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Orissa Travel - The Ancient Kalinga

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Rath Yatra Puri Odissi Dance Orissa Sun Temple


Nestled between West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, Orissa - The Ancient Kalinga, lies on the eastern coast of India with the waters of the Bay of Bengal swirling along its eastern and southeastern boundaries. Orissa constituted the famed kingdom of Kalinga, which was conquered after a bloody battle by Ashoka, the great Mauryan emperor.

Orissa offers diverse habitats from vegetated and hilly terrain to coastal plains and rolling river valleys, criss-crossed by the Brahmani, the Mahanadi and the Bansadhara rivers. The coastal region in Orissa India varies in width except in the Ganjam district where the eastern hills attain their highest altitude at 1,500 metres. Mahanadi and its tributaries cross through this region and create a large delta, which is very fertile. The tourist destinations in Orissa mainly include the capital city Bhubaneswar, Puri and Konark.

Bhubaneswar - The Capital City

Location: Bhubaneswar derives its name from the Sanskrit word Tribhuvaneswara, which stands for Lord Shiva. The capital of Orissa, Bhubaneswar is an important city of the temple triangle of Orissa. Hence, Bhubaneshwar has direct air, road, and rail connection with the other major cities of India.

Tourist Destinations: Parashurameshwara Temple is one of the best examples of the Orissan temple architecture. Vaital Deul is influenced by the Buddhist cave architecture. The interior of the temple has the image of Chamunda (an incarnation of Goddess Kali). In Mukteshwar Temple, the intricate carvings of the deities testify the influence of Hindu, Buddha, and Jain style of architecture. The Rajarani Temple which derives its name from the stone known as the Rajarani, was built earlier in comparison to the impressive Lingaraja. Brahmeswara Temple stands in a courtyard flanked by four smaller temples. The Orissa State Museum is one of the best places to explore sculptures, stone inscriptions, paintings, anthropological specimens, musical instruments etc. The Handicrafts Museum has a good collection of folk paintings, horn toys, brass castings, and sculptures. The Tribal Museum deals with the various aspects of the tribal life and culture in Orissa.

Konark - The Sun Temple

Location: The temple city of Konark is situated in the eastern state of Orissa at a distance of around 65 kms from Bhubaneswar and 35 kms from Puri. Crowned as the Black Pagoda, the 13th-century Sun Temple is said to be related to Lord Krishna.

Tourist Destinations: The UNESCO has listed the Sun Temple as a World Heritage Site. The structure of the temple resembles a colossal chariot, with 24 wheels, pulled by seven straining horses. The Sun God's chariot also represents the seven days of the week and the 24 hours of the day. The museum of the Archeological Survey of India is just outside the temple enclosure. The museum houses many sculptures and carvings from the ruins of the Sun Temple. Situated around 3 kms from the temple is Konark beach. Ideal for sunbathing, the picturesque beach also offers a breathtaking view of dawn.

How To Reach Orissa

Bhubaneswar is the only civil airport in the state connected to different parts of the country through regular flights. The major cities connected to Bhubaneswar are Kolkata, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. Bhubaneswar and Puri are the major railheads for the state. The extensive railway network connects different parts of the state to the other parts of the country. The National Highways 5, 6, 23, 42, and 43 pass through the state.

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