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Day 2- Bhuvneshwar – Kanark-Puri

Today after a healthy breakfast you can hit the road to Puri with en-route stop Kanark to see the famed sun temple and Chandrabaya beach. Later continue your drive to Puri. After reaching Puri and cooling down in the hotel proceed to visit the major highlights of Puri – Jagannath temple. Later return to the hotel late in the night for overnight stay.

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Day 3- Puri

On the third day of your Odisha Golden Triangle tour after breakfast, you will be driven to satepada which is the small suburb where the Chilka Lake meets the Bay of Bengal. You spend a full day to have insight into the local traditions and culture. Now return to the hotel for overnight stay.

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Day 4- Bhuvneshwar

Today after the morning breakfast enjoy the drive to Bhuvneshwar passing thought lush green terrains. On the way visit the Buddhist site of Dhauli. Upon reaching Bhuvneshwar check into the hotel, have lunch, and get ready for the visit of the Nandankaran wildlife sanctuary. Besides the other local fauna, you can find the white tigers in the sanctuary. If the time permits you can visit some other famous temples of Bhuvneshwar such as Rajrani Mandir, Ram Mandir etc. Now return back to the hotel for overnight.

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Day 5- Departure from Bhuvneshwar

On the last day of your tour you can take a car for transfer to the railway station or the airport. If you feel like sparing same more days you can prolong your stay for one or more days in Bhuvneshwar or Puri.

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What is the history of Odisha?

The ancient name of Odisha is Kalinga and it has a very deep-rooted history that has the amalgarm of jain, Buddhist and Hindu cultural influences. It witnesses the settlements of Aryan and non-Aryan races and had great coastal trade. This state had trade links with Bali, Sumantra and java in Indonesia and Cambodia.

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It was this land that has seen the fierce battle of Kalinga which made Ashoka follow Buddhism and practice the ethics of nonviolence. If we look into the times of Kharvel who ruled during 1st century BC, we find much jain influence on art and architecture. The jain influence can be widely seen in the cave architecture of udaigiri and Khandigiri which were sculpted during 7th to 12th century A.D

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What are the salient features of Hindu Temples of Odisha?

In my opinion if anyone wants to study the features of Orrisa or Odisha. Here you can study the development of temple architecture in different stages. Here the temples are not only considered as the sacred abodes of the Alnighty, but something more. They ate like supreme tribute of mankind to God and a place where man can interact his creator. Thus paying a visit or Darshan of the deity of the temple plays an important role and ritual in Hindu religion. These famous old temple of Odisha are highly ornate with the carving work and depict various gods and goddess, animals and flowers. This is the work done by utmost care dedication.

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Famous Temples & Things to visit in Bhuvneshwar

The word Bhuvneshwar is derived from the mixing of two word- Bhuvam and Ishwar, thus implying God of the universe with a vast heritage of more than 600 temples this city can aptly called a temple city. All the major temples follow the common cods of Hindu architecture.

These temples have four major divisions such as:

Jagmohan – The outer chamber of the temple

Garbhagriha – Sanctum of the principal deity

Nata Mandap – The concial shape dance hall

Bhoga Mandap – Where is Bhoga is offered

Parasurameswara Temple – Built in the old Kalinga style of architecture is one of the oldest temple of Bhuvneshwar. This temple built in 650 A.D is dedicated to Lord shiva various inapes of Hindu deities are carved out in the unique way.

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Vaital Deul – This is a prominent temple dedicated to goddess Chamunda which is a form of Shakti and worshipped by tantric cult. This temple is built in 800 A.D.

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Lingaraja Temple – This famous temple of Odisha is built in 11th century A.D and is the supreme manifestation of the developed temple architecture of Odisha. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Lingan is very unique this way as it is half Shiva and half Vishnu. Thus it is called Harihar Lingan. There are numerous other structures with the colossal structure of the temple. Many of these structures are meant for the Devadasis or the divins service girls and for other rituals.

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State Museum of Odisha – Besides the visit of the famous templs, one must visit the state museum which houses a vast collection of coins, copper plales, relics of bronza age and many manuscripts written in leaves.

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Tribal Museum – The visit of tribal museum of Bhuvneshwar gives you a glimpses of the tribal culture and traditions of Odisha.

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Udaigiri and Khandagiri – As an avid traveler if you go to Bhuvneshwar, you must not forget to see Udaigiri and Khandagiri caves built for Jain Manks around 1st to 2nd B.C. The notable caves are the hathigunpha and Ranigunpha.

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Dhauli – Dhauli Hill are located over the river daya and while taking Puri Kanark highway from Bhuvneshwar, you approach Dhauli. Here you see the green vegetation and 3rd century B.C Ashoka rock edict ehich tells the story of Ashokas conversion to Buddhism.

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What to Explore in Puri?

Another important destination of Odisha – Puri is replete with temples and famous beaches. Loed Jagannath temple and the car festival are the most important things to do in Puri. You can also make an excursion tour of Belighai which is 8 kms far from Puri and is a famous beach far from the maddening crowd.

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If you are a art lover must visit Raghurahpur craft village. This village located at a distance of 15 kms from Puri is famous for Patta Chitra. Most of these painting themes are derived from the Hindu myths and epic stories of the Mahabharata close to the temple of Jagannath you can visit the traditional Bazaar displaying the paintings, handwoven clothes and other artifacts.

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What are the things to do in Kanark?

Kanark lies 35 kms away from Puri. It has close proximity to Puri and Bhuvneshwar both by trains and by road. Konark has universal fame on account of the sun templ built by raja Narasimhadeva. It was called as the Black Pagoda by the sailors. The temple has depiction of the life of that time in stone. It portrays the 12th century royal, social and religious life.

You can find a variety of sciences such as history, courtly celestial deities and kamasutra. Thus temple has a colossal image of the sun God, drawn by seven houses and 24 wheels. The principal tower is more than 227 feet height.

Besides visiting the sun temple you can visit Ranachati which is 7 kms away from Kanark. It is famous for Goddess Ravachandi for another unique experience of spectacular sunset you can go to Astranga which lies 50 kms away from Kanark for the art lovers visit of Pipli is a nice experience where you can see the appliqué work.           

Dr Atul Kumar Singh Parmar

Dr Atul is a graduate of R.B.S College Agra after the graduation did his Masters in Arts (English) Later pursued Bachelor of Education and Doctorate in English fro Agra University Agra. He has been been engaged in the tourism trade since 1995 , Worked as Govt Of India approved tour escort till 2011, He is promoter of S.A.M Tours and Travels. He is an avid traveler and travel writer with expertise in tours and travels, history, literature, architecture, social and political.

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