Odisha, traditionally known as Orissa, is an East Indian state rich in legacy and culture. Odisha’s beaches, ecological reserves, temples, museums, and other tourist attractions make it a must-see destination. This coastal state has magnificent architectural wonders like forts and temples, as well as natural beauties such as sun-kissed coastlines and tranquil lakes. The following is a list of the best locations to visit in Odisha.
Puri is a lovely city in the Indian state of Odisha, 60 kilometers from the capital. It is located near the Bay of Bengal and offers a stunning sunlight environment with palm leaves and shimmering waves on the beach. The city thrives with varied tourists, including holy worshipers in temples and sunbathers on the beach, making it one of the most appreciated destinations to visit not only in India, but all over the world.
It is one of the Char Dhams, or the four holiest pilgrimage places for Hindus, and attracts a large audience each year during the beautiful Rath Yatra. It is home to numerous world-famous temples, including the Jagannath Temple, Gundicha Temple, Vimala Temple, Loknath Temple, and many others. It also features the panch tirtha, a bath where pilgrims end their journey to Puri. In addition to gorgeous sites to explore, the city has outstanding work by craftsmen to view and purchase from local businesses.
Bhubaneswar, also known as the “City of Temples,” has a significant historical presence in India. For a long time, this town was known as the capital city of the state of Odisha and was commanded by King Sisupala. The ruins of Sisupalgarh discovered near Bhubaneswar suggest that they predate even the Mauryan dynasty. With a rich 2000-year history, this area is the perfect blend of a rustic world with huge temples and magnificent architecture and a modern era with bustling trade and business.
It goes without saying that Bhubaneswar is home to some of Orissa’s most prominent attractions and fascinating locations to visit, attracting visitors of all ages. This location attracts a large number of devotees and pilgrims due to the presence of important religious sites such as Parasurameswara Temple, Mukteshwar Temple, Lingaraj Temple, Peace Pagoda, Rajarani Temple, and Ananta Vasudeva Temple. While history fans will enjoy Udayagiri & Khandagiri, Ashoka Rock Edict, Odisha State Museum, and Ratnagiri Buddhist Excavation, nature lovers will enjoy Nandankanan Zoo, Indira Gandhi Park, Atri, Bindu Sagar, and Ekamra Kanan.
This old town, one of the finest destinations to visit in Orissa, is located on the Bay of Bengal coast in the Puri District. Konark is a major cultural and heritage monument in India, and it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in East India. Konark’s charm resides in its diversified landscape. It is one of the ideal spots in the country for a very spiritual and unique vacation, with various temples, museums, and beaches, with shadows of the Eastern Ghats in the background.
The 13th-century Sun Temple at Konark is one of the country’s most extraordinary monuments. This UNESCO World Heritage Site portrays a Sun God’s chariot with 12 pairs of finely carved wheels driven by 7 horses. The vimana, shikara, audience hall, performance hall, and other structures built in classical Kalinga architecture may still be seen. Another popular destination in the area is the beautiful Chandrabhaga Beach, which is known for its crystal blue seas, stretches of soft powdery sands, and tree-lined shoreline.
The Chandipur beach is particularly universally recognized for its closeness to the Integrated Test Range of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). A variety of missiles, including the Akash, Agni, Shaurya, and Prithvi ballistic missiles, have been fired from here.
Chandipur Beach is a remote location in the state of Odisha, near Balasore Village in the tiny town of Chandipur. It’s remarkable because the sea water disappears instantly in front of your eyes and reappears for a while but then.
Chandipur Sea Beach is located on the Bay of Bengal in the Odisha district of Balasore. Balasore (BLS) is the nearest SERly railway station. The NH-5 highway also runs through Balasore.
Paradip is an important port city in the Indian state of Odisha, on the Bay of Bengal. It is located in the Jagatsinghpur district. The port of Paradip is one of India’s largest. The Jagannath Temple in Paradip is also well-known. Paradeep is 125 kilometers from Bhubaneswar Airport and 94 kilometers from Cuttack Railway Station. Although there is a train connection to Paradip, most people choose to go through Bhubaneswar or Cuttack. Both locations have readily available rented vehicles or taxis. Those who are not staying for an extended period of time can return to Bhubaneswar or Cuttack the same day. For those considering a longer visit, there are some decent hotels in Paradip.
The significance of Paradeep and its beach is multifaceted. Apart from being a popular tourist destination, Odisha’s Paradeep beach is also one of the country’s most significant commercial seaports. One of Odisha’s most prominent beaches is Paradeep, which is really an estuary of the Mahanadi River. The Paradeep beach, which is surrounded by verdant trees and embellished with natural streams and islands, is a marine lover’s heaven.
Kendrapara, an important pilgrimage site, located 65 kilometers from Cuttack. Tulasi Kshetra is well-known for the temple of Lord Baladeva. Every year, a massive automotive festival is held here, attracting a massive audience. Jhankad, 60 kilometers from Cuttack, also has a temple to Goddess Sarala and is linked with poet Sarala Das, Odisha’s first heroic poet.
Rourkela is the primary commercial center in the Sundergarh district and the state of Odisha.
Many attractive spots are close to Rourkela, including Khandadhar Waterfall, which claims to be the tallest waterfall of its sort in all of eastern India. Aside from that, Vedavyas, the confluence of two rivers Sankh and Koel, is only a few kilometers from the main city and is said to be the residence of Vedavyasa, the renowned poet who wrote the epic Mahabharat.
Hanuman Vatika, VedVyas Temple, Vaisnodevi Mandir on Hills, Hill top (Sec -20), Koel River, IG Park (the major feature is the musical fountain – a must-see), Deer Park, and Jubilee Park are all worth a visit. Bhalulata (40 kilometers from Rourkela), Blue Stone (80 kilometers), Jaraikela, and Mandira Dam (a good picnic spot).
Waterfall of Khandadhar (in Sundergarh district of Odisha at a place called Nandapani; from Rourkela, take NH23 to reach Lahunipara; from Lahunipara take right till Lalei Chowk and take left to reach Khandadhar). This is Odisha’s tallest waterfall and one of the highest in India. Khandadhar translates as “sword’s edge.”
Sambalpur is the most populous city in western Odisha. It is a historically significant location, owing to the amount of liberation struggles against the British, with Veer Surendra Sai among those who perished battling the British.
- Budharaja Temple, Budharaja Hill.
- Ghanteswari Temple, Chiplima Rd, Bagbira, Chipilama (about 25 km from Sambalpur).
- The Hirakud Dam (16 km from Sambalpur). The world’s longest earth dam. The reservoir creates an artificial lake with a surface size of 746 km2 and a coastline length of 640 km. The drive down the 21-kilometer dike is breathtaking. From the top of the spinning minaret known as Gandhi Minar to the north, you can see the massive Hirakud Dam and the spectacular expanse of water. Ashok Nivas, a luxurious Guest House, is located to the south of the Nehru Minar.
- Cattle Island is near one end of Hirakud reservoir.
- Huma Leaning Temple, Tabada (32 km from Sambalpur, accessible by bus/auto). Famous for its Shiva temple, Huma contains the only leaning temple of Odisha. The Mahanadi river flows close by.
- Nrusinghanath (165 km from Sambalpur, 100 km from Bargarh). The temple of Vidala-Nrusimha stands at the foot of the picturesque Gandhamardan hill believed to be part of the hill which Hanuman carried on his shoulders from the Himalayas to save the life of Lakshmana. On the other side of this hill is Harisankar temple and a waterfall.
- Waterfalls of Pradhanpat The waterfalls on Pradhanpat Hill provide a distinct visual splendor. These falls are in Deogarh, which is 96 kilometers from Sambalpur on NH.6.
- Samaleswari Temple is located at Ray Pada, Khetrajpur. The Chauhans built it in the mid-16th century. The Samaleswari Temple is devoted to the goddess known as ‘Maa,’ also known among the locals as samalei maa, which translates to “Mother Samaleswari.”
- Right Dyke Rd, Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary (50 km from Sambalpur). It stands out among Odisha’s wildlife sanctuaries in terms of sightings of wild animals, especially during the summer when trees drop their leaves.
- Wildlife Sanctuary Ushakothi (on NH6, 45 km from Sambalpur), A forest region of roughly 304 km2 including tigers, leopards, panthers, sloth bears, elephants, sambal, gaur, chital, and nilgai.
Cuttack is also known as the Millenium City of Odisha and the Silver City due to its 1000-year history and world-renowned silver filigree craftsmanship. It is also known as the state’s business capital. It served as the state capital until 1948, when the state administration relocated to Bhubaneshwar. Cuttack is now a contemporary metropolis with many old traditions linked to it; it is the perfect blend of traditional and modern culture.
The best time to visit Cuttack varies on the season. Temperatures in the summer might reach 49 degrees Celsius. If you visit in the fall (September to November), you will be able to witness this city’s cultural tradition in action, since most of the events are held during this period. Cuttack, easily the second largest Durga Puja celebration with a strong following, hosts around 1000-1500 Puja pandals each year.
Each one is distinctive in terms of shape and size. It is rather congested around this period, and you may not be able to go in your car through most of the city; if you have time and are healthy enough, simply settle with walking about.
Konark is also spelled Konaditya. Konark derives its name from the terms Kona – Corner and Arka – Sun Corners; it is located to the north-east of Puri or the Chakra Kshetra. The Sun Temple of Konark, also known as the Black Pagoda, was built in the mid-thirteenth century by Raja Narasinghs Deva I of the Ganga Dynasty and is a tribute to the time’s aesthetic splendor. It is frequently regarded as the greatest of its type, which is saying a lot when you consider the golden triangle of Odisha, which includes the Sri Jagannath Temple and the Lingaraj Temple of Puri and Bhubaneswar.
Konark is one of Odisha’s most important cities. It is a popular tourist attraction, particularly for people going from the eastern or southern parts of India. The quickest method to travel to Konark is to drive from Puri (33 km) or Bhubaneswar (65 km). From October to March is the ideal time to visit Konark.
The primary draw of the area is the Konark Sun Temple, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. The temple is located in Konark hamlet, which is located north of Puri on the Bay of Bengal’s shore. It features several stone engravings on the walls, many of which are quite sexual. The temple’s majesty is still reflected in its construction, despite the fact that it is in ruins owing to significant erosion.
10. Chilika Lake
Chilika Lake is located in the Odisha districts of Khurda, Ganjam, and Puri (formerly Orissa). Balugaon and Rambha are two prominent settlements that serve as lake access sites. A sandy ridge separates it from the Bay of Bengal, Asia’s largest salt-water lagoon. The 1,100 km2 pear-shaped lake has a distinct environment with a variety of aquatic plants and animals found in and around its brackish waters. Chilika is one of the greatest spots in India for bird-watching, splashing around in the water, and calm enjoyment, thanks to an astounding assortment of local and migrant bird life.
- Bird Island. Watch birds in their natural habitat.
- The island of Kalijai. Goddess Kalijai’s abode. Pilgrims throng here in January during Makar Mela (Makar Sankranti) to offer their respects to the Goddess. Is not far from Barkul. Peacocks flock here, mixing among the worshippers.
- Island for breakfast. Rambha is a 20-minute boat trip away. Tourists bring breakfast from the OTDC panthanivas in Rambha and eat it in these beautiful settings. Beacon and Honeymoon Islands are nearby.
- Bird Sanctuary of Nalabana Nalabana, a large island in the center of the lake, is a recognised bird sanctuary under the Wildlife Protection Act.
- Mangalajodi. A former poachers’ settlement that has been transformed into a community-owned wildlife initiative.
- Rambha. It is a fantastic starting point for exploring Chilika Lake, and this guide provides boat cruises to the islands and bird watching.
- Satapada. Close to Dolphin Point, where you may observe critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphins and, on rare occasions, bottle-nosed dolphins. Chilika is one of only two lagoons in the world where you may view Irrawaddy dolphins.
- Chilika Sea Mouth.
- Chilika Sea Mouth Beach.