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Fast Facts
Location : Orrisa
Popular As : Capital City of Orissa
Attractions : Lingaraj Temple, Vaital Deul Temple, Parasurameswar Temple, Mukteswar Temple, Rajarani Temple, Orissa State Museum, Tribal Research Museum etc.
Best Time To Visit : October to March

Introducing Bhubaneshwar
Lingaraj TempleIf you are looking for a vacation alongwith spiritual touch, then Bhubaneshwar may be a right place for you. Once the capital of Kalinga Empire, Bhubaneshwar is now Orissa's capital and a bustling centre for commerce. Basically a 'temple town', Bhubaneshwar derives its name from Tribhuvaneswara or Shiva, the "Lord of the Three Worlds." Bhubaneshwar is one of three 'Golden Triangle sites of Orissa', other two cities are Puri and Konark.

The Kalinga empire and successive rulers build over 7,000 temples here which are famous for their design and marvellous architecture. The temples of the city dating back to over 25 centuries have witnessed the glorious history. The city is home to numerous temples and shrines and its skyline is dominated by some spectacular modern engineering wonders. Every year thousands of tourists visit the city to pay their homage to the religious, cultural and natural wonders. So, plan a trip to this temple town, enjoy a pleasant vacation and clean your soul and body by paying visits to temples and shrines.

How to Reach Bhubaneshwar
By Air : The Biju Patnaik Airport at Bhubaneswar is 4 kms from the city centre. Domestic Airlines such as Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Air Decan operate daily flights to Bhubaneshwar from Delhi, Kolkata, Nagpur, Varanasi, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, Mumbai, Hyderabad and other important cities of India.
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By Train : Bhubaneshwar is an important rail-head on the East Coast Railway. Several express and super fast trains Bhubaneshwar to Kolkata, Guwahati, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and other important places of the country and within the state as well.

By Bus : National highways and state roads connect Bhubaneshwar to major places of the Orissa, West Bengal and rest of the country. Bhubaneswar's new bus stand is on National Highway 5, at Baramunda at a distance of about 6 km from town centre. Buses leave for Puri and Konark at regular interval from Bhubaneshwar. Volvo bus service is available from Puri to Kolkata (12 hrs) via Bhubaneswar.

Places Where You Can Stay
Bhubaneshwar is a temple town and offers a wide range of hotels to visitors. From luxury to budget, you may chose hotels in Bhubaneshwar according to your budget. Some of the famous hotels of Bhubaneshwar include :

Five Star Hotels : Hotel Oberoi.

Four Star Hotels : Hotel Sishmo, Hotel Swosti, The Marrion

Three Star Hotels : Hotel Kalinga Ashok, Hotel Swosti Plaza, Hotel Keshari, Hotel Siddhartha International, The Garden Inn.

Tourist Attractions in Bhubaneshwar
Lingaraj Temple : Situated south of the Bindu Sagar, Lingaraj Temple is an important temple of the town. Built during the 10th or 11th century, the temple is dedicated to Tribhubansehwar, the Lord of the Three Worlds. Bindu Sagar Lake is a sacred lake and it is said that the it contains the waters of all the sacred rivers, streams and pools of the country. Every year in April, during the chariot festival of Ashokatami the deith of the Lingaraj temple is brought to the lake for annual dip. Lingaraj Temple is closed for the non-Hindus but they may visit the outer compound and see the superb architecture and sculptures.

Vaital Deul Temple : An interesting temple, Vaital Deul Temple lies close to the Bindu Sagar.Built in 800 AD, the temple shows evidences of the Buddhist cave architecture. Vaital Deul Temple is dedicated to Goddess Chamunda, a destructive incarnation of Goddess Kali. In this temple you will see some of India's first erotic carvings, suggesting that tantric beliefs may have been first propagated here.

Parasurameswar Temple : Constructed in 650 AD the Shiva temple is known for its beautiful carvings and sculptures. Set under the canopy of a huge Banyan tree, the temple has beautifully decorated panels. The temple houses friezes of Lord Shiva, Paravati, Shiva's elephant-headed son, a row seven Mother Goddesses with Chamunda to the right, an rare depiction of Ganesh and other interesting structures. In the far corner of the courtyard, there is an intriguing Shiva lingam, the Sahasralingam which is decorated with a thousand miniature versions of more lingams.

Mukteswar Temple : Constructed between 7th and 8 th century, the temple is famous for its architecture. The temple architecture represents a fine blend of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain styles. You would be certainly amazed after seeing it's carved ceiling which is master-piece of famous temple architecture of Orissa.

Rajarani Temple : An exquisite temple, Rajarani temple is flanked by well-maintained grounds. Dikpalas (the Guardians of the Eight Directions) are the deities who protect the main shrine of the temple. Yama, Nritti, Varuna, Kubera, Ishana and Indra are the prominent Dikpalas.

Other Temples : Besides above mentioned temple, Bhubaneshwar has a number of important temples. Siddeshwara Temple and Brahmeshwara Temple are other famous temples of the town.
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Orissa State Museum : One of the major attraction of the city, the museum has a good collection of illuminated manuscripts, native artefacts, lithic and bronze-age tools, rare copper plates, palm-leaf manuscripts, paintings, anthropological specimens, musical instruments and archaeological finds like Jain and Buddhist sculptures.

Handicrafts Museum : During you Bhubaneshwar trip, do pay a visit to the Handicrafts Museum. The museum has a fine collection of folk painting, brass castings and sculptures and horn toys.

Tribal Research Museum : Situated on CRP Square, the Tribal Research Museum provides a better understanding of state's tribal life and culture. Tribal Research Museum provides a glimpse of Orissa's tribal art, handicraft, dance form and festivals.

Tourist Attractions Around Bhubaneshwar
Shanti Stupa, Dhauli Udaygiri and Khandgiri : Just 8 kms from Bhubaneshwar are twin hills of Udaygiri and Khandgiri. Both these hills are important archaeological sites of India and served as the site of an ancient Jain monastery. In Udaygiri there are 15 caves, amongst them Hathi gumpha (elephant cave) is most important. One can see a 117-line inscription on the cave walls related to the exploits of King Kharvela who ruled over Orissa. The Rani Gumpha ( Queen's Cave) is another important cave. A double- storied cave, the Rani Gumpha is ornately embellished with beautiful carvings. Khandgiri is predominantly influenced by Jainism and here most of the caves have a Jain influence. From the hilltop you may get a breathtaking view of Bhubaneshwar.

Dhauli : Situated 8 km from Bhubaneshwar, Dhauli is noted for its connection with Mauryan emperor Ashoka and has the 3rd century BC Ashoka's rock edict. Dhauli is the very place where Ashoka renounced his bloodthirsty campaign in the 3rd century Band set out to spread Buddhism. On the opposite hill, a Shanti Stupa or peace pagoda has been built through the Indo-Japanese collaboration.

Nandankanan Sanctuary : Nandankanan Sanctuary is situated 25 km away from Bhubaneshwar. Originally a Biological Park, Nandankanan was declared a sanctuary in 1979. Gorillas, crocodiles and white tigers are the main attractions of Nandankanan.Nandankanan is the place, where first ever White tigers and Gharials were bred in captivity. Breeding of Gharial was one of the important projects launched at Nandankanan and till date over 200 crocodiles have been produced. You may go for tiger and lion safari at Nandankanan.

Atri Springs : Atri Springs lies at a distance of 42 km from Bhubaneshwar. It is believed that the hot sulphur spring have medicinal properties. A famous outing spot for vacationers, Atri is also home to a temple dedicated to Lord Hatakeswar.

Puri: A temple town Puri is situated at a distance of 60 km from Bhubaneshwar. One of the three 'Golden Triangle sites of Orissa',Puri is famous for Jagannath Temple and the annual Raht Yatra.

Konark : Situated 65 kms away for Bhubaneshwar, Konark is another important temple town of Orissa. Sun Temple is main attraction of Konark. Designed as a chariot of the Sun God, the sun temple houses a number of interesting structures. The temple museum, beach and Chandrabhaga Mela are other attractions of Konark.

Chilika Lake : Chilika Lake lies at a distance of about 100 km from Bhubaneshwar. Asia's biggest brackish water lake, Chilika spreads over an area of 1,100 sq. km. In 1987, Chilika was a declared a sanctuary. During winters thousands of migratory birds come to the sanctuary from Siberia and other parts of the world. For its varied flora and fauna, the lake's Nalbana Island has been declared a sanctuary. Kalijai Island is a famous island in the lake and it is home to Goddess Kalijai. You may hire boats at Barkul, Balugaon, Rambha and Satapara to explore the beautiful lake.

Shopping in Bhubaneshwar
If you are looking for curios and traditional fabrics, then you must go for shopping in Bhubaneshwar. Here you will find a number of government and privately runs shops offering typical Orissan items. Some of the must buy of Bhubaneshwar include woven ikat fabrics, appliqué worked fabric, Sambalpuri silk and cotton, tussar silk and gold embroidery. While shopping in Bhubaneshwar you will be certainly amazed by the the wide range of metal ware-silver filigree jewellery or tarakash, amazing metal sculptures and figurines known as dhokra. Bhubaneshwar is also famous for its woodcarfts such as lampshades, fruit-baskets and jewellery boxes. You will also find stone sculptures of gods and goddesses and seashells of different shapes in markets of Bhubaneshwar.

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