Teeming with a vibrant cultural history, Orissa is home to some of the most stunning places to visit. The temples of the state are some of the most popular tourist places in Orissa. The temples here boast of stunning architectural details that stand testament to the various kingdoms that flourished in the state’s history. While the 12th century Jagannath temple in Puri welcomes pilgrims from across the world, the 7th century Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneshwar is revered by Shaivites everywhere. Other popular temples here include Bhubaneshwar’s Rajarani Temple, Mukteshwar Temple andParshurameshvara Temple.

 The history of Orissa can be further explored by visiting the caves here, which are among the most interesting places to visit in Orissa. Believed to have been built about 2,000 years ago, the cave complexes at Udayagiri and Khandagiri are delightful architectural wonders.

The beaches along the coastline are some of the other delightful places to see in Orissa. Puri Beach, Swargadwar Beach and the beach at Paradeep are some of the most stunning beaches here. Nature lovers can also enjoy a stunning weekend getaway to the district Jeypore, with its dense forests, limestone caves and beautiful misty waterfalls.

Puri- Witness The Unique Sand Art

Puri in Odisha is one of the four must-visit pilgrimage sites for Hindus because of Jagannath Temple that forms the part of Char Dham in India. Puri is a beach city located on the coast of Bay of Bengal which is one of the favourites among people of West Bengal for a short trip.

With a plethora of hotels and homestays, the local tourist like to stay near the New Marine Drive and the backpackers prefer to stay near Chakra Tirtha. The RathYatra (chariot festival) which takes place during the month of June-July should not be missed if you are planning to visit during this time.

Known as the resting place of Lord Shiva, the majestic history and heritage of Puri date back to the 3rd century B. C. Puri, Konark and Bhubaneshwar complete the Golden Triangle of Orissa, with their religious significance and cultural heritage being the centres of tourism in this state. There are a lot of places near Puri that one must visit, like the Chilika lakePuri beach, GundichaGhar and the very famous Sun temple of Konark. Puri is soon turning into an industrial hub with major manufacturing companies coming here. 

Best Time to visit: July to Mah

Bhubaneswar- Land Of Beautiful Architecture

Bhubaneswar, the temple city of India, once known for its architecture and grand temples, is presently a thriving centre for commerce and business.

Bhubaneshwar is an ancient city replete with beautiful historic temples which attract pilgrims and tourists from all over the country. The name of the city literally means Lord of the Universe, rightly reflected in the number of temples here and the religious fervor of its locals. This is now a bustling city where the history is beautifully intertwined with its modern and progressive present. Bhubaneshwar being the centre for religious tourism has a number of majestic temples built centuries ago which have still retained their original over all these years. Among them the Lingaraj temple and the Parasurameswara temple are must-visits and attract tourists for all parts of the country.

Best Time to visit: October to March

Konark- Ancient Temples

Konark, in the state of Orissa is renowned world over for the Sun Temple which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Annual dance festival and its beautiful sandy beaches.

Konark’s Sun Temple is an architectural marvel and is one of the most beautiful monuments of India. The Annual Dance Festival is a five day-long cultural extravaganza which invites unique dancing talent from all over the country. This festival is a grand celebration of our country’s rich cultural and artistic legacy, an event to truly rejoice the various dance forms that our country has invented. The celebrations happen with the backdrop of the Sun temple, adding grandeur and magnificence to the whole program. Besides this, Konark also hosts the Sun Festival, where devotees offer prayers to the Sun God by taking dips in the sea. The Dance Festival also hosts a Handicrafts Mela where one can buy unique and exquisitely handcrafted pieces which beautifully reflect the Oriya art form.

Best Time to visit: September to March

Cuttack- The Vintage City

Referred to as the cultural capital of Odisha, Cuttack is a commercial city with plenty of impressive tourist attractions.

Cuttack is the second-largest city in Odisha and the former capital as well. Local handicrafts of this state are displayed and traded in this very city. Cuttack is always buzzing with cultural activities and plays host to a variety of festivals like the Baliyatra, which commemorates the ancient trade links the countries like Java, Bali and Sumatra, Durga Puja and the Kite Festival which is held in the month of January. 

Cuttack is also known as the silver city because of its famous silver work. 

Best Time to visit: July to March

Baripada- Cultural Centre Of Odisha

At a distance of 248km from Kolkata and 256km from Bhubaneshwar, Baripada is a city, recognised by its beautiful culture and an essence of purity in nature. Its RathYatra is considered the biggest and oldest after Puri and thus Baripada is also known as Dwitiya Srikhetra (Second Puri)

It is host to the world famous Car Festival (Rathyatra) which allows only women to pull the Rath of Maa Subhadra and gathers huge crowds. One also finds here temples, known to be one of the oldest in Odisha and which see devotees coming from all over with a stong sense of faith and devotion. An event is organised here, during the mid of April that celebrates the best talents of Chhau, a world renowned dance form, indigenous to the region. Baripada is also known for its Bangripori “tusser” fabric, that can be found anywhere in its local markets. Also, do not miss the Simlipal Nature Park which has a tiger reserve, sparkling waterfalls, numerous species of animals and birds, Semul or red silk cotton trees and countless other things to leave you awestruck.

Best Time to visit: October to June

Talasari Beach- Relax Under The Sun

Located in Baleswar district of Odisha and at a distance of 10 Km from Digha, the Talasari beach is pristine, serene and has been bestowed with spectacular panorama.

There are secret beaches, beaches which are beyond the reach of contamination, beaches that refresh our senses and Talasari is one such place. This virgin beach has sand dunes, calmer waves amid several palm trees, coconut trees, cashew trees known to be the last beach on the north eastern coast of India. Talasari gets its name from Tala (rhythm) and Sari (row)- the rhythm formed by a well arrayed lush green belt and golden sands with an occasional red fleck (thanks to the red crabs ambling around) meeting the enormous sea, which is almost melodious. Being a fisherman’s paradise, Talasari doesn’t experience much tourist rush. There is a concrete structure where fishermen trap their fishes and sell them in a fish market near the beach where you can also find cooked chicken, crabs and fish. You can simply walk across the river bed or enjoy boat rides and high tides the high tides here. Apart from being a sea beach, Talasari also is a river bank of Subornorekha river which flows to merge into the Bay of Bengal.

Best Time to visit: October to December, February


Chandipur is a secluded seaside village of Baleshwar district stored safely on the coastline of Orissa. Chandipur is also locally known as Chandipur-on-sea. If nature’s wonder fascinates you, Chandipur Beach is an amazing place to be.

The unique specialty of this beach is the ebb tides that recede around 1 to 4 km during low tides and they tend to disappear rhythmically. This has a spectacular view of the rising sun and also of the sun drowning somewhere beyond waters providing feast to the eyes. When the water disappears, you can even take jeep ride towards the sea.

Best Time to visit: November to March


Sambalpur is the gateway to the western zone of Orissa. It abounds in prolific rivers, lavish hills, lush green forests and affluent wildlife. It is a beautiful amalgamation of modernity and culture. Holding a significant historical importance, the place also has a flourishing textile and handloom industry popular for its unique patterns and style. In addition to that, Sambalpur has a flourishing tribal life with exclusive exquisite folk songs-dances and culture. Sambalpur got its name from Devi Samaleswari who is the main goddess of the region. One can also visit wildlife parks here to enjoy the beauty of nature that Sambalpur has in plenty. The area is known for the world famous Hirakud Dam which is the main attraction for the tourists here.

There are also several temples holding great significance, with people coming from all over with a strong sense of faith and the holy deity bestowing happiness and wealth upon the devotees. Sambalpur is the biggest city of western Odisha and is famous for the number of freedom fights that took place here which make this place historically important too.

Sambalpur is famous for its handlooms and textile industry. This place is popular for its Sambalpuri Sarees. Gole Bazaar is the main shopping centre. Price can range from a few hundred to a hundred thousand rupees. There are many shops in the city, but the most famous shops can be spotted in Gole Bazar. An emerging Big Bazar and a whole complex in the City Centre mall is on Modipara road.

Best Time to visit: September to March

Gopalpur- The Beautiful Port Town

In the southern coastline of Odisha just 15 km from the city of Behrampur is located a quaint, tiny town of Gopalpur which was a sea port, bustling with trade and commerce, in the Colonial Era.

What was once a bustling port city before being deserted, is today, one of the best beaches in the eastern coastline of the country. It is know for being an offbeat destination and a place for relaxation. The sea port remains though largely in ruins, the British have gone too but what remains is one of India’s most loved beaches. The Gopalpur-on-sea is considered to be one of India’s most beautiful beaches largely due to its remoteness, its peace and its offbeat crowd. The beaches are sparkling gold which along with the azure water of the Bay of Bengal providing a perfect place to relax and immerse yourself in nature. Besides the beach, the food is also pretty great in the town with many shanties providing tongue tickling sea food. Gopalpur is rapidly becoming one of the most sought after beaches in the country, with more and more people becoming aware of its beauty.

Best Time to visit: November to February



Surrounded by hills and rivers, the city of Rourkela is located in the state of Odisha. Popularly called as the ‘Steel City of Odisha’ and Ispat Nagar, it is one of the first cities of the country to become commercialized for steel production.  Rourkela’s natural positioning in the lap of nature makes it an offbeat tourist location for the people of nearby areas.

Rich in naturally occurring minerals, Rourkela has also been blessed with a variety of relief features and natural tourist destinations. Falling in the Sundergarh district of Odisha, Rourkela is considered as a stopover destination, before visiting the other popular destinations nearby. It also holds great religious significance due to its prominence in epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Best Time to visit:  October to March

Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary- Enjoy The Wilderness

The Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary spreads across 795.52 square kilometers and does not fail to enthrall its visitors with its overwhelming beauty, lush green surrounding, the ever cherished rambling of River Mahanadi besides the very famous Satkosia gorge and large variety of species of wild animals, birds and plants.

Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary is a habitat of tigers, leopards, gaurs, simbal, spotted deers, four horned antelopes, sloths, gharial and many others. The Gharial Sanctuary undertakes the process of breeding of the Gharial to increase their numbers and give them the right atmosphere and treatment.

 While you are here, you get a chance to caress the untainted form of nature, the luxuriant greenery leaves your soul enchanted and the existence of the wild animals around leaves your soul enthralled. Sometimes thunderous and sometimes calm river Mahanadi renders the opportunity for fish angling, or to motor-boat or river rafting across it. You can choose to trek or camp in the sanctuary as well. This a perfect destination for the lovers of nature, wildlife and adventure.

Best Time to visit: October to March

Dhauli- The Land Of Peace Pagoda

Dhauli is a small town 8 Km away south of Bhubaneswar, located on the bank of river Daya and holds great significance for the followers of lord Buddha. Dhauli is said to be the witness of the reform of Ashoka’s character.

This is the area which is believed to the land for the Kalinga War in the 3rd century B.C. between the Mauryan Empire led by Great Ashoka and Kalinga kingdom. The war was so intense that it is said that Daya’s water had turned red with the bloodshed because of the massacre. This also led to significant change in the beliefs of King Ashoka and he eventually adopted Buddhism. His responses to this war were recorded in forms of Ashoka edicts, which are essentially rock structures with inscriptions on them. Dhauli has several major Ashoka edicts and it is now an important centre for Buddhism in India. Ashoka built several Stupas, Chaityas, Pillars around the town and did his best to create a peaceful society by helping others post war. Dhauli has a beautiful Peace Pagoda which attracts thousands of tourists every year. Besides Buddhists, Hindus also visit Dhauli to visit some of the ancient temples of great reverence situated in this beautiful town. There are also other attractions in Dhauli like rock cut caves, Sadharmavihar monastery, which would definitely make your visit worth the time.

Best Time to visit: July to February

Rayagada- The Land Of Historical Gems

Rayagada is a district in Odisha with a rich history and a distinct culture which has, over the years, mingled with the local tribal culture. This district has many historical places to visit and is known for its cuisine, crafts and handmade products.

Rayagada is one of the most visited districts in Odisha and is located on the South Eastern border of the state. This is an upcoming tourist destination that has not yet been flooded with tourists but has all the facilities for a comfortable stay. This district offers dense forests, historical monuments, a peek into the lifestyle of tribal populations and authentic food, making it an ideal destination for all kinds of tourists. Rayagada has been inhabited since before the Mauryan empire controlled this region and has been an essential part of most empires due to its abundant natural resources.

Best Time to visit: November– February

Daringbadi The Hill Town

Daringbadi is a hilly town in Odisha. Hidden a state famous for beaches and temples, this hill station lies peacefully at an elevation of 3000 feet waiting to be explored. Replete with pine trees, coffee gardens and splendid valleys, Daringbadi is known as the “Kashmir of Odisha”. A place where you can stay in quaint cottages amidst trees and valleys, the weather is inviting – beating the heat in summers and offering snow in the winter. The place does not only have verdant and thick forests, but is also bountiful in flora and fauna. The best part about this hill station is that you can visit this place throughout the year.

Best Time to visit: November – February

Chilika Lake-   Largest brackish water lake

The Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary spreads across 795.52 square kilometers and does not fail to enthrall its visitors with its overwhelming beauty, lush green surrounding, the ever cherished rambling of River Mahanadi besides the very famous Satkosia gorge and large variety of species of wild animals, birds and plants.

Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary is a habitat of tigers, leopards, gaurs, simbal, spotted deers, four horned antelopes, sloths, gharial and many others. The Gharial Sanctuary undertakes the process of breeding of the Gharial to increase their numbers and give them the right atmosphere and treatment.

 While you are here, you get a chance to caress the untainted form of nature, the luxuriant greenery leaves your soul enchanted and the existence of the wild animals around leaves your soul enthralled. Sometimes thunderous and sometimes calm river Mahanadi renders the opportunity for fish angling, or to motor-boat or river rafting across it. You can choose to trek or camp in the sanctuary as well. This a perfect destination for the lovers of nature, wildlife and adventure.

Best Time to visit: October to March

Hirakud Dam The longest dam in India

Constructed across the Mahanadi River in Sambalpur, Odisha the Hirakud Dam is hailed as the longest human-made dams in India. Astonishingly, it is over 56km long and is the top pick among the locals as well as tourists to enjoy a refreshing day out. This marvellous piece of architecture construction was built in the year 1956, and owing to its location is a fantastic spot to watch nature come alive in all its glory. One of the major attractions here is a drive-through road that you can take you 21km over the dam, admiring its ingeniousness and expertise. Another striking feature of the dam is, of course, the wide expanse of the view that it offers from the Gandhi and Nehru Minarets that are located towards the Northern Facade of the dam. It is also a fantastic site for birdwatching as it is surrounded by abundant water and trees on all sides.

Any nature lover will enjoy the quaint atmosphere and lush greenery that is in abundance at the Hirakud Dam. The dam stretches between the Burla and Hirakud Hills. In addition to showcasing stunning natural beauty, the dam irrigates 7,500,000 hectares of land and also generates hydroelectricity. Situated near the Hirakud Dam is a hill called Budharaja hill, which is well-known for the Budharaja Temple at its peak. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple offers breathtaking views of the dam from. Another temple which is a must-visit in Hirakud is the Ghanteshwari Temple which served as a lighthouse for the incoming ships as the bells were used to warn the sailors. Visit this destination for a tranquil getaway in the lap of nature.

Best time to visit: September to March

Simlipal National Park Witness the famous Bengal Tiger

Reflecting the natural beauty of an era gone by, Simlipal National Park is in a beautiful and scenic town in Odisha. Situated in Mayurbhanj, it once used to be a hunting ground for the rulers of the province. Simlipal is the largest wildlife sanctuary in India and is also considered as one of the principal tiger projects in India. The area is rich with dense forests, striking meadows, startling waterfalls and beautiful rivers. It is blessed with great bio-diversity and huge varieties of fauna that make it a great place to engage in wildlife sightseeing! Simlipal Reserve is home to more than 1000 varieties of plants. It has around 96 species of orchids that are endemic to the forest. Baripada is the nearest town to Simlipal and can be considered a gateway to the same.

Reach Simlipal National Park and check into the forest rest house. Hire a jeep for a safari and set out into the forest to enjoy the beauty of nature and exploring the wild. After the safari, return to the rest house and go to a nearby restaurant to enjoy the local cuisine of the place. A trip to the park is best combined with Khichling or any other nearby town such as Chandipur, Bhubhaneshwar, Puri, Konark etc.
The next day you can go for an excursion to any of these places via a bus or jeep. Private buses and shared Jeeps are available for Khiching, Jashipur which is on NH-6 20 kms from Simlipal.

Best time to visit: October to May

Satkosia Tiger Reserve Explore the diverse flora and fauna

The picturesque town of Satkosia, 160 km from Bhubaneswar, boasts of a wildlife sanctuary popularly known as the Satkosia Tiger Reserve since 1976. The sanctuary is home to tigers in the moist, deciduous forests of the Eastern Ghats. It is also home to elephants, birds and other animals that can be spotted in the wild.

When boating, one can spot the river-inhabitants being the Gharials or the Indian fish-eating crocodile. The Mahanadi River passes through a 14 mile long gorge, being the reason why the town was named Satkosia from SaatKros, Kros being an old local measurement.

There are various lodging options operated by the Odisha Forest Development Corporation in Satkosia. You can also visit the neighbouringKuanria Deer Park & Dam and the KantiloNeelamadhav Temple.

Best time to visit: October to March

Khandagiri Caves Explore the beautiful motifs and carvings

Also known as Cuttack caves, Khandagiri Caves are artificial caves located in the state of Orissa which date back to 2nd century. This place is quite a sight to see with all the beautifully carved inscriptions and figures. This place holds a great historical significance. A large number of ancient temples with intricate carvings surround this place which have their own significance. If you want to relax and spend some quiet time amidst nature, a number of lush green parks are also located around Khandagiri Caves.

Best Time to visit: October to March

Udayagiri Caves

‘Udayagiri’ means the mountain of the sunrise, and is a historical Hindu ritual site home to twenty rock-cut caves near Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh. Otherwise known as ‘Vishnu Padagiri’ meaning “the feet of Vishnu”, the Udayagiri Caves are extensively carved with iconographies of Hindu Gods, namely Vishnu, Durga and Shiva containing legendary stories of the gods and their shrines. Udayagiri hills hold twenty caves dedicated to Hinduism and Jainism sculptures from the Gupta Era. Among which the most prominent one is the fifth cave which is famous for the ancient monumental statue of Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as the Boar-Headed Varaha rescuing Bhudevi (earth).

The passage starting beside cave eight is another unique feature of Udayagiri. It consists of a natural canyon that runs from east to west of the cave. Although the passage has been subject to modifications, the set of steps carved onto the floor is a significant attribute of the caves. The locale has substantial inscriptions of the Gupta Dynasty reigned by Chandragupta Maurya. This 5th-century monument is home to rock shelters, petroglyphs, epigraphs, fortifications which are all subject to the Archeological Survey India.

Best Time to visit: October to March

Sri JagannathPuri Temple, Puri

Located in the sacred town of Puri, the Jagannath Temple or the pride of India was built in the 11th century by King Indradyumna. This glorious temple is the abode of Lord Jagannath who is a form of Lord Vishnu. It is the most revered pilgrimage site for Hindus and is included in the pious Char DhamYatra with Badrinath, Dwarka and Rameshwaram. Apart from the main shrine that rises high, many minor temples within the complex will make you feel like you have entered God’s home itself.

The splendid Oriya architecture of the JagannathPuri Temple is an icing on the cake. The four gates are beautifully designed with intricate carvings. The scrumptious Mahaprasad of the temple is something you should not miss. In one of the largest kitchens of India, the lip-smacking food is cooked in earthen pots for thousands every day and offered to devotees. The vibrant religious festivals of the town allures tourists in large numbers. The most awaited of them is the RathYatra celebrated with immense gusto. The colourful ambience, interesting rituals, vim and vigour of the pilgrims is worth witnessing.

Be it the sanctity, the delicious food, the serenity or the exuberance towards God, JagannathPuri temple seems to tick all the boxes and hence, is a place worth including on your bucket list.

Jeypore – Gaze At The Famous Waterfall 

Jeypore is one of the delightful tourist places in Odisha for nature lovers. It is known for offering spellbinding views of rocky outcrops, picturesque waterfalls, and lush green biosphere reserves. Deomali, the highest peak of the state, is another popular picnic spot is Odisha that is located not very far from Jeypore.

Key Attractions: Gupteshwar caves, Sunabeda, Deomali, Duduma Falls, JagannathSagar, Hatipathar, and Kolab Falls

Best Time to visit: October to February

Paradip – The Famous Sea Port 

Paradip or Paradeep, the famous seaport of India, finds its place in the list of popular tourist destinations of Odisha. It is located at the confluence of the Bay of Bengal and Mahanadi. In addition to the busy dockyard, the city also has some amazing beaches that offer mesmerizing views of the surroundings.

Key Attractions: Paradip Port, Gahirmatha Sanctuary & beach, lighthouse, and Jhankad

Best Time to visit: October to February

Taptapani – The Hot Water Spring 

Taptapani is famous in Odisha for its hot water spring. This spring is supposed to have medicinal attributes, making it a tourist attraction amidst people. There is a pond next to the hot spring where people can bathe and make use of the medicinal properties of the hot water spring. It is one of the most visited Odisha tourist places.

Key Attractions: Hot springs atop a hill surrounded by lush forest cover

Best Time: October to March

Pipli – The Town Known For Handicrafts 

This small town of Odisha is famous in the world for its craft and handicraft. The Applique handicrafts of this town are especially famous. The artisans do a great job with embroidery and colours, making this town stand out in the country and the world. If you happen to visit Odisha, then do head to this town and buy handicrafts and souvenirs from here. It is amongst the most popular Odisha points of interest.

Key Attractions: Beautiful Applique handicrafts and colourful bazaars

Best Time To Visit: October to January

Bhitarkanika National Park 

Bhitarkanika National Park is a 145 km2 (56 sq mi) large national park in northeast Kendrapara district in Odisha in eastern India. It was designated on 16 September 1998 and obtained the status of a Ramsar site on 19 August 2002. The area is also been designated as second Ramsar site of the State after the Chilika Lake. It is surrounded by Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, which spread over 672 km2 (259 sq mi). Gahirmatha Beach and Marine Sanctuary are to the east, separating swamp region and mangroves from the Bay of Bengal. The national park and wildlife sanctuary is inundated by the rivers Brahmani, Baitarani, Dhamra, Pathsala. It hosts many mangrove species, and is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India.

The national park is home to Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylusporosus)Indian python, king cobra, black ibisdarters and many other species of flora and fauna.

It is a very good place to sight the giant Salt Water Crocodile, some growing to 23 feet in length, along with other reptiles like the Water Monitor Lizard and the King Cobra. Spotted deers and wild boars are abundant in the park and can be spotted at all the major locations. Eight varieties of Kingfishers are found here and can be spotted along the many creeks and riverines within the park.

The boat ride from Khola to Dangmal or vice versa is highly recommended. Khola is one of the gateways into the park. This is along an artificial creek and it passes through dense mangrove forest providing a glimpse into the estuarine ecosystem and its wealth of fauna. The best time to travel through this creek is early morning or before sunset.

Bhitarkanika has a very rich historical and cultural past. It used to be the hunting grounds of the erstwhile King of Kanika . The hunting towers and artificial watering holes can be seen at many places including Bhitarkanika trail and at Dangmal. It is also the home of medieval Hindu temples which can be found dotted throughout the sanctuary. But the major attraction remains the wildlifewealth.

Best Time To Visit: October to March