Bhubaneswar is one of the most famous destinations in Odisha. Although it is known as the ‘Temple City’, it is much more than that, starting from architectural marvels to natural beauties.
1. Lingaraj Temple
The Lingaraj Temple is a masterpiece and the culmination of the revolution of temple architecture in Odisha. The presiding deity is the Swayambhu Linga, Hari-Hara Linga, which is half Siva and half Vishnu. Dedicated to Trivbhuvaneswar (a form of Shiva) or the Lord of the Three Worlds, this temple is a prime example of Indian architecture, in its mature and fully developed state. Its present form dates back to the 11 th century, although several parts of it are over 1400 years old. The sandstone carvings are the most notable feature of this temple. The granite block representing the Linga is said to be bathed daily with water, milk and bhang (marijuana). Almost all the Hindu gods and goddesses are represented in this temple. More than 50 smaller temples and shrines crowd the enclosure. This temple is closed to non-Hindus, however a viewing platform allows visitors to see over the wall.
2. Dhauli Giri
Situated near the banks of river Daya near Bhubaneswar, Dhauli is known to have been the silent witness of one of the most flaming wars in annals of Indian history. In 261 B.C the famous Kalinga war is said to have taken place here. The war occurred as Asoka, one of the most valiant emperors of ancient India desired to include Kalinga into his empire. But Kalinga dared to defy the mighty emperor. What ensued was a war that left millions dead on the battlefield. Legend has it that the river Daya turned red as blood of countless warriors spilled on it during the war. Ashoka’s rock edicts are still present here and they depict the teachings of the emperor. Also a Buddhist stupa, known as Shanti Stupa, is located here and it has been constructed by monks from Japan.
3. Odisha State Museum
Odisha State Museum is a worthy place to visit for students and history lovers. It was founded by two famous historians named Professor N.C. Banerjee and Professor Ghanshyam Dash of Ravenshaw College in the year 1932. The museum’s amazing collection of coins and plates of copper, stone inscriptions, sculptures, rare manuscripts on palm leaves, age-old bronze tools and traditional musical instruments are must to see.
The Epigraphy Gallery of the museum contains rare epigraphic records. One can find beautiful miniature painting, patta paintings, brassware, stone sculptures and very well known silver filigree work of Odisha in the Handicraft Museum.
4. BDA City Centre (formerly BDA Nicco Park)
5. Ekamra Kanan Botanical Garden
Ekamra Kanan is the biggest botanical garden and park in Bhubaneswar established in 1985. It is spread over more than 500 acres of land. The park area is covered with a large green lawn and a three-kilometer long walkway. It is full of large trees everywhere. Inside the park, there are areas developed as flower gardens of different varieties. The park also contains a playground and lawn at its center with several swings, slides, and climbing structures.