There are some places in the India that are special, and Orissa is definitely one of them. Filled with exquisite temples and extraordinary monuments, home to many thousands of prolific artists and craftsmen; and possessing beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, and natural landscape of often-enchanting beauty, Orissa is a unique and fascinating land that is, nevertheless, still largely undiscovered by tourists.
Attractive Tourist Places
The city of Puri is known for its historic immemorial, sanctorum, architectural magnificence, balanced climate and divine significance. Counted among the most sacred pilgrim centres for Hindus in India, the destination is a seat of Lord of Universe, Jagannath, as per testimony of Skanda Purana. Honoured with the famous Jagannath shrine, the spiritual city is also known as Jagannath Puri.
Udayagiri & Khandagiri Caves are partly natural and partly artificial caves of archaeological, historical and religious importance near the city of Bhubaneswar in Orissa, India. The caves are situated on two adjacent hills, Udayagiri and Khandagiri. They have a number of finely and ornately carved caves. Udayagiri means "Sunrise Hill" and has 18 caves while Khandagiri has 15 caves.
Konark is a small town in Puri district in the state of Orissa. Konark translates as ‘Essence of the Corners’. Konark is famous for the Sun Temple, a World Heritage Site, which was built in the 13th century. It is an ancient place which was once ruled by the Eastern Ganga Dynasty.
Lying on the embankment of Kanjia Lake, Nandankanan featuring a botanical garden, zoo and a sanctuary. The destination is well-known for the Nandankanan Sanctuary that provides shelter to white tigers. The reserve is also one of the initial captive-breeding centres for gharials. There are also varieties of freshwater fish and the reptile park featuring crocodiles, lizards, turtles and snakes.
Chilika Lake is another great destination to visit. This lake is Asia’s largest salt water lagoon. Situated near the Bay of Bengal, this lake is separated from the sea by only a small neck like piece of land. This is a favorite migratory spot for a numerous birds during winter.
Gopalpur, also known as Gopalpur-on-sea, is a beautiful and quiet beach destination situated in the Bay of Bengal in Orissa. As per folklore, the region got the name Gopalpur in the 18th century from the temple of Lord Gopala (Krishna) built near the sea shore. Gopalpur town has a historic past buzzing with maritime activities which can be dated to the period of Kalinga Dynasty.
Chandipur is a popular beach town in Orissa. It lies near the Bay of Bengal. It has an elevation of 3 m above sea level. The popular seafood, Horseshoe crab is also found on this beach towards Mirzapur. The speciality of this beach is that the water tides here recede from 1 to 5 km during the ebb, and return only when high tides return to the beach. This phenomenon is visible here twice a day after which, a trail of shells and driftwood are left behind.
Cuttack is a place of historical significance and is the second largest city in Orissa. Deriving its name from the word ‘Kataka’ which means ‘The Fort’, the city of Cuttack is believed to have developed around the ancient Barabati fort. Located at the apex of the Mahanadi river delta, Cuttack is surrounded by the Mahanadi and Kathojodi rivers. A pilgrimage centre, Cuttack has many sacred temples including, the Paramahansa Nath temple, Katak Chandi temple, Bhattarika temple, Dhabaleswar temple, the Panchamukhi Hanuman temple, the Gada Chandi temple and the Gurudwara Daatan Sahib.
Berhampur lies south of Chilika Lake, and has an agriculturally fertile land comprising dense forests. The city is popular as the ‘Silk City’, as it is the centre of the hand-woven Ikat silk. The cultural hall, Ganjam Kala Prakasam Hall is one of the oldest drama halls of India. The Thakurani Rath Yatra, Durga Puja, Gaja Laxmi Puja, Kalua Jatra and Manabasa Gurubar are some of the popular festivals of the city. The Maa Tara Tarini Hill Shrine also known as the Sthana Peetha is among the oldest pilgrimage place of mother goddess.
Jeypore is bounded by the Eastern Ghats and the Araku hills on three sides and Chattisgarh on the western side. Jeypore is an ancient town that reflects the history of Orissa in the form of temples and ancient forts. The natural resources available in the dense forests and granite deposits on the hills also contribute to the income. Apart from natural products, animal products and leather products are also available here. A major festival celebrated here is the Ghata Porbo, ‘Procession of the Goddess’.