Arrive by road, by train or by air, you will find a beautiful temple welcoming you to this astounding city of east, the proud capital of Orissa, named after the lord Tribhubaneswar, the beautiful temple city, Bhubaneswar. Emerging as India’s next hottest destination, Bhubaneswar is known for its exotic beauty, greenery, its ancient carved temples portraying culture and the history of this amazing place making it one of the most important pilgrimage centers. Adding to the temples are the parks, malls, museum, planetarium, zoo and many other places to visit. Bhubaneswar is also coming up as the next IT hub.
Witnessed by time and mentioned by Ferguson, Lingaraj temple is one of the finest temples of India described as a true fusion of dream and reality. This 10th-11th century temple is dedicated to Lord Tribhubaneswar (meaning the god of worlds). The presiding deity is Swayambhu Linga ” Hari-Hara , i.e., half Vishnu and half Shiva. The lingam at the Lingaraja, or Krittivasas , is an uncarved block of granite (8 feet in diameter raised 8 inches above the ground). The temple stands beside the beautiful Bindusagar Lake. Around the temple premises there are a number of small shops offering cultural and religious mementos.
DHAULI SANTI STUPA
While driving on NH 203 towards PURI, just 8 kms away from the city of Bhubaneswar, you shall find this white sculpted structure dedicated to Lord Buddha primarily known as the peace pagoda or the shanti stupa. Built on the memories of the great kalinga war against the Mauryan Empire, it’s the place where the great king ashoka turned to Buddhism full of remorse that renounced his blood thirsty campaign.
KHANDAGIRI AND UDAYGIRI ROCK CUT CAVES
Built mainly for the jain monks then during the reign of the great king kharavela who ruled Orissa from 168 to 153 B.C, the khandagiri and udaygiri caves stand as an stupefying monumental archive alluring hundreds of tourists everyday. Just 6 kms away, beside the N.H 5, the khandagiri (meaning half hill) and the udaygiri (meaning sunrise hill) contains around 113 caves. The famous being the caves of HathiGumpha (elephant cave) and RaniGumpha (Queen’s cave) in Udaygiri.
Just 20 kms away from the rush of the city lies the zoo of its kind providing you a real glimpse of wildlife and nature. Tigers, Lions, Clouded Leopards, Black Panthers, European Brown Bear, Himalayan Black Bear, Gharials, Rosy Pelican, Grey Pelican, Indian Python, King Cobra, etc. are among the attractions of the zoo. NandanKanan is famous for its White Tiger Safari. A lake divides the zoo from its botanical gardens. Nandankanan is also a carved out part of the chandaka wildlife sanctuary and runs its regular tiger and elephant safari.
The cactus garden near Ekamra Kanan and amusement games in Nicco Park are two prime attractions in Bhubaneswar. Ekamra Kanan is a part of the Regional Plant Research Center. Adding to them are the Forest Park and Indira Gandhi Park where evenings and early mornings are pretty enjoyable.
Bhubaneswar enriches the cultural varsity of the state known for its handicrafts and handloom. Let it be the chandua of pipili or the sambalpuri saree you will find all varieties of handicrafts collected and put together exclusively at the Heart of the city, Ekamra Haat. You can even devour on some delicious Orissa cuisines here.
PLANETARIUM AND SCIENCE PARK
Informative and entertaining for kids and adults, Bhubaneswar runs and maintains daily shows at the Pathani samanta Planetarium and the Science Park. The shows allures not only kids but adult tourists too.