Odisha, once known as Orissa, is a place with lots of architectural wonders. Odisha is famous for its heritage sites and enthralling views. From beaches to pilgrimage sites, Odisha offers a lot of sightseeing opportunities to travelers from across the globe.
- Catch a Sunrise Over Udayagiri in Bhubaneswar
The motley collection of 32 caves cut into the hillside on the outskirts of Bhubaneshwar is an important archeological site dating as far back as the 2nd century BCE. The caves were originally home to Jain aesthetics. The most interesting ones can be found at Udayagiri, also known as Sunrise Hill. Even if you’re not naturally an early riser, the sunrises over Udayagiri are not to be missed.
- Explore the Holy City of Puri
Puri is a seaside city about an hour and a half south of Bhubaneshwar. Its appeal lies in its holiness as one of the top spiritual destinations in India. Although the imposing Jagannath Temple is only open to Hindus, the roofs of nearby buildings offer decent views. The vicinity around the temple is intriguing too, with many small temples, shops, and an area where thousands of clay pots are stored and transported daily to cook food for the deities.
- Take a Beach Break
Puri’s Golden Beach was recently cleaned up and awarded environmentally-friendly Blue Flag status. However, the beach’s main stretch gets crowded and carnival-like with camel rides and snack sellers. It becomes quieter towards the lighthouse.
- Discover Ancient Buddhist Sites
Buddhism flourished in Odisha from the 7th to the 10th century. The state’s Buddhist sites have only been excavated relatively recently and are largely unexplored. Located about two hours northeast of Bhubaneshwar, the sites consist of a series of monasteries, temples, shrines, stupas, and beautiful sculptures of Buddhist images. Their rural setting, among fertile hills and paddy fields, is picturesque and peaceful. The ‘Diamond Triangle’ of Ratnagiri, Udayagiri, and Lalitagiri has the most significant and largest concentration of Buddhist remains.
- Sample and Learn to Cook Odia Cuisine
Odia food will delight seafood lovers with mustard-based fish and prawn curries. Dalma (spiced vegetables and lentils) is an iconic vegetarian dish. Most Odias are passionate about pakhala (a fermented rice and curd combination). Sweets such as chhena pods (roasted cottage cheesecake) and rasagola (balls of cottage cheese in sugar syrup) are very popular. The state’s cuisine is generally lighter, with less spice and oil, than the ubiquitous north Indian cuisine.