(9:30 AM to 6:30 PM IST)
home / Orissa Holiday Package
Orissa Holiday Package
Situated on the eastern coast along the Bay of Bengal, Orissa not only stands for its ancient glory and modern endeavour but is also endowed with nature's bounty including a stretch of coastline with pristine beaches, serpentine rivers and waterfalls and forest clad blue hills of Eastern Ghats with rich wild life. Orissa is known for its exquisite temples, historic monuments as well as outstanding art and architecture.
There is something special about Orissa or why else would Olive Ridley turtles travel all the way from Costa Rica to nest here every year? The state is all about the triangle of Konark, Puri and Bhubaneshwar with enchanting ancient temples and a stunning beach at Puri. Chilika, India’s largest lake and the Simplipal and Bhitarkanika sanctuaries are a treat for wildlife lovers who wish to commune with nature sans crowds. Plenty to look forward on the Orissa Holiday Package!
The State will charm you with its gorgeous beaches, glorious temples and grand architecture. The age old heritage of the tradition and the sleekness of the modern is just awesome. Discover nature at its best with its captivating coastlines, vivid valleys of the Mahanadi, lush greenery, wonderful waterfalls, fabulous forestlands and much more, with options to choose as per your time limit and travel schedule!
Bhubaneswar or The Lord of the Universe, as it is called, is also popularly known as the Temple City of India on account of its innumerable shrines in the extravagant Oriya style. Being the seat of Shiva or Tribhubaneswar, Lord of the Three Worlds, from which the city derives its name, this is an important Hindu pilgrimage centre as hundreds of temples dot the landscape of the Old Town, that showcase their architectural and sculptural excellence. The main ones are the Lingaraja temple cluster with life-size chlorite stone statues, beautiful carvings and amazingly graphic sculptures. The Raja Rani temple cluster has baroque carvings with an aura of beauty and sanctitiy which envelops the entire complex. The Mukteswara temple cluster which has two important shrines, such as the Parsurameswara Temple which is the most attractive and the Mukteswara Temple with a brilliantly arched gateway and exquisite carvings.
The Nandan Kanan Zoological Park is an open-air zoo carved from natural forests. The mascot is the white tiger with the zoo having the distinction of breeding them in captivity. The botanical garden side of the zoo is an oasis of calm and serenity.
The world's oldest coins were discovered in Sonepur, in western Orissa. These priceless silver punch marked coins, now preserved in the Orissa State Museum, could be as old as 1000 BC, as it also has quite a unique collection of palm leaf manuscripts. The Tribal Museum houses objects depicting tribal social and cultural life, photographs of tribal healers, an array of musical instruments, handmade wooden guns, and items relating to tribal worship practices. The Pathani Samant Planetorium hosts the sound, light and water shows and special programmes such as night sky watching, to keep you dreaming in the twilight on the Orissa Holiday Package!
You could take a trip to Sambalpur a gateway to the exotic charms of the western region of Orissa and the cradle of an ancient civilization, thus an important landmark in India's cultural history. Lying a few kilometres from Bhubaneswar, this ancient centre for the diamond trade is famous for its internationally renowned textiles (ikat), rich tribal heritage and fabulous forestlands. Samaleswari, the presiding deity of this region is enshrined at `Samalai Gudi' on the bank of the Mahanadi river. The other temple of importance is the Budharaja Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and is perched atop the Budharaja hill.
Hilgiri, Niladri, Hilachal Purushottam, Sankhakshetra, Srikehetra, Jagannath Dham, Jagannath Puri, Puri is a place with many names over the centuries. Two great forces dominate Puri, the sea or Bay of Bengal and the great temple of Lord Jagannath , majestic and graceful as it stands against a blue skyline and green coconut groves. Besides this temple, there are numerous smaller temples, mutts and religious institutiona, located here.
The magnificent Sun Temple at Konark is the culmination of Oriya temple architecture, and one of the most stunning monuments of religious splendour in the world, worth a visit. The poet Rabindranath Tagore had said that 'here the language of stone surpasses the language of man', and it is true that the experience of this destination is impossible to translate into words. There is also an archaeological museum which has colossal sandstone images of Surya and some sculptures from the Sun Temple.
Jeypore is the district of Koraput abounding in meadows, forests, waterfalls, terraced valleys and darting springs. This land of abundance called is home to the State’s vast tribal Population. A real paradise for the nature lover, Koraput offers an additional benefit to the visitors of meeting with its ancient civilization.
Dhenkanal is the gateway to one of the most ancient forest covers of Orissa, which shelters the elephants, tigers and numerous species of birds and beasts. The broad plains of the river Bramhani were the dwelling place of early Homo sapiens who lived on the berries and wild fruits before the advent of rice on these heavily watered expanses. The surrounding Sal forests come ablaze with the changing seasons making this district headquarters town a focal point of trips to beautiful interiors.
You have a choice of visiting the following wildlife reserves! The Simlipal National Park and Tiger Reserve is a hilly tract of dense forests including some mid-range mountain peaks and the park hosts tiger’s elephants and leopards but tiger sightings are rare in the area open to tourists. Take a drive around this area, and enjoy the beauty of the forest and its waterfalls. The Barehipani Waterfalls and the Joranda Waterfalls offer great views of the forest and the hills. The Bhitarkanika National Park has creeks, forest, mangroves, crocodiles, otters, birds, the largest nesting site of the famous and endangered Olive Ridley turtles, as well as dilapidated temples, ruins of a king’s hunting tower…….such are the enigmatic charms of this National Park. The Bagagahana Island is the heronry of this National Park, a nesting site for birds, and a cruise on Khola Creek takes you to the confluence of the Baitarani and Brahmani rivers.You can roam around this island in a motor boat, which could also take you to Ekakula, another tiny island and squeeze a stop at Habalikhati.
The Chilika Bird Sanctuary has something magical and soothing about its ambience as the brackish water lagoon is a vast expanse of blue water, hugged by low undulating hills, with the loud chirping of birds and the gentle splash of water combining to create a dreamy effect! It offers great natural beauty and is visited for birds and dolphins and as you cruise on the crystalline waters, it is awesome to listen to birdcalls at daybreak and gaze at the fishing boats with their sails billowing in the wind. There are many species of flora and fauna that have made this lagoon their home thereby inviting touristic traffic on the Orissa Holiday Package!
Travellers would find a treasure trove of handlooms and silver filigree jewellery called tarakashi in abundance, ethnic crafts, terracotta and stone sculptures and tribal arts in bronze, brass and metal. Around the temple complexes, shops are lined with puja items and soapstone, seashells, pattachitras or paintings with mythological themes and there are artists who also make `ganjifa’ cards. `Solapith’ or stone sculpture, which is unique and rare, could be bought and you may look out for a cup known as `pathuri’, said to be ideal for setting curd. The ikat textile and handloom, as fabric or saris, is in great demand and sprawled all over the State. Applique work is also very popular where the cloth is sold with different geometrical shapes and decorative motifs such as birds, leaves and animals. It is also used for making wall hangings for deities and colourful decorative handicrafts and utility items are also made. There is enough gold-embroidered work and horn articles to exclaim over.
Around the seaside shores, you would find seafood such as prawns, crabs, pomfret and lobsters cooked in Oriya style that is gravy and plenty of masala. There are dhabas and small restaurants selling vegetarian food including Indian and Chinese dishes along with Marwari bhojanalayas. The temple areas serve the usual no-onion Oriya thali accompanied with delicious lassi. You could also find a row of roadside shacks selling superb Indian sweets! There are enough restaurants to serve North Indian and South Indian food, in some places, blended with continental fare! Rasgolla, the sweet delicacy enjoyed all over India, originated from Puri, Orissa. It became popular in Kolkata and afterwards, in the rest of the country.
The best period to visit Orissa is between October to March. The overall climate is warm, with average December temperatures being pleasant and May being the hottest month. The state's average annual rainfall is normal, with most rain falling in the north and over the Eastern Ghats.
With versatile destinations, cuisine and shopping…….there would be an overload of memories to be carried along with your baggage as you return from the Orissa Holiday Package!