• Jolly Banjerjee

A Guide to Odisha: How to Reach, Where to go, and What to Eat!

When we think about traveling in India, we all have a long list of places across the country to visit. Some places are adventurous, some are religious, some have very beautiful architectural art and somewhere we can spend some downtime with nature. Odisha is an eastern state of India which is a mixed package of all of them. The state has a glorious history and is filled with natural beauty, like far-reaching paddy fields, beaches, temples, rivers, and waterfalls. Odisha has many major attractions such as the temples of Bhubaneswar and Puri, miles of clean beaches, and the magnificent Sun Temple of Konark. The art and culture, fairs and festivals, dances, and music of Odisha are a treat for the travelers who want to enjoy their life to the fullest. The state is also called ‘The Soul of India’, known to have a unique culture.

Without further ado, let's get into our end-to-end guide to Odisha - it will surely make you want to visit the state yourself!

Top Cities to Visit in Odisha

There are some amazing cities In Odisha which are famous for their heritage, art, culture, and for the scenic views, especially of the beaches. Each of these cities has its own unique identity and personality in terms of the spell it casts on the visitors.

Bhubaneswar: The Temple city

The capital of the state, Bhubaneswar earned the title of the ‘Temple city’ by having over one thousand temples in the city. It is an ancient city with a large number of attractive and beautiful historic temples. Many luxurious temples were built centuries ago and have still remained as in their original state in all these years. Lingaraj temple and the Parasurameswara temple are the major attractions of the city.

Best Places You Must Visit in The City:

  • Temple: Lingaraj and Parasurameswara temple

  • Caves: Udayagiri and Khandgiri caves

  • Zoological Park: Nandankanan Zoological Park

  • Museum: Odisha State Museum

Cuttack: The Silver city

Cuttack is known as the silver city as well as the Millennium city due to its history of 1000 years and famous silver filigree works. An island is situated at the top of the Mahanadi delta formed by two rivers Mahanadi and Kathajodi. The city is known for its rich cultural history, immoderation, and brotherhood. The city was ruled by Mughals for the maximum period as a result of which the city has a number of Muslim monuments. Both Hindus and Muslims celebrate every festival with joy.

Best Places You Must Visit in The City:

  • Temple: Kataka Chandi temple

  • Fort: Barabati Fort

  • Beaches: Paradeep beach

Puri: The Spiritual city

Puri is an ancient city of Odisha filled with natural beauty and has great religious importance. It has many places to explore that can win the hearts of the tourists in a blink. Puri is known as one of the sacred pilgrimage sites of Hindus. According to Hindu mythology, Puri is the resting place of Lord Vishnu. The city is said to be the treasure of art and architecture in India. Taking the share of charm from the Bay of Bengal, the city shines brighter in summers, smells earthy in monsoon, and seems beautifully rustic in winters. Also explore the nearby attractions such as Chilika lake, Puri beach, Gundicha Ghar, and the very famous Sun temple of Konark.

Best Places You Must Visit in The City:

  • Temples: Sri Jagannath temple, Gundicha Temple, Alarnatha, Lokanath, Markandeshwara Temple, Bedi Human Temple.

  • Beach: Puri, Balghai, Baleswar

  • Lake: Chilika lake and Sanctuary

  • Museum: Sudarshan Craft Museum

The Land of God: Historic Temples to Visit in Odisha

Odisha, also known as Orissa, is said to be home to many ancient temples. There are hundreds of temples in many cities in Odisha. Here are 10 Famous Temples to explore in Odisha:

1) Shri Jagannath Temple

The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and holds great significance. It is one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites in Odisha. There are some mysterious facts about the temple, such as the temple does not create a shadow during day time and you cannot hear the sound of the waves of the ocean when you are inside the temple. There is also an interesting fact about the temple that the flag on the top of this temple flows in the opposite direction of the wind.

Location: Bhubaneswar

Visiting Time: 5.00 am – 11.00 pm

2) Maa Tara Tarini Temple

Situated on the banks of river Rushikulya, Maa Tara Tarini temple is one of the Sakti Peethas in India. The temple was built in the 17th century. Located on the top of Taratarini Hill, it is said to be a wish-fulfilling temple. Chaitra Mela is a popular event that is celebrated inside this temple.

Location: Raipur

Visiting Time: 5.00 am – 12.30 pm, 2.15 pm – 9.45 pm

3) Sun Temple

The temple is dedicated to Lord Sun and was built in the 13th century. The temple is built in the shape of Lord Surya’s chariot, in the Kalinga architectural style. It’s an amazing fact that the sundial which is carved on this temple tells the accurate time during day and night.

Location: Konark

Visiting Time: 6.00 am – 8.00 pm

4) Lingaraj Temple

The temple was constructed in the 8th century and is the largest temple in the entire state of Odisha. There are many carved figures on the walls inside and outside, and this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The Linga inside the temple is called ‘Syambhu Linga’, as it appeared on its own.

Location: Bhubaneswar

Visiting Time: 5.00 am – 9.00 pm

5) Brahmeswara Temple

The ancient temple was built in the 9th century and dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is known for its marvelous architecture, as it is carved out of single stone. In the walls of the temple, there are many beautiful carvings and the temple was built in pyramidal style. It is the best place for those who love history and mythology.

Location: Old Bhubaneswar

Visiting Time: 5.00 am – 9.00 pm

6) Gundicha Temple

The temple is named after Lord Krishna’s aunt Gundicha. Built-in Kalinga style of architecture, the temple is one of the most beautiful temples in Odisha. It has a beautiful garden and four carved structures. It is believed that the temple is the abode of Lord Jagannath. The temple is mostly crowded during the annual Ratha Yatra.

Location: Puri

Visiting Time: 6.00 am – 9.00 pm

7) Mukteshwar Temple

This temple was built in 950 A.D during the rule of the Somvanshi Dynasty, in the Kalinga architectural style. There is a part of this temple that has been built in the Buddhist style of architecture. It is situated on the hilltop and dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple has many intricate carvings and is known as the ‘Gem of architecture’.

Location: Bhubaneswar

Visiting Time: 6.30 am – 7.00 pm

8) Parsurameswar Temple

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built in the Nagara style of architecture in 650 A.D. The temple walls are designed by many intricate carvings of Kalinga style architecture. It is believed that this is the place where Lord Parshurama punished himself and got austerity from Lord Shiva.

Location: Bhubaneswar

Visiting Time: 5.00 am – 6.00 pm

9) RajaRani Temple

The temple is famous for its stunning architecture. It was built in the 11th century by reddish-gold sandstone. The temple is known as the ‘Love Temple’, as there are many carvings of men and women, signifying a special bond. There are also many carved figures of Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati inside the temple.

Location: Bhubaneswar

Visiting Time: 7.00 am – 5.00 pm

10) Vaital Deula

The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Chamundi, and it was built in the 8th century with Kalinga architecture. The temple has very beautiful carvings, and is also known by the name of ‘Tina Munia Mandir’. It is a rare temple and is known for its architecture.

Location: Bhubaneswar

Visiting Time: 7.00 am – 8.00 pm

Getting Around Odisha

How to reach

The state is well connected by air, rail, and road from major cities of India such as New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, etc. Odisha has one airport in the capital city Bhubaneswar- Biju Patnaik International Airport. The railway station of the capital city is one of the most convenient and important railway stations in Odisha. There are many more railheads other than the Bhubaneswar railway station, which are connected to the other towns and places within and outside the state. The state is also easily accessible from all the major cities of the country by the National highways and State highways.

Traveling Tips:

  • You must have complete information about the places and the timings before traveling.

  • It would be a good idea to visit Odisha in winters to explore the beauty of the place.

  • There is so much to see and experience in Odisha, so you must take time to explore the attractions in Odisha.

  • Try out the varieties of delicious Odia cuisines.

Where to stay

People often get confused while traveling about where to stay. The facilities of staying in Odisha are quite good, but we personally recommend Puri - it is the best place to stay in the state while you are on a tour. All the major attractions such as Chilika Lake, Puri Beach, Narendra Tank, Konark Temple, etc. are situated nearby to the city. The city is also home to the famous Sri Jagannath Puri Temple. There are several hotels in the city which are available at reasonable prices offering all the necessary facilities.

Authentic Odia Cuisines

Odia cuisine is mainly served in the state of Odisha. The state is influenced by the cuisines of North India, Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh as well, as it shares the borders with these states.

List of few Dishes you must try:

  • Pithas(Sweet cake)

  • Khichdi

  • Chingri Malai

  • Macha Ghanta

  • Dalma

  • Pakhala Bhat

  • Dahi vada-Aloo dum

  • Chhena Poda

  • Rasabali

  • Fish and kinds of seafood

Spend a few days in the lap of nature at Odisha, explore the wildlife reserves, temples, monuments, art, and the festivals of Odisha. Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are located in Odisha. Visit the soul state of India, and we can confidently say that you will be returning with a bag full of unforgettable beautiful memories.

If you're interested in reading more, check out these blogs on Odisha by Breathe Dream Go and Lakshmi Sharath! If you like this content, you will surely like our other detailed blogs about everything travel - check them out in our Travel feed, where we write about a range of topics and always keep it fun and interesting.


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