Home » Travel » Best Places in Odisha

Best 12 Places to Visit in Odisha

Updated on 31 January 2024 by Rishabh kumar

Odisha is a fascinating destination in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent and famous for architectural brilliance of Konark Sun Temple, the spiritual atmosphere of Jagannath Temple, the calmness of Puri Beach, or the charm of the oldest surviving Indian classical dance Odissi, a trip to the state leaves a lasting impression.

The most famous aspect of Odisha tourism is its temples. Jagannath Temple in Puri is one of the four Dhams of India. Even more, the Sun Temple of Konark is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Secondly, Odisha has an approximately 450 km coastline forming golden sandy beaches. Thirdly, dozens of tribal villages are scattered around Odisha to learn and grow to a whole new level. Indeed, Odisha in India is one of the best places to foster physical, emotional, intellectual, social, or spiritual connections.

Take a look at our best 12 tourist places in Odisha:

Puri Odisha

1.Puri Odisha

Puri is world famous for Sri Jagannath Temple and referred as the spiritual capital of Odisha, Puri forms the Golden Triangle of Orissa along with Konark and Bhubaneswar. Puri became an important center of pilgrimage with the arrival of Gangas in the 12th century and emerged as one of the centers of Vaishnavism. Anantavarman Chodaganga, one of the powerful rulers of Puri, established the Purushottama Temple and later came to be known as the Jagannath Temple in the 15th century.

According to history, Puri and the Jagannath Temple were invaded 18 times by Hindu and Muslim rulers from 4th century AD till the early 19th century. Puri was declared as the capital of Odisha under the British till 1816 CE. In 1828 CE the whole territory was separated into three regions, Katak, Balasore, and Jagannath Puri. In 1936 CE Odisha was divided from the state of Bihar and Puri was formed in 1948 CE. Dedicated Lord Vishnu, Lord Jagannath Temple is one of the prime places to visit in Puri and is a sacred place for the Hindus. Besides Jaganath Mandir, Puri has so many tourist attractions like Puri Beach, Gundicha Temple, Lokanath Temple, Alarnath Temple, Bedi Hanuman Temple, Pipili, Raghurajpur and Chilika Lake & Sanctuary.

Puri is famous for its annual festival of Chariots, the 'Ratha Yatra', which is held during the month of June /July and has been attracting pilgrims and tourists for centuries. It is the sacred journey of Lord Jagannath with brother Balabhadra & sister Subhadra from the main Jagannath Temple to Gundicha Mandir for nine days.

At a distance of 36 km from Konark, 58 km from Bhubaneswar, 82 km from Cuttack, 390 km from Rourkela, 407 km from Jamshedpur, 434 km from Vizag, 495 km from Kolkata, and 522 km from Ranchi, Puri is an ancient temple town situated along the coast of Bay of Bengal in Odisha. Puri is one of the places of original holy Char Dham Yatra of Hinduism and also one of the top places to experience Odisha Tourism.

★Best time to visit: November to February
★Nearest airport: Biju Patnaik International Airport Bhubaneswar(60km)
★Nearest railway station: Puri Railway Station

Things to Do:

Complete one of the Dhams in Char Dham Yatra, pray at the various temples, walk around the beaches, shop from local vendors at the beach, and eat seafood.

Main Places to Visit:

➔Jagannath Temple
➔Puri Beach
➔Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary
➔Gundicha Ghar Temple
➔Atharnala Bridge
➔Golden Beach
➔Birds Sanctuary
➔Sudarshan Crafts Museum

Konark Sun Temple

2.Konark Odisha

The name Konark is derived from two Sanskrit words and Kona meaning angle and Arka meaning sun, in reference to the temple which was dedicated to the Sun God. Also known as the Black Pagoda, the Sun Temple was built in black granite during the reign of Narasimhadeva-I. The temple resembles the mythical chariot of the Sun God and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984. The temple is now mostly in ruins, and a collection of its sculptures is housed in the Sun Temple Museum, which is run by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Konark Tourism presents a multitude of attractions that fascinate tourists from all over the world. Konark Beach, Ramachandi Temple, Kuruma, Astranga Beach, Varahi Devi Temple at Chaurasi and Maa Mangala Devi Temple at Kakatapur are some popular places to visit in Konark apart from Sun Temple. Konark was also one of the few places in India to experience a total solar eclipse.

Besides the magnificent Sun Temple, Konark is also famous for Konark Dance Festival. This five day long cultural extravaganza is one of the most famous classical dance festivals of India which attracts tourists from all over the world. It presents a delightful ecstasy of the ancient classical dance forms like Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Manipuri and the local Chhau dance. The celebrations happen with the backdrop of the Sun temple, adding grandeur and magnificence to the whole program. Besides this, Konark also hosts the Sun Festival, where devotees offer prayers to the Sun God by taking a dip in the sea.

At a distance of 36 km from Puri, 61 km from Bhubaneswar, 111 km from Ratanpur, 394 km from Rourkela, 408 km from Jamshedpur, 462 km from Vizag, 482 km from Raigarh and 522 km from Ranchi, Konark is a small town in Puri district of Odisha along the coast of Bay of Bengal. Renowned world over for the Sun Temple, Konark is one of the top tourist destinations in Odisha and also one of the popular places of heritage in India.

★Best time to visit: November to February
★Nearest airport: Biju Patnaik International Airport Bhubaneswar(62km)
★Nearest railway station: Puri Railway Station(37km)

Things to Do:

Camping, walking around the beaches, eating local food, shopping from local stores, attending Konark Dance Festival.

Main Places to Visit:

➔Sun Temple
➔Konark Beach
➔Konark Museum
➔Ramachandi Temple
➔Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary.
➔Chandrabhaga Beach
➔Astaranga Beach
➔Ramchandi Beach

Bhubaneswar Odisha

3.Bhubaneswar Odisha

Bhubaneswar is one of the ancient cities located in the eastern part of India and is a thriving center of art and culture. Literally, Bhubaneswar means Lord of the Universe and is known for its architecture and temples. Bhubaneswar is one of the 3 cities designed by the German Architect Otto. H. Koeingsberges along with Chandigarh and Jamshedpur and is one of the first planned cities in Modern India.

The origin of the city dates back to more than 2,000 years while the modern city came into existence in 1948. Bhubaneshwar was the capital of the Kalinga dynasty. Later Emperor Kharavela established his capital in Sisupalgarh which is on the outskirts of the city. After that the area was subsequently ruled by several dynasties, including Satavahanas, Guptas, Matharas and Mughals. In 1803, the area came under the British and was part of the Bengal Presidency until 1912, and Bihar - Orissa Province till 1936.

In 1936, Odisha became a separate province in British India with Cuttack as its capital. In 1947, when India got independence, Orissa became one of the states of the Indian Union. However, for several reasons including exposure of Cuttack to floods and space constraints, the capital of Orissa was relocated to Bhubaneswar in 1948.

Along with Puri and Konark, Bhubaneswar forms the 'golden triangle' of Odisha and is one of the most visited destinations in East India. The city houses more than 500 temples, including the famous temples like Lingaraj Temple, Mukteswar Temple, Shatrughaneswar Temple, and Parashurameswar Temple. Orissa State Museum, Bindu Sarovara, Nandan Kanan, Dhauli Giri hills, Ram Mandir, Udayagiri Caves, Khandagiri Caves, and ISCKON Temple are some of the top places to visit in Bhubaneshwar. Bhubaneshwar Airport is well connected by flights with major international destinations like Sri Lanka, Dubai, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, USA, Europe and domestic destinations including Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad.

Bhubaneshwar is at a distance of 16 km from Cuttack, 58 km from Puri, 61 km from Konark, 191 km from Balasore, 264 km from Sambalpur, 342 km from Rourkela, 431 km from Vizag, 439 km from Kolkata and 456 km from Ranchi. It is an ancient city situated in Khordha district of Odisha, India. It is the capital city of Odisha and also one of the best places to experience Odisha Tourism.

★Best time to visit: October to February
★Nearest airport: Biju Patnaik International Airport Bhubaneswar
★Nearest railway station: Bhubaneswar Railway Station

Things to Do:

Explore the popular ancient rock caves Khandagiri and Udayagiri, visit the Regional Museum of Natural History, Spot the white tigers at the Nandankanan Zoological Park, Visit ISKCON Temple, tour the Odisha State Museum, explore Museum of Tribal Arts and Artefacts, walk around Biju Patnaik Park, and eat Odia food..

Main Places to Visit:

➔Parasurameswara Temple
➔Mukteswar Temple
➔Lingaraja Temple
➔Udayagiri and Khandgiri Caves
➔Dhauli Hill
➔Nandankanan Zoological Park
➔Odisha State Museum
➔Ananta Vasudeva Temple
➔Astasambhu Siva Temples
➔Ram Mandir

Cuttack Odisha

4.Cuttack Odisha

It is the capital of the East, the second-largest city in Odisha, and one of the most beautiful destinations to visit in Orissa, located near the Mahanadi river delta. Cuttack's history can be traced over 1000 years to the Keshari Dynasty in 989 BC, and it is currently considered one of India's best-planned 'Millennium' towns.

Cuttack is Odisha's cultural capital and has numerous tourist attractions. Even though it is the cultural capital, it is also a commercial city. People have nicknamed this place the Silver City due to the abundance of silver works that take place in this city.

★Best time to visit: October to March
★Nearest airport: Biju Patnaik International Airport Bhubaneswar(30km)
★Nearest railway station: Cuttack Railway Station

Things to Do:

Explore the historical Barabati Fort, Beautiful architecture of the Kataki Chandi Temple, Indo-Persian architecture of the Kadam Rasul Mosque, Attend festivals like Baliyatra, fly kites at the Kite festival, visit Odisha State Maritime Museum, see deer at Deer Park, and shop from locals.

Main Places to Visit:

➔Kataka Chandi Temple
➔Barabati fort
➔Bhitarkanika Mangroves
➔Netaji Birthplace Museum
➔Chandi Temple
➔Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary
➔State Botanical Garden
➔Bhitarkanika National Park
➔Paradeep Beach
➔Singanatha Temples
➔Ansupa Lake

5.Chandipur Odisha

Chandipur Beach is a lovely beach in Odisha. It is bordered on the east by the Bay of Bengal, on the west by Mayurbhanj, and on the north by the Bengal district of Medinipur. Balasore is 100 kilometers away from Digha, Bengal's most popular beach. This beach, which runs from Digha to Balasore along the Bay of Bengal, is relatively shallow.

You walk in the sea for many kilometers, yet the water does not reach the level of your knees. Its uniqueness separates it from other beaches. It attracts visitors from all around the world. Chandipur is well known for its Missile Launch Center. It was founded in 1989. Most Indian missiles were launched, such as the Trishul, Akash, and Nag surface-to-surface missiles and the Prithvi and Agni anti-ship missiles.

Chandipur is famous for its unique seafood you must try the pomfret and prawns. The town is also quite quiet. Ever witnessed a disappearing sea? If not, you can experience it here in Chandipur. Here, you can witness the sea disappear periodically and get back to normal after a while. Visit the beach to bask in the sun or relax under the beautiful canopy of the casuarina trees for the best experience. While at the beach, you can witness the rare red crabs and horseshoe crabs scramble away on the shore. The mesmerising sunrise and sunset at the beach cannot be missed when visiting the beach.

★Best time to visit: October to March
★Nearest airport: Biju Patnaik International Airport Bhubaneswar(217km)
★Nearest railway station: Balasore Railway Station(14km)

Things to Do:

Relax on the beach and enjoy the beauty around you, visit the souvenir shops, and witness the sunset and sunrise at the beach.

Main Places to Visit:

➔Chandipur Beach
➔Similipal Forest Reserve
➔Panchalingeswar Shrine

6.Rourkela Odisha

Rourkela is one of the largest cities of Indian state Odisha. The place is primarily known for the steel plant and associated industrial growth. However, it also pulls tourists with its vintage temples, parks, dams, and waterfalls.

Rourkela is the capital of Odisha's Sundargarh district. Rourkela is known throughout India as Ispat Sahar because SAIL has a steel plant in this city. Rourkela is known as Mini India because it is a city where people from all over India live. After Bhubaneshwar, Rourkela in Odisha's second smart city. Despite being an industrial area, Rourkela city has a pleasant temperature and is a lovely spot to visit.

Rourkela's history reveals that it was once covered in deep forests, which served as a hunting place for the royal kings. Rourkela was the second-largest German habitation after Germany after the inauguration of the steel mill in 1955 with West German participation.

During your trip to Rourkela, try native Odia dishes like Chungdi Malai, Dahi Matka, and Bhindi Bhun. These dishes have mixed flavors of South Indian and Bengali tastes. You will fall in love with the Kerala Style Fish Fry.

★Best time to visit: November to March
★Nearest airport: Rourkela Airport
★Nearest railway station: Rourkela Railway Station

Things to Do:

Sightseeing, city shopping, exploring Indira Gandhi Park, driving around the city, trying delicacies from local food venders.

Main Places to Visit:

➔Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir
➔Hanuman Vatika
➔Indira Gandhi Park
➔VIP Market
➔Biju Patnaik Hockey Stadium
➔Mandira Dam
➔Nehru Traffic Park
➔Badaghagra Falls

7.Baripada Odisha

Baripada is among the famous places in Odisha, and it welcomes visitors from Odisha and other parts of India. Furthermore, Baripada is Dwitiya Srikhetra because it hosts the second oldest and largest Rath Yatra after Puri. Another speciality of Baripada's Rath Yatra is that only women pull Maa Subhadra's Rath. We suggest you visit Baripada during the Rath Yatra to be a part of this unique spiritual experience.

Baripada is a cultural centre of Odisha, situated in the Mayurbhanj district. Known for its art and culture, it is one of the famous tourist places at Odisha. One can also see a lot of stars of the Ollywood emerging from this Odisha town of Baripada. The town also has its own dance form which is quite famous in the world, known as the Chhau dance.

★Best time to visit: October to April (June-July for Rath Yatra)
★Nearest airport: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport Kolkata(230km)
★Nearest railway station: Baripada Railway Station

Things to Do:

Visit Kichakeswsari Temple, eat at local restaurants, explore Lulung, go sightseeing, and book a safari at a national park.

Main Places to Visit:

➔Jagannath Temple Baripada
➔Similipal National Park
➔Baripada Museum
➔Jwala Mukhi Temple
➔Palace of Mayur Bhanj
➔Chadipur Market

Gopalpur Odisha

8.Gopalpur Odisha

Gopalpur at the edge of the Bay of Bengal on the southern boundary lines of Odisha. If you are looking to manifest some sunshine and relaxation with your beloved one, Gopalpur is one of the best places in Odisha for couples. The catch of Gopalpur is its beaches that become the famous nesting sites of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. Even more, the sand is sand-nationally golden, and the water is azure.

Gopalpur is a natural place in Odisha drenched in history. Literary of yore, Gopalpur beacons the remnant of the colonial past as East India Company fondly uses this site as a trading center. Thanks to its proximity with Andhra Pradesh, which still helps the trade unit to facilitate the trade. Consequently, the nearby town of Berhampur (15 km) is perfect for shopping for handmade pickles and silk textiles on a day trip. From hot springs to religious shrines, attractions to visit in Gopalpur are more than beaches.

★Best time to visit: November to February
★Nearest airport: Biju Patnaik International Airport Bhubaneswar(171km)
★Nearest railway station: Berhampur Railway Station(15km)

Things to Do:

Fishing, pilgrimage, walking on the beaches, photography, shopping at local shops.

Main Places to Visit:

➔Gopalpur Beach
➔Aryapalli Beach
➔Satapada Dolphin Sanctuary
➔Sri Siddhi Vinayaka Pitha
➔Maa Tara Tarini Hill Shrine
➔Haripur Sea Beach

9.Simlipal National Park Odisha

Located in the Mayurbanj district of Odisha, Simlipal Nationa Park is a tiger reserve and a national park. Being the 7th largest national park in India, it is also been a part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2009. Home to Bengal tigers, Asian elephants, Chausingha and gaur, this national park got its name from the abundance of red silk cotton trees growing in the area.

Simlipal National Park covers an area of 2,750 sq. km and is one of the best places for wildlife encounters and trekking trails. Here, you can explore the flora and fauna of the land and enjoy guided safaris to catch a glimpse of the amazing wildlife in the park. This beautiful park features exciting trekking trails that you could embark on for an exciting experience. Migratory bird watching is another mesmerising and fascinating experience that you can indulge in at the park. One of the main features of this national park is the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger and other unique creatures that tourists come here to get a glimpse of. You can also enjoy the beauty of the Baharepani and Joranda waterfalls that are located in the vicinity of the park. Another highlight is the small tribal villages that border the park. You can go on a tribal tour with guides for the best experience.

★Best time to visit: October to May
★Nearest airport: Biju Patnaik International Airport Bhubaneswar(196km)
★Nearest railway station: Baripada Railway Station(106km)

Things to Do:

Exciting trekking trail to experience the beauty of the park, Enjoy a safari to get a glimpse of the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger and other wildlife creatures of the park, photography and enjoy bird watching, Go on a tribal tour or enjoy the beauty of the waterfalls in the vicinity for an exciting experience.

Main Places to Visit:

➔Devkund waterfall

10.Jeypore Odisha

Jeypore is one of the delightful tourist places in Odisha for nature lovers. It is known for offering spellbinding views of rocky outcrops, picturesque waterfalls, and lush green biosphere reserves.

Visit Jeypore if you’re looking to admire the natural beauty of Odisha. Famous for its valleys, water lakes, and cascading waterfalls, Jeypore is one of the best tourist places in Odisha that offers tourists an exciting experience. Known for its rich landscape, temples, limestone caves, old bridges, and palaces, it’s a great place if you’re looking to take a break from the chaos of city life. Visit the site to explore the beautiful landscapes, beautiful temples, palaces, and bridges for a memorable vacation.

★Best time to visit: October to February
★Nearest airport: Vishakhapatnam Airport(208km)
★Nearest railway station: Jeypore Railway Station

Things to Do:

Visit Jeypore Palace, explore Kolab Hydro Electric power reservoir and Botanical Garden, visit Patraput Bridge, go sightseeing, and click photographs.

Main Places to Visit:

➔Gupteshwar caves
➔Duduma Falls
➔Jagannath Sagar
➔Kolab Falls
➔Botanical Garden
➔Shakti Waterfalls
➔Kolab Hydro Electric Power Reservoir

Hirakund Sambalpur

11.Sambalpur Odisha

The Sambalpuri saree is quite famous in the area. There are rivers, beautiful hills, beautiful green woods, and a diverse range of wildlife. In the second century, the city was known as the Land of Diamonds since it was once the world's diamond capital. The handloom and textile industries are well-known in Sambalpur. The main retail center is Gol Bazaar. There are many shops in the city, but Gole Bazar is home to the most well-known. On Modipara Road, the City Center Mall includes a developing market and an entire campus.

★Best time to visit: October to March
★Nearest airport: Biju Patnaik International Airport Bhubaneswar(281km),Raipur Airport(263km)
★Nearest railway station: Sambalpur Railway Station

Things to Do:

Sightseeing, shopping at local malls and stores, eat a local place, driving around the city, photography.

Main Places to Visit:

➔Hirakund Dam
➔Leaning temple of Huma
➔Samaleswari Temple
➔Cattle Island
➔Deer Park
➔Ushakothi wildlife sanctuaries

12.Berhampur Odisha

Berhampur is famous for its amazing silk Ikkat sarees, and that's why people often refer to this place as Odisha's silk city. This place is also home to the Hindu deity, Lord Brahma and this is where this place gets its name. Alongside the numerous temples, there are also many beaches where people can come and relax.

★Best time to visit: November to April
★Nearest airport: Biju Patnaik International Airport Bhubaneswar(172km)
★Nearest railway station: Berhampur Railway Station

Things to Do:

Buy Ikkat saris, purchase brass and metal products, take a city tour, and walk around the beaches.

Main Places to Visit:

➔Nilakantheshwar Shiva Temple
➔Maa Budhi Thakurani Temple
➔Bomokei village
➔Ganjam Kala Parishad
➔Prakasam Hall
➔Gopalpur Beach
➔Dhabaleshwar Temple
➔Kedareswar Temple
➔Bhairabi Temple

Other Best Places in India:-