6 Must Visit Tourist Places To Visit Near Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar, an ancient city in Odisha renowned for its temples, beaches, waterfalls, and nearby nature parks, boasts numerous attractions. Among them are the State Museum, Nandankanan Zoo, Khandagiri and Udayagiri Caves, Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary, Chilika Lake, and the Konark Sun Temple. Its name, derived from Tribhuvan Eshwar, meaning 'lord of the three worlds,' reflects its status as the temple city, with temples dating back over 2,000 years. The oldest among them, the Parsurameswara Temple, built in the 7th century, venerates Lord Shiva. Visitors to Bhubaneswar can explore caves, hills, zoological parks, museums, art galleries, temples, and amusement parks, while also savoring local delicacies such as Pahala Rasagulla, the Odia variant of the popular dessert. Additionally, dishes like Malpua, Kora-Khaii, Ghanta Tarkari, Chhena Jalebi, Maccha Ghanta, and Dalma are must-tries.

For a deeper immersion into Odisha's culture, consider visiting Bhubaneswar during the Chandrabhanga Mela, a special festival. Legend has it that bathing in the Chandrabhaga River during this festival can cure various ailments, drawing Hindu devotees from across India. The tale traces back to Samba, son of Lord Krishna, who inadvertently offended his parents and was cursed with leprosy by his father. With the guidance of Narada Muni, Samba embarked on a 12-year penance, meditating and bathing in the Chandrabhaga River until he was cured. The site where he attained healing became revered for its purported curative properties, attracting pilgrims seeking solace and remedy.

# Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary

The Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary, situated within 100 km of Bhubaneswar, is a prominent nearby tourist destination. Nestled between Puri and Konark along the Bay of Bengal, this sanctuary is adorned by the scenic rivers Kushabhadra and Nuanai, along with the meandering Kadua and Prachi Rivers. On a jungle safari within the sanctuary, visitors can encounter a diverse array of wildlife, including enchanting blackbucks, striped hyenas, jackals, spotted deer, monkeys, egrets, herons, squirrels, jungle cats, and mongoose. Renowned as a significant eco-tourism hub in Odisha, it stands out as one of the finest destinations near Bhubaneswar due to its verdant landscapes, abundant mangrove trees, picturesque sandy beaches, and well-developed road infrastructure, notably the marine drive road.

# Konark Sun Temple

The Konark Sun Temple stands as one of the prime attractions near Bhubaneswar, drawing numerous tourists. Situated near the Bay of Bengal shore, the temple preserves its authenticity in both form and design through its intricate sculptures and architecture. Konark, the location of this temple, holds historical significance as a testament to Odisha's 13th-century kingdom, earning the Sun Temple a coveted spot on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Shaped like a colossal chariot dedicated to the Sun god, the temple also houses the Konark Museum, curated by the Archaeological Survey of India. Every February, the temple comes alive with the Konark Dance Festival, honoring the Sun god. For an ideal visit, it's recommended to plan your trip between September and March. Visitors to Bhubaneswar often include this nearby gem in their itinerary, given its proximity within a 100 km radius and its unmissable allure.

# Bhitarkanika National Park

Odisha boasts an extensive array of wildlife reserves, covering nearly one-third of the state's area with forests and featuring 18 sanctuaries, including two national parks. Among these, the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park stands out as a beloved destination near Bhubaneswar, often referred to as the mini-Amazon of India. This sanctuary is renowned for its diverse wildlife, including saltwater crocodiles, Indian pythons, king cobras, black ibises, and darters, among others. Additionally, it encompasses the second-largest mangrove ecosystem in India. Visitors to the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park have access to guesthouses and dining facilities, with the option of staying at nature camps like Dangamal Nature Camp, Habalikhati, and Gupti Nature Camps for a comfortable sojourn amidst nature. Many eco-tourists flock to this nearby attraction from Bhubaneswar to catch glimpses of Asian Openbills, Black Ibises, Cormorants, Bottle-Nose Dolphins, Irrawady Dolphins, and Finless Porpoise Dolphins.

# Puri

Puri is renowned as the site of one of India's most revered pilgrimage destinations, the Shree Jagannath Temple, known for its annual Rath Yatra drawing millions of devotees. Additionally, this pilgrimage hub boasts numerous popular tourist attractions, including the famed Puri Beach, often referred to as the 'Golden Beach.' Situated conveniently close to Bhubaneswar, it stands out as an excellent spot for sightseeing.

Every November, Puri Beach hosts the vibrant Puri Beach Festival, featuring a plethora of cultural programs, fashion shows, and exhibitions. Traditional sporting events such as kabaddi, malkham, beach volleyball, and regatta boat or yacht races add to the festival's allure, attracting both national and international tourists year-round. What sets it apart as an ideal destination for picnics near Bhubaneswar is the wide array of leisure activities available. Visitors can indulge in camel and horse rides along the shoreline, while also relishing the breathtaking coastal vistas. Moreover, the beach offers opportunities for adventurous pursuits like scuba diving, surfing, and swimming, ensuring a thrilling and visually captivating experience for all.

# Mukteshwar Temple

Bhubaneswar earns its reputation as the temple city of India due to its rich array of renowned temples, including the Rajarani Temple, Lingaraj Temple, and the Dhauli Buddhist Monastery. Among these, the Mukteshwar Temple stands out as a prestigious landmark within Bhubaneswar. This temple draws a significant number of Hindu devotees who come to offer their prayers to the revered Shivalinga. Renowned for its exquisite Odia sculptures and architectural brilliance, the Mukteshwar Temple features diamond-shaped windows adorned with intricate lattice designs and sculptures depicting characters from the Panchatantra tales.

Tourists flock to this site in Bhubaneswar to experience the unique Mukteswara Dance Festival, organized by Odisha Tourism annually in January. The festival celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Odissi dance, one of the oldest dance forms in India, captivating visitors with mesmerizing performances and cultural events.

# Museum of Tribal Arts & Artefacts

For those intrigued by the lifestyles of indigenous tribal communities, a visit to this tourist attraction in Bhubaneswar is highly recommended. The Museum of Tribal Arts and Artefacts showcases an extensive array of tribal costumes, jewelry, artwork, household items, and musical instruments, providing a vivid portrayal of the local tribe's way of life. Among the exhibits are notable tribal costumes such as the phute saree of the Santhal tribe, the ringa of the Bonda tribe, and the gatungkap of the Lanjia Saora tribe. Additionally, the museum features idols of tribal deities and replicas of 14 tribal shrine crafts.

Established in 1953 with the aim of celebrating Odisha's tribal culture, this museum is a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic experience of tribal life in the region.
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