Bhubaneswar, Capital of Orissa, is known for its splendid Buddhist and Hindu temples. "Bhubaneswar" means the "abode of God" or "master of the universe". Appropriately enough, it is called "The city of temples" : the city once boasted over 7,000 temples, though in modern times that number has decreased to a still impressive 500. Most famous is the Lingaraj Temple, featuring an ornately carved spire that is 40 meters high. It is the temple of Shiva, the destroyer. Others include the 10th century Mukteshwar Temple and 11th century Raja Rani Temple.
Bhubaneswar is a modernly built city with fine, wide roads, with a nice juxtaposition of modern and ancient buildings. Bhubaneswar industry is centered around textiles, and the city is a link in India's weaving belt that stretches to the Northeast Hill States.
Shopping in Bhubaneswar can be a fun-filled exercise where you get to see lots of markets and shopping places of Bhubaneswar. Shopping in Bhubaneswar consist of traditional weaved fabrics, silver ornaments and items and handicrafts. Look for readymade garments and fabrics made of appliqué work locally known as Chandua while Shopping in Bhubaneswar. Orissa is also known for weaving of Ikat fabric, which can be purchased as readymade garment, fabric, sari etc. while Shopping in Bhubaneswar. Since Bhubaneswar is the capital of Orissa, you may find various types of clothes from different regions at one place. You can buy Sambalpuri silk and cotton, tussar silk and gold embroidery when Shopping in Bhubaneswar.
Bhubaneswar recorded a temperature of 37ºC, but the next day the temperature rose to 44.9ºC. Whether it is global warming, deforestation, ill-planned industrialisation or mindless mining, the abnormal change in Orissa's climate is a hard reality. In the past, the State's western region routinely experienced high temperatures and frequent droughts. Kalahandi district hogged the headlines for its poverty and starvation. But in recent decades many places in coastal Orissa are also burning hot.
During the last 100 years, the State has been affected by different natural disasters in 90 years; floods occurred in 49 years, droughts hit the State in 30 years and cyclones hit it in 11 years. Calamities have become more frequent since 1965. Erratic rainfall has become a regular feature in Orissa and rainfall forecasts are failing. In spite of normal rainfall predicted last year, drought hit as many as 12 districts with some of them recording rainfall deficits as high as 50 per cent. Pre-monsoon showers, which used to bring in cool winds, have become a rare phenomenon. The number of dry days in summer has shown an increasing trend over the last two decades, leading to severe shortage of drinking water in many towns and villages.
Sisupalgarh - The ruins of Sisupalgarh lie at a distance of around 2 Kms from Lingaraj Temple. The ruins dating back to the 3rd or 4th century BC, depict that there was a well developed city at this place.
Dhauli - Dhauli lies 8 Kms away from Bhubaneswar. The place has been the witness to the Kalinga war, fought between Emperor Ashoka and Kalinga. It was in Dhauli, where King Ashoka renounced his bloody battle and turned to Buddhism, after the Kalinga War in 261 BC. The rock edits, like a sculpted elephant are the living testimony of that era. The Vishva Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda) is located on the opposite hill.
Konark Horse in Roundabout - Bhubaneshwar
Rajarani Temple - Bhubaneshwar
Artwork on Lingaraj Temple - Bhubaneshwar
Atri - The place is located at a distance of 42 Kms from Bhubaneswar. Atri is famous for its hot sulphur spring and a temple dedicated to Lord Hatakesar.
Hirapur - Situated at a distance of 20 Kms from Bhubaneswar, Hirapur is famous for The Yogini shrine. The temple is open to the sky and its architecture vary from the typical Orissan temple architecture. It is one of four temples of this kind in India. In the temple Yogini goddesses were worshipped to acquire supernatural powers.
Attractions and Places to Visit in Bhubaneshwar
Lingaraja Temple - The temple dates back to the 11th century represents the 'Nagara' style of Orissan temple architecture. Lingaraja temple has been described as "the truest fusion of dream and reality." The temple situated in a huge walled complex, was originally consisted of the sanctum and the mandap or the entrance hall. Later the dancing hall and the hall of offerings were added in the temple. The 46 metre high tower dominating the surrounding is visible from a long distance.
Architecture of the temple - The sculpture and architecture of the temple mixed nicely to create a perfect harmony. The outer walls of the temple are finely decorated with beautiful sculptures of birds,beasts, creepers, flowers, men and women in erotic postures and several gods and goddesses. The inner walls of the temple contains the phallus symbol of Shiva. The pilgrims, who wish to visit the Jagannath temple at Puri, must first offer worship at the Lingaraja temple.
Other Temples - Parashurama Temple (650 A.D) is one of the finest examples of Orissa temple architecture style. This temple houses some exquisite carvings and sculpture. Vaital Deul, built in 800 A.D, the temple has a two-storied wagon roof, influenced of the Buddhist style of cave architecture. The temple has the idol of deity Chamunda. Mukteshwar Temple, of 7th-8th century AD has the influence of Hindu, Buddha, and Jain style of architecture. One of the most ornate temples in the city, has the interesting carvings on the roof. The Rajarani Temple built in1100 A.D, derives its name from the stone called as the Rajarani. The temple with its excellent sculptures and beautiful decoration presents a unique example of Orissan temple art style.The temple set amidst picturesque paddy fields, is famous for its erotic mithuna figures, fascinating nayikas, nymphs and gaja-simhas.
Nandankanan - The zoo located at a short distance from Bhubaneswar, is also called as the Garden of Gods. The zoo is situated in the Chandaka forest, along the rippling water of the Kanjia Lake. It has a Botanical garden and a part of the zoo has been declared a sanctuary. Nandankanan is famous for its white tiger population. The zoo provides shelter to endangered animals like the Asiatic lion, Indian crocodiles, Sangal, Lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Indian pangolin, Mouse deer, Birds and Reptiles. There are 34 aquaria inside the zoo, which are home to several variety of fresh water fishes. The zoo has an international reputation, for successfully breeding black panthers, crocodiles and white tigers.
Museums - The city has three museums namely the Orissa State Museum, The Handicrafts Museum and The Tribal Research Museum. The Orissa State Museum displays sculptures, coins, copper plates, armory objects, rare palm-leaf manuscripts, lithic and bronze age implements, paintings, traditional folk and musical instruments and other art objects. The Handicrafts Museum located on the Secretariat Road has a good collection of handicrafts of the state.The Tribal Research Museum, founded by the tribal craftsmen is a perfect place to have a look of the Orissan tribal heritage.
How to Reach Bhubaneshwar
Air : Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport. Well connected to Lalitagiri by bus.
Train : Bhubaneswar is the nearest railhead well connected to major cities through broad gauge network.
Road : Lalitagiri is well connected with Bhubaneswar, and other cities through a good road-network