08:00 AM – 01:00 PM
One of the most visited places in Bhubaneshwar is Nandan Kanan National Park and to avoid the rush and long queue, be here early.
Nandan Kanan literally means ‘The Garden of Heaven’. The zoological park is a unique wildlife sanctuary that has gained prominence for its mission of conserving endangered flora and fauna. There are multiple aspects of the park which attract a large number of visitors from around the globe. An ideal place for people traveling with family or in large groups. With activities like safaris, toy train rides, boating, &c., you are bound to have a great time here.
For more info about Nandan Kanan, visit www.nandankanan.org
Time Duration: 2.5 – 3 hours
Mode of Transport: Any public transport.
20 km from Nandan Kanan is the Udaygiri and Khandagiri Caves.
Udaygiri and Khandagiri Caves have been in existence since the 1st century. These are a blend of natural and artificial caves and hold immense historical and religious significance. There are a total of 33 caves with 18 in Udaygiri and 15 in Khandagiri. Every cave has been assigned a dedicated name. If you have a knack for heritage and history, this is a must-visit place for you.
Time Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours
Mode of Transport: Auto/Taxi from Nandan Kanan.
Head towards Ashok Nagar for luncheon. There you find cuisines of all varieties. Truptee Restaurant and Narula’s Restaurant are two popular places among the localities.
Old Town Sightseeing
03:00 PM – 07:00 PM
The old town of Bhubaneshwar is all about religious heritage and culture. One of the iconic religious sites is the Lingaraja Temple.
Probably the oldest temple in the city of Bhubaneshwar, the Lingaraja Temple complex is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is believed to be almost 1000 years old. The temple is the epitome of the Odissi style of architecture. During festivals, the temple receives scores of devotees.
Time Duration: 1 – 1.5 hours
Mode of Transport: Auto/Taxi from Ashok Nagar.
500 meters north of Lingaraja Temple, is Bindu Sagar.
Bindu Sagar Lake is an integral part of the Lingaraja Temple complex. The figurine of Lord Lingaraja is immersed in the lake for a ritual bath once every year. Government initiatives to make Bindu Sagar a tourist and spiritual hotspot are in full swing.
Time Duration: 30 – 45 min
Mode of Transport: Walkable distance from Lingaraja Temple.
500 meters east of Bindu Sagar, you find Mukteshwara Temple Complex.
Another Odissi architectural marvel, Mukteshwara Temple is quite similar to Lingaraja Temple. Like Linggaraja Temple, Mukteshwara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The intricate design and planning of the temple complex is something to admire.
Time Duration: 30 – 45 min
Mode of Transport: Walkable distance from Bindu Sagar
Your sightseeing for the day ends at Rajarani Temple, 700 meters from Mukteshwara Temple.
Although you may find the overall structure similar the sculptures and the carvings are unique. The temple is often known as Love Temple.
Time Duration: 45 min – 1 hour
Mode of Transport: Walkable distance from Mukteshwara Temple.
After completing your sightseeing, head towards Ashok Nagar for some local shopping. Utkalia is a popular destination for shopaholics where you find authentic textiles, handlooms, and handicrafts.
Also read: Best Area To Book your Hotel in Bhubaneshwar
10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Mode of Transport: Ideal would be to book a cab for a one-way journey to Puri.
Today, you check-out from Bhubaneshwar and check-in at Puri with a stopover at Konark and explore some of the iconic landmarks of the region.
On your way, you can shop for the famous applique handicrafts at Pipli (25 km from Bhubaneshwar).
70 km from Bhubaneshwar city, Konark Sun Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the pride of Odisha. It takes almost 2 hours to drive down from Bhubaneshwar.
Konark Sun Temple is a prime tourist destination. The chariot-shaped temple dedicated to the Sun God was built in the 13th century. The temple complex has multiple shrines and deities around the central edifice. The temple has stood the test of time and survived many disasters. That’s why find ruins and broken structures in the temple complex. The carvings on the structures is admired by tourists across the world.
A 40-minute light and sound show is held twice a day in the temple premise. The first show begins at 06:30 PM and the second one is held at 07:30 PM.
Adjacent to the temple complex is the Arka Khetra Interpretation Centre. This is also known as Konark Temple Museum. This is an initiative by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. Inside the museum, you will find a replica model of the original Sun Temple, locations of other sun temples in India and across the world, and much other insightful information. They also show a 3D movie.
Time Duration: 3 – 4 hours
3 km from the Konark Sun Temple is Chandrabhaga Beach.
Chandrabhaga Beach is famous for reasons more than one. First of all the beach is one of the cleanest and most environment-friendly beaches in India. Water-sport enthusiasts can indulge in activities like snorkeling, surfing, and boating. On top of everything, beaches are the ideal places to wind up a long travel day.
Time Duration: 45 min – 1 hour
Later, you can choose to head back to Konark Sun Temple for the light and sound show or be on your way to Puri. Puri takes around 45 min from Chandrabhaga Beach.
Being a religious and tourism hub, accommodation in Puri is an easy affair. Almost all the hotels are located along the coastline. You can get a room for any price range, starting from Rs. 500.
Golden Beach has a big cluster of hotels and is the most preferred location for stay among travelers.
Home of Lord Jagannath
11:00 AM – 03:00 PM
The home of Lord Jagannath, Shri Jagannatha Temple is the reason why people and pilgrims flock to Puri in large numbers year-round.
The 900-year old temple complex is popular worldwide for its festivity, the Rath Yatra, and religious circuit, the Char Dham. Although the temple begins its operation early in the morning, the darshan timings begin for tourists starts at around 7:00 AM and carries on till 09:00 PM. Sacred Mahaprasada is something you must collect and relish. Mahaprasada is served after the completion of ‘Bhoga Mandap Puja’. Every sort of facility is arranged by the management of the temple complex for a hassle-free experience for the devotees.
Mobile phones, cameras, leather articles are not allowed inside the complex, so it is advised to keep them in your hotel rooms, car park, or in the cloakroom near the temple.
For more information, you can check www.shreejagannatha.in
Time Duration: 2 – 3 hours.
East Coast Sightseeing
04:00 PM – 07:00 PM
2 km from Shree Jagannatha Temple, you end up at the Bay of Bengal where you find a number of beaches along the coastline. Swargadwar Beach and Golden Beach are the two prominent beaches and not to miss the Light House.
The Light House opens at 04:00 PM for tourists and closes at 05:00 PM. Ideally, you should start your east coast sighting from the Light House and later explore the beaches.
Swargadwar Beach holds religious significance. It is believed to be the bathing spot of Shri Chaitanyadev Mahaprabhu. Sawrgadwar literal meaning is the gateway to heaven.
Swargadwar Market is a well-known place for shopping and relishing some local street food.
Golden Beach is officially the cleanest beach in India and also known as the Blue Flag Beach after bagging the prestigious ‘Blue Flag’ tag.
That’s a wrap!