In Bhubaneswar

Lingaraj Temple

The Lingaraj Temple is an ancient shrine situated in the city of Bhuwaneshwar and is the largest temple situated in the city. Dedicated to Lord Shiva as the name suggests, the temple was built sometime in the 7th century by the King Jajati Keshari. The edifice of the temple is a great example of Orissa style of architecture and has intricately designed stone vaults covering the main sanctum of the temple. The Lingraj Temple houses a Shivalingam that rises to a massive height of 8 inches above the floor level and is about 8 feet in diameter as well.

A small temple dedicated to Goddess Bhagawati temple is located in the northwest corner of the courtyard as well. However, entry is restricted to the followers of the Hindu faith only.

Rajarani Temple

A popular 11th-century Hindu temple that can be found in Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha, in India. The Raja Rani Temple is locally known as the 'love temple' because it contains some sensuous carvings of women and couples. No images can be found inside the sanctum, and hence the temple is not associated with any particular sect of Hinduism. This is perhaps exactly where the charm of the temple comes from. The temple belongs to no specific sect and is open to all people irrespective of the deity that they worship and admire. However, the figures of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati carved on the walls strongly indicate that the temple has certain associations with Shaivism.

Dhauli Hill

Dhauli Hills - 8 km south of the present Bhubaneswar, across the Daya river, Dhauli has major edicts of Ashoka engraved on a mass of rock.

It is presumed to be the area of the bloody battle of Kalinga, won by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka in 265 BC. Though he conquered, but the horrors of having slain over 150,000 people and the misery it inflicted on the people filled Ashoka with remorse and brought about a sudden change of heart. He gave up his ambition of dig-vijaya (military conquest) in favour of dharma-vijay (spiritual conquest).

Udayagiri Caves

Udayagiri ("Risen Mountain") is an archaeological-historical site 10 miles north of Sanchi (another famous historical site), and few miles from Vidisha--now a small town, but 1500 years ago a royal capital. Udayagiri is famous for a series of rock-cut caves and temples dating back to the Gupta Period (350-550 CE), a formative era for Hindu religious ideas. Such visible projects may have reflected the Guptas' personal piety, but were also clear political statements to display their ruling power.

These caves were typically cut from the rock starting at the ceiling and working down (no scaffolding needed), and included architectural details typical of constructed buildings.

Nandankanan Zoological Park

Nandankanan Zoological Park is a premier large zoo of India. Unlike other zoos in the country, Nandankanan is built right inside the forest and set in a completely natural environment. The animals are housed in enclosures with greenery with a feel of real forest and live with no fear or apprehension of becoming the hunter's prey.

Nandankanan is 15 kms from Odisha's capital, Bhubaneswar. The Bhubaneswar railway station is at a distance of 18 kms and the Biju Patnaik International Airport is at a distance of 20 kms. Tourist cottages inside Nandankanan are available for accommodation, only during day time, on prior reservation from the office of Deputy Director, Nandankanan Zoological Park.

Chilika Lake

Chilika Lake - Asia's largest brackish water lagoon with water spread ranging from 1165 sq km m the rainy season to 906 sq km in the dry season is nestled in the heart of the coastal Odisha (Orissa). It extends from Bhusandpur in Puri district in the North to Rambha-Malud in Ganjan district in the South, separated from the Bay of Bengal by a 60 km long narrow strip of marshy islands and sand-flats.

Some of the prominent islands like Nalabana, Kalijal, Somolo, Honeymoon, Break-fast, Birds and Rajahansa inhabited by small subsistence fishermen families, are popular destinations for daily boat trips. Because of its rich bio-diversity and socio-economic importance, Chilika was designated as a Ramsar site in 1981 to afford better protection.