The word Bhubaneshwar which means the "Lord of the Universe" is the capital of Odisha.In Bhubaneshwar Shiva is known as Tribhuvaneshwar or "Lord of the Three Worlds” from which the city derives its name.Bhubaneshwar is also popularly know as the "The Temple City of India”. This is an important pilgrimage centre and hundreds of temple dot the landscape of the old town which once boasted of more than 2000 temples. The new Bhubaneshwar with its modern buildings and extensive perfectly complement its historic surrounding. With facilities to cater every type of visitor, Bhubaneshwar makes an ideal tourist destination.
Bhubaneshwar is flanked by Bay of Bengal in the east, West Bengal in the North East, Jharkhand in the North, Chattisgargh in the West and Andhra Pradesh in the South.
Bhubaneshwar was once the capital of the ancient kingdom Kalinga.Today this bustling centre of commerce and religion is Odisha's modern capital. Having merged its past with its modern aspirations, it forms an integral link in the golden triangle that include the holy cities of Puri and Konark.The historical period of the Bhubaneswar monuments covers two millennia, between 300BC and 1600AD.A distinctive version of the North Indian style of temple architecture was evolved in Odisha over centuries under the patronage of different dynasties.
Makar Mela - This is a festival dedicated to Sun God and it falls January.
Megha Mela - This mela is held at Khandagiri and it falls in the month of January and February. It is celebrated with great fervor by the people.
Maha Shivaratri - Devotees of Lord Shiva celebrtae this on the Amavasya night of Phalgun.Orthodox remain awake on the proceeding night listening to hymns and sacred text.
Taratarini Mela - This is one of the biggest fair of Odisha and is held in the months of March and April.
Ashokastami - This is a Car festival dedicated to Lord Lingaraj where the idol of Lord Lingaraj is transported on a chariot from the main temple to Rameswar temple.
Other common festivals celebrated here include Durga and Laksmi pooja.
PLACES OF WORSHIP
This temple is dedicated to Lord Lingaraj.Lingaraj temple represents the peak of achievement in Odisha's middle period. The 54m spire of the temple dominates the Bhubaneshwar.The lingam is 8 ft in diameter and is raised 8 inches above the ground. The deity is given a bath daily with water, milk and bhang .
The Lingaraj temple has another outstanding shrine dedicated to Parvathi.The outer walls of the temple are lavishly decorated with beautiful sculpture which marks the climax of the Hindu decorative architecture. The inner walls of the shrine containing the phallus symbol of Lord Shiva are plain without any embellishment.
This unique example of Odishan temple art is full of erotic mithuna figures,fascinting nayikas,nymphs and gaja sinhas.Its plain but majestic Jagmohan mandap presents great contrast to fully decorated main shrine.
This 11th century Raja rani temple is aesthetically endearing and sculpted with graceful feminine figures.
This temple is no longer used for worship.
Mukteshwar, Siddeshwar and Kedargauri Temple
The small 10th century Mukteshwar mandir is the Gem of Odishan architecture. In front of the there is a beautiful arched architrave showing Buddhist influence. The walls are covered with female warriors, erotic scenes, elephants, maidens and monkeys in various comic scenes. The Siddeshwar temple is in the same compound and it has fine Ganesh figure.Kedargauri is one of the oldest temple in the city.
It is a 7th century Shiva temple, classical in style, one of the oldest in Bhubaneshwar.It is a cluster of about 20 small temples. Built in 650 AD, the temple also has the idols of the Vishnu, Yama, Surya and Mother Goddess. Profusely carved temple has the friezes depicted with delicate carvings of elephant and horse processions, human figure, floral motifs and the bust of Shiva.
Vaital Deul Temple
This temple which belongs to the 8th century AD is situated near the Bindu Sarovar tank. The goddess which houses this shrine is Shakti which is adorned with garland of skulls around her neck, holding weapons in her arms and flanked by a jackal and an owl. This temple is a famous temple for it was the first temple to depict erotic sculptures on the walls of the temple. The outer wall of the temple is plain whereas the inner wall is fully decorated.
Konark - The Sun temple
Designated as a chariot of the Sun God with 12 giant wheels, each of 10 feet high, fixed on either sides, whirled by seven horses the Sun temple is the translation of Rig Vedic allegory in stone.
This temple is located at a distance of about 35kms away from Puri amidst sand dunes of the Bay and the palm casuarina plantations are sublime monument.
The nearby museum has a rare collection of has sculptures from the ruins of this temple.
Twin hills honey combed with Jain caves that reveal the sculptural are of the 2nd century BC makes an interesting study of the life and temples of Jain aesthetics.Khandagiri has 19 caves and Udayagiri has 44 caves.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Odisha State Museum
A rich collection of sculpture, cons, copper plates, stone inscriptions, armours, rare palm leaf manuscripts, Bronze Age tools, natural history, geological objects, paintings, anthropological specimens and traditional folk and musical instruments are displayed in the museums.
Handicrafts MuseumA large collection of Odishan handicrafts, among them stone sculpture, patta paintings, brass castings, horn toys and silver filigree are worth seeing.
Picturesquely carved out of the Chandaka forest, nandan kanan is a biological park where animals are kept in their natural habitat. A centrally located lake divides the zoo from the botanical gardens. Clouded leopards, black panthers, brown bear, Himalayan black bear, grey pelican and Indian python are among the attractions of the zoo. This place is located at a distance of about 20 Km from Bhubeneswar and it is the largest lion safari park in the country, especially known to shelter rare white tigers.
Laxmi Sagar Square
10.Sri Kunj Restaurant
Bhubaneswar is known for local handicrafts and artistry showcase items. The shopping list in Bhubaneshwar includes
HIGH RANGE HOTELS1.GRAND CENTRAL BHUBANESWAR
Old Station Road
Bhubaneswar - 751006, Odisha, India
0674 2313411 to 14
3.The Royale Midtown
4.Hotel The Crown
BUDGET HOTELS1.Hotel Arya Palace
Bhubaneshwar, Khordha, Odisha
2.Hotel Grand Central
4. Hotel Triumph Residency
HOW TO REACH
The modern Biju Patnaik is extended to recieve wide bodied aircraft and one may well see international charters landing here soon.
Superfast trains connect Bhubaneswar to major cities of India. A major railhead on the East Coast (E Co) Railway, it has fast and super fast train links to Kolkata, Guwahati, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and other important centres of the country as well as within the state.