Tourist Destinations in Odisha
Stretched over 500 km along the coastline of eastern India, Odisha caters to every Tourist's interest with her towering mountains, serene lakes, frolicking rivers, exotic beaches, world famous temples and dense wildlife reserves.
Odisha being a veritable museum of the sculptural and artistic heritage of India has attracted Tourists across the globe through ages. The magnificent Sun Temple at Konark, the Artistic temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri which is famous for its spectacular Rath Yatra festival apart from enumerous temples in Bhubaneswar. Go to the eastern part of the state, you get 482 km stretch of a gentle coastline of the Bay of Bengal, with lavish sea beaches like Puri, Chandipur, Gopalpur on Sea, Taalsaari and many more. On the western borders the lush green hills and mountains of the Eastern Ghats would mesmerize you through its winding hilly routes. The dense green shades of several Wildlife National Parks like Simlipal Tiger Reserve, Nandankanan Zoological Park, Baisipalli, Balukhand-Konark, Chandaka, Balimela, Debrigarh, Hadgarh, Bhitarkanika National Park, Karlapat, Lakhari Valley, Kondakameru, Satkosia and Sunabeda Tiger Reserves. Odisha is proud of her thirty three rivers flowing through the state, among which Mahanadi, Balasore and Baitarani are the ones with massive river beds. The largest salt water lake in Asia, Chilka is in Odisha where you can spend a weekend looking at the spectacular scenic beauty.
Travel TipsOdisha would welcome you through the year as there are too many climate variations because of its diverse landscapes and natural habitats. So once you choose the dates for the state, make sure you choose the destinations that suit the climatic condition at that time. For instance if you are planning for summer, it is better to visit the wildlife sanctuaries and the hill stations rather than the beaches and the temples.
How to ReachOdisha is a well connected state through Air, Railways and by National Highways.
The Biju Patnaik Airport at Bhubaneswar is the major airport in Orissa which is well-connected with the different cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Nagpur, Hyderabad and so on.
By train: The major railway junction of the state is its capital Bhubaneswar Railway station but it has several other railway stations as well like Cuttack, Jaleswar, Balasore where major Indian Trains like Rajdhani, Konarak Express, Falaknama, East Coast, Coromondal Express pass through.
By Road: The National Highway number 5, 6, 23, 42 and 43 creates a well-knit road network which are now maintaining an international standards.
ActivitiesOnce you land in Odisha, you would be struggling with time to chalk out your activities. Frankly speaking, it is not a state to be covered in a single vacation.
If you love hiking the hills would invite you dearly into its folds, if you are a Wildlife enthusiast, you would find the Wildlife Sanctuaries incomparable to many popular ones. There you can feel the essence of the dense, lush green forest if you can manage to book elephant rides or even the Jungle Jeeps.
The Temples and Monuments would take away the whole day, and if you are not smart with your plans, they might waste your day making you standing in the queue. So unless you are keen on performing a Puja on an auspicious day, it is better not to touch the temples on those days.
The Famous RathYatra takes place in Puri Jagannath Temple, where millions of people gather to see the grand festival during the month of August and you can be a part of it.
The Sea beaches are simply exotic and the best part to spend two to three days and enjoy the fun and frolic in the beaches. The shops on the beaches sell world famous textile products of Odisha, namely Ikkat and Katki and decorative items made of sea shells. They are available at quite reasonable price, which are ideal for gifting your loved ones or store them as memoirs of an unforgettable Odisha trip.
Timings & SeasonThough Odisha has an inviting climate throughout the year, the best time to visit the state is from October to March as in these months, the weather becomes clean and pleasant and you get to be comfortable with the temperature does not rise too high , rather you can enjoy the coziness of winter setting in and slowly paving the way for summer .
HistoryThe current name, Odisha which was earlier known as Orissa refers to a state parts were known by different names in different eras over the ages. The region was named as Kalinga, Utkala, Mahakantara, Udra, Orda and Oddiyana which was found mentioned in some of the Buddhist texts, from which some scholars might have coined the name as Odisha.
The history of Odisha goes way back to the Lower Paleolithic era, when Acheulian tools were found. We also get its names mentioned in the ancient texts like Maha Govinda Sutta Mahabharata, and some of the Puranas. In 261 BCE, the famous king Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty conquered this region fighting the severe Kalinga War, as the after effect of which Ashoka converted to Buddhism.