Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha, is known for its temples. Out of the hundred shrines, chief is the famous Lingaraja Temple. The famed Odisha style of architecture flourished from 8th to 13th centuries in and around Bhubaneswar and Puri which is also famous excursion site from the former. In spite of its newfound attractiveness as a modern metropolis, the sacred city of Bhubaneswar remains steeped in history and has an array of attractions. The world renowned Konark Sun Temple is an hour's drive away from Bhubaneswar.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Lingaraj Temple is the finest example of Odishan style of architecture. Built by King Jajati Keshari in 10th century and completed by King Lalatendu Keshari in 11th century, this wonderful monument, with its 54m high shikhara (spire), dominates the skyline of Bhubaneswar. The temple is built in a series of four halls- a pillared hall (Jagmohan), a dancing hall (Natya Mandap), a hall of offerings (Bhoga Mandap) and a sanctuary (dual). The temple enclosure is filled with many smaller shrines, built on the pattern of the great temple. The temple is off limits to the non-Hindus.
Set in scenic surroundings, the wonderful Rajarani Temple is a prime attraction in Bhubaneswar.
Hailed as the "Gem of Odishan Architecture," the Mukteshwar Temple enshrines lingam. Built in 10th century AD, it is known for the stone arch and beautifully carved sculptures depicting stories from Panchatantra.
Dedicated to the Goddess Chamunda (Kapali), this architecturally beautiful shrine was built in 8th century A.D. Considered to be a centre of tantricism, its architecture is unlike the other Odishan temples and resembles a Bhuddist chaitya.
Located adjacent to the Mukteswar Temple, the beautifully decorated Parsurameswar Temple came into being in the 7th century A.D. the shrine is dedicated to Shiva.
Ananta- Vasudeva Temple, Brahmeshwar Temple, Svarnajalewara Temple, Iskcon Temple and Satsang Mandir are other famous temples in Bhubaneswar.
The twin hills of Kumarigiri known as Khandagiri and Udaigiri are the archaeological sites which contain exquisitely carved caves excavated for the Jaina monks in the first century B.C. these caves were commissioned by Kharavela who professed and embraced Jainism. The most famous of the caves are Hathigumpha and Ranigumpha.
The greatest Maurya Ashoka after seeing the horrors of Kalinga war changed his mind and the world saw him transform into a great patron of Buddhism. Dhauli is famous for the Ashokan rock edict, inscribed on rocks.
Located 2 km south-east of Bhubaneswar, the excavated ancient fortified city of Sisupalgarh is an important archaeological site. A visit to Sisupalgarh is a sojourn into the past. The fort is situated about 5 km from the Bhubaneswar railway station and 10 km from the Bhubaneswar airport. It was part of the capital of Kharavela.
Located in the centre of Bhubaneswar, the museum, with an interesting collection of copper plates, coins, stone inscriptions, is worth a visit. The museum remains closed on Mondays and Government holidays. Located at Acharya Vihar Square on National Highway 5, Regional Museum of Natural History, an Eastern regional centre of the National Museum of Natural History, is another interesting place to visit. It remains closed on Mondays.
Located at CRP square, the Tribal Research Museum is an invaluable introduction to the culture, art, lifestyle of the tribal groups of Odisha. If you're interested in the indigenous tribal cultures of Odisha, this museum should be your stop in the state.
Situated on the Sachivalaya Marg in Acharya Vihar, the Planetarium has regular astronomical shows in Odiya and English. It can be visited for a celestial trip.
Occupying an area of 990 acres, Nandan Kanan Zoological Park is home to white tiger. Other animals that are found are lions, black panther, leopards, European brown bear, gharials, Himalayan black bear, crocodiles, king cobra, Indian python etc.
Occupying an area of 25 acres, this amusement park is located at Lake Road in the Madhusudan Nagar and offers some of the most thrilling rides and attractions. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Bhubaneswar, the park is open on all days.
Located on the banks of the sacred Bhargavi River at Hirapur, 15 south-east of Bhubaneswar, the famous 9th century 64 Yogini shrine is a place of intense religious significance. The temple has statues of 64 yoginis standing in various postures. The largest image is that of Mahamaya, the 10-armed presiding deity of the shrine. Protected by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the temple, locally called Mahamaya Temple, is a hypaethral (roofless) shrine and only one of the four found in India. Another such temple is located at Ranipur-Jharial in the Balangir district of Odisha, whereas the remaining two are in Bhedaghat near Jabalpur and Khajuraho –both in Madhya Pradesh.
20 km from Bhubaneswar, on the way to Puri, Pipili is a heritage crafts village, known for the wonderful appliqué work. Apart from Pipili, the places where appliqué work is also practiced in Odisha are Barapali and Chikiti.
65 km from Bhubaneswar, the Sun Temple of Konark, designed in the shape of a massive chariot with 24 giant wheels carrying Surya, the Sun God, across the heavens hauled by seven prancing horses, presents a great spectacle. Built by King Narasimha Dev of Ganga dynasty in the 13th century, This UNESCO listed world heritage site is one of the most splendid temples of India. The tower of the temple, which was over 200 feet high, has fallen. The temple is located on a massive platform which is carved with twelve decorated wheels, which are 10 feet in diameter.
60 km from Bhubaneswar, Puri is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus or ‘Sapta Puris’. It is famous for its Jagannath Temple. Built in the 12th century AD, this 65m high temple dominates the skyline of Puri. The annual RathYatra or Car Festival attracts millions of devotees to celebrate the nine-day festivities in the Hindu month of Ashadha (June/July). Puri is also famous for its golden beach frequented by tourists all round the year.
110 km from Bhubaneswar, Chilka Lake is a haven for migratory birds which come here every winter, from as far away as the Caspian Sea, Northern Eurasia, Siberia and Lake Baikal. In the centre of the lake is an important temple dedicated to Hindu Goddess Kalijai. With its placid waters shimmering in the sunlight, its exciting variety of avian life including pods of endangered Irrawaddy dolphins, Chilka Lake represents Nature at her most untamed.
Air: The city's airport is connected by flights from major cities of India.
Rail: Bhubaneswar is directly linked by rail to all the major places of India.
Road: Bhubaneswar is on the NH.5, which runs between Chennai and Kolkata. The city is connected by good motorable roads to major cities in India. Some of the cities and places connected with Bhubaneswar are Puri (62 km), Jamshedpur (439 km), Kolkata (480 km), Ranchi (583 km), Patna (901 km) and Delhi (1745 km).
Bhubaneswar is filled with large number of hotels catering to the needs of every customer. Trident, Mayfair Lagoon, Hotel Swosti Premium, Hotel Keshari, The Crown, Ginger, Kalinga Ashok, Hotel Sishmo, Hotel Hindustan International and the New Marrion are some of the famous hotels in Bhubaneswar.