Top 25 Sacred & Religious Places To Visit In Odisha
The natural, cultural & divine heritage that Odisha is known for is all because of the omniscient, omnipotent &omnipresent power. Bestowed with abundant blessings from Lord Jagannath Odisha had survived many hardships of natural furies like cyclones, famines and earthquakes.
As per history many kings from different dynasties owned the state and ruled over it again got defeated and it got into the hands of the different reign. So the chain made a mixture of cultural and religious groups to live together and form a cult of supreme power. This religious fervour pervaded across the state and culminated to the formation of magnificent archaeological sites of different hues and customs.
Amidst of beautiful scenic spots, wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, majestic falls, exhilarating beaches, thrilling mountain peaks, the divine heritage of Odisha leaves every soul to dip oneself in high sanctity and the holiness of every city across Odisha draws huge number of pilgrims from inside and outside of the state to explore the spiritual power.
So without delay let’s start our holy trip for the divine getaways across the state this vacay.
Shree Purushotam Khetra one of the four major dhamas of India has been a most sacred place of pilgrimage in the world. Lord Jagannath Mahaprabhu the creator of this universe acts as the charioteer of every beings life which is like a chariot. He is the only supreme power on whose lotus feet every being bows his head to share his anguish and thank him for his stunning creation. The presiding deity in the sanctum Santorum of this temple is lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and lord Jagannath. The peaceful aura of the temple allures millions of tourists for its pristine temple architecture. The Abhada of puri which is made by the servitors of the temple is offered to lord Jagannath and later on it is being cooked in huge amounts and available for every devotee who visits the temple in mud containers at local market inside the temple Ananda Bazar. The motto of this temple is not a devotee would return empty stomach who either visits the temple or not. This coastal town is lined up with the sacred beach named Mahodadhi and it is believed if one takes as bath in this water he or she washes off her sins committed. The major attraction apart from the temple includes batamangala temple, the athara nala, the mathas nearby and a lot more.
KONARK SUN TEMPLE
Also being recognised as “The Black Pagoda” one of the world’s best heritage site which gives an exceptional look at Odisha’s religious heritage. It represents the design of a gigantic chariot of sun god. Filled up with intricately carved and sculpted images of deities, celestial bodies and humans, musicians, dancers, lovers and myriad scenes of country life, ranging from hunts and military battles makes the temple surrounding look l sublime. The lawn garden surrounding the attraction provides a peaceful ambience for relaxing with family. It is located to the north of puri and enriches the beauty of the place with the beautiful Chandrabhaga.
Temple city Bhubaneswar harbours many temples in every nook and cranny of the city. Muketeswara temple is one within the complex and the one with very ancient constructions. It seems to be relatively small yet sensational. The temple is dedicated to lord shiva as he is called the lord of freedom. The archway erected here greets everyone and remains as a picture perfect location, mostly for the Odissi dancers who often visit this place with their troupes for a video shoot. It reflects heavy influences from Buddhists its architecture. A three day long Mukteswara dance festival is organized every year and fetches a huge crowd of tourists from all around the state.
Goddesses in Hindu culture have emerged from the collective energy of all god as an embodiment of shakti or divine feminine power, to destroy the evil powers on this earth. Maa Mangala temple located in a Hindu temple city. The deity worshipped here is maa Mangala and the temple is situated on the banks of river Prachi. The best time to visit this holy abode is during the onset of winter and especially on Tuesdays of a week fetches a large number of lady devotees and other tourists who keep fats throughout the day for the fulfillment of their wishes.
This place has its own importance because of the pristine deity enshrined here, people have beliefs that the deity has a supreme godly power that helps in the fulfilment of their wishes and her true existence in this materialistic world keeps people in wonder and amazement. Maa Tarini is being worshipped in this place and she is very benevolent and merciful. The goddess is very fond of coconuts and devotees from miles away come here to offer there coconut as a sigh of strong belief for the completion of their wishes. This holy heritage is located in the Keonjhar district of Odisha. The place has various major attractions like waterfalls and picnic spots and is worthy paying a visit.
The temple city Bhubaneswar sets itself a part from every city because of the huge number of temple attractions that have been constructed with splendid architecture grandeur and got its construction since centuries ago. Another amongst them is the Rajarani temple, with superb intricate skillful carvings of women and couples on its outer walls. There are no images inside the temple. So the temple is free from any sect of Hinduism. This is the charm as it allows everyone to visit the temple. Though under the archaeological survey it has now become a ticketed monument. The love temple allures every tourist with its age-old beauty.
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the temple metropolis is a holy abode to many modern temple constructions apart from the age-old architectural charms. The Ram mandir at Bhubaneswar is a gorgeous temple dedicated to Lord Rama, his consort Goddess Sita and his beloved brother, lord Lakshman. The modern architectural design in the offsets of ram mandir and the shikaras of the temple is distinguishable and can be easily seen from various parts of the city.
Apart from all the temples located at Bhubaneswar, the Lingaraj temple is the most ancient temple with whiffs of Ashoka's architecture. The temple has clusters of temples altogether in its vicinity. The temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and the lingam is believed to be self originated one from the ground. The entwined twins Lord Shiva and Goddesses Parvati divine meeting lead to the formation of the Bindusara Lake besides the shrine. The best time to visit this temple is in early January and February which will help you to get immersed in the true divinity of the Shivaratri celebration at the temple.
The second most famous temple in Odisha after, Jagannath puri Dham is the ISKCON temple. This temple is dedicated to Sri Krishna. It has exquisite idols of deities such as Krishna, Govardhana Balarama, Subhadra, and Jagannatha installed in the temple premises. Apart from the deities they have a separate temple for Radhakrishna the epitome of eternal love. The ambience sets everyone to stop and get mingled in kirtanas, bhajanas. The delectable prasadams lures every tourist to visit the temple; it is run and maintained by the Iskcon organisation.
This divine heritage is situated near Berhampur and sets itself as the best site to spend your vacay because it is a one stop destination, starting from the pilgrimage site to marvellous beachside this place is a real paradise. It is regarded as one of the shakti pithas as legends says the temple originated from body parts of maa. The puranic reference to this temple says that the temple is well connected to two sisters Tara and Tarini and a story related to the disappearance of the sisters after reaching the peak of theTtaratarini hill. The traverse is arduous as one has to climb 999 steps to reach the temple, but the view one gets fills everyone’s fatigue.
SHAKHI GOPAL TEMPLE
The temple is marked as the gateway for myriads of pilgrims visiting the holy town Puri. The temple has got its structure built in the same way as the Puri Jagannath temple. The presiding idols are Sri Harideva Govardhana, Shri Keshava , Shri Baladeva, and Govind Ji of Vrindaban. The temple is famous for celebrating the annual Ramanavami festival to get a serene view of Radha's feet which is not visible on normal days. The true love of Krishna, Radhajis idol was not installed earlier but from an anecdote when an immortal claimed about Radhaji’s nonexistence later on they got Radhaji’s idol to be installed.
This Buddhist peace pagoda, adds to the sacred significance of Odisha. According to historians Ashoka, the great king ended his idea of war and started attaining nonviolence, peace, and joy and became a disciple of Lord Buddha. The shanty stupa has many Buddha edicts and footprints of Buddha which shows the existence of lord in the stupa. There is a monastery nearby which attracts both Buddhists as well as Hindu devotees. Dhaulagiri’s located 20 km away from Bhubaneswar in a raised platform setting a picture-perfect location for the tourists.
It is located on an island in the midst of the Chilika lake. This temple is presided by maa kali, the Adishakti. The major attraction here is one has to hire a boat and with the help of boating reach the island .the journey is very enticing and one can relish the beauty in the midst of the lake. The picturesque location of the lake makes it the most beautiful place. Devotees throng this place for giving offerings and sacrifices to maa kali who secures your journey back from the island to the shore. The lake seems to be very deep in the middle.
The temple is located 27 km southwest of puri. It is also one of the shakti pithas found in Odisha. The presiding deity is Ashta Bhuja, the Mahisha Mardini Durga worshipped as Baliharichandi. She is regarded as the protector of water navigators and fishermen in the sea. The temple is located on the banks of the river Bhargavi River and sets itself to be the scenic spot as the river meets the sea.
Alarnath temple situated around 25 km away from puri. It is famous religious shrine for Krishna and Jagannath devotees. The deity presiding here is the amalgation of Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. Though it fetches a large number of tourists around the calendar, the anavasara period of lord Jagannath before the world famous car festival draws a lot of devotees as there is a believe that Alarnath is an incarnation of Lord Jagannath. The servitors here serve the holy porridge the kheer to god as prasadam along the extent of 15 days, so here during these days, devotees rush to get the holy porridge.
The future abode of Lord Jagannath this temple is a modern construction though, but the myth and the saying mark its importance as it is said, the black days of kaliyug will end one day and there is a sword which is growing by bursting the ground. Lord Jagannath along with his brother and sister will end the evil powers and settle their next abode hereafter puri. This place is situated near the Cuttack district.
The cave shrine is located in a stiff cliff 50 km from Jeypore and 80 km away from Koraput. The lush green meadows and the woods greet every devote and fills devotion inside every wanderlust. The lingam inside the cave is self originated one and is said that it is growing with time. The place beauty is enhanced with a marvellous waterfall which gushes down its way and makes it a scenic spot for a perfect day out.
Maa Samalai Pitha is another shrine connected with Adishakti and Mahashakti. Since ancient centuries maa Samaleswari worshipped as Jagatjanani, Adishakti, Mahalakshmi, and Mahasaraswati. the protector mother goddess of western Odisha. The temple is located in the Sambalpur district and is rich in divine heritage.
Another holiest and purest place in Sambalpur is the Maa Ghanteswari temple. As the name indicates there are bells everywhere people offer bells for the fulfillment of their wishes. It sets as a beautiful picnic spot around the calendar. The temple has got its location on the banks of the river Mahanadi.
A popular shrine of Lord Shiva, which is a must to pay a visit is located on an island on the river near Athagarh, 37 km from Cuttack city, beelines of devotees is a scene to cherish during the auspicious occasion of Bada Osha. The temple is situated across the river so it is connected with the help of a hanging concrete bridge which is the major attraction for the tourists.
ANANTA BASUDEVA TEMPLE
The oldest shrine of the temple city. It is located near the Lingaraj temple which is dedicated to Lord Krishna. Apart from Krishna, the temple also features the statue of Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra. The temple is likewise the Lingaraj temple. The temple offerings are the famous and the delectable indeed and must need a taste.
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RATNAGIRI BUDDHIST MONASTRY
The peace of mind that one gets apart from being a Buddhist monk is near this paramount of Buddhist sculptures, around the stupendous peaks of Orissa. Ratnagiri is situated in the Jajpur district of Orissa and a famous Buddhist destination. It is an ideal destination to explore. The major attractions are the stupas and the monasteries
It is the most revered Islamic monument of the state set in Cuttack. The famous shrine has many architectural signatures of the Mughal era. The mosque is a major location in Odisha for Muslims as like mecca. No other Islamic shrine in the state has a huge and impressive building as Qadam-e –Rasool.
CUTTACK CHANDI TEMPLE
The presiding deity of Cuttack Maa Chandi is the protector mother of every odd that touches the state. The temple is located near the banks of the river Mahanadi. Legends say Maa kept herself buried beneath the fallow land on which temple is made now, she came in the dream of the priest then the idol was excavated and the temple was built. She remains to be the true deity with godly powers that fulfills everyone’s wish.
Although you might have visited almost all the tourist places of this beautiful land, don’t miss your opportunity to visit the divine getaways and seek blessings from the presiding deities.