|Lingaraj Temple||Located close to the Lingaraj Temple Road Railway Station|
|Khandagiri & Udayagiri Caves||Located nearly 8 kilometers from the city|
|Dhauli Giri||Positioned about 8 kilometers to the south of the city Bhubaneshwar on the banks of the river Daya|
|Bindu Sarovara||Placed close to the famous Lingaraj Temple of Bhubaneshwar|
|Mukteshwara Temple||Located in the heart of Bhubaneshwar|
|Raj Rani Temple||Located in the district of Khurda is located towards north-east of Lingaraj temple|
|Brahmeshwar Temple||Located in the outskirts of the city Bhubaneshwar|
|Parasurameswar Temple||Located on the eastern side of the Bindu Sagar lake|
|Vaital Deul||Located in the proximity of the famous Bindu Sarovara|
|Ananta Vasudeva Temple||Situated close to the Bindu Sarovara|
|ISKCON Temple||Positioned right in the heart of the city at Swarga Dwara|
|Sisupalgarh||Situated in Khordha district near Bhubaneshwar|
|Orissa State Museum||Located 1.3 KM from Bhubaneshwar Railway Station|
|Museum Of Tribal Art & Artifacts||Located about 3 kilometers from the Bhubaneshwar Railway Station|
|Pathani Samanta Planetarium||Situated in the heart of the city Bhubaneshwar|
|Odissi Research Centre||Located 4.7 kms from Mancheswar Railway Station|
|Nandankanan Zoo||Located on the banks of the Kanjia Lake|
|Cactus Garden||Located close to the famous site of Ekamra Kanan|
Lingaraj Temple, located close to the ‘Lingaraj Temple Road Railway Station’ in Bhubaneshwar is one of the most ancient shrines of the city rightly described as, ‘the truest fusion of dream and reality’. Estimated to be constructed around 10th or 11th century AD, this most venerated pilgrim place of Orissa is dedicated to Lord Harihara i.e. Lord Shiva along with Lord Vishnu. The term ‘Lingaraj’ means ‘the King of all Lingam’. Thus, the ‘swayambhu’ Shiva Lingam placed in the sanctum of the Lingaraj Temple is accredited to be the most supreme amongst all the Shiva Lingams on the earth. Here, Lord Shiva is worshipped as the Tribhubaneshwar (the Lord of three universes) along with his consort Goddess Bhubaneshwari. Lord Vishnu is present in the form of a Shila i.e. stone in this temple. The Lingaraj Temple is believed to be built by a Somavanshi king Jajati Keshari when he shifted his capital from Jajpur to this Ekamra Kshetra i.e. Bhubaneshwar. The largest amongst all the temples of this temple city, the Lingaraj Temple is 55 meters in height and is compounded by massive walls measuring 520 feet by 465 feet. The Lingaraj Temple Complex is divided into four parts namely the main temple, the Yagna Shala, the Bhog Mandap and the Natya Shala. This temple complex also houses 150 small shrines of various deities in its capacious courtyard. The magnificent temple of Lord Lingaraj is constructed in the Kalingan Pancharatha Style.
Khandagiri & Udayagiri Caves
Khandagiri & Udayagiri Caves, located nearly 8 kilometers from the city Bhubaneshwar are semi natural edifices bearing tremendous historical, cultural, religious and archeological significance. The two hills Khandagiri and Udayagiri that are erected facing each other are referred to as ‘Kumari Parvat’ in the celebrated Hathigumpha Inscription. The ornately carved caves of Khandagiri & Udayagiri are believed to be chiseled during the governance of the great monarch of Kalinga; Kharavela for the Jain Monks to be used as their residential berth. Udayagiri Hill has in total 18 caves while Khandagiri Hill has 15 caves. The most notable and preeminent amongst these caves is Ranigumpha of Udayagiri which houses a two storied Jain monastery. Other caves especially reckoned for their peerless treasure of ingenious sculptures and their historical significance are: cave no 1 - Rani ka Naur, cave no 10 – Ganeshagumpha and cave no 14 – Hathigumpha of Udayagiri and cave no 3 – The Ananta Cave of Khandagiri.
All these caves present a finely laid down banquet of extensively carved interiors embellished with elaborately chiseled sculptures. The Ananta Cave of Khandagiri is particularly acclaimed for its splendidly carved motifs of women, athletes, elephants and baroque engravings of beautiful flowers. These caves are explicitly celebrated for the cave inscriptions found here. Hathigumpha inscriptions created by King Kharavela and dating back to 2nd century BC are the most famous inscriptions amongst them. The seventeen lines of this inscription carved in Brahmi script mainly talks about various conquests of King Kharavela, including the battle against the King Satakarni of Satavahana Clan. Other minor inscriptions found in several caves namely Mancapuri, Sarpagumpha, Haridas Cave, Vy?ghragumph?, Jambesavara, Tatow?gumph?, Ananta Gumpha mention various Kings, Queens and other royal members of Kalinga.
Dhauli Giri positioned about 8 kilometers to the south of the city Bhubaneshwar on the banks of the river Daya is the eye witness of the infamous war of Kalinga fought under the rule of Samrat Ashoka of Mauyan Empire in 261 BC. Dhauli Giri is the very locale where after beholding the ghastly sight of the massive bloodshed, King Ashoka was deeply moved and leaving this path of butchery he remorsefully turned to Buddhism. Today Dhauli Giri is recognized for the rock edicts of King Ashoka dated back to the 3rd century BC. These edicts of Dhauli are one of the two most famous rock edicts of Kalinga, the other being located at Jayagarh. Most of the Ashoka Edicts express his compassion for human beings and his concern about the welfare of the whole world. But the Kalinga Edicts differ from others in their subject matter. In the Dhauli Giri edicts King Ashoka had warned the citizens of Kalinga against revolting. He also threatened them that if they rebel, proper actions will be taken. Thus, the edicts of Dhauli Giri present a sharp contrast to his image portrayed through all other Ashoka Edicts. The Dhauli Giri Edicts, though older than 2 millenniums are surprisingly well preserved till today. Every edict reveals an elephant motif at the top which symbolizes Lord Buddha. Apart from the Ashoka Edicts, Dhauli Giri is also widely known for its Shanti Stupa, other Stupas, Chaityas, Viharas and pillars.
Bindu Sarovara, a large water tank placed close to the famous Lingaraj Temple of Bhubaneshwar is also popularly known as ‘Ocean Drop Tank’. Considered to be a very sacred Sarovara, this tank is surrounded by innumerable temples of this temple city. It is believed that this Sarovara contains the drops of water from every holy river, tanks and pool of India. This is the reason why this pool of water is named ‘Bindu Sarovara’. Very much exalted by the devotees and the pilgrims that throng Bhubaneshwar from every part of the country, Bindu Sarovara is believed to be of the same merit as the nectar from the heaven. It is said that drinking a little water from Bindu Sarovara is equal to drinking the tirthas from all holy rivers and sarovaras of the country. Apart from the Lingaraj Temple, the famous Ananta Vasudeva Temple of Bhubaneshwar is also stationed adjacent the Bindu Sarovara. The most important festival of the Lingaraj Temple i.e. ‘Ashokashtami’ involves the ritual of the holy bath of Lord Lingaraj at the Bindu Sarovara. The deity is taken to the Sarovara and offered a ceremonial bath there. Bindu Sarovara is regarded to be an important destination of the pilgrimage rout of Bhubaneshwar.
The term ‘Mukteshwara’ literally means ‘the Lord of Freedom’. The Mukteshwara Temple located in the heart of Bhubaneshwar is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Dating back to 10th century AD, The Mukteshwara Temple is a striking specimen of a fine blend of ancient and modern Kalinga style of architecture. Complimented for its flamboyant carvings and theatrical sculptural work, The Mukteshwara Temple is an epitome of pristine Oriyan school of architectonics. This 35 feet high edifice is a colossal structure built in sandstone. One of the major highlights of the structural ingenuity of this temple comprises the imperial gateway called Torana. This arched masterstroke furbishing the entrance stands as a memoir of Buddhist influence over Oriyan art. The proportionately and minutely sculpted statues of this shrine eloquently speak of the dexterity of the artisans of yesteryears. The complex carvings that adorn the walls of this temple reveal the marvelous amalgamation of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist order of architecture. These walls depict the mythical folklores from Panchatantra including the patterns of elephants, monkeys and lions.
Raj Rani Temple
The Raj Rani Temple of Bhubaneshwar is an ancient temple dated back to 11th century AD. Not to be misled by the name, this temple is not dedicated to any King or Queen of erstwhile Bhubaneshwar Kingdom but it receives it title after the stone used in its construction. This temple is built in red gold sand stone which is locally known as Raj Rani Stone. The unique feature of this shrine is that, the sanctum of the temple lacks the patron deity and no Pujas or religious rituals are performed here. The Raj Rani Temple is exceptionally reckoned for its matchless architectural grandeur. The lofty tower of the temple is 18 meters in height and engineered in multiple tired design. These successive tires are renowned for the artistic spires they uphold. The dynamically instigated sculptures of the temple exhibit beautiful female figures in various passionate forms. Ladies observing their beauty in the mirrors, delicately playing with birds, gracefully taking off her anklet, holding the branches of the trees, mothers fondling children, and many other gaits resemble the Khajuraho School of art to some extent. The Raj Rani Temple encloses lifelike sculptures of various deities including Shiva, Indra, Agni, Vayu, Varuna, Yama, Kubera, Dikpalas and Nirriti and so on. The sanctorum of the Raj Rani Temple is particularly elevated for its walls and pillars strikingly ornamented with glorious lions, elephants, aerial nymphs and couples in the posture of lovemaking. The sanctum also presents various figures of Lord Yama.
Brahmeshwar Temple located in the outskirts of the city Bhubaneshwar is estimated to be dating back to 11th century AD. Placed in the midst of four smaller shrines that surround the main temple, the Brahmeshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Other than the Shiva Lingam of the Lord, the temple also worships Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Shiva in a fierce form. Constructed in typical Oriyan Style of architecture, this temple is acclaimed for its exquisite sculptures, mainly for those decorating the porch and the tower of the shrine. The interiors of the temple harbor several statues depicting Tantrik figures while the external walls are embellished with the engravings of numerous Hindu Gods and Goddesses, different religious ceremonies and birds and animals.
Yet another paradigm of Oriyan School of Architecture is the Parasurameswar Temple of Bhubaneshwar dedicated to the God of destruction; Lord Shiva. Constructed in 650 AD, this small shrine is considered to be one of the oldest temples of the temple city Bhubaneshwar. This marvelously ornamented religious edifice is noted for its graphic sculptures showcasing assorted motifs of animals, flowers, amorous couples, and many more. The exterior walls of the Parasurameswar Temple are enriched with eye catching sculptures of Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha, Lord Muruga and other Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Some episodes from the Puranas are also illustrated through beautiful carvings in the Parasurameswar Temple. The most spectacular and noteworthy facet of this temple it the vast array of 1000 Shiva Lingams placed in the North West corner of the shrine. The Parasurameswar Temple is believed to be one of the most scared Shiva Temples of the region and myriads of devotees throng the temple everyday.
Vaital Deul, located in the proximity of the famous Bindu Sarovara is a Tantrik Temple set up in 8th century AD. Constructed in Khakhara Style, a descendant of Kalinga Style of architecture, this temple worships the Goddess Chamunda as its presiding deity. Chamunda or Kali is the fierce form of Goddess Durga. The idol of the Goddess is depicted enthroned upon a cadaver protruding a bright red tongue out of her mouth and wearing a garland of human skulls. The Vaital Deul is specially adored for its rectangular shaped tower that creates a striking aspect. The tower and the walls of the Vaital Deul are ornately decorated with beautiful carvings and engravings. The entrance of the temple bears a carved pattern of a four faced Lingam and the eastern facet of the tower is festooned with the images of Lord Surya along with his two sisters Usha and Pratyusha. Moreover, the tower also has an image of Arjuna riding his Ratha (chariot). This temple is believed to be a chief center of Tantrik Worship and ritual training.
Ananta Vasudeva Temple
The one and only temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the ‘Nagari’ of Lord Shiva is the Ananta Vasudeva Temple. Constructed in 13th century AD, this is a Vaishnavite temple fashioned after the Lord Jagannath Temple of Puri. Established during the governance of King Bhanudeva, the Ananta Vasudeva Temple belongs to the time span of Chandrika; the daughter of Anangabhima III. The sanctum of this temple houses an idol of Lord Krishna flanked by two other idols of his siblings Lord Balarama and Goddess Subhadra. Unlike the idols at the Puri Temple, the ‘Murthis’ placed in the sanctum of the Ananta Vasudeva Temple are complete in their structure. The idol of Lord Krishna is portrayed holding a conch and a discus and Lord Balarama is canopied by the hoods of a seven hooded serpent. The idols of the deities are carved out of black granite stone. The main temple is erected over a symmetrical platform and the Sabhagruha of the temple is divided into three chambers namely the Jagamohana, the Natamandira and the Bhogamandapa. Situated close to the Bindu Sarovara, this temple is flocked by the devotees especially on the occasions like Krishna Janmashtami and Rath Yatra.
ISKCON Temple, one of the most prominent amongst the modern temples constructed in Bhubaneshwar is strategically positioned right in the heart of the city at Swarga Dwara. The deities including Lord Krishna, Balarama, Subhadra, Jagannath, Gaura Nithai and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are worshipped in this temple. The ISKCON society follows the teachings of the great Indian scripture Shimad Bhagavad Gita, Bhagvat and the preachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The ISKCON Temple of Bhubaneshwar promotes the sankirtana movement and organizes regular bhajanas and kirtanas. Adjacent to the ISKCON Temple, a Radha Krishna Temple is also constructed which is an additional attraction for the Krishna devotees.
Sisupalgarh, the ruined fortification excavated in Khordha district near Bhubaneshwar, is the largest and the best preserved ancient fortification of the country. Today rendered as a nationally protected monument, Sisupalgarh is claimed to be as old as 2,500 years by the archaeologists. It is estimated that this fort city flourished from 3rd century BC to 4th century AD and that this defensive settlement was established even before the onset of Mauryan Empire. The earliest excavations at the site of Sisupalgarh were undertaken by B.B. Lal in the year 1948. Since then a number of archeologists have been working under the banner of understanding Sisupalgarh. With an aid of laser scanner they have identified a 19 column structure towards the centre of the fortress. The three-dimensional image of this structure indicates that it is either incomplete or disturbed and damaged. The quadrangular structure of the fortification has two gates. The gates measure over 90m in length and the western gate out of the two northern glacis are the largest and the best preserved while the two in the southern glacis are the smallest. The ground penetrating radar has guessed the probable position of the southern moat in the year 2005. The Archaeological Survey of India Excavations have also laid hands on 18 stone pillars, various pottery items, terracotta ornaments, finger rings, bangles, pendants and ear spools made of clay and so on.
Orissa State Museum
The roots of the Orissa State Museum lead us back to the year 1932 when two of the ingenious historians of India Prof. N.C. Banerjee and Prof. Ghanshyam Dash of Ravenshaw College, Cuttack began collecting archaeological treasures from different parts of the state and country. Their collection was initially housed within the premises of the Ravenshaw College itself which was later shifted to the Provincial Museum of Orissa by the orders of the state government in the year 1938. Initially this museum was just a simple archaeological museum exhibiting the collection of sculptures, copper plates, numismatics, terracotta, specimens of fine arts and other articles without any proper order or arrangement. But gradually with the growing interest of staff and people the antiquities were reorganized in a systematic manner. Years later, with the shifting of the State Capital from Cuttack to Bhubaneshwar in l947-48, the Provincial Museum was also shifted there and the foundation stone of the present building of the museum was laid on 29th December, l957 by the then President of the India Dr. Rajendra Prasad. Today, the Orissa State Museum houses 11 galleries in total which exhibit over 56,375 articles ranging from 3rd century BC to 20th century AD. Some of the chief exhibits of this museum include sculptures, stone inscriptions, Stone Age and Bronze Age tools, rare manuscripts written on palm leaves, coins, copper plates, traditional and folk musical instruments, other archaeological objects, natural history objects, art and craft items, ethnological records, armory, and many more. Orissa State Museum is specially reckoned for housing a palm leaf manuscript of the 12th century devotional poem Gita Govinda composed by Jaydeva. This museum is open for the visitors from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm everyday except for Mondays and public holidays.
Museum Of Tribal Art & Artifacts
The Museum of Tribal Art and Artifacts, also known as the Tribal Museum or the Museum of Man, is located about 3 kilometers from the Bhubaneshwar Railway Station at Gopabandhu Nagar near CRP Square. This tribal museum displays everything related to the life of the tribal people belonging to the state of Orissa. The museum houses primitive murals, traditional jewellery, costumes, household appliances, hunting equipments like axes, bows and arrows, traps for birds and fish, other weapons, agriculture and other tools, ritual objects, dresses and ornaments, dokra items, terracotta items, and many more articles associated with the tribal life style of Orissa. Currently this museum located in a 12 acres campus houses more than 2247 artifacts providing an insight into the lives of Orissa’s 62 tribes including Bonda, Lanjia Saora, Kutia Kondh, Juang, Dongria Kondh, Koya and many others. The Museum of Tribal Art and Artifacts is run by the Tribal Research and Training Institute. The museum is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm everyday except on Sundays and 2nd Saturdays. Rs 20 are charged as the entry fee here.
Pathani Samanta Planetarium
Pathani Samanta Planetarium situated in the heart of the city Bhubaneshwar was established with an aim of creating awareness in general public about astronomy, space science, astrophysics, remote sensing technology and environment. The Planetarium carries out some interesting activities such as sky watching, audio visual programs, poster shows and display of astronomical instruments. Pathani Samanta Planetarium also financially supports and encourages those aspiring scientists who are wishing to undertake research in the fields of space science and technology. The planetarium provides the new scientists with a bigger platform like international conferences where they can interact with the masters of their field. The library of the planetarium is well facilitated and contains jillions of books on science, technology, environment, astronomy and many such areas. The Pathani Samanta Planetarium is open for public visits from Tuesday to Sunday 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Odissi Research Centre
Odissi Research Center, also known as ‘Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra Odissi Research Center’ is an autonomous institute established by the Government of Orissa in 1986. The main objective of Odissi Research Center is preserving, developing, progressing and promoting the traditional dance form of the state known as Odissi, propagating the Odissi music and also undertaking research in the field of Odissi. Major Festivals celebrated at this research center include Konark Dance Festival, Mukteshwara Festival, Sreekhetra Festival and National Festival of Odissi Dance & Music.
Nandankanan Zoo, located on the banks of the Kanjia Lake in the midst of the verdant ambience of Chandaka Forest derives it name form the term ‘Nandan Van’, meaning the Garden of God. Divided into three categories namely a zoo, a botanical garden and a sanctuary Nandankanan Zoo is particularly acclaimed for housing some of the rarest species of wildlife. Established around 1960 and officially declared as a sanctuary area in the year 1979, Nandankanan Zoo is a home to a number of endangered species including the white tiger, black panthers, and lion tailed macaques, and many more. They also undertake several breeding programs and training programs here. Today the zoo shelters about 42 species of mammals, 54 species of birds, and 24 species of reptiles. Nandankanan Zoo is also the home to India’s first Captive Gharial Crocodile Breeding Center. Tourists enjoy boating and jungle safaris here. The best time to pay a visit to the Nandankanan Zoo is from July to October.
Cactus Garden, located close to the famous site of Ekamra Kanan is a part of the Regional Plant Research Centre. Here one can find a huge collection of cactus plants of various species.