Orissa, or Odisha, is known for its rich history and culture. Located on the eastern coast of India along the Bay of Bengal it is perhaps most famous for its temples and national parks. However, there are also lots of other places to visit in Orissa.
This culturally rich state was once part of the historical kingdom of Kalinga. Now, its fascinating trial culture, diverse wildlife, historic sites, and delicious food make it a truly unique place to visit.
How To Reach Orissa
Orissa is well connected to all the other Indian states.
The airport at Bhubaneshwar, the capital of the state, which is called the Bhubaneswar Biju Patnaik Airport (BBPA), is well connected to all major Indian cities. The airport also recently started taking international flights.
By Rail and Road
Many major rail and road routes between Chennai and Kolkata pass through Orissa with stops along the way at both Bhubaneshwar and Puri. There are also excellent connections with Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
25 Places And Sites To Visit In Orissa
From famous natural places and historical sites, there are lots of places to visit in Bihar. Here are some of the most popular.
If you are visiting Orissa make sure Natural sites are in your “places to visit in Orissa” list. You just can not miss them.
1. Bhitarkanika National Park
This group of islands in northeastern Odisha is India’s second-largest mangrove region. It offers not just great beaches but also exciting trekking trails through forests teeming with wildlife. Here you can find crocodiles, Olive Ridley Turtles, gharials, pythons, and many varieties of birds.
2. Chilka Lake
This massive lake is the largest saltwater lagoon in Asia. It is an important habitat and breeding ground for many birds and is also home to sea turtles and dolphins.
3. Simlipal National Park
A massive wildlife sanctuary in Northern Orissa, it is home to lush forests, picturesque peaks, amazing waterfalls, leopards, bears, tigers, and elephants.
Called the “The Kashmir of Odisha,” this is the only hill station in the state. With pine groves, coffee gardens, and beautiful valleys, it is a perfect getaway.
5. Nandan Kanan
This botanical garden, zoo, and sanctuary is located near the Chandaka forest.
There are numerous places to visit in Orissa but if you miss these cultural sites, you didn’t visit Orissa at all.
The 13th-century Hindu Konark Sun Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
6. Konark Sun Temple
Originally built by Sultan Mahmud Begada, this UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Panchmahal district is dotted with forts, palaces, mosques, tombs, and temples.
7. Jagganath Temple, Puri
This massive temple was built to Jagannath, an incarnation of Vishnu in 1198. The temple is surrounded by walls and closed to non-Hindus.
Dubbed the ‘Temple City’, it is associated with the ancient kingdom of Krishna and is full of fascinating temples. Check out the Lingaraj Mandir and the Mukteshwar Mandir. With 2000 years of rich history, Bhubaneswar is the perfect blend of a rustic world that features grand temples and brilliant architecture along with a modern era that features vibrant city life. Colourful temples, serene dams, ancient temples, and breathtaking architecture are intrinsic to this city’s charm and wonder.
The beautiful city of Puri is located only 60km away from the capital of Orissa. It offers visitors stunning landscapes of the shorelines. Puri sees diverse tourists including devotees visiting the temples and other visitors soaking in the sun on the beach. The city is also one of the Char Dham i.e. the four most pious pilgrimage sites for Hindus. Due to this, it sees huge crowds during the Rath Yatra every year. Some of the most famous temples in India are in Puri including the Jagannath Temple, Gundicha Temple, Vimala Temple, Loknath Temple, and many more. If you enjoy shopping for artisanal handicrafts, Puri has a variety of stores run by artisans with authentic handicrafts and other goods.
Konark is renowned for its ancient architecture which includes intricate pieces of art and sculptures. The Konark Sun Temple is the most popular site and its carvings attract tourists throughout the year. Aside from its temples, the city has lovely beaches and an archaeological museum to explore. The best time to visit Konark is between September and March.
Cuttack is one of Orissa’s vintage cities and is extremely popular among tourists. It is also considered the business capital of the state and is renowned for its ancient pilgrim centres, forts, and museums. The local handicrafts in Cuttack are also a local specialty. The main attractions in Cuttack include Mahanadi Barrage, Fort of Barabati, Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, Ansupa Lake, and Temples of Singanatha & Bhattarika. The best time to visit the city is between July and March.
Bargarh is fairly uncharted territory. As a destination, it has lots to offer to history buffs with century-old temples all around. Bargarh is also mythologically significant; Gandhamadan Parvat, which is mentioned in the Hindu epic of Ramayana, is located here. The scenic beauty of Bargarh is enough to attract a fair share of tourists. Major attractions in the city include Chal Dhar Waterfall, Gandhamadan, Pampanga Hills, and the Temples of Nrusinghanath and Kedarnath. The best time to visit it is between October and March.
Jeypore is an ideal destination for nature lovers. It has stunning views of rocky outcrops, picturesque waterfalls, and lush green biosphere reserves. The highest peak in the state is Deomali which is a very popular picnic spot. Other key attractions include Gupteshwar caves, Sunabeda, Deomali, Duduma Falls, Jagannath Sagar, Hatipathar, and Kolab Falls. The best time to visit it is between October and February.
Situated by the banks of the Karo River in Keonjhar, Barbil is surrounded by dense, green forests that make it the perfect getaway from the chaos of city life. The main attractions in Barbil are Hawa Mahal, Gonasika, Thakurani Hills, Murga Mahadev Waterfalls, Uliburu Reserved Forest, and temples of Hanuman & Shiva and the best time to visit it is between October to March.
This famous seaport of India is located at the confluence of the Bay of Bengal and Mahanadi. Paradip in Orissa is a busy dockyard with some magnificent beaches to offer all its visitors. The most famous attractions in Paradip include Paradip Port, Gahirmatha Sanctuary & Beach, lighthouse, and Jhankad. The best time to visit it is between October and February.
Rourkela is one of the biggest cities of Orissa and is most known for its steel plant and industrial growth. Many tourists visit this destination in Orissa to experience its vintage temples, parks, dams, and waterfalls. If you enjoy trekking and going on picnics, then Rourkela is the perfect place to visit. There’s also lots to shop for in Rourkela. Some of the most famous tourist destinations in Rourkela include Darjeeng, Nehru Traffic Park, temples of Vedavyas & Vaishno Devi, Hanuman Vatika, Mandira Dam, Pitamahal Dam, Badaghagra Falls, and Khandadhar Falls. The best time to visit it is between October and March.
Sambal is the perfect amalgamation of natural splendor and cultural sites. It is one of the most vibrant tourist destinations in Orissa. The landscape has numerous waterfalls and verdant forests that attract photographers and nature lovers. Key attractions in Sambalpur include Hirakud Dam, Cattle Island, Chiplima, Huma, Samaleswari Temple, Vikramkhol, Hatibari, and Debrigarh & Ushakothi wildlife sanctuaries. The best time to visit it is between September and March.
Chandipur is the best place to lose yourself if you enjoy the sea. It has a unique disappearing sea because of its high and low tides. There are several other beaches you can enjoy while tasting some of the delicious seafood. Prawns and pomfret are a must-have if you’re in Chandipur. Quaint and serene, it is a wonderful place to spend time with your loved ones. The best time to visit is between November and March.
Pipli in Orissa is most renowned for its handicrafts. The Applique handicrafts are popular among tourists. Local artisans create intricate embroidery and colors on all their goods that make really interesting souvenirs. There are also lots of bazaars in Pipli that you can explore. The best time to visit it is between October and January.
20. Roopark Village
Roopark Village is renowned for its eco-friendly approach. It’s a wonderful destination to enjoy nature as you take in scenic landscapes of mountains and lush green lands. The local village resort is where most tourists stay and enjoy breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. The best time to visit is between October and March.
Taptapani is a famous hot water spring in Orissa. It supposedly has medicinal properties that draw tourists to it. There is a pond next to the spring where tourists can bathe. There’s a lush green forest cover all around that you can enjoy with your friends and family. The best time to visit is between October and March.
In the Khurda district of Orissa is where you’ll find Atri which is also renowned for its hot spring. The medicinal properties of this spring have been known to help deal with skin disorders. The nearest airport is Atri and the best time to visit it is between October and February.
23. Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary
This wildlife sanctuary is spread across an area of 795.52 square kilometres and is one of the best tourist destinations in Orissa. It is situated by the Mahandi River and is surrounded by greenery and is home to a wide variety of species of wild animals, birds, and plants. You’ll find tigers, gaurs, simbal, four-horned antelopes, sloths, gharial, and simbal. The best time to visit is between October and March.
These two Buddhist monastery complexes near Bhubaneshwar date back to the 10th century. Don’t miss the pyramid-shaped brick stupa with images of the Buddha carved on all four sides.
25. Museum of Tribal Arts & Artefacts
Filled with interactive displays, this museum explores Odisha’s 62 tribes. Exhibits include traditional clothes, jewellery, weapons, and musical instruments.
These places to visit in Orissa are something you can not miss. Let us know how many of these have you visited.
Interesting Facts About The Places To Visit In Orissa
Other Activities To Enjoy In Orissa
1. Arts and Crafts
Orissa is known for its handicrafts. Some of the most well-known are – the handspun Sambalpuri and Kataki sarees; silver filigree work from in Cuttack; traditional Pattachitra painting on palm-leaf or raw silk, and the various tribal works.
2. Local food
Orissa has many delicious foods such as Mudhi, Dalma, Besara, Rasagullas, and more.
The people of Orissa celebrate many colourful festivals throughout the year. The most famous is the Rath Yatra of Puri held between June and July. There is also the beach festival of Puri, the
The best time to visit the state is during the winter (October to March), as the weather can get very harsh during the hot summers. So these are all the places to visit in Orissa, tell us in the comments section which one are you planning to visit.
What is famous in Orissa?
Top sights include the Konark Temple, Shri Jagannath Temple, Chilika Lake, and Bhitarkanika National Park.
What is famous in Odisha?
Top sights include the Konark Temple, Shri Jagannath Temple, Chilika Lake, and Bhitarkanika National Park.
Which is the best picnic spot in Odisha?
Khandagiri Caves, Daringbadi, and Barabati Fort are some of the best picnic spots in Odisha.
Which is the coolest place in Orissa?
Daringbadi is a hill town in Odisha known for its cool temperatures and is also called the Kashmir of Odisha.
What is the best time to visit Orissa?
Between October and March when the weather is most pleasant.