Smart City Bhubaneswar is the capital of the state of Odisha. Also known as the temple city, it is famous for several ancient temples showcasing the real Kalinga art and architecture
Mind Numbing information About Tourist places in Bhubaneswar, Odisha Tourism
Peace Pagoda at Dhauli
If we talk about tourist places in Bhubaneswar the first thing that comes into our mind is the Dhauli Shanti Stupa. It is otherwise famous as the Peace Pagoda. Dhauligiri lies about 7 Km from Bhubaneswar city. As one goes from Bhubaneswar to Puri, you can find Shanti Stupa situated at the banks of river Daya. The word ‘Shanti’ in the name itself recommends harmony. Since King Ashoka accepted the path of harmony and peace here and resorted to Buddhism, this place has a special importance. Later He established the foundation of Dhauligiri Shanti Stupa at a spot which is known for the end of Kalinga War. Large number of followers of Buddhism visit this place round the year.
History of Dhauli
This Stupa came into existance in 1972 in collaboration of Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangha and the Japan Buddha Sangha. Subsequently it became a place of devotion and worship for followers of Buddhism. The Dhauli Shanti Stupa has four massive idols of Lord Buddha in various postures. Also episodes from Gautam Buddha’s life are carved on stone slabs. Other major attractions of Dhauli Hills are the various rock edicts. Yet another testimony of emperor Ashoka’s change of heart. Historians say Ashoka wrote ‘welfare of the whole world’ in Kalinga Edict VI. Later he preached Buddhism and followed the path of peace. Moreover he became more concerned about mankind. Adjacent to the stupa, one can see a rock-cut elephant just above the edicts. This is the oldest Buddhist sculptures in the State.
The general structure of the stupa is like an arch. One can easily identify the Buddha impressions over the stone carvings. Moreover there are engravings which confirm that emperor Asoka had given up war completely and followed Buddhism. Close by there is a monastery, “The Saddharma Vihar Monastery”. Thousand of tourists visit this place round the year. Also, you must not miss the light and sound show organized here every day except Monday’s. It is a great show depicting the life and struggles of King Ashok and the Kalinga war. The entry fee is Rs. 25 per person.
Khandagiri and Udayagiri caves
Caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri situated on the outskirts of Odisha’s capital, Bhubaneswar, are notable remains of India’s rich past. It is another place of tourist attraction when in Bhubaneswar. The hills house several caves, most of which were cut out as residential blocks for Jain priests. King Kharavela built these caves so that the Jain priests stay there .
The Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves are definitely among the marvels of India. These caves dates back to sometime close to the first and second century BCE. Confronting one another, the caves are on the slopes of Udaygiri and Khandagiri hills. The name Udayagiri means Hill of Sunrise. Also there is a beautiful temple on the Khandagiri hills. A large portion of the caves are not normal ones but rather are rock cuts. Because of this rich history, this spot is one of the top tourist places in Bhubaneswar.
Specialty of Khandagiri and Udayagiri caves
From the engravings found in the caves, we can easily understand the religious harmony and tolerance followed during the reign of King Kharavela. These caves were built for the convenience of Jain priests. The inscriptions are mainly found in the “Hathi gumpha” or the elephant caves. Mostly The inscriptions speak of the glory of the king. These engravings consists of seventeen lines and are in Brahmi language. Other famous caves are the Rani Gumpha, the Ganesh Gumpha, Bajaghara Gumpha, Alakapuri Gumpha, Jaya Vijaya Gumpha etc. Udayagiri has 18 caves while Khandagiri has 15 caves and each cave has its own importance.
A stroll around these architectural marvels speaks of the rich history Odisha has seen. The enumerating and the assortment in the formation of each site is brilliant to see. These caves are definitely not only the pride of Odisha but also India.
A very famous mela is held every year in the month of January or February at the foot hills known as the khandagiri mela. Traders from all over India come here to showcase there products. Thousands of people visit this mela every day.
The Lingaraj Temple
Lingaraj Temple is the most prominent landmark of the capital city Bhubaneswar . Yet another hot spot for the visiting tourists, and is in the heart of the City. It is also one of the oldest temples in Bhubaneswar and of the most important tourist places in Bhubaneswar.
Lingaraja temple is the largest temple in Bhubaneswar. The main temple is 180 ft (55 m) tall. The temple speaks about the richness of the Kalinga architecture. It is a believe that kings of Somavamsi dynasty built this temple . However it was completed by the rulers of Ganga dynasty. The temple is in Deula style that has four parts. Most important being the, vimana (structure containing the sanctum). Jagamohana (get together lobby), natamandira (celebration corridor) and bhoga-mandapa (corridor of contributions), each expanding in the tallness to its antecedent. Moreover the temple complex has several other smaller temples surrounded by a large compound wall.
Beliefs and festivals at Lingaraj Temple
Lord Shiva is the deity at Lingaraj temple and it was built in the last decade of the eleventh century. Many experts and historians believe that, Lingaraj temple is one of the finest examples of hindu temples. As per Hindu legend, an underground river originating from the Lingaraja temple fills the Bindusagar tank which is adjacent to the temple. According to mythology, water of Bindusagar tank has medicinal qualities. Shivaratri is the main festival celebrated annually in the month of Phalgun when thousands of devotees visit the temple. Another famous festival celebrated here is the chariot festival on Ashokashtami. During this festival, thousands of devotees pull the beautiful chariot of the deity and his sister Rukmini to the Rameshwar temple. Due to it’s religious importance it automatically becomes one of the top tourist places in Bhubaneswar.