Top 10 Places To Visit In Orissa (Odisha)

Top 10 Places To Visit In Orissa (Odisha)

Orissa, now known as Odisha, is an ancient land with a rich history. Monuments that reflect amazing architecture compete with the limitless beauty of the land to attract tourists from all parts of the world. The ancient temples are more than an association with religious beliefs; their architectural splendor reflects the skills possessed by the artisans of the land in the bygone era. Here are the top 10 attractions in Orissa.

1. Bhubaneswar

Visitor Information
  • Famous for: Temples, Heritage, Cuisine.
  • Major Attraction: Lingaraj Temple.
  • Nearby Places: Cuttack, Puri.
  • Ideal Visit Time: 2 days.


Temple city of India – This is how Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa is famously called. The land, which is over 2500 years old, is a blend of ancient monuments and modern constructions. It is believed that Bhubaneswar had over 2000 temples in the past. Many of them were destroyed by Muslim invaders, but thankfully, a few important ones like Lingaraja temple still stand. The temples are built in Kalinga style of architecture which is unique to Odisha. Bhubaneshwar also has some buddhist sites, due to the influence of Ashoka the great, who embraced Buddhism here after The Kalinga War.

Places to Visit:

Parasurameswara TempleMukteswar TempleLingaraja Temple
Udayagiri and Khandgiri CavesDhauli HillNandankanan Zoological Park
Odisha State MuseumAnanta Vasudeva TempleAstasambhu Siva Temples
Ram Mandir

2. Cuttack

Visitor Information
  • Famous for: History, Heritage, Culture.
  • Major Attraction: Kataka Chandi.
  • Nearby Places: Bhubneshwar, Puri.
  • Ideal Visit Time: 2 days.


Former capital of Orissa and now it’s business capital, Cuttack, is also one of the ancient cities of the state. Ancient monuments apart, Cuttack has a wide range of tourist attractions as it is home to picturesque destinations and pilgrim centers. It is famous for handicrafts and cuisines too.

Places to Visit:

Kataka Chandi TempleLalitgiriBarabati fort
Bhitarkanika MangrovesNetaji Birthplace Museum

3. Sambalpur

Photo by Jnanaranjan sahu, CC BY-SA 4.0
Visitor Information
  • Famous for: Heritage, Culture, Textiles, Dance, Music .
  • Major Attraction: Hirakud Dam.
  • Nearby Places: Rourkela, Raigarh, Jharsuguda.
  • Ideal Visit Time: 1 day.


Sambalpur, the land rich in culture and natural beauty, is one of the most important tourist destinations in Orissa. Gateway to western Orissa, the land has some of the best gifts of nature thanks to the lush forests and picturesque waterfalls. Given below are the top tourist places to visit in Sambalpur.

Places to Visit:

Hirakud DamDebrigarh Wildlife SanctuaryCattle Island
Samaleswari Temple

4. Puri

Visitor Information
  • Famous for: Lord Jagannath, Beach.
  • Major Attraction: Puri Jagannath Temple.
  • Nearby Places: Konark, Cuttack.
  • Ideal Visit Time: Less than 1 day.

For those with a particular religious faith, Puri might bring to mind the famous Jagannath Temple and the Sun Temple. For nature lovers, the beautiful beaches in the land may hold attraction. The vibrant land is famous for many festivals being a temple-rich place and it enjoys heavy footprints from all parts of the world.

Places to Visit:

Jagannath TemplePuri BeachChilika Wildlife Sanctuary
Gundicha Ghar TempleAtharnala BridgePipili

5. Rourkela

Photo by S adasiv Swain, CC BY 2.0
Visitor Information
  • Famous for: Heritage, Steel Plant, Hills, Nature.
  • Major Attractions: Hanuman Vatika, Khandadhar Falls.
  • Nearby Places: Sambalpur, Raigarh, Jharsuguda.
  • Ideal Visit Time: 1 day.


Rourkela, the second largest city in Orissa, is immediately recalled at the mention of steel plants. Home to largest steel plants in India, the place gives you an insight into its rich cultural past through some of its wonderful tourist destinations.

Places to Visit:

Vedavyas TempleVaishno Devi TempleBadaghagra Falls
Khandadhar Falls

6. Konark

Visitor Information
  • Famous for: Heritage, Temples, Beach.
  • Major Attraction: Konark Sun Temple.
  • Nearby Places: Puri, Cuttack, Bhubneshwar.
  • Ideal Visit Time: 6 hours.

It is natural that your mind races to Sun Temple when you think of Konark. The 13th century temple stands tall in the minds of tourists in spite of the fact that it is now in ruins. Konark has a few other ancient temples on its land for both history lovers and religious minds.

Places to Visit:

Sun TempleKonark BeachKonark Museum
Ramachandi TempleBalukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary.

7. Barbil

Visitor’s Information:

  • Famous for: Industries, Ores, Hills.
  • Major Attraction: Murga Mahadev Waterfalls.
  • Nearby Places: Rourkela, Sambalpur.
  • Ideal Visit Time: Less than a day.

Located on Karo River banks and amidst lush green hills, Barbil has spectacular views to offer. It owns the credit of possessing the world’s 5th largest iron and manganese deposits. Keonjhar district, in which Barbil is situated, has a 38000 million year old rock, which is one of the oldest in the world.

Places to Visit:

Murga Mahadev WaterfallsGonasika.Sanaghagara Waterfalls.
Badaghagara Waterfalls.

8. Jeypore

Visitor Information
  • Famous for: Waterfalls, Forests, Architecture, History.
  • Major Attractions: Deomali and Gupteswar Cave.
  • Nearby Places: Visakhapatnam, Brahampur.
  • Ideal Visit Time: 1-2 days.

Jeypore is just the place to be if you would like to enjoy some of the best works of nature. This beautiful land is picturesquely set amidst hills. With scenic waterfalls and amazing natural parks, you are sure to love Jeypore, which has a rich history too.

Places to Visit:

Kolab Botanical GardenBagaraGupteshwar Caves
Raja MahalDeomali

9. Bargarh

Photo by Manas.pradh, CC BY-SA 3.0
Visitor Information
  • Famous for: Festivals, Temples, History.
  • Major Attraction: Nrusinghnath Temple.
  • Nearby Places: Sambalpur, Balangir, Raipur.
  • Ideal Visit Time: Less than a day.


Located on the western border of the state, the place was earlier a part of Sambalpur. Though limited in number, the tourist attractions gain value by the importance attached to it. Gandhamardan, one of the destinations here is associated with the period of Ramayana and it finds mention in the notes of Hieun Tsang, the famous Chinese traveler. Scenic, ancient Bargarh makes your visit memorable.

Places To Visit:

Debrigarh Wildlife SanctuaryGandhamardanNrusinghnath Temple
Nrusimhanath WaterfallsChaldhar WaterfallPapaharini
Papanga Hill

10. Paradeep

Photo by Arupparia, CC BY-SA 4.0
Visitor Information
  • Famous for: Sea Port, Beaches.
  • Major Attraction: Bay of Bengal.
  • Nearby Places: Bhubneshwar, Cuttack, Puri.
  • Ideal Visit Time: Less than a day.


Location of Paradeep or Paradip, as it is also called, is in itself beautiful. In the confluence of river Mahanadi and Bay of Bengal, the land stuns you with its amazing views. Be it the sunrise or the sunset, you would not want to miss a moment of it.

Places to Visit:

Paradip PortGahirmatha Beach
Gahirmatha SanctuaryBhitarkanika Wildlife SanctuaryParadip Port
Light House

Though Orissa has acquired a modern face to it, the land has retained its ancient charm. A visit to the place makes you feel a part of the world of the bygone era. You cannot possibly hope to cover all the tourist destinations in one go, but knowing more about them would ensure that you visit them during your subsequent tour to the land. So am I, looking for more of Orissa; every tourist spot you could suggest is welcome.


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