Tourism in Odisha is one of the main contributors to the Economy of Odisha, India, with a 500 km (310 mi) long coastline, towering mountains, serene lakes and frolicking rivers. Odisha is one of the major tourism sectors of India, with various tourists’ attractions, ranging from wildlife reserves, beaches, temples, monuments, the arts and festivals. Let us have a look at what this eastern state has to offer to the unsuspecting tourist. Some of the major towns and tourist hotspots are covered below.
Referred to as the cultural capital of Orissa, Cuttack is a commercial city with plenty of impressive tourist attractions. Cuttack is the second largest city in Orissa and is the centre of all commercial activities and the local handicrafts of this state are displayed and traded in this very city. The inflow and outflow of the rare artefacts which so beautifully define the quintessential Oriyan form of art takes place from this very city. Cuttack is always buzzing with cultural activities and plays host to a variety of festivals like the Baliyatra, which commemorates the ancient trade links the countries like Java, Bali and Sumatra and the Kite Festival which is held in the month of January. Cuttack is a highly-planned city and has a number of tourist attractions which will make a person’s trip here a memorable one.
Places to visit: Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, Dhabaleshwar, Barabati Fort, Paradip Beach
Konark, in the state of Orissa is renowned world over for the Sun Temple which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Annual dance festival and its beautiful sandy beaches. Konark’s Sun Temple is an architectural marvel and is one of the most beautiful monuments of India. The Annual Dance Festival is a five day-long cultural extravaganza which invites unique dancing talent from all over the country. This festival is a grand celebration of our country’s rich cultural and artistic legacy, an event to truly rejoice the various dance forms that our country has invented. The celebrations happen with the backdrop of the Sun temple, adding grandeur and magnificence to the whole program. Besides this, Konark also hosts the Sun Festival, where devotees offer prayers to the Sun God by taking dips in the sea. The Dance Festival also hosts a Handicrafts Mela where one can buy unique and exquisitely handcrafted pieces which beautifully reflect the Oriya art form.
Places to visit: Sun Temple, Chandrabhaga Beach, ASI Museum, Astaranga Beach, Konark Dance Festival (held every year between 19th-21st February)
One of the four must-visit pilgrimage sites for Hindus (Char-Dham), Puri is a beach city with its most famous attraction as the Jagannath temple. Known as the resting place of Lord Maha Vishnu, Puri in the state of Orissa is situated alongside the coast of the Bay of Bengal. This town is home to one of the most sacred temples in Hindu mythology, the Jagannath Temple. The majestic history and heritage of Puri date back to the 3rd century B.C. Puri, Konark and Bhubaneswar complete the Golden Triangle of Orissa, with their religious significance and cultural heritage being the centres of tourism in this state. There are a lot of places near Puri that one must visit, like the Chilika lake, Puri beach, Gundicha Ghar and the very famous Sun temple of Konark. Puri is soon turning into an industrial hub with major manufacturing companies coming here. The Rath Yatra(chariot festival) which takes place during the month of June-July should not be missed if you are planning to visit during this time.
Places to visit: Sri Jagannath Puri Temple, Puri Beach, Chilika Lake, Narendra Tank, Lakshmi Temple, Jagannath Rath Yatra (held every year in July)
In the southern coastline of Odisha just 15 km from the city of Behrampur is located a quaint, tiny town of Gopalpur which was a sea port, bustling with trade and commerce, in the Colonial Era. What was once a bustling port city before being deserted, is today, one of the best beaches in the eastern coastline of the country. It is known for being an offbeat destination and a place for relaxation. The sea port remains largely in ruins, the British have gone too but what remains is one of India’s most loved beaches. The Gopalpur-on-sea is considered to be one of India’s most beautiful beaches largely due to its remoteness, its peace and its offbeat crowd. The beaches are sparkling gold which along with the azure water of the Bay of Bengal providing a perfect place to relax and immerse yourself in nature. Besides the beach, the food is also pretty great in the town with many shanties providing tongue tickling seafood. Gopalpur is rapidly becoming one of the most sought after beaches in the country, with more and more people becoming aware of its beauty.
Places to visit: Gopalpur Beach, Chilika Lake (Ramha), Gopalpur Lighthouse
Chandipur is a secluded seaside village of Baleshwar district stored safely on the coastline of Orissa. Chandipur is also locally known as Chandipur-on-sea. If nature’s wonder fascinates you, Chandipur Beach is an amazing place to be. The unique specialty of this beach is the ebb tides that recede around 1 to 4 km during low tides and they tend to disappear rhythmically. This has a spectacular view of the rising sun and also of the sun drowning somewhere beyond waters providing a feast for the eyes. When the water disappears, you can even take jeep ride towards the sea.
Places to visit: Chandipur Beach, Simplipal Forest Reserve, Nilagiri, Panchalingeshwar Shrine, Sajanagarh
Berhampur, also known as Brahmapur is known as the home of Lord Brahma and is usually known as the silk city- the city which is famous for the lustrous ikkat silk sarees in different colours and patterns. Bomokei patta, named after the village Bomokei where excellent work out of brass and metal is created also is an attraction to the tourists here. Besides these beautiful handicrafts, handlooms and jewelry this city offers some of the best Papads (popadum), pickles, badis and fruits specially mangoes. People here are nowhere behind the line when it comes to theatre, as drama and theatre is a common way to entertain and educate. Ganjam Kala parishad and Prakasam Hall are some of the oldest halls of the city. And for theists there and temples and festivals organized in the vicinity. This city has a lot more than can be listed out. You can choose to flop around beaches and let those sands kiss your feet as the breeze gently enters your soul to whisper the chants of ecstasy.
Places to visit: Panchama, Taratarini Temple, Sri Sri Sri Siddhi Binayak Pitha, Potagarh
So, the next time you have a long bus ride or train journey coming up, don’t allow it to take your trip. Instead, wear your best face and gear up for a joy ride. Book your travel tickets at TicketGoose.com for exciting offers. We are committed to taking you places so, download the app now.