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Odisha

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Asia : South Asia : India : Eastern India : Odisha
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Odisha [1] is a state in Eastern India. It used to be known as Orissa, but the the name was officially changed in November 2011.

Regions

Cities

  • Bhubaneswar — state capital and transportation hub
  • Brahmapur (previously Berhampore) — also known as The Silk City
  • Cuttack — the old capital of Odisha; also known as "Silver City"
  • Koraput
  • Paradip — the port city
  • Puri — famous for Jagganath temple and vibrant beach, and the most popular tourist destination in the state
  • Rourkela — One of the biggest cities of Odisha, also known as "Steel City" of Odisha
  • Sambalpur — the biggest city in western Odisha
  • Sunabeda — the Kashmir of Odisha

Other destinations

  • Bhitarkanika National Park - Mangrove Wetland Park
  • Chilka Lake - One of the biggest Wetlands Areas in the world, and a migratory bird hotspot. Also home to Sea turtles and Dolphins
  • Daringbadi - Darjeeling of Odisha. This is a very scenic place.
  • Pipli - World Wide Famous for its art and craft
  • Simlipal National Park - A massive wild life sanctuary in Northern Orissa. Home to tigers and elephants

Understand

Odisha borders on the Bay of Bengal. The eastern part, close to the sea is more prosperous, with a lot of tourist locations and religious places. The western part is a hilly and forested area, generally drought prone. It is a predominantly tribal belt. However, the western part of the state contains enormous volumes of iron ore and other minerals that promises to herald a major industrialisation of the state.

It is a culturally rich state. The Bhubaneswar-Puri-Konark golden triangle is the pride of the state.

Traditionally, Odisha descended from the historical kingdom of Kalinga. The script for the Odia (Oriya) language derives from the Kalinga script which is one of the descendants of the Brahmi script.

Talk

Odia (also spelled Oriya) is the local language and Hindi is also spoken here. Many people understand English. Bengali is spoken particularly in the tourist centres.

Get in

By train

There are regular trains from Delhi, Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai.

By plane

There is a airport in the heart of the city of Bhubaneswar with flights operated by all the major public and private airlines. It is well connected to other major destinations like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru (Bangalore).

Get around

By taxi

  • Taxis or hired cars are available in important cities and towns.

By autorickshaw

  • Private rickshaws cost less than regular taxis but you will have to squash up with whoever else gets inside.

See

Temples, sea beaches, geographical specialties like Chilka Lake, and wild life. you have time you can visit Shimilipal National Forest which is a paradise for nature lovers.

Do

Breathe fresh air.

Buy

Odisha is well-known for handicrafts. Sambalpuri and Kataki sarees in handspun cotton and silk or tussar, have traditional Hindu and Buddhist designs on them. There is filigree work in silver that you will find in Kataka. You will also find fine tribal work in brass and other metal-wire. Pattachitra is traditional painting on palm-leaf or raw silk.

Eat

A typical meal in Orissa consists of a main course and dessert. Typically breads (roti, paratta) are served as the main course for breakfast, whereas rice is eaten with lentils dal during lunch and dinner.The breakfast consists of chuda (poha, flattened rice), mudhi (muri, puffed rice), chuda can be eaten either as fried or with curd-banana-sugar(called as Chudaa Dahi). Mudhi is a famous snack in north Orissa. Different pitha also form breakfast menu. The main course in lunch includes one or more curries, vegetables and pickles. Given the fondness for sweet foods, the dessert course may include generous portions of more than a single item. Oriya desserts are made from a variety of ingredients, with milk, chhenna (a form of cottage cheese), coconut, rice, and wheat flour being the most common.

Eat the rasagullas from the dhabas or the little snack stores set in freeways, it comes in yellow white and brown color and are very delicious. Taste chena pod, another traditional sweet-meat from Orissa. If you enjoy spicy food and used to Indian cuisine, you can try out the local Oriya cuisin made out of Sea food (like Fish, tiger prawns and crab curry prepared with exotic spices). Its a foodie's paradise.

Drink

Green coconut. Hard drinks are available in most towns. And never forget to drink the sugarcane juice. Its awesome in Odisha.

Sleep

There are several good hotels in Bhubaneswar, such as Trident Hilton, Hotel Mayfair, and Hotel Swosti Plaza. You can also get decent accommodation at the [OTDC] hotels all over the state in tourist locations. In the smaller towns, try and stay in the Forest Bungalows or Inspection Bungalows, mostly run for government officials on tour, but provided to others when vacant.

Stay safe

The area is infested with mosquitoes and so carry mosquito repellent creams, mosquito repellent coils and take the doctor's advice, in advance, about anti-malarial medicines.

Its also not advisable to venture out late in the night in deserted places and sea beaches. Its better to have a local tourist guide with you for company.

The people of Odisha are known for their hospitality. It is largely peaceful( Till date, their has never been any large scale violence on communal grounds), and the society is very tolerant and accepting towards other cultures. However, the State, for reasons historical, economic and political,has remained isolated from the country's mainstream and hence has not been able to take in it's stride the tremendrous progress the Indian people have achieved in all spheres, including those the social sphere. The people, especially in the tribal western belt, remain extremely simple in their way of living, and are mostly unaware of the mannerisms of the urban world.

Contact

There are cyber cafes in most of the important tourist cities like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri. It would not be difficult to get one. Per hour rate is also as low as Rs. 10/Hour or even less.

Get out

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