Odisha is an eastern Indian state situated on the Bay of Bengal with an area of 60,162 sq miles. It was known as Orissa before and its capital is Bhubaneswar. Odisha has many ancient temples and is well known for its tribal cultures. Odisha shares its boundary with Jharkhand and West Bengal to the north and northeast, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to the south, the Bay of Bengal to the east, and Chhattisgarh to the west.
10 Top Places to Visit in Odisha
1. Puri Tourism – Puri is located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal and s in the coastal delta of the Mahanadi River. Puri is one of the important pilgrimage sites for Hindus because of Jagannath Temple which forms the part of Char Dham in India. “Ashokan Tosali” was its ancient name. Puri is popularly known as the resting place of Lord Shiva and it is the spiritual capital of Odisha. It is saying that no birds fly over the Jagannath temple because of the presence of Garuda there.PuriRath Yatra is an annual festival held in the month of Jun-Jul.
2. Konark – Konark is lying on the coast by the Bay of Bengal, 60 km from Bhubaneswar. Konark is famous due to the 7th-century Sun Temple. This temple is known as the ‘Black Pagoda’ because it was built in black granite during the reign of Narasimhadeva-I. This Sun Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Moreover, it is one of the most beautiful monuments of India and is very famous for its architectural marvel. Konark is also famous for its Sun festival and Dance festival.
3. Bhubaneswar –Bhubaneswar is famous for its architecture and the grand temples. It is an ancient city and the literal meaning of the name Bhubaneshwar is ‘Lord of the Universe.’ Bhubaneshwar is a favourite pilgrimage destination to both Buddhists and Hindu. The famous two Hindu temples are Lingaraj temple and the Parasurameswara. It attracts Hindu devotees from all parts of the country.
4. Cuttack – Cuttack is situated at elevation 30 m above sea level and it is the one twin cities of the Odisha. Besides, it is one of the 3rd biggest city in Odisha. Cuttack is known as the cultural capital of Odisha and one of modern India’s first planned cities. Cuttack was the former capital of Odisha. It was built by King AnangaBhimadev-III. It is also known as the ‘silver city’ due to its famous silver work.
5. Rayagada – Rayagada is located on the South-Eastern border of the state. It because of a separate district in Oct 1992. It has a distinct culture and rich history which mingled with the local tribes as its main population consists of tribes; Khonds and the Soras. Besides, it has dense forests, many historical monuments/places to visit.
6. Dhauli –Dhauli is a famous place and a small town too which is situated on the banks of river Daya and 8 Km away south of Bhubaneswar. The famous Kalinga battlefield is the place around Dhauli. The Kalinga war led to a significant change in his character and the beliefs of King Ashoka and he eventually adopted Buddhism. Dhauli has major Ashoka edicts and it can see on a mass of rock.
7. Hirakud Dam – Hirakud Dam is the longest human-made dam which was constructed across the Mahanadi River stretches between the Burla and Hirakud Hills and 17 km from Sambalpur. This dam was built in 1956 and it is measuring over 25 km long. It has two observation towers. Its main attraction is a drive-through road over the dam. Budharaja hill is situated near this dam.
8. Khandagiri Caves –Khandagiri caves are located on Chandaka road near to Bhubaneswar and it is to be believed over 2000 years old. It is also called Cuttack caves. These caves were dug during the reign of Mahameghavahana Dynasty, King Kharavela and it is believed to be built by Jain and Buddhist monks. They used these caves as a place to pray and meditate. Since this place holds a great historical significance it is one of the famous Jain pilgrimage centres. These caves are also home to many colourful birds.
9. Mukteswara Temple – Mukteswara temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which is located at a distance of around 7 km from Khandagiri Caves. It is believed that this temple was built in the reign of Pallava dynasty. This ancient monument has a very important role in the study of the development of Hindu temples in Odisha. Because it is very old as well as it is one of the most beautiful temples in Orissa.
10. ChausathiJogini Temple –The temple is in Odisha’s Hirapur, 20 km from Bhubaneswar. This temple has a tantric legacy. It is believed the locals that yoginis descend upon the Chausath Yogini temple after sundown hence they afraid to hover around. It was built in the 9th Century by Queen Hiradevi of Bramha Dynasty. It is dedicated to Goddess Kali and built in a circular form with 56 small idols placed in each cavity.