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The capital of Orissa is every inch the bustling Indian metropolis, but it has a beating spiritual heart. In the midst of the wide modern avenues is a sacred lake flanked by more than 50 ancient temples, carved in a riot of effigies and bas reliefs, many dating back to the 6th century. According to legend, the lake was filled using water gathered from every holy river and temple tank in India, making this an extremely auspicious place to wash away your sins. For two millennia, the city was ruled by a succession of Hindu dynasties, who erected some of the finest temples in south India, following the distinctive conventions of Dravidian ...

The capital of Orissa is every inch the bustling Indian metropolis, but it has a beating spiritual heart. In the midst of the wide modern avenues is a sacred lake flanked by more than 50 ancient temples, carved in a riot of effigies and bas reliefs, many dating back to the 6th century. According to legend, the lake was filled using water gathered from every holy river and temple tank in India, making this an extremely auspicious place to wash away your sins. For two millennia, the city was ruled by a succession of Hindu dynasties, who erected some of the finest temples in south India, following the distinctive conventions of Dravidian architecture. Superimposed over this ancient city, modern Bhubaneswar was created in 1946 by the German architect Otto Konigsberger, who followed the example of Chandigarh and filled his city with wide, tree-lined boulevards. Many Indian travelers are drawn here by traditional Orissan handicrafts and dance, but most foreign visitors use Bhubaneswar as a staging post en route to the famous temples at Puri and Konark on the Orissan coast.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Bhubaneswar, the capital of the Indian state of Odisha, formerly known as Orissa, is often referred to as a 'Temple City' and together with Puri and Konark it forms the Swarna Tribhuja ("Golden Triangle"), one of eastern India's most visited destinations.
  • Language: Oriya, Hindi, Urdu
  • Currency: Indian Rupee
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    October to March; avoid the rain-drenched monsoon months of summer.