The threads of Odishas historic past, living traditions, and modern dreams are woven together to form a rich, fresh and novel tapestry that reflects the energy and dynamism of its capital, Bhubaneswar. Home to the illustrious Lingaraj, Mukhteshwara and Rajarani temples, historical wonders like the Khadingiri Jain monk caves and wildlife sanctuaries, this ancient city is a gateway to many cultural and natural treasures, including the Puri beach, Konark temple and Chilka Lake.
Dhauli Shanti Stupa
Dhauli Giri Hills, located on the bank of Daya River, is about 8 km away from Bhubaneswar, Odisha; however, it is considered a part of the city and one of its major tourist attractions. Surrounded by plains, forests and the Daya River, these hills hold high importance in the history of not only Odisha but India as well.
This is the site where the famous Kalinga War was fought between the Mauryan Kingdom and Kalinga Kingdom, and where Emperor Ashoka, after having won the war, was taken aback by the enormity of the death toll and destruction. This is the place where, as penance, he chose to follow the path of Buddhism.
Nandankanan Zoological Park
Nandankanan Zoological Park is a 437-hectare (1,080-acre) zoo and botanical garden in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. Established in 1960, it was opened to the public in 1979 and became the first zoo in India to join World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) in 2009. It also contains a botanical garden and part of it has been declared a sanctuary. Nandankanan, literally meaning The Garden of Heaven, is located near the capital city, Bhubaneswar, in the environs of the Chandaka forest, and includes the 134-acre (54 ha) Kanjia lake.
A major upgrade was done in 2000 (after the damage caused by the super-cyclone of 1999 in coastal Odisha). More than 2.6 million visitors visit Nandankanan every year.
Udaygiri & Khandagiri Caves
Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, formerly called Kattaka Caves or Cuttack caves, are partly natural & partly artificial caves of archaeological, historical and religious importance near the city of Bhubaneswar in Odisha, India. The caves are situated on two adjacent hills, Udayagiri and Khandagiri mentioned as Kumari Parvata in the Hathigumpha inscription. They have a number of finely and ornately carved caves built during the 1st century BCE. It is believed that most of these caves were carved out as residential blocks for Jain monks during the reign of King Kharavela. Udayagiri means 'Sunrise Hill' and has 18 caves while Khandagiri has 15 caves.
The caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri, called lena or leṇa in the inscriptions, these were taken out mostly during the reign of Kharavela for the abode of Jain ascetics. The most importance of this group was Ranigumpha in Udayagiri which is a double storeyed monastery. Other important caves include Hathi Gumpha, Ananta Gumpha, Ganesha Gumpha, Jaya Vijaya Gumpha, Mancapuri Gumpha, Bagha/Byaghra/Vyaghra Gumpha and Sarpa Gumpha.
Lingaraja Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva and is one of the oldest temples in Bhubaneswar, the capital of the Indian state of Odisha, India. The temple is the most prominent landmark of Bhubaneswar city and one of the major tourist attractions of the state.
The Lingaraja temple is the largest temple in Bhubaneswar. The central tower of the temple is 180 ft (55 m) tall. The temple represents the quintessence of the Kalinga architecture and culminating the medieval stages of the architectural tradition at Bhubaneswar. The temple is believed to be built by the kings from the Somavamsi dynasty, with later additions from the Ganga rulers. The temple is built in the Deula style that has four components namely, vimana (structure containing the sanctum), jagamohana (assembly hall), natamandira (festival hall) and bhoga-mandapa (hall of offerings), each increasing in the height to its predecessor. The temple complex has 108 other shrines and is enclosed by a large compound wall.
Bhubaneswar is called the Ekamra Kshetra as the deity of Lingaraja was originally under a mango tree (Ekamra) as noted in Ekamra Purana, a 13th-century Sanskrit treatise. The temple is active in worship practises, unlike most other temples in Bhubaneswar. The temple has images of Vishnu, possibly because of the rising prominence of Jagannath sect emanating from the Ganga rulers who built the Jagannath Temple in Puri in the 12th century. The central deity of the temple, Lingaraja, is worshipped as Shiva.