Bhubaneswar, a cauldron of Hockey action. But also famous as the 'temple city of India'
Ancient temples and modern living collide in the bustling city of Bhubaneswar. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes – there is nowhere on earth like India and nowhere on earth that visitors are made to feel more welcome. Yes, the World Cup Hockey will be spectacular, but it is matched for excitement and atmosphere by its host nation.
A site for thousands of temples
Once the site of thousands of temples, the city – which is found in the eastern state of Odisha (formerly Orissa) – still has more than 50 sandstone temples, which date back to around the 11th century onwards.
If you are interested in India’s cultural past or simply want to see some amazing historic sights that give a flavour of this fascinating country’s backstory, then you must visit some of the holy sites. The Bindu Sagar Lake, in the old city, is home to a number of quite astonishing temples, with one of the best examples being the Kalinga-style Lingaraja Temple. This Hindu temple is dedicated to Harihara, a form of Shiva and Vishnu, and is one of the oldest temples in the city.
Also near the Bindu Sagar Lake is one of the most iconic structures reflecting Bhubaneswar’s past. The Rajarani Temple, with its sculpted figures of the guardians of the eight cardinal and ordinal directions, was originally called Indreswara. It is locally known as the Love Temple because of the erotic carvings on the temple walls.
The Konark Dance Festival, held every December is devoted to classical Indian dance forms, including the traditional classical dance of Odisha; Odissi. You also don’t want to miss the famous applique work of Pipli; these brightly coloured and layer garments are magnificent, the Ikat sarees, cane furniture from the region and Bidri-ware all beautifully crafted using traditional methods.
For more information about the State of Odisha and Bhubaneshwar city please visit: www.odishatourism.gov.in