Land of Temples, Orissa: India

Orissa is a state in India that is located on the east coast below West Bengal. The capital of Orissa is Bhubaneswar and it is one of the fast growing states in India, w.r.t economy and infrastructure. Orissa is a beautiful place to visit because it has the most scenic, pristine and untouched beaches and beautiful temples in India.

When in Orrisa, you have to visit the Jagannath Temple in Puri. This famous temple is devoted to the great Hindu God, Vishnu. It is a very prestigious temple to many Hindus and many people come to pray to the temple all throughout the year. Only Hindus are allowed to enter the temple. Even Hindus who are not Indians are denied entrance in this temple. Tourists can visit the temple to admire the structure. The temple covers an area of 400,000 sq. feet. There are hundred small temples in the premise. The architecture is completely Odisi style. The chariot festival which happens in June is worth watching.

Built in the land of temples, the Konark Sun Temple is also called the Black Pagoda. This monument is a World Heritage site. This temple was built in the 13th century by King Narshimadeva. He dedicated this temple to the Sun God. He built this temple as a mandap (the place to perform rituals, mostly marriages). That is why the name of the temple is Konark, Sun Temple. This monument is located near the sea at Konark. There are intricate designs on the main chariots as well as the pillars which are seen on the sides of the main chariot. Many designs and sculpting on the stones are similar to Khajuraho temple in Madhya Pradesh. In the night, the beauty of the temple becomes more evident due to the brilliantly placed lights in the temple.

If you look forward to relaxing on a beach, then the Puri Beach is a definite ‘must-see’ for you. The beach is located near the Jagannath temple and hence, the beach is meant to be a sacred place. The tourists flock the beach after visiting the holy Hindu temple. Otherwise, the beach looks pristine and clean. Also, the annual Puri festival is held on the beach. The state tourism also promotes the annual sand creativity festival. During this festival many artists come to the beach and make sand structures and sand art.

You could also plan a trip to Talasari Beach which is located in the district of Baleswar. The beach is surrounded by palm trees and so the name Tala (Palms) sari (rowing). The beach is untouched and looks virgin. There are no hawkers on the beach. Thus, you can enjoy a peaceful morning or evening just lying on the sand. In order to get to the beach, you have to sit in a small boat which will take you through the backwaters of a small river. If the river is dried up, you can walk through the wet sands. This is one of the most unique features of the beach.

If you’d rather be in a space covered in greens, visit the Nandankanan zoo. This zoo is located in Bhubaneshwar and is spread over 900 acres. Along with a zoo, there is a large sanctuary attached to it. There are about 1600 species of animals in the zoo. It is home to the largest population of white tigers in India. The zoo started with two white tigers in 1980 and today the zoo has 34 white tigers in its premise. The zoo also has some other unique animals like the Langur, crocodiles and the Asian lion.

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