Orissa : Bhubaneswar, The Capital of Orissa


The capital of Orissa was shifted to Bhubaneswar from Cuttack in 1948. The one of the most important cities of Orissa is situated at a height of 45 meters. The health resort, Bhubaneswar, is situated at a distance of 37 km towards the southern side of Cuttack. .

Bhubaneswar exhibits numerous divine temples, built long back. On the other hand, important offices, residences, bus terminuses are also there. The railway track acts as a divider between the new and old Bhubaneswar.

The capital was the capital city of Kalinga Empire previously. The historic Kalinga war was held in Bhubaneswar battle ground. The excavation that had taken place at the opposite side of Dhouli, discovered Sisupal Garh which is more than 2000 years old. Avail a package tour of 1 day and visit the magnificent Konark surya temple and praiseworthy SriKhetra temple. The adjoining places had uncountable temples earlier but most of these are now in ruins. But more than 100 temples are still standing tall to demonstrate the very old but unique aesthetics.

The fascination of the Lingaraj temple, situated at a distance of 3.6 km from the railway station of Bhubaneswar, is unimaginable. The huge idol of the deity is a fusion of various renowned Hindu deities. The idol was formed on the granite rock which has a diameter of 2.5 meters. Shiva Ratri, Rath Yatra, Dol Yatra and Chandan Yatra are absorbing festivals which attract a lot of spiritual people.

The very old temples depict the Naga architectural style on their rocky walls. The Lingaraj is shielded by 127 feet tall and 7 and ½ feet wide wall. The 520*465 feet premise contains 108 temples. All the three entrances of the temple is only kept open for Hindu communities.

Same architectural style is visible on most of the temples of Bhubaneswar. Bhogmandap is the room where dedications to the deity are given, Natmandir is the dance auditorium for the dancers, Jagmohan is the balcony by which you can get into the temple, Srimandir is the residing place of the deity. Srimandir has a peak on top of it. The rejuvenation of Hindu religion whipping the Buddha religion is portrayed by the Lion which is stepping on an elephant.

300 feet tall and 60-75 feet wide Lingaraj is residing in the temple. The height of the SriMandir should be 161 feet according to the convention but the actual height is 162 feet. The first floor of Jagmohan is standing on top of two few pillars. Different idols are engraved on the outer surface of the temple. Kuber, Indra, Agni, Jam and Barun are the idols residing in the temple. The temple is well decked with flowers, leaves, and different deities of Hindu mythology.
Lingaraj temple is encircled with a chain of temples. Neighboring Shiva, Ganesh, Karthik, Parbati are really colossal. The architectural elegance on the carved walls looks awesome. The fine arts of Mukteswar and Parbati temples attract tourists. The temple of Chamunda is also worth watching.

Bindusarobar is situated at a distance of 700/800 feet towards the north of Lingaraj. 1400*1500 feet Bindusarobar is 15 feet deep. A bath in the sarobar can dismantle the sins you have committed. In winters, numerous endemic birds come to the sarobar to enjoy the cool weather. The new Botanical research centre is built around the Lake taking 200 hectors of lands around Bindusarabor. Rose and cactus gardens, made on the bank of the Lake, are appealing and striking.
The deity Vishnu is residing in the 60 feet tall Anant Vasudeb temple built on the eastern bank of the Lake. The architectural flair of the temple will also fascinate tourists. Arguably, Bhabadev Bhatta had built the temple and also had excavated the adjoining Sarobar. Some opine that he had only revamped the temple and the Sarobar.
The mango garden is not there anymore but the sweet water spring and Gourikunda spring are the imperative attractions of Bindusarobar or Amrakanan.

On the banks of Kedar-Gouri, there is a temple called Mukteshwar where the deity Shiva is residing. The architecture on the sedimentary rocks is impressive. The blend of Hindu, Buddha and Jain cultures are visible on the rocks. At the entrance there is a lotus which depicts the Buddha architectures. Different idols are carved on each and every petals of the lotus. A semi circular structure is formed on the two pillars of the temple. The amazing structure displays the mythological tales. The architectural excellences are the main enticements of the temple. Each and every idol of the temple had a unique specialty. The water of Marichi Kunda, placed at the eastern side of the temple, has a medicinal power that helps to heal the impotence. Sidheswar temple, located at the north-west side of the Mukteswar temple, was incomplete. But the deity, Ganesh, in the temple is notable.

Shiva is residing in Parashurameswar temple which is placed beneath the banyan tree, located at the opposite side of the Mukteswar temple. 13 meters tall temple, depicting Odyssey architectural panache, was built when the Hindu religion was revived. Shiva, Chamunda, Ganesh and many more deities are there in the temple. The walls of the temple depict the architectural fine arts. Different tales of Hindu mythology are exhibited on its walls.

Swarnajaleswar temple is situated at a distance of 50 meters towards the southern side of Parameswari temple. The nearby Kotitirtha pond is also attractive.

Devi Durga is residing on the lion in the 45 feet tall Kedar-Gouri temple. Gouri temple and Gourikunda are also there. Local people opine that the water of Dudhganga, located at the entrance of Kedareswar, has a curative power.
58 feet tall Raja-Rani temple looks really wonderful for its architectural panache. The temple is standing on the lap of the nature with its unmatched theology. A number of idols with their special structures are there in the temple. Ornamentations of each and every idol will definitely catch your eyes. Besides the idols of the temple, the supporting pillars of the temple are also adorned. Pyramid like structure of the temple has a peak at the flipside. Eight different Hindu deities are defending the temple, residing at the eight sides of the temple. Previously there was a Shiva temple but there was no idol in the temple.

Bhubaneswar will not let you down if you love to see the different flavors of various temples. Brahmeswari temple, another imperative attraction, about 1 km away from the Raja-Rani temple, depicts Khakhara architectural excellences. The awesome fine arts on the dancing idols are very attractive. Jagmohan, a part of the temple, resembles a lotus. The very old 3 meters high bhaskareswar lingam, placed at the opposite side of Bhahmeswari temple, is incomplete but worthy of mention. Watch the nearby Nataraj idol and Megheswar as well.

Sisupal garh, an ancient town, enclosed with a large wall, about 5 km towards the north-south of the city, also deserve a visit. Especially the historical significance of Sisupal garh is immense. Numerous items of Kushan dynasty were discovered here by excavation. Ardent temple lovers can also watch the circular shaped Yogini temple, located at a distance of 6 km from the city.

Orissa State Museum, in Kalpana square, displays an assortment of items which have an architectural elegance of Orissa. Numerous patent creations of tribal communities can also be seen here. Books of yester years are conserved here. Handicraft museum, Science museum, Planetarium, Rabindra Mandap, Ram mandir, ISCON, and Indira Gandhi Park are other sought after destinations of Bhubaneswar. Indira Gandhi had addressed the public for the last time in her life on a stage of Indira Gandhi Park. To recall that special moment, a commemorative of Indira Gandhi was built in the Park.

If you happen to visit the city in December, then definately visit the Toshali Handicrafts Fair, where you will find crafts showcased from all parts of India. Refer to our pictures below.

Tourists who are interested in tribal cultures should visit Tribal Research Centre.

Bhubaneswar, the temple city, is well known for its Lingaraj temple. But the Botanical Garden & Zoological garden, about 20 km from the Lingaraj temple, attracts a large number of holiday makers. Botanical garden and zoo are covering 426 hectors of area. The impressive natural locale of the place will free you from the worries of the mundane daily life. The lake is acting as a natural cordon between the zoo and forest. Yachting on the 134 acres Lake will be an amazing experience. More than 200 tigers, white crocodiles, white tigers, Iguana, Squirrels, Black Panther, Leopards and rhino are the denizens of Nandankanan. Lion Safari Park is another initiative taken by the Government by spending a hefty amount of  Rs.27,00,000. 15 lions are reserved in the Park which is covering a rambling area of 20 hectors. 3 km safari ride on the tract hidden by Sal trees will show you the life cycle of lions. The safari ride for watching the white tigers is organized in Nandankanan. This is going to be a rare experience for the tourists. 32 tigers amble around the 12 hectors lands. The home of cactus and the wild life museum are other sought after enticements of Nandankana. A lot of indigenous and migratory birds fly into the forests in winters.

If you have children alongside then you must enjoy the elephant ride. Toy train and rope way also offer a fascinating view of Nandankanan. Gaze at the vista of the Lake from ropeway.

Chandaka elephant sanctuary is another imperative attraction of Nandankanan.

The nearest railway station of Nandankanan is Barang, situated at a distance of 2 km from Nandankanan. Take a pleasing walk or hire a rickshaw to Nandankanar from the railway station. Frequent bus services are also available from Bhubaneswar to Nandankanan. To save time you can also avail a package tour from Bhubaneswar or Puri but then you have to miss a lot of special allurements of the place.

Tourist cottage and Forest Rest House are the places where you can stay at. But it is ideal to cover it staying at Bhubaneshwar. Try out hotel booking links at the bottom of the page to check hotels of Bhubaneshwar, and to do bookings online.

Chandaka-Dompara sanctuary, about 22 km from Nandankanan, will fascinate everyone with its well stretched territory of 193.39 square km. 48 Lakes, 78 elephants, leopards, and sambar are the ambling denizens. Nature lovers will take pleasure in viewing various colorful butterflies and endemic birds. Watch the inhabitants of the green sanctuary standing on top of the watch towers, located at Ambilo and Kumarkuti. Very old temples and forts are also there in Chandaka.

Forest Rest House amidst the green nature in Kumarkuthi is an option where you can stay overnight. But don’t forget to carry an identity proof along with you. Visit chandaka during October- March.

Khandagiri and Udaigiri: The holy Buddhist cave Udaigiri and the Jain cave Khandagiri are facing each other atop the Purbaghat mountain hills, situated on Kolkata- Chennai national high way. Khandagiri (Broken Hills) located at the left hand side and Udaigiri (Sunrise hills) situated at the right hand side of the high way, are the carved hills on Granite rocks. 113 feet tall hills are situated at a height of 123 feet. Even though the elevation of these hills is not that much but the attraction of the hills is in its dark caves. Arguably these caves were formed for the Buddha saints. Mahabir and Parshanath temples are there in Khandagiri. Another nearby Hindu temple was also built in 1970.

Sculptures of human beings and animals are engraved on the walls of the Jain monasteries of Khandagiri. The top most position of Khandagiri offers a panoramic view of the airport, Lingaraj and Dhouli. It is better to avoid the monkeys which jump around the place. A week long congregation for the saints is organized here during January.

Walk through the stairways of Udaigiri and you will hit Swargapuri monastery. The carved elephant idol on the wall is an old statuette. The adjoining Patalpuri Gumpha (monastery) is also very pretty.
 49*24 feet tall two storied Rani (queen) Gumpha is the largest of its kind. Enjoy the architectural flair of the Rani Gumpha. An elephant, monkey, fight, and historical tales are engraved on the wall. The Gumpha is ornamented with the sculptures of a symbolic snake and a lotus. Fine arts of Gumpha-2 are also very interesting and absorbing.
The uncomplicated looks of Hasty (elephant) Gumpha have an ancient book which is the forte of this Gumpha. The history of this book is unknown though. Jambesvara Gumpha, Bagh (tiger) Gumpha, Sarpa (snake) Gumpha, Dhanaghara Gumpha and many more Jain monasteries can be observed on the way to Khandagiri from Udaigiri.
Khandagiri was built as a residence for Jain saints. Gumpha 1 is protected with two guards. A sukhpakhi (a bird) is imprinted on the main door. Gumpha 2 is a big monastery. Stairways will take you to Gumpha 3 from Gumpha 2. The two storied Gumpha 3 is located on top of Gumpha 2. The carved idols and animals on the walls of Gumpha 3 are really impressive. A crack of Gumpha 5 had divided the hills and on that note the hills are named as Khandagiri. Gumpha 4 is a very simple monastery. Two small holes placed in Gumpha 8 have 12 elephant idols. A praying idol of the king Kharbela is located in the Gumpha 9 but the impressive architecture of the Gumpha is in ruins now. Aesthetics of the Gumpha 10 will surely catch your eyes. A number of historical tales are imprinted on the walls of the Gumpha. The view of the astonishing natural surrounds from the pinnacle of Chaitya hall will surely impress you. But Gumpha 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 are destroyed now. Parshanath and Mahabir Jain temples are the other coveted attractions of Khandagiri. These temples can be accessed from Gumpha 10 and Gumpha 5. The white marbled idol was established in 1930. The whole tour of Khandagiri and Udaigiri can be completed within one hour. The road to Udaigiri and Khandagiri is hidden in the green environs. Udaigiri has 44 and Khandagiri has 19 gumphas. You need a lot of patience and time to watch each and every Gumpha.

You can hire a car or you can also avail a package tour to Udaigiri and Khandagiri.

Dhauli: Dhouli pahar or Dhauli hills, about 8 km from Bhubaneswar, had witnessed the well known goriest and historic battle between the king Ashoka and Kalinga. Dhauli is situated at a distance of 3 km from Dhaulichak. The war had changed the life of many people around. The emperor Ashoka took a lesson from the morose and resentments of the battle and promised to leave weapons for ever on an empathetic ground. He started to spread love. The tale of Ashoka is still beaming on a 5*3 meters rocky slate here. The peace pagoda on the hilltop, built by the Japan and Kalinga sangha, looks like a crown. A monastery was also built on Dhauli hills as a memorial of Ashoka. 4 different looking Buddha idols are there in the monastery.

Another old temple of Dhabaleshwar Shiva attracts tourists from different parts of Orissa for its spirituality. Look at the red stream of the Daya River on the lower valley from the premise of the temple.

Hirapur, about 12 km from the city, is an impressive but small temple, built with grey colored chlorite stones.  Choushat Jougini is the deity residing in the temple. An excavation had revealed the existence of the Hirapur temple and its deity.

You can stay overnight at Panthanivas.

Pipli: Pipili is located at a distance of 40 km from Puri and 20 km towards the south of Bhubaneswar. The aesthetics of appliqué architectures using myriad of colors are the specialty of the neighboring buildings. The wonderful looking homes and shops, built in rows, look remarkable. Furniture of the deity Jagannath, umbrella, variety of bags and various show pieces are the items which you can buy for your home. Appliqués of Pipli are also sold in the markets of Puri.

Atri: Atri, about 40 km from the city, is known in the vicinity for the hot spring. The temperature of the spring is 55 degree Celsius due to the presence of sulfurs in the water. The water of the hot springs has a power to heal skin diseases. Temple lovers will love the divinity of Hatakeswar temple.
Panthasal of OTDC is a hotel where you can stay for a night in Atri.  

How to reach: Bhubaneswar is well connected to Kolkata by road and by railways. A number of express trains and passenger trains are going to Bhubaneswar from Howrah and Sealdah Railway Station, Kolkata. Puri, another important city of Orissa, can also be accessed by few trains from Kolkata.

Where to stay: a lot of hotels are there to provide quality services to the tourists. Hotel Konark, Hotel Sishmo, Panthanivas, Hotel Upasana, Hotel Rajdhani, Hotel Nataraj, Hotel Swagat Inn, Hotel Prachi, Hotel Anarkali and Hotel Grand Central are some of the noteworthy hotels where you can stay overnight. Check our hotel booking links for photos, rates, options and online bookings.

Bird in Nandankanan      Animal at Nandankanan     Crocodile at Nandankanan

      Bird at Nandankanan                         Animal at Nandankanan                       Crocodile at Nandankanan



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