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Orissa state lies on the Bay of Bengal and is often in the news for the wrong reasons - its prone to natural disasters such as flooding and cyclones. However, the state is blessed with some excellent attractions, many of which are off the usual tourist beat. In northern Orissa and worth exploring is Khiching, a former ancient capital, and the twin villages of Ranipur-Jharial with their extensive collection of temples. It's worth hiring a guide farther south to demystify the erotic carvings of the Sun Temple and to gain an understanding of its historical roots, which are shrouded in a mixture of fact and legend. One of the state's best ...

Orissa state lies on the Bay of Bengal and is often in the news for the wrong reasons - its prone to natural disasters such as flooding and cyclones. However, the state is blessed with some excellent attractions, many of which are off the usual tourist beat. In northern Orissa and worth exploring is Khiching, a former ancient capital, and the twin villages of Ranipur-Jharial with their extensive collection of temples. It's worth hiring a guide farther south to demystify the erotic carvings of the Sun Temple and to gain an understanding of its historical roots, which are shrouded in a mixture of fact and legend. One of the state's best secrets is Similipal National Park, a participant of Project Tiger where visitors have the opportunity to spot these magnificent animals as well as elephants, wolves, wild boar and crocodiles. Birders will delight in spotting the 300 species present in the park. Perhaps Orissa's most fascinating aspect though is to visit the Adivasi - indigenous tribal groups with their own cultures, rituals and beliefs. Tours can be arranged.

Alan Murphy
About the Expert

Alan Murphy is coauthor of Lonely Planet's Britain, Scotland, India and North India. He has been writing and updating travel guidebooks for the past 12 years.

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Alan Murphy for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Orissa is a state located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal.
  • Language: Hindu, English, Oriya
  • Currency: Indian Rupee (INR)
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Cool season, November to March. Watch out for cyclones in November/December.