Train passes through the heartland of India's Indigenous Populations and there are many opportunities of interacting with diverse local populations. This train route is also associated with the different mineral ores that fuel our economy and provide goods to the urban centre of India and abroad. Anyone who gets a chance to take this route should definitely travel in this part of the country.
How To Reach
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296 Kms from Rayagada
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.
167 Kms from Rayagada
Best time to visit - N/A
Also known as Vizag, this city is often considered as the best and most popular tourist attraction of Andhra Pradesh. Starting from lush green sceneries to pristine beaches, temples to lakes, beautiful hill ranges and caves, this city has it all for you. There are a number of tourist attractions to keep you attracted here. The Araku Valley and Kailasa Giri are the abode for natural beauty. The Borra Caves are examples of colorful cave formations. The Ramakrishna and Yarada Beaches are also must visit mainly due to the clean beaches and clear waters along with the beauty of the surroundings. This city is rightly a place with cultural and religious diversity. The Visakha Museum and the Submarine Museum are popular too. The later is the first museum to be built in a submarine in Asia.
304 Kms from Rayagada
Raipur - BilaspurTo reach Bilaspur, I took a flight to Raipur - the nearest airport. I waited at the airportarrivals as one by one my girl gang members arrived at the airport from different Indian cities. Raipur airport arrival section was clean and well organized. The food options here are very limited but you will find many options for shopping. The one that caught my eye was a government shop - Chhattisgarh herbal products.
286 Kms from Rayagada
The district headquarters of the Puri District, the City of Puri lies on the western side of the state capital of Bhubaneshwar and is right on the banks of the Bay of Bengal. Puri is known to be one of the most important pilgrimage places for the Hindus and a seat of Lord Vishnu in the form of Lord Jagannatha. The Jagannatha Temple is the most important attraction here and the Lord here resides with his brother Balaram and sister Subhadra.Other than this, the sea is what attracts tourists from all over the world. The historically rich city has a moderate climate and heritage places which dates back to the 3rd century as well. There is also the Math of Sankaracharya which finds great popularity with peace seekers. Apart from that shopping is what you can enjoy here. You get all sorts of traditional items to bring back home.
312 Kms from Rayagada
Best time to visit - January,February,March,November,December
Cuttack is one of the oldest cities in Odisha. It is also called the 'Millennium City', owing to its history of about a 1,000 years. The former capital of Odisha, Cuttack has seen the rise and fall of various empires over the years. Ranging from the magnificent Keshari dynasty to pre-independence struggles, the city has always been a centre of attention. Cuttack is a major commercial hub, sitting at the delta formed by Mahanadi and Kathjori. Cuttack is best known for its internationally acclaimed silver-filigree work called Tarakasi. Cuttack is home to the once magnificent, Barabati Fort on the banks of Mahanadi. Barabati Fort hosts multiple cultural and sports events today. The temple Katak Chandi lies at a walking distance from the fort. Qadm Rasool, a holy site for followers of Islam, is said to have the footprints of Prophet Mohamed embedded on a circular rock. The shrine is acclaimed by both Hindus and Muslims. Another attraction in the holy shrine is an 18th century music gallery in the middle of the compound. Qadm Rasool makes for a very enriching visit! Other tourist attractions include Paradeep Beach, Dhabaleshwar Island and the Odisha Maritime Museum.
309 Kms from Rayagada
Best time to visit - November- March
A small town in the state of Odisha, this place is mainly known for the 13th Century Sun Temple. This place was built by Samba who was the son of Lord Krishna. He built the temple here as a mark of his devotion and thankfulness towards the Sun God. Apart from this temple, the Chandrabhaga beach is another attraction here. Konark is not very far away from the Puri City and so is also easily accesible for everyone. This is also an UNESCO World Heritage Site and is looked after by the Archeological Survey of India. The place started hiding away from the eyes of the tourists but is now again reviving its importance among all.