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.
Odia (also spelled Oriya) is the local language and Hindi is also spoken here. Many people understand English.
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),Hydrabad, Visakhapatanam, Portblair.
Recently Indian Central Government has allowed the Bhubaneswar Biju Patnaik Airport, an international airport status. By Mid-2013 International flights such as Fly Dubai, Air Asia, Silk Air and Air Arabia have evinced interest to introduce international flights from the Bhubaneswar Biju Patnaik Airport (BBPA) to various destinations in the world.
Bhubaneswar is known as the Temple City, sea beaches of Puri,Gopalpur, geographical specialties like Chilka Lake, and wild life. Shimilipal National Forest is a paradise for nature lovers. Daringbadi is worth a visit.
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 Cuttack. You will also find fine tribal work in brass and other metal-wire. Pattachitra is traditional painting on palm-leaf or raw silk.
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."Dalma" is a special cuisine of Odisha, made of dal & vegetables in very hygienic conditions.The breakfast consists of chuda (poha, flattened rice) and mudhi (muri, puffed rice). Chuda can be eaten either fried or with curd, banana and sugar(called as Chudaa Dahi). Mudhi is a famous snack in north Orissa. Different pitha also form a part of the 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 sweetmeat from Orissa. If you enjoy spicy food and are used to Indian cuisine, you can try out the local Oriya cuisine made from seafood (like fish, tiger prawns and crab curry prepared with exotic spices). Its a foodie's paradise!!!
Green coconut. Hard drinks are available in most towns. And never forget to drink the sugarcane juice. Its awesome in Odisha.
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.
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 (to date, there 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 tremendous progress the Indian people have achieved in all spheres, including those in 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.
There are cyber cafes in most of the important tourist cities like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri. It will not be difficult to find one. Per hour rate is also as low as Rs. 10/Hour or even less. Terms are subject to change.