The Kondhs (also locally known as Kandha or Khonds), are the largest tribal group in Odisha (As per 1970 estimates, numbering more than 7, 00, 000 persons). The Kandhamal district in Odisha (erstwhile a part of Phulbani district), has 55% Kandha population and was named after the tribe. The Kondh is a tribe of people living mainly in the forested mountainous regions of the state of Orissa in India. They are known for their cultural heritage and values which center on respecting nature. They speak Kuvi language. Their religion is interwoven with traditional tribal beliefs and Hinduism. Their religion is animistic, and their pantheon includes eighty-three Gods. Their practices make them mainly dependent on forest resources for survival. The Khonds are subdivided into the plains Khond, who are highly assimilated with the neighboring Oriya and engage in plow farming (they are also divided into castes), and the hill Khond, who have preserved considerable vestiges of the tribal system. The chief occupations of the latter are slash-and-burn farming, hunting, and gathering. They celebrate festivals like Dussehra, Diwali, Sohraj, Sarhul, Jitia, Phagu Karma, Nawakhani and Ramnavami with great joy, honor, and enthusiasm which includes music and dance with the beating of Dhol, Kartal, Thali, Nagara and Flute. The rituals of this tribe are so pious that it can be easily seen in their practices.
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The largest brackish water lagoon of Asia, the Chilika Lake is an awesome place to visit when you are in Odisha. It stretches from Bhusandpur in the Puri District till the Ganjan District and comprises of a beautiful wetland. There are a number of islands here and these are places till where you can enjoy boating and also spend a peaceful and exotic weekend on one of these. The islands include the Nalabana, Kalijal, Honeymoon, Breakfast, Somolo and Rajahansa. The wetland is also a bird- watcher's heaven where thousands of migratory birds, especially flamingoes come here and are a visual treat completely. The Kalijai Temple on the Kalijal island is a popular attraction here where the Goddess Kalijai is worshipped. She is a local deity and Makar Sankranti is celebrated here with great pomp.
Konark Sun Temple
he major attraction of the town of Konark, this temple is a stunning example of ancient Odisha Temple architecture. The temple was built in the 13th Century during the reign of King Narasimhavarmana I. Samba, the son of Lord Krishna was cursed by him and this made him a victim of leprosy. After this he started practising strict penace and at the end of this he attained the blessings of the Sun God. Lord Surya is the one who is said to have powers of curing all sorts of sking diseases and so did he cure Samba. As a mark of his gratitude and devotion he built the Konark Sun Temple. Next day when he was taking a bath in the waters of Chandrabhaga, a picture of Lord Surya floated to his hands and he took it as an instruction of the Lord. He immediately placed this image in the temple he had built. The temple is huge and is in the form of a chariot which has 12 wheels and being driven by 7 horses. The idol of the Sun God is in a standing posture and the horses are shown carrying him across the heavens. The temple was also called as the 'Black Pagoda' by the British because it was built completely of black granite.
Mainly known as a pilgrim's beach, this is also the place which attracts thousands of tourists from around the world. The ones who come to pay homage to Lord Jagannatha make sure to take a dip in the waters of the Puri Beach. Talking from a traveller's point of view, the views of the sunrise and sunset are awesome here. The relaxed and calm atmosphere of the beach is soothing during a vacation and the sand art displayed especially by internationally acclaimed Sudarshan Pattanaik are a visual treat. There are also a number of shacks here selling fast food and other small items here and there. For a quieter experience you should move towards the eastern end of the beach and just sit there and watch the fishermen at work. High tides are a common trait of this beah so be careful to follow the rules guided to you.
Bhitarkanika National Park
Located in the Kendrapada district of Orissa, the Bhitarkanika National Park is home to the endangered estuarine crocodiles (the largest living reptiles) and the white crocodiles. If lucky, one can also spot pythons which inhabit this area. Bhitarkanika has the distinction of housing the World's largest living crocodile (according to the Guiness Book Of World Records) at 22 feet, how about bumping into that eh! In addition to the big croc there are atleast 1665 salt water crocodiles present in the national park at the moment.
Sri Jagannath Temple
In the morning, as the hotel staff had arranged for a Panda(Priests in the Jagannath Temple). He took us to the temples( Shri Jagannath emple and Markhandeswara Temple). The serenity in these temples were just awesome. After early morning prayers, we went for street side shopping. For dinner, enjoyed a hearty "Lord Jaganath's Mahaprasada" meal followed by a comfortable overnight stay at the hotel.
The ancient caves of Khandgiri and Udaygiri are some of the finest example of rock cut architecture of ancient India. These caves have served as residential blocks for Jain monks during the reign of King Kharavela. The Jain temples in Bhubhaneshwar at an hour's distance from these caves are another excellent examples to study the ancient architecture of India.
Raja Rani Temple
Rajarani Temple is built in the 11th Century is the most scenic temple of the city. This temple symbolises Love due to the erotic carvings of women and couples. Currently there are no Gods present inside the temple but it is believed that this temple was also dedicated to lord Shiva. The temple was built using a type of stone called "Rajarani stone" hence taking the name Rajarani temple.
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.
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.
Sambalpur also boasts of the Hirakud dam, the world’s longest dam across the Mahanadi river. There is minaret called Gandi Minar atop which one can enjoy the vast expanse of Hirakud dam with the calm, serene nature all around. It provides a wonderful view and, you can feel oneness with the nature.Both the cities, Rourkela and Sambalpur have retained their natural aura in spite of being industrial towns. You can experience a perfect symbiosis of nature and industry here.
The name of the place justifies its beauty. In Hindi, Swargadwar means gate to heaven, though significant because of the cremation ground present just behind to beach, the main attraction is the Beach. Stretched alongside the main road, the beach is a huge part of Puri's main culture. Also, praised for hosting beach festival every year in December. It is not only beautiful because of its nature, it is beautiful because of the art shown by local residents on the sand by making beautiful sand sculptures. ranging from face of goddess Durga to face of Subhash Chandra Bose
Raghurajpur Artist Village
If you want to explore what the art of Odisha looks like, Raghurajpur is the best place to visit. This is a village hidden amidst palm and betel vines, where artists can make you get lost in the charm of their art. There you find thatched huts with outer platforms where the artists sit and do their work. These are also like their art studios where you can watch them working. Pattachitra or artwork on mud plates is the traditional part and other items of terracotta, papier mache and other stuffs are also made here. The Gotipua is the academy of dance here which polishes the art of Odissi started and nurtured by the Great Guru Shree Kelucharan Mahapatra. Other than this the worship of the loacl deity is also worth a watch here.
This highway is a part of the Golden Quadrilateral project and runs along the boundaries of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The Northern Terminal is in Mayurbhanj, Odisha and the Southern is in Chennai, Andhra Pradesh. In Andhra Pradesh, it runs through Nellor, kavali, Ongole, Chilakaluripet, Vijayawada, Guntur and Eluru.
Hotel Holiday Resort
Hotel Holiday Resort is one of the premium resorts in Puri functioning since 1983. Within three decades, the resort has become one of the best resorts in Puri. The rates of the rooms are quite affordable and the resort is filled with features and services to assure a comfortable stay for their customers. It is well connected by roads, just 0.5 kilometres from the Puri Railway Station, and the location is just adjacent to the beach. The Hotel Holiday Resort has played host to popular personalities like Sourav Ganguly, Ajit Panja, 10th Finance Commission K.C.Panth and more. The resort has all the modern facilities of global standards. The beach view from the resort is something you will never forget throughout your life. The Hotel Holiday Resort has five categories of rooms namely Presidential Suite, Deluxe Cottage, Family Room, Deluxe Room and Standard Room, all of them at a very nominal prices compared to the standard of luxury offered.