Bhubaneshwar – Capital of Odisha, India – also known as ‘The City of Temples‘ is slowly turning into a Smart City now. Bhubaneshwar has various historic Hindu temples from 1st Century BC strongly depicting the (now Odisha) Kalinga architecture dedicated to Lord Shiva. The name of the city – Bhubaneshwar – is also named after Lord Shiva. This was the probably the longest day of our trip as we covered so many spots in a single day starting from Puri till the evening flight for Delhi. So sit back and enjoy your coffee, this might be a long read on my top things to do from the capital. Before I begin I suggest you see Ed Sheeran’s – Shape of you – in Odisha style.
After covering Shanti Stupa on the outskirts of Bhubaneshwar, we started the city tour with the *Lingaraja Temple* – Dedicated to Lord Shiva and the most prominent temple of the city standing tall at 180 feet and also amongst one of the most famous tourist spots of the city. The main Shiva temple is the main attraction of the temple and yet is also surrounded by various small temples dedicated to various other Hindu deities.
Quick Tips –
- If visiting via personal vehicle/taxi – leave shoes in the cab/vehicle to avoid hassle at the shoe counter.
- Prasad easily available outside the temple.
- Don’t hire a personal priest unless you know nothing about the temple.
- In case of a quick visit, visit only the main Shiva Temple and may skip the rest.
** Read more tips from Puri trip – Jagannath Temple – mostly will apply here as well.
Another major temple of the city and a major tourist attraction which is also known as ‘Gem of Orissan Architecture’. The temple is also dedicated to Lord Shiva and dates back to 950–975 CE and is an architectural marvel. The temple is comparatively small as compared to other temples in the city, has a small pond inside the premises as well and is carved beautifully. The temple gets its name with reference from Buddhism – ‘Lord who gives freedom through Yoga’ and it is also depicted in various forms of aesthetically carved figures on the temple structure.
#Udaygiri And Khandagiri Caves
Situated on the outskirts of Bhubaneshwar city is the ornately carved rock architecture on a hilltop presumed to be belonging to Jain puritans. The caves date back to 2nd Century BC historically built by King Kharavela. Khandagiri caves are located just opposite the Udaygiri caves and differ from the latter in terms of a Jain Temple situated on the hilltop and can be reached via stairs. While Udaygiri caves don’t have stairs and a circular structure on top from where the views of entire Bhubaneshwar city can be enjoyed.
- Entry fee of 5/- Rupees for India citizens & tourists from SAARC countries and 100/- Rupees for tourists from any other nation.
- Can not be reached directly by buses ~ government buses only go till nearest Baramunda bus stand and then auto rickshaw or private cabs till the main entrance of the caves costing not more than 30-250 INR.
- Be careful at the Khandagiri caves ~ if you can trek on stairs then only prefer, else you may only cover Udaygiri caves.
- Very few tour guides are available ~ better to do proper research before visiting.
- Better to visit early morning/late evening to avoid scorching sun.
- Very close to the airport ~ can be kept as the last leg of the itinerary, if traveling via flight.
#Nandankan Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Established in 1960 and open publicly around 1980, the Nandankan Zoo became the first Indian Zoo to join World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Another must visit place from the state which contains both a zoo and a botanical garden. The zoo is home to some of the rare species including white tiger – an experience you will surely regret missing!! Unfortunately, we couldn’t cover zoo in the trip so that was a real miss for me.
Image Source – Google
Have you been to Bhubaneshwar in Odisha? Do share your experience with us!!
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– The Wanderer