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Lingaraja Temple Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves Konark Sun Temple

Monuments: The Soul of Odisha Tourism

Odisha is dotted with innumerable monuments, elegantly carrying the history of 2000 years. Be it the archaic ruin or the unblemished architectural marvel, each monument a story to narrate a saga to reveal.

The Monuments Tour in Odisha includes prehistoric caves, monasteries and sacred temples. Some of the famous sites are Lingaraja Temple, Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, Lalitgiri and Konark Sun Temple.

Ancient Odisha formerly called as Kalinga or Utkal had witnessed the growth of temples, sculptures, forts and primitive vestiges of the port city. These monuments often served as landmarks for guiding navigation during the historic times. During this course of time itself, the European sailors had called ‘Jagannath Temple’ as ‘White Pagoda’ and ‘Konark Sun Temple’ as ‘Black Pagoda’

Opt for Odisha Tourism this season and explore the beauty of these monuments of Eastern India. Spot the ancient Brahmi scripts embellished on these walls, dating back to the bygone eras.

Following are the famous monuments in Odisha

Lingaraja Temple

This exquisite 11th century temple is located in the centre of Bhubaneswar. It boasts of being the oldest and the largest temple in the city. It was built by King Jajati Keshari of Soma Dynasty and is dedicated to Lord Harihara, the re-incarnation of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.

The remarkable architecture of the temple reflects the splendour of Kalinga architecture.  It is constructed of red sandstone that stretches over a vast area of land. The majestic tower of the temple, raised to 55m, dominates the skyscape of the city. There are nearly 50 small shrines sited in the expansive courtyard of the temple.

Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves

These impressive rock-cut caves are situated only 7km away from Bhubaneswar. Udayagiri and Khandagiri are two hills also called as ‘Sunrise Hill’ and ‘Broken hill’ respectively. Nearly 35 caves have been excavated 18 in Udayagiri and 15 in Khandagiri. Presumably, these caves were built as an abode for the Jain monks.

Hathigumpha Cave in Udayagiri hill is a very important historic site due to the pivotal ‘Hathigumpha Inscription’ that reveals the history of Odisha to a great extent. Dating back to 2nd century, the Brahmi inscription embellished over the cave walls consist of seventeen distinct lines.  It is one of the most primitive Brahmi scripts.

Monasteries in Lalitgiri

Lalitgiri is a small village located 90km away from Bhubaneswar. Also called as Naltigiri, it is a famous Buddhist complex known for excavated monasteries and stupas. The place also has a museum that exhibits some striking discoveries of Archaeological Survey of India. A casket is kept in the museum and is believed to contain the relics of Lord Buddha.

The statues that have been unearthed date back to 1st century and are associated with Gandhara School of Art. The museum also displays big sculptures of Lord Buddha, caskets made of Khondalite stone and ingots (metals that are cast into different shapes) of gold and silver.

Konark Sun Temple

The Sun Temple at Konark renders exquisite touch to the architectural marvels of Odisha. It is a huge chariot -shaped temple with 24 massive wheels, being led by seven horses. Legendarily, Lord Vishnu kept his belongings at different sites to celebrate his victory over the evil Gyasur. It is said that he left his lotus at Konark.

The temple was constructed by King Narasimhadeva of Eastern Ganga Dynasty. It reveals the beauty of Kalinga style of architecture.

Travellers can opt for state-owned buses or private cabs to reach the famous monuments of Odisha from railway station or the airport.

So, why wait? Don’t let your trip to Odisha be meaningless or a half-enjoyed journey. Make it to the fullest by exploring these amazing sites.

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