name of Bhubaneswar is associated with a
cluster of magnificent temples, constituting virtually a complete record
of Kalinga architecture almost from its nascency to its culmination. Its
proud sculptural and architectural heritage, coupled with its sanctity as
"Ekamrakshetra", one of the five great religious centres in
Orissa since early medieval days, attracts
thousands of visitors from all corners of the world throughout the year.
Even the most casual spectator is thrilled at the sight of the majestic and sublime grandeur of its soaring temples, the perfect symphony between their sculpture and architecture , the superb workmanship of their carvings and the grand repertoire of their sculptural and architectural motifs. To the connoisseur of fine arts Bhubaneswar is one of the most delightful resorts in India.
A long-standing religious convention does not allow the entry of non-Hindus into the Lingaraja , the most celebrated of the temples at Bhubaneswar. Such visitors may, however, have a view of the temple from a platform near its north gateway, though from this point the lower portion of the temple remains hidden.
The visitor with a limited time at his disposal should at least see the following typical temples to obtain some idea of the temple-architecture: Parasuramesvara , Vaital Deul , Muktesvara , Gauri , Raja Rani , Brahmesvara , Lingaraja , Parvati and Ananta-Vasudeva .
Those interested in arts and archaeology can be also profitably visit the Orissa State Museum, rich in antiquities, including sculptures, interesting both artistically and iconographically, coins and inscriptions. A large percentage of the exhibits in the Museum originate from Bhubaneswar and its environs, furnishing important links in the history of the town.
The visitor to Bhubaneswar may also make it convenient to see the famous Sun temple at Konarak , 66-km to the southeast by road. Among the interesting monuments near Bhubaneswar are the celebrated Jain caves nestled in the Udayagiri and Khandagiri hills and the circular hypaethral Chausath-Yogini temple at Hirapur, respectively to its north-west and south-east, besides the Rock-edicts of Ashoka at Dhauli and the remains of the ancient fortified town at Sisupalgarh.
FOR MORE TRAVEL INFORMATION AND TOURS
The OTDC tourist office is on Jayadeva Marg, near the Panthanivas Tourist Bungalow, and is open from 10am to 5pm except Sunday and every second Saturday of the month. There are also tourist counters at the airport and railway station.
The OTDC has a luxury bus tour that goes to the temples and museums, Dhauli , Nandankanan , Khandagiri, and Udayagiri from 9am to 5.30pm every day, except Monday. You can book this tour at the tourist office. There is a daily OTDC tour to Puri and Konark , which stops at Pipli village for appliqué. It departs from the railway station at 8.30am.
The useful Government of India tourist office, BJB Nagar, around the corner from the Panthanivas Hotel, has an assortment of leaflets that can be helpful to plan your journey around the area.
Photographs: Photographs of the monuments and guidebooks and picture-post cards are respectively available with the Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India, Eastern Circle, Narayani Building, 27 Brabourne Road, Calcutta 700001, and the local Archaeological Sub-office. The latter may also be contacted in case of necessity.
Post Office & Banks: The GPO is by the bus stand. One can change money at the state bank of India on Raj Path, opposite New Market. Most banks are closed on Monday.
An oriental bazaar is not a place with architectural spaces and textured shop fronts. They are often laid out at random and the interactions are more spontaneous which reveal the inner quality of the local people. To know the place one must visit its local shopping area.
Bhubaneshwar is a modern city where the Government Emporia 'Utkalika', exhibit a comprehensive range of local fare collected from all corners of the State. Local art and crafts like silver filigree work, stone and wood carvings , 'Patta' paintings , tie and dye textiles, bamboo baskets brass and horn works , appliqué and 'Ikat' fabrics are available at most places. They are authentic and quite reasonably priced.
One may witness the 'Tribal Fair' at the end of January. February to March 'Shivaratri' is held at the Lingaraja Temple , Hatakeswar temple, Atri and throughout Orissa . 'Magha Saptami' is held at Khandagiri outside Bhubaneshwar.
April to May 'Ashokastami ' is celebrated at Lingaraja temple with a chariot festival. 'Panashankanti' (Fire-walking) takes place in various regions on the first day of 'Baisakh'. June- July Rath Yatra can be seen at Puri, Baripada and other parts of Orissa . October-November 'Dussehra ' and 'Diwali ' festivals are celebrated all over the State.
Khandagiri & Udaygiri : 7-km
Nandankanan Zoo : 20-km
Dhauli : 8-km
Atri : 40-km
Konark : 64-km
Cuttack : 29-km
Hirapur : 13-km
Chilika Lake : 100-km