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Orissa :- is a charming land famous for its splendid temples, historic monuments, golden beaches, mesmerizing lakes and amazing wildlife. On your tour to Orissa you will come across the Konark temple, which is a UNESCO world heritage site and other outstanding temples at Puri and Bhubaneswar. The nature lovers will be enchanted to witness the chirping of birds, winding streams and swaying paddy fields that all add to the fascinating experience. Prior tourist information on Orissa is definitely going to be of crucial help to the tourists. Touristplacesinindia.com is the site that on which you can find up-to-date Orissa Tourist information.

Geography:- Orissa has diverse geographical features and covers an area of 155,707 sq km. It has a long coastline of about 450 km and is home to some of the best known beaches in eastern India. The western and northern regions of Orissa are occupied by the Chhota Nagpur plateau. You can also find impressive rivers like Mahanadi, Brahmani and Baitarani rivers that fall into the Bay of Bengal. The wide span of unfrequented landscape of the state serves as the perfect habitat to a variety of wildlife. The visitor’s information on Orissa also states that the climate of Orissa is primarily tropical but in a way is distinctive from the rest of India. It can best be visited from October to March because weather is relatively pleasant.

 

Main Cities / Town

 

Bhubneswar , the Capital City of Orissa

 

Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Orissa, is situated in its eastern side. The city boasts of majestic temples and shrines, which form a major part of its tourist attractions. It serves as the perfect example of the fusion of age-old customs and traditions and modern aspirations. This is one of the basic reasons why tourism is Bhubaneshwar is gaining momentum day by day. People are coming to the city from various parts of India as well as the world to witness it unique splendor.

 

Main tourist attraction in  Bhubaneshwar.

Ling raja Temple :- To speak about attractive places of Bhubaneswar is to elaborate the temples of the state. Among all sightseeing places of Bhubaneswar the temples gains the foremost position Ling raja Temple is enclosed by high walls is the most crowded temple in Orissa. The temple is mostly liked for its architectural superiority and excellence.
Bindusagar Lake
:- Bindusagar Lake, situated north to Ling raja Temple is a demanded spot of picnic. The stones lay on the embankment gives another signature to its scenic beauty.
Orrisa State Museum :- This 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.

Ekamra Haat :- Located near the exhibition ground, this Haat ( Market place) 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 walls are embellished with attractive terracotta sculptures and vibrant folk paintings. Stalls display marvellous array of artifacts created by the tribes whereas food stalls offer excellent traditional delicacies like Chhenna poda, Chakuli pitha and Mutton curry. The Haat also has an amphitheatre where folk and tribal dances are held.

Dhauli :- About 8 km south of Bhubaneswar and to the right of the Puri road, is the Dhauli edicts. 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. Horrified by the aftermath of the Kalinga war, the great legendary king, Ashoka, became a follower of Buddha and spent rest of his life spreading the Lord's messages across the globe. The site is also marked by a new peace pagoda and rock edicts at Jau Gada.

Nanad Kanan Biological Park :- Nanad Kanan biological park or the garden of joy, located only 20 kms from Bhubaneswar, full of various animals, reptiles, and birds.

Chilka Lake :- the eastern coast of Orissa, Chilka Lake is one of the most sought after tourist attractions near the holy city of Puri. The source of the lake is the Mahanadi River, which drains into it. Chilika Lake is one of the largest lakes in not only India, but also Asia and stretches over an area of 1,100 sq km. It is a very popular picnic spot and provides ample opportunities for boating, fishing and bird watching. If you just want to relax and soak the sunrays, this is the perfect place for you.

Taptapani :- 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.

Gopalpur and Balugaon :- Gopalpur and Balugaon are the places for shoppers, rich with all the local handicrafts and woolen things.

Konark :- Located at a distance of nearly 65 km from Bhubaneswar, Konark city is famous throughout the world for its magnificent Sun Temple, which is dedicated to Surya, the Sun God. It is one of the three cities that form the Golden Triangle of tourism in Orissa. Konark is a city that is well known for its architectural wonders. Besides the numerous temples and maths, its other major attraction is the Konark Beach, one of the most enchanting beaches of India.

Puri :- Puri, known as the dwelling place of Lord Jagannath, is one of the most visited tourist destinations of India. It is situated on the eastern side of Orissa and lies about 60 km away from the capital city of Bhubaneswar. The major attractions of the city comprise of its marvelous temples and gorgeous beaches. There are four sacred Hindu Dhams in India and Puri is one of them. The city is also known as ‘Jagannath Puri’, ‘Martya Vaikuntha’ or ‘Sri Purusottama Dham’


Jagannath Temple
:- Jagannath Temple is one of the most renowned as well as the biggest temples of Orissa. Established in the 12th century, the temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath (Lord Krishna), Lord of the Universe. The credit for laying the foundation of the Jagannath temple of Puri goes to Raja Ananta Varman Chodaganga Dev. on the coast of Bay of Bengal, and is greatly revered by the devotees following the Vaishnava traditions.
 
Ratnagiri :- Ratnagiri is a splendid Buddhist site that comes under the Jajpur district of Orissa. It is situated at a distance of approximately 100 km from Bhubaneswar and 70 km from Cuttack. The site, situated on a small hill, stands surrounded by rivers from all the sides. As you climb up to Ratnagiri, you will come across magnificent views of vast plains, full of lush greenery. Excavations were carried out at the site and they led to the unearthing of two large monasteries, one of them being Sri Ratnagiri Mahavihara Aryabhikshu Sangha.

Udaigiri & Khandagiri Caves
Some of the popular caves in Khandagiri include Akshay Ganga, Gupta Ganga, Shyam Kund and Radha Kund. One of the most interesting caves is the 24-Tirthankaras Cave. It contains the carvings of the twenty-four Apostles of Jainism, on the monolithic stones. There is another fascinating cave known as the ‘Ganesh Cave’. Udaygiri & Khandagiri caves are one of the famous tourist attractions near the Bhubaneshwar city of India today. 

Wildlife of Orissa
One of the greatest benefits of Orissa ‘s vast expanses of unspoilt natural landscape has been its ability to offer a protected yet natural habitat to the state’s incredible wildlife.There are many wildlife sancturies which are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna ,bird life reptiles and water creatures.Some of the most important experiments of wildlife conservation are taking place in these natural habitat, giving the tourists an excellent opportunity to see nature’s bounty,propagated .

Nandankanan : A short distance from the capital city, Bhubaneswar, the Nandankanan zoo lies in the splendid environs of the Chandaka forest, along the rippling waters of the Kanjia lake.It also contains a botanical garden and part of it has been declared as sanctuary. Famous for its white tiger


Similipal Tiger Reserve : Thick and green forests, extensive grassy lands and meadows, cloud kissing peaks, precipitous and sparkling waterfalls, meandering rivers, roaring tigers and trumpeting tuskers, fleeing deer and flying squirrels, talking myna and dancing peacocks et al make Similipal a dreamland of Nature in the wilderness and an irresistible destination.

Bhitarkanika Sanctuary : Located in the second largest mangrove forest in the country, the sanctuary has protected the estuarine crocodiles since 1975 . Located slightly further away is the coastal area of Gahirmatha, where the giant Pacific ridley sea turtles,
 
Main Fesitvals & Dances of Bhubaneswar

 

Rath Yatra :-  which is also known as the Chariot Festival, is one of the most prominent festivals of Orissa, which is celebrated in the holy city of Puri. ‘Rath Yatra’ has derived its name from the words ‘Rath’, meaning ‘Chariot’, and ‘Yatra’, meaning ‘Procession’. This festival is celebrated with gusto in almost every part of the country.

 

Dances of Orissa –

Images of dancers have been found on the walls of caves in Udayagiri hills that date back to 1st century. This shows that dances have been a part of Orissa since time unknown. Although it is said that the long tradition of dances came close to extinction during the days of Raj. Dances in modern Orissa are more of a modifications of their magnificent past. Orissa has some of the most captivating forms of Dances that have made it big outside the state

Odissi Dance - Magic of Graceful Movements

Oddisi dance is an art full of grace, poise and magic. Every step in Odissi dance is like poetry in motion. Odissi Dance is the traditional dance of Orissa and has its origin in temples. It was seen as a religious rite performed only by devdasis. Many huge and magnificent temples were built in the medieval era in Orissa. And these temples became the center for performing arts. Odissi Dance and its exponents till 17th century were considered a very respected lot. But under the rule of Raj, Odissi Dance along with many other dances of India, were brought to a standstill. The profession of dancing started being considered as a petty affair. This condition continued till Independence


Konark Dance Festival

Konark Music and Dance Festival is one of the most rocking festivities of Orissa, celebrated with much gusto and enthusiasm. It usually takes place in the month of December. The open-air auditorium of the Konark Sun temple serves as the venue of this wonderful festival. Konark Dance Festival is organized to promote the classical dances and music of India. It witnesses many exceptional performances by established performers as well as novices, who come here from the different parts of the country.

 

Konark- A World Heritage Site
Sand Dunes, a deserted beach and the Sun Temple. Quite clean and unpolluted the Konark Beach is perfect place to relax and shop for some souvenirs at the colourful, bustling stalls that line the beach. Further down across the sand dunes is miles of deserted beach, fringed with casuarina and palm trees. 

But the star attraction of Konark is undoubtedly the Sun Temple, built in the 13th century A.D. It is conceived as a Chariot carrying Surya, the Sun God, pulled by seven horses. The 24 intricately carved wheels that it stands on, symbolizes the division of time. Protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the sun temple is most impressive in the evenings, when it is illuminated between 6pm and 9pm.


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