Odisha has been relatively unexplored as far as tourism is concerned, but that is going to change soon. The Department of Tourism, Government of Odisha in its bid to attract domestic tourists from the State Karnataka organised its road show in Bengaluru on Friday October 24. The objective is to promote the state and its variety of tourism products in the South West part of India and double the number of tourists from the state. The road show is part of eight events organised by the department across the country to attract tourists.
‘Odisha drew around one lakh visitors from Karnataka in 2013. We want to increase the number of tourists visiting Odisha from Karnataka. We are already seeing a large number of IT professionals from Bangalore visiting locations in our State. With various heritage sites, wildlife sanctuary and beaches, Odisha offers an amazing experience for tourists,’ said Ashok Kumar Tarenia, Director of Tourism, Odisha government.
To further attract tourists in the state Odisha Tourism has tied up with India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) to develop light and sound show in Puri, Konark and Bhubaneshwar popularly known as golden triangle of ODISHA at total cost of Rs 19 crore. ITDC will invest Rs 15 crore and Rs 4 crore will be put in by the state government. The project will be operational by June 2015. Voice of eminent film actors Om Puri and Suresh Oberoi will be used in the light and sound show.
The major highlight of the road show was Odissi dance performance by Madhulita Mohapatra and troupe from Bangalore.
The road show will provide information on Odisha Tourism to the tourists, tour operators, travel agents, travel writers, journalists, decision makers etc. Odisha is famous for its golden beaches, sprawling lakes, luxuriant forests, teeming wildlife, majestic temples and monuments, Buddhist sites, exotic handloom and handicrafts, primitive tribes, colourful fairs and festivals and the scintillating music, dances and cuisine which attract large number of tourists.
Odisha drew about ten million tourists during the year 2013. Most of the domestic tourists were from Gujarat, West Bengal, Andhra Pardesh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.
‘The Sun Temple at Konark, The Temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri, and temple city of Bhubaneswar are popular tourist destinations. The Buddhist heritage of Odisha comprising of Ratnagiri-Lalitgiri-Udayagiri-Langudi and Dhauli attracts tourists from overseas and domestic front,’ said Utkal K Pati, deputy Director, Tourism Department, Odisha Government.
‘Odisha has also successfully nurtured three great religions Buddhism, Jainism & Hinduism. The Department of Tourism is also organising a number of Tourism events like Konark Festival (1–5 December), International Sand Art Festival (1–5 December), Parab Tribal Festival (16– 18 November), Dhanu Yatra Festival (Dec – Jan) Rajarani Music Festival (18 – 20 January), Mukteswar Dance Festival (14–16 January) etc to attract more of domestic and international tourists,’ said Shri P. K. Behera, Joint Director ,Odisha Tourism .
Odisha tourism also plans to add two new Tourism circuits in Odhisha on the lines of Bhubaneswar-Puri-Konark golden triangle .