EXCURSIONS

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» East India
» Orissa
Location: Bhubaneswar, Orissa
Main Temples: Lingaraja Temple , Mukteswara Temple , Parasurmeswara Temple
Excursions: Dhauli , Nandankanan Zoo , Udaygiri & Khandagiri Caves
Other Attractions: Bindu-Sarovara Tank, ISKCON Temple, Orissa State Museum

ISKCON Temple
The beautifully built ISKCON temple is located on National Highway No. 5, Nayapali. The Deities in the temple are Krishna Balarama, Jaganatha , Baladeva and Subhadra, and Gaura-Nitai. There is also a new Radha-Krishna temple. Srila Prabhupada laid the comer stone for this temple in February 1977, and it was finished in 1992.

There is a small guesthouse here with rooms that have attached bathrooms. These rooms are not always available, but they are quite nice if you can get one. To stay here you have to follow the ashram rules. There is a fairly basic vegetarian restaurant here.

EXCURSIONS
Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves
The caves here are ancient Jain caves located about 7-km west of Bhubaneswar. There are two sets of caves carved into two opposite hills. There are 44 caves carved out of sandstone. Some are natural caves and others are carved out of the rock. Monks around the 1st or 2nd century BC used them.

The central 'Hathi Gupha' is especially interesting. There is an 18th century temple of Mahavira, who was the 24th Tirthankara. The caves are open from 8am to 6pm. Each year in late January for a week or so, there is an assembly of 'Sadhus' here. This is a very popular event.

Nandankanan Zoo, Bhubaneswar, orissaDhauli - Hill
Ashoka, the Mauryan Emperor, in scribed his decrees on a rock called the "Ashokan Rock Edicts" at the foot of Dhauli Hill. These are the earliest known in scribed records in India. Above the edicts there is a sculpture of an elephant, which is the earliest known sculpture in Orissa . It is said that after Ashoka's army killed 150,000 people in a battle near here, he renounced the path of violence and decided to follow the path of Lord Buddha. There is a Japanese Buddhist Peace Pagoda on top of this hill. The temple of Lord Dhaveleswar is at the top of the hill above the white-domed pagoda.

Nandankanan Zoo
This zoo has a lion safari, white tigers, and elephant rides. There is an exotic Botanical Garden. It is 20-km from Bhubaneswar, from where there are hourly buses to reach the zoo. The OTDC bus tours from Puri and Bhubaneswar come here as well.

Chilika - Lake and Wildlife
Well connected by road, it is easily accessible from either Bhubaneshwar or Puri. Relatively underdeveloped, its pristine beauty still unspoilt, it provides a refreshing break. It is amenable to visitors throughout the year. Even over-night visits can be undertaken, staying at the close by Barkul, Rambha or Satpada Pantha Nivas, through Orissa Tourism.

Atri
42-kms from Bhubaneshwar, Atri is a holy place famous for its sculptures and hot water springs. An excursion and a dip can be an enjoyable experience.



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