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Places to visit near Bhubaneswar

Discussion in 'East India' started by DCMA2, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. DCMA2

    DCMA2 New Member

    My stay in Bhubaneswar will be for four days, and I am interested in going to the nearby places to see different things and a different environment.

    I would like some suggestions on places to visit near Bhubaneswar and know how far these are from Bhubaneswar. I am quite willing to travel by taxi, but if the destination is accessible by bus or train, it would be better.

    I have an extra seven days to spare so some hint to how many days should be spent at the suggested would be good to know.
  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there! Welcome to the forum!

    Luckily, there are plenty of nearby places to Bhubaneswar that you can visit. I'd recommend to just visit the places within 100 kms or less from Bhubaneswar. Since you only have 11 days to spare, you cannot afford missing some days just because you have to travel from one place to another. So anyway, here are some of the places that you can visit near Bhubaneswar:

    Places to Visit Under 100 Kilometres from Bhubaneswar

    1. Puri - This is just 63 kms away from Bhubaneswar. This is a city and a municipality in the state of Odisha. It is visited by many tourists mainly because it's part of the original Char Dham pilgrimage. If you like historical and religious structures, it's a great idea to visit Puri. Here are some of the attractions in Puri:
    • Lord Jagannath Temple - This is part of the Char Dham pilgrimage in which a Hindu must make once in his lifetime. The temple was built in the 12th century under Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva. The three main deities of the temple are Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra. In 1174 CE, Ananga Bhima Deva rebuilt and renovated the temple to the present structure that we see today. The legend goes that Lord Jagannath was originally worshipped as Lord Neela Madhaba by a Savar king named Viswavasu. King Indradyumna sent a Brahmin priest named Vidayapati to located the deity but the latter was unsuccessful in finding it. However, Vidayapati was able to marry Viswavasu's daughter, Lalita. Upon his repeated requests, the Savar king brought him to the deity although he blinded Vidayapati before doing so. Vidayapati was quite smart since he scattered mustard seeds along the way. Upon knowing about this, King Indradyumna settled to look for the deity but was still unable to see it. Disappointed, he went on a fast at the Mount Neela. Thereafter, the king was able to see the deity and even built a temple for the Lord Vishnu on the site. Only Hindus of Indian origin are allowed to enter the premises of the temple. Although you can still pay your respect in the entrance gate, if you're a non-Hindu or non-Indian descent.
    • Konark Sun Temple - This temple is believed to have been built by Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The entire temple is built in the shape of a large chariot, complete with wheels, pillars and walls. Kona means corner and ark means sun. This is also referred to as the Black Pagoda, whereas the Jagannath Temple is referred to as the White Pagoda. Originally, you can find the temple near the Chandrabhaga River, but the river has already receded. It was made using Khondalite rocks and was built to represent the chariot of the Sun God, Surya. Most of the structure has already been destroyed but some of the remaining parts are the Jagamohana or the Audience Hall, the dining hall and the dance hall. The wheels of the chariot temple are actually sun dials and can still accurately tell the time.
    • Sakshi Gopal Temple - This is a temple dedicated to the Lord Gopal. The legend goes that a poor man, Sakhigopal, fell in love with the daughter of the headman. However, being that they're of different economic status, the headman was opposed to the idea. Now, the villagers, along with the headman and Sakhigopal, went on a pilgrimage. The headman fell ill and was abandoned by the villagers, only Sakhigopal remained to take care of him and made him healthy again. The headman promised his daughter's hand when they get back. But once they got back, the headman took back his words on Sakhigopal. Lord Gopal was impressed by Sakhigopal's devotion so he agreed to bear witness on the condition that Sakhigopal would lead the way to the village and never look back. So off they went but Sakhigopal was astonished when he cannot hear Lord Gopal's footsteps and so he looked back. Then, Lord Gopal turned into a statue of stone rooted to the ground. The villagers were still impressed that that Lord Gopal himself came to be a witness for the poor man. And so the two were married and were the first priests of the temple dedicated to the Lord Gopal.
    • Loknath Temple - This is just close to the Jagannath Temple. It was built in the 11th century and is dedicated to the Lord Shiva. According to Hindu mythology, the lingam on this temple was built by Lord Rama. The lingam is submerged on water all the time, which has lead to the legend that the Goddess Ganga flows through the lingam as a stream.
    • Gundicha Temple - This is also known as the Garden House of Jagannath. The temple stands in the centre of a beautiful garden, hence the name. The temple remains empty almost all the time expect on the Rath Yatra Festival of Puri. During this time, the idols of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra occupy the temple. The legend goes that when Jagannath goes to the Gundicha Temple, he intentionally locks up Lakshmi in the main Jagannath Temple. And while he is in the temple, he is taken care of by his gopis led by Radha. When Jagannath returns to the temple, Lakshmi sprinkles some of her magical powder unto him to make him forget about his escapade in the Gundicha Temple.
    • Alarnatha Temple - This is a temple dedicated to the Lord Vishnu. The temple becomes crowded during the Krishna Paksha, when the Lord Jagannath cannot be seen in his temple. During this time, Lord Jagannath is believed to manifest as Alarnath Dev, the main deity of the Alanartha Temple.
    • Puri Beach - This is about 35 kms from the Konark Sun Temple. It has become famous for the annual sand sculpture festival here which features mainly sculptures of Sudarshan Patnaik. This beach is immensely crowded especially during holidays and weekends. You can visit the Chakratirtha side of the beach for more seclusion and privacy if you'd like.
    • Chandrabhaga Beach - This is just 3 kms from the Konark Sun Temple. According to legend, there once existed a girl by the name Chandrabhag here who caught the attention and love of Surya. Chandrabhag refused the proposal of the God to her which maddened Surya. The Sun God chased Chandrabhag until she fell off the river and killed herself. Now, every year on the 7th day of the full moon fortnight of Magha month, the locals pray to the Sun God and commemorate the death of Chandrabhag. There's also a lighthouse nearby the beach that you can visit.
    • Chilika Lake - This is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest in the world. About 150,000 fishermen rely on the lake for their day to day living. It is also the home to about 160 species of migratory birds during the winter season. Aside from these, some rare species of dolphins are also found in the lake.
    You can reach Puri from Bhubaneswar either by bus or train. Since it's very near Bhubaneswar, it's also a great idea to just ride a taxi to reach Puri. I'd suggest at least three days to fully explore Puri as it has many attractions to offer.

    2. Cuttack - This is just 36 kms from Bhubaneswar. This was the former capital and the second largest city in Odisha. Its name was derived from Katak, literally meaning The Fort, in reference to the Barabati Fort surrounding the city. It is also known as the judicial capital of Odisha and has a number of businesses in the area too. Some of the attractions here are the following:
    • Cuttack Chandi Temple - This temple is dedicated to Goddess Chandi and is located near the banks of the Mahanadi River. Legend has it that Sri Hansa Panda was resting upon his land one day when Goddess Chandika appeared in his dream and requested for him to take her out of his land. So upon waking up, Hansa went to the king and told him the story about his dream. So soldiers helped Hansa dug up the land and thereafter they found the idol of Maa Katak Chandi. Now, the temple was built on the same land where the idol of Maa Katak Chandi was dug.
    • Maa Markama and Maa Karkama Temple - This is the only temple dedicated to Maa Markama and Maa Karkama in Odisha. It is believed that King Kalahambir ruled Odisha at the time the temple was built. The family's ishtadevi is also Devi Maa Markama.
    • Ansupa Lake - This is a horseshoe-shaped freshwater lake in Cuttack. It's set amidst the Saranda Hills and has bamboo and mango trees all around it. It's a great place for bird watching especially during the winter season.
    • Odisha Maritime Museum -This has 13 galleries showcasing different marine life and ecology of the sea. It is set amidst the banks of the Mahanadi River. It is open everyday expect Mondays. There's an entrance fee of Rs. 10 per person. There's also a library here that you can visit. There's also an open air auditorium with a seating capacity of 250 people.
    • Dhabaleswar Temple - This is about 37 kms from Cuttack. It is located in an island on the Mahanadi River. You can reach it via bus ride or a boat ride through the river. It is a temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva. It has stone carvings dating back to the 10th and 11th centuries. This is the area where the Lord Shiva turned a black sheep into a white one, hence the name Dhabaleswar, Dhabala meaning White and eeswar meaning God.
    • Barabati Fort - This fort was built by the Ganga dynasty during the 14th century. It is next to the more modern Barabati Stadium. Now, the fort is mostly in ruins, with the arched gateway and the earthen mound of the nine-storeyed palace remaining.
    There are trains from Bhubaneswar to Cuttack that you can ride. It isn't too far from Bhubaneswar as well so you can ride a taxi to reach it. It's best to spend at least three days to fully explore Cuttack.

    3. Pushpagiri - This is about 100 kms from Bhubaneswar. You can find it in the Langudi Hills of the Jajpur Distirct. Pushpagiri comprises of Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri and Udayagiri, together they are known as the Diamond Triangle. They used to be Buddhist complexes, although they're mostly in ruins now.
    • Lalitgiri - The significant finding at this site is the relics of Buddha. The remnant found was a stupa, with two rare stone caskets with relics of the Buddha. Other findings here are four monasteries, different idols of Buddha in different meditative forms and antique jewelries.
    • Udayagiri - Findings here include a stupa about 7 metres high and monasteries. Archeologists were also able to find images of Tara in the form of Tara Kurukulla or Kurukulla Tara here.
    • Ratnagiri - There were two monasteries excavated here. One has two floors, with an extensive courtyard and a cell hall for the monks. Other findings are smaller temples, thousands of stupas, sculptural relics and architectural pieces of daily use.
    You can ride a train going to Jajpur and from there, ride a bus going to Pushpagiri. You can also ride a taxi although it can be quite expensive. I'd recommend spending at least a day or two in Pushpagiri to fully explore these sites.

    I hope this helps.:)
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