Odisha for many reasons has always been the state for travelers who love to take the offbeat path. The landscapes here are breathtaking and the delicious cuisines can make you feel whole again. To ensure you have an exceptional time in ‘India’s Best Kept Secret’ and you explore all there is, let’s take you over some the best top 9 things to do in Odisha.
Odisha is a state of mystery, wonder, and culture. The temples of the state tell the stories of its rich and beautiful past. Take a day out to explore these mysterious pockets of memories by admiring the majestic temples that remain standing for years.
Jagannath Puri Temple: One of the Char-Dham pilgrimages, Puri's Jagannath temple holds a special place in the list of most reputed and most visited temples in the country. The beautiful temple built based on Oriya architecture has almost 120 temples and shrines inside the whole premises of the temple. The main temple has a curvilinear shape and has a chakra of Lord Vishnu on the top. The chakra is called the 'Nila Chakra'.
Brahmeswara Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is located in the city of Bhubaneswar in Odisha. The temple was built at the end of the 9th century CE, with rich carvings both inside and outside the temple. The temple represents the rich culture and history of Odisha. Take your time exploring the intricate carvings and inscriptions on these old, talkative walls.
Sun Temple: A UNESCO World Heritage site, this temple is extremely famous for its unique architectural design. The carvings on this temple were used as sundials. You can see three images of the Sun God, placed in three directions to catch the rays of the sun at dawn, noon, and sunset. Konark Sun Temple represents Odisha in all its glory and beauty.
Also read: 6 Best Hostels In Manali.
Odisha is the state of intricate arts. You can tell a lot about a place by the type of arts, crafts, materials, colors, and handiwork you can find there. Art is perhaps the best storyteller when it comes to telling the story of a specific culture or a place. Odisha is famous for its rich and abundant art such as:
Pattachitra: This beautiful art form is believed to have originated in the early 12th century. Pattachitra is a type of icon painting that is used to depict the stories of people, culture, animals, and nature.
Sand Art: Odisha is famous for its majestic sand sculptures. This is a particularly famous art form in Odisha, so much so that Odisha hosts an international sand art festival every year, where artists from all over the world gather together to celebrate this beautiful art form.
Palm Leaf Paintings: Locally known as Talapatra Chitra, is an ancient art form in Odisha. Dating back to the times when communication would be done through paintings and writing, this beautiful art form has lived through ages and is still a huge part of Odisha's rich culture.
If you want to explore the art work of Odisha, you must visit Raghurajpur which is an artisan’s village in Odisha. You will be able to discover brass handicrafts, silver filigree work, applique work, paintings and so much more.
Like we said earlier, Odisha is a state of mysterious places. If you’re interested in unveiling the mystery you can visit haunted sites in Odisha such as:
The Mangalajodi Tree: The Mangalajodi Tree is said to be resided by a possessed girl who takes over 21 lives before the festival of Dussehra. Many people claim that they have witnessed several ghost and paranormal activities in the latter hours of the night. Understandably, it is prohibited to visit the tree after sunset.
Japan Nagar Palace: Built by Prince Narasingh Pratap Dev, this 100 room palace is said to be the place where he forced his slaves, laborers and tortured them in special rooms. Many of them are believed to have died during the construction of the palace and it is believed that their ghosts haunt this place now. The palace is in ruins but it is still considered one of the most haunted places in Odisha.
Also read: Manali Travel Guide.
Odisha is a beautiful offbeat state with an abundance of natural resources and nature. Blessed with diverse flora and fauna, many places in Odisha are a traveler's dream destination.
Daringbadi: Also called Odisha's Kashmir, this hill station is located in the Kandhamal district of the state. The place has an altitude of 3000 ft, it snows here in extreme winters.
Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary: Located in the Balasore district of the state, and spread out in an area of 282 square km, this wildlife sanctuary is home to various species of animals, birds, and trees. The forest is rich with sal, rosewood, Shimul trees.
Nandakanan Zoological Park: Also called the Garden of The God, and located in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, spread out in an area of 400 acres, Nandakanan Zoo is home to almost 1580 animals that include 634 mammals, 812 birds, and 134 reptiles. The zoo is also home to animals like White Tigers, Patas Monkeys, eastern Rosella variety of Parakeet, and open-billed stork.
Bhitarkanika National Park: Bhitarkanika is a beautiful national park in Odisha and a forest reserve for crocodiles. You can take a boat ride here to spot the crocodiles and explore the dense Amazon forest.
Mangalajodi: Mangalajodi is a bird lover’s paradise and you should make a trip here. You should know that November to March is the best time to be here to spot a dozen species of birds.
Odisha is not only famous for its beautiful nature and architecture. Food of Odisha is also a colorful experience in itself. Don't miss out on these local delicacies whenever you visit:
Pakhala Bhata: This is a delicious snack, known as 'Puchka' in Bengal, 'Golgappa' in the north and 'Panipuri' in other regions of India. It is a famous street food made out of maida or atta, filled with chana masala and spicy jal jeera. Odisha gives this dish its unique twist in the form of Pakhala Bhata.
Santula: This gravy-filled meal is made with raw papaya, brinjal, and tomatoes, which gives it the best combination of sweet, tangy, and savory once mixed with other spices. Don't forget to get yourself a warm bowl of this yummy soup when you visit.
Rasabali: For those of you who have a taste for sweets, this is the perfect dessert dish. Garnished with cardamoms and soaked in thick sweet milk, this delicacy originated from the Kendrapara district in Odisha.
Also read: 6 Best Hostels In Shimla.
It is no wonder that Odisha has a rich artistic heritage. The diverse history of rulers in the past, made many changes to the art and architecture of Odisha throughout the centuries, making it more and more diversified.
There are many rich examples of Jain rock-cut caves, Hindu temples, Buddhist stupas, and other architectural designs that can be seen spread throughout the state.
Kalinga architectural style is one of the most famous architectural styles of Odisha. Temples like the Jagannath Puri Temple and Konark Sun Temple represent this style of architecture. Few cultural sites that you must visit to stand in awe of the architecture are:
Also read: Best Homestays In Shimla.
People represent the culture of any place. When it comes to the arts, artisans, and culture of Odisha, you can learn the most about it when you meet the locals. Odisha is a state made of arts, a glorified work of art on its own.
There are two handicraft villages between Puri and Bhubaneswar that you must visit, Raghurajpur and Pipili. Raghurajpur is famous for its beautiful Pattachitra paintings and Pipili is famous for its colorful applique works. Both of these places are great to witness the artisans making their art, demonstrating and then selling these beautiful bundles of joy.
Also read: Manipur Travel Guide.
Believed to be the final resting place of Lord Vishnu, Puri is considered one of the most sacred pilgrimages in India. Famous for its pristine beaches and beautiful Jagannath Temple, Puri is not only rich with temples and religion, but it's also famous for its beautiful art forms. Be it sand art, architecture, or silver and metal work, everything is beautiful about Puri. When you’re here the best thing to do is explore the laidback town by foot.
Also read: Exciting Things To Do In Manipur.
Satkosia is a dense wildlife sanctuary in Odisha and is a must-visit for a nature lover. Taking a boat ride in Mahanadi river, going on nature trails, and stargazing are some of the things you can’t miss in Satkosia. The location is also popular for its many nature camps so you’re up for a wildlife adventure, this is it. Don't miss out on this gem of a place when you visit Odisha.
Also read: 5 Interesting Temples In Odisha.
How To Travel From Place To Place Once In Odisha?
Booking a private vehicle for the number of days you stay in Odisha is the best way to get around and cover all the tourist sights you want to uncover.
Which Is The Perfect Season To Visit Odisha?
Odisha has something to offer in every season. But many festivities and events take place during winters at various places across the state. Hence, anytime between October to February is the best time to visit Odisha.
How Safe Is Odisha To Visit?
Odisha is pretty safe to visit. If you're a solo traveler or a solo female traveler our advice would be to avoid traveling alone later in the night. Apart from the basic safety measures, there's no need to have any worries while traveling through Odisha
What Makes Odisha An Important Tourist Center?
Odisha is one of the major tourism sectors of India, with various tourists attractions, ranging from wildlife reserves, beaches, temples, monuments, the arts, and festivals.
How many days are enough to explore Odisha?
3 to 4 days is sufficient to explore two of Odisha’s main attractions which is Puri and Bhubaneshwar. But if would like to explore its wildlife reserves and more, 7 to 8 days would be doing better justice to the place.
Which Languages Are Used In Odisha?
Odia or Oriya is the official language of the state, but Hindi and English are also used while communicating in public spaces.
What Is Odia Culture?
Odisha is full of cultures, cultures as Aryan, Dravidian, and Adivasi are what bring Odisha together as one community.
What Is Famous Dress Of Odisha?
The dressing style of Odisha is Sambalpuri Sari and Salwar kameez, the saree still holds a greater demand all over India. The younger women have taken over the western style dressing culture in town and city areas.