Cities to see

Orissa Tourism

Tourists' remains spellbound by the magnificent monuments of Orissa and experience its rich cultural heritage. These popular monuments and destinations has put state on the tourism map of India. Orissa is a religious state too. Besides natural beauty, numerous Hindu, Buddhism and Jain religious places are dotted all over the region. The popular tourist spots in Orissa are worth visiting!

Orissa has a tropical climate. Summers are very hot here. Mercury soars upto 40 deg C in summer whereas the temperature drops to 7 deg C. Yet the weather remains pleasant all round the year. The state receives moderate rainfall. Winters are the best time to explore its beauty.

Tourist Attractions in Orissa

Temples: Jagannath Temple

This temple at Puri is one of the most sacred places of Orissa. Lord Jagannath (lord Vishnu) temple is one of the four divine abodes and was built by King Chodaganga.

The revered temple is surrounded by walls; the conical tower bears the flag and the wheel of Lord Vishnu. Lord Krishna, Balabhadra and Subhadra, are the principal deities. Non-Hindus can not enter temple premises they can only witness it from outside.

It is believed that just by eating Maha-prasada of Lord Jagannath one will attain spiritual liberation.

Konark Sun Temple

The stunning architecture of Konark temple speaks its own language. It is truly a masterpiece monument built by King Narasimhadeva in 13th century. The temple is constructed in the shape of a huge chariot with seven horses and twelve wheels, carrying the sun god. Sun god is healer of all diseases.

Lingaraj Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is also a religious place that enshrines a huge granite statue of Lord Shiva.

Lake and Beach: Chilka Lake

Chilka lake in Orissa is asia's largest brackish water lagoon. Visitors enjoy boating and spectacular views of playing colourful birds. The lagoon has two islans, namely, Nalabana Island which is a bird sanctuary and Satpada Island whose major attraction is Irrawady dolphins.

Puri Beach

Fine white sands and roaring sea are synonyms to the Puri Beach. Annual Beach Festival is held in November every year. The beach has become popular holiday destination among both Indian and foreign beach lovers.

The beautifully crafted sand sculptures by the internationally famed Sudarshan Patnaik on the beaches of Puri attains it more fame. It's a great experience to stroll on the golden sand in tranquil and pleasant mood.

Nature's Trail: Udaigiri, Ratnagiri and Lalitagiri

Udaigiri, Ratnagiri and Lalitagiri, are the three major Buddhist places in India. Excavations at Udaigiri led to the unearthing of a monastery, adorned with a large number of Buddhist sculptures, which are definitely worth watching. Ratnagiri plains are full of lush greenery. Excavations were carried out at the site and they led to the unearthing of two large monasteries.

The caves in Khandagiri contain the carvings of the twenty-four Apostles of Jainism.

Dhauli Hill

Dhauli Hill is the Buddhist pilgrim destination where Emperor Ashoka gave up war and adopted Buddhism after the famous Kalinga war.

Events: Rath Yatra

Rath Yatra or the Chariot Festival is celebrated in the holy city of Puri. The jatra starts from Jagannath Temple and attracts devotees from different parts of India.

Konark Dance Festival

The rocking Konark Music and Dance Festival is celebrated with much enthusiasm in December at the open-air auditorium of the Konark Sun temple. This Festival promotes the classical dances and music of India.