The capital of Odisha, India is a visual treat for those craving for a mix of religious, architecture and countryside. Better known as the ‘City of Temples‘ depicting a variety of architecture from the 1st century. In the race of becoming a smart city, the capital has not lost its touch with the history which is easily evident in the maintenance of the religious architecture and customs. If you wish to visit the state famous for Handlooms and the tribal culture, I would recommend keeping the capital as the center point as a number of places can be covered as day trips from here. There are a lot of places to visit in Bhubaneswar but today, I present you with options for the things to do around the capital as day trips.
A small town located in the eastern state of India aka Odisha, Puri is a highly renowned state with its significance because of the presence of Jagannath Temple in the city. The temple is of prime importance to Hindu religion as it is one of the char dhams in Hinduism. Although you can spend more than a day in Puri, if you wish to keep Bhubaneswar as the base city in Odisha, then Puri can be easily covered in a day as well as Bhubaneswar to Puri is hardly 60 km. Apart from the Jagannath temple, Puri is also famous for its gorgeous Golden Sand beach which attracts tourists from the nearby states. With its close proximity to the beach, it is recommended to cover all the places in early morning or post 16h00 while the sun will about to be set down. Head to the beach early morning or late evening to avoid heat stroke!! If you’re flying into Bhubaneshwar, you’ll need to hire a taxi to Puri for a relative distance of 1.5hours. You will be delighted to see the beautiful farm side of the state while on the drive.
Check out more detailes on Puri!
Konark is well known in India and abroad for the historic thirteenth century Sun Temple. Located in close proximity to Puri, the small town is easily accessible from the road via bus and cabs. The Sun temple is a UNESCO world heritage site and thus attracts millions of tourists from India & abroad. The Marine drive or the coastal line of the town is also a must visit for a refreshingly clean and quiet beach than the touristy Puri beach. Konark hosts a Dance festival every year since late 19th century which is held in the Dancing hall in the backyard of Konark Temple. To experience various dance forms from India including the famous Odissi from the hosting state, visiting the festival is a must.
Know more details on Konark!
Shanti Stupa is one of the famous Peace Pagodas across the world which dates back to 232 BCE. As the name suggests, the Stupa was built to symbolize the end of war and beginning of a new world where Peach might prevail. Located on a hilltop just outside of the capital city of Odisha in the Dhauli district and thus is also known as Dhaulagiri. The Buddhist center was established by King Asoka after the Kalinga war ended leading the deaths of millions of people. One hidden spot near Shanti Stupa is the Ashokan Edicts through where Asoka spread the word of Peace in ancient language – Brahmi script.
Learn more about Shanti Stupa!
Asia’s largest lagoon is Chilika lake is a brackish water lake covering more than three districts of Odisha. The visit to Chilika lake is more of a visual feast to the eyes and a place to enjoy the view in those old-fashioned boats making loud noises taking you back in the 19th century. Merging into the Bay of Bengal, a natural habitat of Irrawaddy Dolphins and home to Migratory birds in the winter season is the serene Chilika lake for a traveler. The journey from the capital to the lake will take you through the beautiful countryside of Odisha, where you will come across small villages, people drying and selling fishes on the roadside. Beware of the hawkers trying to sell pearls while luring to you to see and hold the red crabs, those are fake – yup we are victim of that 😀
Learn more about the serene Chilika Lake!
#Udaygiri and Khandagiri Caves
Located just on outskirts of the Odissi capital, the caves are the located on a hilltop are the ornated rock structures dating back to the 2nd century. Udaygiri and Khanadagiri caves are two caves separated by a road in the middle and history lovers will require an entire day to explore both of them. The rock carvings and sculptures will be a delight for history lovers, although if you’re not that into history or architecture you can give it a pass. There’s a nominal entry fee for the caves and you might need to use multiple mediums to reach here as no buses go directly to the caves, or hire a cab!
Did you visit Odisha and the capital of the state? Do share your experience with me!
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– The Wanderer