Bhubaneswar tour necessarily comprises a visit to Lingaraj Temple. Lingaraj Temple, fifty four meter high & fourteen hundred years old, is home to ‘Hari-Har’ (हरिहर), where Hari is for Vishnu, Har stands for Lord Shiva. Built in red stone, it represents the ancient Kalingan architecture style. The temple has four sections―Garbha Griha (sanctum sanctorum), Yajna Shala (the hall of yajnas), Natya Shala (hall of dance), and the Bhog Mandap (the hall of oﬀerings) and the spacious courtyard has about fifty tiny temples which are dedicated to other gods and goddesses. It is one of the few Shiva temples in India, where meals are prepared and served to the deity.
Trip to Bhubaneswar deserves visiting Bindu Sagar, a beautiful and sacred lake which is located to the north of Lingaraj Temple. It is believed that Lord Shiva got water from all the holy places to create this lake, to quench the thirst of Goddess Parvati. A dip in this sacred lake is said to clean one’s body and soul. On the western banks of the Bindu Sagar Lake is the ‘One Mango Tree Forest’ called Ekamravan (एकाम्रवन). Back in the day Lord Shiva spent a large amount of time here mediating. The garden has a very ethereal feel to it, with temple bells and chirping birds. There are a lot of little stone sculptures depicting the story from how the Bindusagar was created, apparently Goddesses from diﬀerent rivers were asked to bless the space with water, and the divinity ﬂowed through the forest and the lake. It is peaceful and a lovely spot to visit. If a tourist is interested in Ayurveda he / she will find a lot of medicinal plants and trees here.
Bhubaneswar tour itineraries are perfectly customizable. For a tourist, interested in temples tour, the sightseeing tour should include visit to Mukteshwar Temple, Raja Rani Temple, Chaunsath Yogini Temple, Parashurameshwar Temple etc.
Mukteshwar Temple is another temple famous of its beautiful stone carvings. Mukhteshwar means the “Lord who gives freedom through Yoga” and diﬀerent meditation poses, mudras (मुद्राएं), Jain munis (जैनमुनि) and folk tales from Panchtantra (पञ्चतन्त्र) are depicted on the walls of the temple. It is also known to be the ﬁrst to have the lion head motifs carved out. The ceiling carvings and archway (known as ‘torana’- तोरण) are particularly striking, clearly showing Buddhist sculptural inﬂuence. The temple comes alive with ankle bells (ghunguroo - घूँघरू) in the month of January as the Mukteshwar Dance Festival begins to celebrate and honour the cultural and folk dances.
Another one to visit is the Raja Rani Temple, which is the only one not to be associated with any deity. It is believed that this was like a breakaway place for Oriyan King & Queen (Raja & Rani), but it is possibly named Raja Rani after the stoneware used to construct it. In the month of February, the Raja Rani Classical Music Festival is held here. The Ragas echoing along the walls on a winter evening are soulful!
The beautiful circular, open air temple called the ‘Chausath Yogini’ about fifteen kilometer from Bhubaneswar, is dedicated to the esoteric cult - the tantras. ‘Chausath’ in Odia language means sixty four, and the temple has sixty four stone ‘yoginis’ (योगिनी) carved out on its own walls. The temple’s open air structure is symbolic of worship of all ﬁve elements of nature - air, water, earth, ﬁre, sky- or the ether (क्षिति, जल, पावक, गगन, समीर). Visiting the temple early in the morning when the air dances with the fog gives a very ethereal feeling. Sunsets too at the temple are bright red and bring the place alive.
Bhubaneswar tours are preferred by Jain & Buddhist pilgrims too. The Khandagiri and Udayagiri hills, which are about eight kilometer from the main city, are twin hills that were carved out to create a residency for the Jain Monks back in the 2nd Century. Although originally there were 117 caves, now only 33 remain. The Rani Gumpha (Queen’s Cave) is beautifully carved and has magniﬁcent embellishments. The Hathi Gumpha (Elephant Cave) is said to be one which preserves history and stories from early on that would otherwise have gotten lost. Another remarkable place to see is the Shanti Stupa on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. The Peace Pagoda on Dhauli Hills is built where Ashok won the Kalinga war. As per the legend, the Daya River turned red because of the blood of the soldiers who sacriﬁced their lives in this war. This aﬀected Ashok and he turned from being a ﬁerce warrior to a peace lover, and soon got proselytized into Buddhism in quest of peace. The Dhauli hills allow one to see a panoramic view of the entire area.
Bhubaneswar holiday packages have something for all genres of travelers as the city is surrounded by architectural monuments, pilgrimage places and pristine nature. About twenty kilometer from the main city, wilderness awaits! Chandaka, home to threatened animals and birds, is a popular amongst the wildlife enthusiasts. Although the sanctuary is famous for the conservation of elephants, a wildlife enthusiast will be able to spot other animals like the hyena, spotted deer, leopard, monitor lizards to name a few, in their natural habitat.
Tailor-made Bhubaneswar travel packages may include famous museums like Odisha State Museum, Museum of Tribal Arts & Artifacts, Regional Museum of Natural History etc. After fair share of sightseeing, just take a stroll down the main streets. The city has so much to oﬀer. You might be lucky to catch a play going on in Rabindra Mandap, or even a dance program at the Soochana Bhavan. And while you’re at it, relax and drink the lassi at the Lingaraj Lassi Stall and enjoy the mix of the ancient and the modern co - existing in this beautifully unique city.
The capital of Odisha, Bhubaneswar is an ancient city having modern infrastructure with cultural heritage intact. The city is equipped will all kinds of accommodation, luxury hotels to budget stays. All kinds of transportation means are available to reach & explore the city. Hence, Bhubaneswar tour packages are highly loved by the visitors.