Odisha is a land like no other and rightly called “Goa of the east”. It is home to Puri temple, the earthly abode of Lord Vishnu or Jagganath. Odisha is not touched by modernity, yet the traditions and cultures have bridged the gap between the past and present. This place is famous for its religious sanctuaries, seascape beauty, historic antiques, architectural grandeur, and spiritual significance. The historical heritage attracts thousands of visitors every year due to its splendid beaches and amazing tourist places. The cool breeze of Odisha’s beaches will blow your mind and refresh your soul. So, to make your trip fantastic, here are the top things to do in Odisha.
1. Head to the most exceptional Chandrabhaga Beach on India’s Eastern Coast
Visit one of the most beautiful beaches of the eastern coast, located just 3 km (1.8 mi) away from the famous Konark Temple. The beach holds religious importance associated with the sun god as a seven-day fair is organized here in honor of Sun God. Devotees from all over the country come and take a dip in the sea. You can take a stroll along the beach with your loved ones and enjoy a beautiful sunset. You can experience pleasant weather throughout the year; however, the best time to visit is anytime between October to February. If you are visiting in February, you can be a part of the Chandrabhaga Mela, a famous festival for the locals.
Address: Puri, Odisha 752111
Website: Chandrabhaga Beach
2. Check out the marvelous Konark Sun Temple
Visit the architectural marvel and a symbol of India’s heritage, Konark Sun Temple. The temple is located just 3 km (1.8 mi) from Chandrabhaga Beach. Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century temple that is also known as the Black Pagoda and dedicated to the Sun God. The shape of the temple resembles a giant chariot and you can witness the beautifully intricate carvings built in Kalinga style. Visitors from all over the country are attracted to geometrical patterns surrounding the temple. This UNESCO World Heritage Site still holds the charm to captivate numerous visitors.
Konark Sun Temple
Address: Konark, Odisha 752111
Website: Konark Sun Temple
Tip from Trip101 local expert
I've always been religious. And most of the places I visit are religious places only! So this temple is in a small village of Odisha, and very few know about this place! I felt a different kind of inner peace and tranquility when I visited there, and that is the reason why it has such a special place in my heart.
This is Raghunathjew Temple, where lord Rama and maa Sita are worshipped. The history and lovely architecture of this place just took me to a different era! The temple was built during the middle ages in a typical Kalinga style. Intricate carvings and beautiful details adorn every corner, painting a picture of Odisha's cultural heritage. It's not just a monument; it's a sanctuary that holds the essence of Odisha's heritage.
3. Go bird-watching at Chilika Lake
Planning a day trip with your loved ones? Chilikalake is your best bet as it is one of the best places in Odisha for bird-watching. The brackish water lagoon is Asia’s largest coastal lagoon. It is home to a crucial ecosystem that has a giant fishery resource. You can enjoy boating with your loved ones if you are planning for a one-day picnic. Take strolls on the banks of the beach and enjoy natural bliss so you can rejuvenate your mind and soul away from the hustle-bustle of the city. Lastly, don’t forget to click beautiful pictures at the stunning picturesque location.
Website: Chilika Lake
4. Marvel at the breathtaking Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves
Explore the most excellent examples of ancient India’s rock-cut architecture at the Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves. It is located on the outskirts of Odisha’s capital, Bhubaneshwar, known for India’s historic remains showcasing the richness of the past. Do not forget to visit the shelters of the Jain monks and experience the positive vibes in the vicinity. Most of these caves are natural. There are a total of 15 Udayagiri caves and 18 Khandagiri caves. The caves were carved in the first century. Thousands of visitors visit these lovely caves as they are known for their beautiful sculptures and Brahmi inscriptions. You have to be careful with your belongings as there are a lot of monkeys around the place and they will not fear you.
Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves
Address: Khandagiri, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751030
Website: Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves
Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)
5. Bring out the child in you at Nandankanan Zoological Park
The best place to take your kids in Odisha is Nandankanan Zoological Park. It is just 15 km (9.3 mi) from Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Odisha. This park is spread over 4 sq km (1.5 sq mi) area, built inside a natural forest, and is a completely natural environment. The park has a calm aura as it is located amidst Chandka forest and the lovely Kaija lake. The zoological park is home to numerous species of wildlife and also includes white tigers. You can also join an animal project run by the wildlife and sponsor food and necessary items for the animal in the park. The place is ideal for kids as it teaches them the true meaning of wildlife.
Nandankanan Zoological Park
Address: Nandankanan Rd, Near Police Station, Barang, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 754005
Website: Nandankanan Zoological Park
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 7:30am - 5:30pm (closed on Mon)
Price: 50 RS (less than 1 USD)
6. Delve into Odisha's heritage at Odisha State Museum
Visit a popular tourist attraction that has a vast collection of manuscripts on palm leaves. Apart from the impressive palm leaf manuscripts, there are many treasures hidden in the museum. If you love paintings, it will just take a moment for you to lose yourself in the Pattachitra paintings that are very inspiring. Learn about the folk and the rich history of the state. The museum consists of two life-size dancing statues in Odissi dance forms that welcome the tourists at the gate. Enjoy a day in the museum that offers an amalgam of various tools and sculptures.
Odisha State Museum
Address: Near, Lewis Rd, Kalpana Square, BJB Nagar, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751014
Website: Odisha State Museum
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 7.30am - 5.30pm (closed on Mon)
7. Sit back and relax at Duduma Waterfalls
A waterfall that attracts numerous tourists throughout the globe due to its natural liveliness, Duduma Waterfalls is located at the border of Vishakhapatnam and Koraput, about 70 km (43.49 mi) from Jeypure. Duduma has a drop of 175 m (574 ft), which allows it to be in the list of the highest waterfalls that exist in India. The stream of the water begins from the river Machkund, which has a major role in the Machkund hydroelectric power plant project. This is one of the best tourist places in Odisha that promises a relaxing environment to the tourists. The deep forests that surround the waterfall help soothe every soul.
Address: Badigada, Odisha 764040
8. Visit the nine-storied structure, Barabati Fort
Barabati Fort is a well-known destination for a must-visit for every traveler. Built by the Ganga dynasty in the 14th century, it is located on the banks of river Mahanadi, about 8 km (4.9 mi) away from the city of Cuttack, Odisha. The fort has a caved gateway with splendid high walls that would give you a feeling as if you are entering a kingdom. The fort is spread over an area of 102 ac (41.2 ha) and has an earthen mound of a majestic, nine-story structure, from where you can enjoy the magnificent view of the modern city of Cuttack. The well-planned fort was designed in such a way that it protects the monument from enemy attacks. Visitors can also visit the nearby Barbati Stadium built for cultural and sports events. You can learn about the great history of the fort once you are here.
Address: Barabati Fort Rd, Biju Patnaik Colony, Cuttack, Odisha 753008
Website: Barabati Fort
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
9. Satiate your curiosity about planets at Pathani Samanta Planetarium
Pathani Samanta Planetarium is Bhuvaneshwar’s most adored landmark where you can learn a lot about the planets. You can quickly reach out to this place by hiring a cab as it lies in the heart of the city. It aims to spread awareness about the study of astrophysics, astronomy, and space science. It is a must-visit for you if you are planning to take up a career in astronomy as it supports scientists too. Once you are here, you can take part in various knowledgeable activities like poster shows, audiovisual programs, and night sky viewing. This visit as this planetarium is not only home to a rich collection of books, but also offers a variety of astronomical devices that can satiate their curiosity.
Pathani Samanta Planetarium
Address: Acharya Vihar, Doordarshan Colony, Gajapati Nagar, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751015
Website: Pathani Samanta Planetarium
Opening hours: Tue - Wed, Fri: 1pm - 5:45pm; Thu: 7am - 5:45pm; Sat: 1:30pm - 5:45pm; Sun: 2pm - 6pm (closed on Mon)
Price: 30 INR (less than 1 USD)
10. Rejuvenate your mind and body at the splendid Puri Beach
Puri Beach is an ideal beach to spend a weekend with your loved ones.This magnificent beach stretches up to 7 km (4.3 mi). All around the year, tourists visit this exotic beach as it is located 2 km (1.2 mi) away from the Puri railway station. Take a stroll on the beach and feel the cold breeze brushing your cheeks while walking on the white sand that will take you to the land of fantasy. You can hear the waves roaring and it will calm your mind and soul. It is a perfect place that promises a stress-free vacation. If you are a food lover, you can enjoy some local delights as there are a variety of shacks along the beach selling prawns and fried crabs.
Address: Puri, Odisha
Website: Puri Beach
Explore and enjoy Odisha
Odisha is a state that boasts famous shrines, stunning beaches, and great monuments. Unspoiled by modernity, the state promises a memorable vacation for all. This place is where you can explore the wildlife, history, and heritage–so prepare for a holiday that’s not only enjoyable but also enriching.
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