It is impossible not to be astonished by India. Nowhere on Earth does humanity present itself in such a dizzying, creative burst of cultures and religions, races and tongues. Filled with exquisite temples and extraordinary monuments, home to many thousands of prolific artists and craftsmen; and possessing beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, and natural landscape of often-enchanting beauty, Odisha is a unique and fascinating land that is, nevertheless, still largely undiscovered by tourists. With the Bay of Bengal washing its shoreline, sometimes gently, sometimes in fury, the Mahanadi flowing with all its might, Odisha is a state steeped in an ancient culture unique to itself. The state attracts people from far and wide to have a glimpse of the ancient Kalinga architecture so predominant in its temples at Puri, Konark and the adjoining places.
Tourism in Odisha is a veritable museum of India’s sculptural and artistic heritage and has long been famous to scholars and connoisseurs for the magnificent Sun Temple at Konark, for the majestic temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri and its beautiful beaches, and for the glorious temples of Bhubaneswar. The small but ever-growing number of sophisticated tourists who do manage to find their way to Odisha are generally prepared with some knowledge of these temples. Textiles of Odisha which have become famous throughout the world, and, perhaps, of the beaches at Puri and Gopalpur on sea. The land of this East Indian state is known for holding uniqueness of culture and nature, making Odisha worth to visit.
Chilika Lake which is Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon with water spread ranging from 1165 sq km m the rainy season to 906 sq km in the dry season is nestled in the heart of the coastal Odisha. It extends from Puri district in the North to Ganjam district in the South, separated from the Bay of Bengal by a 60 km long narrow strip of marshy islands and sand-flats. Some of the prominent islands like Nalabana, Kalijai, Somolo, Honeymoon, Breakfast, Birds and Rajahansa inhabited by small subsistence fishermen families, are popular destinations for daily boat trips. Chilika is recognized as one of the most important wetlands in the world because it is home to a phenomenal variety of birds. Chilika Lake offers visitors a spectacular display of its colorful avian charms in a thousand different hues presented by over 160 species in the peak season between November and February.
Considered as one of the most impressive wildlife sanctuaries of Asia, the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary in Odisha is special due to reasons more than one. Housing the dynamic and salt tolerant species of trees, the Mangroves that generally grow in tropical and sub-tropical inter-tidal regions; Bhitarkanika has a luxuriant green, rich and pulsating ecosystem. Located in the region of Brahmanibaitarani, in the north-eastern place of Kendrapara district of Odisha, the sanctuary covers an area of 672 square kilometers of mangrove forests and wetland. Crossed by a thick network of brooks, with the Bay of Bengal on the east, Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is home to over 215 species of birds, including winter migratory birds from Europe and central-asia. Apart from the Mangroves, another rarity that the sanctuary has to its account is the inhibition of its ecosystem by the Giant Salt Water Crocodiles and numerous varieties of other animal species. It is because of these only that a vast expanse of forest around 145 square kilometers has been officially declared as the Bhitarkanika National Park. This park including mangrove forests, creeks, estuaries, rivers, accumulated land, backwater and mud flats is very significant for the ecological, biological and geomorphologic background of Odisha.
A state which can perhaps be compared to the Phoenix as it rises constantly after nature unleashes its fury from the sea repeatedly.
Odisha is home to a rich culture and heritage. There are a number of monuments and destinations in Odisha that make the state one of the popular tourist destinations in India. Besides the natural beauty, there are a number of religious (sacred) places in Odisha that are closely related with Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The grand architecture and sculpture of Jagannath temple, Lingaraj temple, Mukteshwar temple and the Sun temple, Konark leave the visitors spellbound. Events like the holy Jagannath Rath yatra in Puri attract a large number of devotees every year. In addition to the above mentioned tourist attractions there are many other popular spots in Odisha, which are worth visiting!