- “The Lord of the Universe” is studded with hundreds of temples.
- The “Temple City” or the “Cathedral City” of India.
- Tribhubaneswar or 'Lord Lingaraj' is an important Hindu pilgrimage center.
- Hundreds of temples dot the landscape of the Old Town, which once boasted of more than 2000 temples.
- Ancient capital of the Kalinga Empire is today the modern capital of Orissa.
- Bhubaneswar makes an ideal tourist Destination.
- 11th century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, as Lingaraja is the culmination of Orissa style of temple architecture.
- The temple set in a walled compound is noted for its imposing 54 meters high spire, dominating the skyline of the town.
- The main sanctum surrounded by about 150 subsidiary shrines has a unique ‘Hari Hara Lingam’ half Shiva and half Vishnu.
- Unfortunately, they cannot be visited by Non-Hindus.
Raja Rani Temple:
- Beautiful 11th century shrine amidst a well laid out garden is graced by erotic carvings.
- Finest Orissan temple sculptures.
- This is related to the lovely Red-and-Gold sandstone used in its construction, a stone which is known locally as ‘Raja Rani’.
- Built around 650 A.D. in classical style is the city’s oldest surviving temple.
- Sculptural decoration occurs inside stone 'frames' which are vaguely horseshoe-shaped.
- Related to the chaitya arches of early Buddhist rock monasteries.
- Images of the different deities, illustrate the permeability of divinity in India.
- 10th century shrine regarded as the ‘Gem of Orissan architecture’ bridges the early.
- Later phases of the Kalinga School of architecture.
- Mukteswara's own stunningly beautiful gateway was strongly based on this earlier example.
- Temple built in 800 A.D. was used mainly for tantric worship, which centered on Shakti worship.
- A ‘four faced’ linga with unusual carvings is set in front of the entrance to the sanctum.
- First erotic sculptures known in Orissan art are found here.
- There is verity collection of Orissan handicrafts.
- A rich variety of Orissan handicrafts – stone sculpture, patta paintings, horn toys and silver filigree etc. are displayed here.
Orissa State Museum:
- Exhibits a fine collection of sculpture, coins, copper plates, stone inscriptions, armours, rare palm-leaf manuscripts, Bronze Age tools, natural history, geological objects, paintings, anthropological specimens and traditional folk and musical instruments etc.
- Near ‘Ekamara Kanan’ has a large collection of Cactii and is a worth visiting site.
FAIRS AND FESTIVALS:
- Shiva Ratri is associated with various traditions and customs.
- Devotees observe strict fast on this day and don’t consume anything including drop of water and many go on a diet of fruits and milk.
- Especially women who observe fast with a great religious feeling.
- Married women pray for the wellbeing of their husband while unmarried women pray for a husband like Lord Shiva who is regarded as the ideal husband.
- It happens generally month February / March.
- Birthday of Lord Rama is observed as Ramanavami on the ninth day of the light half of the month of Chaitra (March / April)
- Widely celebrated by the performances of Ram Leela (the sport of Rama) based on the famous epic Ramayana.
- Traditional fabrics especially kat fabrics.
- Handcrafted wooden items.
- Stone sculptures of Gods and Goddess.
- Historic site is located on the Puri – Konark highway 12 kms from Bhubaneswar city center.
- Across Dhauli hill on the banks of river Daya.
- 3rd century B.C. Ashokan Rock Edicts, on the foot of the hill indicate that the great ‘Kalinga War’ was fought here.
- Bloody war transformed emperor Ashoka, who renounced his blood thirsty campaign and embraced Buddhism.
- Buddhist Peace Pagoda (Shanti Stupa) was established on the opposite hill in the early seventies by the Japan Buddha Sangha and Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangha.
Khandagiri and Udaygiri Caves:
- 8 kms from Bhubaneswar.
- Rock-cut caves at the twin hills of Khandagiri and Udaygiri were the ancient Jain monasteries.
- One of the most important Orissan historical monuments.
- Caves dating back 2nd century B.C. were carved out by the first known Orissan ruler, Kharavela.
- As we approach the site, Khandagiri, with its 15 caves will be on the left, Udaygiri, with its 18 caves will be on the right.
- All of the caves are small, and follow the natural configurations of the 'living rock'.
- The spaces are filled with animal, human, divine personages and decorative details, showing at an early stage the love of the Odishan artist for richly elaborated scenes.
Atri Hot Spring:
- 42 kms from Bhubaneswar.
- Well known for the hot sulphur water spring and the temple of Lord Hatakeswar.
- Located in a village called Atri.
- The hot spring temperature is around 55 degree Celsius.
- Spring water is considered very pious and fulfills people wishes.
Nandan Kanan Zoo:
- Beautiful zoo 20 kms from Bhubaneswar city center.
- Carved out of the Chandaka forest is perhaps the finest in the country.
- Animals are kept in their natural habitat.
- A centrally located lake divides the Zoo from the Botanical Gardens.
- Migratory birds during winter time.
- White tiger safari with ropeway and toy train.
- Country’s largest lion safari park.
- 30 kms from Bhubaneswar.
- Cuttack is said to be founded by Nripati Kesari (920-935).
- One of the oldest towns in Orissa.
- It lies at the head of the Mahanadi delta and is virtually an island surrounded by the great river its tributary, the Kathajuri.
FAIRS AND FESTIVALS OF CUTTACK:
- Earliest Durga Puja was reportedly held in the Kazi Baza r area of the city in 1832 by both Odias and Bengalis.
- Images of the ten armed goddess are worshipped in the pandals erected specially for the Puja.
- After four days ceremony, these images are immersed in the river.
- It happens generally month of October / November.
- 94 kms from Bhubaneswar.
- Paradeep Port is the only Major Port in the State of Orissa.
- Fine beach resort.
Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri, and Udayagiri:
- Ratnagiri is 70 kms. Lalitgiri is 55 kms and Udayagiri is 60 kms. from Cuttack.
- Three hills have ruins of a remarkable Buddhist complex.
- Hieun-T’sang, the Chinese pilgrim found it to be the seat of a flourishing Buddhist University called “Puspagiti”.
- Extensive ruins of brick pagodas, sculptured stone portals.
- Esoteric Buddhist images have been excavated from here.