Orissa Toursim

Orissa is gorgeous states, surrounded by Jharkhand in north, on the north-east by West Bengal, on the east by the Bay of Bengal , on the south by Andhra Pradesh and on the west by Chhattisgarh.

Orissa has an exotic coastline approx 200 mls/320 km long. The narrow, level coastal strip, including the Mahanadi River delta, is exceedingly fertile. Rainfall is heavy and regular, and two crops of rice (by far the most important food) are grown annually. The state is known for its temples, especially in the cities of Konark, Puri, and Bhubaneswar.

Orissa has several popular tourist destinations. Puri, with the Jagannatha's temple on the sea, and Konark, with the Sun Temple , are visited by thousands of westerners every year. Along with the Lingaraja Temple of Bhubaneswar, the Jagannatha Temple and the Sun Temple of Konark are the must sees for anyone doing research on the archaeological marvels of India. Hirakud Dam, the fourth largest in the world is also worth seeing. Chilka, the largest brackish water inland lake in Asia, stretches over an area of 1100 sq. km. The largest Lion Safari of India, and the only White Tiger Safari in the world, are located in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. Odissi, one of the dance forms of India continues to draw admirers throughout the world.

Orissa is a littoral state with a long coastline and a storehouse of mineral wealth. Because it has begun attracting massive foreign investment in steel, aluminum, power, and refineries recently, the state holds the promise of becoming one of India's major manufacturing hubs in the near future. In spite decades of neglect by the government in New Delhi, the state could emerge as one of the most significant FDI destinations in the world, rivalling Shenzhen in China. Orissa is also a major outsourcing destination for IT (Information Technology) and IT services firms.

Tourism has been recognised as an industry in Orissa and a sizeable revenue is earned for the State from domestic as well as foreign tourists. The idea of tourism was first mooted by the Government during the 3rd Five Year Plan. It was revamped during the 5th Five Year Plan. The creation of Department of Tourism, Govt. of Orissa dates back to 1973. There have been modifications from time to time as regards the sphere of function of the Department. The Department of Tourism and Culture has been functioning in the present shape since 1995. The Orissa Tourism Development Corporation was created in March 1979 and it was incorporated under Companies Act in September 1979.

Form both the sides, Government as well as Corporation, thrust was given on the modernisation of the sight seeing spots of Orissa. The spots are generally Konark, Puri, Nandankanan, Chandipur and other tourist spots having a close proximity with the capital city. At the initial stage, with a meagre budget, the Department could not cope with the pressing demands of tourists. Later, the Government decided to streamline and spread its activities not only to coastal districts but also to Western Orissa where tourist spots are also attractive.

Places of natural beauty are in abundance in Western Orissa. The natural stream and forest resources at Harisankar in Bolangir moves the heart of the tourists. Equally Nrusinghanath presents a panoramic view. The deity of Nrusinghanath sitting in the shape of a half-human and half-lion form tearing apart Hiranyakasipu against the backdrop of a stream is a scene to witness. Of course, now a days, both the Department and Corporation have swung into action to create infrastructural facilities for the tourists. Apart from those two natural spots, Kalahandi district is endowed with the wealth of forests with rare species of black tigers, a natural water fall at Rabandar and a host of temples situated at the peak of mountain hills at Bhawanipatna. These are also places of tourists importance. The Patala Ganga spot at Nawapara District is also a place of attraction for tourists. Ushakothi, Hirakud and Budrama in Sambalpur district attract the attention of tourists. Similarly, the Khandadhar Waterfall in Su ndargarh district is also a tourist spot. The Mahanadi and the Tel river in Suvarnapur district present beautiful natural scenes and the confluence of the two rivers present a memorable sight.

What to See
Bhubaneshwar Cuttack Puri

Bhubaneswar is the temple city of India located on the eastern coast of India. Once bhubaneshwar was the capital of ancient Kalinga, the city has a long history and is today a bustling centre for commerce and religious activity. Bhubaneswar became the modern capital of the state of Orissa in 1948, a year after India gained its independence from Britain.

The city is inhabited by over a million people and maintains a high rate of population growth. The Orissa government is keen on developing the city as an IT hub. The city has offices of Enterprise System Solutions, TCS, Satyam, Infosys, Wipro, Systems Technology International and Ficus soft India functioning under the Software Technology Parks of India.

Bhubaneswar is the place where temple building activities of Orissan style flowered from its very inception into its fullest culmination extending over a period of over one thousand years. The striking features of the city are the numerous temples and shrines that seem to be all around bhubaneshwar.

Bhubaneswar's skyline is dominated by some of the most spectacular engineering and artistic feats of its ancient heritage. The imposing spire of the Lingaraj Temple , the quiet beauty of the Vishwa Shanti Stupa and the pink translucence of the Mahavira Jain Temple in nearby Khandagiri, inspire feelings of wonder at their sheer beauty and their cross-cultural permutations. These three alone offer an excellent insight into the ancient cultural strength of Orissa and are well-worth exploring at greater length.

Geography - Bhubaneswar is situated between 21° 15' North Latitude 85° 15' Longitude and at an altitude of 45 meters above sea level. The average temperatures range between 15 °C in the winter to a maximum of 40 °C to 45 °C in the summer. The south-east monsoons appear in June. The average annual rainfall is 1,500 mm, most of which is recorded between June and October.

Location - Bhubaneswar is situated in the eastern coastal plains of Orissa and south-west of the river Mahanadi whose tributaries like Kuakhai, Bhargavi and Daya wash the fingers of this city.

Fairs & Festivals - Bhubaneswar plays host to major exhibitions on books, arts, culture, trade etc. Adivasi Mela is a fair that displays the art, artifacts, tradition, culture, and music of the tribal folks of Orissa.

Raja Sankranti is celebrated with a lot of gaiety, markets are stocked with fresh ruits and vegetables which are consumed on Raja, exorbitant prices are charged. Durga Puja is also an important festival. Various pandals are constructed throughout the city of Bhubaneshwar.


By Air - Bhubaneswar is connected to the cities of Kolkata, Delhi , Chennai, Mumbai, Vishakhapatnam, Hyderabad , and Raipur through regular flights. Biju Patnaik Airport in Bhubaneswar is the only major airport in the state.

By Rail - Bhubaneswar is directly connected by rail with Kolkata, Puri, Chennai, Delhi , Mumbai, Bangalore , Guwahati, Hyderabad , Tirupati, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Trivandrum.

By Road - Bhubaneswar is linked with Berhampur, Chilika, Cuttack , Konark, Paradip, Puri, Rourkela , Sambalpur and other places. Interstate bus services operate daily between Kolkata and Puri via Bhubaneswar and Tatanagar (Jamshedpur).


Bhubaneswar can be visited round the year but the ideal time especially for visitors from colder climes would be from October to March.


Dhauli - Dhauli is about 8 km south of Bhubaneswar and to the right of the Puri road. It is Carved by King Ashoka on a rock five meters by three meters, these 2000 years old inscriptions still bear the instructions of the great king to his administrators. The site is also marked by a new peace pagoda and rock edicts at Jau Gada.

Ekamra Haat - It is located near the exhibition ground, this Haat is a hub for tourists who are interested to get some stuff with Oriya touch along with their unforgettable memoirs. Ekamra Haat is aesthetically designed to create a relaxed ambiance to browse through ethnic handlooms and handicrafts from all over the country.The Haat also has an amphitheatre where folk and tribal dances are held.

Orrisa State Museum - Orissa State Museum has four storey building holds within itself numerous artifacts of state history, displaying a massive collection of traditional dresses, ancient and medieval tools and weapons, Stuffed animals, musical instruments and hand looms and handicrafts of Orrisa.This museum is a must see for every tourist who is inquisitive enough to know more about this South Eastern state of the country.

Taptapani - It is located near the corner where city dwellers fear to go. Taptapani is the home of the primitive Kutia Kondh tribe, the Dingaria Kondh tribe, Bonda and the Mali tribes. The residents are expert hunters, fiercely independent and worship numerous gods and goddess. Stay in lodges and get to know their lifestyle and unique tradition and cultural heritage. Taptapani also offers a hot water sulpher spring and is quite famous among tourists who visit here to revitalize themselves with the naturally medicated water.

Chilka Lake - Chilka Lake is situated south of Puri, this 1,100 sq. km shallow lake is Asia 's largest salt water lagoon and is separated from the sea only by a narrow sand bar. The lake is peppered with many small rocky islands and is a vast reserve for aquatic flora and fauna.

Lingaraj Temple - Lingaraj Temple is dedicated to the Lord Vishnu and Shiv Linga. It is one of Orrisa's famous temples notable for the symmetrical sculptures carved on its 45m high spire. The deity of Lingaraj is an uncarved block of granite 8 feet in diameter raised 8 inches above the ground and is bathed daily with milk, water and bhang.

Udaigiri Khandagiri Caves - These ancient caves which are over 2000 years old are located at 8 km from Bhubaneswar . There are 44 caves carved out of sandstone nestling on two opposite hills. The Rani Gumpha is a double storied structure brilliantly festooned with carved sculptures. Besides there is Hanthi Gumpha which is a favourite hot-spot among tourists.The caves are open from 8 am to 6 pm and attracts vacationists from all over the world.


There are good restaurants which serves food from every part of India & world. You can also try the multi-cuisine restaurant at the luxury hotels.


Cuttack, the oldest city of Orissa was the capital of the state for a long time. Today Cuttack is the active commercial capital of Orissa. The beautiful city is located on the delta formed by the Mahanadi and Kathjori rivers. It serves as a convenient base for touring the various places of interest in the district. Cuttack was founded by Nripati Kesari in the early 10th century. It was sited due to its strategic position in relation to the network of canals in the region.

The capital of ancient Utkal, Kataka or the 'military camp', once prided itself on its strategic location on the mouth of the Mahanadi River. The infamous river has since been tamed, and with it has withered the youthful charm of Cuttack . A pale reflection of its erstwhile glory, you can still see the crumbling fort and the sleepy shrines. Yet, what dazzles now is the delicate silverwork that adorns the shops lining the crowded streets. Come here for the exotic Ikats and appliques, or for the delicious seafood spiced up with local recipes. Come here, if you want to go watching rare turtles on the sandy stretches of the Bay of Bengal . Come here to share an ancient city's beleaguered tale.

LOCATION About 29 km north of Bhubaneswar, the state capital, this ancient city in Orissa lies on the upper delta of the Mahanadi and Kathjuri rivers.


By Air - The nearest airport is Biju Patnaik Airport at Bhuvneshwar, which is 29 km away. It the capital of Orissa so it is an important airport. Indian Airlines flies regularly from Kolkata, Delhi , Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam.

By Rail - Cuttack is well connected the major cite with express and regular trains. It lies on the Kolkata-Chennai main railway line, so its an important railway station.

By Road - Cuttack is easily accessible by road, the city is connected to the rest of the state with a good road network. It is National Highway No. 5 passes through Cuttack and makes it the most accessible city of Orissa . You can take Orissa State Transport buses or private luxury coaches. The distances from some major cities to Cuttack are: Kolkatta, 416 km; Delhi, 1720 km; Gaya, 749 km; Mumbai, 1482 km; and Varanasi, 940 km.


Cuttack can be travelled round the year, but avoid July and August due to heavy rainfall. October to April is the best time to travel Cuttack . Pleasant round the year with summer temperatures ranging between 40°C to 27°C and winters varying from 23°C to 16°C. Since the monsoon is heavy, it's advisable to avoid visiting during that time.


The Stone Revetments - The stunning stone revetment located on the banks of river Mahanadi . It a great example of fine engineering work, it was built in 11th century by Keshari Kings. Even if you go for a relaxed trip, it should not take you more than a couple of days to cover all the sights in and around the city. However, you can always spare a day or two each for the Bhitarkanika Sanctuary and the nearby Ratnagiri-Udaigiri-Lalitgiri complex and Paradeep.

Barabati Fort - Only the gateway and the moat of this once majestic fort now remain on the banks of the River Mahanadi. Built by Mukunda Harichandan of the Ganga dynasty in the 14th century, there was once a magnificent nine-storeyed palace inside the fort but today the ruins give you only a hint of the highly developed architectural skills of the Oriyas. The shrine of Katak Chandi, the presiding deity of the city, lies nearby.

Kadam-i-Rasool - Near the congested old quarters of the city lies this complex of domed mosques and shrines, spread over an area of 57 acres. Dating from the 18th century, Prophet Mohammed's footprints lie preserved in the central mosque. The place is visited by both Hindus and Muslims alike. The other mosques, alongwith the Nawabat Khana (the Hall of Music), are fine examples of Indo-Islamic architecture. Also, being the main Muslim cemetery in Cuttack , it has the graves of many Nazims who administered the area in the early eighteenth century.


Dhabaleshwar - A picturesque island located just 37 km away, in the middle of the Mahanadi, there's a Shiva Temple on the hillock with carvings dating from the 10th and 11th centuries. Take the regular ferry service from Chauthaghat to reach here.

Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udayagiri (55-70 km) - The magnificent expanse of Buddhist ruins strewn across these three hills date back to the 7th century when Hieun Tsang, the Chinese traveller, visited India . While black pagodas, prayer halls and Buddhist images form the bulk of the excavations at Lalitgiri, a brick stupa and a monastery complex have been unearthed at Udaigiri (8 km from Lalitgiri). Ratnagiri (5 km from Udaigiri), with its huge stupa and two monasteries complete with ornately carved gateways, of course, has the best find. Relics of the Buddha are preserved inside a stone casket inside the stupa. The ancient Pushpgiri University also thrived in this region in the post-Gupta period.

Kendrapara (65 km ) - Apart from the temple of Lord Baladeva , it's the grand car festival that draws a huge crowd to this tiny town every year.

Ansupa (70 km) - Lying in the shadow of the dark Saranda Mountain , nestled among the fazed greenery of bamboo groves, the rippling waters of the Ansupa Lake makes for an ethereal sight. Apart from boating and angling, come here to watch the myriad flocks of migratory birds.

Jaipur (92 km ) - Also known as 'Baitarani Tirtha' (on the banks of the River Baitarini), it was the ancient capital and one of the famous pilgrimage spots in Orissa. Among the profusion of shrines here you will find the famous temple.

Goddess Viraja (Durga) - the presiding deity of the place, and that of the 'Sweta Varaha' (the white Boar incarnation of Vishnu). The flight of steps on the ghats leading to the river is believed to be a sacred site for Hindus offering pinda to their ancestors.

Paradeep (94 km) - One of the major seaports of the country, Paradeep, on the estuary of the Mahanadi River , boasts of a fabulous beach dotted with evergreen forests and numerous islands and creeks. After you've been to the Puri beach, come here for a different experience.

Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary (195 km) - At the place where the Brahmani River meets the Bay of Bengal, on the Gahirmatha Beach , lies this wonderful stretch teeming with marine life. Well off the beaten track, you can easily get there by hired cabs and navigate the park by boat. Designed to protect the natural habitat of the endangered Olive Ridley turtles, which come here to roost in millions, this mangrove forest also boasts of numerous species of migratory birds.


There are few good restaurants where you can get a large range of cuisines. You can also try the special restaurant at the luxury hotels.


Situated on the eastern coastline of the country, Puri is most well known as an important Hindu pilgrimage center. The Jagannath Temple , one of the four most important Hindu pilgrimage sites or the chardham is located here. Also, Puri's wonderfully wide white-sand beaches, fishing farms and superb resorts make it an inviting tourist destination. The surf on the beaches here is one of the best on the entire eastern coastline of India , and dawn is a breathtaking sight. Visiting the Lord Jagannath temple, walking on the beach and experiencing the beauty of the sunrise and sunset are probably some of the best things to do in Puri. One could also visit the nearby small villages to look at the folk art and handicrafts, which are bright, colourful and exquisitely crafted items. The traditional methods of fishing used by the local fishermen are of interest, as is visiting nearby historic sites to garner a sense of the city's history and the lifestyle of the locals.

Puri has a typical tropical climate and is best visited during the winters between October to April after the monsoon clears all the dust and dirt around. Light woolens may be required, for nights by the sea can be slightly chilly.

A place with many names over the centuries - Hilgiri, Niladri, Hilachal Purushottam, Sankhakshetra, Srikehetra, Jagannath Dham, Jagannath Puri - Puri is dominated by two great forces: the sea (Bay of Bengal) with its ever changing shape of constant motion, the other, the great temple of Lord Jagannath, a static, but no less dominant force.

Very few cities are so dominated by a single factor in so many diverse ways as Puri is, influenced by Lord Jagannath. A very large part of Puri's population is connected with the temple in one way or the other. Some are involved in the service of Lord Jagannath (the Pandas and Purohits, others have gainful employment indirectly generated because of the deity.

Most people go to Puri for religious reasons - it being one of the four most holy Hindu 'Dhams' (meaning a holy place). But a very large number also go for both adventure as well as restful holidays. Drawing the maximum number of visitors as compared to any other place in Orissa, Puri not only has scores of hotels, but also hundreds of holiday homes owned by various organisations and business houses.

The never ending beach, the sea and the glorious skyscapes at dawn and dusk are to be experienced to be believed. There is the added attraction of one of the few remaining relies of the British period - the South Eastern Railway Hotel, There must be very few places left in India with such spacious rooms and so much living spaces. The lifestyle at this hotel can be an experience of a life-time for those coming from crowded cities.

Apart from Jagannath temple, the other two most important temples around are Lokanath Temple and Gundicha Temple.

Puri is an important pilgrimage and tourist center in the state of Orissa. Located towards the eastern coast of Orissa near Bay of Bengal , Puri is also part of the four Hindu pilgrimage cities, known as Char Dham. In the ancient times, Puri was once part of the kingdom of Kalinga, formed by Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan Empire in 260 BC.


By Air - Bhubaneshwar is the nearest airport i.e. 60kms from Puri. It is well connected to the other major cities of India.

By Rail - Puri is wel connected to the major city of Orrisa by regular and few express trains.

By Road - Puri is well connected by road with important cities in and out of the state, Bhubaneshwar, Konark, Berhampur, Taptapani, Sambalpur and Kolkata.


Best time to travel Puri is between October and May.


Jagannath Temple - The magnificent Jagannath temple is regarded as one of the Chardhams (four pilgrimage sites) of Hindu religion, which are situated on all the four corners of the country. This temple is regarded as the Dham of eastern India . Dedicated to the Lord of the Universe (Jag-universe/ Nath-lord), it was built during the 12th century. One of the tallest (65 m) temples of India , this temple dominates the skyline and the townscape of Puri. It is a living example of the Kalinga style of architecture.

Gundicha Mandir - The Gundicha Ghar or Gundicha temple is an important part of the famous Rath Yatra festival of Puri. It has some interesting legends related to it. According to one the Gundicha Ghar is the house of Lord Krishna's loving aunt. On the day of the Rath Yatra, Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are taken in gorgeously caparisoned wooden rath (chariots) from the main gate of the Jagannath temple to Gundicha temple. At the garden house, their aunt greets them by feeding them padoapitha (specially baked rice cakes). This place is regarded as equally holy as Lord stays here for nine days during the festival.

Atharnala Bridge - The magnificent Atharnala Bridge that was constructed during the 13th century is a living example of the engineering marvel of the ancient times. The size of the bridge is around 85x11 m, and even after so many centuries it is still in use. Situated at the entrance of the town, pilgrims offer prayers here as well.

Beaches in Puri - Puri's white sand beaches are well known all over the country. They are perhaps the only walkable beaches on the eastern coastline that are carpeted with clean white sand. It is also worthwhile to request the local fishermen for a boat ride into the sea.


Chilka Lake - Chilka Lake of shimmering blue waters and the playfully jumping fish is the largest fresh water lake in Asia and is also called the 'honeymooners paradise' and 'breakfast island'.

Pipli - If one has an interest in handicrafts of the locals, one must not miss a visit to the small village near Puri called Pipli. This place is famous for the appliqué work of the traditional Orissa style.

Raghurajpur - The hamlet of Raghurajpur is famous for the patta chitra (paintings done on specially prepared cotton cloth which is coated with a mixture of gum and chalk and polished, before natural colors are applied) art of Orissa. You can watch the traditional, intricate process, which goes into the making of a treasured patta chitra here.

Caves of Wonder - The sixty odd caves of 2nd century BC caves set in the Udaygiri-Khandagiri hills with their ornate carvings and delicate friezes are major tourist attractions. The cities of Bhubaneswar and Konark should also be visited for their temples and beaches, and the beach of Balighai when on a trip to Puri.


There are good restaurants which serves food from every part of India & world. You can also try the multi-cuisine restaurant at the luxury hotels.

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