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Things To Do In Bhubaneswar
The ancient city of Bhubaneswar is the capital of the coastal Indian state Orissa; packed with dozens of temples and shrines, it is one of the most revered regions in Hinduism. Bhubaneswar has a vibrant history that combines the landscape of the old city with the modern progressiveness of the new metropolis in a manner that has become the driving force of rising tourism in the city. With a wide variety of local attractions that range from ancient religious monuments and historical museums to amazing shopping and food destinations, Bhubaneswar is one of the best cities in Orissa for a unique vacation experience. Read on to know more about some of the top things to do in Bhubaneswar.
The Lingaraj Mandir can be best described as an architectural masterpiece that dates back to the 11th century, with some parts of it being more than 1400 years old. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and consists of a granite block inside the temple that represents Tribhubaneswar – another name for Shiva. The block is bathed with a mixture of milk, water and a marijuana concoction every day. Standing at a towering height of 54 m, the temple is part of a complex that includes numerous other smaller shrines that surround the main monument. It was constructed in the Kalinga style of architecture and consists of extraordinary design details that are testament to the structural expertise of this era.
Dhauli Giri Shanti Stupa
The Dhauligiri Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist monument that was constructed in 1972 by Japan Buddha Sangh and Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangh. The monument is situated on a hill that is located along the banks of the River Daya. Stone panels depicting Emperor Asoka renouncing war, a reclining Buddha, Buddha footprints, and other art forms and sculptures can be found to be a part of the Peace Pagoda.
Nandankanan Zoological Park
The Nandankanan Zoo is located along the banks of the Kanjia Lake and is home to hundreds of species of animals, birds and reptiles. Established in 1960, it is the first zoo in India to become a part of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and occupies an area of over 400 hectares in the Chandaka forest. Some of the chief attractions of the zoo are the white tigers, black panthers, and ghariyals.
Museum of Tribal Arts & Artifacts
Anyone interested in knowing more about Orissa’s 62 tribes and learning about their culture must visit the Museum of Tribal Arts. It showcases the traditional attire and ornaments of these tribes, along with thousands of other artifacts that provide an insight into the lives of these tribal communities. Behind the museum, visitors can explore replicas created out of the traditional houses of a number of tribes like the Kandha, Saora, Gadaba and Santal.
One of the oldest and most renowned temples in Bhubaneswar, the name of this monument is derived from the red and gold sandstone that it is made of, which is locally known as Rajarani. The most unique feature of the temple is the absence of any residing deity within the sanctum; instead, it consists of numerous erotic carvings of nymphs, women, couples. While the temple does not appear to be associated with any particular group or sect in Hinduism, its sensuous carvings have earned it the nickname of ‘Love Temple’. The temple is also surrounded by beautiful gardens and paddy fields, raising its impressive allure to another level.
Udayagiri & Khandagiri Caves
These caves that are partially manmade and partially natural have been named after the hills they are located on. The ornately carved caves date back to 1st century BC and were originally meant to be a shelter for Jain ascetics who used these places for meditation. One of the key attractions of not just Bhubaneswar but the whole of Orissa, the caves provide an insight into Jainism and the ancient Kalinga Empire. They have been enumerated by the Archaeological Survey of India, with Ganeshagumpa and Hathigumpa being the most famous ones.
Odisha State Museum
The State Museum was established in 1948 and has featured as one of the best places to learn more about the celebrated history of Orissa. Some of the best collections of ancient musical instruments, palm-leaf manuscripts, Pattachitra paintings, and Buddhist and Jain sculptures can be found here.
Indira Gandhi Park
Also known as IG Park, this is one of Bhubaneswar’s most well known parks, being historically and politically significant for being the place where ex-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi gave her last public speech before she was assassinated. Today, this beautifully decorated park is one of Bhubaneswar’s most relaxing areas for early morning walks and family picnics.