Why You Should Definitely Visit Bhubaneswar?
The capital of Indian state Orissa, Bhubaneshwar, doesn't require a reason to visit. The name itself should be a reason. Having a tag of one of the oldest cities in India, the history of Bhubaneswar stretches back over 2000 years where it held the distinction of being the capital of ancient Kalinga. Apart from history, Bhubaneswar is an important pilgrimage centre and the home to over 500 of India’s finest temples which has earned it the nomenclature of ‘City of Temples.’ These temples not only form the core around which the religious life of the city revolves but they are of tremendous archaeological and historical significance. A trip to this ancient city of India will find any traveller lost in the pages of history. there’s its rich culture, which can be traced back to the third century BC. Bhubaneswar also has some iconic monuments and beautiful natural attractions.
Amazing Temples and Their Architecture
Bhubaneswar is also known as the Temple City of India. So, there are not just 10 best places to visit in Bhubaneswar but a lot more than that. There are so many temples here that you can’t visit each of them on your trip.
More than that, the architecture is simply breathtaking. You will get to see stunning stone carvings and intricate designs here. Some of the temples are as old as 10 centuries and still standing strong against all odds.
Shop Your Heart Out
Bhubaneswar is popular for not only temples and heritage sites but shopping in Bhubaneswar is also an amazing thing to do. The streets of Utkalika has so many stores that you can buy anything in here. From traditional Oriya things to more modern stuff, you can find it all in this busy street. It is located 3km from the airport in Bhubaneswar and hence finding it won’t be such a big issue.
Bhubaneswar boasts of a perfect blend between modernization and natural landscapes and hence visiting this city would be such an amazing experience for you. The Forest Park here located in Bhubaneswar is such a huge area dedicated to various species of flora and fauna. It is currently known as Biju Patnaik Park and apart from it, you can also find a lot of other such parks and special areas here.
10 Amazing Places to Visit in Bhubaneswar
Nandankanan Zoological Park
Nandan Kanan is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bhubaneswar. Located in the outskirts of the city, this sprawling park is spread in an area of 1080 acres consisting of the zoo, sanctuary and botanical garden.
It was first opened in 1979 and witness more than 3.3 million visitors each year. The park remains open from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm typically except for Monday. There is also an entry fee varying for people of different age group.
The major attractions of this park are white tiger safari, Orchid house, lion safari and butterfly park. If you are someone travelling with your family to Bhubaneswar then you should visit this place. This is one of the most picturesque places you will ever get to see with a wide variety of flora and fauna here.
Udayagiri and Khandagiri
Udaygiri and Khandagiri are two most popular heritage sites in Orissa which are said to be Jain rock-cut shelters. They deserve to be in our list of 10 best places to visit in Bhubaneswar as they have special importance from history, art and religion.
Udaygiri means Hill of Sunrise while Khandagiri means Broken Hills and both of these hills are located 6kms west of Bhubaneswar rising weirdly on a Coastal Plain.
These caves are assumed to be the shelters for meditation and prayer and have little to no amenities in them. In fact, the height of the caves is so low that a man cannot stand properly. There are a total of 18 caves in Udaygiri while Khandagiri Hill has 15 of such caves. All these caves represent marvellous times of art, culture and architecture in earlier times and you should try visiting them early in the morning.
As Bhubaneswar is called the Temple City of India proudly, the temple of Lingaraja contributes to it majorly. This Hindu temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and also known as one of the oldest temples in Bhubaneswar.
This is the largest temple in the city which is 55meters tall and spread across a huge area. There are four sections in this temple which are known as Garbha Griha, Bhoga Mandap, Yajna Shala and Natya Shala.
The temple belongs to that of 11th Century and the architecture and style also replicate that of the Jagannath Puri Temple in Puri. The huge courtyard of the temple is comprised of 50 small temples which create a wonderful sight for the tourists here. You can visit this temple between 5 am and 9 pm and there is no entry fee here.
Dhauli Giri Hills
If you are looking for unique places to visit in Bhubaneswar then you should head towards Dhauligiri Hills. This place is located 8km south from Bhubaneswar centre by the Daya River. This is the famous rock edicts of Ashoka.
It is said that Ashoka adopted the path of peace and Dharma here in Dhauli Hills and hence it has a special significance and meaning for people looking for peace in their lives. The transportation facility is available out here and so is the food availability.
This is a Stupa like structure with a giant dome in the middle. The stupa possesses five umbrellas representing five essential parts of Buddhism. Dhauligiri Hills is a major site for Buddhist people in India and if you are seeking some guidance in your life, you should definitely visit this place in Bhubaneswar.
Orissa State Museum
Odisha State Museum located in Bhubaneswar was established in 1932 and it is a wonderful site for the people interested in ancient history, culture etc. There are total eleven sections in this museum dedicated to different streams like Archeology, Armory, Geology, Mining, Natural History, Epigraphy and many more.
The museum remains closed on Monday and other days you can visit it from 10 am to 5 pm and there is also some entry fee varying according to the age group.
You can also find some manuscripts in this museum which were later translated into English also. This museum is located in BJB Nagar in Bhubaneswar which has proximity to popular modes of transport too. When visiting Bhubaneswar you should consider visiting this museum which will take you about 2-3 hours at max.
Located just 1.5kms away from Bhubaneswar Railway Station, Ram Mandir is a beautiful temple worthy enough to be included in the list of 10 best places to visit in Bhubaneswar.
Ram Mandir is situated right in the heart of the city and known to be one of the most popular pilgrimage sites for the devotees of Lord Ram. You can find the shrines of Lord Ram, Goddess Sita and Lord Lakshman here along with the idols of many other Hindu gods and goddesses. This temple remains open for public from 6 am to 9.30 pm with no entry fee. This is a rather newly built temple by a private trust which attracts a lot of tourists. The architecture of the temple is its real beauty and people love clicking pictures out here. Don’t forget to attend the magnificent aarti here during morning and evening.
Ekamra Kanan is a park located in Bhubaneswar which is spread across a huge area of 500 acres. The entire park is super stunning and you will get to see beautiful greenery, flora, fauna in the entire area here. In fact, the maintenance of the park is quite up to the mark that you would not want to leave this place.
This park remains open to visitors from 8 am to 7 pm and there is also an entry fee varying for people. Also, as you can boat around in the lake out here, there are extra charges for the same. This park is no less than a scenic wonderland, as the largest botanical garden in Bhubaneswar. The major attraction here is a huge glasshouse containing various cactus species inside, flower gardens, small musical fountain, playground for kids etc. You should visit this garden in the evening to spend some leisure time here.
If you are looking for picnic spots near Bhubaneswar then Nicco Park is the best place you can visit. This is one huge amusement park which is an ideal place to visit when you have some leisure time to kill on your trip to Bhubaneswar.
You can find a lot of different rides here with beautiful landscapes and gardens inside. This is a huge property which was created in India with Nicco Japan. A day spent here would be full of fun and laughter and so many amazing memories too.
The park remains open from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm so you can enjoy your heart out here all day long. Apart from the adventurous rides in here, you can also enjoy your time in the water world which even has an artificial lake created to attract kids. You can also find beautiful flowers in the landscaped gardens created in this Amusement Park.
If you are done exploring major sites in the city then you can also explore the places to visit near Bhubaneswar. One such place is a small village called Pipli located about 31kms away from Bhubaneswar. You can find tour buses to travel to this village and then for returning too.
If you are looking for some handicraft items to shop then Pipli is the perfect place for it. Other things you can find here are applique work items, pillow covers, decorated umbrellas, dress materials etc.
But apart from all, you will get to click some amazing shots here of the colourful surroundings and local markets. The craft and art here are very raw and untouched that you will feel like buying all the items. This place is home to a lot of craftsmen so it will be easier for you to find something unique and interesting out here.
Museum of Tribal Arts and Artefacts
Museum of Tribal Arts and Artefacts is a museum in Bhubaneswar situated inside the campus of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Research and Training Institute. This is one unique place to visit in Bhubaneswar as it has wonderful collection of art, crafts, unique objects and other belongings of different Tribes in Orissa.
From dresses to ornaments, weapons, personal items, agricultural and hunting implements, you can see it all here. The collection mainly belongs to tribes like Dongria Kandha, Paroja, Saora, Santal, Kolha etc.
This museum remains open to visit from 10 am to 5 pm and you will get to see a vast and versatile collection of things and art of over 62 tribes of Orissa. There are also life-size replicas of traditional houses of these tribes installed behind the museum. So, don’t forget to check them out too.
Travel Tips for Orissa
So, now you know about the 10 best places to visit in Bhubaneswar which can help you in planning a trip here. However, you should also know about some of the health and travel tips before planning your trip to Bhubaneswar or even any other places in Orissa. The climatic and geographical conditions are different in this state and hence you need some tips and tricks handy for you.
Rely on Bottled or Packaged Water
Drinking-Water is one of the main concerns while travelling to Orissa especially in rural parts. This is why it would be much better for you to rely on bottled or packaged water while travelling throughout the state. Consuming dirty water can cause a lot of health issues which can ruin your entire trip. So, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Stay in Registered Hotel with DTI, Orissa Only
This is a tip which can turn out to be quite beneficial for you whether you are travelling to Orissa or any other state in India. You should book such hotels which are registered with DTI (Department of Tourism India) or DTR (Department of Orissa). This ensures that no frauds are being done with you and you are being provided with the best services too.
Approval from Authorities to Stay in Forest Guest House
There are a lot of forest parks and adventure zones in Orissa but you should get your clearance from the respective authorities before staying in Forest Guest House. Usually, the permission to stay will not be approved on short notice. So, make sure that you get done with everything on a prior notice so that you can enjoy your vacation peacefully.
Avoid Roadside Food
This is one hack which is the key to enjoy your vacation with no health issues no matter where you are travelling to. Avoid eating food from street vendors and roadside stalls. Even if you are consuming such food then make sure it is prepared by keeping cleanliness in mind. You would not want to fall ill when you are supposed to enjoy your heart out.
Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.
You should seek permission from the authorities concerned before taking photographs of places of military importance, railway stations, bridges, airports, military installations, metro trains, tribal areas and sensitive border regions. It is prohibited to take photographs in some of the temples, historical monuments, forts, palaces, tombs and monasteries. You are required to take special permits from the Archaeological Survey of India for photographing monuments with tripods and artificial lights. Camera fee is charged extra in some historical monuments.