Odisha is a beautiful destination to visit on your holidays or vacations. Whether you are looking for a short weekend trip or an extended week-long stay, Odisha has a lot to offer. From lakes and waterfalls and campsites amongst lush green forests to historical monuments and temples- Odisha has it all. So if you are planning a trip, here is a list of places to visit in Odisha, which can make your job easier.
Bhubaneswar is the capital of Odisha, and is a perfect blend of the modern and the traditional. This place is full of old temples with folklore and legend behind each of them. It is an ancient city replete with beautiful historic temples which attract pilgrims and tourists from all over the country. There are many sites that you can visit in Bhubaneswar, such as the famous Mukteswara Temple, the Lingaraj Temple, the Parsurameswar Temple, the Ananta Basudeva temple and many others. There are also many beautiful parks where you can spend your time, museums, a planetarium and a great zoo, if you are looking for a fun excursion in the city. All in all, your stay at Bhubaneswar will be pleasant and fulfilling, to say the least.
Puri is world famous as the home of Lord Jagannath.. But apart from the Jagannath temple, Puri is also home to the beautiful beach where you can spend hours and hours of time looking at the beautiful waves of and also splash in the water during the day. There are regular demonstrations of sand art at the beach. And you can enjoy some great sea food on the street stalls. The Rath Yatra held in Puri every year is a major event and brings lakhs and lakhs of devotees to visit Lord Jagannath on his chariot. Puri is definitely a place that you must visit, when you are in Odisha.
The Jagannath Temple in Puri
The Puri Sea Beach
The Konark Sun Temple, also known as the Black Pagoda, is located here. The famous Konark Wheel, which has become a symbol for Odisha’s prowess in art and sculpture, is a part of this magnificent architectural marvel.
Replete with beautiful carvings and stories, the Konark Sun Temple has many legends and mythological tales associated with it. Visiting here would be a great way to immerse yourself in the cultural and religious history of the place. Apart from the temple, Konark also houses the beautiful Chandrabhaga Beach, which is a wonder to behold, especially at night. En route from Puri to Konark, you can make various stops along the way on the marine drive at beach points such as at the Ramchandi Beach and the Bali Harchandi Beach.
About 15 kilometres away from the city of Berhampur is Gopalpur, a small beach town in Odisha. Gopalpur is the perfect beach retreat for you, especially if you are looking for some peace and calm with your family. The beach is one of the most relaxing beaches that India’s eastern coastline has to offer.
Unlike most beaches, the Gopalpur beach is quite deserted and free of crowds, which makes it the perfect place to relax. You can visit the lighthouse on the beach. You can find all sorts of snack items to eat near the beach and take long walks on the coast- it would be the perfect place for a weekend retreat.
The Chandipur beach is truly one of its kind. Chandipur is a secluded seaside village of the Balasore district on the coastline of Orissa. Chandipur is also locally known as Chandipur-on-sea. The unique specialty of this beach is the ebb tides that recede around 1 to 4 km during low tides and they tend to disappear rhythmically. The receding tides make for extremely fulfilling coastal treks. You can even take a car out to chase the receding water. The sunrise and sunset in Chandipur are extremely mesmerizing to watch and will leave a lasting impression on your mind.
Similipal National Park
The scenic and serene town of Similipal in Mayurbhanj is home to large forests and ecologically diverse areas. Similipal is home to one of the biggest bio diversity reserves of India, and is one of the most important breeding grounds for tigers in the world. There are cottage and camp accommodations available near the forest, nestled in the lap of green nature and full of cool breeze. You can go tiger spotting and see many other species of exotic flora and fauna as well. You can also, in your off time, visit the Mayurbhanj royal palace.
Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary:
The Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary is vast and spread across about 795.52 square kilometers. It leaves tourists and locals enchanted with its overwhelming beauty of lush green surroundings. The Mahanadi river flows through the place. The Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary is home to tigers, leopards, gaurs, simbal, spotted deers, four horned antelopes, sloths, gharial and many others. The Gharial Sanctuary undertakes the breeding of the Gharial to increase their numbers by providing the right atmosphere and treatment.
The Chilika Lake is one of the most famous tourist destinations. It is Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon with water spread ranging from 1165 sq km m the rainy season to 906 sq km in the dry season is nestled in the heart of the coastal Odisha.
Chilika is recognized as one of the most important wetlands in the world because it is home to a phenomenal variety of birds. This Lake offers visitors a spectacular display of these colourful birds of over 160 species between November and February. Chilika also houses the Satpada Island which is home to Irrawady dolphins. Tourists can take a tour to this island and go dolphin spotting while on the boat.
Udaygiri and Khandagiri caves:
Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves are partly are a mix of natural and manmade caves of archaeological, historical and religious importance, located near the city of Bhubaneswar in the Khordha district of Orissa. The caves are situated on two hills near the city, known as Udayagiri and Khandagiri.
These caves, located on both hills are very beautiful and ornately carved with teachings and inscriptions. It is believed that most of these caves were carved out to create residential blocks for Jain monks who lived in Odisha during the reign of King Kharavela. Udayagiri meaning Sunrise Hill, has 18 caves while Khandagiri has 15 caves.
Ratnagiri in Odisha is a place full of religious, cultural and historical significance. It is an important Buddhist heritage site, and was a major mahavihara (major Buddhist monastery). This place can be visited together with other Buddhist sites in the area such as Lalitgiri and Udayagiri.
You can visit the Ratnagiri fort, the museums, and the parks that are located in the vicinity.