A destination that is often overlooked, Odisha deserves a better place in your travel wishlist. In a quest to explore more in our beautiful country India we decided on taking a trip this festive season, absolutely bowled over by the unique experiences of this underrated state, I have ten different reasons why you should consider travelling to Odisha soon
1.The largest brackish water in Asia, chilika lake was nothing like I imagined, clean and uncommercialised and beautiful. Hire a boat from OTDC and take off on a boat trip to meet Dolphins! Yes you heard it right there are over a 100 Irrawaddy Dolphins near Satpada island and it is spectacular to watch these Dolphins chilling in their Natural habitat. It will be one of the coolest things you’ll witness.
2.Nothing says holiday like going to the beach! Puri beach in Odisha is a place that’s bursting with life! From people finding their solace in the waves of the sea to crowds sampling the local grub, there is something for everyone. If you are fortunate, you could see the world famous Sudarshan Patnaik creating one of his masterpieces with sand. The eastern side is perhaps clean and less crowded. I am not an early riser, but if you catch the sunrise of the East, you could have your hand that clicking some beautiful pictures.
3.Food has always been my motivation to just about anything and trying the local fare is an excellent way to soak up the culture of a place. I’ve had one the best seafood ever here, and I salivate at the attempt to explain how good the local dishes with fish, prawn and even crabs were. The vegetarians have a lot lesser to choose from, but the simple, homely food of the Oriyas is soulful.
4.Orissa has a long tradition of handicrafts, which range from puppet making, filigree work, immaculate stonework and Patta Chitra. It’s a treat to see places adorned with beautiful miniature art and an excellent choice to buy some rare handicrafts for home. There are some great rare finds for takeaways, is the shopaholic in you, intrigued yet?
5.The historic temple of Jagannath Puri is shrouded with hidden mysteries that historians are still trying to uncover, the yearly Rath Yatra of this temple is world famous. Well, we all according to the law of nature day-time, air comes from sea to land, and during the evening, the vice-versa occurs. But in Puri, it’s totally opposite which is a phenomenon that intrigues many to this day.With many deities and small temples inside the main complex, the massive Jagannath Puri temple is a very overwhelming experience
6.We have all read about this 13th century UNESCO world heritage famous Konark Sun temple as children but witnessing it in person was magical. The entire temple has been constructed like a chariot and is a stunning example of an architectural marvel you shouldn’t miss. The temple peripheries are adorned with erotic sculptures from the kama sutra so be prepared for awkward stares if you’re here with family!
7.The simplicity of the local population will surely charm you. Extremely hospitable and hardworking, it is the conversations with local people that made me understand the state a lot better.They take great pride in their state and will tell you what makes it truly unique.
8. Odisha has a distinct Buddhist history that is enchanting; mostly undiscovered Odisha has main sites – Ratnagiri, Udayagiri, and Lalitagiri also called the “Diamond Triangle”. These sites house many monasteries, stupas, and beautiful Buddhist sculptures. The picturesque and peaceful sites are a reason to visit this state.
9. Odisha is the home for famous Olive Ridley Turtles. The locals care for these with great pride, after all, it’s the single most important breeding area for Olive Ridley turtles. Rushikulya and Rambha (Chilika) are the right places to see Olive-Ridley turtles and most proper season for sighting is the end of January.