Temple City of the East
Bhubaneswar, the 'Cathedral City' was once the
capital of an ancient kingdom. Today this bustling centre for commerce and
religious activity is Orissa's modern capital. Having merged its intriguing past
so uniquely with its modern aspirations, it forms an integral link in the Golden
Triangle that incorporates the holy city of Puri and Konark, for the tourists
that flock to pay their homage to the religious, cultural and natural wonders
that abound here.
The striking features of the city are the numerous temples and
shrines that seem to be all around you. Bhubaneswar's skyline is dominated by
some of the most spectacular engineering and artistic feats of its ancient
heritage. The imposing spire of the Lingaraj Temple, the quiet beauty of the
Vishwa Shanti Stupa and the pink translucence of the Mahavira Jain Temple in
nearby Khandagiri, inspire feelings of wonder at their sheer beauty and their
cross-- cultural permutations. These three alone offer an excellent insight into
the ancient cultural strength of Orissa and are well-worth exploring at greater
length. At least four of Bhubaneswar's temples must he on the tourist's agenda,
to get a feel of the dynamic artistry and development of their indigenous
The temples have after all stood testimony to the area's history,
which spans 25 centuries. The Lingaraj, the Parsurameswar, the Mukteswar and the
Rajarani temples are unique in themselves, not only in their architectural
beauty but also in the wonderful sculptures which enhance their presence. An
interesting variation figures in the Vital and Brahmeswar temples. Though the
Lingaraj is closed to non-Hindus, it can be viewed from the viewing platform
The State Museum of Bhubaneswar offers an excellent selection of
archaeological artifacts, weapons and local arts and crafts and insights into
Orissa's natural and tribal history. The museum has world's largest collection
of palm -leaf paintings. The Tribal Research Institute Museum with its authentic
tribal dwellings, created by the tribal craftsmen is a great place to get a
bird's eye view of the State's tribal heritage. The Regional Plant Resource
Centre (RPRC) has about 500 acres of plantations, tissue culture and
experimental laboratory and a huge lake where migratory birds make their home.
The two unique features of RPRC are its status for housing the largest rose
garden in the country (an area of 20 acres) and having the largest collection of
cacti (550) in Asia. Bhubaneswar is a shopper's delight. Saris woven by the
master weavers in silk and cotton are available in the private shops and
government emporia. You can also pick up all kinds of artifacts and jewellery
produced in different parts of the State. The Handloom Weavers Co-operative is
worth a visit. Bhubaneswar has excellent air and rail linkages with most major
cities in the country.
Khandagiri & Udayagiri (Jain
The twin hills of Khandagiri & Udayagiri, 8 km from Bhubaneswar, served as the site of an ancient Jain
monastery which was carved into cave like chambers in the face of the hill.
Dating back to the 2nd century BC, some of the caves have beautiful carvings.
The Rani Gumpha ( Queen's Cave), one of the largest and double- storied is
ornately embellished with beautiful carvings. In the Hati Gumpha (Elephant
Cave), King Kharavela has carved out the chronicles of his reign.
The Atri hot sulphur spring is
believed to have medicinal properties and has become a popular outing spot for
vacationers. The drive from Bhuhaneswar (42 km) alone is worth the trip. The
countryside is gorgeous. Atri is also famous for its temple dedicated to Lord
Just 8 km away from Bhubaneswar
looking down on the plains that bore witness to the gruesome war waged on
Kalinga by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka, stand the rock edicts of Dhauli. It was
here that King Ashoka; full of remorse renounced his bloodthirsty campaign and
turned to Buddhism. The edicts are a living testimony to the King's change of
heart. He urges his administrators to rule the land with justice and compassion.
The edicts are so remarkable that they have been excellently preserved, despite
the fact that they date back to the 3rd century BC. A sculpted elephant, the
universal symbol of Lord Buddha, tops the rock edicts. The Shanti Stupa or the
peace pagoda, built through the Indo-Japanese collaboration, is located on the
The Yogini shrine at Hirapur
(dated 9th century) is important for its architectural variation from the main
Orissan architectural genre. The temple is open to the sky (hypaethral). There
are only four temples of this kind in India and two of them are in Orissa (the
other one is at Ranipur- Jharial). Yogini Goddesses were worshipped in the hope
of acquiring supernatural powers. It is 15 km from Bhubaneswar.
The Garden of Gods : Nandankanan
A short distance from the capital city,
the Nandankanan zoo lies in the splendid environs of the CHANDAKA forest ,
along the ripling water of the KANJIA LAKE.It also contains a botanical garden
and part of it is has been declared a santuary.
It's famous for it's white tiger population
.Nandankanan or the
garden of Gods,has bocom a hot family favorite,with visitors getting an
excellent oppertunity to enjoy seeing these regal animals in thire natural
glory-in an environment conducive to thire growth.
Endangered species such as the Asiatic lion , three Indian
crocodilians , Sangal liontailed macaque,Nilgiri langur, Indian pangolin, mouse
deer and countless birds, reptiles and fish have been breeding successfully at
Nandankanan some of the other attractions of nandankanan are the 34aquaria which
are home to a large veriety of fresh water fishes . The Reptile park's
cave like entrance is guarded by a lifesize tyrannosaurus inside numerous
species of crocodiles, lizards,turtles and snakes share the park with natural
67 Kinds of Mammals, 18 Varieties of Reptiles, 81 Species of Birds coexist in the deeply forest
boundary. The zoo enjoys an excellent reputaion
,internationally,for successfully breeding black panthers ,
gharial crocodiles and white tigers in capitivity.
For the first time ever , a captive breeding centre was created for Gharial crocodilies . This
important task was also facilitated by the gift of an adult male from the FRANKFURT ZOO.
One of the rarest creature in the World , the regal white tiger ,received the new lease of life
with the important reaserch and concereted efforts initiated to try and breed
them in the natural invirons of Nandankanan . In 1980 on a day full of exitement and
jubilation, the first litter of White tigers were born to Deepak and Ganga , to
twany tiger . Subsiquent litters of white tigers have been distributad to zoos
both at home and abroad.Currently, Nandankanan is home to over 34 white tigers.
The White Tiger Safari , established in 1991,offers visitors the heady exitement of
viewing the rare white tigers from specially designed protected bushes.
The lion safari offers an adventurous zing to the trip to
beatifully versatile environs offer the tourists a great opertunity to be
advanturous or laid back......If you donot feel like tearing aroud sighting
animals and watching the birds,you can settle down to a leisurly picnic and
mid-afternoon nap under the trees .If you feel a little more energetic you can
meander along one of their nature trail.
Boating in Kanjia lake on paddle or row boats in the clear blue
waters is an exhilarating experience.
Unique is the 50 hectars of beautiful water lake spread area
named kangia which attracts large numbers of resident and
migratory birds like whistling teal, cotton teal, darter, purple moorhen,
herons, jacana etc.Boating in lake in the clear blue waters is
an exhilarating experience.
The Lion Safari, first of its kind in the world spalws over forested land of 20 hectares with a 3km. motorable
road.That's make a visit to the park more interesting.
Glittering fresh Water Fishes in 36 aquarium boxes have added charm to the park.
The 620 metres long aerial rope -way
transports the visitors across the lake to see botanical garden having many rare
and endangered species of flora from different parts of the world.A first of its
kind in any indian zoo.
Disabled and elderly person who cannot move through the large park on foot ,find it very interesting to use this
pollution and noise free transport system which goes round the park.
The White Tiger Safari spreads over an area of 12 hectares with motorable roads inside .The visitors move
inside the park in protected vehicles of authority.It takes you straight into
the prides of lions and right in front of the majestic tigers.