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Sightseeing

Puri, Bhubaneshwar and Konark are the three most frequently visited tourist spots in Orissa. Both Konark and Bhubaneshwar are very near to Puri and you can reach here with a comfortable, long drive from Puri. There are also some other very attractive destinations around here like Chilka and Udayagiri that will instantly appeal to your senses with their rustic charms and natural beauty.

Konark

The Konarak temple was built dynasty in the thirteenth century by King Narasimha. Known today for its exquisite architecture, the temple was built as a testimony to the glory of the Sun God. The temple resembles a giant chariot with twelve giant wheels drawn by seven horses. The 12 wheels sybolise the twelve months of the year and the horses the symbolise the days in a week. The temple is a world heritage site because of the exquisite architectural depictions that it carries in the intricately carved figurines of stone that adorn its walls.
Chilka Lake

This coastal lake is India and Asia’s largest in-land salt water lagoon. Many migratory birds visit the lush forests around the lake for nesting during the winters. The ‘bird island’ is a popular tourist destination for the views of many species of exotic birds and other animals that can be seen here. The Satapada is well known for the Chilka Dolphins which can be seen here in their natural home.
Bhubaneshwar

The state capital of Orissa is famous for the many ancient temples like the granite Lingaraj Temple which were built in the medieval period. The temples are famous for their breathtaking architecture. The Parshurameshwar Temple built in the 7th century is one of the oldest temples in Bhubaneshwar. The Rajarani Temple is also popularly known as the love temple due to the evocative sculptures of women and couples that adorn its walls. The Mukteshwar temple of the 10th century is another classic example of ancient Orissan Architectural feats. Apart from this the city of Bhubaneshwar also houses two museums where one can delve into the rich cultural history of Orissa.
Udayagir and Khandagiri Caves

The caves on the hilltops of Udayagiri and Khandgiri are also known as Kumari and Kumara Parvata respectively. In total there are around 33 caves built probably in the 2nd century by King Kharavela of the Chedi dynasty. Rani Gumpha, Hathi Gumpha, Bagh Gumpha and Ajanta Gumpha impressively depict Jain religious symbols and the glory of contemporary kings on their walls.
Lord Jagannath Temple

The Puri Temple has great religious significance as well as architectural importance attached to it. Built during the 12th century, the temple is the abode of Lord Jagannath- the Lord of the Universe, Balaram and Shubhadra. Spread over more than ten acres of land, the main temple is surrounded by many smaller temples. On the top of the main temple one can see the Nilachakra or the blue disc made out of an alloy of eight metals.

The Lord Jagannath temple also runs the largest kitchen in the world. Up to 25,000 devotees partake of the sacramental offerings called Mahaprasad everyday from this kitchen. On special festive days up to 1,00,000 people are fed from this kitchen.
Puri Beach

The Puri beach is a wide open expanse that romances the gushing waves of the Bay of Bengal at all times. Comparatively safer than other hazardous beaches, one can wade up to some distance into the sea. The waves come frolicking to the shore to kiss the feet of beachside revelers.

The sunrise at the beach is a site to behold. Nature paints the eastern sky in a dashing mix of ethereal colours before the golden sun rises to greet the eyes of welcoming bystanders. The local fishermen offer you fun rides on their catamarans and also double up as expert masseurs. This is one experience you cannot afford to miss in Puri.
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