Planning to take a tour of Odisha but have no idea where to start from? We’ve got your back! Let’s take a mini-tour and find out what treasures the state offers for exploration.
Here are the 14 must-visit places in Odisha everyone can check out.
Puri is the spiritual capital of Odisha and fondly called “Shrikhetra.” Odias are very strongly rooted in their beloved deity Lord Jagannath.
Puri is one of the four significant pilgrimage destinations in India without which the “Teerth” of the Hindus would remain incomplete.
The city is quite a favourite for family trips and the tropical climate, the luxury hotels, and resorts make it a quick escape from the day to day life or a potentially good choice for your next corporate meeting.
Its famous ancient temples, the splendid beaches and the richness of the cultures here make a great amalgam for tourists and nature lovers.
Five places to check-out in Puri
- Gundicha Temple
- Puri sea beach
- District museum
- Raghunandana Library
- Ashramas and Matthas
The place which finds its mention the epic Mahabharta, the place which changed Ashoka forever, the place which is proudly the smartest city of India, it is Bhubaneswar which has somehow found a perfect balance between its ancient roots and at the same time does a great job at keeping up with the new trends.
The city is fondly called the “ekamra khetra” which means ‘the city of temples’. With a diverse range of heritages that the city encapsulates.
one of the main attractions of the city is its vicinity to other places of tourism like Konark and puri, which forms the ‘swarna tribhuja’ or ‘the golden triangle’ for the tourists.
Five places to check-out in Bhubaneswar
- Odisha state museum
- Dhauli hill
- Khandagiri & udayagiri caves
- Mukteswar and raja rani temple
- Lingaraj temple
Gopalpur is a commercial port and a famous sea beach in the Ganjam district toward the southern part of the Odisha. Barely just 16 km away from the city Berhampur is this tiny city which lies on the Bay of Bengal.
Although the town had its small little history from the British Indian era, it was renovated in the 1970s by the Odisha govt and since then has become one of the major port of the east.
A fascinating site of Gopalpur is its long stretch of cashew nut plantations which are exported through the same port.
Two Things to look forward to in Gopalpur
- Gopalpur Beach Festival
- Aqua-sports at Gopalpur
Chilika is a brackish water lagoon spread over puri, khurda and ganjam districts of Odisha, on over 1100kms.
Situated on the mouth of Daya River, and flowing into the Bay of Bengal it is the largest lagoon India and the second largest in the world.
The place is famous for the sightings of dolphins and its wide range of eco-tourism. A perfect eco-system for the fishery, it is the largest wintering ground to the migratory birds and also home many endangered species.
Five places to check-out in Chilika
- Kalijai temple
- The Bacon, Breakfast, Honeymoon, Bird’s Somolo and Dumkudi Island
- Sand-Bar and Mouth of the Lake
- Satapada village
- Mangalajodi bird sanctuary
Just 35 km away from Puri, Konark is the best-known tourist site in Odisha and is listed as a world heritage site in 1984.
The Puri-Konark marine drive is an absolute delight. Konark finds its name from the Sanskrit words “Kon,” which means “corner” or “angle” and “Ark,” which means the sun and it is one of the oldest Sun temples.
There was humungous magnet placed in the inner-most cabin or the “garbha” of the temple and hence was designed to work as a compass to help the local fishermen in the sea and clock to mark time on the basis of the shadows being projected from the rays of the sun.
Three places/events to check-out in Konark
- Konark museum
- Chandrabhaga beach
- Konark festivals (event)
NALABANA BIRD SANCTUARY
Nalabana bird sanctuary is a National Park and a protected wildlife refuge which is spread across 1555 hectares of dense green forest and serves as a vast eco-system. It is located in one of the islands of Chilika.
Chilika is India’s largest brackish water wetland. The sanctuary gets a massive inflow of water from river bhargavi and daya and is situated on the Bay of Bengal.
The mixture of sweet river water and salty seawater provides the perfect home for a diverse aquatic life and birds.
If you like lone walks alongside beaches and crowed beaches overwhelm you, then Chandipur is the place to go. Chandipur sea beach is 16 km from Balasore railway station and can be reached by traveling to Balasore by road or rail and thereafter taking a taxi to reach Chandipur.
This beach is famous for its “Vanishing Sea” phenomenon. The sea gradually recedes during low tide and then gradually comes back during high tide.
Chandipur is famous for its seafood – especially the prawns and pomfrets and other seafood cooked in Odiya-style. Treat yourself.
Five places to check-out in Chandipur
- Chandipur beach
- Panchalingeswara shrine
- Go shopping at Chandipur
One of the highest waterfalls in India, the Khandadhar waterfall is 801 feet tall in sudergargh.
It looks like a sword and hence its name “Kanda” (sword) “dhar.” What is more interesting about this waterfall is the legends associated with it. A legend from the “Pauri Bhuiyan,” a local tribe, says the community was possessed by a goddess named “Kankala Devi” who consumed trees, soil and in short the whole fertility of the land.
Saddened, when the tribe placed her on a rock she engulfed that too, which resulted in the formation of out the Khandadhara falls by creating a deep hole.
Things to do at Khandadhar
- Go hiking (during or post-monsoon)
- Go on a trek (during or post-monsoon)
Hirakud Dam is the longest human-made dam on the river Mahanadi which was built in 1957.
The dam is 26 km in length and 55 km long and is one of the first major multipurpose river valley projects that had been started right after India’s Independence.
The dam with the channel provides an ideal environment for the wildlife; hence the Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary is located here. The migratory birds also visit the place during winter.
Five places to visit in hirakud
- Deer park
- Kalasuni wildlife sanctuary
- Ushakothi wildlife sanctuary
- Cattle island
- Badarama wildlife sanctuary
The BhitarKanika is one of the very few marine parks in India located in the Baleswar district.
Packed with flora and fauna, it is a lot similar to the Sunderban in West Bengal except that there is no tiger here.
BhitarKanika was the private hunting ground of the royal Raj Kanika family and had a notified special status for the crocodiles here.
Five places to visit in Bhitar Kanika
- Lalitgiri and Ratnagiri
- Gahirmattha Turtle sanctuary
Simplipal is a very picturesque and scenic place located in the mayurbhanj district of Odisha.
The name is derived from the silk cotton plant, which is locally called “Simul.”
One a hunting ground for the royals of the place is now protected and credited as one of the largest and diverse wildlife sanctuaries in India.
The large biodiversity in all its forms of flora and fauna and the cool breeze emerging out of the lush greenery connect you to nature and show you all its gigantic forms.
places to visit in Simlipal
- Barehipani falls
Ratnagiri hills used to be one of the significant sites of Mahavir, Buddhist monks located in jajpur.
The serene and calm environment of the place is sure to give you an experience of pure calmness and tranquillity.
The main attractions in the holy area are the crisscross of Mahanadi, Brahmani, Kimiria and Birupa rivers. The stupas and the gateways are also a viewer’s delight.
Sanaghagara falls an enchantingly beautiful waterfall located in the kendujhar districts of Odisha.
Falling from a height of 100 feet, it provides a very scenic view. Surrounded by the lush greenery and a calm environment, it produces a very serene and fresh feeling for its visitors.
A youth favorite for camping and trekking the place is best to visit during monsoons.
Spread over an area of about 988kms, the Satkosia reserve is a tiger reserve situated in the Angul district of Odisha.
It was established in 1976 with an area of 796kms and now stretches to a long gorge of about 22 km where the Mahanadi river passes the eastern ghats.
The reserve is filled with moist deciduous trees and is especially renowned for its enormous Sal trees.