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WELCOME TO ORISSA

Orissa, one of the 25 states of India, is the best of ancient and modern India. It is the one of the areas where people share a strong sense of holiness, a sense of belonging and attachment to their beautiful land, and cherish their enduring links with the past. It contains exquisite temples, superb monuments, inviting beaches, enchanting wildlife and astonishing natural landscapes. It is a must on the itinerary of any tourist visiting India.

The state capital Bhubaneswar offers an impressive combination of traditional architecture and modern imput, due to a throroughly planned attempt to make the city into a modern thriving town. Both within and in the surroundings of the capital, there are several historically interesting temples and caves, such as the Udayagiri and Khandagari caves. An impressive piece of Kalinga architecture, also listed on the World Heritage list, is the General at Konark.

 

PLACES OF INTEREST

BHUBANESWAR

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.
The Bhubaneswar township is established in the year 1950s However the Old town has all the history in to it. Old town is of hundreds of year old, and more would be the adjucent sisupal garh and before that the hostory of King Ashoka and the great fight at Dhauli Giri. Khandagiri and Udaya Giri of Bhubaneswar has the history from the age of the age of prophet Gautama Buddha. Meaning thereby Bhubaneswar has the history of thousand years. Lingarj Temple and the areas are popularly known as old town. Posh locality like Saheed Nagar and Forest Park which has palacial bunglows have their own culture and life style.

Bhubaneswar is famous for different puja celebrations like Ganesh Puja, Durga Puja, Laxmi Puja, Kali Puja, Saraswati Puja mostly being celebrated by the different area residents in different club pendals. One of the most famous Puja pendal is Saheed Nagar Durga Puja wherein During the dussera festival the Huge Efficacy of Ravana being torched where millons on people across the country gathered. So is the khati culture of the younger generation in Bhubaneswar is famous for. Khati (Gathering of like minded people in any particular area used to gather for general discussions) like Keshari Khati, Mausi Khati has their own sancitity and culture. Bhubaneswar though was in the 1980s was majored by the beurocratic / babus and now the life style has been changed with wide corporatisation with opening of many a Corporate Houses like Infosys, Satyam, Reliance, Tatas, and the major projects being opened including NALCO, Pohang Steel, Iffco Plant at Paradweep, Indian Oil, NTPC power projects etc.

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.

Nearby Bhubaneswar attractions include Chandaka Forest, a sanctuary for wild elephants, and its Daytrips, which features a botanical garden and India's largest lion and tiger safari. Also, the Daytrips hills just outside of town offer spectators a network of caves bearing human evidence from the first century BC. It is told that if you stay in the night in the hills, you can listen to sages chanting "shlokas" from within the rocks of the hills. Ten kilometers from Bhubaneswar, you will also find Dhauli, a famous Budhist monastery.

 

PURI

place with many names over the centuries - Hilgiri, Niladri, Hilachal Purushottam, Sankhakshetra, Srikehetra, Jagannath Dham, Jagannath Puri - Puri is dominated by two great forces: the sea (Bay of Bengal) with its ever changing shape of constant motion, the other, the great temple of Lord Jagannath, a static, but no less dominant force.
Very few cities are so dominated by a single factor in so many diverse ways as Puri is, influenced by Lord Jagannath. A very large part of Puri's population is connected with the temple in one way or the other. Some are involved in the service of Lord Jagannath (the Pandas and Purohits, others have gainful employment indirectly generated because of the deity.

Most people go to Puri for religious reasons - it being one of the four most holy Hindu 'Dhams' (meaning a holy place). But a very large number also go for both adventure as well as restful holidays. Drawing the maximum number of visitors as compared to any other place in Orissa, Puri not only has scores of hotels, but also hundreds of holiday homes owned by various organisations and business houses.

The never ending beach, the sea and the glorious skyscapes at dawn and dusk are to be experienced to be believed. There is the added attraction of one of the few remaining relies of the British period - the South Eastern Railway Hotel, There must be very few places left in India with such spacious rooms and so much living spaces. The lifestyle at this hotel can be an experience of a life-time for those coming from crowded cities.

Apart from Jagannath temple, the other two most important temples around are Lokanath Temple and Gundicha Temple.

RATH YATRA :

The word juggernut has come from the Rath Yatra celebrated every year. Generations together millions of people participate and pull the tons of loaded chariot made of wood from the Jagannath Temple to the Gundicha temple (approx. four kilometer) every year during rath yatra. Rath yatra is a symbol of human power with devotion. This is a must for all the Hindus world wide atleast once during their life time. Rath means Chariot and its wheels, bodies base etc. are made of wood and being made / carved every year with new woods. Lord Jagannath temple has their own dedicated jungle for construction manufacturing the chariot every year. Courtesy : Prasanta Varma, Advocate, Supreme Court of India.