Odisha, the land of soul-stirring temples, glorious history, rich art and culture, traditional fairs, indigenous lifestyle and delectable food, is a treat for anyone who loves the vibrant colours of India. There is so much to see and experience in Odisha that even a week is not enough to soak in the wonders of this spectacular city.
For this reason, we have hand-picked this unique itinerary that encompasses the tour of three traditionally and culturally-rich cities of Odisha – Bhubaneswar, Konark, and Puri. The tour shall begin from the temple city of India, Bhubaneswar, where you will witness the grand architecture and learn about the history of some of the most ancient and famous temples. We will next head toward Konark, where the highlight of our tour will be a visit to the grand Konark Sun Temple, amongst other attractions. We would then set out to explore the last city of the Temple Tours of Odisha, Puri.
From Jagannath Temple to Golden Sea Beach to Chilika Lake and Raghurajpur Heritage Village, the last leg of our tour will definitely make you fall in love with the wonderful Odisha.
On arrival at Bhubaneswar Airport, you will be welcomed by our travel representative, who will be holding a placard with the Holxo Holidays logo. Please, look for him in the arrival halls once you are through immigration and customs and have collected your baggage. After the meet and greet, our representative will escort you to your hotel in a private vehicle.
You will immediately check-in your hotel and take some rest before heading out to visit some beautiful monuments, starting from Lingaraja Temple, the oldest temple in the city dedicated to Lord Shiva. Built in the 11th century by the king Jajati Keshari, the archaic building is the perfect display of Odissi architecture.
Your next visit will be to the Parasurameswara Temple, which was established in 650 AD and dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti. The architecture of this edifice boasts of Nagara style, which was quite prominent in 650 AD.
Our next stops will be Mukteswara Temple, another architectural and spiritual gem of Odisha, founded in 10th century and Raja-Rani Temple, which is known to have come into existence in 11th century and popular as the ‘love temple’ for bearing the carvings of couples.
You will then return to the hotel in Bhubaneswar for your overnight stay.
After having breakfast in your hotel, you will be taken on a scenic drive to Dhauligiri, where you will visit Shanti Stupa, also known as the Peace Pagda. The foundation of this tranquil building was established by King Ashoka, who, after achieving inner peace at the end of Kalinga War resorted to Buddhism. It is said that Stupa is the place where the Kalinga war ended. It is recommended to find the edict of Lord Buddha, which is visited by countless Buddhists all through the year. This dome-shaped structure is also known for its rock cut elephant that is considered to be the earliest Buddhist sculpture in Odisha. Images of Ashoka, the Bodhi tree, Buddha’s footprints, and Saddharma Vihar Monastery are other attractions to look for in the Stupa.
You will next head to Ashokan Rock Edict, which was established in the 3rd century BC, Pipili village, which is known for its Applique work that comes from the French word ‘appliquer’ meaning ‘to put on.’ Pipili Applique work traces its origin back to the culture of Lord Jagannath during the 12th century.
After a stroll in the local market, you will finally head toward the stunning Konark Sun Temple, another architectural and historical marvel, which is believed to have been established in the 13th century, by the King Narasimhadeva. This impressive Kalinga architecture showcases a 100 ft high chariot pulled by horses and wheels, imposing the chariot of Sun God. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this famous temple, dedicated to the Sun God, Surya, has the first rays of the sun falling on its entrance every morning.
After having lunch at the Konark Sun Temple, you will head to the mesmerizing Chandrabhaga Sea Beach, which is located at a distance of 3 km from the temple. Soak in the peaceful vibes of the beachside before you reach your hotel in Puri to spend the night.
After having breakfast, you will start your day’s tour by visiting another distinguished monument, Jagannath Temple. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu or Jagannath, the temple was built in 10th century and is best known for its annual rath yatra or chariot festival and wooden image of the Lord that rests inside the temple.
You will then set out to Chilika Lake, the second largest brackish water lagoon in the world. The unique thing about this lake is that it houses a considerable number of threatened species of plants, birds and animals. Another reason to visit this lake is to witness a huge range of marine life, especially the playful Irrawaddy Dolphin.
By the time we head over to our next destination, Raghurajpur Heritage Village, it will already be evening. The ‘painting village’ is home to more than 300 artisans who practice traditional art forms and even make a living out of it. The brightly-coloured Hindu mythology and folktales are painted on the walls of the houses and lanes, wooden items, stone, silks, and other items– the art form is known as pattachitra which has its roots in the 12th century. The culture, tradition, and local cuisines of this village are worth a witness. Also, do not forget to check out the art and crafts in the local shops and perhaps, buy some items to support local business. Before leaving the village, you can enjoy the local folk dance, known as Gotipua and learn about the importance of the same from the people of the village.
You will then head towards your hotel in Puri for the overnight stay.
After having breakfast, you will be driving back to Bhubaneswar. However, you will first explore the ancient caves of Khandagiri and Udaigiri. Formerly known as the Cuttack Caves, these were found during the reign of Kharavela for the home of Jain ascetics. The caves are partly artificial and partly natural, and they hold archaeological, historical and religious importance for Odisha.
Your next stop will be the Tribal Museum established in 1953 that serves as a major tourist site, especially for those who are deeply interested in the tribal culture of Odisha. This aesthetically built Museum displays items and artefacts collected from various tribal communities of the state. You will also visit the Kala Bhoomi Odisha Crafts Museum, which showcases the traditional arts and crafts of Odisha. Established in 2018, the Museum is divided into 8 galleries, a workshop area, and souvenir shop, amongst other sections.
You will finally reach Bhubaneswar by evening and check-in your hotel to spend the night.
Once you are done with breakfast, you will be transferred to Bhubaneswar Airport for your flight back home.