Holidays - Orissa

Located on the east coast, Odisha (Formerly Orissa), also known as The Soul of India, is a mystical land where the hoary past and the modern today form a harmonious blend - where ancient temples mingle with modern five star hotels. A land filled with awe inspiring monuments, thousands of master craftsmen and artists, numerous wildlife sanctuaries, stunning natural landscapes...

The state once formed a part of Kalinga kingdom which is best known in ancient history for its brave resistance against the invasion of the Mauryan King Ashoka in the 3rd century B.C., who ultimately conquered it . That the emperor turned to Buddhism and peace after witnessing the bloodshed in this war is well known. This also formed the turning point in the history of Orissa giving a boost to art and architecture in the ancient kingdom. The state rose to prominence as a kingdom under Kharavela, a great conqueror and patron of Jainism, in the second half of the 1st century B.C. Other great rulers were the kings of the Kesari dynasty and the Eastern Ganga dynasty who were also great builders. Orissa was separated from Bihar and came into existence on 1 April 1936. The capital was established at the historic city of Cuttack, located at the apex of the Mahanadi delta. In 1956, it shifted to Bhubaneswar, a planned modern town of the post-independence period.

Tourism in Orissa (Odisha) is a veritable museum of India's sculptural and artistic heritage and has long been famous to scholars and connoisseurs for the magnificent Sun Temple at Konark (The legendary 'Black Pagoda' of European mariners), for the majestic temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri (renowned for the spectacular Rath Yatra chariot festival), and for the glorious temples of Bhubaneswar. The small but ever-growing number of sophisticated tourists who do manage to find their way to Orissa (Odisha) tourism are generally prepared with some knowledge of these temples, Puri tourism, of the delicate Orissan ikat textiles which have been become famous throughout the world, and, perhaps, of the beaches at Puri and Gopalpur on sea.