Nandankanan Zoological Park
The name of this park means the garden of the heavens. This has been declared as a sanctuary and is spread over the Chandaka Forest. The Kanjia Lake is also a part of this park. This park and sanctuary is mainly known for the variety of tigers here, especially the Royal Bengal Tiger and the white tigers. wildlife safaris are the main attractions here and guides and proper security facilities are also available to take care of all the tourists.
The ancient caves of Khandgiri and Udaygiri are some of the finest examples of ancient India's rock-cut architecture. These caves served as residential blocks for Jain monks during the reign of King Kharavela. The Jain temples in Bhubhaneshwar are at an hour's distance from these caves, and are another excellent example to study the ancient architecture of India.
Raja Rani Temple
First place to visit in Bhubaneswar-Puri trip was Rajarani temple situated at old Bhubaneswar near Tankapani Road. Rajarani temple derives its name due to the employment of dull red and turbid yellow sandstone locally called "Rajarani".It is famous for its sculpted figures and the successive tiers of projections rising to form 18 m tower. This temple has no idols as such. Dance, Life and some very personal moments of life similar to Khajuraho mithun shilpas are depicted in the form of carvings around the temple .The best preserved sculpture of the temple are the standing astadikpalas on the central façade of kanika .
Never in your life I would have expected a cave to fascinate me! Rising abruptly amidst a wide expanse of arid lateritic soil the hills Udayagiri and Khandagiri separated from each other by a narrow row through which passes modern road between Bhubaneswar and Chandaka. The ancient names of the twin hills of Udayagiri and Khandagiri are Kumari and Kumara parvatas respectively. . There are total 33 rock cut caves on both the hills out of which 18 caves are excavated on Udayagiri hill while 15 are on the Khandagiri hill. Generally caves are single storied but a few of them are double storied also. Many of the caves have beautiful carvings that reveal a lot about its origin and past. Inscription and carvings on the walls show that they once served as Jain Monasteries. Few caves also show connection to Buddhism.
Chandaka Reserve Forest
1) At 20 K.M.s driving distance from Bhubaneshwar lies Chandaka-Dampara wildlife sanctuary. It was declared a safe-haven for elephants on the outskirts of the city in 1980. One of the main entry points to the reserve is through Godibari. There are three watchtowers within the reserve for elephant sighting at Bharatpur reserve forest, Kochilaberena and Pitagadia. The reservoir at Deras Dam within the Chandaka forest was built as an irrigation project but also serves as a watering hole to wild animals. There are huts near Deras dam. Prior permission is needed to be taken from the Divisional Forest Officer to book these huts for a night’s stay. Another dam close to Deras is the Jhumka Dam. This is a good picninc spot and you don’t require permissions to visit here.•Contact of DFO, Chandaka Wildlife Division: Phone/fax: 0674-2355400•Info on eco tourism: +91 9438879488
Ashokan Rock Edict
By the way- food at Panthanivas, Bhubaneshwar was awesome. After visiting the "Shanti Stupa" at Dhauligiri, we saw the Ashokan rock edicts. Though it was dark (the driver was almost in tears each time we weren't on time!) the caretaker was kind enough to open the place especially for us and show us around. We were pretty tired and wished we had reached the place sooner. But to think that the Kalinga war actually happened on that very ground where we stood- kind of felt surreal. My paatti (grandmother) had told me a story about her elder sister who had once wandered into this jungle when they were young. Turned out the jungle used to be this place where the conquerors executed their enemies. The story went on about the "tantric" rites to revive her elder sister from her "state of trance"! Fact or fiction! I have no idea! With my paatti- it was always this way. All her stories spun around the plausible. The people were real. Themes were usually "Tantric"- "Chozhi", "maandreegam", "bhagavati"- poojas . The way she said them- everything in "first person". What can I say! They are real to me!
This temple is considered to be the oldest existing temple of the city built around 650 AD. Though the Presiding God of this temple is Lord Shiva, this temple is a combination of the Shiva and Shakti. The outer wall of the temple is engraved with the idols of Lord Parsuram (the incarnation of Lord Vishnu), Lord Indra (the king of Gods), Surya and many more Gods. This temlpe adjacent to the Mukteswar temple is one of the most beautiful temples of Bhubaneswar.
ISKCON is the International Society for Krishna Conciousness and the temple in Bangalore is dedicated to Lord Krishna of course. The temple is situated on a hillock also known as the Hare Krishna Hill. The temple is built in a neo- classical style with typical South Indian temple Gopurams in it. There are 4 gopurams inside the temple which are joined by a glass canopy which looks spectacular. This temple was built to mark the birth anniversary of Sri Prabhupada, the founder of the whole community. The peaceful atmosphere and the continuous chanting of "Hare Rama, Hare Krishna" is extremely soothing. There is also a separate prayer hall, vedic theatre, vedic museum and lecture hall in the temple. There is an average footfall of around 8000- 10000 people everyday and this goes up to 15000 or even more on weekends. The main festival celebrated here is the Krishna Janmashtami.
Dhauligiri Shanti Stupa
Dhauli Shanthi stupa : Dhauli believed to be the battleground of Kalinga war is a hillside lying on the banks of river Daya just 8km from Bhubhaneshwar. Kalinga war that took place in 261B.C had lot of implications on Emperor Ashoka's mind ,completely transformed his thoughts and soul after which he embraced Buddhism. It is said River Daya had completely turned red due to the blood of dying soldiers from both sides of Magadha and Kalinga kingdom. This is the site of the Vishwa Shanti Stupa built by Japan Buddha Sangha and Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangha. After offering our obeisance to Lord Buddha, we had an aerial view of Daya River
Brahmeswar Siva Temple
The name Bramheswar is the combination of two terms i.e. Bramha and Ishwar which means the God of Lord Bramha. Built in between 1000-1100 century AD by Somavamsi king Udyotakesari this temple houses the Lingam of Lord Shiva. This temple is built with the Kalingan style architecture of Temple building, the inner wall of the temple is engraved with various art and crafts unlike other temples where the art and crafts are being seen only on the outer walls of the temple.
This Shiva temple is the temple built for the "Ishwar of Megha" which literally means the God of the Rain. This ancient temple is built in the 12th Century AD. The outer wall of the temple is nicely engraved with a lot of art works. This is a living temple where Lord Shiva is worshiped even today.
Chausathi Yogini Temple
As per Hindu belief Shiva is incomplete without Shakti and this ruined temple is dedicated to Shakti the wife of Lord Shiva. Situated about a distance of 10 KMs from the city center near Hirapur. 56 idols of Shakti, made up of black granite stones on a circular wall are worshiped in this temple. This temple is believed to be built in the 9th Century AD by queen Hira Devi of Bramha dynasty.