Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha, is a vibrant and culturally rich destination that offers a glimpse into the ancient and modern facets of India. The city is home to more than 500 temples, some of which date back to the 7th century CE, and is also known as the Temple City of India. Bhubaneswar is also a hub for art, craft, and heritage and boasts of a variety of attractions that cater to different interests and tastes.
In this article, we will introduce you to some of the best tourist places in Bhubaneswar that you should not miss on your trip. We will also provide you with some useful tips and information on how to plan your itinerary, how to reach, where to stay, and what to eat in Bhubaneswar.
Consider reading – 20 Must Visit Best Tourist Places in Odisha.
So, get ready to explore the city of temples and discover its hidden gems.
1. Explore the Best Places to Visit in Bhubaneswar: Discover the Majestic Lingaraj Temple
Nestled in the heart of Bhubaneswar, the Lingaraj Temple stands as a testament to the city’s rich cultural and spiritual heritage, making it a top destination among the best places to visit in Bhubaneswar. This revered temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, dates back to the 11th century and was built under the patronage of King Jajati Keshari of the Somavamsi dynasty. A brilliant example of Kalinga architecture, the temple’s grandeur is epitomized by its imposing spire, soaring to a height of 180 feet.
The Lingaraj Temple is distinguished by its enigmatic deity, Lingaraja. This Swayambhu (self-manifested) Shivalinga is regarded as a natural marvel and holds immense religious significance. The temple complex itself is a sprawling canvas of spiritual storytelling, hosting over 150 smaller shrines, each with its own tale.
For anyone exploring the best places to visit in Bhubaneswar, the Lingaraj Temple is an unmissable destination. It’s not just a place of worship but a journey into the heart of Bhubaneswar’s spiritual and architectural magnificence.
Consider reading: Lingaraj Temple Location, Timing and Full Details
2. Rajarani Temple
Rajarani Temple, a crown jewel in the array of Bhubaneswar’s historical sites, stands out as an exemplary illustration of Kalinga architecture from the 11th century. Built by the Somavamsi kings, this temple is a tribute not just to Lord Shiva and Parvati but to the artistry of ancient Odishan craftsmanship.
What sets Rajarani Temple apart is its unique feature: the absence of traditional deity images in the sanctum. Instead, visitors are greeted with an array of exquisite sculptures depicting various deities, celestial beings, and intriguingly, erotic couples. These sensuous carvings, capturing diverse moods and expressions of love, have aptly earned the temple the local nickname ‘love temple.’
The temple’s architecture is a visual feast, with its elegant spire adorned with clusters of miniature towers – a testament to the aesthetic excellence of its creators. Encircling the temple is a beautifully maintained garden, enhancing the tranquil and picturesque setting of this historic site.
Rajarani Temple is more than just a religious site; it’s a celebration of love and artistic mastery. For those exploring the best places to visit in Bhubaneswar, this temple offers a unique glimpse into the rich cultural tapestry and artistic heritage of Odisha.
Consider reading: Rajarani Temple Opening Times, How to Reach and Photos
3. Dhauli Peace Pagoda / Dhauligiri Hills
The Dhauli Peace Pagoda, or Dhauli Shanti Stupa, stands as a beacon of peace atop the Dhauligiri Hills, approximately 8 km from the heart of Bhubaneswar. Constructed in 1972 through the collaborative efforts of the Japan Buddha Sangha and the Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangha, this white dome-shaped monument is a profound symbol of peace and harmony.
As one of the best places to visit in Bhubaneswar, the Dhauli Peace Pagoda captivates visitors with its four statues of Lord Buddha, each facing a cardinal direction, and the intricate stone panels that beautifully narrate scenes from Buddha’s life. This serene spot is not only a place for spiritual reflection but also a site steeped in historical significance.
The pagoda marks the location of the legendary Kalinga War, a 3rd-century BCE conflict between Emperor Ashoka and the Kalinga kingdom. This devastating war led to such immense loss and suffering that it profoundly transformed Emperor Ashoka, prompting him to embrace the path of non-violence and Buddhism.
At the foothills, visitors can discover Ashoka’s rock edicts, enduring testaments of his newfound commitment to peace and dharma. These ancient inscriptions offer a glimpse into a pivotal moment in history that reshaped the course of the region.
The Dhauli Peace Pagoda, together with Ashoka’s edicts, embodies the rich historical and spiritual legacy of Dhauligiri Hills. A visit here is not just a journey through the scenic beauty of Odisha but also a profound exploration of its historical and cultural depths.
Consider reading: Dhauligiri Hills Opening Times, How to Reach and Photos
4. Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves
The Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, located about 6 km from Bhubaneswar, offer a unique glimpse into the ancient history of Odisha. These caves, dating back to the 1st and 2nd centuries BCE, are an exquisite blend of natural and artificial structures, meticulously carved out of sandstone on two adjacent hills.
As one of the best places to visit in Bhubaneswar, these caves hold great significance in archaeological, historical, and religious contexts. Created by Jain monks and the rulers of the Mahameghavahana dynasty, the caves serve as a testament to the rich Jain cultural and artistic heritage. They are adorned with remarkable inscriptions, sculptures, and paintings that provide a window into the bygone eras.
The cave complex consists of 33 caves, with 15 in Udayagiri and 18 in Khandagiri. Each cave tells its own story, with notable ones like Rani Gumpha, Hathi Gumpha, Ananta Gumpha, and Ganesha Gumpha offering distinct architectural and artistic wonders. These caves are not just historical treasures but also vantage points for breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and the Bhubaneswar skyline.
A visit to Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves is more than just a sightseeing tour; it’s an exploration into the depths of Odisha’s ancient heritage and architecture. It’s a journey that captivates history enthusiasts, culture vultures, and casual tourists alike, making it an essential part of any itinerary in Bhubaneswar.
Consider reading: Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves Opening Times, How to Reach and Photos
5. Nandankanan Zoological Park
Nandankanan Zoological Park, nestled about 20 km from Bhubaneswar, is a sprawling haven of flora and fauna, covering an impressive 437 hectares. Established in 1960, this zoo and botanical garden has evolved into one of the best places to visit in Bhubaneswar, especially for nature and wildlife enthusiasts.
Home to over 1600 animals from 166 diverse species, the park is a sanctuary for both endangered and exotic wildlife. It boasts a remarkable collection, including majestic white tigers, unique melanistic tigers, lions, bears, crocodiles, and a variety of birds, offering visitors a glimpse into the animal kingdom’s rich diversity.
One of the park’s highlights is the safari park, where visitors can immerse themselves in the experience of seeing animals roam freely in settings that closely mimic their natural habitats. The park doesn’t just stop at being a wildlife haven; it’s an abode of engaging activities and attractions. With options like boating, a toy train ride, an aquarium, a reptile park, and a nocturnal animal house, it caters to a wide range of interests, making it a fantastic destination for families and children.
A visit to Nandankanan Zoological Park is more than just a day out; it’s an educational journey into the heart of nature’s wonders, offering both fun and learning in a serene environment.
Consider reading: Nandankanan Zoological Park Opening Times, How to Reach and Photos
6. ISKCON Temple
Situated in the Nayapalli area of Bhubaneswar, the ISKCON Temple, also revered as Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir, offers a serene sanctuary dedicated to Lord Krishna and his brother Balaram. Constructed in 1991 by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, this temple stands as one of the organization’s most significant and largest temples in India, marking it as one of the best places to visit in Bhubaneswar for spiritual seekers and devotees.
The temple’s architecture is a visual delight, featuring a pristine white marble facade paired with a striking red dome. Inside, the temple houses three sacred altars, venerating the deities of Krishna and Balaram, Radha and Krishna, and Gaura Nitai. These altars are the focal points of devotion and worship, drawing visitors into a world of spiritual reverence.
In addition to its spiritual ambiance, the ISKCON Temple complex is a hub for cultural and educational pursuits. It boasts a museum, a well-stocked library, guest accommodations, and a vegetarian restaurant, offering a holistic experience to visitors. The temple serves as a vibrant center for spiritual and cultural events, hosting various festivals, programs, and services all year round.
Visiting the ISKCON Temple is not just a religious journey; it’s an opportunity to experience the tranquility and spiritual richness of the Hare Krishna movement amidst the bustling city of Bhubaneswar.
Consider reading: ISKCON Temple Opening Times, How to Reach and Photos
7. Bindu Sarovara
Bindu Sarovara, often referred to as Bindu Sagar, is a revered water tank that adds to the spiritual landscape of Bhubaneswar’s old town, near the famed Lingaraj Temple. Renowned as one of the best places to visit in Bhubaneswar, this sacred tank holds a unique significance in Hindu mythology. It is believed to be an amalgamation of waters from every holy river and pool across India, symbolized by its name, ‘Bindu’, meaning ‘drop’.
The tank is not just a body of water; it’s a symbol of divine intervention, rooted in the legend that Lord Shiva created it to quench Goddess Parvati’s thirst, using waters from sacred places. Encircled by ancient temples like Ananta Vasudeva Temple, Mohini Temple, Markandeswara Temple, and Uttaresvara Temple, Bindu Sarovara is more than a mere tank – it’s a centerpiece of religious and cultural fervor.
For devotees and visitors alike, a dip in the holy waters of Bindu Sarovara is a sought-after ritual, believed to bestow blessings and purify the soul. The tank’s serene environment offers a moment of peace and contemplation amidst the bustling city.
Visiting Bindu Sarovara is not just a touristic experience; it’s an opportunity to witness and partake in the rich tapestry of Bhubaneswar’s religious and cultural traditions, and to feel a deeper connection with the divine.
8. Ekamra Haat
Ekamra Haat, a bustling marketplace located in Bhubaneswar, stands as a colorful testament to the rich and diverse arts and crafts of Odisha and beyond. Covering a generous area of 5 acres, this haat (market) is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the best places to visit in Bhubaneswar.
With over 50 stalls, Ekamra Haat offers a treasure trove of handcrafted items. Here, visitors can browse and purchase an array of exquisite products including handloom textiles, intricate pottery, terracotta art, detailed stone and wood carvings, elaborate metal and horn work, and delicate bamboo creations. Each stall presents a piece of India’s vast artistic heritage, making the haat a vibrant hub for art enthusiasts and collectors.
Beyond its role as a center for arts and crafts, Ekamra Haat also delights visitors with its food court. Here, one can savor the authentic flavors of Odisha’s cuisine, alongside a selection of culinary delights from other Indian states. It’s a gastronomic journey that complements the cultural exploration.
The haat is not just about shopping; it’s a lively cultural venue too. Regularly hosting an array of cultural events such as folk dances, music performances, and puppet shows, Ekamra Haat offers a glimpse into the vibrant cultural fabric of Odisha.
A visit to Ekamra Haat is a journey into the heart of Odisha’s cultural and artisanal spirit. It’s a place where one can immerse in the local culture, pick up unique souvenirs and gifts, and create lasting memories of the region’s artistic legacy.
Consider reading: Ekamra Haat Opening Times, How to Reach and Photos
9. Odisha State Museum
The Odisha State Museum, nestled in the Kalpana area of Bhubaneswar, serves as a captivating portal to the rich history, art, and culture of Odisha and its people. Established in 1932, this museum is an essential stop for those exploring the best places to visit in Bhubaneswar, offering a comprehensive insight into the state’s glorious past and vibrant present.
Spanning across 11 distinct galleries, the museum presents a fascinating array of artifacts that weave together the tapestry of Odisha’s heritage. Visitors can marvel at an eclectic collection that includes ancient coins, rare manuscripts, traditional paintings, intricate sculptures, historical weapons, and ornate costumes and jewelry. The museum also showcases a variety of musical instruments, reflecting the rhythmic soul of the region.
Beyond its galleries, the Odisha State Museum houses a well-stocked library, boasting over 50,000 books and journals that delve into various aspects of Odisha’s history and culture. Additionally, the museum features a planetarium, offering educational shows on astronomy and science, making it an engaging experience for visitors of all ages.
A visit to the Odisha State Museum is more than just a sightseeing tour; it’s an enlightening journey through Odisha’s rich and diverse heritage. It’s an opportunity to connect with the state’s historical roots and appreciate the intricate beauty of its cultural legacy.
10. Ram Mandir
Situated in the Janpath area of Bhubaneswar, Ram Mandir stands as a beacon of tranquility and devotion, dedicated to Lord Ram, his consort Sita, and his brother Lakshman. Constructed in 1984, this temple is a must-visit destination for those seeking to explore the best places to visit in Bhubaneswar, particularly for its spiritual ambiance and architectural elegance.
The temple’s modern design is a striking blend of red and white hues, presenting a visually appealing facade. It features three distinct spires, each one enshrining the revered idols of Ram, Sita, and Lakshman. The temple also houses other deities, including Hanuman, Shiva, Durga, and Ganesha, making it a vibrant center of Hindu worship.
A visit to Ram Mandir is not just a religious experience but also an opportunity to immerse oneself in the peaceful and calm atmosphere, amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a place where one can seek blessings and find solace in the teachings and legacy of Lord Ram.
11. Nicco Park Bhubaneswar
Nicco Park Bhubaneswar is an amusement park, located in the Madhusudan Nagar area of Bhubaneswar. The park was opened in 1997, and is a joint venture between Nicco Group and Odisha Tourism Development Corporation.
The park has more than 20 rides and attractions, such as roller coaster, water chute, flying saucer, pirate ship, merry-go-round, and more. The park also has a water park, which has slides, pools, and fountains.
The park also has a food court, a souvenir shop, and a gaming zone. The park is a place where you can have fun and excitement with your friends and family, and enjoy a day full of thrill and adventure.
Consider reading: Nicco Park Bhubaneswar Opening Times, How to Reach and Photos
What is the Best Time to Visit Bhubaneswar?
The best season to visit Bhubaneswar is from October to March. During this time, the weather is pleasant and comfortable, with temperatures ranging from 15-30 degrees Celsius.
The weather is ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities, and the city is at its best during this time.
In contrast, the summer months of April to June can be hot and humid, with temperatures reaching up to 40+ degrees Celsius.
The monsoon season, from July to September, can be wet and rainy, with frequent showers.
These seasons are not ideal for visiting Bhubaneswar, and it is best to avoid them if possible.
Tips for Visiting Bhubaneswar
If you are planning to visit Bhubaneswar, here are some tips that might come in handy:
- Plan your trip in advance: Bhubaneswar is a popular tourist destination, so it’s best to plan your trip in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles. Research the best time to visit, popular tourist attractions, and book your accommodation and transportation in advance.
- Pack according to the weather: Bhubaneswar has a tropical climate, with hot and humid summers and mild winters. Pack light cotton clothes, comfortable shoes, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.
- Respect the local culture: Bhubaneswar is a culturally rich city, and it’s important to respect the local customs and traditions. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites, remove your shoes before entering temples and other sacred places, and avoid public displays of affection.
- Try the local cuisine: Bhubaneswar is famous for its delicious and authentic Odia cuisine, which includes dishes like Dalma, Chhena Poda, and Pitha. Don’t miss the opportunity to try these local delicacies during your visit.
- Use public transportation: Bhubaneswar has a well-connected public transportation system, including buses and taxis. Using public transportation is a convenient and affordable way to get around the city and explore the local culture. Download the MoBus App.
- Bargain while shopping: Bhubaneswar is a great place to shop for local handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs. However, it’s important to bargain while shopping as the initial prices quoted by vendors may be higher than the actual price.
- Stay hydrated: Bhubaneswar can get quite hot and humid, and it’s important to stay hydrated during your visit. Carry a water bottle with you at all times and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
By following these tips, you can enjoy a safe, comfortable, and memorable trip to Bhubaneswar.
Day Tours from Bhubaneswar
There are several days of tours you can do from Bhubaneswar. A few of the recommendations for a day trip from Bhubaneswar are as below:
- Puri (Jagannath Temple and Puri Beach)
- Konark Sun Temple
- Chilika Lake
- Kapilash Temple
OTDC(Odisha Govt) runs the below tours from Bhubaneswar. You can contact OTDC to check the availability of the tours:
|Tour – 1
|Nandankanan, Khandagiri, Udayagiri Temples, Dhauli & Museum
|0900hrs. To 1730hrs.
|Tour – 2
|Pipili – Konark – Puri
|0900hrs to 1800hrs
|Tour – 3
|0800hrs. To 1900hrs.
|Tour – 4
|0800hrs. To 1900hrs.
|Tour – 5
|Bhubaneswar- Ratnagiri-Udayagiri / Lalitgiri
|0800hrs. To 1830hrs.
|Tour – 6
|0700hrs. To 1830hrs.
|Tour – 7
|0700hrs. To 1830hrs.
Closing Thoughts on Best Places to Visit in Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar is a city that offers a blend of ancient and modern attractions, catering to different interests and tastes. Whether you are looking for spiritual bliss, historical marvels, natural beauty, or urban delights, Bhubaneswar has something for everyone.
In this article, we have listed some of the best places to visit in Bhubaneswar, such as Lingaraj Temple, Rajarani Temple, Dhauli Peace Pagoda, Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, Nandankanan Zoological Park, ISKCON Temple, Bindu Sarovara, Ekamra Haat, Odisha State Museum, Ram Mandir, and Nicco Park Bhubaneswar.
These places will give you a glimpse into the rich and diverse culture, heritage, and art of Odisha, and make your trip memorable and enjoyable. So, what are you waiting for? Plan your visit to Bhubaneswar today, and explore these amazing places for yourself. And don’t forget to share your experience with us in the comments section below.
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FAQ on Best Places to Visit in Bhubaneswar
What are the top tourist places to visit in Bhubaneswar?
Some of the top tourist places to visit in Bhubaneswar include Lingaraj Temple, Dhauli Peace Pagoda, Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, Nandankanan Zoological Park, Rajarani Temple, and Mukteshwar Temple.
Are there any museums to visit in Bhubaneswar?
Yes, there are several museums to visit in Bhubaneswar, including the Odisha State Museum, Tribal Museum, and the museum at Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves.
Are there any parks or gardens to visit in Bhubaneswar?
Yes, there are several beautiful parks and gardens to visit in Bhubaneswar, including Ekamra Kanan, Nico Park, and Nandankanan Botanical Garden.
Are there any religious sites to visit in Bhubaneswar?
Yes, Bhubaneswar is home to a number of important religious sites, including Lingaraj Temple, Dhauli Peace Pagoda, Rajarani Temple, Mukteshwar Temple, and Shree Jagannath Temple.
Are there any other interesting places to visit in Bhubaneswar?
Yes, there are many other interesting places to visit in Bhubaneswar, including Bindu Sarovara, a sacred pond with healing powers, and the Biju Patnaik International Airport, which is the first airport in India to be built on a public-private partnership model.
What is famous in Bhubaneswar?
Bhubaneswar offers a plethora of exciting attractions. Some of the must-visit places include Nandankanan Zoological Park, Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, Regional Museum of Natural History, State Tribal Museum, and Ekamra Kanan Botanical Gardens. Additionally, Biju Patnaik Park, Odisha State Museum, Ocean World Water Park, and State Botanical Garden are also worth exploring. Experience the charm of Bhubaneswar through these famous landmarks and cultural treasures.
How can I spend one day in Bhubaneswar?
To make the most of one day in Bhubaneswar, consider visiting popular attractions like Lingaraja Temple, Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, Nandankanan Zoological Park, and Dhauli Giri. These landmarks offer a glimpse into the rich history and natural beauty of the city. Enjoy exploring the cultural heritage and architectural wonders of Bhubaneswar in a day.
What are the tourist places near BBSR?
Some popular tourist places near Bhubaneswar are Konark, Chilka Lake, Paradip, and Udayagiri. Other attractions include Mandarmani, Chandipur, Dhauli, Gopalpur, and Hirakud. Explore the scenic beauty of Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, and Karanjia. The state of Odisha is packed with a plethora of breathtaking destinations for tourists.
Is it worth visiting Bhubaneswar?
Yes, it is worth visiting Bhubaneswar for its abundant religious sites. Lingaraj Temple, built in the 11th century, is a major pilgrimage site in India and one of many awe-inspiring temples to explore in the city. Discover the rich cultural heritage of this destination by visiting these popular temples.