Bhubaneswar is one of the most beautiful cities in India and the capital of Odisha. As soon as you set foot here, you can feel the positive aura and spiritual buzz in the air. Also popular as the ‘Temple City’, it houses some of the most prominent ancient temples and there is so many things to do in Bhubaneswar. Wherever you look, there is always something beautiful grabbing your attention in this marvellous city! If you are visiting the place for the first time, you will benefit from knowing the list of things to do in Bhubaneswar.
When you visit the temple city, book your stay at Treebo Hotels in Bhubaneswar to stay close to all the places that we are going to mention in this blog. Commuting becomes much easier and you can focus on enjoying the sightseeing.
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Things to Do in Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar is a cultural hub that boasts its age-old history and traditional principles. You will be surprised to see that the residents are now blending ancient learnings with modern technology to make the finest establishments across the city. Irrespective of the duration of your trip, try to include these 10 places in your itinerary for the best vacation experience!
1 – Explore Wildlife at Nandanakanan Zoo
Nandanakanan means ‘The Garden of Heaven’ and the place looks just like it. With the natural beauty of the Chandeka forest and the rippling sight of Kanjia Lake, the zoo and wildlife sanctuary is the perfect place to spend a day if you love animals. It is the first zoo in India to be a part of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). It is also the first place that started to offer white tiger safaris along with lion safaris. You can also explore the beautiful butterfly park and botanical garden that displays various species of exotic plants and trees.
Location: Near Nandankanan Rd, Near Police Station, Barang, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 754005
Timings: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (closed on Mondays)
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2 – Seek Blessings at Lingaraj Temple
Lingaraja is one of the oldest temples in the country and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Bhubaneswar is synonymous with this temple, and whoever comes here, doesn’t go back without seeking the blessings of Mahadev. It is believed to have been built by the Somavanshi king at the end of the 11th CE and some structures could be from the 6th CE as well. The central Gopuram is about 180ft tall and the main sanctum sanctorum is beautifully divine and peaceful. People come to Bhubaneswar from across the world to admire the Kalinga architecture and see Lord Shiva in his Lingaraja form. The Swayambhu lingam is an unshaped stone that emerged on its own from the ground naturally. That is what makes it all the more special. It is definitely a visual treat for the Mahadev believers!
Location: Lingaraj temple, Lingaraj Temple Rd, Lingaraj Nagar, Old Town, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751002
Timings: 6:30 AM – 10:30 PM
3 – Stroll around in Indira Gandhi Park
If you love going on morning walks, then one of the best things to do in Bhubaneswar is go to Indira Park first thing after sunrise! It is present in the heart of the city and has lush green trees and plants. The well-manicured garden adds the much-needed vibe to relax in the evenings or take a stroll with your loved ones. In the mornings, it is the best place to meditate or do some yoga. In the evenings, you can take some chips and sandwiches to have a cosy family picnic. The love birds can walk around and have romantic conversations! Moreover, you will find colourful rose and marigold flowers that add spots of colour to the otherwise green land. There is a mesmerising fountain in the centre of the park! The art lovers can also enjoy the classical dance/music competitions and concerts that are hosted in the park in the evenings.
Location: 7R9J+8V6, Unit-2, Ashok Nagar, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751001
Timings: 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM
4 – Marvel at the Rajarani Temple
Rajarani Temple is another place where Lord Shiva is worshipped. Marvelling at this temple’s sheer magnificence is one of the best things to do in Bhubaneswar. The devotional site is a beautiful example of Hindu architecture and Indian craftsmanship. The entire structure is made out of red and yellow sandstone that is locally known as the ‘Rajarani’ stone. The temple is built on an elevation and has two main parts. The main sanctum sanctorum is called vimana where God is present and jagamohana or the viewing hall where devotees gather to get a glimpse of Lord Shiva. The viewing hall has an impressive pyramidal roof that is visible from a distance. You will be surprised to see that there are erotic carvings and pictures on the walls that were chipped and chiselled with keen precision. Owing to this art, the temple is also popularly known as the ‘Love Temple’.
Location: Tankapani Rd, near BOI ATM, Kedar Gouri Vihar, Rajarani Colony, Rajarani Temple, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751002
Timings: 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM
5 – Glimpse of History from Odisha State Museum
The Cultural Affairs Department along with the Government of Odisha take care of the Odisha State Museum which has 11 different sections. These include Epigraphy, Archeology, Armoury, Mining, Geology, Numismatics, Natural History, Art and craft, Contemporary Art, Patta Paintings, Anthropology, and ancient manuscripts. So, there is everything for you to explore from colourful paintings, historic secrets, geological wonders and old artefacts that were dug out of Earth! The museum was initially built in 1932 but it now stands in a new building in 1960. Not just this one time, but its location was changed at least two times before settling with the current address. The then President of India, Rajendra Prasad laid the foundation for this renowned museum.
Location: State Museum, Kalpana Square, BJB Nagar, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751014
Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
6 – Witness Nature’s Artwork at Udayagiri and Kandagiri Caves
One of the best things to do in Bhubaneswar for nature lovers is to visit the Udayagiri-Kandagiri caves. The architectural wonders are sure to make your mouth hang in awe! These are partly natural and partly artificial. The 33 rock-cut caves are present close to the heart of Bhubaneswar city and you can go on a one-day trip to explore the caves and surrounding region. Both the Udayagiri and Kandagiri caves are believed to be the dwelling points of ancient monks and ascetics. That is why, you will see several wall carvings and inscriptions that tell you about important life principles, lessons, and healthy habits. These caves are of great spiritual significance to the Jain people. Keep your eyes open for the Rani Gumpha where you will see the most beautiful inscriptions and carvings. You can seek blessings from the carvings of Jain deities, and Tirthankaras in these spectacular caves.
Location: 7Q7M+2V7, Khandagiri, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751030
Timings: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
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7 – Scenic View from Dhauli Giri
If you are willing to travel about 8 km away from the heart of Bhubaneswar city, then you can visit Dhauli Giri. It is a spectacular place that will offer you panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and the rippling Daya River. It is a picturesque location that also has great historic significance. Here, you will find the Dhauli Peace Pagoda where Buddha believers show up meditate and spend some quiet time. It is a symbol of peace and harmony. Also, visit the Ashoka pillar where you will see the mighty ruler’s lion kingdom emblem. Dhauli is the place where Emperor Ashoka realised the value of human life, embraced the Buddhist way of life and developed non-violent morals.
Locations: Dhauli, Dhauli Santi Stup, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751002
Timings: Ideal to visit between 6:30 AM to 7:00 PM
8 – Feel the Spiritual Energy at Muktesvara Temple
If you are a religiously inclined person, one of the best things to do in Bhubaneswar is visit this particular abode of Lord Shiva. Muktesvara Temple is the perfect example of world-class Hindu temple construction. It is known as the ‘Gem of Odisha Architecture’ and its Kalinga architecture gains accolades and praises from across the world. Here, you will find Lord Shiva in the Muktesvara form. Though the temple is smaller than the other temples we have discussed so far, it is built on an elevation, facing west with a pyramidal roof for the visiting hall or jagamohana. There is an octagonal compound that connects to Mukhasala or the leading hall that takes you to Vimana or the main sanctum sanctorum. The spiritual energy is absolutely palpable here! Spending some time in the Muktesvara temple can prove to be a positively enriching experience for anyone who sets foot here.
Location: 6RVR+35P, Old Town, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751019
Timings: 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM
9 – Visit the Beautiful Tribal Museum
You will also hear people calling this splendid place ‘Museum of Tribal Arts and Artefacts’. It is dedicated to showcasing the rich history and cultural heritage of Bhubaneswar. One of the best things to do in Bhubaneswar is to visit this museum that shows you a glimpse of tribal life, their everyday practices, culinary practices and more! The main purpose of this museum is to preserve the crafts, rituals, artefacts, lifestyle accounts and tools that the tribal people of the region utilised and still use. Here, you will also see the pottery, textiles, jewellery, musical instruments, sculptures, and masks of the tribal people. You can carry back home some souvenirs to remember your time here. If you are travelling with kids, bring them here for sure!
Locations: 7RM4+6P4, Unit – VIII, CRP – DAV Rd, CRPF Colony, Nayapalli, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751003
Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
10 – Invoke Blessings from Sacred Sri Ram Temple
Also known as Ram Mandir of Bhubaneswar, this is the place where you will find Lord Ram along with his wife Goddess Sita and dear brother Lakshmana. The spire of the Hindu temple is visible from different parts of Bhubaneswar city. If you are an ardent believer of Maryada Purushottam Ram, then one of the important things to do in Bhubaneswar is visit the Sri Ram Temple. There are small idols of other Gods as well. This is where festivals like Ram Navami and Janmashtami are celebrated with great fervour every year! So, you can try and coincide your trip with these festivals to see the temple in its full glory!
Location: 1, Madhusudan Marg, Ekamra Vihar, UNIT- 9, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751001
Timings: 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM
There are so many things to do in Bhubaneswar! It all depends upon the number of days you are staying in the capital and how you have planned your itinerary. Try to include as many places from this blog on your travel list. You will need a day each to cover the Dhauli Giri tourist attractions and the Udayagiri and Kandagiri caves. You can cover most of the other temples, parks and museums in one or two days. Prioritise the places according to your interests. Distribute time smartly so that you can enjoy visiting all these spectacular spots and take back a bank of memories from Temple City!