Bhubaneswar is also called the Temple City of India, because of its architecture and grand temples. Currently, the city is the thriving center of commerce and business. The meaning of its name is Lord of the Universe; it reflects the number of temples and religious fervor located here. Bhubaneswar is a bustling city, which contains a great combination of modern and historical places, along with notable natural beauty. Let’s explore the 10 best things you can do in Bhubaneswar:
1. Lingaraj Temple
This temple is an ancient temple with great religious importance. The 54-meter (177 foot) high temple dedicated to Tribhuvaneswar (Lord of three worlds) is visited by thousands of devotees throughout the year. It is a masterpiece and a culmination of the evolution of temple architecture in Odisha. This temple is surrounded by dozens of smaller temples and shrines, in an extensive complex. The main temple is restricted to Hindus, but don’t worry, there is a viewing platform from which you can catch a sight.
Address: Rath Road, Bhubaneswar
2. ISKCON Temple
ISKCON stands for International Society for Krishna Consciousness. ISKCON Temple includes idols of deities like Krishna, Balaram, Subhadra, Gaura Nithai and Jagannath. This temple follows the great scriptures of India, like Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. As per Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s publication, the temple focuses on the belief that every soul is part of a quality of Godhead Krishna. The temple organizes Kirtans, Bhajans, and Poojas on a regular basis in order to showcase its ideology.
Address: NH- 5, Near Krishna Tower, IRC Village, Nayapalli, Bhubaneswar
Website: ISKCON Temple
3. Parasurameswar Temple
Parasurameswar Temple was built in the 7th-century and is a unique example of Oriyan style architecture. One part enclosed within a compound wall facing the West is a square tower, while the Jagamohana is a rectangular structure with a terraced roof. The most important feature of this temple is the presence of one thousand Lingas in the Northwest corner. You will find Verandah (a big space) which has projecting molding topped by a recessed frieze, a feature that is not found in later temples. It is the first in Bhubaneswar to contain depictions of Saptamatrikas, namely, Chamunda, Varahi, Vaishnavi, Kaumari, Shivani, Indrani, Brahmi, and Kumari.
Address: Near Bindu Sagar Pond, 7th Century AD, Old Town, Bhubaneswar
Website: Parasurameswar Temple
4. Odisha State Museum
Odisha State Museum has two life-size dancing statues, which welcome you in an Odissi Dance pose at the entrance. In the museum, you will find many archaeological objects, craft objects and art and natural history objects. Odisha State Museum was established in 1948 by N.C. Banerjee and Professor Ghanshyam Dash of Ravenshaw College. It is well known for its huge collection of manuscripts on palm leaves. You can also view palm leaf manuscripts of the 12th-century poem, Gita Govinda.
Odisha State Museum
Address: Near Kalpana Square, BJB Nagar, Lewis Road, Bhubaneswar
Website: Odisha State Museum
5. Nandankanan Zoo
Nandankanan Zoo is located in the Chandaka Forest, on the banks of Kanjia Lake. Chandaka Forest is spread over 988 acres (400 hectares). Nandankanan Zoo is a home to over 67 kinds of mammals, 81 species of birds and 18 varieties of reptiles. Some interesting facts are that it was the first zoo in India to join WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums) and also includes a botanical garden. You will be happy to see black panthers, white tigers and many other animals and birds, which maintain the natural balance of nature against the growing Bhubaneswar.
Address: Nandankanan Rd, near the Police Station, Bhubaneswar
Website: Nandankanan Zoo
6. Udayagiri & Khandagiri Caves
The caves derived their names from their location on the two hills, Udayagiri and Khandagiri. You will have a look into the history of the Kalinga Empire and Jain religion, to understand their backstory. It is stated that during the reign of King Kharavela, most of these caves were carved out as residential blocks for the Jain monks. Khandagiri has 15 caves, whereas Udayagiri, called “Sunrise Hill,” has 18 caves. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has numbered all of the caves. Cave 1,3,9 and 14 are greatly carved and you should not miss them.
Udayagiri & Khandagiri Caves
Website: Udayagiri & Khandagiri Caves
7. Rajarani Temple
Rajarani Temple was built in 1100 and is perhaps the most renowned temple in Bhubaneswar and was earlier known as Indreshwar Temple. The temple’s current name is derived from the wonderful red and gold sandstone, which is known as Rajarani, and was used to build it. Rajarani Temple is locally known as “Love Temple” for the many intricate and beautiful carvings of nymphs. You will be amazed that there is no deity in the temple.
Address: Tankapani Rd, Near BOI ATM, Bhubaneswar
Website: Rajarani Temple
8. Tribal Museum
The Tribal Museum is a home to display everything connected with the life of Orissa’s tribal people. It is situated around 3 kilometers (1.8 mi) away from the city’s railway station and it is the best place to learn and understand the tribal communities. You will find the exhibition rooms adorned with primitive murals and housing traditional costumes, jewelry, and many household appliances. The museum is spread over a 12 acre (5 ha) campus and houses more than 2,247 artifacts.
Address: Unit - VIII. CRPF Square. Nayapalli CRPF Colony, Nayapalli, Bhubaneswar
Website: Tribal Museum
9. Mukteswar Temple
Mukteswar Temple was built in the 10th-century and is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is considered as the most complex Lord amongst the Hindu Gods. The temple has sculptured gateways, diamond shaped lattice windows, a large number of carvings and decorated interiors. You will also find several small shrines that comprise numerous lingams of Lord Shiva. The temple represents a quintessential example of the longevity of the Kalinga style of architecture. If you have not heard of Panchatantra stories, then this temple’s beautiful sculptures and carvings will depict them for you.
Address: Kedar Gouri Ln, Old Town, Bhubaneswar
Website: Mukteswar Temple
10. Hirakud Dam
Hirakud Dam is built across the Mahanadi River and is located around 15 km (9.3 mi) from Sambalpur. It is one of the world’s longest man-made dams in the world. If you love to experience wildlife, then this dam is for you, as it provides the ideal environment for animals. Near to the Hirakud Dam, you can also visit Budharaja Temple, which is situated on a hill called Budharaja Hill. You can take a direct flight to Bhubaneswar and then take a cab or bus to reach Hirakud Dam.
Address: Hirakud Dam, Odisha
A beautiful city ride...
So here is the end of our fantastic journey to Bhubaneswar City. Bhubaneswar has regular temperatures and you don’t need to check anything before going there. It is a place where you can explore the lifestyle of tribal people, along with wildlife and history. Generally, between October and March are the best months to visit this beautiful and rich city, so start your planning now!
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