Chilika Lake, the Asia's the biggest inland salt-water lagoon, is separated from the waters of Bay of Bengal by a narrow neck of land. The Lake extends across the three districts of Puri, Ganjam and Khordha in Orissa. The lake is a tourist attraction with many small islands of lusting emerald green and natural beauty. The lake is a winter hub of many spectacular migratory birds. The view of sunset and sunrise are memorable experiences here. The sanctuary in Nalbana Island houses many different kinds of flora and fauna. One can venture out for water sports activities, at the water sports complex at Barakul, like boating and fishing here in this lake.
The temple of Lord Jagannath was created by Ananta Barma Chodagangadev in the 12th century AD. It is one of the tallest monuments of the country measuring a length of 214 feet from the ground. The whole Jagannath temple complex spreads over an area of 4, 20,000 sq. ft. Its architecture is highly praised by the international archeologists. The temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, Balaram and Devi Subhadra. The Deities of Lord Jagannath, Subhadra and Balaram are made up of margosa wood but prove their presence when devotees call with eternal love.
Konark is one of the most important tourist destinations of India. This historic place is filled with a large number of monuments and other structures that are fantastic examples of the art, architecture and culture of India. Konark is located very close to Puri. It is situated at a distance of 31 kilometers from the coastal city. Ramachandi, another beach town and a popular tourist spot, is just 5 kilometers away from Konark. One can get to Konark by taking a train to Puri or to Bhubaneshwar and then driving the road from there. Once here, you must not forget to check out the Konark Beach. Here you can enjoy the view of the rising and the setting sun.
Nandan Kanan is a zoological park situated 15 km outside Bhubaneshwar in Orissa. Its literal meaning is 'The Garden of Heavens'. It is situated on the Shore of Kanjia Lake. Nandan Kanan was established in 1960 and was stated a zoo in 1979. Nandan Kanan is a member of WAZA (World Association of Zoo and Aquariums). It has some exceptional and incredible species of animals such as like Mouse Deer, Wild Cat, Racket-Tailed Drongo, Leopard Cat, Pangolin, Flying Squirrel, Hill Mynah, Peacock, Lion-Tailed Macaque, Black Panthers etc. These impressive animals include the rare species of 'white tigers' and the pioneer breeding domicile of Captive Gharial Crocodile in the country.
Sakshi Gopal Temple, one of the ancient temples in Orissa resembling the Puri Jagannath temple as a miniature version, is located at Satyabadi near Puri and considered as a highly revered shrine. The temple idols brought by King Prataprudra Deva after winning over Kanchi depict the eternal love of Krishna and Radha, with a life size image of Krishna playing the flute together with Radha on the left. The images of Radha and Krishna are very remarkable. It is believed that the pilgrimage to the Jagannath temple will not be complete without offering prayers at this imposing shrine. An annual fair celebrated here on the Anla Navami day in the month of Kritika is a major draw.
Puri Beach Festival - As its very name suggests, the Puri Beach Festival is held on a beautiful beach namely Sea Beach, Swargadwara at Puri and comes as a celebration of the beauteous and splendid Oriya spirit. This feast for the fun lovers at the city is conducted by the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Orissa (HRAO), co-sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, the Department of Tourism, Government of Orissa, Development Commissioner of Handicrafts and the Eastern Zonal Cultural Center, Calcutta.
As the name suggests Bali Yatra means a journey to Bali. Bali Yatra is mainly celebrated in the state of Orissa. It held on the full moon day in the month of Kartik which is considered to be the most auspicious month out of the 12 months of calendar, that coincides with the months of October-November according to the Gregorian calendar. Bali Yatra symbolizes the culmination of all religious festivals held in the month of Kartik. Images of Karthikeswar are worshipped and immersed in the waters of river Mahanadi, near the Shiva Temple, to mark the end of the month of Karthik The Fair is held on the banks of Mahanadi River in the fort area of Cuttack city.
The Lingaraj temple, also known as 'a hollow pyramid having several superimposed chambers', is located in Bhubaneshwar, south of the Bindu Sagar Lake. It has the deity of Tribhuwaneswar, half Vishnu and half Shiva, residing in it. The Lingaraj Temple was built in 11th century by Lalatendu Keshari of Somavamsi dynasty. Even Lord Curzon, during British Raj had contributed to it by erecting a 20 feet high platform. It is considered as one of the most important temples in Orissa. The Lingaraj temple has four interconnected chambers and a 55 meter tower as its main attractions.
A very special and sacred festival of Lord Jagannath held in the full-moon day of the month of Jyestha. This festival is known as 'Devasnan Purnima' or 'Snana Yatra' (Bathing Festival). There is a general belief that the devotee washes away all his sins if he gets a vision of the Lord on this day, therefore, it attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. According to Skanda Purana when King Indradyumna installed the wooden deities he arranged this bathing ceremony.