Bhubaneswar, together with Puri and Konark and, Bhubaneswar forms the ‘Swarna Tribhuja’ (the ‘Golden Triangle’), one of the most visited destinations in East India and the last destination we visited on our journey in Orissa.
We reached Bhubaneswar in the evening, stopping at the small town of Pipli en route. Pipili is small village around 15 km from of Bhubaneswar, on the highway from Puri and is home of appliqué work. The craft originated to serve temples, providing intricately stitched coloured awnings and covers for deities and hangings for festival days. We bought a lot of different appliqué items such as wall hangings, lamp shades and umbrellas from the village’s numerous craft shops.
Bhubaneswar is the capital of the Indian state of Orissa. The city has a long history of over 2000 years starting with Chedi dynasty (around 2nd century BCE) who had made Sisupalgarh near present-day Bhubaneswar as their capital. Bhubaneswar is also known as the city of temples, there being numerous large and small ancient temples all over the city, most famous among them being Lingaraj temple.
The modern city of Bhubaneswar was designed by the German architect Otto Königsberger in 1946. Like Jamshedpur and Chandigarh, it is one of the first planned cities of modern India.
We stayed at one of our friend’s house in Bhubaneswar for two during the visit and their parents were very gracious hosts. There are lots of interesting places to visit in the city; its a shoppers delight with many traditional handlooms, handicrafts and jewellery showrooms retailing all over the city.
The main attraction of the city is Lingaraj Temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Harihara and is one of the oldest temples in Bhubaneswar; it’s a revered pilgrimage center and the capital of the state of Orissa. There is also Nandankanan Zoological Park, about 20 km from city centre. It is a Zoo and a botanical garden surrounded by dense forest, famous for breeding of various endangered species, safaris and white tigers.
We visited both Lingaraj Temple and Nandankanan Zoo on the first day of our city tour. It was an enjoyable experience visiting both these places, a good mixture of history and nature for us students. Around 6 km west of the city lie Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves, which were chiseled out for the ascetic Jain monks in ancient times and also has some inscriptions describing the exploits of King Kharavel. It was an interesting experience visiting these caves; it was like reliving the ancient times.
We also had a whale of a time shopping, buying lots of handloom items and silver filigree jewellery for which Orissa is very famous. All the filigree jewellery sold in the city of Bhubaneswar is made in the nearby town of Cuttack and therefore is very cheap. It’s a must buy for any tourist who visits the city.
The two days we spent in Bhubaneswar were enjoyable and our journey in Orissa culminated here. It was time to leave and we left Orissa with tons of good memories and luggage full of shopping!!!