BHUBNESHWAR :- The 'Cathedral City' was once the capital of an ancient kingdom. Today this bustling Centre for commerce and religious activity is Orissa's modern capital. Having merged its intriguing past so uniquely with its modern aspirations, it forms an integral link in the Golden Triangle that incorporates the holy city of Puri and Konark, for the tourists that flock to pay their homage to the religious, cultural and natural wonders that abound here.
The striking features of the city are the numerous temples and shrines that seem to be all around you. Bhubaneswar's skyline is dominated by some of the most spectacular engineering and artistic feats of its ancient heritage. The imposing spire of the Lingaraj Temple, the quiet beauty of the Vishwa Shanti Stupa and the pink translucence of the Mahavira Jain Temple in nearby Khandagiri, inspire feelings of wonder at their sheer beauty and their cross-- cultural permutations. These three alone offer an excellent insight into the ancient cultural strength of Orissa and are well-worth exploring at greater length. At least four of Bhubaneswar's temples must he on the tourist's agenda, to get a feel of the dynamic artistry and development of their indigenous perfection.
KHANDAGIRI & UDAYGIRI (JAIN HERITAGE) : The twin hills of Khandagiri & Udayagiri, 8 km from Bhubaneswar, served as the site of an ancient Jain monastery which was carved into cave like chambers in the face of the hill. Dating back to the 2nd century BC, some of the caves have beautiful carvings. The Rani Gumpha ( Queen's Cave), one of the largest and double- storied is ornately embellished with beautiful carvings.
ATRI : The Atri hot sulphur spring is believed to have medicinal properties and has become a popular outing spot for vacationers. The drive from Bhuhaneswar (42 km) alone is worth the trip. The countryside is gorgeous. Atri is also famous for its temple dedicated to Lord Hatakeswar.
DHAULI : Just 8 km away from Bhubaneswar looking down on the plains that bore witness to the gruesome war waged on Kalinga by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka, stand the rock edicts of Dhauli. It was here that King Ashoka; full of remorse renounced his bloodthirsty campaign and turned to Buddhism. The edicts are a living testimony to the King's change of heart. He urges his administrators to rule the land with justice and compassion.
THE GARDEN OF GODS : NANDANKANAN short distance from the capital city, Bhubaneswar, the Nandankanan zoo lies in the splendid environs of the CHANDAKA forest , along the ripling water of the KANJIA LAKE.It also contains a botanical garden and part of it is has been declared a santuary.It's famous for it's white tiger population .Nandankanan or the garden of Gods,has bocom a hot family favorite,with visitors getting an excellent oppertunity to enjoy seeing these regal animals in thire natural glory-in an environment conducive to there growth.