12 Popular Tourist Places to Visit in Orissa (Odisha) (2022)

Beach | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 36 km from Konark, 58 km from Bhubaneswar, 82 km from Cuttack, 390 km from Rourkela, 407 km from Jamshedpur, 434 km from Vizag, 495 km from Kolkata, and 522 km from Ranchi, Puri is an ancient temple town situated along the coast of Bay of Bengal in Odisha. Puri is one of the places of original holy Char Dham Yatra of Hinduism and also one of the top places to experience Odisha Tourism.

Earlier called as ShriKhetra, Purushottama Khetra, and Jagannath Puri, Puri is home to the world famous Sri Jagannath Temple. Often referred as the spiritual capital of Odisha, Puri forms the Golden Triangle of Orissa along with Konark and Bhubaneswar. Puri became an important center of pilgrimage with the arrival of Gangas in the 12th century and emerged as one of the centers of Vaishnavism. Anantavarman Chodaganga, one of the powerful rulers of Puri, established the Purushottama Temple and later came to be known as the Jagannath Temple in the 15th century.

According to history, Puri and the Jagannath Temple were invaded 18 times by Hindu and Muslim rulers from 4th century AD till the early 19th century. Puri was declared as the capital of Odisha under the British till 1816 CE. In 1828 CE the whole territory was separated into three regions, Katak, Balasore, and Jagannath Puri. In 1936 CE Odisha was divided from the state of Bihar and Puri was formed in 1948 CE.

Dedicated Lord Vishnu, Lord Jagannath Temple is one of the prime places to visit in Puri and is a ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 36 km from Puri, 61 km from Bhubaneswar, 111 km from Ratanpur, 394 km from Rourkela, 408 km from Jamshedpur, 462 km from Vizag, 482 km from Raigarh and 522 km from Ranchi, Konark is a small town in Puri district of Odisha along the coast of Bay of Bengal. Renowned world over for the Sun Temple, Konark is one of the top tourist destinations in Odisha and also one of the popular places of heritage in India.

The name Konark is derived from two Sanskrit words - Kona meaning angle and Arka meaning sun, in reference to the temple which was dedicated to the Sun God. Also known as the Black Pagoda, the Sun Temple was built in black granite during the reign of Narasimhadeva-I. The temple resembles the mythical chariot of the Sun God and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984. The temple is now mostly in ruins, and a collection of its sculptures is housed in the Sun Temple Museum, which is run by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Konark Tourism presents a multitude of attractions that fascinate tourists from all over the world. Konark Beach, Ramachandi Temple, Kuruma, Astranga Beach, Varahi Devi Temple at Chaurasi and Maa Mangala Devi Temple at Kakatapur are some popular places to visit in Konark apart from Sun Temple. Konark was also one of the few places in India to experience a total solar eclipse.

Besides the magnificent Sun Temple, Konark is also famous for Konark Dance Festival. This five day long cultural extravaganza is one of the most ...

City

At a distance of 16 km from Cuttack, 58 km from Puri, 61 km from Konark, 191 km from Balasore, 264 km from Sambalpur, 342 km from Rourkela, 431 km from Vizag, 439 km from Kolkata and 456 km from Ranchi, Bhubaneswar or 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.

Known as 'The City of Temples', Bhubaneswar is one of the ancient cities located in the eastern part of India and is a thriving center of art and culture. Literally, Bhubaneswar means Lord of the Universe and is known for its architecture and temples. Bhubaneswar is one of the 3 cities designed by the German Architect Otto. H. Koeingsberges along with Chandigarh and Jamshedpur and is one of the first planned cities in Modern India.

The origin of the city dates back to more than 2,000 years while the modern city came into existence in 1948. Bhubaneshwar was the capital of the Kalinga dynasty. Later Emperor Kharavela established his capital in Sisupalgarh which is on the outskirts of the city. After that the area was subsequently ruled by several dynasties, including Satavahanas, Guptas, Matharas and Mughals. In 1803, the area came under the British and was part of the Bengal Presidency until 1912, and Bihar - Orissa Province till 1936.

In 1936, Odisha became a separate province in British India with Cuttack as its capital. In 1947, when India got independence, Orissa became ...

Beach

At a distance of 5 km from Konark Bus Station, Konark Beach is a stunning beach located in Konark, Orissa. Also known as Chandrabhaga Beach, it is regarded as one of the finest beaches along the east coast and also one of the popular Konark Tourist Places.

The Konark Sea Beach is named after Chandrabhaga River which joins sea here. The lengthy stretch of sylvan sands and soothing blue sea rushing in, undulating waves makes the Konark Beach one of the beautiful places to visit in Konark. A leisurely stroll along the beach side is a lovely experience. Tourists can also enjoy beach activities like sun bathing, surfing and many more. Though this is a great spot for sunbathing, the presence of strong currents makes swimming unsafe. A panoramic view of the sunrise is the other captivating attraction of this beach. A light house, close by Chandrabhaga is an added attraction to this place.

Konark Beach is well-known for the yearly Magha Saptami Mela, a seven day festival. It takes place during 7th full moon day of Magha Month every year and many visitors come to this beach on this day to take dip in the sea and offer prayers to Sun God.

Beach

At a distance of 34 km from Konark, Astaranga is a stunning beach in Puri district of Odisha. Situated near the mouth of Devi River, it is one of the famous and beautiful tourist places in Konark.

It lies on the coast of Bay of Bengal and is famous for the lovely and long sandy beach. It attracts lots of visitor to enjoy the natural scenery of the beach. The sunset at Astaranga Beach is incredible for tourists. In Oriya language 'Asta 'means 'Sun set' and 'Ranga' means 'Color', So 'Astaranga' means 'Colorful Sunset'.

Known as famous fishing center of Puri, the small market sits near the beach where the fishermen sell out their catches to the waiting vendors. The crowd in the early morning consisting of the boatmen returning with their nets from the sea and the intending buyers give a perfect picture of man's co-existence with nature. The famous shrine of Pir Jahania is located near the beach.

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 27 km from Konark, Varahi or Barahi Temple is an ancient temple situated at Chaurasi near Konark in Puri district of Odisha. Situated on the banks of Prachi River, it is one of the best places to visit near Konark.

The temple is dedicated to Goddess Varahi. This temple was built in the first quarter of 10th century AD during Somavamsi rule. Locally known as Matsya Varahi, the presiding deity Goddess Varahi sits in lalitasana on a plain platform with her right foot resting on the buffalo mount carved on the pedestal. She is presented as the pot-bellied goddess with the face of a boar. She has two arms and holds a fish in her right hand and a bowl in her left hand. A third eye is tightly engraved into her forehead. Here Barahi is worshipped in accordance with the tantric rituals. Goddess Varahi is offered fish every day.

The Varahi Temple has marvelous architecture and is the most beautiful monument in the Prachi Valley. The temple is east facing and built with sand stone. Spreading over about 2 acres of land, this temple presents a pancharatha type both in plan and construction. The temple is built on a platform devoid of decorations, though the outer walls have elaborate carvings. The shrine is unusually rectangular in shape and the Shikara is a form in the evolution of Kharkhara style, wherein a semi-cylindrical ridge crowns it. A beautiful statue of Lord Surya is installed in the niche. It has a two tiered hipped roof and has 2 latticed windows ...

Pilgrimage

At a distance of 21 km from Konark, Maa Mangala Temple is a Hindu temple situated at Kakatpur in Puri district of Odisha. Also known as 'Sarba Mangala Mandir' and 'Bata Mangala Temple', it is one of the most renowned Shakti Peethas in Odisha and also one of the famous places to visit in Konark.

Goddess Mangala is the presiding deity of this temple. Built in 15th century, the temple is a symbol of the ancient heritage of Kalinga. According to legend, the Goddess Mangala kept herself hidden under the waters of the River Prachi. One day a boatman was unable to cross the river in full spate when Maa Mangala told him in a dream to recover her from the middle of the river and establish her in the village of Mangalapur. He dived and recovered goddess idol and built the temple. Later, the boatman saw a crow dive into the exact spot in the river from where the deity was recovered but the crow never came out. In local Oriya language 'Crow' means 'Kaka' and 'Detained' means 'Atka'. Thus the place is called as Kakatpur.

Built in typical Kalinga style, it is a major pilgrimage for devotees of Shakti cult. Pilgrims visit frequently to the temple to get the blessings from Maa Mangala. There is a bed made of solid stone on which it is said Maa Mangala rests after touring the entire universe every day. The bed looks worn out in just the same way it would if it were in use for centuries.

Kakatpur Mangala Temple has a close relation with Lord Jagannath temple of Puri during ...

Pilgrimage

At a distance of 22 km from Puri, Alarnatha Temple is an ancient temple located in Brahmagiri near Puri. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this is one of the famous temples of Lord Vishnu in Odisha and also one of the must visit places in Puri.

The present temple of Lord Alarnatha is said to be two hundred years older than the Jagannatha Temple in Puri. The temple is not a big tourist destination but a famous religious place for all Krishna devotees. Legend says that Lord Brahma came and worshipped Lord Vishnu here on top of a hill. According to history, the rulers of Alwar in Rajasthan had established the temple here. The temple was later known as Alwarnath or Alarnath.

The temple is associated with the visit of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to Orissa. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu during his stay in Puri used to see Lord Jagannath daily. During Anavasara period when Lord and his siblings were taken to the secret chamber for 15 days, he was unable to see his dear Lord. So as per the legend lord directed him to go to Brahmagiri and visit Alarnath temple. It is believed that those who cannot worship Lord Jagannath during Anavasara period can get the blessings of the deity if they visit the Alarnath temple. During this time every year thousands of devotees visit Alarnath Temple to get the blessings of Lord Alarnath.

Lord Vishnu is worshiped here as Alarnath with four hands holding shankha, chakra, gada, and padma. Lord Vishnu's carrier Garuda kneels at the feet of the deity with his ...

Lake & Backwater | Wildlife

At a distance of 44 km from Puri, Chilika Lake is Asia's biggest inland salt water lagoon situated near Satapada in Odisha. Located at the mouth of the Daya River, Chilika Lake 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.

The lake is studded with small islands including the most charming Honeymoon Island and the Breakfast Island. 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. 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. In 1981, Chilika Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

The lake also acts as one of the most supportive ecosystems in the name of Chilika Lake Sanctuary. It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent. Birds from Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, Central and southeast Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here. White bellied sea eagles, graylag geese, purple moorhen, jacana, herons and flamingos are among the many species which make the lake a bird watcher's delight. Chilika, in fact, is ...

Beach

At a distance of 17 km from Puri and 25 km from Konark, Beleswar Beach is a serene beach situated at Beleswar in Puri district of Orissa. Also known as Baleshwar Beach, this place is one of the striking beaches in Odisha and also one of the popular places to visit in Puri.

The beach is located at the mouth of Nuanai River and the sight of the river draining into Bay of Bengal is spectacular. The beach and the forest cover that stretches all along the beach provides a good place to relax. Sunbathing, swimming and water sports are popular ways to spend time on the beach. Watching the sunrise and sunset is a popular tourist activity.

The Baleshwar Beach is renowned for its Shaivite shrine and also holds religious significance for the followers of Lord Shiva. The Mahashivaratri festival is celebrated with great fervor at the temple and is visited by thousands of devotees during the festival.

Wildlife

At a distance of 17 km from Bhubaneswar Railway Station, Nandankanan Zoological Park is a zoo and botanical garden lies in the vicinity of Kanjia Lake in Bhubaneswar. It is one of the biggest and largest zoo parks in India and also one of the famous Bhubaneswar Tourist Places.

Spread over an area of 400 hectares, Nandankanan was established in 1960 and declared as a sanctuary and zoo in 1979. It became the first zoo in India to join World Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2009. This reserve area is being stretched across the area of 4.37 sq. km where the protected area is of 3.62 sq. km. Nandankanan, literally meaning 'The Garden of Heavens', includes the 134-acres Kanjia Lake. Due to its rare offerings and serene setting, the park has been now emerged as a much sought after picnic destination for both locals as well as tourists.

Located in the greenish environment of Chandaka Forest, Nandankanan is world renowned for its white tigers. Today, the park has more than 34 white tigers in its vicinity. The park is also houses 67 varieties of mammals, 18 varieties of reptiles and 81 species of birds. The animals that are frequently seen in the park are Asiatic lion, lion-tailed macaque, Indian crocodiles, nilgiri langur, Indian pangolin, Himalayan black bear, mouse deer, rhesus macaque, black buck and more. Some of the popular birds that can be seen here are white peacock, blue & yellow macaw, open billed stork, green winged macaw etc.

The zoo is also a home ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 12 km from Bhubaneswar Railway Station, Dhauligiri Hills is an historical site located on the banks of River Daya in Bhubaneshwar. It is one of the most popular Tourist Places in Bhubaneswar and also one of the important places of heritage in Odisha.

Set in a serene and peaceful environment, Dhauli is well known for its famous rock edicts of Ashoka. Dhauli hill is presumed to be the area where Kalinga War was fought and won by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka in 265 BC. It is in these hills that Ashoka adopted the path of dharma after the gruesome Kalinga war. According to the legend, the water of the River Daya turned red with the blood of the deceased in the terrible Kalinga War. When Ashoka saw this he was taken aback and realized the aftermath of a war. After that, He made the principles of dharma as his prime priority.

Later, the King Ashoka made Dhauligiri to be a renowned Buddhist center. The emperor built several chaityas, stupas and pillars in and around Dhauligiri Hills. The noticeable spots at Dhauligiri are the splendid Shanti Stupa and numerous Edicts. As per the ASI excavations, many Rock Edicts like Nos. I-X, XIV and two separate Kalinga Edicts have been found. In Kalinga Edict VI, Ashoka expresses his concern for the 'welfare of the whole world'. Constructed in 3rd century BC, the rock-cut elephant above the Edicts is said to be the oldest rock cut sculpture in India and it symbolizes the birth of Lord Buddha.

Also known as Peace ...

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