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The state of Odisha(Orissa)lies on the eastern coastal parts of India. It is on the shores of Bay of Bengal. This erstwhile princely state of Kalinga is a tourist paradise today. Its tranquilizing beaches, marvelous architectures in forms of Temples which are of immense religious significance today, the rich and pulsating fauna, the vibrant flora, the majestic Rath Yatra and the holy city of Puri all together brings in millions tourists every year to Odisha(Orissa).
The sanctuaries, National Parks and wildlife reserves:- The state of Odisha(Orissa)has three national parks, eighteen wildlife sanctuaries and three wildlife reserves. These sanctuaries and national parks are instrumental in saving the depleting forest cover and a praiseworthy step taken towards the preservation of the rich wildlife of the state. They bring you close to the life of the wilds and enable you to draw valuable information about them. These parks and sanctuaries spread over 100s of kms are significant for the conservation of natural beauties life waterfalls, rivers, creeks and estuaries. The national parks are Simlipal, Nandankanan and Bhitarkanika while the prominent sanctuaries include the extended areas of these three national parks, Gahirmatha, Chilka, Satkosia George, Chandaka Dampara, Balukhanda etc. Chandaka elephant reserve and Simlipal tiger reserve are the major wildlife reserves of the state.
The mammals like royal Bengal tigers, white tigers, Irrawaddy dolphins, elephants, chowsinghas, musk deer, sloth deer, barking deer, sambar etc. are found in these jungles. The prominent reptiles include cobra, python, olive ridley turtles, water monitor lizards, gharials, salt water crocodiles, mugger crocodiles etc. These sanctuaries have also got a significant migratory and resident bird population. The commonly sighted ones are kingfisher, Flamingo, White bellied sea eagle, brahmany kite, spotbilled pelican, egret, avocet, gull, tern, bareheaded goose, wigeon, stilt, shoveller, ibis, heron etc. The nests of these migratory birds are a common sight in the Nalbans of Chilka during the months of winter.
Temples:- The temples of Odisha(Orissa)explains the religious values of the people of the state and their architecture narrates the glorifying past of Odisha(Orissa).
Jagannath Temple Puri:- Jagannath Temple of Puri is of immense significance from many perspectives. But the religious sentiment attached with this temple of millions of Hindus worldwide is above all. The Rath Yatra festival celebrated annually experiences an overflow of crowd to witness the holy journey of the gods. The other significant temple known for its architectural excellence is the Sun temple of Konarak. A world heritage sight today, a glimpse of the ruins of this once glorified shrine explains the grandeur and the architectural perfection of those eras. The Lingaraj temple, Mukteshwar Temple, Viatal Temple and the Parshurameshwar Temple are the other beautiful temples of the state.
The caves of Udaygir and Khandgiri were the abode of the Jaina monks once, while the caves of Lalit Giri and Ratna giri were Buddhist monasteries. Dhaulli Hills:- The Dhaulli hill near the bank of Daya river is the proposed site of the famous Klainga war which influenced the decision of King Ashoka to give up violence and embrace the non violence principles of Buddhism. Handicrafts:- Odisha(Orissa)is known for its Handicrafts. The patta charitas or the patta paintings, silver filigree, stone and wood carvings, art works on the shells, the horn work, brass and bell metal work of Cuttack, bamboo works, sambalpuri silk and the kuttaki prints all represents the handloom and handicraft art of Odisha(Orissa). Festivals:-Numerous festivals are associated with the Jagannath Temple of Puri like the Chandan Festival, Snana Festival but it is the Rath Yatra which continues to be the crowd puller. The other carnivals are the Konarak Music and Dance festival and Puri Beach festival.
Best time to visit Odisha(Orissa)is during the winters between the months of October to March.
Bhubaneshwar the state capital is the largest domestic airport of the state. It is connected with all the metros of India by daily flights. Kolkata is the nearest international airport.
The major railheads of Odisha(Orissa)are Bhubaneshwar, Cuttack, Puri and Bhadrak. Daily trains are there from these cities to rest of the India.
A network of national highways connect Odisha(Orissa)to rest of the country. Within Odisha(Orissa)also the infrastructure has been improved to ensure smooth travel between the prime locations of tourist interest.