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Odisha

Odisha, formerly known as Orissa is a state lying on the Eastern coast of India. This beauty is the 8th largest state and 11th in terms of population in India.

This state is specifically known for its History and Mesmerising environment that attracts people from the world and guides them to this place.

A visit to Odisha will never be complete without witnessing its fairs and festivals.

Besides Holi, Dussehra and Diwali, which are shared by the rest of India, there are numerous other festivals exclusive to Odisha and having their own unique myths behind them.

Inhabited by tribal people, the developing state of Odisha must be visited to have the experience of the myriad wonders it has in store for everybody.

Also known as the soul of India, Odisha is a place where you can relax on the beaches, visit the famous temples and explore the beauty and bounty of nature and wildlife.

History of Odisha

The Sabar people of Odisha have also been mentioned in the Mahabharata.

The British had occupied the Northern Circars, comprising the southern coast of Odisha, as a result of the 2nd Carnatic War by 1760, and combined them into the Madras Presidency gradually.

In 1803, the British ousted the Marathas from the Puri-Cuttack region of Odisha during the Second Anglo – Maratha War.

The northern and western districts of Odisha were brought together into the Bengal Presidency.

The Odisha famine of 1866  caused an estimated 1 million deaths. Following this, large-scale irrigation projects were undertaken. 

In 1903, the Utkal Sammilani organisation was founded to demand the Odia-speaking regions into one state. On 1 April 1912, the Bihar and Odisha was formed.

On 1 April 1936, Bihar and Odisha were split into separate provinces. Following India’s Independence, on 15 August 1947, 27 princely states signed the document to join Odisha.

Popular Languages of Odisha

Oriya is the principal and regional language of Odisha (Odisha).

Capital of Orissa

Cuttack was made the capital of the region by Anantavarman Chodaganga in c. 1135, after which the city was used as the capital by many rulers, through the British era until 1948.

Thereafter, Bhubaneswar became the capital of Odisha.

Chief Minister of Odisha

Naveen Patnaik (born 16 October 1946) is an Indian politician who is the current and 14th Chief Minister of Odisha.

Governor of Odisha

Ganeshi Lal is an Indian politician and the incumbent Governor of Odisha.

High Court Location of Orissa

Chandini Chowk, Cuttack, Odisha 

Odisha Tourism

Odisha’s varying topography – from the wooded Eastern Ghats to the fertile river basin – has proven ideal for evolution of compact and unique ecosystems.

This creates treasure troves of flora and fauna that are inviting to many migratory species of birds and reptiles. 

Bhitarkanika National Park is famous for its second-largest mangrove ecosystem.

The bird sanctuary in Chilika Lake (Asia’s largest brackish water lake) and the tiger reserve and waterfalls in Simlipal National Park are integral parts of eco-tourism in Odisha, arranged by Odisha Tourism.

Daringbadi is a hill station in Odisha. Chandipur, a calm and serene site, is mostly unexplored by tourists.

The unique speciality of this beach is the ebb tides that recede up to 4 km and tend to disappear rhythmically.

The share of foreign tourists’ arrival in the state is below one per cent of total foreign tourist arrivals at all India level.

Best Time to Visit Odisha:

The best time to visit Odisha is during the winter months from October to February.

Since most of Odisha’s visit-worthy locations involve remaining outdoors, the pleasant temperatures of the winter climate and the dry, clear skies and atmosphere make for perfect sightseeing weather.

Best 37 Places To Visit In Odisha:

1. Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar is the largest city, endowed with Bindu Sagar Lake and sandstone temples built around it making it the centre of economic and cultural importance.

2. Cuttack

Maa Cuttack Chandi Temple is a pilgrimage site for Hindu devotees and is known as the Silver City due to its 1000 year history and silver filigree artwork.

3. Rourkela

Rourkela is surrounded by a range of hills and encircled by rivers – Koel, Sankha and Brahmani, a main centre of trade and has the most luxurious and comfortable accommodation.

4. Puri

Puri is one of the holiest pilgrimage places in India, with religious life revolving around the great Jagannath Mandir and its famous Rath Yatra. Apart from this it is also known for its beautiful beaches, temples and relaxing environment.

5. Sambalpur

It is situated about 300 km west of the state capital Bhubaneswar, with a major railway junction in Odisha. The place is famous for its globally renowned textile bounded patterns and fabrics and has earned international fame for its unique pattern, design and texture.

6. Brahmapur

Brahmapur is known as the home of Lord Brahma and is usually known as the silk city- the city which is famous for the lustrous ikkat silk sarees in different colours and patterns.

7. Balasore

Chandipur is a famous beach in Balasore, the tides reach up to 5 km. it also has a number of temples built around since ages which gives it a spiritual importance.

8. Baripada

Baripada it has emerged as an educational hub with the opening of numerous professional colleges. It is marked for its food, hospitality and serene natural beauty.

9. Konark

‘Konark’ means the sun and the four corners. The temple was called Black Pagoda, attributed to its dark facade by the Europeans who used it for navigation. It is the best-known tourist destination in Odisha and has been a World Heritage Site.

10. Chilika Lake

Chilika Lake is a brackish water lagoon, spread over the Puri. A favourite of migratory birds with nearly 225 species and is a photographer’s paradise.

11. Golden Beach

Considered as one of the cleanest and beautiful beaches in Odisha, Golden beach is one of the most sought-after destinations in the area.

12. Gopalpur

Gopalpur is a coastal town and serves as an important port for Seafarers of ancient Kalinga & one of the cleanest beaches in India. One of the major tourist attractions near Gopalpur is the beautiful Chilka Lake which is a large saltwater lagoon that is noted for bird watching, water sports and fishing.

13. Satapada

Satapada is located 55 Km from Puri and 120 KM from Bhubaneswar, this part of the Chilika lake is famous for the endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins and during the winters it’s a paradise for bird watchers as the migratory birds flock the lake.

14. Daringbadi

Daringbadi is a hill station and Widely known as “Kashmir of Odisha”, it is situated at a height of 3000 ft and is a popular tourist destination. Dotted with pine forests and waterfalls, the hill stations of Phulbani are popular holiday destinations of the state.

15. Raghurajpur

Raghurajpur is a heritage crafts village out of Puri district, India, known for its master Pattachitra painters.

16. Jeypore

Jeypore, the city of victory is the largest town in the district and home to the royal family is steeped in history.

The top things to do in Jeypore are Bagara, Kolab Hydro Electric power reservoir and Botanical Garden, Sunabeda, Gupteshwar Caves, Shakti waterfalls., Duduma Waterfalls.

17. Taptapani

Taptapani is famous for its hot sulfur water spring. The nearest town is Mohana, which is about 16 km away in Gajapati district.

Being surrounded by a cluster of hills and thick forests, the serenity of nature at Taptapani is added by wonderful sights of sunrise, sunset moonlit night, etc.

18. Koraput

It has enchanting hills, verdant forests, winding streams, exotic wildlife and a rich tribal way of life. Bell who was the first collector of Koraput district, the town gets its name from ‘Kora-Putti’ or “the hamlet of the nux-vomica”

19. Mangalajodi

Mangalajodi wetlands are a freshwater swamp at the north-eastern edge of Chilka Lake. Mangalajodi is an old village under Tangi and its vast wetland attracts the visitors.

20. Paradeep

It is a major seaport of India for trade activities. The enchanting beauty of the sea, a wonderful sea beach & marine drive.

Being famous for its pristine beaches and the lush green forest covers make the place a picturesque destination.

21. Pipili

Together with Pattachitra and stone craft, the Applique work at the heritage craft village Pipili is Odisha’s most famous art exports to the world.

If you’re interested in brightly coloured chandua applique and patchwork, then Pipili is the place to go.

22. Rambha

Rambha is located at the southern coast of the Chilka lagoon. Nestling in the heart of coastal Odisha, Chilika is India’s biggest inland lake. Spread over 1100 square kilometres stretching across the length of the three districts.

23. Keonjhar

Surrounded by a series of valleys and wooded hills of varying colours, the place is famous as a centre of pilgrimage for the temple of Brahmeswar Mahadev established by the side of river Baitarani. The scenic beauty of the place is simply charming.

24. Phulbani

Phulbani once associated with its virgin forests and peaceful tribal people.

25. Jharsuguda

It is popularly known as the powerhouse of Odisha due to the large number of thermal power plants located nearby. The Koilighugar Waterfall, around 200 ft in height, is in the Lakhanpur, near the village Kushmelbahal.

26. Khordha

It is at a distance of 28 km from Bhubaneswar. Goddess Brunei is the famous deity of Khurda. It is famous for its temples.

27. Barkul

Queen of natural beauty, Barkul Chilika, the largest brackish water lake in Asia covering an area of over 1,100 sq. km and a great view.

28. Hirakud

Hirakud is a small township located in Sambalpur in Odisha. Hirakud Dam, the longest man-made earthen dam in the world, built across Mahanadi river, its main attraction.

29. Bhadrak

In the city itself, one can worship and get a blessing at Maa Banka Basuli Temple and Baba Lokanath Shiva Temple.

Historical places and monuments to visit in the Bhadrak district include several Hindu temples.

30. Dhenkanal

Dhenkanal is mainly known for its deep green forests and large wild animals like tigers and elephants. The place is a standing example of the fact that there is no better architect than nature itself.

31. Angul

Angul is also famous for Satkosia gorge, beautiful natural dense forest, hills, rivers (Mahanadi, Brahmani) etc. The land is fertile due to flowing of river Mahanadi & Bramhani and its tributaries.

32. Nilagiri

Nilagiri is located at a distance of 20 km from Balasore in the periphery of Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary.

Today the star attraction of Gada Nilagiri is the 19th-century ruins and the added 20th-century palace built in the fusion of Rajput, Odia and Victorian styles. The main attraction of the palace is its high clock tower.

33. Tikarpada

It is one of eco-tourism nature camps in the Tikarpada north ecotourism camps. Situated at 45 km from Angul and 170 km from Bhubaneswar.

34. Balangir

Famous as the cultural hub of Western Odisha, particularly for its indigenous tribe Kosali’s folk art and dance, Balangir is known for its temperate climate and many temples, parks, picnic spots, age-old buildings and the famous Sambalpuri cotton fabric.

35. Jajpur

Ashokjhar is a tourist place situated in Sukinda Block. It is about 8 KM from Block Head Quarter.

Located on the banks of River Baitarani, the Dasaswamedha Ghat is a very holy spot which was built under the reign of Jajti Kesari.

36. Kiriburu

The place is located in both Jharkhand and ODISHA. Within Kiriburu there are a lot of places like rivers, waterfalls, sunset point. It is a good holiday destination for any traveller.

37. Deogarh

Deogarh is endowed with pristine natural beauty and it has a rich cultural heritage.

The town is known for its impressive monuments dating to the Gupta period, more specifically a fort on the bank of the Betwa river and a number of monuments of Jain and Hindu origins, within and outside the fort.

Important National Parks & Wildlife Sanctuaries In Odisha:

1. Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary

The Debrigarh Wildlife sanctuary finds a special place in the national map because of its historic association with the state’s renowned freedom fighter, Surendra Sai.

2. Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary

Sprawling over an area of 500 square kilometres, the Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary is a Proposed Tiger Reserve. With a vast plateau, canyons and 11 waterfalls—the sanctuary is home to a wide variety of wildlife.

3. Hadagarh Wildlife Sanctuary

Dense Sal forests with patches of vast grasslands in between, Hadagarh Wildlife Sanctuary offers a picture-perfect setting with its breathtaking beauty.

4. Kotagarh Wildlife Sanctuary

Located in the Kandhamal district of Odisha, the Kotagarh Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for its elephants, antelope and tiger population.

5. Badrama Wildlife Sanctuary

Bordered between the Wardha River and the Penganga Rivers, lies the Ushakothi (Badrama) Wildlife Sanctuary.  The small town of Ushakothi that lies in close proximity has given its name to this sanctuary.

6. Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary

Bestride by a breathtaking gorge and cut by the great Mahanadi River, lies one of the most famous natural spots of Odisha—the Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary.

7. Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary

Home to thousands of residents and migratory birds, the Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most popular sanctuaries in Odisha. Armed with its repertoire of birds, the region attracts a lot of tourists throughout the state.

8. Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary

Located within the close vicinity of the Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha’s only Turtle Sanctuary.

A part of the Gahirmatha Beach, the Turtle Sanctuary is the place where one can spot Olive Ridley Turtles.

9. Simlipal National Park

Dense forests and vast expanse of grassy lands in between, roaring tigers, fleeing deer to trumpeting tuskers, flying squirrels and dancing peacocks—all these make Simlipal National Park a dreamland of nature and of colour.

10. Bhitarkanika National Park

The Bhitarkanika National Park offers wonderful diversity coupled with beautiful terrain. The national park is a part of the Bhitarkanika mangrove forest—India’s second-largest mangrove.

11. Balukkhan Konark Wildlife Sanctuary

Wildlife sanctuary along the Bay of Bengal, home to native antelopes, sea turtles & temples.

12. Chandaka Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary

Chandka Elephant Sanctuary is a wildlife reserve located in the southern fringe of Cuttack. Large forested nature reserve with trails, an elephant sanctuary, lookout towers & tours.

13. Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary

Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary located in Kalahandi district. The sanctuary is home to a plethora of wildlife animals and birds. The sanctuary is rich in wildlife such as leopard, gaur, sambar, nilgai, barking deer etc.

14. Khalasuni Wildlife Sanctuary

Khalasuni Wildlife Sanctuary with its panoramic greenery and serene landscape, cascading waterfalls, and variety of flora and fauna, is one of the most attractive.

Odisha Is Famous For: 

Art CulturePattachitra (Cloth Painting), Rock Paintings, Sand Art, Silver Filigree or Tarakasi

Music – Odisha is predominantly a land of tribes and each tribe has its distinct song and style of dance.

Dance – Originally performed by Devadasis, Odissi bears the closest resemblance to temple culture than any other existing form of dance. It traditionally depicts the divine love between Lord Krishna and his consort Radha.

Chhau – This is a form of tribal martial dance that originated in Mayurbhanj.

Cuisine – to address the mystery of the general pot-bellies, Odias love rice. It is the staple around here. 

Clothing – Women adorn themselves with saris mostly, the famous ones being – Kataki, Bomkai and Sambalpuri. Men traditionally sport the Dhoti-Kurta along with the Gamucha (a thin, coarse cotton towel).

Fairs And Festivals Of Odisha:

1.Durga Pooja 

Durga Pooja is the most important festival of Odisha where the streets are lit up and huge idols of Durga Maa along with two other avatars of Maa Laxmi and Maa Saraswati are immaculate in the Pandals.

2. Kalinga Mahotsav 

Kalinga Mahotsav is celebrated to mark the victory of peace over war and to pay tribute to the martyrs of Mauryan dynasty various Martial art acts are performed on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar at Dhauli Shanti Stupa.

3. Chandan Yatra 

The 42-day long festival is celebrated by worshipping the deities with sandal mixed water.

4. Konark Dance Festival 

Dedicated purely to the beauty of Konark Sun Temple and the elegance of Odissi dance, this festival is beyond religions and customs.

5. Mahabisuva Sankranti 

Mahabisuva Sankranti is celebrated to mark the new year as per the Odia Calendar in the month of April. The festival is also known as Pana Sankranti.

6. Raja Parba 

Raja Parba is a four-day-long festival which is celebrated to bring prosperity in agriculture fields and also to celebrate womanhood.

7. Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra 

odisha tourism

Also known as Car Festival is dedicated to Lord Jagannath who is believed to be an avatar of Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna. The Rath or Chariot Yatra on this festival represents the journey of Lord Krishna from Gokul to Mathura.

8. Magha Saptami 

On this day thousands of people gather on the shore of Bay of Bengal to offer their prayers to the sea.

9. Makar Mela 

The festival is celebrated when the Sun enters the orbit of Capricorn and by this time harvest of new paddy, sugarcane crops are over.

10. Chhau Festival 

To represent the tribal life and traditional dances of Odisha, Chhau festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm.

11. Puri Beach Festival 

During this festival, various cultural events and exhibitions along with fashion shows, food, adventure sports make it a wonderful celebration of about 5 days.

12. Naukhai 

Nuakhai is the agricultural festival observed by people of Western Odisha & in some Chhattisgarh region in India. Nuakhai is observed to welcome the new rice of the season.

13. Chatar Jatra 

Khond People from the Kalahandi district in Odisha celebrate Chatar Jatra by worshipping their family Goddess, Maa Manikeswari and is represented with a bamboo stick tied in a black cloth

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