Bhubaneswar: The temple city of Bhubaneswar has always been a major attraction of travellers. The beautiful temples in and around the city are known for their artistic skills and scenic beauty.
Lately, Bhubaneswar has become an educational and a sports hub. A large number of students from all over India come to the city every year to pursue various degrees. Be it Engineering, Hotel and Travel Management, Science, Arts, Commerce, Music or Dance; Bhubaneswar and adjoining cities are the answer.
Also, the recently concluded Men’s Hockey World Cup put Bhubaneswar on a global map. The world was in. Not forgetting the Athletics Championship, this had garnered lots of attention too. Bhubaneswar is filled with amazing offbeat destinations. Within a range of a hundred kilometres or so there are a number of places where anyone can go for a weekend getaway. From majestic mountains, scenic beaches, to archaeological masterpieces- Bhubaneswar has everything.
Having own conveyance is a boon, but public transport has seen a huge growth recently. Also one can avail taxis as per preference.
Here is a list of a few offbeat places to visit
Museum of Tribal Arts and Artifacts
The museum has on display tribal costumes, jewellery, art, household objects, musical instruments & more. This museum also serves as a Tribal Research Institute. It has life-sized authentic tribal dwellings, created by the tribal craftsmen. This offers a view of the State’s tribal heritage. The museum is located at Unit – VIII, close to CRPF square on NH5.
Odisha Modern Art Gallery
Located close to the airport, the Odisha Modern Art Gallery houses contemporary paintings by local as well as international artists. While some of the art is permanently exhibited at the gallery, there are many travelling exhibits held here.
Chandaka – Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary
This wildlife sanctuary is home to a huge number of animals, birds with protected medicinal plants. It lies on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar near Baramunda area. It is spread over 193.39 sq.km. This site is a treasure house of biodiversity. It is known for its successful conservation of elephants. An enthusiastic traveller can trek around or get a vehicle to drive around the sanctuary to enjoy the serene space.
Nandankanan Zoological Park
This zoological park is a part of the Chandaka-Damapara Wildlife sanctuary. Unlike other zoos, this was built right inside the forest. It houses a range of animals, birds, reptile and a huge range of medicinal plants and herbs. Beer, lion, tiger safaris are a major attraction too. The zoo is located at just 14 km from Bhubaneswar.
Ocean World Water Park
What better place to let go of a week-long stress than a splash in the water. This amusement cum water park is located on the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack bypass at Phulnakhra. It is just 14kms from Bhubaneswar.
This freshwater lake is located on the banks of River Mahanadi in Banki and is 50 km away from Bhubaneswar. The scenic beauty of this place is mindblowing. It also serves as a shelter for some migratory birds. The facilities of boating and fishing make sure that the visitors have an amazing and unforgettable experience.
Khandagiri and Udaygiri Hills
These cave ranges are partly natural partly artificial. They are of extreme archaeological, historical and religious importance. The caves lie on outskirts of Bhubaneswar. It is suggested to hire a guide to know the deep history of these beautiful caves. The view from the top is simply spectacular.
This place is situated about 40 km from Bhubaneswar, on the way to Pipli. This is the place where Ashoka the Great fought his last war with Kalinga. The bloodbath brought about a change in his heart and made him embrace Buddhism. He built several stupas and made the place a centre for Buddhist activities. The light and sound show at hills is something to be not missed at all. Again, the top view is something to remember by.
Pathani Samanta Planetarium
The Pathani Samanta Planetarium organises shows and workshops relating to astronomy regularly. This planetarium also exhibits different astronomy instruments, models of planets and stars, as well as instruments related to astrophysics.
Odisha State Museum
This museum originated in 1932 and has been its current building since 1960. The museum is divided into eleven sections, viz, Archaeology, Epigraphy, Numismatics, Armoury, Mining & Geology, Natural History, Art & Craft, Contemporary Art, Patta Painting, Anthropology and Palmleaf Manuscripts. It is a must-visit for any history lover.