When you are a travel enthusiast and you are in India, you are never out of options to explore new places. The list is endless and you are always spoiled for choices. Whenever we get an opportunity to visit a new place, even if its just for a day, we make the maximum of it at any cost. Recently we were in Odisha for a friend’s wedding, and we had just one extra day in our itinerary for exploring around. One of the most famous tours in Odisha, popular among all tourists, is the Golden triangle tour – comprising of Bhubaneshwar, Puri and Konark. There are world famous temples in each of this place and hence also known as the Golden Temple triangle tour. When we visited the place in the 1st week of March, summer was just about starting; but ideally this is not the best time to visit Odisha as temperatures will be soaring high and you may not enjoy the scorching heat. Bhubaneshwar, being the capital city of the state is well connected by road, trains and also by air. So this would be the best place to start your tour; and there are several tour packages available that cover all these places at a reasonable price.
This was the first stop on our trip, which is about 1.5 hrs by road from Bhubaneshwar. Known as the spiritual capital of the state, the world famous Lord Jagannath temple is present in this city. The main temple itself is about 2 kms from the main bus stand in the city, but beware of fleecing autowalas who charge exorbitantly. Temple is open for darshan from 5am in the morning till 11pm in the night with breaks in between for aartis. The entry into the temple is restricted only for Hindus, as this is one of the temples of the CharDham. The tall structure of the main temple is quite imposing and is a visual treat for the intricate architecture. There are pandits in and around the temple who take you around to explain the meaning of various entrances and stories around it. The divinity that one experiences inside, fills you with a positive vibe and peace of mind.
Another world famous place and our next stop on the tour is Konark. From Puri, it is an hour’s drive to the famous Sun temple. To call this place an architectural marvel is an understatement. Designed to look like the chariot of the Sun God, the various sculptures surrounding the entire temple depict various stages through the life of man. Legend says that the main sanctum sanctorum had the Sun God suspended in air with the support of two huge magnets on top and bottom. It is said that the Portuguese had destroyed the magnets as it affected with navigation of ships. This resulted in several damages to the structure as a whole. Till date the main entrance is sealed and supported by boulders.
For more such awesome clicks, check out this album – Konark.
- Dhauli – On the way back from Konark, our first stop in Bhubaneshwar was at Dhauli. This is one of the first places that is reminiscent of the Buddhist history of the state. The famous Asoka emperor who is credited with bringing Buddhism into India ruled from Odisha. The famous Kalinga war is said to have been fought not far from this place. There is a white peace pagoda built here with statues of Buddha and sculptures depicting the war.
- Lingraj temple – One of the largest temples in Bhubaneshwar, dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple has architechture and structure very similar to the one in Puri. Even in this temple only Hindus are allowed.
- Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves – these are man made caves located opposite each other on small hills. Udayagiri has many room like structures carved out of rocks which is said to have served many Jain monks. Many of these caves have elaborate carvings and sculptures. On top of the Khandagiri caves, there is a small Jain temple.
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