Bhubaneswar – the capital city of the state of Odisha, India is soaked in different hues. Very recently this city came to be known at world stage when it hosted the 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup Tournament. Every time I am in Bhubaneswar, there is something new to explore ! Here is a list that I think are the top things to do in the city –
Dhauligiri – Shanti Stupa
A symbol of piece ! This dome shaped structure with the edict of Lord Buddha is a must visit. The foundation of the stupa is believed to be laid by King Ashoka who chose the path of peace and tranquility. The essence of this place can be felt just being there. The views from the Stupa are amazing. There is a lot more to this place than taking pics so dig through, the story behind the stupa, the temple, the different pillars, the carvings on the walls, the dome – everything is simply mesmerizing
This is a famous landmark in the city ! Lingaraj Temple dates back to the 11th century but its believed that the foundation and the work on building the temple may have began several centuries earlier. The architecture represents the Kalinga era. Photography is not allowed inside the temple and you have to see it to believe it ! The Tower stands majestic with a height of 55ft. Sculptures all over the temple complex is absolutely mesmerizing. Lot of smaller shrines dot the complex and invokes a sense of divinity. Highly recommended !
Iskcon is known for stunning temples across the country and beyond. The temple in Bhubaneswar is not far behind. Again photography restrictions inside the temple and I cannot show you how beautiful the experience inside was but hey no restrictions on taking photos on the outer view which if you see the pic below speaks volumes on how eye pleasing it is. There is no entrance fee or anything like that, just go for devotion and inner piece.
Well yes a Zoo ! It’s a treat if you are an animal lover or you are on a family trip with kids. It’s a famous spot in the city and totally deserves it. Not going to describe everything as everyone knows what to expect in a Zoo but some highlights and tips if you visit here are
- Aviary – Simply stunning, well maintained and its an experience being there with the birdies !
- Safari’s – It’s not a safari hitting on a trail of wild animals but its certain enclosed area’s where they take you on a bus trip to spot the Tiger, Bears and Deers
- Battery cars – Reserve a battery car all for yourself and rest assured you will have a good trip, the driver also doubles up as the guide and its some very interesting stories of animal rescue is what one will get to hear. If not opting for these, be prepared for a lot of walking and keep yourselves hydrated !
- Monkeys – If you are carrying food and if they even get the slightest hint, brace yourself – they will snatch it. We learnt the hard way when we took out a biscuit to feed my toddler and before it could reach his mouth , the monkey was in action !
Another prominent place to visit in the city is the Ram Temple. This is totally different from the architecture and the legacy that Lingaraj Temple is known for , here it’s very vibrant and colorful. Shrines adorned beautifully, no restrictions on taking pics, peaceful and eye-pleasing ! The main deity as you would have guessed is Lord Ram but there are many smaller shrines that dot the complex here as well. We were here at dusk and the view from outside was of awe !
Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves
Udayagiri and Khandagiri are located on two small hills adjacent to each other. These caves are believed to be of historical significance and carved out as residences for monks who were followers of Jainism. While Khandagiri leaves a lot to be desired with tourists like us damaging the caves by scribbling and carving out our names spoiling what is something that should be protected, the main attraction at Khandagiri is the Jain Temple at the top of the hill and the amazing views from thereon.
Udayagiri is protected well and has an entry fee as well. The caves and the sculptures carved out of them are just unbelievable ! Mind you the caves are very small and I wonder how the monks resided here but that itself indicates how significant this place is. Opt for a guide when you can, we did not and probably cannot detail the various aspects but spending time here is like being a part of history !
In addition to these wonderful places that you get to visit in the city, Bhubaneswar offers food that is irresistible especially the local cuisine. Here is a guide to find where all the good food is – Bhubaneswar Food Guide
I am sure there may be hidden gems in the city which are yet to be explored as is the case with any other place – if you think there are spots that are worth exploring – drop me a comment and I’ll make sure my next visit covers them !