Lingraj Temple Bhubaneswar
Temple city of India – This is how Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa is famously called. The land, which is over 2500 years old, is a blend of ancient monuments and modern constructions. It is believed that Bhubaneswar had over 2000 temples in the past. Here are the top places to visit in Bhubaneswar.
Dhauli Shanti Stupa
Located at the banks of the Daya River, the Dhauli Shanti Stupa is considered to be the place where the ancient Kalinga war took place. The edicts of Ashoka describing the ancient war can also be found here along with a rock-cut elephant. After the Kalinga war, King Ashoka was moved by the bloodshed and adopted the teachings of Buddhism and non-violence. A peace pagoda named the Shanti Stupa was also built here in the 1970s by the Japanese Buddha Sangha and the Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangha.
Khandagiri Caves are one of the earliest groups of Jain rock-cut shelters, the caves of Udayagiri (Hill of Sunrise) and Khandagiri (Broken Hills) command a unique position in the filed of history, rock-cut architecture, art and religion. The two hills rise abruptly from the coastal plain, about six km west of Bhubaneswar, separated by a highway.
Called lena, in the inscriptions, the caves of Khandagin are essentially dwelling retreats or cells of the Jain ascetics, opening directly into the verandah or the open space in front. Mostly excavated near the top of the ledge or boulder, they simply provided dry shelter for meditation and prayer, with very little amenities even for small comforts. The height being too low, does not allow a man to stand erect.
Nandankanan Zoological Park
Spread across a massive area of 990 acres, the Nandankanan Zoological Park contains a zoo and a botanical park. It was inaugurated in 1979 and contains portions of the Chandaka Forests and Kanjia Lake. The Zoo contains several rare and endangered species such as White Tigers, Asiatic Lions, Crocodiles, Indian Pangolin and 34 aquariums that contains several species of fish. Make sure to visit the place on a winter afternoon to get the best out of the place.