There are some places in India that are special, and Odisha is definitely one of them. Tourism in Odisha is a veritable museum of India's sculptural and artistic heritage and has long been famous to scholars and connoisseurs for the magnificent Sun Temple at Konark, for the majestic temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri, and for the glorious temples of Bhubaneswar.
The small but ever-growing number of tourists who do manage to find their way to Odisha are generally prepared with some knowledge of these temples. Puri is one of the most important cities in Odisha. It is known for the delicate Orissan ikat textiles which have become famous throughout the world.
Bhubaneswar is the capital city of the state of Odisha with the population of 8.40 lakhs (as per 2011 Census Survey) Bhubaneswar-Cuttack form twin cities separated by the river, Kua-khai, distributory of River Mahanadi.
The history of the Bhubaneswar stretches back over 2000 years. The area was first known as the ancient capital of Kalinga. The 'city of temples' Bhubaneshwar, which was named after Tribhuvaneswar - 'Lord of Three Worlds', still preserves over 500 of India's finest temples, around which the religious life of the city revolves.
Pilgrims and tourists throng these temples for its religious and archeological values. Bhubaneswar city has been planned and designed by German Architect Otto Konigsberger, who was also the architect of the Chandigarh city and has planned roads and bylanes, with thick flora & fauna providing a comfortable and green living environment to its citizens.
Mythological references and the epigraphic sources describe the area as Ekamra Kshetra and Saiva Pitha. In 1936, Odisha became a separate province with Cuttack as its capital, which was eventually changed to Bhubaneswar in 1956. Together with Puri and Konark, Bhubaneswar forms the 'golden triangle'-one of the most visited destinations in East India, for its proud possession of magnificent sculpture and majestic architectural heritage.
Tourism in Odisha is one of the main contributors to the economy of Odisha, with a 500 km long coastline, towering mountains, serene lakes and frolicking rivers.
LINGARAJ TEMPLE: Lingaraj Temple is a magnificent 11th Century temple of Lord Shiva.
DHAULI: Dhauli is famous for peace pagoda constructed on the Dhauli hills by Japan Boudha Sangha and Kalinga NipanBoudha Sangha in the year 1970 to commemorate the eventual triumph of peace and non-violence. Dhauli is on the bank of River Daya. At Dhauli, emperor Ashoka the great, had fought and won the Kaliga war only to realize the path of non-violence. This is also the place of triumph of peace over violence. The transformation of Emperor Ashoka and propagation of Buddhism around the world.'
Welfare of the whole world' found on the Rock edicts indicates its relevance to the societies now. Visit to Dhauli needs to be on the top of the list of places by peace lovers.
PURI: Puri the Jagannatha Dham is best known for its RathaYatra celebrated every year during the month of June –July (Ashadha). It is also famous for Sand Art. Its widespread lovely sea beach draws millions of pilgrims and tourists from all over the world.
KONARK: Konark derived its name from Kona meaning Corner and Arka meaning Sun also called Arkakshetra famous for its magnificent Sun Temple designed in the shape of a colossal chariot draws millions of tourists every year.It is situated 60 km away from Bhubaneswar city. At Konark in the proximity of the mesmerizing Chandrabhaga beach stands a marvel of architectural excellence.
CHILIKA: Asia's largest brackish water estuarine lake along with eastern coast of Odisha with beautiful islands is one of the major tourist attractions especially for the bird watchers and nature lovers with flamingoes wading in the shallow waters and the Irrawaddy dolphins making playful appearances in the water is the beauty of Chilika lake.
BHITARKANIKA: Bhitarkanika is nature's treasure trove acclaimed for its rich biodiversity with a compact mangrove ecosystem. One can see species of Olive Ridley Sea Turtle which comes here to lay eggs every year.
GOPALPUR: Gopalpur-on- sea is one of the most pristine beaches of Odisha with clusters of coconut and palm trees. The dense stretches of casuarinas plantations account for a picturesque setting of the place.
CHANDIPUR: Refer to as the vanishing sea with 480 km long coastline which recedes almost 5 km away from the shore during the ebb and flow of tides. It is famous for its Missile testing situated 16 km from Balasore and 230 km from Bhubaneswar is well connected from all major cities by road and rail.
The State is becoming an educational hub and many reputed colleges are providing ample educational possibilities to students. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indian Institute of Information & Technology (IIIT), Indian Institute of Management (IIM), All India Institute of Medical Science( AIIMS), National Institute of Science Education & Research (NISER ), Institute of Physics, National Institute of Technology (NIT) at Rourkela, Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology (CIPET) and Central University of Koraput and many deemed Universities like KIIT, ITER & Shree Shree University are some of the renowned institutions located in Odisha.
Apart from preserving their own culture and age-old traditions, the people of Odisha have also adopted the variable culture, tradition and festivals from the neighboring states. Some of the festivals celebrated are Maha Vishub Sankranti (Odia New Year), Rajotsav, RathaYatra, RakshyaBandhan, Janmashtami, Ganesh Puja, NuaKhai, Dusherra, Diwali, Makar Sankranti, Holi & Dolo Purnima.
Odissi is the elegant and unique dance form of the State of Odisha.Many dance festivals featuring Odissi and other Indian classical dances celebrated in the state attracts tourists throughout the year. Many dance festivals featuring Odissi and other Indian classical dances are celebrated in the state that attracts tourists throughout the year.