Bhubaneswar is the ancient temple town and now the present day capital of the state of Orissa. This is mostly preferable place for tourist to arrive first. It is situated at an altitude of 45 meters above sea level, its temperature ranges between 15 degree Celsius in winter to a maximum of 35-48 degree celsius in summer. The most common language used are Oriya,Hindi & English. The city though small but has good hotels and dinning option and is connected to all important cities in India by train and air. Apart from many temples for which the city is famous, the city also has a state museum which is totally devoted to archaeology, art, natural and tribal history, weapons and other local arts & crafts. Besides this the Tribal Research Institute in the city also has a museum and a small shop selling books on the various tribes.
Orissa has a lot of offer to the shopper. Probably the best place to shop is at Utkalika, which stocks all the various major artifacts and jewellary that the state is famous for. For traditional handlooms, a visit to the Handloom weaver's cooperative will not be a waste of time.
For those coming here for the first time, it is advisable to make a visit to the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation office at Panthnivas.
The former capital of Orissa and the oldest city among all regions is Cuttack.It is has a climate of 17 degrees to 44 degree Celsius in summer. Oriya,Hindi & English are the languages in use. Today it is a bustling commercial centre which is situated on the delta formed by the Mahanadi and Kathjuri rivers. It has many places of historical interest in and around itself.
Cuttack stands out as the mot important shopping centre in the state which is being the centre for famous filigree work of Orissa. Balu bazaar and Nayasarak are the best places to shop for these items. There are also two government emporia selling various traditional items of the state on Jail road.
Cuttack is very well known as the birth place of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose who was a freedom fighter.
Cuttack is easily approached by rood from Bhubaneswar which is 30 kms away. While there are a number of small to large hotels in the city. The best hotels are Hotel Akhbari, Hotel grand residency etc.
About 62 kms from Bhubaneswar, Puri is the second destination on Orissa. It is on the cost of Bay of Bengal and has a climate of 17 degrees to 32 degree Celsius in summer. Oriya,Hindi,English & Bengali are the languages in use. It combines a dual identity of being a major pilgrimage centre as well as a seaside resort for relaxation. While the famous Jaganath temple dominates Puri's skyline and the Rath jatra is its best known celebration. The city serves as an excellent centre to shop for the state's multifarious arts and crafts especially the traditional painting and stone carving.
The work which is world famous is the Pipli work which is main attraction of tourist to buy like bags, wall hangings, swings etc. it is famous because of the mirror work and the color combination with lace is best of it.
Puri has been a seaside resort for many decades. You can visit the place by train or by bus. For staying there are small to large budget hotels available.
It can be visited from Bhubaneswar about 65 kms or Puri about 35 kms. It shares all its equable climate conditions and people speak Oriya,Hindi,English & Bengali like Puri. The sun temple of Kornak is its single biggest attraction and visitors must plan to leave a good amount of time at hand to explore its architectural and sculptural grandeur. If one is really serious about the spot, one can get some good reference material from the Archaeological museum here before actually moving to the site. The beach is only a kilometer or so away and through steep is quite a lovely place to spend the morning or evening. The Konark-Puri marine drive which is really fantastic.
You can rest in lodge and hotel in Konark.
Other places for visit
There are a number of place that can be easily accessed from the main cities. Among this is AtriWhich is 42 kms from Bhubaneswar and is known for its hot sulphur springs & a temple dedicated to Lord Hatakeswar Balighai is a place which is 8 kms from Puri. It is the place where the Nuanai River meets the Bay of Bengal, just north of Puri. You can visit by a path off the Marine drive. Khandagiri & Udaygiri are two famous sities with fin specimens' of rock cut temples, just northwest of Bhubaneswar. In another direction is Dhauli which is 8 kms from Bhubaneswar, the site of the Ashokan edicts from the 3rd century B.C. Hirapur, the site of two yogini temple which is 12 kms from Bhubaneswar.