Popular Tourist Places to visit in Orissa
Jagannath Temple, Puri
The Jagannath Temple is a world famous sacred Hindu temple and an important pilgrimage destination dedicated to Lord Vishnu. .Jagannath means Lord of the Universe. Puri is the abode of the Lord Vishnu on earth. The temple has three deities Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra. Jagananth temple is also world famous for its ‘Rath (Chariot) Yatra’ It has the largest kitchen in the world where food for 1,00,000 people is prepared on any festive day. Puri is among the four holy dhamas of India i.e. Puri, Dwaraka, Badrinath, and Rameshwaram, and 60 km away from the capital city of Bhubaneswar.
Konark Sun Temple
Magnificent Konark Temple, dedicated to Lord Sun, is a world famous Sun temple situated at Konark, Odisha. It has been declared as world heritage site by UNESCO. This stunning architectural monument, also known as the Black Pagoda, was built by the king Narasimhadeva of the Ganga Dynasty in the thirteenth century. It is considered the best structure created by of Kalinga architecture. The temple was conceived as a gigantic shape of twelve pairs wheels chariot of Sun God pulled by seven pairs of horses. The major part of the temple is in ruin, and what people visit is just a portion of the temple which gives you the exact idea how huge it would be.
Lingaraj is another name of Lord Shiva. Lingaraj temple is the largest temple in the city of the temples, Bhubaneswar. It is considered another outstanding specimen of the Orissa style of temple building. Visited by large numbers of pilgrims and tourists, this enormous temple is spread over the spacious courtyard of 250000 square feet boundary by fortified walls, and its skyline tower rising up to 180 feet.
Rajarani temple, also known locally as love temple, is 11th-century Hindu temple in the city of Bhubaneswar. However, it is said that it names comes from the red and gold sandstone, locally known as rajarani, used in the construction. Comparatively small in size, set in the open paddy fields, temple is surrounded by serene scenic beauty.
Gupteswar Temple is a cave temple on Kolab river, some 55 km away from Koraput district. Gupteswar means hidden, as this temple was hidden for a very long time and finally located by a hunter. However, its history goes back to the Ramayana age when Lord Rama first discovered this temple.
Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves
Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves are one of the famous tourist attractions of Orissa. In the vicinity of Bhubaneswar town, about six km west of Bhubaneswar, the carved caves are situated on two adjacent twin hills, Udayagiri and Khandagiri. It is believed that these caves were carved as abode for Jain monks. Udayagiri has 18 caves while Khandagiri has 15 caves. These caves are a brilliant example of rock-cut architecture of ancient Orissa.
Nandankanan zoological park
Established in 1960, Nandankanan zoological park and botanical garden is spread in 400 hectare. Near to capital city of Bhubaneswar and amidst the Chandaka Forest, Nandankanan Wildlife Sanctury is a real wildlife wonder. Because of the immense popularity of this park among tourists, it is estimated that more than 2.5 Million people visit Nandankanan every year.
Bhitarkanika National Park
Bhitarkanika National Park is one of the very impressive wild life sanctuaries in the Asia famous for its white crocodiles. Home to a lot many endangered reptiles such as salt-water crocodiles, white crocodiles, king cobra, and python; this national park is located in the Kendrapara District of Odisha.
Simlipal National Park
Simlipal is primarily a tiger and elephant reserve situated in the Mayurbhanj district. Its name come from the Semul or red silk cotton trees which is in abundance in the locality. It also boast of the beautiful and famous waterfalls Joranda and Barehipani. Covering more than 2270 square km, it is the biggest reserve forest block in India.
Satkosia Tiger Reserve
Satkosia is another tiger reserve.
Dhauli is situated at the banks of river Daya, 8 km south of Bhubaneswar. Dhauli Hill is presumed to be the place of Kalinga War, after which Emperor Ashoka renounce the path of violence and turned to Buddhism and used rock edicts to publicize his views on humanity. Visitors can experience these major Edicts of Ashoka engraved on a mass of rock at Dhauli Hill.
Puri beach is another very popular tourist and religious attraction of the city of Lord Jagannath. Devotees across the world come to this pilgrimage to take a dip to purify their body and soul. Every year famous annual beach festival is held in the month of November, and beach lovers across the world flock here to celebrate it. With fine white sand, famous sand art, roar of waves from the Bay of Bengal, Puri is an ideal holiday place for holiday lovers.
Chilka lake is the Asia’s largest brackish water coastal lagoon on the east coast of India. Covering an area of more than 1,100 square km, it is spread over the Puri, Khurda, and Ganjam districts. It is the second largest lagoon in the world. Home to a number of threatened species and winter migratory birds, it is a great specimen of ecosystem.
The longest dam in India, Hirakud dam is built across the Mahanadi River. This dam is famous as one of the first major multi-purpose river valley project post-independence. Dam itself is 4.8 km long, and behind the dam is 55 km long Hirakud Reservoir. Construction started in 1946 and it was formally inaugurated in 1957.
On river Kolab, the Kolab dam is a major resource of Hydro Electricity using the potential of river Kolab. It also has a beautiful botanical garden which is a common picnic spot and an ideal place for outing.
Daringibadi Hill Station
Daringibadi hill station is a gorgeous scenic gift to Orissa from Mother Nature. That is why it is also known as “Kashmir of Odisha” or “Heaven of Odisha”. Situated at a height of 915 meter in Kandhmal district, it is an ideal summer resort. The place is full of eye pleasing natural bounties such as pine forests, coffee gardens, beautiful valleys etc.
Ratnagiri Excavated Site
Ratnagiri is a famous Buddhist monastery site in Jajpur district of Odisha. Here, one can experience the paramount Buddhist sculptures. Major tourist attractions of Dhaulagiri, Lalitgiri, and Udayagiri are also around the Ratnagiri.
Waterfalls in Orissa
Phurli Jharan Waterfall