Puri is known by several names since the ancient times, and is locally known as “Sri Kshetra”. The Lord Jagannatha temple is known as “Badadeula”. Interestingly Puri and the Jagannatha Temple were invaded 18 times by many kings, mostly the Mughals with the objective of looting the treasures of the temple. Odisha, including Puri and its temple, were part of British India from 1803 till India attained independence in August 1947. Even though princely states do not exist in India today, the heirs of the Gajapati Dynasty of Khurda still perform the ritual duties of the temple. The temple town has many Hindu religious mathas or monasteries. Apart from the Jagannath Temple, Puri is famous for his white sand beach visited by millions throughout the year.
Bhubaneswar is the capital city of Odisha. Many temples built from sandstone are dotted around the old city, including the 11th-century Lingaraja Temple. Outside Rajarani Temple are sculpted figures of the guardians of the 8 cardinal and ordinal directions. Jain antiques, weaponry and
North of Bhubaneswar, Nandankanan Zoological Park on Kanjia Lake is home to lions and elephants, and includes a botanical garden. In the city’s west, the Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves are decorated rock-cut shelters and temples created by Jain worshipers. South of the city, the ancient rock-cut edicts at Dhauli Hills were reputedly engraved by Ashoka in the 3rd Century BC., after he embraced Buddhism. Pipli village is known for its colorful appliqué work, originally created for the local temples. Near the city, Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary shelters elephants and other animals, with watchtowers to observe the wildlife.
Chilika Lake is a brackish water lagoon, spread over the Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Odisha state on the east coast of India, at the mouth of the Daya River, flowing into the Bay of Bengal. It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds in the Indian subcontinent. The lake is home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals. It is an ecosystem with large fishery resources that sustains more than 150,000 fisher–folk living in 132 villages on the shore and islands. The lagoon hosts over 160 species of birds in the peak migratory season. Birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, Central and southeast Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here, some possibly up to 12,000 km, to reach Chilika Lake.
Puri Beach is a beach in the city of Puri in the state of Odisha, India. It is on the shore of the Bay of Bengal. It is known for being a tourist attraction and a Hindu sacred place. The beach is the site of the annual Puri Beach Festival, which is co-sponsored by the Indian Ministry of Tourism, the city of Odisha, the Development Commissioner of Handicrafts.
Paradip, also spelt Paradeep, is a major seaport town and a municipality in Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha, India. Paradeep is known for being an important port of the country. Being famous for its pristine beaches and the lush green forest covers make the place a picturesque destination. Paradeep is basically an estuary of the Mahanadi that meets the Sea at the Paradeep Port and merges with the Bay of Bengal eventually bidding adieu to the creeks, beaches, islands and the evergreen forests
The temple is now mostly in ruins, and a collection of its sculptures is housed in the Sun Temple Museum, which is run by the Archaeological Survey of India. Konark is also home to an annual dance festival called Konark Dance Festival, held every December, devoted to classical Indian dance forms, including the traditional classical dance of Odisha, Odissi. On 16 February 1980, Konark lay directly on the path of a total solar eclipse.
Gopalpur is a town and a Notified Area Council on the Bay of Bengal coast in Ganjam district in the southern part of Odisha, India. Once a commercial port, it is now a famous sea beach and tourist destination around 15 km from Berhampur. The reconstruction of an all weather port including new berths is under development.
Sambalpur is the gateway to the western zone of Orissa that abounds in prolific rivers, lavish hills, lush green forests and affluent wildlife. It is a beautiful amalgamation of modernity and culture. Holding a significant historical importance, the place also has a flourishing textile and handloom industry popular for its unique patterns and style. In addition to that, Sambalpur has a flourishing tribal life with exclusive exquisite folk songs-dances and culture. Sambalpur got its name from Devi Samaleswari who is the main goddess of the region. One can also visit wildlife parks here to enjoy the beauty of nature that Sambalpur has in plenty.
Jeypore is a large city in the state of Odisha and is famous for its fresh water lakes, waterfalls and valleys. Jeypore is home to about 62 affiliated communities such as Gond, Dhruba, Paraja, Koya. Most people interested in exploring lands that predominantly belong to the tribals come here as it is mostly inhabited by them.
Dhauli is located over a small hill 8 Km away south of Bhubaneswar, located on the bank of river Daya and holds great significance for the followers of lord Buddha. Dhauli is said to be the witness of the reform of Ashoka’s character. After the Kalinga War, it is said the King Ashoka in grief accepted Buddhism and started preaching it. The huge Buddhist Stupa is a witness to the ages old link between Odisha and Buddhism.
Kendujhar is a town and municipality in Kendujhar District in Odisha. It is the administrative headquarters of the Kendujhar district, and it is one of the 5th scheduled areas of Odisha. From here one can visit various sites spread across the district that is full of natural beauty, starting from hundreds of waterfalls to lush green hills.
Simlipal is a national park and a tiger reserve in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha.Thick and green forests, extensive grassy lands and meadows, precipitous and sparkling waterfalls, meandering rivers, roaring tigers and trumpeting tuskers, fleeing deer and flying squirrels, talking myna and dancing peacocks fill the spot. Covering a vast area of 2750 km2 out of which 303 km2 form the core area, thick biosphere reserve is a sanctuary and one of the tiger projects and national parks of India.
The panoramic views of the waterfalls at Barehipani (217 meters) and Joranda (181 meters)are enchanting. Fish is found in abundance in most of the rivers. The silence of Similipal is occasionally broken by the chirping of the birds. The dense forest and riverine system serve as an excellent home to some of the most beautiful creatures.
Herds of elephants majestically walking across the roads and rivulets could be a regular sight. While you are moving on the hilly tracts, predators like tiger and leopards might be obviously lulling under the shade. If lucky, you could spot them there, or else see them around the saltlicks at places like Chahala.
In the southern coastline of Odisha just 15 km from the city of Behrampur is located a quaint, tiny town of Gopalpur which used to be a sea port, bustling with trade and commerce, in the Colonial Era.
What was once a bustling port city before being deserted, is today, one of the finest beaches in the eastern coastline of the country. It is known for being an offbeat destination and a place for relaxation. Though the sea port remains largely in ruins, what remains is one of India’s most loved beaches. The Gopalpur-on-sea is considered to be one of India’s most beautiful beaches largely due to its remoteness, its peace and its offbeat crowd. The beaches are sparkling gold which along with the azure water of the Bay of Bengal providing a perfect place to relax and immerse yourself in nature.
Constructed across the Mahanadi River in Odisha is the Hirakud Dam, which is hailed as the longest man-made dams in the world. This marvellous construction was built in the year 1956, and owing to its location has an ideal atmosphere for wildlife to flourish. The Hirakud Reservoir is also situated in the close vicinity of the dam and is a focal point of interest for tourists and large flocks of birds as well. A number of migratory birds fly towards this destination during the winter season, and some of the common ones that can be spotted here include Common Pochard, Red-crested Pochard and Great Crested Grebe.
At a distance of 248km from Kolkata and 256km from Bhubaneswar, Baripada is a city, recognised by its beautiful culture and an essence of purity in nature. Its Rath Yatra is considered the biggest and oldest after Puri and thus Baripada is also known as Dwitiya Srikhetra (Second Puri)
It is host to the world famous Car Festival (Ratha Jatra) which allows only women to pull the Rath of Maa Subhadra and gathers huge crowds. One also finds here temples, known to be one of the oldest in Odisha and which see devotees coming from all over with a strong sense of faith and devotion. An event is organised here, during the mid of April that celebrates the best talents of Chhau, a world renowned dance form, indigenous to the region.
Cuttack is the second largest city in Orissa and is the centre of all commercial activities and the local handicrafts of this state are displayed and traded in this very city. The inflow and outflow of the rare artefacts which so beautifully define the quintessential Oriyan form of art takes place from this very city. Cuttack is always buzzing with cultural activities and plays host to a variety of festivals like the Baliyatra, which commemorates the ancient trade links the countries like Java, Bali and Sumatra and the Kite Festival which is held in the month of January. Cuttack is a highly-planned city and has a number of tourist attractions which will make a person’s trip here a memorable one.
Rourkela is one of the largest cities of Odisha. The place is primarily known for the steel plant and associated industrial growth. However, it also pull tourists with its vintage temples, parks, dams, and waterfalls.
Key attractions: Darjeeng, Nehru Traffic Park, temples of Vedavyas & Vaishno Devi, Hanuman Vatika, Mandira Dam, Pitamahal Dam, Badaghagra Falls, and Khandadhar Falls
Chandipur, also known as Chandipur-on-sea, is a small sea resort in Baleswar District, Odisha, India. The resort is on the Bay of Bengal and is approximately 16 kilometers from the Baleswar Railway Station.
Pipili is a town and a NAC under jurisdiction of Puri district in the Indian state of Odisha. It is famous for designing beautiful Applique handicrafts. It is a town of artisans famous for their colourful fabrics.
The hot water from the natural spring of Taptapani are attributed with medicinal properties and can be bathed in at the pond created next to the hot spring. The hot spring is situated at the eastern slope of the eastern ghat at a crest of the hill with in the lush green forest having wide range of flora and fauna.
Satkosia gorge is a unique feature in geomorphology in India. Here Mahanadi has cut right across the Eastern Ghats and has formed a magnificent gorge. Located in the districts of Angul, Cuttack, Nayagarh and Boudh, Satkosia gorge sanctuary(795.52 sq.km.) with sylvan beauty and excellent natural features is an attractive destination for scientist and nature lovers. The major attraction of the area is 22 km. long gorge (known as Satkosia gorge) of the river Mahanadi which divides the area into a two distinct parts accessible respectively from Angul and Nayagarh or Boudh.
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