Bhubaneswar is the capital of India’s state Odisha. It is often referred to as a “Temple City of India”, largest city in Odisha and is a centre of economic and religious importance in eastern India.
The foundation of the modern Bhubaneswar city was laid in 1948, although the areas in and around the city have a history going back to 1st century BCE or earlier.Bhubaneswar derives its name from the Sanskrit word Tribhuvaneswara, which stands for Lord Shiva. The area around Bhubaneswar constituted the famed kingdom of Kalinga, which was conquered after a bloody battle by Ashoka, the great Mauryan emperor. Appalled at the carnage, Ashoka renounced violence and embraces Buddhism. During this period, monastery caves were constructed of which Khandgiri and Udaygiri are the most important. By the 7th century, Hinduism supplemented Jainism, and Ganga and Kesari kingdoms did a lot for the development of Orissan culture. Most of the kings who ruled Orissa constructed beautiful temples. For the better part of its history, Bhubaneswar remained under the influence of Afghans, Marathas and the British (till 1947).
Fairs & Festivals
On the day of Ashokashtami in the month of March, the image of Lingaraja (Lord Shiva) and other deities are taken in a procession from Lingaraja Temple to the Rameshwara Temple. Hundreds of devotees participate in pulling the chariot that carries the deities. The deities remain in the Rameshwara Temple for four days.At the end of January comes Adivasi Mela, a fair that displays the art, artifacts, tradition, culture and music of the tribal folks of Orissa.Other festivals are also important like Durga Puja, Janmashtami, and Kali Puja.
The rajarani Temple, which derives its name from the stone known as the Rajarani, was built earlier in Comparison to the impressive Lingaraja. Set amongst picturesque paddy fields, the relatively small Rajarani temple is noted for its fascinating female figures portrayed in a stunning variety of amorous poses and moods.
Mukteshwar Temple is one of the most ornated temples in the Bhubaneshwar. The intricate carvings of the deities testify the influence of Hindu, Buddha, and Jain style of architecture. The carvings on the roof are specially striking.
The Orissa State Museum is one of the best places to explore sculptures, stone inscription, lithic and bronze-age tools, rare copper plates, palm-leaf manuscripts, paintings, anthropological specimens, and musical instruments.The Handicrafts Museum at Secretariat Road has a good collection of folk paintings, horn toys, brass casting, and sculptures.The Tribal Museum deals with the various aspects of the tribal life and culture in Orissa.
Best time to Visit
Situated at an altitude of 45 m above from sea level, the temperatures range between 15.7 degree C in winter to a maximum of 30 degree C to 40 degree C in summer. Bhubaneshwar is comfortable round the year, but the best season to visit the city is during the months of October to April.
How to Reach
By Air: Bhubaneshwar is connected to the cities of Calcutta, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Vishakhapatnam, Hyderabad and Raipur through regular flights. Biju Patnaik Airport in Bhubaneshwar is the only major airport in the state.
By Rail: Bhubaneshwar is directly connected by rail with Calcutta, Puri, Madras, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Tirupati and Trivandrum.
By Road: it is linked with Bhubaneshwar and Berhampur, Chilka, Cuttack, Paradip, Puri, Rourkela, Sanbalpur and other places. Interstate bus services operate daily between Calcutta and Puri via Bhubaneshwar and Tatanagar.