Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 13:
If you are looking for a holiday destination to plan your next outing, look no further. Odisha Sun Times gives you seven killer reasons as to why Odisha has to be a must-see getaway for you:
Our beaches can put any Baga, Anjuna and Morjim beach to shame. Our Puri-Konark marine drive is one of the best stretches to unwind, race your car or for those romantic long drives with a view to kill for. Chandrabhaga and Puri beaches have been centres of attraction for any tourist that sets foot in Odisha. And if you find renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik at work on the beach, that’s your lucky day for sure. Beaches in Chhatrapur, Chandbali and Paradip are also must-see destinations in the state. Our trump card? The receding sea of Chandipur in Gopalpur that lets you walk on the sea bed. Beat that!
Odias are foodaholics. Period. We love our dalma, pithas, chenapodas, dahi-bara as much as we love puri-aloo dum, parathas, idli-dosas with chutney. We cater to all kinds of taste buds, be it spicy, tangy or sweet. A trip to Odisha is a treat to the palette. One cannot get enough of our Dhenkanal bara, Nimapara’s chenna jhili, Baripada’s mudhi-mansa, Bhadrak’s paalua laddu, Saalepur and Pahala’s rasagolla, Rajasunakhela’s Sukua (dried and salted fish), Kendrapada’s rasabali, Nayagarh’s Chenapoda, Cuttack’s dahibara-aloodum… and the list is endless.
Odisha has a rich heritage of the Kalinga architecture evident from the temples across the entire state. The capital city, Bhubaneswar aka Temple City alone has preserved about 500 temples: from the 11th century Lingaraj temple, the temple of tantric cult Chausathi Jogini and the likes of Mukteswar, Bhaskareswar, Yameshwar and Raja Rani temple in between. Moreover, Buddhist architecture is also part of our heritage because of the presence of Ratnagiri, Udaygiri and Lalitgiri, referred to as the Diamond Triangle, here. And of course, who can forget Konark?
Good read: Konark Sun Temple: A Sex Symbol
4. Fine arts
From the famed Konark Dance Festival to the Raja Rani Music Festival, the rich dance and music culture of Odisha attracts dance and music connoisseurs from across the world. Odisha is the birthplace of Odissi dance and Odissi vocal classical music. Gotipua, Mahari and Nartaki dance forms have also originated here; so has Jaydev’s Gita Gobinda. From Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Sanjukta Panigrahi, artist Jatin Das to the versatile singer Sona Mohaptra, National Award winning film director Sabyasachi Mohaptra, our poet Haladhar Nag who writes poem in the Koshali language has been conferred with the Padma Shri recently.
Attention all shoppers! Odisha is a haven if you are a handicraft junkie who likes collecting souvenirs. We have an entire village (Raghurajpur) dedicated to pattachitra artisans. Applique work, dhokra casting, silver filigree works and handloom weaving Sambalpuri and Berhampuri silk sarees are the pièce de résistance of the rich cultural heritage of Odisha.
Interesting read: Pattachitra on Nails, Mobile Phone Covers
6. Culture and people
Odias are one of the most tolerant people in the country and have carved a niche for themselves on a global platform as well. We are one of the most welcoming people. We are the land that transformed the Chandashoka to Dharmashoka. Lord Jagannath is central to our culture and existence in the state and so are all the festivals associated with Him. Festivals in Odisha such as Dola Yatra, Danda , Rath Jatra, Dhanu Jatra, Nuakhai and even Dussehra, Holi and Diwali are best times to soak in the Odia culture and tradition.
Quirky read: 8 Odia foods that help in losing weight
7. Forests and wildlife
Odisha is one of the few states in India that can boast of forests, beaches, hills and waterfalls: all in one. Hills in Deomali, Niyamgiri, Satkosia, forests with abundance of wildlife and santuaries in Bhitarkanika, Similipal, Kuldiha (Mayurbhanj), Chandaka, Sunabedha and waterfalls in Badaghagra and Sanaghara (Keonjhar), Duduma (Koraput), Harishankar (Bolangir), Khandadhar (Keonjhar), Joranda (Dhenkanal). Olive Ridley turtles in Gahirmatha and Rusikulya and the home to migratory birds in Chilika are annual guests in Odisha as well. Scenic, serene, sublime, isn’t it?