TOURIST PLACES IN KHURDA

It’s the district of Khurda which is also called as Khordha is located in the state of Odisha, India. This district was formed on 1st Apr, 1993 after getting divided from the Puri district. During that time one more district was also created like Nayagarh. During the year 2000, the name of this district was changed and assigned as Khordha. It’s the Khordha town which is the dist HQ. It’s the state capital Bhubaneswar that is located under this district. This district is the most urbanized one among all the districts in this state. Khurda Road Railway Station that serves this town is also a divisional HQ for the East-Coast Railway. This part of the world is popular for its production of brass utensils, cable manufacturing, railway-coach manufacturing and cottage industries.

From 1568 – 1803, Khurda remained as the capital of Odisha. This place is also known for the fort which is still believed as the last independent Fort. This fort was kept free by Bakshi Jagabandhu from the British that used to rule on India during that time. He is also known as Paika Bakshi. Kuakhai and Daya like rivers use to flow through this district. The forest area of this district is spreading over an area of 618, 67 sq km. As per the census of 2011, Khurda district was having a population around 2,246,341. This district is also popular for some amazing and historical tourist spots.

Dhauli, Buddhist Sculpture

Dhauli hill is also known as the Dhauli Giri is one of the most prominent tourist spot in Odisha. It is known for its Santi Stupa and also a popular Buddhist tourism place. From the state capital Bhubaneswar, this place is located at a distance of eight km. right on the bank of River Daya, this place is situated. This is a hill area and also having a vast opening place right next to it. The important Edicts of King Ashoka are also engraved on the mass rock. As per the history, this is also the area where the historical Kalinga War has occurred. One of the ancient Buddhist sculpture located here is the Rock-Cut Elephant right on the Edicts. As the historical battle has occurred here, King Ashoka was having a special inclination towards Dhauli.

It’s been said that the River Daya has became red during this bloody battle. It has made the King Ashoka realize that war can only bring sorrow and claim lives. After this he was changed and became Dharmasoka from Chandasoka. It’s been believed that such change in King Ashoka has come here. After this he started following the Buddhism and followed the path of humanity and peace. Dhauli is a historical place and attracts many visitors every year to explore its fauna and flora.

Banpur

In the district of Khurda, Banpur is the notified council area. After the King named as Banasura, this place was named in this fashion. He was the king of demons and ruled this place during the age of Lord Krishna. The prime attraction located in this area is the temple that belongs to Goddess Bhagabati. This temple is also known as a popular Shakti Pitha in the state. As per the history, it is also the place where the Paik Rebellion was started and spread across the state. Banpur has always been remained as the center for religious activities.

There was a time when this place was used as the capital by Sailodvaba Dynasty. This dynasty is responsible for constructing the early temple in Bhubaneswar. Banpur is also famous for the Buddhist pantheon. Here, many Buddhist images were found and all of them relate to Buddhism’s Vajrayan Cult. This place is also known for the cane products. As per the Oriya history, this place has its own importance.

Udaigiri Caves

Udaigiri is popular for the ancient caves and closely located to the capital city of Bhubaneswar. This is just 200 m away from the Khandagiri caves. This cave is known for holding some of the most amazing monuments that relate to the ancient culture of India. Udaigiri means the Sunrise Hill. There are 18 caves located here. Some caves are considered to be the natural ones but other caves located here are carved by the Jain monks. These caves have come into existence during when the King Kharavela used to rule on Kalinga or present Odisha. These are the ancient rock-cut temples which were once used by the Jain monks. The art works done in these caves are having similarities with the art traced at the caves of Sanchi.

The caves located here are known for holding the historical monuments and the art. Among all these caves, Rani Gumpha is the prime one. This is a double storied Jain monastery. There are seven entrances located at the lower ground and the upper region has nine columns. In this cave, you can see some amazing carvings on the stone that depicts more about women dancing and the playing some musical instruments. This cave was believed to be used as a theatre or for chants. This cave is where you can also find the image of Surya Devata riding the horse chariot.

Khandagiri Caves

The caves of Khandagiri are located at a distance of 200m from the Udaigiri caves. There are 15 caves located here. These are originally the Jaina caves but later the local Brahmins have turned them into the Hindu shrines. These are the most amazing caves that you can find here and known for the art works carved on the rock. The first in this list is the Tatowa Gumpha and this cave has got such name due to the parrots that are carved on the entrance portion of the cave’s arch. This one is a decorated cave and having 2 door-keepers. There are two entrances for the cave and each of them is guarded by the two lions and bulls.

It’s the Ananta Gumpha here where you can see the images of women, athletes, elephants and the geese carrying the flowers. The Tentuli Gumpha is the one which is known as a rock-cut chamber. There is also a verandah at this cave which is having one column. It’s the Khandagiri Gumpha which is a roughly cut rock cave and it is a double storied one. There are some other caves located here like Dhyana, Navamuni, Barabhuja, Ambika, Trusula, Ekadasi and Lalatendukeshari Gumpha.

Nandankanan Zoological Park

Nandankanan Zoological Park is spreading on 990 acres of area and comprises of a zoo and the botanical garden. This zoological park is located right at the capital city of Bhubaneswar. It was first announced during the year 1960 but it was publicly opened during the year 1979. This has also become the 1st zoo in this country that has joined the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums in the year 2009. A part of this zoo is also declared as the sanctuary. Nandankanan means the Garden of Heaven. A part of Chandaka forest was used to create this amazing zoological park. It also comprises of the Kanjia Lake. During the year 1999, the Super Cyclone has destroyed this zoological park.

After this a major renovation was done for this place during the year 2000 in order to make it more prominent for the tourists. Every year, this place is attracting near about two millions of visitors. This is also the home for 1660 animals that belongs 166 different species. Here, you can also see some of the endangered species like India crocodilians, Asiatic lions, lion-tailed Macaque, several birds, mouse deer, Nilgiri Langur, reptiles, fishes and Indian pangolin. Nandankanan is a must see place in Odisha and having a great importance from tourism perspective.

Chandaka Elephant Reserve

It’s the Chandaka Elephant Reserve or known as Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary is a more prominent place for tourist coming to Odisha. This is a wildlife reserve and located at the North West corner of the capital city of Bhubaneswar. The Chandaka Elephant Reserve is nestled in the Eastern Ghats that is located on the uplands of Khurda district. This forest is spreading over 175.79 sq km of area. This forest comprises of several rolling-table lands as well as sprawling hillocks. During the Dec, 1982, it was declared as the elephant sanctuary. In order to offer visitors a more prominent view of the jungle, elephants and other wild animals living here, several  watch towers are also created. From these towers, you can get a good view of the wild life.

There is also some watch towers named as Pitagadia, Charichhak and Kochilaberana from where you can get a good observation for the birds as well as animals living here. There are also rest houses created at the Ambilo and Kumarkhunti where you can find your night halt as well. The Chandaka Elephant Reserve also comprises of two different water reservoirs and these are named as Jhumka Dam and Deras Dam. There are cottages closely located to Deras where you can find the best view of Chandaka reserve. This is also the place where you can always expect to see the wildlife at its best.

Lingaraj Temple

It’s the Lingaraj temple which is dedicated to the Lord Harihara and also a Hindu temple. Harihara is the form of Vishnu and Shiva the both. This one is known as an ancient temple in the capital city of Bhubaneswar. For this city, such temple is also considered as a more prominent landmark. It has also become a prominent tourist spot over the time. This is the biggest temple in the city and its central tower is 180 feet high. This temple is where you can find the reality of Kalinga architecture. It also represents the architecture of medieval stage. It is believed that such temple was created by the Somavamsi dynasty. And later the Ganga Rulers have also added their architecture for it.

It is built in Deula fashion and also having four components that are named as Vimana, Bhoga Mandap, Jagamohana, and Natya Mandap. In the same complex you can also find fifty other shrines. The total area is surrounded by a big compound wall. The city of Bhubaneswar is also called as the Ekamra Kshetra. It’s the original deity of Lord Lingaraj which is located under the mango tree. At this temple, worshiping the lord is a common practice. This temple is now managed and maintained by the Archeological Survey of India and Temple Trust Board.

Rajarani Temple

This temple was built during the 11th century. This is a Hindu temple and located right at the state capital Bhubaneswar. Originally this temple is known to be Indreswara. The locals here use to call it as the Love Temple. At this temple, you can find the erotic carvings of couples and women on the wall. The Pancharatha style was followed to build this temple. It is located on the raised platform that uses to have two structures like the central shrine which is known as Vimana and there is also the viewing hall which is known as Jagamohana. This part is equipped with a pyramid style roof.

In order to build the temple, dull yellow and red sandstones were used. At the inner portion of the sanctum, you will find no image. This part is not really associated with the Hindu beliefs and classified as the Saivite. Some of the historians have also mentioned that this temple belongs to the time when Puri’s Jagannath temple was constructed. It is also believed that the architecture found at the other temples located at central part of India was copied from the architecture of this temple.

Mukteswara Temple

This temple was built during the 10th century and dedicated to the Lord Shiva. This temple is also located in Bhubaneswar and the Hindus use to come here for worshiping the Lord Shiva. This temple was created during 950 to 975 CE. This is also considered as such a monument that is often studied to find the reality behind the development of other Hindu temples located in Odisha. A unique style was followed to build this temple and this is what also showcasing the earlier developments of the Hindu temples. Now, the Mukteswara temple is considered as a famous tourist attraction in this city. It’s the architecture assigned for this temple is what making it the Gem of Oriya architecture.

This temple is facing towards the west. It is located on the lower basement and right at the center of some other temples. There is also a section of this temple which is called as Jagamohana and its having a pyramidal roof. This style was first followed for the Mukteswara temple. This temple is surrounded by an octagonal compound. There is a porch associated with this temple which is known as Torana and this acts as the gateway for such octagonal compound. It is also the venue for Mukteswara Dance Festival. During this festival Odissi dance and chorus are performed by the artists. During this time, such venue becomes more vibrant.

Barunei Hill

In the district of Khurda, Barunei Hill is a popular spot. The Barunei hill is the home for Barunei temple and the Khurda Fort that is located at a distance of 8 km from it. However, the Maa Barunei Temple located on this hilly area is what drawing most attention from the pilgrims and tourists. Goddess Barunei is always considered as the manifestation of Power. This temple is located on the hilly slope of Barunei Hill. At this temple you can find the idols of two different goddesses like Karunei and Barunei. There is also a stunning stream that uses to flow from this hill and named as Swarna Ganga. This stream is what adding more beauty factors for this place. It’s the Barunei Hill that uses to have a deep relation with the history of Odisha. This hill use to tell several stories about the great heroes and warriors of Orissa. The Khurda fort which is located close to this hill was also renovated during the early time of 1970. During the freedom fight of this state, the Barunei Hill has played a major role. It was then used by the Paikas to escape and to fight with the British.

Ekamra Utsav

If you really want to explore more things related to the culture of Odisha, then you must attend the Ekamra Utsav in Bhubaneswar. This is not a single occasion or festival rather it comprises of a series of festivals. This festival continues for ten days and hosted at the Temple City Bhubaneswar. This festival is dedicated to God Shiva. It is also arranged to promote the rich culture of this state. The name of such festival is derived from the word Ekamra which means the Mango Tree. There is also a myth associated with the starting of this occasion.

It’s been believed that Lord Shiva was looking for a sacred and peaceful place where he can meditate. And he found this one when Narada advised him. This is also the place where Lord Shiva established in the form of Lingaraj along with her wife Goddess Parvati. This part is also named as Ekamra Kanan. Here, you can also find a huge area that is covered with mango trees. It’s the Ekamra Utsav which comprises of the event that belongs to the National Handloom Exhibition. So, during this event, you can also see the stalls that showcase and sell the fabrics collected from different textile mills and centers in Odisha.

Odisha State Museum

Odisha State Museum is one of the notable museums located in this state. This museum is located at the capital city of Bhubaneswar. It was first announced during the year 1932. However, it was shifted to the current building during the year 1960. There are eleven sections located at this museum. It remains open from morning 10 to evening 5 except Mondays. Some of the prime sections of this museum are the archeology, art and craft, numismatics, natural history, armory, mining, palm leaf manuscripts, anthropology, patta painting and contemporary art. It’s the Cultural Affairs Dept as well as the Govt. of Odisha use to handle the administrative works of this museum.

A museum superintendent is also appointed to manage the daily works of this museum. It’s the origin of this museum that dates back to the year 1932. It was the time when the historian named as William Jones took the initiative to establish the museum at Ravenshaw College located in Cuttack. During 1945-46, this museum was shifted to the Brahmananda building located at old BBSR or Bhubaneswar. And then it was once again shifted to the Patel Hall during 1950. The foundation of this building was laid by the President of India during that time whose name was Rajendra Prasad. During the year 1960, it was shifted to the present building.

Ekamra Kanan Botanical Garden

Ekamra Kanan Botanical Garden is a more prominent park in the city of Bhubaneswar that attracts both the locals and the visitors. This is a huge park and thus it is also having different sections. There is a part where you can find the beautiful flower garden. Here, children can even play. There is another part of this park where you can find the dense forest. You cannot move deep into that forest, as electric fence is arranged here due to security reasons. There is a third portion of this park which is the Rose Garden and it is also home for cactus garden. As per the sources, it was revealed that such cactus garden is the biggest one in the country like India. This is also a big reason why, the Ekamra Kanan Botanical Garden is also called as the Cactus Garden. If you really want to explore Bhubaneswar’s greener side, then you should visit this garden. Here you can also find the boating facility. It remains open from morning 8 to 7 in the evening. From Bhubaneswar, you can hire auto rickshaw or bus in order to reach for Ekamra Garden.

Pathani Samanta Planetarium

It’s the Pathani Samanta Planetarium which is located at Bhubaneswar, Khurda, and Odisha, India. The prime objective of this place is to make people more aware about the astronomy, astro physics, astro science and space science. This planetarium is also constructed with the objective to make people aware about the environment. At this place you can educate yourself more about space science, astro physics, and astronomy.

This place is where for the first time some interesting activities like audio-visual programs, night-sky watch and poster shows were arranged. This is also the place where they use to exhibit the astronomical instruments. The Pathani Samanta Planetarium is also the place where they promote the aspiring students who want to prepare a career in astronomy. This is also used as the field for technology and science. In terms of supporting the scientists who want to conduct researches; this planetarium has played a superb role. Here, they also offer financial help as well as offer higher platforms to those scientists.

Parashurameshvara Temple

This temple is located at the Bhubaneswar city of Odisha. This temple is considered as the best preserved Hindu temple in this state. The construction of this temple dates back to the Shailodbhava time. During the 7th and 8th century this temple was built. This temple is where Lord Shiva is worshiped. This is also the oldest existing Hindu temple in the state. It is believed that the Parashurameshvara Temple was built around 650 CE and in the Nagara style. The prime feature of this temple is the tenth century Orissan-style shrine.

This temple also belongs to group of temples named as Parashurameshvara. At this temple, there is a Vimana, a Beda and there is also a curved spire right on the roof. It is also the very first temple for which Jagamohana like additional section was added. Though here Lord Shiva is worshiped, then also there are images that belong to Shakta deities. Parashuramastami is the prime festival that is celebrated at this temple. This festival uses to fall during the month of Jun and July every year.

Regional Science Park

At the Acharya Vihar Sqaure, Bhubaneswar, the Regional Science Park is located along the Jawaharlal Nehru Road. From the center of Bhubaneswar, this place is located at a distance of four km. it is also closely located to Regional College of Education. There are four halls at this park where you can find hundred exhibitions which promote the science as well as technology like aspects. However, the prime attraction of this place is the collection of gadgets, instruments and models that belongs to 1989. There is also a game corner arranged for the kids here. There is a prehistoric theme park constructed here where kids can play and have fun. This place is also home for regular fairs, seminars as well as training programs that are intended for the teachers. This park remains open from morning 11.30 to evening 7. On Mondays it remains close.

Buddha Jayanti Park

This is one of the most amazing parks located in the Temple City, Bhubaneswar. This park is where you can get relaxed and unwind yourself. After a long tiring day, visiting this park and spending some time here in the evening can make you feel pretty much relaxed. If you are looking for a serene and peaceful place right at this hustling ad bustling city, then come to Buddha Jayanti Park. It is located at the Niladri Vihar, Chandrasekharpur, BBSR. This park is also equipped with a music system that uses to entertain people no matter where you go in this place. This is really nice park to spend some time when you are in Bhubaneswar.

Baitala Deula

This is also called a Vaitala Deula. This temple was created during the 8th century. This temple is based on the Khakara Style. It is the place where Goddess Chamunda is worshiped. It is located in Bhubaneswar. Locally, it is known as the Tini Mundia Mandir. Here, the jagamohana section is present in rectangular shape and at each corner of this section you can find the small shrines. The outer section or the walls of this temple are equipped with the carvings of Hindu deities among which the images of Parvati and Shiva are common.