The history of the city stretches back over 2000 years, the area first appears as the ancient capital of Kalinga. Bhubaneshwar, the 'city of temples', named after Tribhubaneswar. In 1936, the Odisha (Odisha (Orissa)) became a separate province with Cuttack as its Capital, which was eventually changed to Bhubaneswar in 1956. Together with Puri and Konark, Bhubaneswar forms the 'golden triangle', one of the most visited destinations in East India, for its proud possession of magnificent sculpture and majestic architectural heritage.
The Bhubaneswar area first appears in history during the 4th century BC. The fortified city of Sisupalgarh, 5 km northeast of Dhauli and 2.5 km southeast of Bhubaneswar was the site of Kalinga Nagar, the Capital of the Chedi (Mahameghavahan) Kings. Excavations here revealed that this Fort had a well developed civil and military architecture, all through the beginning of the 3rd century BC to the middle of the 4th century AD. The archaeological remains at Dhauli, and hills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri caves give evidence of both Jain and Buddhist settlements around Bhubaneswar in the first two centuries BC. The southern suburbs of the city have remnants of some of the striking temples like the Lingaraja Temple(the longest temple of Bhubaneswar famous for the old 11th century temple ), the Mukteswara Temple,Rajarani Temple etc.
The commercial and the modern business activities are centered around places named as Kalpana Square on the busy Cuttack Road, Rajmahal Square, Station Square or Master Canteen and the road further on to Vani Vihar, Janpath, housing most lodges, restaurants, shopping arcades and banks.
The Lingaraja temple is the largest temple in Bhubaneswar. The central tower of the temple is 180 ft (55 m) tall. The temple represents the quintessence of the Kalinga Architecture and culminating the medieval stages of the architectural tradition at Bhubaneswar.The temple is believed to be built by the kings from the Somavamsi dynasty, with later additions from the Ganga rulers. The temple is built in the Deula style that has four components namely, vimana (structure containing the sanctum), jagamohana (assembly hall), natamandira (festival hall) and bhoga-mandapa (hall of offerings), each increasing in the height to its predecessor. The temple complex has 50 other shrines and is enclosed by a large compound wall.
Lingaraja temple is maintained by the Temple Trust Board and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The temple has an average of 6,000 visitors per day and receives lakhs of visitors during festivals. Shivaratri festival is the major festival celebrated in the temple and event during 2012 witnessed 200,000 visitors.
The Jagannath temple was built in the 12th century during the era of the Eastern Ganga dynasty's King Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva. The Jagannath Temple of Puri is a sacred Vaishnava temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath and located on the eastern coast of India, at Puri in the state of Odisha.
The temple is an important pilgrimage destination and is particularly visited by devotees of Supreme lord Sri Krishna and is one of theChar Dham pilgrimages that anyone is expected to make in one's lifetime. The temple is famous for its annual Rath Yatra, or chariot festival, in which the three main temple deities are hauled on huge and elaborately decorated temple cars.
Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century CE Sun Temple at Konark in Odisha, India. It is believed that the temple was built by king Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty in 1255 CE.The temple complex is in the shape of a gigantic chariot, having elaborately carved stone wheels, pillars and walls. The name Konark derives from the combination of the Sanskrit words, Kona (corner or angle) and Ark (the sun), in reference to the temple which was dedicated to the Sun God Surya. The monument was also called the Black Pagoda'(Kaala Pagoda) by the European sailors. Konark Sun Temple used Iron beams for its structure.
The temple was originally built at the mouth of the river Chandrabhaga, but the waterline has receded since then. It is carefully oriented towards the east so that the first rays of sunrise strikes the principal entrance.
Ratha Yatra or Ratha Jatra or Chariot Festival is a Hindu festival associated with Lord Jagannath held at Puri in the state of Odisha, India. It is the oldest Ratha Yatra taking place in India and the World, whose descriptions can be found in Brahma Purana, Padma Purana, and Skanda Purana and Kapila Samhita.
This annual festival is celebrated on Ashadha Shukla Paksha Dwitiya (second day in bright fortnight of Ashadha month.loard Krishna. The festival commemorates Jagannath's annual visit to Gundicha Temple via Mausi Maa Temple (aunt's home) near Balagandi Chaka, Puri.As part of Ratha Yatra, the deities of Jagannath, his elder brother Balabhadra and younger sister Subhadra are taken out in a procession to Gundicha Temple and remain there for nine days.They are also accompanied by Sudarshana chakra.
Three richly decorated chariots, resembling temple structures, are pulled through the streets of Puri called Badadanda. This commemorates the annual journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and their sister Subhadra to their aunt's temple, the Gundicha Temple which is situated at a distance of 2 km from their temple. This is the only day when devotees who are not allowed in the temple premises, such as non-Hindus and foreigners, can get their glimpse of the deities.
Asia's largest brackish water lagoon with water spread ranging from 1165 sq km m the rainy season to 906 sq km in the dry season is nestled in the heart of the coastal Odisha (Orissa). It extends from Bhusandpur in Puri district in the North to Rambha-Malud in Ganjan district in the South, separated from the Bay of Bengal by a 60 km long narrow strip of marshy islands and sand-flats.
Some of the prominent islands like Nalabana, Kalijal, Somolo, Honeymoon, Break-fast, Birds and Rajahansa inhabited by small subsistence fishermen families, are popular destinations for daily boat trips. Because of its rich bio-diversity and socio-economic importance, Chilika was designated as a Ramsar site.
Chilika is recognized as one of the most important wetlands in the world because it is home to a phenomenal variety of birds. Chilika Lake offers visitors a spectacular display of its colorful avian charms in a thousand different hues presented by over 160 species in the peak season between November and February.
Odisha has a culinary tradition spanning centuries. Majority of the people from Odisha are non-vegetarians and fish forms an integral part of their traditional cuisine. Odia dishes are rich and varied and rely on local ingredients. Rice, both sun dried and par-boiled is the staple food of the people in this state.