Odisha is a state in eastern India, located on the Bay of Bengal. It is home to numerous ancient monuments, temples and beaches, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Some of the best tourist places in Odisha include the Sun Temple at Konark, Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves in Bhubaneswar, Chilika Lake in Puri, the Puri Beach, and the Jagannath Temple at Puri. Other notable attractions include the Hirakud Dam in Sambalpur, the Simlipal National Park in Mayurbhanj, and the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary in Kendrapara. Travellers visiting Odisha should also explore the vast tribal villages and markets, as well as the rich cultural heritage of the region.
- Konark Sun Temple
- Chilika Lake
- Jagannath Temple, Puri
- Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves
- Nandankanan Zoological Park
- Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri, and Udayagiri Buddhist Circuit
- Daringbadi Hill Station
- Kapilas Hill
- Simlipal National Park
- Baripada Town
Konark Sun Temple
The Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century Hindu temple located in Konark, Odisha, India. It is believed to be built by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty around 1250 CE. The temple complex is in the shape of a giant chariot, dedicated to the sun god Surya, and has twelve pairs of elaborately carved stone wheels which are pulled by seven horses. The temple is also decorated with intricate stone carvings and sculptures of gods, goddesses and musicians. The temple is one of the most visited and photographed monuments in India, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Chilika Lake is the largest coastal lagoon in India, located in the state of Odisha. It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian Subcontinent and is home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals. The lake is an ecosystem of international significance, protected under the Ramsar Convention. It is also a major tourist destination, with a number of water sports and bird watching activities available. The lake is known for its scenic beauty and is often called the ‘Pearl of the East’.
Jagannath Temple, Puri
The Jagannath Temple is a Hindu temple located in Puri, Odisha, India. It is one of the holiest Char Dham pilgrimage sites for devotees of Hinduism and part of the Ekamra Kshetra. The temple is famous for its annual Ratha Yatra, or chariot festival, in which three richly decorated chariots carrying the three principal deities are dragged through the streets of Puri. The temple was built in the 12th century by the Ganga dynasty king Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva. It is one of the oldest temples in India. The temple is also home to the deities of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra, who are said to be forms of Vishnu.
The temple complex is one of the largest in India and has numerous shrines, and many smaller temple structures, including the world-famous Jagannath Ratha. The temple is located in the heart of the old city of Puri, on the eastern coast of India, and is a major pilgrimage site for Hindus all over the world. The temple is also a popular tourist attraction.
Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves
The Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves are a group of caves located near Bhubaneswar in Odisha, India, dating back to the 2nd century BCE. The caves are cut into the laterite hills that run along the eastern coast of India. There are 18 caves in Udayagiri and 15 in Khandagiri. The caves have been carved out of the hill and feature intricate carvings and inscriptions. The caves were used by Jain monks as places of meditation and worship. The caves are a popular tourist destination and are also a protected monument.
Nandankanan Zoological Park
Nandankanan Zoological Park is a zoological park located near Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. Established in 1960, it was opened to the public in 1979 and became the first zoo in India to join World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) in 2009. Nandankanan has a collection of almost 1000 species of plants, including rare and endangered species, and over 895 animals, including white tigers, lions, leopards, black panthers, elephants, reptiles, and birds.
The white tigers at Nandankanan are the first to be bred in captivity in India. The park is also home to the world’s first successful artificial propagation of a crocodile species, the endangered gharial, in captivity. Other unique species at Nandankanan include the Asiatic black bear, the Indian giant squirrel, and the Manipur brow-antlered deer. In addition to these animals, the park also houses several species of aquatic birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and butterflies.
Nandankanan Zoological Park is also home to a botanical garden, which covers an area of about 60 hectares, and houses around 350 species of plants. The park also features a lake, which is a popular spot for visitors to enjoy boating and birdwatching.
The park is open from morning to late evening, and visitors can explore the park on foot, by car, or by boat. The park also features a number of educational and interactive activities for children, such as animal shows, puppet shows, and interactive exhibits. Nandankanan Zoological Park is a popular tourist destination in Odisha and is considered one of the best zoological parks in India.
Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri, and Udayagiri Buddhist Circuit
The Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri and Udayagiri Buddhist Circuit is a group of three ancient Buddhist sites located in the Indian states of Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The sites are known for their ancient Buddhist monuments, stupas and monasteries, many of which have been excavated and restored in recent years.
Ratnagiri is the largest and most extensively excavated site of the three. It is located in the Jajpur district of Odisha and consists of a cluster of Buddhist monuments dating from the late 5th century until the 13th century. The site is home to several stupas, monasteries, shrines and stone sculptures. The most important monuments are the Mahastupa, the main stupa at the centre of the site, the Bhaumakara monastery, the main monastery of the site, and the double monastery complex.
Lalitgiri is located in the Cuttack district of Odisha and is one of the oldest Buddhist sites in India, with sculptures and monuments dating back to the 3rd century BCE. The site consists of a group of monasteries, stupas and other structures, including a brick stupa, an image of the Buddha, and a variety of sculptures.
Udayagiri is located in the Balangir district of Odisha and dates back to the 4th century CE. The site consists of several stupas, monasteries, and shrines, as well as a large number of sculptures and inscriptions. One of the most important monuments is the Mahastupa, a large stupa surrounded by a circular wall. The site also contains a number of caves and inscriptions that provide insight into the development of Buddhism in India.
Daringbadi Hill Station
Daringbadi Hill Station is a hill station situated in the Kandhamal district of Odisha, India. It is situated in the Eastern Ghats of India at an altitude of 915 m above sea level. It is known as the ‘Kashmir of Odisha’ as it is blessed with lush green hills, forests, and waterfalls. There are many attractions like waterfalls, hot springs, and flora and fauna. The pleasant climate makes it an ideal destination for trekking, camping, and sightseeing. The views of the hills and valleys are breathtaking. The best time to visit here is from October to March.
Kapilas Hill is a hill located in Cuttack district of Odisha, India. It is known for its historical and mythological significance. The hill is believed to be the site of the mythical kingdom of King Bali, a powerful ruler from Hindu mythology. It is also associated with the battle between Lord Rama and Ravana, two characters from the Hindu epic Ramayana. The hill is home to several ancient temples, including the famous Kapilas Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The hill is also home to a number of wildlife species, such as the endangered Asian elephant, chital, and sambar.
Simlipal National Park
Simlipal National Park is located in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, India. Established in 1979, it is part of the Simlipal-Kuldiha-Hadgarh Elephant Reserve. The park is home to several species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, including the endangered Bengal tiger, Indian elephant, Indian leopard, and gaur. Its deciduous forests are rich in medicinal herbs and plants, and are also home to numerous species of butterflies, moths, and other invertebrates. The park also has a wide variety of birdlife, including over 230 species of resident and migratory birds. Simlipal is known for its spectacular waterfalls, including the Joranda and Barehipani waterfalls. The park is also home to numerous tribal communities, such as the Ho, Santal, and Bhumij, who depend on the park for their livelihoods. The park is managed by the Odisha Forest Department, which works to protect the area’s wildlife and conserve its forests.
Baripada Town is a town and headquarters of Mayurbhanj district in the Indian state of Odisha. It is located about 350 kilometres (220 mi) north of Bhubaneswar, the state capital. The town is known for its ancient temples, and its handloom industry. It is also known as the cultural capital of Odisha because of its rich cultural heritage. It is connected by rail, road and air to the rest of Odisha as well as the rest of India. The town is home to several educational institutions and is known for its annual Rath Yatra festival.