Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa, is nothing short of an architectural tour clubbed with a pilgrimage tour of India in general and Orissa in particular. Once home to more than 2000 temples, Bhubaneswar is still known as the temple city of Orissa, India. Of the many surviving temples in Bhubaneswar, only a few have retained their status as a place of worshipping. The rest of the prominent temples are now significant for their contribution to the evolution of Oriyan school of architecture.
Places to Visit in Bhubaneswar
The Lingaraja Temple: The most outstanding example of Orissa’s temple architectural heritage is the Lingaraja Temple, which was named after Lord Lingaraja or Tribhubaneswar after whom the capital of Orissa has been named.
Parashurameshwara Temple: Some of the temples that should be on the tourist’s itinerary are the Parashurameshwara Temple built in 650 AD.
Vital Deul: Vital Deul dating back to 800 AD shows evidence of the Buddhist cave architecture. There is an amazing figure of Chamunda, an incarnation of Goddess Kali inside the temple.
Mukteswar Temple: The most ornated temple is perhaps the Mukteswar Temple built between 7-8 th century. Its architectural style is eclectic with the fusion of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain styles. The carved ceiling is an amazing piece of the marvellous temple architecture of Orissa.
Orissa State Museum: The other tourist attractions in the city of Bhubaneshwar is the Orissa State Museum which has a collection of sculptures, stone inscriptions, lithic and bronze-age tools, rare copper plates, palm-leaf manuscripts, paintings, anthropological specimens, and musical instruments.
The Handicrafts Museum: Handicrafts Museum is also worth visiting, with its display of folk paintings, horn toys, brass castings and sculptures.
Tribal Museum: For those interested in the tribal life and culture of Orissa, the Tribal Museum in Bhubaneshwar is a must see place.
Udaygiri and Khandgiri: Excursions can be made from Bhubaneshwar to the nearby caves of Udaygiri and Khandgiri, which are important archaeological sites of India. There, are 15 caves in Udaygiri, out of which Hathigumpha (elephant cave) is the most important.
Nandankanan: Nandankanan is a wildlife park at a distance of 25 km from Bhubaneshwar whose main attractions are the gorillas, crocodiles and white tigers.