Ah Odisha! A state where divinity sits inclined with history. Be it in the pages of a novel, on screen, or in real life, Odisha’s sophisticated and charming allure is completely justified. Odisha may seem to be accredited as a poor state with presumably poor infrastructure and large number of people suffering but with the things that Odisha has to offer, the worst thing you can do is cloud your judgement with all the stereotypical things that others do. So, here are a few things that you absolutely have to do the next time you are in Odisha or if you are from Odisha, all you have to do is dust off your bike and do all the things mentioned in our bucket list.
1. Be Lost in the Exquisite Art and Architecture of the Udaygiri and Khandagiri Caves.
Partially natural and partially man-made, the Udaygiri and Khandagiri caves are truly marvelous and the benchmark of ancient architecture of Odisha. Situated in Bhubhaneshwar, these historic caves are ornately carved as to please the eyes of the onlookers. Udaygiri has a group of 15 caves while Khandagiri is an 18 caves complex. The caves are famed for its impeccable sculptures and reliefs and Brahmi inscriptions. If you are looking for an excuse to visit this place, well mate there is none.
2. Take a Stroll Along the Shore of Peaceful Chandrabhaga Beach.
At a short distance from Konark Sun Temple is the pristine Chandrabhaga Beach. The beach has religious importance as a seven-day fair in honour of Sun God. Devotees from all parts of the country come here to take a dip during the fair. Apart from the fair, the beach is a lovely place to be at with family and friends. Witness beautiful sunset and take a stroll along the shore to best enjoy your time here.
3. Meet the King Crocodiles of Bhitar Kanika Mangroves.
A paradise for nature lovers, Bhitar Kanika Wetland is a major attraction in Odisha. The mangroves extend to an area of about 650 sq km river delta of the Brahmani and Baitarani rivers. Home to 55 mangrove species, the mangroves harbor a large population of saltwater crocodiles. The beach called Gahirmatha that separates Bay of Bengal from the mangroves is the nesting hub for Oliver Ridley Turtles in India. There is nothing so enthralling than to take a boat ride amongst the intricate mangroves and sight wildlife.
4. Shop for Oriya Craft at Pipli
Famed for appliqué work, Pipli in Odisha opens its doors for tourists to observe the creative side of Oriya people. The craft involves stitching and embroidering small pieces of colored cloth with flowers, animals, village scene and traditional designs on to a larger base cloth. At Pipli you can shop for decorative Garden Umbrellas, Wallets, Wall Hanging, lampshades, Pouches and Bags. You don’t need a reason to buy these handcrafted allures and certainly can’t resist yourself to buy one of these.
5. Lose Yourself to Divinity at Konark Sun Temple
6. Go Bird Watching at theatre of nature ‘Chilika Lake’.
Chilika Lake is the theatre of nature in Odisha. This brackish water lagoon extended in an area of 1100 sq km in Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts is probably the largest coastal lagoon in India. The lake is also an ecosystem with a giant fishery resource. One if lucky has the opportunity to spot dolphins here as well. Those who love birdwatching, Chilika Lake will make your day and hereby it’s perfect reason to visit Chilika. The place also makes an excellent backdrop for some gorgeous pictures.
7. Watch the Sun Go Down in Chandipur Beach in a cinematic way.
Set at the coast of Bay of Bengal, Chandipur Beach is known for its 1 to 4km high rising tides. This unspoilt beach is situated about 16kms from Baleswar Railway Station in Balasore district. Apart from its amazing high tide rise, Chandipur beach is known for its beautiful sunset view. A pristine beach, it makes an ideal picnic spot and a romantic getaway for many. If you are going to express your love to someone, this place might cover that up.
8. Visit the kings of the jungle in their natural habitat at Simlipal National Park.
You might have seen these magnificent creatures caged inside a zoo but seeing them in their natural habitat is something one can’t get seeing those tamed cats in zoo. If you are on a expedition to see what Odisha’s wild life has to offer, stop at Similipal Natural Park and experience the rich diversity of wildlife in Odisha.
9. If you got sweet tooth, Odisha has the answer.
If you love eating sweets then we bet you can’t resist yourself eating these Odia Mitha cwown jewels. Be it Pahala Rasagola or Nayagarh’s Chhenapoda, Nimapara’s Jhilli or Kendrapada’s Rasaballi, they all are irresistible. If you are ever in Odisha, try these Odia sweet delicacies. We are sure you will fall in love with Odisha after tasting any of these.
10. Explore the Tribal Villages to Witness the Backbone of Culture of Odisha.
Odisha is the home of many tribes who are farmers and food gatherers. These tribes despite their poverty have a rich culture and traditions that include highly developed artistic skills like body painting, ornaments making, weaving and wall paintings. Music and dance also are an important part of these tribes who rejoice at little happiness they can find. To learn about real Odisha, it is advisable to take a tribal tour. Bondo, Didayi, Barogadaba, Kondhs and Dongarias are some of known tribes in Odisha.
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We’ve mentioned only 10 reasons but once you come to Odisha you’ll find more than 100 reasons to love this state. From Deomali to Gopalpur, every place is unique and blessed with nature. Once we have mentioned that if Kerala is God’s Own Country, then Odisha is God’s best creation through nature.