Odisha

Capital – Bhubaneshwar  ~>>  Area - 155,820 sq km.  ~>>  Language – Oriya, Hindi, English, Bengali and Telugu

odisha templeMostly visited for – Bhubaneshwar, Puri – the city of Jagannath Temple, Konark renowned for its Sun Temple with twelve giant stone wheels, Gopalpur – a virgin beach resort, Taptapani, Ratnagiri, Cuttack, Baripada, Chandipur, Chilika Lake, Balasore, Sambalpur, Rourkela

Adventure – Boat Rides: Lake Chilika, Satkosia Gorge, Mahanadi Cruise

Surfing: Gopalpur-on-Sea
Sailing: Blue Bay Back-waters

Trekking: Gajapati District, Mahendragiri Hills, Balasore District, Kuldiha Jungle (Nilagiri), Keonjhar Region, Gandhamardhan Trek
Major Cities – Bhubaneshwar, Puri, Cuttack, Rourkela

Weather - Summer: March to May, Monsoon: June to August, Autumn: September to October, Winter: November to February.  Climate of Odisha depends upon the altitude of hill ranges and varies from tropical to sub-alpine.

Connectivity
By Air- Odisha’s capital, Bhubaneshwar is the most convenient gateway for reaching the state by air.
By Rail- Bhubaneshwar is also the most important railway station in Odisha. The city is serviced by important trains. Apart from Bhubaneshwar, there are several other railway stations in Orissa.
By Road- Bhubaneshwar is located on the National Highway that connects Kolkata and Chennai. Orissa has an extensive road network which makes it easily accessible from any part of the country.

History, Geography and Culture of Odisha
Odisha or Orissa in its heydays was associated with an important episode in the history of India. It witnessed the massive bloodshed during Kalinga war fought between 262-261 BC and even saw a transformation of a power hungry emperor into a staunch Buddhist follower. Thereon, the state has become a backdrop for flourishing artistic temple architecture. Be it the Buddhist heritage sites of Ratnagiri, Udayagiri, Lalitgiri and Dhauli hill or the Jain Heritage at Khandagiri, Hindu heritage temples at Konark, Bhubaneshwar and Puri, Odisha is a repository of India’s artistic architecture.

Lined by the Bay of Bengal in the east and bordered by West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, Odisha is an enchanting odyssey featuring great geographical attractions as well. Here, the state’s western and northern portions are occupied by the famous Chota Nagpur plateau.  The coastal fertile plains and the valleys of the Mahanadi, Brahmani, and Baitarani rivers fall into the Bay of Bengal and provide fertile backdrop for intensive rice cultivation. The Asia’s largest Central Rice Research Institute is located along the banks of River Mahanadi in Cuttack. The beaches of Odisha are also unique in their own right. These best-kept beaches have a unique world around them. The beaches at Rushikulya, Devi and Gahirmatha are the nestling grounds for Olive Ridley sea turtles. The beach at Puri is considered not only sacred for Hindus but is a Mecca for sand artists. Any topical issue finds its interpretation in sand on the Puri Beach of Odisha.

chilka lakeChilika Lake, a shallow brackish lagoon is the largest coastal lake in India and second largest in the world. This ecosystem is a paradise for birds and aquatic life, especially for dolphins. Bhitarkanika Sanctuary is famous for preserving estuarine crocodiles. Another renowned wildlife site of Simlipal National Park Tiger Reserve is a huge lush green forested reserve known for its waterfalls and inhabited by tigers, elephants, and other wildlife.

The culture of Odisha is as vivid as the state itself. Blessed with rich heritage, historical monuments, archaeological sites, traditional arts, sculpture, dance and music; this state presents a kaleidoscope of cultural panorama. The state celebrates fairs and festivals in a culturally jovial way. The famous cultural festival of the state is Konark Festival. During this festival, the Sun temple complex here becomes a backdrop for live classical dance performances. The other important festival of the state is Rath Yatra of Puri, wherein the three chariot cars bearing the gigantic idols of Lord Jagannath, Goddess Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra are pulled by millions of devotees in the month of July.

The tribal culture of Odisha has many socio-cultural similarities wherein these societies share certain common characteristics and manifest a primitively continuing heritage of cultural existence. Here in Odisha, a traveller can experience the concentrated tribal settlements as well as semi-tribal villages through the beautiful countryside forest. In all, Odisha is a spiritual, natural and historical odyssey where many contrasts dwell in unison.

Wildlife Sanctuaries
Simlipal Naitonal Park (Mayurbhanj District), Nandankanan Zoological Park (Near Bhubaneshwar), Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary (Near Bhadrak), Chilika Bird Sanctuary (Near Puri), Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary (Near Sambalpur)

Religion – Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians,

Festivals
Makar Mela, Dola, Magha Saptami, Mahashivratri, Ashokastami, Taratarini Mela, Chaitraparba & Chhow Festival, Sitalasasthi, Rath Yatra at Puri, Ganesh Puja, Dussehra, Laxmi Puja, Bali Yatra, Konark Festival, Dhanu Yatra, Puri Beach Festival, Toshali National Craft Mela, Ekamra (The Temple city festival), Kalinga Mahotsav

Eat – Jeera Pakhala, Saag Kharada, Kadali Bhaja, Machha Kalia (Fish Curry), Chinchhada (Fish cooked with vegetable), Prawn Malai Curry, Crab Curry, Machha Besara, Enduri Pitha and Chittau Pitha, Dalma, Ghanta, Kasa Mansha, Chhena Jhili

Buy – Textiles, Silver Filigree, Horn Work, Applique, Metal Crafts, Paintings, Stone Carving, Wood Carving, Patta Chitra Paintings

Hotels – Odisha is also renowned for its earthy hospitality. Around 20 cities in the state are known to offer world class hospitable services for the tourists.


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