ORISSA: The State of Temples

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By Akshita Agrawal

Orissa, one of the 28 states of India, popular for its exquisite temples, superb monuments, inviting beaches, enchanting wildlife and natural landscapes is an inviting and soothing place that provides an ideal vacation- fun, enjoyment and spiritual enrichment.

The capital of Orissa, Bhubaneshwar, is famous for its handicrafts of silver filigree, wood and stone carvings, patta paintings, Tie and Dye textiles, bamboo basketry, brass and bell metal work, and horn work. Important destinations in the capital are the twin hills of Udaygiri and Khandgiri that contain varieties of rock-cut caves and the best specimen of Pali records, the Cactus gardens near ‘Ekamara Kanan’ and the ancient temples of Lingaraja and Mukteswara.

Puri is famous for the Jagannath Temple, an important temple in Hindu Mythology which is considered as a ‘teerath dhaam’, and the sand art works of Biju Patnaik. The view of sunrise at the sea beach is a wonderful experience. Just one caution, beware of the guides!

Famous for its Sun Temple, built in the form of a chariot, Konark is only half an hour away from Puri, connected by a road which runs along the sea and hence creates a beautiful ambience around. One can always stop and bathe in the sea under the warm sun!

Not a very well known tourist spot, Cuttack which means an army cantonment where the British army was trained, is virtually an island surrounded by river Mahanadi. The Dhamleswar temple and the Chandi temple are a must for any visitor. The Dhamleswar temple is situated in the centre of the river and the only way to commute there is through boats.

Half an hour from Cuttack, Nandan Kanan, a zoological park, is the only one in India where white tigers can be seen. It has a wide range of deers, lions, reptiles and birds. A trip around the zoo includes lion safaris and deer safaris along with trolley and toy trains.


An hour’s drive from Bhubaneshwar will take you to Samapada, which has the largest lagoon population of Irravati Dolphins in India. A boat ride takes you around the Chilika Lake, the largest lake in Asia, and gives you the opportunity to catch glimpses of dolphins around you and an island where the waters of Chilika Lake meet those of the Bay of Bengal.

Cities of Pipili and Daula Giri that are on the way to Konark and Puri are famous for their appliqué work and the Buddha Temple respectively.

The sunrise from the sea, the sunset behind the temple, the elaborate architecture, the warm sand on the beach…everything about Orissa is magnificent.

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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