Orissa mostly known for Puri Jagannath Temple is a state filled with picturesque beauty. The beaches, sanctuaries, the waterfalls and the crafts in Orissa are something tourists from outside of the state less frequent. As a state of temples and architecture it acquires many beautiful villages and towns famous for art and artisans. Visit to these small villages and towns all together talk about Orissa tourism.
As the capital city of Orissa, Bhubaneswar is also famous for its art and architecture of temples. One can see many artful temples like Lingaraj Temple and Rajarani temple for knowing the beautiful orissan architecture. Apart from temples it is home to places like Dhauli Shanti Stupa, Udaygiri and Khandagiri. While Dhauli Shanti Stupa talks about the Buddhism, the caves at Udaygiri and Khandagiri witness the ordinance of the austere Jain monks. “Nanadankanan” is another attraction in the city of Bhubaneswar. Nandankanan is a zoo and a sanctuary for birds. Being surrounded by greenery and lake, this place has a botanical garden to show the flora of the region.
It is a place to see the ruins of 13th century shrine meant for Sun-worshipping. It is famously known as Black Pagoda. The temple is mostly visited for its beautiful architecture. This temple takes a form a chariot and stands on 12 wheels. The late afternoon visit to this place gives much peaceful experience of the temple. One night stay in Konark will fill the mind with beauty and tranquility. The Marine Drive along the Puri-Konark road is another peaceful place to spend time. Nearest to the Marine Drive, one can visit “Ramachandi Temple” famous for Mother Goddess.
Puri is greatly revered for Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra. The place is mostly visited as a center of pilgrimage. The world famous Car Festival, locally known as Rath Yatra attracts tourists and pilgrims from every corner of the world. Puri also enjoys higher rank as a tourist place due to its beautiful beach. At the beach of Puri one can enjoy camel riding and can purchase handicrafts. The beach generally remains crowded in the evening. Puri as a world tourist destination is always regarded as the first and foremost selection of Orissa tourism. Without visiting this place, tour to Orissa will always be half-completed.
A small village on the highway to Puri is greatly known for its Applique work. One can find many accessories and home decorations crafted with this appliqué work. One can find handbags, Swings, lamp covers, Wall decorations and many more things crafted with this work. These are beautiful handicrafts and the shops along the road are quite good attractions for tourists.
Being located only 15km away from Puri; this small village has picturesque background and skillful artisans. This small village is worth of everyone’s visit as most of the artisans in the village have won the national award for a particular form of handicraft known as “Pattachitra”. Apart from this, these artisans also make stone carvings and wood carvings.
Simlipal Tiger reserve
Similipal Tiger reserve is a mega reserve project that not only protects the tigers but balances the whole eco system of this area. Being located in Mayurbhanj district of Orissa, this place is home to many flora and fauna and is cut across by 12 rivers. The forest is a treasure house to 501 species of plants and 82 species of Orchids. The fauna of the area is also vast. Around 200species of bird are viewed here. The other major attractions for tourists are the waterfalls of this area.
Chilika lake is the Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon. It is home to many migratory birds and fishes. There one will find many islands and these islands are the places to explore wildlife. By boat one can make a great exploration of the islands and the hidden wildlife. One can depart from Balugaon, Satapada or Barakul by boat to explore the islands on Chilika.
There are two features of the coastal region. One is the coastal wetland ecosystem and the other is the coastal mangrove, including swamps and marshes. The Chilika Lake – the second largest open lagoon (brackish water) in Asia – is the dominant wetland system. It is 65 km. long from northeast to southwest and is wider in the northeast and narrowed only to 8 km. in the southwest. Its area varies between 780 sq. km. and 1,144 sq. km. from the winter to monsoon months. Besides its economic value due to its rich fishery potential, it is known the world over as it attracts migrant birds during the summer months, notably the Siberian cranes, turning the spot into a birdwatcher’s paradise. The coastal mangroves consist of variegated flora and fauna and, importantly, act as a natural barrier to tidal ingress.
The Mahanadi, in combination with the Brahmani and Baitarani, forms an extensive alluvial tract stretching from Lake Chilika in the south to Bhadrak (in erstwhile Baleswar district) in the north, 172 km. long and over 80 km. wide.
Beaches in Orissa
Orissa has a long coastline of over 480 km on the Bay of Bengal interspersed by a couple of lovely beaches. Added to their seductive beauty is a vast hinter land of antiquities and temples.
16 km from Berhampur.
One of the important Hindu pilgrimage destination.
30 km from Berhampur and 6 km from Chhatrapur.
91 km from Puri.
2 km from Chandipur.
8 km from Puri.
27 km from Puri.
15 km from Puri.
Near port town of Paradeep.
20 km from Berhampur, 35 km from Gopalpur and 4 km from the National Highway No.5.
7 km from Konark on the Marine Drive.
88 km from Balasore, 4 km from Chandaneswar and 8 km from Digha (West Bengal) is the tranquil beach at Talasari.
Best Time to Visit Orissa: October to March
Though there is never a bad time to travel to the state, it’s just that it has better weather in some months than the other. Orissa has something great to offer in every season and this is what makes it a fabulous tourist destination all round the year.
A timely and good monsoon is very important for Orissa, which contributes almost one-tenth of India’s rice production of about 90 million tons. Orissa had been experiencing normal monsoon for the last five years. The average annual rainfall in the state was 1460 mm to 1464 mm. Between June to September, it receives monsoon rainfall of 1160 mm to 1164 mm.
Orissa being a maritime state in the east coast of India is cyclone prone and any storm formed in the Bay of Bengal mostly move towards east coast during the storm season (March, April, May) and (October, November, December).
Orissa state, particularly its coastal districts are subjected to severe spells of hot weather during summer. The mercury level remained within 40 degree Celsius in coastal districts.Summer this year had been pleasant as the maximum temperature remained within 45 degrees Celsius following at least 30 thunder showers and hailstorms, with as many as 23 in May this year.