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Bhubaneswar , the capital city of modern Odisha. The Great Kalinga War which led to the miraculous transformation of Emperor Ashoka was fought along the bank of river Daya on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar in 261 B.C. Now there stands a Peace Pagoda with the Ashokan rock-edicts. The city also has the oldest rock-cut caves in Khandagiri and Udayagiri.
Teeming with temples reflecting the evolution of Kalinga architecture from inception to maturity, Bhubaneswar has earned the title of Temple City of India. Parsurameswar (7 c. AD), Vaital (8c AD), Mukteswar ( 9th c AD), Sidheswar (10 c AD), Rajarani, Brahmeswar and Lingaraj (11c AD) are a few of the temples which stand as examples of the architectural excellence of Oriya sculptors.
(60km from Bhubaneswar), Famous in the world as Jagannath Dham, seat of the Lord of the Universe. It is one of the major pilgrim centres of Hindus and has the 12th century Temple and shrine of Lord Jagannath, which is one of the finest specimens of Odishan architecture. Deeply set in the religious sentiments of the Hindus, the 66 mtr. High shrine is not just a piece of wonderful architecture, rather the embodiment of the faith of millions of devotees. Though this temple is closed for the non-Hindus. Jagannath and Jagannath culture incites the inquisitiveness of many and is widely studied by scholars across the world.
The golden beach of puri with the typical culture and heritage of real india attract many visitors’ to Puri.
Konark, a world Heritage Site (65km from Bhubaneswar; 40km from Puri), The artistic, military, religious, social and domestic aspects of 13th century Odisha are beautifully chronicled in stone at Konark, having derived its name from Kona meaning Corner and Arka meaning Sun, also named as Akrakshetra. Built by King Narasimhadeva, brilliant example of the fine skills of the then Odiya architects.
The dancing figures in various poses (Mudras) are gracefully carved to create a mesmerizing treat for the eyes, one of those rare monuments of the world.
The Sun Temple:” Here the Language of stone surpasses the language of man”, thus said Rabindranath Tagore describing the beauty of Konark. “ Had Konark been discovered first and the Taj Mahal at Agra later by the Europeans, then there is no doubt that Taj would have taken a second place in the mind of world”, remarked the noted Art Historian Charles Fabri.
Gopalpur (190 km distance from Bhubaneswar; 20 km from Berhempur) is one of the finest white sand beach in Odisha. Early morning the sunrise on beach with the activities of fishermen offer the magnetic attraction to Gopalpur. Nearby the great tanta pitha- Bhairabi and one of the 52 sakti pitha at Taratarini attract many religious devotee to hear. Patia sonpur beach also very unique nearby to Gopalpur.
Lalitgiri – Udayagiri- Ratnagiri
Archaeologists have unearthed scores of Buddhist relics in the monastic ruins discovered in Lalitgiri( 110km from Bhubaneswar). The hills and the neighbouring hills like kayam and Langudi etc. are believed to have been the site of a huge university complex pertaining to the Buddhist origin.
A series of brick pagodas, stone porches, prayer halls and Buddhist images have surfaced at Lalitgiri, while at Ratnagiri the finds have been the richest in terms of cultural treasures-two large monasteries, a huge stupa, Buddhist shrines and numerous sculptures are witness to the strong influence of Buddhism in this region. It was also a great centre for Tantric Buddhism or Vajrayana art and philosophy in the 8-9th century.
The udayagiri ruins have recently brought to light the ancient name of the monastery as Madhavapura Mahavihara, Maha stupa with pancha dyani Buddha and several Buddhist sculptures. The site still holds plenty ofmysteries and for the intrepid tourist.
Asia’s largest brackish water estuarine lake, Chilika sprawls over an area of 1100 sq km covering parts of three districts of Odisha i.e. Puri, Khurda and Ganjam. This lake is one among the state’s major tourist attractions and has remained a favourite destination for tourists from across the world. Bird-watchers or nature-lovers, young or old, Chilika has a lot to offer to everyone. The rich bio-diversity and socio-economic importance of Chilika has earned it the status of a Ramsar site. Winter is the best time to visit Chilika as over 160 species of migratory birds flock the islands during this time of the year. The birds come from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral sea, Central and South East Asia, Ladakh and the Himalayas.
Besides the vast congregation of migratory birds, the limitless blue stretch of water, the beautiful virgin beaches separating the sea and the lagoon, the islands with rich lora aand fauna and the playful dolphins add more charm to the beauty of this place.
One of the ancient city in western Odisha was the main centre of Dakhina Kosal. Famous for its nice double ikat textile pattern called “Samalpuri”. Sambalpur also famous for its smbalpuri dance and music. People beg blessing from the elders and celebrate their annual festival Nuakhai, to offer the prime crops of the year at the main goddess of samblapur-“ Sambaleswari”. Usally people called Maa Samalei.