A Mesmerizing Five-Day Adventure: Exploring the Best of Odisha

9th May 2023
Photo of A Mesmerizing Five-Day Adventure: Exploring the Best of Odisha by Junmoni Kalita
Day 1

Hey friends!! Join me on a captivating journey through the culturally rich and historically significant state of Odisha, India. Over the course of five unforgettable days, we will delve into the ancient temples, serene lakes, and vibrant culture that define this remarkable destination. From Bhubaneswar to Puri, Chilika Lake to Bhitarkanika National Park, this Odisha expedition promises an eye-opening experience that will leave you in awe.

Bhubaneswar - A Gateway to Ancient Marvels

Our journey begins in Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha. The airport at Bhubaneswar is quite beautiful where you will be welcomed by incredible sand artwork of famous artist Sudarshan Patnaik ji. Book a cab from airport and drive to your hotel. After checking into the comfortable hotel, let's dive straight into the intriguing history of the region by visiting ancient Jain caves at twin mountains of Udaygiri and Khandagiri. These ancient rock-cut caves offer a glimpse into the lives of Jain monks who resided here centuries ago, during the reign of king Kharabhela.

Next, we'll make our way to the world-famous Konark Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the exquisite architecture and intricate carvings of this Sun Temple, a true testament to the rich cultural heritage of Odisha. You can also opt to enjoy the LASER show depicting details of the temple and brief history of Kalinga. To complete our day, we'll pay our respects at the Lingaraja Temple, one of the most revered Hindu shrines in the country. The spiritual aura and architectural grandeur of this temple will leave you spellbound.

Udaygiri and Khandagiri caves

Photo of Bhubaneswar by Junmoni Kalita

In front of Lingaraja Temple

Photo of Bhubaneswar by Junmoni Kalita

Konark Temple

Photo of Bhubaneswar by Junmoni Kalita
Day 2

Puri - A Coastal Haven of Spirituality and Scenic Beauty

After a refreshing night's rest, we'll embark on a short journey to Puri, a coastal gem known for its stunning beaches and religious significance. Our first stop is the iconic Jagannath Temple, dedicated to Lord Jagannath, his sister Subhadra, and his brother Balabhadra. Experience the spiritual fervor as you witness the daily rituals and seek blessings from the deities.

Post-temple exploration, we'll head to the sun-kissed shores of Golden Beach. Feel the soft sand beneath your feet as you soak in the soothing ocean breeze. Our journey continues with visits to the Sakhi Gopala Temple and the Ghunucha Temple, where you can witness the rich spiritual traditions of Odisha. To satisfy your taste buds, indulge in delectable ethnic cuisine at Team Jajabara Restaurant in Sakhi Gopal, an experience that will tantalize your senses.

An overnight stay by a budget hotel will not cost much but will give you lifetime experience of experiencing the thrill of soars made by midnight sea with carrying sky full of stars overhead.

Spectacular sand art by Sudarshan Patnaik

Photo of Puri by Junmoni Kalita

Odyssey performance

Photo of Puri by Junmoni Kalita
Day 3

Chilika Lake - A Serene Paradise

On day three, we'll embark on an enchanting excursion to Chilika Lake, the largest coastal lagoon in India and a haven for migratory birds. Witness the breathtaking sight of thousands of colorful avian visitors and marvel at the scenic beauty that surrounds this serene water body and dolphins within.

You may have explored many beaches during your travel itineraries, but we can bet you will find incredible the secret beaches that you will reach after a few minutes of boatride in Chilika Lake. Enjoy the empty beautiful Rajhans beach joining Chilika Lake to the Ocean.

After a boat ride on the lake, we'll return to Bhubaneswar, cherishing the memories we've made along the way.

If time permits you can also explore Raghurajpur art village where you can learn about patachitra, an art form dated back to 5 BC. You can buy some art and support the artists too!

Day 4

Bhitarkanika -A Thriving Mangrove Ecosystem

Prepare yourself for an immersive experience in Bhitarkanika National Park, India's second-largest mangrove ecosystem. Embark on a thrilling adventure as we explore this biodiversity hotspot, home to numerous species of plants and animals, including the majestic saltwater crocodile.

You can also visit the crocodile breeding centre and the nature museum at Bhitarkanika.

After a day of wildlife encounters, we spend the night at an ecotourism camp in the vicinity of Bhitarkanika National Park savoring the unique beauty of Odisha.

Bhitarkanika National Park

Photo of Bhitarkanika National Park by Junmoni Kalita
Day 5

Journey's End and Reflection

Early morning we will drive to reach Bhubaneswar. On the way from Bhitarkanika National Park to Bhubaneswar, there are several notable tourist spots that you can explore. However, everything depends on the time constraint. One of the major attractions is:

Ratnagiri: Located approximately 70 kilometers from Bhitarkanika National Park, Ratnagiri is a renowned Buddhist archaeological site. It is known for its ancient monasteries, stupas, and sculptures dating back to the 6th century. Explore the ruins and witness the rich Buddhist heritage preserved in this historical site.
Additionally, you may also consider visiting other attractions that are slightly off the direct route but worth considering:

Cuttack: Situated along the banks of the Mahanadi River, Cuttack is the former capital of Odisha and a city with a rich historical heritage. Visit the famous Barabati Fort, built in the 14th century, which offers panoramic views of the city. The Stone Revetment, Mahanadi Riverfront, and Netaji Birthplace Museum are other attractions worth exploring in Cuttack.

Dhauli: Dhauli, located on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, is a significant historical site known for its rock edicts and the famous Dhauli Peace Pagoda. It is believed to be the place where Emperor Ashoka embraced Buddhism after the bloody Kalinga War. Explore the ancient rock edicts and enjoy the serene ambiance surrounding the pagoda.

While these attractions may add some additional travel time to your journey, they offer unique cultural and historical experiences that can enhance your overall trip to Odisha

As our five-day journey comes to a close, we bid farewell to the captivating state of Odisha. With memories of ancient temples, serene lakes, and abundant wildlife etched in our minds, we return home, forever touched by the cultural riches and natural splendor we experienced.

Accommodations and Costs:

To ensure a comfortable stay, Bhubaneswar offers a range of budget-friendly hotels that cater to various preferences. Some notable options include:

Hotel Kalinga Ashok: Located in the heart of the city, this hotel offers comfortable rooms and excellent service at an affordable price.

Hotel Pushpak: Situated near major attractions, this hotel provides clean and spacious rooms, along with a friendly staff.

Hotel Excellency: Known for its convenient location and reasonable rates, this hotel offers comfortable rooms and a variety of amenities.

Hotel Suryansh: Ideal for budget travelers, this hotel provides basic yet comfortable rooms, along with a welcoming atmosphere.

Hotel Miland Palace: Offering clean rooms and friendly service, this hotel provides a comfortable stay at a pocket-friendly price.

Hotels at Puri:

When it comes to budget-friendly accommodations in Puri, there are several options available that offer comfortable stays without breaking the bank. Here are some of the best budget hotels in Puri:

Hotel New Sea Hawk: Located near the sea beach, Hotel New Sea Hawk offers clean and spacious rooms at affordable rates. The hotel provides excellent service and has amenities such as a restaurant, Wi-Fi, and a travel desk.

Hotel Surya Beach Inn: Situated close to the Jagannath Temple and the beach, Hotel Surya Beach Inn provides budget-friendly rooms with basic amenities. The hotel has a rooftop restaurant where you can enjoy panoramic views of the sea.

Hotel Prabhupada: Just a short walk away from the beach, Hotel Prabhupada offers comfortable rooms at budget-friendly prices. The hotel features an in-house restaurant serving delicious vegetarian food and provides essential amenities for a pleasant stay.

Hotel Holiday Resort: While slightly higher in the budget range, Hotel Holiday Resort offers excellent value for money. Located near the beach, the hotel provides spacious rooms, a swimming pool, and multiple dining options.

Hotel Santana: Situated in a quiet area of Puri, Hotel Santana offers budget-friendly rooms with essential amenities. The hotel has a restaurant serving a variety of cuisines and provides a peaceful atmosphere for a relaxed stay.

Ecotourism camp near Bhitarkanika National Park:

Bhitarkanika National Park offers an exciting opportunity for ecotourism enthusiasts to stay close to nature and experience the unique ecosystem of the mangrove forests. The park authorities have established an ecotourism camp within the park premises, providing visitors with an immersive and sustainable experience. Here are some of best ecotourism camp at Bhitarkanika-

Sand Pebbles Jungle Resorts: Situated on the fringes of Bhitarkanika National Park, Sand Pebbles Jungle Resorts offers comfortable accommodations in cottages and tents. The resort provides a range of facilities, including a restaurant, nature walks, and boat safaris. Guests can enjoy the tranquil surroundings and experience the biodiversity of the park.

Nature Camp Bhitarkanika Retreat: Nestled within the serene beauty of Bhitarkanika National Park, Nature Camp Bhitarkanika Retreat offers a unique eco-tourism experience. The camp provides comfortable accommodations in eco-friendly cottages, blending seamlessly with the surrounding mangrove ecosystem. Guests can embark on exciting boat safaris, guided nature walks, and birdwatching expeditions to explore the park's rich biodiversity. With its tranquil ambiance and close proximity to nature, Nature Camp Bhitarkanika Retreat is an ideal choice for those seeking a sustainable and immersive getaway.

Habalikhati: Situated on the outskirts of Bhitarkanika National Park, Habalikhati is an eco-tourism camp that allows visitors to truly connect with nature. The camp offers rustic accommodations, giving guests a taste of the wilderness while ensuring their comfort. Visitors can enjoy activities such as wildlife spotting, boat cruises, and village tours to experience the local culture. Habalikhati's commitment to sustainability and conservation makes it an excellent choice for eco-conscious travelers looking for an authentic and enriching experience.

Bhitarkanika Forest Rest House: Managed by the Odisha Forest Department, the Bhitarkanika Forest Rest House provides a unique opportunity to stay within the national park itself. The rest house offers basic yet comfortable rooms, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the pristine surroundings. From here, visitors can explore the park's diverse flora and fauna through guided nature walks and boat excursions. The tranquil atmosphere and close proximity to wildlife make the Bhitarkanika Forest Rest House an ideal choice for nature enthusiasts seeking a closer connection to the park's ecosystem.

Dangamala Nature Camps, Bhitarkanika: Dangamal Eco Camp is one of the popular accommodation options within Bhitarkanika National Park. Situated near the Dangamal Island, this eco camp provides basic amenities in eco-friendly cottages, allowing visitors to experience the natural surroundings up close. The camp also organizes boat safaris and nature walks to explore the mangrove forests and observe wildlife.

Gupti Nature Camp, Bhitarkanika: Gupti Eco Resort is another option for eco-friendly accommodation near Bhitarkanika National Park. It is located in the village of Gupti, offering cottages and tents amidst the serene mangrove ecosystem. The resort organizes guided tours, birdwatching expeditions, and boat rides for visitors to explore the park and its wildlife.

Eco Retreat Bhitarkanika: Located near Bhitarkanika National Park, the Eco Retreat Bhitarkanika offers a blend of modern comforts and eco-friendly practices. The retreat features luxurious tents with all the necessary amenities, providing guests with a comfortable stay amidst nature. With organized activities like nature trails, birdwatching, and cultural performances, guests can experience the beauty of the mangrove forests and the local culture. Eco Retreat Bhitarkanika aims to provide a sustainable and responsible tourism experience, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a balance between luxury and environmental consciousness.

Total Cost Breakdown:
Here's an approximate breakdown of the total cost for this five-day trip to Odisha:

Accommodation: Budget hotels in Bhubaneswar usually range from $20 to $40 per night, depending on the type of room and amenities. Assuming a four-night stay, the accommodation cost would range from $80 to $160.

Transportation: The most convenient way to travel between cities is by hiring a private taxi or car, which would cost around $60 to $100 per day. For a five-day trip, the transportation cost would amount to approximately $300 to $500.

Entrance Fees: The entrance fees for various attractions may vary, but a rough estimate would be around $5 to $10 per person, per site. Considering visits to Udaygiri and Khandagiri, Konark Temple, Lingaraja Temple, and the museum, the total entrance fee cost would range from $25 to $50.

Food and Miscellaneous Expenses: For meals, considering a mix of local eateries and mid-range restaurants, budget around $15 to $30 per day per person. Miscellaneous expenses, such as snacks, souvenirs, and other personal expenses, would add an extra $10 to $20 per day.

Taking all these factors into account, the total cost of the trip would be approximately $650 to $1,080, excluding airfare or any additional expenses not mentioned.

Embarking on a five-day adventure in Odisha promises an enriching experience that blends history, spirituality, and natural beauty. From exploring ancient caves and temples in Bhubaneswar to immersing in the coastal charm of Puri, and witnessing the awe-inspiring sights of Chilika Lake and Bhitarkanika National Park, every moment will be a testament to Odisha's cultural and ecological treasures. With comfortable accommodations and a breakdown of costs to guide you, prepare yourself for an unforgettable journey into the heart of Odisha's captivating wonders.

Artists performing in the premises of Mukteshwar Temple

Photo of A Mesmerizing Five-Day Adventure: Exploring the Best of Odisha by Junmoni Kalita

Artists performing in the premises of Mukteshwar Temple

Photo of A Mesmerizing Five-Day Adventure: Exploring the Best of Odisha by Junmoni Kalita