Bhubaneswar-Where the past seamlessly blends with the present
The capital of Odisha also known as the “Temple city” is a beautiful amalgamation of the past and the present. While the southern part of the city relives the memories of a glorious past, the Northern part is the harbinger of an exciting future. The name Bhubaneswar is derived from “Tribhubaneswar” a name of lord Shiva which literally means “The Lord of the Earth”
Designed by renowned German Architect Otto Konigsberger in 1946, Bhubaneswar is one of independent India’s first three planned cities, the other two being Chandigarh and Jamshedpur. Bhubaneswar replaced Cuttack as the capital of Odisha in 1948. Though officially it became operational as the state capital from 19th August 1949.
As mentioned Bhubaneswar is living example where the where the old and the new perfectly gel together and feeds of each other. The Northern part of Bhubaneswar- with wide roads and planned infrastructure is seeing a flurry of activities in the IT, Business, Education and Health sector making it one of Eastern India’s major economic hub. The high rise residential complexes, corporate buildings and Government offices dotting the landscape with park, malls and recreation joints thrown in the mix, Bhubaneswar embodies all the characteristics of a young vibrant city.
As we move towards the Southern part of the city the pace gradually slows and the high rise residential complex is replaced by residential plots and modern architecture of the corporate offices by the temples which epitomizes the architecture of a bygone era.
Bhubaneswar along with Puri and Konark is often referred to as the “Swarna Tribhuja”or the “Golden Triangle”.
Though the modern city came into existence in 1948, the history of Bhubaneswar can be traced to 1st century BC or even earlier. It was witness to one of the most important events in the face of mankind- The Kalinga War- recorded as one of the bloodiest conflict in the annals of history- but what makes it unique is that the message it propagated aftermath. According to noted historian Ramesh Prasad Mohapatra- “The political history of mankind in reality is a history of wars and no war has ended with so successful a mission of peace for the entire war-torn humanity as the war of Kalinga”.
When you are in the lap of history as is the case with Bhubaneswar, there is no dearth of activities that one can engage in.
As mentioned earlier it’s the city of temples. Despite the ravages of time and destruction caused by the invaders, the city still has a sizeable number of temples which preserves its rich heritage. These temples made of sandstone represent the best of the Kalinga School of architecture- which flourished from the 7th century AD to 14th Century AD. While its neigh impossible to record each one of them in a book of this nature, we will select a few which have varied architectural styles.
Ekamra Van- Located on the side of the Bindu Sagar Lake offers a beautiful resting place by the lake overlooking the temples. Ekamra van is a medicinal plant garden where one can educate themselves on the various natural herbs which has medicinal value.The entry fee is Rs 2/person (Rupees Two)
Kedar Gouri Temple
Raja Rani Temple
Baitala Deula Temple
Chausathi Yogini Temple
The best way to explore the temples of Bhubaneswar is through the walks conducted by Mr. Debasis Sahoo every Sunday from 6.40 am to 9.30 am. The Facebook page - The Bhubaneswar Heritage Walk- one can log onto Facebook and register. The starting point is Parasumrameswara Temple complex and there are no fees involved
The other option is the Ekamra Walks conducted by the Odisha Tourism Department every Sunday and it is also free- Facebook page - Ekamra Walks. The starting point is Mukteswara Temple Complex. The timings- 6.30 am to 9.30 am
Around Bhubaneswar - The capital city apart from hosting a lot of tourists attractions within its confines also has lots of interesting destinations around it.
The village located 23KM from Bhubaneswar lies at the junction where Konark road branches off from the Bhubaneswar- Puri road. Pipli is world famous for its famous for its applique work. Most of the villagers are engaged in this craft and Applique is the most important source of their livelihood.
The options are many from budget hotels to high end luxury hotels. Some of them are
Panthanivas – run by the Odisha Tourism Department, this budget hotel offers comfortable rooms. The restaurant offers traditional cuisine along with other menu’s.
Location – Lewis road
Check in – 8 am ,Check out – 8 am
For bookings log onto the Website – www.otdc.in
Mayfair Lagoon – a property of the Mayfair Group of Hotels is the best known luxury hotel in the city, is a visual treat, the beautifully laid out hotel has a lake and beautiful landscape to compliment the beautiful architecture and is equipped with all the modern amenities. The hotel boasts of several in house restaurants to suite the palate -the hugely popular Lemon Grass serving oriental cuisine, Nakli dhaba – craving for North Indian food look no further, Kanika – the Odia cuisine restaurant, Baron and Baroness bar plus café and tea joints. It also has a discotheque- The Cellar.
Location – 8B, Jaydev Vihar
Check in – 2 pm ,Check out – 12 pm
One can book online through the Website – www.mayfairhotels.com
Email- email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Trident – a property of the Trident group of Hotels, the luxury hotel is spread across 14 acres with its own fruit orchard and vegetable garden. The elegant rooms are inspired by the traditional architecture of Odisha are complimented by the caring staff. The restaurant offers a wide range of lip smacking gourmets from traditional Odia cuisine to Thai. The Sea food dishes are highly recommended.
The hotel had a range of recreational activities on offer from a jogging track through the orchards to fitness centre and a bar.
Location – CB1, Nayapalli
Website – www.tridenthotels.com
Phone – 0674-3010000
Ginger Hotel – a property of the Ginger group of hotels promoted by the Tata Group, offers a comfortable stay at reasonable budget, the hotel also has a gymnasium and a café coffee day outlet along with an in-house restaurant.
Location- Oppo Nalco Headquarters ,Jaydev Vihar
Check in – 2pm ,Check out – 12 pm
Phone – 0674-6663333
Mainland China - location A1/A, The Crown, IRC Village, Nayapalli- the restaurant offers a delectable Chinese cuisine.
Hare Krishna Restaurant – Location – Lalchand Market complex- the restaurant offers authentic vegetarian dishes.
Govinda – Location – Iskcon temple, IRC Village, Nayapalli- Offers sumptuous vegetarian food.
Bling it on – Location- The New Marrion Hotel, Janpath- Offers Italian, Mexican, Chinese & continental dishes.
Dalma – Location- 157 Madhusudan Nagar- Offers Odia food including the staple food pakhala (rice soaked in water overnight mixed with curd and seasoned with spices)
Odisha Hotel – C-18, Market Building, Shaheed Nagar- another restaurant offering authentic Odiya cuisine which is sumptuous and value for money.
As famous chef Anthony Bourdain said-“Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride” . Mouth watering road side delicacy is an essential ingredient ingrained in every city which has a rich heritage, Bhubaneswar is no exception. Listed below is a few of the options that one can opt for.
The typical street foods of the city are gup chup (Pani Puri) the ones at station square and near St. Joseph school (nr. Ram Mandir Janpath) , Snacks at the shop just in front of Ram mandir, Janpath, bara ghuguni ( fried cereal with yellow peas or kala chana) near the Court , Chaat at Rupali Square & Kaliash Pav Bhaji at Unit 2 Market building ( entry from Rajmahal square ) are a must try.
Food Street – Location - Just behind St. Joseph School (Near Ram Mandir, Janpath rd) every evening one can see 6-7 food trucks lined up serving anything from biriyani, Schawarma to Mexican food. The food is just delicious and very easy on your wallet too. Many of the food trucks accept card payment.
Shaheed Nagar ( front of Rama Devi College)- offers a eclectic array of chaats and gupchups, the specialty is chicken gupchup.
KIIT Road - located at Patia just in front of KIIT college gate- is another area where the streets are dotted with restaurants and street food offering a wide variety of gourmets to choose from
Near Kalinga Hospital-There are number roadside joints at the signal crossing serving a variety of menus ranging from Indian to Italian dishes at a very reasonable price.
Shopping can be an experience in itself in Bhubaneswar especially for the women. By virtue of being the capital of the state- Bhubaneswar is the hub of the traditional handicraft industry of the state. The traditional specialty items are – Ikat fabrics which can be purchased as ready made garments, fabrics or sarees, Appliqué work locally known as Chandua- though we recommend you to get it from Pipli itself (24KM from Bhubaneswar on the Puri-Bhubaneswar road, where they are made) , Sambalpuri sarees, dress materials, bed sheets, curtains etc, Dhokra – metal figurines.
Utkalika – the state government run showroom is the best place to buy authentic stuff. Utkalika offers a wide array of the above mentioned items.
Location – Shop No-1, Eastern Tower, Marketing Building, Ashok Nagar
Timings – 9.30 am to 9.30 pm
Utkalika has a branch also at the Airport
Ekmara Haat – is a great place to buy authentic Orissa handicrafts like Patta Chitra, Sambalpuri Saree, Chandua of Pipli, sand art, metal work, stone carvings and many more. The ambience and surroundings is nice and if you feel worn out after exhaustive shopping, there are food stalls lined up here that serve traditional foods like chakuli pitha ( looks like an Uppam), chhenna poda( traditional sweet dish made out of cottage cheese but not too sweet) and mutton curry.
Location- Madhusudan Marg, Unit 3
Timings - 10 AM to 9 PM.
Besides the above mentioned outlets, there are a plethora of shopping malls and retail chains across the city, where one can buy branded products to groceries.
Avoid travelling in local auto’s during late nights (after 10pm); it’s safer and more convenient to hire the radio cabs OLA and UBER.
The post office at Master canteen (railway station) is open till 8 pm should you need to send an urgent courier through speed post.
Should the need arise; the city has the best of healthcare centers spread across the city.
AIIMS - Website -www.aiimsbhubaneswar.edu.in
Apollo Hospitals - Website -www.apollohospitals.com
AMRI - Website- bhubaneswar.amrihospitals.in
Aditya Care Hospital- www.carehospitals.com
Capital Hospital - Website -www.capitalhospital.nic.in
Sum Hospital - Website - www.soauniversity.ac.in
For Bus route's Check out the websiteof the city bus transport- Dream Team Sahara- www.dtsodisha.com for bus details. Alternatively click on the links below for route details www.dtsodisha.com/route-price-chart.php , & http://dtsodisha.com/important_root.php
If you are availing bus services for sightseeing avoid the noon time especially during the summers.
Number of days required to tour Bhubaneswar – two- three days should be sufficient to cover the city including the places nearby if you plan properly.