Bhubaneswar City Guide – Bhubaneswar Travel Attractions
Bhubaneswar is the capital city of Orissa, India. It is a staunch center of Hinduism with more than 500 temples within the city limits. The Hathigumpha inscriptions reveal the age of the city as 2000 years old. However, the German architect Otto Königsberger designed the modern city of Bhubaneswar in 1946. Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are often described as the “twin cities” of Orissa. In Bhubaneswar, the average temperature varies between 15 °C to 45 °C. This large variation in temperature is mainly due to extensive development and the loss of forest cover in Northern India. Tourist Attractions of Bhubaneswar include the Lingaraj Temple, Rajarani Temple, Khandagiri and Udaigiri Caves, Orissa State Museum, Handicrafts Museum, Mukteswar, Siddheswar and Kedargauri Temples. Bhubaneswar has an extensive infrastructure that perfectly complements its historic surroundings.
The Lingaraj Temple
This is an ancient temple probably constructed in the tenth century. It is one of the greatest achievements of the architecture of medieval period of Orissa. While Lingaraja is the main deity of this temple the temple premises also houses an outstanding place of worship dedicated to Parvathi. The 55 meter spire of the temple covered with marvelous carvings dominates the landscape. As a rule, devotees wishing to go to Jagannath temple of Puri should first worship the Lingaraja of Bhubaneswar. The grand festival of Shivartri is celebrated during the month of February. The temple is open only to Hindus.
The Rajarani Temple
This is also and ancient Hindu temple that belongs to tenth century. Rajarani temple is also called as the “Love Temple”. This temple is full of erotic carvings depicting women and couples all over. This temple is adored for its aesthetically sculpted graceful feminine figures. There is a well maintained garden around the temple making it romantic for the visitors. At present it is not used as a place of worship and only entertains the tourists.
Khandagiri and Udayagiri Caves
Khandagiri & Udayagiri are the twin hills located about 8 kilometers away form Bhubaneswar. There are 19 caves in Khandagiri and 44 caves in Udaigiri. The Ranigumpha or Queen’s cave is a large double-storied cave ornamented with beautiful carvings. The Hatigumpha or the elephant’s cave has the inscriptions of the chronicles pertaining to the reign of King Kharavela. These caves belonging to the 2nd century BC reveals the ascetic life of Jains during the period.
Museums of Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar proudly owns three museums. The Orissa State Museum offers a plethora of rich collections, such as sculptures, coins, copper plates, armory, ancient palm leaf manuscripts, traditional folk and musical instruments, and many more. The handicrafts museum has a good collection of the artifacts of the culture of Orissa. The tribal museum that was set up in the year 2001 displays approximately 1,900 tribal artifacts in five halls. These include dresses, ornaments, dhokra items, dances and musical instruments, hunting tools, fishing nets, weapons of offence and defense, personal belongings, arts, and photographs.
Accommodation and Transport
Orissa Tourism Development Corporation’s Panthanivas is well equipped to accommodate every type of visitor. For star comforts, one can choose any of the following hotels: Hotel Richi, New Station Square, Park View Guest House, Imperial Guesthouse, Oberoi Hotel, Hotel Prachi, and Hotel Kalinga Ashok.
Bhubaneswar is well connected by air, rail, and road ways to all the major cities of India. The Biju Patnaik airport is being modernized to receive all kinds of aircrafts. At present, it has frequent flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Bangalore, Raipur, Ranchi, and Hyderabad. As Bhubaneswar is on the main Calcutta-Chennai train line, there are frequent trains that connect cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Trivandrum, etc. making it easily accessible to tourists form all parts of the country. OSRTC is the government transport corporation that provides passenger transport in Orissa. It also operates interstate buses to neighboring states. Apart from this a number of tourist operators ply deluxe buses to exotic locations.