Bhubaneswar – “Where the past seamlessly blends with the present”


The capital of Odisha also known as the “Temple city” is a beautiful amalgamation of the past and the present. While the southern part of the city relives the memories of a glorious past, the Northern part is the harbinger of an exciting future. The name Bhubaneswar is derived from the name “Tribhubaneswar” a name of lord Shiva which literally means “The Lord of the Earth”


Designed by renowned German Architect Otto Konigsberger in 1946, Bhubaneswar is one of independent India’s first planned cities, along with Chandigarh and Jamshedpur. Bhubaneswar replaced Cuttack as the capital of Odisha in 1948. Though officially it became operational as the state capital from 19th August 1949.


The city is a fusion where the old and the new perfectly gel together and infact feeds of each other. The Northern part of Bhubaneswar- with wide roads and planned infrastructure is seeing a flurry of activities in the IT, Business, Education and Health sector making it one of Eastern India’s major economic hub. The high rise residential complexes, corporate buildings and Government offices dotting the landscape with park, malls and recreation joints thrown in the mix, Bhubaneswar embodies all the characteristics of a young vibrant city.


As we move towards the Southern part of the city the pace gradually slows and the high rise residential complex is replaced by residential plots and modern architecture of the corporate offices by the temples which epitomizes the architecture of a bygone era. Bhubaneswar along with Puri and Konark is often referred to as the “Swarna Tribhuja”or the “Golden Triangle”.


Bhubaneswar is forever etched in history as the place where King Ashoka, moved by the death and destruction of war, decided to embrace the teachings of Lord Buddha and became its greatest advocate.

Though the modern city came into existence in 1948, the history of Bhubaneswar can be traced to 1st century BC or even earlier. It was witness to one of the most important events in the face of mankind- The Kalinga War- recorded as one of the bloodiest conflict in the annals of history- but what makes it unique is that the message it propagated aftermath. According to noted historian Ramesh Prasad Mohapatra- “The political history of mankind in reality is a history of wars and no war has ended with so successful a mission of peace for the entire war-torn humanity as the war of Kalinga”.


 

The Kalinga War

 

Brief History of Bhubaneswar

 

Things to See


When you are in the lap of history as is the case with Bhubaneswar, there is no dearth of activities that one can engage in.


As mentioned earlier it’s the city of temples. Despite the ravages of time and destruction caused by the invaders, the city still has a sizeable number of temples which preserves its rich heritage. These temples made of sandstone represent the best of the Kalinga School of architecture- which flourished from the 7th century AD to 14th Century AD. While its neigh impossible to record each one of them in a book of this nature, we will select a few which have varied architectural styles.

Lingaraj Temple

Ekamra Van

Mukteshwar Temple

Parsurameshwar Temple

Kedargouri Temple

Rajarani Temple

Vaital Deula

Dhauligiri

Udaygiri & Khandagiri Caves

Museums & Art Galleries of Bhubaneswar


Bhubaneswar has a host of Museums and Art galleries where you can experience the rich cultural diversity of the state. From the State Museum which has one of the best collections of ancient artefacts that date back to the 3rd century BC to the State Tribal Museum that brings an interesting perspective to the tribal culture of the state, to the Crafts Museum that showcases the amazing craftsmanship of the artisans of Odisha. Read about all of them here.


 

Shopping in Bhubaneswar


Shopping can be an experience in itself in Bhubaneswar especially for the women. By virtue of being the capital of the state- Bhubaneswar is the hub of the traditional handicraft industry of the state. The traditional specialty items are – Ikat fabrics which can be purchased as readymade garments, fabrics or sarees, Appliqué work locally known as Chandua- though we recommend you to get it from Pipli itself (Around Konark where they are made) - which is just 24 KM from Bhubaneswar on the Puri-Bhubaneswar road, Sambalpuri sarees, dress materials, bed sheets, curtains etc, Dhokra – metal figurines.


Utkalika

Tribal Development Cooperative Corporation of Odisha

Orissa Art & Craft

Konark Wood Products

Ekamra Haat

 

Where to Stay


The options are many from budget hotels to high end luxury hotels. Some of them are

OTDC Panthanivas

Mayfair Lagoon

Trident Hotel

Ginger Hotel

 

Where to Eat


Street food in Bhubaneswar


As famous chef Anthony Bourdain said-“Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride”. Mouth watering road side delicacy is an essential ingredient ingrained in every city which has a rich heritage, Bhubaneswar is no exception.


Listed below is a few of the options that one can opt for.


The typical street foods of the city are gup chup (Pani Puri) the ones at station square and near St. Joseph school (nr. Ram Mandir Janpath) , Snacks at the shop just in front of Ram mandir, Janpath, bara ghuguni ( fried cereal with yellow peas or kala chana) near the Court , Chaat at Rupali Square & Kaliash Pav Bhaji at Unit 2 Market building ( entry from Rajmahal square ) are a must try.


Food Street – Location - Just behind St. Joseph School (Near Ram Mandir, Janpath rd) every evening one can see 6-7 food trucks lined up serving anything from biriyani, Schawarma to Mexican food. The food is just delicious and very easy on your wallet too. Many of the food trucks accept card payment.


Shaheed Nagar ( front of Rama Devi College)- offers a eclectic array of chaats and gupchups, the specialty is chicken gupchup.


Master Canteen- Location – B108, Lalchand Market complex, near the railway station- offers a variety of veg and non veg chops and kebabs


KIIT Road - located at Patia just in front of KIIT college gate- is another area where the streets are dotted with restaurants and street food offering a wide variety of gourmets to choose from.


Besides these there are many shops offering mouth watering food. Most of the fast food chains like KFC, Subway, Domino’s , Pizza Hut, etc have multiple outlets spread across the city as is the case with the cafe chains like Café Coffee day etc.


Bhubaneswar is also home to some of the best find dining restaurants


Mainland China- location A1/A, The Crown, IRC Village, Nayapalli- the restaurant offers a delectable Chinese cuisine.


Hare Krishna Restaurant – Location – Lalchand Market complex- the restaurant offers authentic vegetarian dishes.


Govinda – Location – Iskcon temple, IRC Village, Nayapalli- Offers sumptuous vegetarian food.


Bling it on – Location- The New Marrion Hotel, Janpath- Offers Italian, Mexican, Chinese & continental dishes.


Dalma – Location- 157 Madhusudan Nagar- Offers Odiya food including the staple food pakhala (rice soaked in water overnight mixed with curd and seasoned with spices)


Odisha Hotel – C-18, Market Building, Shaheed Nagar- another restaurant offering authentic Odiya cuisine which is sumptuous and value for money.


There are number roadside joints at Kalinga hospital signal crossing serving a variety of menus ranging from Indian to Italian dishes at a very reasonable price.


 

Essential Information

Basic Information

Number of days required to tour Bhubaneswar – two- three days should be sufficient to cover the city including the places nearby if you plan properly.

If you are availing bus services for sightseeing avoid the noon time especially during the summers.

How to get there

Most Inter / Intra State buses stop at Baramunda. Bhubaneswar is a major Train Station and trains from all over India stop here.

Bhubaneswar Airport is well connected to all the Metros and also to International destinations in SE Asia.

Safety & Communication

Avoid travelling in local auto’s during late nights (after 10pm); it’s safer and more convenient to hire the radio cabs OLA and UBER.

Should the need arise; the city has the best of healthcare centers spread across the city. See list at the back of the book for details.

Anything Else

The post office at Master canteen (railway station) is open till 8pm should you need to send an urgent courier through speed post.

​Bhubaneswar has a good public transport system through its Mo Bus service. You can also rent PBS by downloading the Mo Cycle app on both Android & iOS






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