Trips and Itineraries for Lalitgiri
A Window to the Ancient World of Buddhism in Odisha
Diamond triangle of Odisha, the unearthed jewels
Weekend Getaways from Lalitgiri
59 Kms from Lalitgiri
Best time to visit - January,February,October,November,December
Named after Tribhuvan Eshwar or the 'lord of the three worlds' is the capital of Odisha, Bhubaneswar. It is set on the Mahanadi Delta but is not restricted to only coastal areas. Caves, hills, zoological parks, museums, art galleries, temples, amusement parks – you'll find all this and more at Bhubaneswar. The 180 ft tall, majestic Lingaraja Temple is the most popular in the locality. It is a sculptural feat featuring gods, goddesses, kings, queens, hunters and musicians. Lord Harihara, a union of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu is the presiding deity. The Mukteshwar Temple is smaller in comparison to others, but is famed for its beautiful ceiling of an eight petalled lotus and a glorious archway. The other prominent temples are Brahmeswar and Rajarani. The captivating natural beauty of the Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves will compel you to lose yourself in historical wonder. However, be prepared to deal with numerous langoors jumping all over the place. The dense and tranquil forests of Nandankanan will welcome you on your way to its national park. Apart from the wildlife and the white tiger safaris, you can also spend some quiet time in the gardens and indulge in an exciting ride on the ropeway. Another wonderful site to visit is the Dhauligiri Shanti Stupa. Situated on Dhauli hills, it is a well-maintained edifice where you can visit for beautiful views and solitude. If you want to be enlightened about the tribes of Orissa make sure you visit the tribal villages, markets and the Museum of Tribal Arts & Artifacts. Among places to stay, the Mayfair Lagoon or Trident are great options, but there are also other hotels that are light on the pocket.
Lalitgiri, one of the three campuses, is adorned with numerous trees, some of which are prehistoric ones, standing tall against the raging tide of time. The verdant vegetation worked as a wonder for us after a short uphill trek. It was extremely hot, but the air up there seemed cool. The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has done a pretty good job excavating 4 large brick monasteries (perhaps to house the wandering monks during the rainy season), a number of votive stupas (a signature architecture of the Mahavihara), different statues, and a chaityagriha stupa here. A small one-room museum atop the hill houses stone statues of Buddha in different mudras. Several artifacts made of gold and silver, a stone casket, and statuettes have also been unearthed from the site. Some stone columns have intricate symbols and inscriptions etched on them reminding us many of the unsolved mysteries of the ancient times. However, photography is prohibited inside the Lalitgiri museum.