Bhubaneswar, popularly known as the “temple city of India” is the oldest and the largest city in the state of Odisha. Bhubaneswar is the capital of Odisha and lies in the coastal region of the state. Along with being the home to more than 700 Kalingan temples, Bhubaneswar is also the biggest commercial hub of Odisha.
- Bhubaneswar is given the name “temple city” because it has over 700 temples in the city. These magnificent temples showcase the Kalinga style of architecture.
- The city, Bhubaneswar derived its name from Tribhubaneswar who is the Lord of the Tribhuban, which is Lord Shiva.
- One of the most visited tourist destinations of India include the “Swarna Tribhuja”, the golden triangle comprising of Bhubaneswar, Puri and Konark.
- Bhubaneswar was amongst the first planned cities of India along with Jamshedpur and Chandigarh.
- Bhubaneswar replaced Cuttack at the capital of Odisha in the year 1949.
Bhubaneswar is the capital and the largest city of Odisha. It spreads over 422 sq. km area. Bhubaneswar is a major tourist destination of Odisha. Bhubaneswar was made the capital of Odisha in 1949.
The nearest airport is Biju Patnaik International airport that connects the city Bhubaneswar to all other major cities of India such as Kolkata, New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and others. There are several bus and cab services available near the airport to reach the inner city.
Baramunda Bus Stand is the main bus stop of the city from where regular bus services are available from Ranchi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Puri, Raipur and Konark.
Regular train services to various cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad are available from the main railway station namely, Bhubaneswar Railway Station. Many cabs, taxis, autos and buses are available outside the station.
When to visit Bhubaneswar
The best time to visit Bhubaneswar is between the months October to march especially in the months of November, December and January when the weather is warm and pleasant. The city gets extremely hot and uncomfortable during the summer months of April and May.
The official language is Odiya and most of the locals are comfortable speaking in Odiya. But both English and Hindu is well understood and well versed by people of Bhubaneswar.
Bhubaneswar has a ‘tropical climate‘ as it lies 45 m above the sea level. There is much lesser rainfall in the city as compared to the summer season. The average temperature is 27.4 degree Celsius.
Fairs & Festivals in Bhubaneswar
Kalinga Mahotsav celebrates peace over war and also remembers all those who were martyrs of the Mauryan Dynasty. Martial arts is performed at the Dhauli Shanti Stupa which attracts tourists from all over.
Timing: 10th and 11th January
Chandan Yatra is the longest festival of 42 days celebrated in Puri near Bhubaneswar. This festival is also called Gandhalepana Yatra. The holy deities of the Jagannath temple are taken out for a holy patron in the water in boats called ‘Chapa’ and are also worshipped with water mixed with sandal.
Timing: April and May
Rath Yatra is dedicated to Lord Jagannath of the famous Jagannath temple, Puri. During this festival the huge deities of Jagannath, Subhadra and Balaram are taken out on their individual raths or chariots to the summer temple for a week. It is one of the oldest and traditional festivals of Odisha and pilgrims all around the world comes flocking to this festival.
Timing: May and June
Bhubaneswar Tribal Mela
It is one of the significant and big fairs held in the city of Bhubaneswar. Numerous stalls selling tribal arts and all other various tribal products are sold. A replica of the various tribal villages and houses alongside the availability of various food stalls from many parts of the country attracts the majority of the tourists
Timing: February and March
Naukhai is the agricultural festival followed by people of Odisha to celebrate the season of the new rice. The words ‘nau’ means new and ‘Khai’ means food which means the new food that the farmers harvest at the start of the harvesting season.
Timing: August and September
Transportation/Stay to prefer
This is the most common transport you will find across Bhubaneswar. With autos both shared and private, tourists can wander around the city for cheap without any hassle. There are services like Ola and Uber that allows users book autos from apps conveniently.
Ola and Uber services continue to dominate across the city. With the rise in availability of cars, it is easier for passengers to book cab either from Ola or Uber. Though there are other prepaid taxis available it might be familiar for tourists to use apps like Ola and Uber.
A state government-owned company provides bus service to the passengers across the city. While the connectivity is not an issue, the availability of buses are much lesser compared to its neighbour city like Kolkata.
Apps like Rapido, Uber and Ola provide pick and drop service in a two-wheeler. For a solo traveller, this might a convenient option.
Stay to prefer
There are various types of accommodations available at Bhubaneswar. From hotels to homestays, there are a plethora of options for travellers to opt based on their requirements.
Ashok Nagar, Nayapalli, Jaydev Vihar are some of the areas where you will find a good range of hotels offering quality amenities. Both budget-friendly and luxury hotels/resorts are present in these areas.
There are hotels available near Biju Patnaik International airport and Bhubaneswar railway station. If you have to explore around the city, it is more convenient to stay closer to the railway station.
There are plenty of other homestays and guest houses in some residential areas around the city at an affordable price making it easy for budget-friendly travellers. It is advised to be thorough with reviews before choosing a particular place.
Top places to visit in Bhubaneswar
Udaygiri and Khandagiri Caves
Udaygiri and Khandagiri Caves which were previously known as the Cuttack Caves are half natural and half artificial caves of historical, archaeological and religious importance. Udaygiri meaning ‘Sunrise Hill‘ has 18 caves while Khandagiri has 15 caves. The important caves are Ranigumpha, Hathigumpha, Ananta gumpha, Ganesha gumpha and others.
Lingaraja temple is the largest and the oldest temple located in Bhubaneswar. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the major tourist attractions of the city. The temple represents Kalinga style and medieval style architectures.
Nandankanan Zoological Park
It is the first zoological garden to enter the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2009. It was established in 1960 and partly is a botanical garden and a sanctuary. Jeep and bus safaris are also available inside the zoo which is a thrilling experience to have.
Odisha State Museum
Headed by the Cultural Affairs Department of Odisha Government it is a famous museum of Bhubaneswar. It has total eleven sections namely; Archaeology, Epigraphy, Numismatics, Armoury, Mining and Geology, Natural history, Art and Craft, Contemporary Art, Patta Painting, Anthropology and Palm leaf Manuscripts.
It is a very old Hindu temple in Bhubaneswar previously known as the Indraswara. As it is made of red and yellow sandstone locally called as Rajarani, the temple is named so. The temple premises and structure is very well maintained and remains as one of the major tourist attractions in the city.
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and dates back to the 10th century. This is one of the prominent monumental structures in Odisha and one of the popular sightseeing sites.
Dhauli Shanti Stupa
Dhauli Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist peace pagoda, situated on the outskirts of the city. The major attraction at this site is the huge statues of Lord Buddha and the Ashokan inscriptions.
Museum of Tribal Arts and Artefacts
It is a museum where on display are various tribal clothes, pieces of jewellery, utensils, musical instruments and much more. It gives a deep insight into the tribal lives and many local artists are seen creating various things in the museum premises. Life-sized huts and houses are made on the campus where a glimpse of the tribal household can be seen.
Cuisines to taste in Bhubaneswar
This dessert dish made out of sugar, raisins, cashews, ricotta cheese and milk is one of the most famous indigenous recipes of Bhubaneswar. This sweet and soft dish is a must-have for all sweet lovers.
A recipe famous in the eastern part of India Pakhala bhata is devoured in the summer times due to its cooling agencies. The rice washed in fermented water is often served with fried fish and roasted vegetables.
It is the main dish offered to Lord Jannath at the Puri Jagannath temple. This versatile dish is loved both by locals and tourists throughout Odisha.
It is one of the most favourite evening snack items available in Bhubaneswar. Almost all street-side stall sells this tangy and chilly dish in the evenings.
Things to do in Bhubaneswar
- Spend a day at the Nandankanan Zoo.
- Go on a jeep safari inside the Nandankanan Zoo.
- Find your way through Udaigiri and Khandagiri caves.
- Witness the splendid Lingaraj temple.
- Visit the Odisha State Museum.
- Get on a shopping spree at the Market Place.
- Witness the architecture of the Mukteshwar temple.
- Stroll in and around Indira
- Go to the Buddhist peace pagoda, Dhauli Giri.
- Experience pottery at the Kala Bhoomi Museum.
Souvenirs to buy in Bhubaneswar
Some of the most chosen Odia sarees by saree lovers are Bomkai Sarees, Sambalpuri Ikkat Sarees, Kotpad Sarees, Pasapalli Saree.
Miniature wooden statues of Lord Jagannath, Subhadra and Balram are the most bought souvenirs from Puri and Bhubaneswar.
Being one of the states still practising the art of stone sculpting, various stone sculpted deities and figurines are famous as souvenirs.
Palm leaf paintings
Pattachitra painting or palm leaf painting is unique to Odisha and is available all around the state for tourists to carry back home as souvenirs.
Pipli painting is mainly made on cloth, silk, paper and glass which mostly narrated the stories of Lord Jagannath or other deities in the form of art.
The painted shells of Coconut are a perfect item for giving gifts and hanging on doorways. This painting mostly depict Lord Jagannath, Subhadra and Balaram.