I often complain about cities being planned so badly that it becomes tough for a visitor to understand where he is going. I loved Bhubaneshwar in that sense because the city is so well planned. The entire city lives on two highways with a number of sectors like Chandigarh.
But that is not what made me fall in love with this place.
On one hand this city is one of the fastest growing Indian cities of the country, on the other this is the center of the history and legacy of ancient Odisha that once lived as Kalinga and Utkal. There are a couple of places one must not miss when visiting there.
Backpacking in Bhubaneshwar is easy and fun. You can find a hotel near the station, that is as cheap as 200 bucks. If you are not a big time spender then there are dorms, hostels and dharamshalas that are as cheap as 80 rupees a day with separate locker facility.
Bhubaneshwar is rich with architectural beauty, ancient temples, pagodas, crafts village along with one of the largest man made sanctuary, Nandan Kanan, located there.
One can catch shared autos to almost every place, if not, then buses run frequently to all the destinations.
Here are a couple of places that I visited during my stay in Bhubaneshwar.
Old Town – The only reason I found this place interesting is because of the Traffic Mahadev, that is a small temple that also serves as a road divider. Excluding that, there are many other old temples located in this area too.
Lingraj Temple – I didn’t get to see this temple from the inside because I had no place to keep my camera and the temples priests scared me to death. I walked almost two kilometers on foot from where the auto dropped me and then returned the same way.
Dhauli Giri – Reaching here was one tough job as I tried twice and failed. The bus’s drop site is at a point which is about 5 km away from Dhauli and you can hardly find an auto going in that direction. Also I was not willing to pay 500 bucks for a two way trip. Finally I reached there while returning from Puri when I accidently got into a tourist bus that made a stop there. Reaching there is tough but the view from the top of the pagoda is to die for.
Khandagiri and Udaigiri – Good god this place was so badly populated with monkeys and that too the vicious kinds. They won’t let you enter unless you buy them peanuts, which they instead of asking politely, choose to snatch it from your hand and run away. It’s like a gang of mobsters who won’t let your vehicle move unless you give them hafta. Anyways, after the due payment I got to visit these rock cut caves that was once used by Buddhist monks for meditation. When you reach the top of the hill you can have a good panoramic view of entire Bhubaneshwar city.
Mukteshwar and Raja Rani Temple – These are two beautiful temples located a few kilometers away from Lingaraj temple. They are not as crowded as the other structures, covered in green lawns and unique architectural style one can spend some quality time here without any disturbance.
If you are planning to backpack in Odisha then Bhubaneshwar is a very ideal place to start from. One can go on day trips to a lot of places like Cuttack, Puri, Konark, Chandipur etc and return on same day. There are local and passenger trains going to every city and town in Odisha and even to Kolkata and Kharagpur, so traveling is not all that exhausting.
If you have any-more queries then post them in comments section and I’ll be at your service.