Azure seas stretching to the horizon, beaches of gold and silver, lush green forests and an ancient history reverberating on every stone of the numerous brilliant works of architecture, Orissa has it all. It has some of the most amazing monasteries, temples and monuments.
The golden triangle - of Puri, Konark and Bhubaneswar - is home to a host of temples like those of Lord Jagannath, Lingaraj, Mukteswar, Ghanteswari, Ananta Vasudeva and Rajarani. The Jain and Buddhist rock-cut caves of Khandagiri, Udayagiri and Dhauli, together with Ashoka's edicts take you to a different world.
The rich, vibrant festivals of Orissa stir your soul like nothing else. The Rath Yatra of Jagannath, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, is a legend, while other well-known festivals like Makar Mela, Dola, Sitala-shashti and Raja Prabha showcase exquisite handicrafts, colourful dances, musical extravaganzas and delectable cuisine.
Orissa's sun-kissed beaches are as captivating as its shrines. Some of the popular destinations are:
Puri's serene environment and sunny beach attract tourists from all over the world. Watching the sunrise here is an unforgettable experience.
Chandrabhaga is one of the most beautiful beaches in Asia. It is a sun-dappled shore of silver and gold with pristine blue waters.
Chandipur Beach in Chandipur, the sea recedes five kilometres everyday, allowing beach lovers to walk through knee and ankle deep water into the horizon. It almost gives a feeling of walking on water.
Orissa is a land of picture-perfect rivers, lakes, waterfalls, hills, forests, wildlife and tribes. Some of the locations that have awed tourists for years are:
Chilika Lake - Asia's largest brackish water lake. Dotted with islands, a cruise here is an unforgettable experience; it is also a favourite with bird lovers.
Travel to Orissa - Tiger reserve with leopards, elephants, crocodiles and many other reptile species.
Bhitarkanika Sanctuary and National Park - Home to the famous migratory Giant Olive Ridley sea turtles that make their annual trip to the Gahirmatha Beach all the way from South America.
Nandankanan Sanctuary and Biological Park - Rare species of gharial crocodiles and white tigers are bred here.
Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary, Tikarpara India's mightiest gorge, where the turbulent Mahanadi river crashes.
Badrama Sanctuary, Ushakothi Tigers, elephants, leopards, sambar and bison are among the residents of these deciduous forests.
Orissa attracts thousands of tourists every year and those who have felt the magic of this land always return for more. Getting there and having a great time is very easy. Come and explore the real charm of Orissa.