Local Attractions

Odisha (formerly Orissa), an eastern Indian state on the Bay of Bengal, is known for its tribal cultures and its many ancient Hindu temples. The capital, Bhubaneswar, is home to hundreds of temples, notably the intricately-carved Mukteshvara. The Lingaraj Temple complex, dating to the 11th century, is set around sacred Bindusagar Lake. The Odisha State Museum is focused on the area’s history and environment

It is also known as the temple state of India. There are over 600 magnificent temples with magnificent architecture from mediaeval times. One of the Char Dham (pilgrims) is also located in Odisha. The government of Odisha has one of the most well-maintained systems among the most states of India.

Local Attractions

  • Lingaraj Temple:

    The oldest and largest temple of Bhubaneswar city, Lingaraj Temple is dedicated to Tribhubaneswar (Lord of Three Worlds). The temple is said to have been built in the 11th century by King Jajati Keshari, but a reference to it has been made in the ancient Hindu scripture called ‘Brahma Purana’. Constructed according to Kalinga style architecture, the 54-meter-high main spire is made up of stones of dark shade. The Garbha Griha houses a self-originated linga (phallic form) of Lord Shiva, known as the ‘Swayambhu’. It is bathed with water, milk, and bhang every day. Besides the sanctum sanctorum, is a pillared hall (Yajna Shala), a dancing hall (Natya Mandap), and another hall for serving sacrament offerings (Bhoga Mandap). The temple campus is fortified by walls enclosing around 50 smaller shrines dedicated to other gods and goddesses.

  • Hirakud Dam:

    Located around 290 kilometers from the city, Hirakud Dam is built across the mighty Mahanadi River in Sambalpur, Odisha. It is a popular tourist spot in Bhubaneswar as it is the longest man-made dam in the world and one of the earliest river valley projects of India. It was constructed in 1956 to control the devastating floods and droughts in the Mahanadi River Basin. It is a 56km long architectural wonder that irrigates 7,500,000 hectares of land and generates hydroelectricity. Set in a scenic backdrop of Burla and Hirakud Hills, it is surrounded by lush greenery offering visitors a respite from the bustle of the city. For a bird’s eye view of the river and luxuriant expanse, you can climb up to the nearby Gandhi and Nehru Minarets. You can also spend time bird watching as the dam is home to several bird species like common pochards and great crested grebes. There are several revered temples in the area such as Budhraja Temple, Ghanteswari Temple, Samaleswari Temple, and the Leaning Temple of Lord Shiva.

  • Rajarani Temple:

    Rajarani Temple is an architectural masterpiece from the 11th-century, preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). It is a Hindu temple popularly addressed by the locals as the 'love temple' and built towards the end of the Somavasi regime. As there are no images inside the sanctum, the temple is not associated with any particular sect of Hinduism. Historians proclaim the temple was earlier called the Indresvara Temple and was dedicated to Lord Shiva. The carvings on the walls also indicate its association with Shaivism. Historians believe the Rajarani Temple has inspired the architecture of other temples in central India like the Kandariya Mahadev temple of Khajuraho and the Totesvara Mahadeo temple in Kadawa. The temple gets its name from the red and yellow sandstone called Rajarania used in its structure. Apart from the spiritual ecstasy of the temple, you can also spend some quiet time at the well-maintained parks around it.

  • Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary, Tikarpada:

    Located around 140 kilometers from the city, The Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary is a natural reserve for several species of wild animals including crocodiles. Sprawling across 795.52 square kilometers around the banks of River Mahanadi including the famous Satkosia gorge, the sanctuary is home to a wide variety of species of animals, birds, and plants. Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary is the hub of eco-tourism in the state. It offers natural habitat to tigers, leopards, rhesus macaques, gaurs, spotted deer, elephants, four-horned antelopes, sloths, gharial, snakes, turtles, and many others. Being the perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure junkies, Tikarpada is ranked as the best Family Holiday Destination in the state. You can have an enthralling experience trekking or camping in the sanctuary and enjoy water sports such as fish angling, motor-boat rides, and river rafting.

  • Odisha State Tribal Museum:

    Located at the CRP Square in Bhubaneswar, the Odisha State Tribal Museum is dedicated to the 62 tribes of Odisha. It was established in 1953 as the Museum of Tribal Arts & Artefacts to represent the cultural richness of indigenous tribes. In 2001 the new building of the museum was inaugurated and it was renamed as Odisha State Tribal Museum and interests tourists seeking an insight into the tribal life in the region. The museum has been developed on the concept of “Museum of Man” and is popularly known as the ‘Tribal Museum’. Their way of conducting life including traditions and food habits has been displayed along with details of the evolution of each tribe. In 2010 the museum was recognized by UNESCO as the ‘Best Tribal Museum of India’ in comparison to the 21 other tribal museums in the country. The live craft kiosk gives you a demonstration of the everyday tribal practices.

  • Nandankanan Zoological Park:

    Located 20 kilometers away from Bhubaneswar, Nandankanan Zoological Park is a zoo set up amidst the forest of Chandaka. Established in 1960 as a bastion of white tigers the zoo was converted into a natural reserve upon the recommendation of National Geographical Magazine. Stretching over an area of 4.37 sq km, the park offers a natural habitat to the rare species of flora and fauna. The reserve is famous as the first zoo in the world which provides a safe breeding ground for Melanistic and White Tigers. Besides the endangered white tigers and crocodiles, the park is also home to a wide variety of mammals, reptiles, and rare species of birds.

  • Chausath Yogini Temple:

    One of the four Chausath Yogini Temples in the country, the temple at Hirapur is situated on the bank of Bhargavi River. The only active temple of its kind, it is one of the prominent tourist places to visit in Bhubaneswar. Built-in the 9th century by Queen Hiradevi of the Bhauma dynasty the temple is also known as the Mahamaya Temple. The sandstone temple is circular with a thirty feet diameter and a height of eight feet, making it the smallest Yogini temple of the country. Unlike the prevalent Oriya temple architecture with the linear layout and high rising pyramidal roofs, the Yogini temples were round and had almost no roof. The 64 Yogini statues are sculpted from fine grey chlorite stone. The sensuous figures of the Yoginis are decorated with ornaments such as necklaces, armlets, bangles, earrings, and weapons such as bows and arrows. Few others are depicted playing musical instruments or standing on human heads,

  • Biju Patnaik Park:

    Located in Berhampur, the Biju Patnaik Park is dedicated to the former chief minister of the state. The park covers an area of about 23 acres including three water bodies. It was formerly known as the ‘Forest Park’ owing to the wide variety of flora and fauna thriving in the area. It has a pristine ambiance which is complimented by jogging tracks, open-air gymnasium, musical fountains, rosarium, and rockeries to keep the visitors engaged. It is a popular getaway among the locals as it has a dedicated play area to keep children occupied. The main sightseeing attraction for tourists visiting the park is the floating mountain and the statue of Late Shri Biju Patnaik unveiled in 2002. The park is mostly crowded during the early morning hours or the late evening hours as the weather is pleasant during these times. Several local clubs like yoga club, laughter therapy club are also operated by regular visitors of the park

  • Shree Jagannath Temple Puri :

    Believed to be one of the most impressive monuments of the state, Sri Jagannath Puri Temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath (Lord of the universe and incarnation of Vishnu). Moreover, this temple holds the utmost religious significance among the Hindus and was constructed by the famous Ananda Verman Chodaganga Dev. Termed as one of the best tourist places in Puri, this richly carved structure is constructed on a high pedestal with four gigantic gates.

  • Puri Beach:

    A silent paradise for nature seekers, Puri Beach is located on the east coast of the Bay of Bengal. Positioned in close proximity to Jagannath Temple and other renowned temples of Puri, this beach near Bhubaneshwar attracts a large number of tourists. The sun-kissed beach is an apt destination to enjoy a perfect vacation with your family and friends. Also, the honeymooners can stroll along the breezy shores and explore the mesmerizing view of sunrise and sunset. This is one of the top tourist spots in Puri and makes your vacation more memorable.

  • Chilika Lake:

    Asia’s largest salt-water lagoon, Chilika Lake is stretched across three districts(Puri, Ganjam, and Khordha in Orissa) and is separated by a narrow neckline from the waters of the Bay of Bengal. Dotted with many small islands of lush green natural beauty, this lake is positioned approximately 50kms from Puri. Enjoy the beauty of the flocks of flying migratory birds during the winter season. Apart from bird watching, this lake is also famous for boating, fishing, and many other things. So don’t miss to explore this spot which is one of the outstanding tourist places in Puri.