The ancient city of Bhubaneswar is also known as the Temple City of eastern India. The word Bhubaneswar in its literal sense means the 'God's World' which showcases the walk down centuries of temple architecture. With 600 temples in its treasure, the city is probably the only city in the world that presents an veritable over-view of the stages of development of Hindu religious architecture. Today these temples are a gentle reminder of the gracious past and the rich heritage of India. During the ancient times the regular dances were performed by the 'Devadasis' or divine temple dancers girls, the rituals and the recital of religious song were all an central part of temple culture.
¤ Temple Attractions
Temples in Bhubaneswar summarize a extensive archives of the Bhubaneswarn architecture almost to two thousand years old, from 3rd century B. C. to 16th Century A. D. These imposing edifices enjoining the city horizon, are within a reasonable walking distance from one another. The 46-m high Lingaraj Temple marks the zenith of temple tradition of Bhubaneswar.
Bhubaneswar temples have a unique pattern of construction showcasing the way of Hindu architectural splendor. The temple complex is divided into four distinct parts, the outer chamber is the 'Jagamohana', the inner shrine of the presiding deity is known as Garbhagriha. The third part of the temple shrine is constructed into a conical shaped tower more commonly known as 'the Nata Mandap", the Bhoga Mandap is the forth division of the temple. The temple walls are artistically carved out of numerous sculptures depicting the scenes from courtiers, celestial dancers, couples in erotic postures, birds, divine animals or scenes from religious epics and legends.
¤ Excursions From Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar makes some of the most desired tourist excursions.
Dhauligiri - 8 km
Dhauligiri - 8 km from Bhubaneswar has an attraction of Ashokan edicts. These edicts carved on the rock dates back to 2nd century BC. It is here that Ashoka, the great, was transformed into Ashoka, and became the follower of Lord Buddha. Dhauli has gained prominence due to the establishment of Shanti Stupa, built in the early seventies by the Japan Buddha Sangha and Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangha. A Much Visited Destination.
Udaygiri, Khandagiri Caves - 8 km
Udaygiri, Khandagiri - 8 km is famous for its cave structures. There are series of cave temples belonging to the Hindu and Jain faiths. A guide is a must if interested in visiting the site as he could give you the most bona fide information regarding the site.
Sisupalgarh holds the charm of some ancient ruins of third or fourth century BC. One can have a fair ideal of a well developed ancient city by visiting the site and establish the fact that the Bhubaneswarn civilization has very ancient roots.
Nandan Kanan Zoo - 25 km
If wildlife enthusiast then Nandan Kanan Zoo makes the ideal destination. The zoo is famous for viewing the Royal Bengal Tiger and white tigers.
Chandipur -16 km
It is a seaside resort with one of the finest beaches in Bhubaneswar. Go for an exclusive applique work at Pipli -29 km, a small village famous for its traditional art form originally made for the temple Gods.
Atri Springs - 42 km
Atri Springs has sulfur springs and is also famous for its Hatakeshwara Temple. A bath in the spring water is reputed to cure skin diseases apart from being a pleasant experience.
Konark Sun Temple- 65 km
The Konark Sun Temple is a marvelous specimen of 13th century, temple architecture. The beauty lies in its structure as it is constructed in a chariot form. The ruins have sculptures detailing every aspect of human life. The city is also embellished with some of the most beautiful beaches of East India.
Nestling in the Chandaka forest, Nandankanan is a Wildlife Reserve where one can encounter these wilds in their natural habitat. A lake flowing through the reserve adds to the charm of great wild. Tigers, Lions, Clouded Leopards, Black Panthers, Gharials, Rosy Pelican, Grey Pelican, Indian Python, King Cobra, etc. are among the main attractions. The exotic Botanical Garden on the other side of the zoo preserves varieties of indigenous plants. Regular bus services are available to reach the place.
¤ How To Get There
Air : Indian Airlines and many private airlines fly on regular basis to Bhubaneswar. Bhubaneswar Airport is 3 km from the city centre and almost all the major cities are connected from here. Indian Airlines has flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkotta, Delhi, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Varanasi.
Rail : Bhubaneswar also have good railway network connecting it to major cities of India Kolkatta, Puri, Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Tirupati.
Road : The national highway no.5 touches this capital city. The main bus stand is at Barmunda, 8 km from the city centre. There are regular interstate bus services from the nearby towns and cities. Inter-state bus services operate daily in between Calcutta and Puri via Bhubaneswar and Bhubaneswar-Tata Nagar.