a modern state with an ethnic past that is still vibrant. Bhubaneswar,
the temple city of the east, Brings together the ethnic world and
their art, craft and culture is on display.
Each city of this magnificent state has still kept alive its rich and
vibrant culture which are echoed by the colourful and lively people,
festivals and dance and music and the bazaars that are held in the
city, also its past glory is experienced through the impressive forts
Orissa has an ideal amalgamation of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu cultures.
The non-Aryan and Aryan settlers inhabited Orissa or Kalinga. Orissa
formerly known as Kalinga is remembered for the famous Kalinga Battle
fought in 261 BC, which made the great Mauryan King Ashoka abandon his
reign and adopt Buddhism. There are also the epitomes of Jain art and
culture in Orissa. The state is also a standing testimony to the Hindu
The lifeblood of the state Orissa is the Odissi, the traditional dance
form of Orissa. The oldest classical dance form has made Orissa
achieve new heights of popularity. There are a number of interesting
tours in Orissa. The nearest excursion, the Sun Temple at Konark, is
the most famous tour destination in Orissa. Chhau from Mayurbhanj
District, the skillful martial dance form is also famous in Orissa.
Other folk and tribal dances include Danda Nata and Ranapa. Stone
Carving, Weaving, Ikat, Bomkai and Sambalpuri Saris, applique and
embroidery, silver filigree work, patta painting and palm leaf
engraving, brass and bell metal work, lacquered boxes and toys and
basket weaving are the other art forms of Orissa.
Time of visit
For visitors from colder climates, the best time for visit would be
between October to March. The weather during this time is very
pleasant and conducive to travel. This is also the time when millions
of migratory birds make their way from the north to nest in the lakes
and forests of Orissa. However, Orissa is not without attraction
during the rest of the year. Barring occasional very high temperatures
for a few days in the months of May-June-July, and a couple of weeks
of heavy rains during the monsoons, the climate in Orissa is very much
to the advantage of visitors. In fact, these so called off seasons are
the best times to get fabulous deals on accommodation, local transport
The most convenient way to enter Orissa is through the capital city of
Bhubaneswar. The city is well connected to the rest of the country by
air, rail and road and makes a pretty good base for your explorations.
However, if you are planning a trip towards the southern districts of
Orissa alone, you could make your entry through Berhampur which is
also on the Kolkata-Chennai railway line and on the Kolkata-Chennai
National Highway (NH 5). You could also make use of Visakhapatanam
(which has an airport in addition to being on the same rail and road
network as Berhampur) in Andhra Pradesh to enter the southern
districts by road. If you are planning a visit to Simplipal and its
neighbouring areas, Balasore or even Kolkata would make an ideal entry
point/base. For visiting the western areas of Orissa, Rourkela and
Sambalpur make ideal entry points.
Bhubaneswar is well connected by air to all major cities in India. For
visitors coming from abroad, whether you enter India from Mumbai,
Kolkata, New Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore or Hyderabad, you will find
convenient flights to Bhubaneswar. To get the information on flights
to and from Bhubaneswar, please visit
www.indian-airlines.com for Indian Airlines and Alliance
www.airsahara.net for Air Sahara flights,
www.flykingfisher.com for Kingfisher Airlines and
www.airdeccan.net for Air Deccan.