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Home >> Destination Guide India > Bhubaneswar




Bhubaneswar derives its name from the Sanskrit word Tribhuvaneswara, which stands for Lord Shiva. The area around Bhubaneswar constituted the famed kingdom of Kalinga, which was conquered after a bloody battle by Ashoka, the great Mauryan emperor. Appalled at the carnage, Ashoka renounced violence and embraced Buddhism. Around the 1st century BC, under the rule of Kharvela, Orissa regained its lost glory and Bhubaneswar again became the center of activities. During this period, monastery caves were constructed of which Khandgiri and Udaygiri are the most important. By the 7th century, Hinduism supplemented Jainism, and Ganga and Kesari kingdoms did a lot for the development of Orissan culture. Most of the kings who ruled Orissa constructed beautiful temples. For a better part of its history, Bhubaneswar remained under the influence of Afghans, Marathas, and the British (till 1947).


Parashurameshvara Temple Built in 650 AD ) is one of the best example of the Orissa style of temple architecture. This temple followed very rigid parameters set by the ritualistic books. The temple has some exquisite carvings and sculpture. The temple consists of a main garbha griha oParashurameshvara Templer sanctum with a tower-like roof, referred to in local terminology as the rekha deul. This tower (only 12.80 meters high, and yet to rival that of the Lingaraja temple at 36.5 meters) is conical in shape and is made up of discrete horizontal levels which curve inwards as they meet the pinnacle, surmounted by a cushion-shaped amalaka and a kalash or pot of ambrosia. The front face of the tower has prominent arched windows and sculpted motifs. The hall in front of the tower is rectangular with a two-tiered flat roof which, as the style progressed, was to give way to more dramatic many-tiered pyramidal roofs. The walls of the mandap (locally called jagamohan or pida deul) are elaborately carved with sculptured panels and lattice windows.

Vaital Deul (800 AD) has a double-storied wagon roof, which in turn is an influence of the Buddhist cave architecture. The interior of the temple has the image of Chamunda (an incarnation of Goddess Kali).

The Rajarani Temple (1100 AD), which derives its name from the stone known as the Rajarani, was built earlier in comparison to the impressive Lingaraja. Set amongst picturesque paddy fields, the relatively small Rajarani temple is noted for its fascinating female figures portrayed in a stunning variety of amorous poses and moods.
Mukteshwar Temple
Mukteshwar Temple(7th-8th century AD) is one of the most ornated temples in the Bhubaneswar. The intricate carvings of the deities testify the influence of Hindu, Buddha, and Jain style of architecture. The carvings on the roof are specially striking.

Brahmeswara Temple (1050 AD) is situated around a kilometer east of the main road. The temple stands in a courtyard flanked by four smaller temples.

The 10th- or 11th-century Lingaraja temple of Bhubaneswar has been described as "the truest fusion of dream and reality." A rare masterpiece, the Lingaraja temple has been rated one of the finest examples of purely Hindu temple in India by Ferguson, the noted art critic and historian. Every inch of the surface of the 55-m-high Lingaraja temple is covered with elaborate carvings. Sculpture and architecture fused elegantly to create a perfect harmony. Devout pilgrims, who wish to go to the Jagannath temple at Puri, must first offer worship at the Lingaraja temple.

The Orissa State Museum is one of the best places to explore sculptures, stone inscriptions, lithic and bronze-age tools, rare copper plates, palm-leaf manuscripts, paintings, anthropological specimens, and musical instruments.

The Handicrafts Museum at Secretariat Road has a good collection of folk paintings, horn toys, brass castings, and sculptures. The Tribal Museum deals with the various aspects of the tribal life and culture in Orissa.

Nandankanan - situated at a distance of 25 km from Bhubaneswar, Nandankanan has a very wide range of animals and reptiles. The main attractions include gorillas, crocodiles, and white tigNandankananers. Nandankanan's beautifully versatile environs offer the tourists a great opportunity to be adventurous or laid back......If you do not feel like tearing around sighting animals and watching the birds, you can settle down to a leisurely picnic and mid-afternoon nap under the trees .If you feel a little more energetic you can meander along one of their nature trail.

Endangered species such as the Asiatic lion , three Indian crocodilians , Sangal lion tailed macaque,Nilgiri langur, Indian pangolin, mouse deer and countless birds, reptiles and fish have been breeding  successfully  at Nandankanan some of the other attractions of Nandankanan are the 34aquaria which are home to a large variety of fresh water fishes . The  Reptile park's cave like entrance is guarded by a life-size tyrannosaurus inside numerous species of crocodiles, lizards, turtles and snakes share the park with natural ease.

  • 67 kinds of mammals

  • 18 varieties of  reptiles

  • 81 species of  birds

Udaygiri and Khandgiri caves (7 km) are two of the most important sites in the Udayagiri Caves archeological history of India. There are 15 caves in the Udaygiri, out of which Hathigumpha (elephant cave) is the most important. A 117-line inscription on the walls of the cave relates the exploits of the King Kharvela who ruled Orissa from 168 to 153 AD. Khandgiri, on the other hand, gives a hilltop view of the city of Bhubaneswar, and most of the caves inside have a definite Jain influence.

Khandagiri caves can be reached by going up the steps next to the entrance to the Udayagiri caves. If you climb these steps, when the path divides, take the right path and you come to Caves 1 and 2. They are known as the Parrot Caves because of the birds carved over the doorways. Return on the path for 30m and then climb some steps to the Ananta Cave (3), which has carvings of elephants, women, and a bird carrying flowers. It has the best sculptures of the Khandagiri Caves. You can then climb the hill, passing the Jain temples, and at the top, there is an 18th century temple dedicated to Mahavir, the 24th tirthankara (Jain teacher). From the temple there is a good view of Bhubaneswar, including the Lingaraja Temple.


Air :  Bhubaneshwar is well linked by air to Delhi, Chennai, Varanasi, Nagpur, Calcutta, and  Vishakhapatnam on daily basis flights by Indian Airlines.

By Train: Superfast trains connect Bhubaneswar to major cities of India.

By Road: Bhubaneswar is well linked to the rest of India by the national highways.



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