Situated along the Bay of Bengal, Odisha is the pilgrim's hub of eastern India. This picturesque state flaunts 500 beautiful temples and is a unique amalgamation of virgin beaches, waterfalls, serpentine rivers, tribal villages, and opulent wildlife. Being a major tourist destination, a tour of Odisha will certainly add some unforgettable memories to the gamut of the enthusiastic adventurer. Through this travel guide of Odisha, explore the famous tourist places in Odisha, things to do in Orissa and get a peek into the tribes and beaches of Orissa.
The climate in Odisha is mainly influenced by the ocean, because of its proximity to the sea. Odisha enjoys a tropical monsoon type of climate during the year. However, incessant showers are observed in monsoon making the season uncomfortable to explore the state. Summers in Odisha are quite hot as the temperature reaches up to 45 degrees Celsius. Hence, winter is the best time to visit Odisha.
March is when the summer season in Odisha begins, and lasts till June. The temperature goes up to 40 degrees Celsius at this time. Monsoon season starts in July and lasts till October. Cyclones and storms are witnessed at the coastal areas of the state. The winter season in Odisha starts from October and lasts till March. The beauty of Odisha's old structures is highlighted during this season.
Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Odisha, is famous for its architecture and ancient temples. The land which is almost 2500 years old is a perfect blend of modern constructions and ancient monuments. This place has some Buddhist sites and also refers to as the temple city of India due to its large number of religious temples like Lingaraj Temple, Temples of Khandagiri & Udayagiri, etc.
Referred as the cultural capital of Orissa, Cuttack is a commercial city with plenty of exciting tourist attractions. Being the second largest city in Orissa, Cuttack is the center of all commercial activities and the local handicrafts of this state. Always buzzing with cultural activities, Cuttack is a highly-planned city and has a number of tourist attractions which will make a person's trip here a memorable one.
Being one of the must-visit pilgrimage sites for Hindus (Char-Dham), Puri is a beach city in Odisha and home to one of the most sacred temples in Hindu mythology, the Jagannath Temple. There are a lot of places near Puri that one must visit, like the Puri beach, Chilika Lake, Gundicha Ghar and the very famous Sun temple of Konark. The Rath Yatra i.e. chariot festival which takes place from June-July should not be missed if you are planning to visit Puri during this time.
Konark is renowned world over for the Sun Temple which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Sun Temple in Konark is an architectural wonder and is one of the most beautiful monuments of India. One must not miss out “The Annual Dance Festival”, a grand celebration of our country's rich cultural and artistic legacy, an event to truly rejoice the various dance forms that our country has invented. The Dance Festival also hosts a Handicrafts Mela where tourists can buy exclusive and intricately handcrafted pieces which beautifully reflect the Oriya art form.
Chandipur is an isolated seaside village of Baleshwar district stored safely on the coastline of Orissa. Also known as Chandipur-on-sea, Chandipur Beach is an amazing place to be.The specialty of this beach is the ebb tides that recede around 1- 4 km during low tides tend to disappear rhythmically. This beach has a spectacular view of the rising sun and sunset. When the water disappears, you can even take a jeep ride towards the sea.
This 13th century temple has been renowned world over for its beautiful architecture and elaborates carvings. Devoted to Sun God, most of the parts of this temple lie in ruins but is still worth paying a visit. Displaying Kalinga architecture and erotic sculptures, this temple excites photographers and history buffs.
Situated at a short distance from Konark Sun Temple is the pristine Chandrabhaga Beach. This beach in Odisha has religious importance as a seven-day fair in respect of the Sun God. Followers from all parts of the country come here to take a dip during the fair. Apart from the fair, the beach is a beautiful place to be at with family and friends.
One of the four holy places for Hindu followers, Jagganath Temple needs no introduction. Though a non-Hindu is prohibited from entering the temple, it is a pure delight to get the merely view of this sacred place from outside as well.
Chilika Lake is another important attraction of Odisha. This salty water lagoon extended is probably the largest coastal lagoon in India. If lucky, one can spot dolphins here as well. Those who love bird watching, Chilika Lake could be an ideal place to visit in Odisha.