Located in the eastern part of the country, the state of Odisha is a place where you can relax on the beaches, visit famous temples and explore the beauty and bounty of nature and wildlife. Besides, the ancient kingdom of Kalinga is one of the top places to visit in India as it has a rich religious and cultural heritage that goes back more than 2, 000 years. There are many heritage monuments scattered all over the state which gloriously stand to remind you of the history of the land. And, some of these heritage sites got the UNESCO World Heritage tag as well. The art and culture, fairs and festivals, dances, and music of the state are a treat for the tourists who love to see colors and wish to enjoy life to the fullest as part of the India tour packages. Here is the list of UNESCO Heritage sites in Odisha for those who want to explore the rich history of the state.
Konark Sun Temple
Located in the village of Konark, the Konark Sun Temple is the most popular tourist places to visit in Odisha and has been a World Heritage Site since 1984. Referred to as the Black Pagoda, this temple is one of the grandest temples of India, dedicated to the sun god. Built by king Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty in 1250 AD, the temple reflect the grandeur of the traditional style of Kalinga Architecture. The temple is originally said to be built at the mouth of river Chandrabhaga but the waterline receded since then. The temple is designed in the shape of a chariot that is pulled by seven horses on 24 wheels, carrying the sun god to the heavens. It is carefully oriented towards the east so that the first rays of sunrise strikes the principal entrance. Built from Khondalite rocks, the temple is also known for its erotic sculptures of maithunas. A major part of the structure is now lie in ruins, however, the temple is still amongst the fine specimens of architecture in India and attracts large number of tourists all throughout the year as part of Konark tour packages.
Book Here : Odisha Tour Packages
Ekamra Kshetra – Bhubaneswar (Tentative)
Bhubaneshwar is an ancient city situated in Khordha district of Odisha, India. It is the capital city of Odisha and also one of the best places to experience Odisha Tourism. Ekamra Kshetra is the name for the old part of the city of Bhubaneswar. Bhubaneswar is dubbed the “Temple City” because of the 700 temples which once stood here. It still boasts of a cluster of magnificent temples which were built between the 3rd century BCE and 15th century CE. They are built in the Kalinga style, and belong to Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain religions. Lingaraj Temple, Mukteswar Temple, Shatrughaneswar Temple, and Parashurameswar Temple are the top places to visit in Bhubaneshwar. The city has been in the UNESCO tentative list since 2014. Besides, one can also visit Orissa State Museum, Bindu Sarovara, Nandan Kanan, Dhauli Giri hills, Ram Mandir, Udayagiri Caves, Khandagiri Caves, and ISCKON Temple while in Bhubaneshwar.
Book Here : Bhubaneshwar Tour Packages
Chilika Lake (Tentative)
Located at the mouth of the Daya River, Chilika Lake is a large brackish water lagoon, fed by over 50 rivers and streams. It is the largest coastal lagoon in India and also the second largest salt water lagoon in the world after the New Caledonian barrier reef in New Caledonia. Spreads across 1,100 sq. km, the pear shaped lake extends from Bhusandpur in Puri district in the North to Rambha-Malud in Ganjam district in the South, separated from the Bay of Bengal by a 60 km long narrow strip of marshy islands and sand-flats. Regarded as one of the best places to visit in Puri, the lake is an ecosystem with large fishery resources. It sustains more than 150,000 fisher-folk living in 132 villages on the shore and islands. Besides, this lake is an important habitat for birds and mammals, including the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin. In 1981, Chilika Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, and added in the UNESCO tentative list in 2014.
Book Here : Puri Tour Packages