Bhubaneshwar, the ‘Temple City of India’ was once the proud home to over a thousand Hindu, Jain and Buddhist shrines. Some of them didn’t survive the taste of time, yet Bhubaneshwar is still flourishing with multitudinous ancient as well as modern temples dedicated to various Gods and Goddesses. The most revered temple of Bhubaneshwar, the ‘Lingaraj Temple’ dated back to 10th century AD has been described as ‘the truest fusion of dream and reality’. Other noteworthy temples of this ‘Temple City’ include Parasuramesvara Temple, Muktesvara Temple, Rajarani Temple, Vaital Temple, Brhamesvara temple, Vaskaresvara Temple, Ananta Vasudeva Temple, Markandesvara temple, Yamesvara temple, Sisiresvara Temple, Ram Mandir, and ISKCON Temple and so on.
The ethos of Orissa Culture depicted through the Classical Odissi Dance, sculpturing, sand artistry, handicrafts, music, theatre and folk art, etc. are well conserved in Bhubaneshwar. The Ekamra Haat, a famous hand-loom and handicrafts market reveals the wide array of folk art and the Orissi Dance Academy named ‘Srjan’ preserves and promotes the classical dance form originated in Orissa named Orissi or Odissi. The master craftsmanship of the artists of ancient Bhubaneshwar finds a platform in the excavations of Ratnagiri, Udaygiri, Khandagiri and Lalitgiri. The Hindu, Buddhist and Jain carvings and sculptures found here have no match in their artistic competence and aesthetic merit.
The traditional Bhubaneshwar cuisine includes some special food items such as Rice Cooked With Potatoes, Aaloo-Bharta, Dahi Bara-Aloo Dum, Chatu Tarkari, Shorsen Maach, Chingdi, Maach Bhaaja, Rasgulla, Pahala Rasagolla, Chennajhilli, Chhena Poda, Rasabali, Cuttack-Chaat, Dahi-Pakhal, Khhaii, Chakuli Pitha, Ariselu, Enduri Pitha, Kakara Pitha, Pakhala, Chuda Dahi, Mudhi, Chhenna, Buta Dali, Mittha Dali, Dalma, Mandia Jau, Chhatua, Luchi, Mitha Bhata, Paratta, Chadachadi, Chhencheda, Chungdi Jhola, Dahi Baigana, Dahi Maachha, Ghugni, Ouu Khatta, Posta, Dahi Bhendi, Santula, Bel Pana, Nabata Pana, Arisha Pitha, Chhena Gaja, Chhena Kheeri, Chhena Jilapi, Kalakand, Kheersagar, Malpua, Mathapuli and so on. These delectable dishes are must try when at Bhubaneshwar.
Bhubaneshwar is also famous for its Appliqué Work (Chandua), Silver Filigree (Tarakashi), Wood Sculpture, Image Of Gods and Goddesses, Wood Animals, Masks, Toys, Boxes, Bell Metal & Dhokra Metal Work, Traditional Weaving Work (Ikkat), Tussar Silk, Sambalpuri Silk, Cotton, Silver Jewelry, Lampshades, Vanity Boxes, Vegetable Baskets, Patachitra, Paintings Made on Palm Leaf, Ganjapas, Seashells Purses, Mirrors, Kat Fabrics, Handcrafted Items. Tourists make it a point to buy these items and take home the souvenirs of their trip to Bhubaneshwar.
Bhubaneshwar is a home to a number of national and international level educational and research institutes such as IIT Bhubaneshwar, IIIT Bhubaneshwar, Xavier Institute of Management, Institute of Mathematics and Applications, Institute of Physics, Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, Utkal University, Biju Patnaik University of Technology and many more. Moreover, Bhubaneshwar is also performing well in the fields of sports and media.
Major fairs and festivals celebrated in this temple city include Shiva Ratri, Ashokashtami Yatra, Ratha-Yatra, Durga Puja, Khandagiri Mela, Ramanavami, Jhamuyatra, Adivasi Mela, and Anla Navami and so on.
On the occasion of Ashokashtami Yatra the idol of Lord Lingaraj i.e. Lord Shiva is carried from the Lingaraj Temple to the Rameshwara Temple in a grand procession. Similar to the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra, Lord Lingaraj is carried in a temple car which is pulled by hundreds of devotees. The Lord Shiva stays at the Rameshwara Temple for four days at the time of Ashokashtami festival. This festival is celebrated in the month of March every year.
Durga Puja is a very important festival of Bhubaneshwar culture when the city is clustered with numerous pandals worshipping the Goddess Durga. Shahid Nagar Durga Puja, Rasulgarh Durga Puja and Nayapalli Durga Puja are some of the most celebrated Durga Pujas performed in this city.
Rath Yatra, the most vital festival of Orissa is celebrated with ultimate pomp and grandeur in Bhubaneshwar. When Lord Jagannath is being carried in heavily decorated Temple Car from Jagannath Temple to Gundicha Temple of Puri, Bhubaneshwar is also vibrating in the same energy and enthusiasm.
Shiva Ratri is celebrated in the month of March at various Shiva Temples of Bhubaneshwar, the Lingaraj Temple being the pivot of it.