Bhubaneswar is the capital of Orissa and is said to once have had 7,000 temples. Now only a few hundred ancient temples remain. The Lingaraja temple is one of the most impressive temples in India. Regrettably, non-Hindus are not permitted to enter, but can view the temple only from the outside. There is no real downtown area; rather, everything is spread out. The railway station and the old bus stand are close to each other in the center of town. The New long-distance bus station is about 5 km west of the center of the town. Most of the temples are located in the southeast section of the city, near the Bindu-sarovara Tank. Bhubneswar, Puri and Konark, the three temple towns of Orissa make up the glorious golden temple triangle of the Eastern India. The capital of the eastern Indian state of Orissa has many sites worth visiting. Many of the Hindus and the Buddhist flock to the city, a religious center.
Your trip to the city will cover the pilgrimages of all the religions whose common center happens to be the city of Bhubaneshwar. Your visit to the Parashurameshwara Temple will reveal the masterpiece of the Orissa style of temple architecture, which followed very rigid parameters, set by the ritualistic books. The temple that was built way back in 650 AD boasts of some exquisite carvings and sculpture. The trip to the remarkable Parashurameshwara temple will be succeeded by the 10th or 11th century Lingaraja temple has been described as “the truest fusion of dream and reality”. The temple soars to a height of about 55 meters and dominates the skyline for miles around especially after the collapse of the Sun Temple at Konark. A noted art critic and historian Fergusson remarked that the spectacular Lingaraja temple was “perhaps the finest example of purely Hindu temple in India”. Elaborate carvings cover every inch of the surface of the fifty-five-meter Lingaraja temple. The sculpture and architecture fuse harmoniously to give the elegance to the temple. You may follow the devout pilgrims and must first offer worship at the Lingaraja temple before offering your prayers at Jagannath temple at Puri.
Besides the great Hindu temples stand Buddhist shrines in and around the city of Bhubaneswar. The triangle of ancient Buddhist monuments at Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri and Udaigiri at a distance of 90 kilometres from Bhubaneshwar form yet another golden triangle of eastern India. At a distance of 8 kilometres from the city amidst the peaceful and serene environments lies the great Buddhist shrine of Dhauli. The pilgrim spot is renowned for its rock edicts of Ashoks. At the spot after the Kalinga victory in the year 261 BC that Ashoka, the Mauryan emperor adopted non-violence and took to Buddha’s teachings of non-voilence. Coming to the triangle, Udayagiri is known for its bell-shaped stupa signifying Vajarajana Buddhism. Ratnagiri is famous for the ruins of a monastery housing a four-armed Avalokiteshara, a figure of ‘Heruka’, a form of meditating Buddha, a figure of ‘Tara’, the female counterpart of Buddha and the images of Buddha in bhoomisparmudra, which is considered to be a rare posture. You will also visit the site of one of the most prized discoveries in recent times. A tiny gold casket was spotted inside a silver casket, which in turn was placed within a stone casket in Lalitagiri. The gold casket contained relic tiny bones believed to be those of Buddha.