Odisha, earlier known as Orissa, home to many different tribes of the country have been given different names over the years and has a rich history attached to it. The land has lots to offer in terms of tourist destinations. Here are some of the top places that you must visit when you are in Odisha.

1. Bhubaneswar:Bhubaneswar-Pic-1

The capital city of Odisha, this city is a unique blend of modern day structures and ancient architecture. It is believed that there were more than 2000 temples in this city at one point in history. While there aren’t many left now, you should definitely pay a visit to the Lingaraja temple, Mukteswar temple, Parasurameswara temple. There is also Satkosia tiger reserve, udayagiri caves, Dhauli hill, Ekamra kanan (botanical garden), planetarium, zoological park and more to visit.

2. Cuttack:Cuttack

The birth place of Netaji, this city was initially the capital of the state and still retains the title of being the business centre for the state. The city is completely covered with ancient monuments and picturesque attractions for tourists to spend their time here. The stone revetment in Cuttack gives you an insight into the engineering technology of our ancestors. There are also other attractions like Barabati Fort, Ansupa lake, Maritime museum, Mahanadi Barrage, Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary and so on.

3. Sambalpur:  DSC_0399

A place known for the various wildlife reserves, Sambalpur has not just rich natural beauty but is equally a place rich in culture. With breathtaking waterfalls and lush green forests, the city houses some of the main wildlife sanctuaries of the nation like Ushakothi, Debrigarh, Khalasuni and Badarama. The city is also houses the famous Hirakud dam on Mahanadi. During summer, one can see remnants of submerged temples when the water recedes below the level. There is also Cattle island, a land inhibited purely by wild cattle, devoid of human existence, which one can visit through the river.

4. Puri:abd21d9a-3277-4464-a3f5-ccc37d0a0940

If you are a religious person, then you should definitely visit the Sun temple and the Jagannath temple in Puri. Even if you are not religious, these temples hold some of the ancient architectural wonders of our country, a true feast to the eyes. Apart from these two famous temples, there are many more which makes Puri a land of festivities all year round. Puri also has the beautiful beaches to keep you enchanted. There is also the Chilika Lake, largest brackish water lagoon in Asia, along with the wildlife sanctuary. Pipili is another place to visit if you want to try buying some handicrafts.

5. Rourkela:rourkela

This second largest city of the state is also home for some of the largest steel plants of the country. The waterfalls in the city, Joranda, Barehipani, Badaghagra and Khandadhar, leave you breathless with their mesmerizing beauty while the Vedavyas and Vaishno devi temples guide you spiritually. There are also places like Mandira Dam, Pitamahal dam and other tourist destinations to keep you occupied.

Apart from the above, there is also Konark, Jeypore, Paradeep and more locations in Odisha to make your holiday in Odisha memorable.