Orissa Tourist Places
Top 13 Orissa (Odisha) Tourist Places
Orissa is situated in the eastern part of India. The place is very famous for its ancient and rich history. It is surrounded by Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal. Orissa tourist places are mainly famous for their ancient temples and monuments. The best part is you will get the largest lion safari of India, in this state and also the White Tiger Safari which is not present in the whole world but yes you will get it in Orissa. The main classical dance of this state is just mind-blowing. The festivals, which are celebrated here are internationally famous. The state is very rich in mineral resources like copper, tin, bauxite, lead, chromite, gemstones, dolomite, manganese ore, nickel ore, limestone, steatite, and many others. There is the temple named Jagnath temple, which is having one of the largest kitchens in the world. It is also known as the temple city of India. “Orissa tourism” will be the best decision for your holidays. The fourth largest dam of the world that is Hirakund dam, is situated here. There you can get to see the rocks which are around 3 billion years old. The state is having the largest saltwater lake, in the world. Places to visit in Orissa are:
Bhubaneswar is the capital of Orissa and is the largest city of this state. The name Bhubaneswar was derived from the name Tribhubaneswar, which means Lord Shiva. It is one of the beautiful Orissa tourist places, which nobody should miss. This new city, which we see today was established in 1948. The city is 2,000 years old. In the ancient time, it was the capital of Kalinga. One of the temple cities of Orissa. Many temples of this city are designed in the German architectural style, but rather than that many other designs were adopted. It is the metropolitan city of this state. It is the best site of Orissa tourism. This city is mainly known by many names like Ekamra, Toshiba, Kalinga Nagar, Mandira Malini Nagar, and many others names. If you want to know about Orissa, then Bhunneswar is having a state museum, from where you can explore yourself. Places to visit in Bhubaneswar are:
- Lingaraja Temple
- Parasurameswara Temple
- Mukteswar Temple
- Dhauli Hill
- Udayagiri and Khandgiri Caves
- Nandankanan Zoological Park
- Ananta Vasudeva Temple
- Odisha State Museum
- Astasambhu Siva Temples
- Ram Mandir
- Brahmeshwar Temple
- Rajarani Temple
- ISKCON Temple
Puri is situated in the eastern part of Orissa, around the Bay of Bengal. If you want to visit the spiritual or religious “tourist places of Orissa”, then it is the best one. It is one of the important spiritual places, according to the Char Dham yatra of India. The very famous temple Jagannatha temple is situated there. There are many facts, which everybody should know about this temple. The parsadam of this temple is having a large mystery, which can only be known if you visit this place. This city is having many beaches, temples and also the beautiful tradition & culture, which can be enjoyed there. The handicraft of Puri is very awesome like beautiful things made with shells, many different types of bells, various types of patchwork, etc. As it is the holy place of India, so many spiritual tourists around millions of people visit this place every year. Different types of food can be tasted there. Places to visit in Puri are:
- Jagannath Temple
- Puri Beach
- Gundicha Ghar Temple
- Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary
- Chilika Lake
- Sakshi Gopal Temple
- Atharnala Bridge
- Markandeswara Temple
- Chandrabhaga Beach
The word Jeypore means ‘the city of victory’. It is the second largest city of Orissa. It is a very famous Orissa tourist places, it has everything to offer you. It is an ancient town of this state. The very famous dynasty, named as Dev Dynasty, had ruled in this town. The town has many hills all around it. This town is located at a height of 2,165ft. above sea level. There are many ancient temples and forts, which will tell you about the various architectural designs and also the history of Orissa. Many breathtaking scenic views can be seen there. Jeypore is the cultural and traditional town of this state. It is the best places to visit in Orissa, especially for history lovers. Some tourist spots to see in Jeypore are:
- Kolab Botanical Garden, Jeypore
- Raja Mahal
- Gupteshwar Caves
Cuttack is known as the ‘Silver City of India’ or ‘the Millennium city of India’, because it is very famous in the filigree work of silver. As, it is also having one of the oldest cricket grounds of India. It is the cultural capital of Orissa, as there are many festivals celebrated in one year. Cuttack is one of the well-known Orissa tourist places. Earlier is was known as Katak, which means the fort. This city of Orissa is around 1000 years old. As, it was founded by Keshari Dynasty in 989 A.D. Many kings ruled this town like Keshari Dynasty, Mughals, Afghans, and many others. Cuttack is the business hub of Orissa. It is situated at a height of 35 meters, from above sea level. It is one of the famous tourist places of Orissa. It is having the high court of this state, which is mainly designed in Indo-European style. The street food of this town is just amazing. Places to visit in Cuttack are:
- Barabati Fort
- Kadam Rasool Mosque
- Netaji Birth Place Museum
- Kataka Chandi Temple
- Stone Revetment
- Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary
Paradeep is the oldest port of Orissa and also one of the largest eastern ports of India. This port was founded by Raghavendra. Many things are transmitted from this port, but mainly coal and iron ore are dispatched from here. It is one of the most beautiful towns of Orissa. The whole town is mainly covered with dense forest and beaches all around it. This is the best Orissa tourist places, especially for couples. This town is not very crowded and anyone can come and relax. Places to visit in Paradeep are:
- Paradeep Port
- Gahirmatha Beach
- Jhankad Temple
- Balaramjew Temple
- Bhitarkanika Natinal Park
- Light House
Jajpur is the best historical pilgrimage site of Orissa. This place was established by the Komvanshi King in the 10th century, who was named as Jajati Keshari. One of the important tourist places in Orissa. Before some time, it was part of Cuttack, but in 1993, it became a separate district. In ancient times, it was the capital of the Kalinga kingdom. There are many monuments and ancient temples, which were designed in beautiful architectural designs. Places to visit in jajpur are:
- Dasaswamedha Ghat
- Jagannath Temple
- Gokarneswar Temple
Rourkela is situated in the northern part of Orissa. It is one of the largest towns of this state. Rourkela is also known as the steel city of Orissa, as it is having one of the largest steel plants of India. It is an important place of Orissa, in the case of industries, also known as the commercial capital of this state. Don’t miss these Orissa tourist places, especially, the natural wonders of this town, which will just shake you. Many types of tasty cuisines, will be there. The special Rasagullas, of this town are very famous. Places to visit in Rourkella are:
- Khandadhar Falls
- Vedavyas Temple
- Rani Sati Temple
- Vaishno Devi Temple
- Hanuman Vatika
- Badaghagra Falls
- Biju Patnaik Hockey Stadium
Sambalpur is situated in the eastern part of Orissa, at the banks of river Mahandi. It was founded by Raja Balaram Dev, in 1528. It is one the important gem of Orissa tourism. The ancient name of this town is Hirakhand. One of the ancient city of Orissa. Earlier this city was the main diamond hub. In the international market is famous for its tie and dye art. In the terms of textiles also it is holding a good market share. The people visiting this place, especially the foreigners love the craftwork and paintings of Sambalpur. Places to visit in Sambalpur are:
- Samaleswari Temple
- Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary
- Huma Temple
- Maa Ghanteswari Temple
- Pradhan Path Falls
- Hirakud Dam
- Leaning Temple of Huma
Simlipal National Park:
Simlipal National Park, a tiger reserve and biosphere reserve, is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. The park is home to Royal Bengal tigers, elephants, and numerous bird species. Its dense forests and cascading waterfalls create a captivating natural setting.
Chandipur Beach is a unique destination where the sea recedes up to 5 kilometers during low tide, revealing a vast stretch of shallow waters and mesmerizing seabed. Visitors can stroll on the beach, collecting seashells and witnessing the enchanting play of nature’s tides.
Konark is a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its architectural masterpiece, the Sun Temple. This 13th-century temple is shaped like a colossal chariot, adorned with intricate stone carvings depicting mythical creatures, dancers, and deities. The temple is dedicated to the Sun God and is a significant pilgrimage site for Hindus. Visitors can explore the temple’s stunning architecture and learn about the rich history and legends associated with it. The nearby Chandrabhaga Beach provides a tranquil retreat with its golden sands and the annual Chandrabhaga Mela, a vibrant festival celebrated with enthusiasm.
Dhauli, a historical site near Bhubaneswar, holds immense significance in Buddhist history. It is the place where Emperor Ashoka embraced Buddhism after the Kalinga War. The Dhauli Shanti Stupa, a white peace pagoda, stands as a symbol of peace and tranquility. The site also houses ancient rock edicts and sculptures, providing glimpses into the ancient Mauryan empire. Visitors can admire the serene surroundings and enjoy panoramic views of the sprawling countryside from the hilltop. Dhauli offers a serene and reflective atmosphere, inviting visitors to explore the historical and spiritual aspects of the region.
Chilika Lake, the largest saltwater lake in Asia, is a paradise for nature lovers and birdwatchers. The lake is a haven for migratory birds, including flamingos, pelicans, and herons, making it a designated bird sanctuary. Visitors can take boat rides to explore the lake’s enchanting beauty, visit the charming Kalijai Island, and spot dolphins in their natural habitat. The Nalabana Island, a designated wildlife sanctuary, is an important nesting ground for various bird species. Chilika Lake offers a serene escape with its breathtaking landscapes, lush green islands, and the chance to witness the vibrant ecosystem thriving in harmony.
How to reach Orissa
To reach Odisha (formerly known as Orissa), you have multiple transportation options depending on your location and preferences:
- Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar is the major airport in Odisha, offering both domestic and international flights. It is well connected to major cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru.
- Jharsuguda Airport and Veer Surendra Sai Airport in Rourkela are two other airports in Odisha, mainly catering to domestic flights.
- Odisha has an extensive railway network, and major cities like Bhubaneswar, Puri, Cuttack, and Rourkela are well-connected by trains. Bhubaneswar is the major railway junction in the state.
- You can check the Indian Railways website or app for train schedules, availability, and ticket bookings.
- Odisha is well-connected by a network of national and state highways. You can reach Odisha by road from neighboring states like West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh.
- Private buses, state transport buses, and taxis are available for intercity and intracity travel within Odisha.
- Odisha has a coastline along the Bay of Bengal, and ports like Paradip and Dhamra serve as entry points for cargo and passenger ships.
- Cruise liners occasionally visit ports in Odisha, providing an alternative way to reach the state.
Local Transportation: Once you reach Odisha, you can rely on various modes of local transportation, such as taxis, auto-rickshaws, cycle-rickshaws, and buses, to travel within cities and towns. In some tourist destinations, you can also rent bicycles or hire guides for sightseeing.
It is advisable to check the latest travel advisories, confirm transportation options, and plan your journey in advance to ensure a smooth and convenient trip to Odisha.
Where to Stay
When visiting Odisha, you have a range of accommodation options to choose from, catering to various budgets and preferences. Here are some popular choices:
- Hotels: Odisha has a wide array of hotels, ranging from luxury five-star hotels to budget-friendly options. Major cities like Bhubaneswar, Puri, and Cuttack offer a variety of hotel choices, including renowned international hotel chains and boutique hotels. These hotels provide comfortable rooms, amenities like restaurants, swimming pools, and spa facilities, ensuring a pleasant stay.
- Resorts: Along the coastline and in scenic locations, you’ll find resorts offering a blend of luxury and natural beauty. Puri, Konark, and Chilika Lake are known for their beachfront resorts, while Simlipal National Park and other forested areas offer eco-resorts and jungle lodges, providing a unique experience amidst nature.
- Guesthouses and Homestays: For a more intimate and local experience, consider staying in guesthouses or homestays. These accommodations allow you to interact with locals, experience their culture, and get personalized attention. They are often found in smaller towns and rural areas, providing a cozy and authentic atmosphere.
- Heritage Hotels: Odisha is known for its rich cultural heritage, and you can find heritage hotels in cities like Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. These hotels are usually renovated palaces, havelis, or historical buildings, offering a glimpse into the region’s past while providing comfortable accommodation.
- Budget Accommodations: If you’re traveling on a tight budget, there are numerous budget hotels, lodges, and guesthouses available in various cities and towns across Odisha. These options provide affordable rates without compromising on basic amenities.
When choosing accommodation, consider factors such as location, proximity to tourist attractions, safety, reviews, and the specific requirements of your trip. It is advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons or during festivals, to ensure availability. Online travel websites, hotel booking platforms, and official hotel websites are reliable sources for finding and booking accommodations in Odisha.
Things to Know before you visit
Before visiting Odisha, here are some important things to know:
- Weather: Odisha experiences a tropical climate. The summer months (March to May) can be hot and humid, while the winter months (October to February) are pleasant with cooler temperatures. The monsoon season (June to September) brings heavy rainfall. Check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly.
- Cultural Sensitivity: Odisha has a rich cultural heritage, and it is important to respect local customs and traditions. When visiting temples or religious sites, dress modestly and follow any specific guidelines provided. It is advisable to remove footwear before entering temple premises and seek permission before taking photographs of people.
- Language: The official language of Odisha is Odia. However, Hindi and English are also widely understood, especially in tourist areas and cities. Learning a few basic phrases in Odia can be helpful and appreciated by the locals.
- Cuisine: Odisha offers a delectable cuisine influenced by its coastal location and rich culinary traditions. Don’t miss out on trying local delicacies like Chhena Poda (a sweet made from cottage cheese), Dalma (a lentil-based dish), Machha Besara (fish curry), and Puri-Aloo (fried bread with potato curry). Seafood lovers will find a variety of fresh and flavorful options along the coast.
- Transportation: Odisha has a well-connected transportation network. It is advisable to plan your transportation in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. Local transportation options include taxis, auto-rickshaws, and buses. Hiring a local guide can enhance your travel experience and provide insights into the region.
- Health and Safety: It is always recommended to carry necessary medications, insect repellent, and stay hydrated. Drink bottled or purified water and consume food from hygienic establishments. Take precautions against mosquito bites, especially in areas with a risk of mosquito-borne diseases. It is also advisable to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies.
- Currency and ATMs: The currency used in India is the Indian Rupee (INR). ATMs are widely available in cities and towns. It is advisable to carry sufficient cash, especially when visiting remote areas where ATM access may be limited.
- Travel Permits: Some tribal areas in Odisha may require special permits for entry. If you plan to visit these areas, check the permit requirements in advance and obtain them from the appropriate authorities.
- Festivals and Events: Odisha celebrates a number of vibrant festivals throughout the year. If you want to witness specific festivals like Rath Yatra or Konark Dance Festival, plan your visit accordingly and check the festival dates in advance.
- Travel Advisory: Before your trip, it is advisable to check travel advisories, follow government guidelines, and stay updated on any recent developments or restrictions that may affect your travel plans.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can have a memorable and enjoyable visit to Odisha, exploring its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality.
Certainly! Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about visiting Odisha:
Q: What is the best time to visit Odisha?
A: The winter months from October to February are generally considered the best time to visit Odisha when the weather is pleasant and suitable for exploring tourist attractions. However, Odisha can be visited throughout the year, with the monsoon season (June to September) offering lush green landscapes and the possibility of witnessing festivals like Rath Yatra in Puri.
Q: What are the popular festivals celebrated in Odisha?
A: Odisha is known for its vibrant festivals. The Rath Yatra in Puri, where deities are carried in grand chariots, is one of the most famous festivals. Other notable festivals include Durga Puja, Diwali, Makar Sankranti, Konark Dance Festival, and Raja Parba, a celebration of womanhood and fertility.
Q: Is it safe to travel in Odisha?
A: Yes, Odisha is generally a safe place for travelers. However, it is advisable to take common safety precautions, such as being aware of your surroundings, keeping your belongings secure, and following any specific guidelines or advisories provided by the local authorities.
Q: What are the popular wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Odisha?
A: Odisha is home to several wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. Some popular ones include Simlipal National Park, Bhitarkanika National Park, Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary, Nandankanan Zoological Park, and Satkosia Tiger Reserve. These offer opportunities to spot a variety of wildlife, including tigers, elephants, crocodiles, and numerous bird species.
Q: Are there any restrictions for visiting temples in Odisha?
A: Temples in Odisha have certain customs and rules that visitors are expected to follow. It is advisable to dress modestly and remove footwear before entering temple premises. Some temples may have specific dress codes, so it is good to be aware of these beforehand. Taking photographs may also be restricted in certain areas of the temples.
Q: What are some famous handicrafts and handloom products of Odisha?
A: Odisha is renowned for its exquisite handicrafts and handloom products. Some popular ones include Pattachitra (traditional painting on cloth), Sambalpuri and Bomkai sarees, silver filigree work, stone carvings, Dhokra metal craft, and applique work. These traditional crafts make for unique souvenirs and gifts.
Q: How can I explore the tribal culture of Odisha?
A: Odisha is home to a rich tribal heritage. To explore tribal culture, you can visit tribal villages in regions like Koraput, Rayagada, and Mayurbhanj. Participating in tribal festivals, interacting with locals, and observing their traditional art forms, music, and dance can provide insights into their way of life.
These are just a few commonly asked questions about visiting Odisha. Feel free to ask if you have any specific queries or need further information!