Here are nine of the most notable cities.
- 1 Bhubaneswar — state capital, transportation and education hub — home to the Nandankanan Zoological Park
- 4 Koraput — has enchanting hills, verdant forests, winding streams, exotic wildlife and a rich tribal way of life
- 6 Puri — famous for Jagganath Temple and vibrant beach, and the most popular tourist destination in the state
- 2 Chilika Lake — one of the biggest Wetlands Areas in the world, and a migratory bird hotspot. Also home to Sea turtles and Dolphins
- 3 Daringbadi — Kashmir of Odisha. This is a very scenic place.
Odisha borders on the Bay of Bengal. The eastern part, close to the sea is more prosperous, with a lot of tourist locations and religious places. The western part is a hilly and forested area, generally drought prone. It is a predominantly tribal belt. However, the western part of the state contains enormous volumes of iron ore and various minerals.
It is a culturally rich state. The Bhubaneswar-Puri-Konark golden triangle is the pride of the state.
Traditionally, Odisha descended from the historical kingdom of Kalinga. The script for the Odia (Oriya) language derives from the Kalinga script, which is one of the descendants of the Brahmi script.
Odia (also spelled Oriya) is the local language. It is an Indo-European language like most North Indian languages. It is closely related to Bengali, to the extent that the two languages are mutually intelligible. Hindi is also spoken here. Many people understand English. Bengali is spoken particularly in the tourist centres, and even Telugu is widely spoken in southwestern Odisha.
There is an airport in the heart of the city of Bhubaneswar with flights operated by all major airlines. It is well connected to other major destinations such as Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
- Taxis or hired cars are available in important cities and towns.
- Private rickshaws cost less than regular taxis but you will have to squash up with whoever else gets inside.
Temples, beaches and Chilka Lake. Shimilipal National Forest which is a paradise for nature lovers.
Breathe fresh air.
Odisha is well-known for handicrafts. Sambalpuri and Kataki sarees in handspun cotton and silk or tussar, have traditional Hindu and Buddhist designs on them. There is filigree work in silver that you will find in Kataka. You will also find fine tribal work in brass and other metal-wire. Pattachitra is traditional painting on palm-leaf or raw silk.
A typical meal in Odisha consists of a main course and dessert. Typically breads (roti, paratta) are served as the main course for breakfast, whereas rice is eaten with lentils dal during lunch and dinner.The breakfast consists of chuda (poha, flattened rice), mudhi (muri, puffed rice), chuda can be eaten either as fried or with curd-banana-sugar(called as Chudaa Dahi). Mudhi is a famous snack in north Odisha. Different pitha also form the breakfast menu. The main course at lunch includes one or more curries, vegetables and pickles. Given the fondness for sweet foods, the dessert course may include generous portions of more than a single item. Oriya desserts are made from a variety of ingredients, with milk, chhenna (a form of cottage cheese), coconut, rice, and wheat flour being the most common.
Eat the rasagullas from the dhabas or the little snack stores set in freeways; they come in yellow-white and brown colours and are very delicious. Taste chena pod, another traditional sweet-meat from Odisha. If you enjoy spicy food and are used to Indian cuisine, you can try out the local Odisha cuisine made out of seafood (like fish, tiger prawns and crab curry prepared with exotic spices).
Green coconut and sugarcane juice are popular.
There are several good hotels in Bhubaneswar, such as Trident Hilton, Hotel Mayfair, and Hotel Swosti Plaza. You can also get decent accommodation at the OTDC hotels all over the state in tourist locations. In the smaller towns, try to stay in the Forest Bungalows or Inspection Bungalows, mostly run for government officials on tour, but provided to others when vacant.
The area is infested with mosquitoes and so carry mosquito-repellent creams, mosquito-repellent coils and take the doctor's advice, in advance, about anti-malarial medicines.
It is not advisable to venture out late in the night in deserted places and sea beaches, and it's better to have a local tour guide with you for company.
Coastal Odisha is also prone to cyclones, with the peak season from May to November.
There are cyber cafes in most of the important tourist cities like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri; it will not be difficult to find one. The per-hour rate is also as low as ₹10/Hour or even less.