India's Best Kept Secret
Odisha is one of the ancient Indian States and has a rich history and culture. As a traveler, the thing that will strike you the most is the diversity of natural beauty in store from the ocean in Puri to the forests of Nandankanan.
The historical value of Odisha is immense as it is the place of the historic Kalinga War when Ashoka took over the control of this region. Later it was ruled by the Delhi Sultanate and then conquered by the Maratha regime before being a part of British Rule under the East India Company.
Language and Culture:
The State has a predominantly Odia speaking population, but the people understand Hindi. It is the land of the famous dance form of India known as Odissi, and there are some other forms of local dance which are popular such as Chhau dance and Mahari dance.
Popular Attractions in the State:
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Odisha is Puri, and millions visit this place every year for the beautiful beaches and the ambience. The famous Jagannath Temple is also located here. Some of the best specimens of architecture in the State, such as the Sun Temple in Konark are around 30 km from Puri. Chandrabhaga beach is also a must-visit while you are here. There is much for the history lovers, and they will love places such as Udaygiri Pilgrimage and Chausathi Jogini Temple. Barabati Fort and Mahuri Kalua are also some of the well-known historical sites. There are several holy temples in the State, such as the Mukteswara Temple, Lingaraja Temple, ISKCON Temple beside the famous Jagannath Temple. Tourists also love visiting some scenic spots such as the Hirakud Dam, Nandankanan Zoological Park, and the Mangalajodi. You can shop for the local handicrafts, handloom, silk sarees, and much more while you are here.
Odia cuisine has garnered respect from all over the world, and there is a unique taste that must be experienced as a tourist. Be sure to taste some of the most exquisite local desserts such as the rasagola and the Chhenapoda. Dalma is another local delicacy which is a light vegetarian dish with a lip-smacking taste.
The State of Orissa enjoys excellent road networks, and the National Highway 16 passes through the capital city Bhubaneswar. Besides this, 22 National Highways cross this State, and almost all the major tourist attractions are well connected by road. Buses and cabs are available for travel in the State. Orissa is also well-connected via railways as Bhubaneswar and Puri have important stations and trains arrive from important Indian cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, etc. The Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar has flights from all parts of India, and thus even flight travel is an option.
Best Time to Visit:
If you plan your trip to Odisha during the winters, it is the best experience, and thus it is strongly recommended to travel during the months October to March. The Konark Dance Festival also takes place during this time in February.
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