Unexplored Bhubaneswar via #ghoomophirolens

Posted on March 16, 2020 by


There is much more to Bhubaneswar than old monuments, museums, and temples and though they may be the most captivating thing about the region, you can’t really miss out on some of the off-beat unexplored places after you have seen much of the popular spots. So here is a list of off-beat things to do for a unique trip to the Temple City.

  1. 360 view from atop the rock-cut caves

Climb atop the historic Udaygiri caves to revel in the marvelous 360-degree view of the city. While the climb itself is no short of a fitness test with steep steps carving a path to the top, the hike goes fine in the company of friends. But no need to fret even if you are going solo, just be warned of the monkeys on the path and remember not to open up a food packet lest it is snatched. But do carry a water bottle with you because the steep climb may make you thirsty at times. The best time to reach the caves would be afternoon so you can have ample time to take leisurely strolls and explore the place before making the climb when sunset comes close. Watch a picturesque view of the city from the top while also enjoying the relaxing view of the sunset.

Must see:

Ranigumpha, Hathi Gumpha inscription incised in a deep-cut Brahmi script, Ganesha Gumpha,  Bagha Gumpha

  1. The largest thorny garden

To a commoner, cacti and succulents wouldn’t have much appeal but this huge garden of such prickly beauties could keep anyone intrigued for a while. The Regional Plant Resource Centre (RPRC) in Bhubaneswar has a collection of around 1,050 varieties of cacti which is the largest collection in Asia. Moreover, it has evolved 200 cacti with its research and development approach. This collection that keeps growing every day due to the efforts of the scientists at the center, is of great interest to people nationally and internationally in terms of research and study. RPRC has extended this love for Cacti and its expertise in the matter to create a Cactus House in the Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi.

The way it is growing, it is on the paths of becoming the largest Botanical Garden in Eastern India. While the main aim of establishing the center in 1985 was developing a recreational garden, it has evolved into a dynamic research institution over the years. There are many recreational opportunities to attract visitors, like boating in the lake, orchidarium, palmetum, wild fruit garden, children’s play area, bamboo setum and a seed bank.

Morning walk is allowed to the public from 5-30 am to 7-30 am from March-October and from 6-00 am to 8-00 am during November-February months. Garden visit is from 8 am to 6 pm during winter and from 8 am to 7 pm during the summer. The entry fee is Rs 25 per adult and Rs 7 for kids below 12 years.

There is a sales counter of plants at RPRC, which opens from 7 am to 12 O’çlock and 2 pm to 5 pm during winter and 6 am to 11 am and 3 pm to 6 pm during summer.

Opening and Closing time (Botanical Garden):

Between 8 am and 6 pm during winter and 8 am to 7 pm during the summer.

Must see: Migratory birds in the lake when it is winter, the unavoidable Cactus collection, Orchidarium, Bamboo setum, Wild fruit garden, and Palmetum.

  1. Ride around the old city in a Rickshaw

While the city of Bhubaneswar is developing fast and turning into a Smart City, the charm of the historic old city is not lost on the visitors. And the best way to get the incredible sights of the Old Town, unhindered by any distractions is to hire a cycle rickshaw and roam around the narrowest lanes, to see rare sights and historic things that one would otherwise miss out on. The major attraction of the old city is the religious atmosphere which is engrained in the life of people living there. Along with the architecture of the 1950s and beautiful structures that have turned to ruin over the year, there are many residential structures that have existed there for a long time and would leave any newbie traveler awestruck. There are also many medieval temples along the way.

Must see:  Lingaraj temple, Mukteswar temple, Rajarani temple, Bindusagar, Brahmeswar temple

Opening and closing time:

5:00 am to 9:00 pm (All days a year).

Dos and Dont’s:     Check with the temple staff before entering the temples. Non-Hindus are not allowed inside several shrines.

  1. Get your lungs healed at the Medicinal Garden

Inhale some of the fresh air while ditching your air-conditioned stale air. Head over to Ekamra Van Medicinal Plant Garden that is located on the banks of holy Bindusagar. Inhale some of the fresh healing air into your lungs while hearing the divine chiming of temple bells and chanting as well. The medicinal garden inhibits more than 200 varieties of plants along with a beautiful pond and many stone sculptures.

Opening and Closing time: 8 am to 5 pm

Must see: The magnificent view of Lingaraj temple, Lord Lingaraj representation through Shiva Pindi, Spice herbs used for local cooking and animal figurines, etc.

Timings: During winter morning 8 am to 12 noon and 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm and during summer 8 am to 12 noon and 3 pm to 6 pm.

  1. Go cycling near the Botanical Garden by the Kanjia lake

With the calm gentle breeze blowing near the Kanija Lake, even a simple bicycle ride can give you loads of enjoyment. The roads inside botanical gardens are well-suited for cycling and will make you pass by beautiful flowers and canopy of trees. The Park also includes a Mughal Garden and a Japanese garden. One can also see varieties of migratory birds on the lake.

Opening and Closing time: April to September (7.30 am. to 5.30 pm.) and October to March (08.00 am. to 5.00 pm.).

Remains Closed on Monday

Must see: Bird-watching is a must-do activity. One should also visit Orchid Garden, Dry Garden, Rose Garden,  Medicinal Garden, Mughal Garden, Japanese Garden, Arboretum, Bougainvillea Garden, Butterfly Garden, Heritage Garden, and Evolution Garden.

  1. Bring out the shopaholic in you at the laid-back flea market

Who doesn’t like shopping? But more often than not, shopping at touristy places burns a hole in your pocket. If you want to buy some goodies at a cheap rate, visit the flea markets of Bhubaneswar. The roadside stalls and range of flea markets offer a lot of opportunities to become a spendthrift. The most recommended market would be Uni I Market where you can buy jhumkas, bangles, and other accessories at cheap rates. Men can also find jackets, shoes, scarves etc. There are many options for bags, books, toys and electronics sold at a wholesale rate. You can also visit the Indradhanu market and the Damanahaat which are just as good for shopping. Do give yourself small time to refresh and try out that lip-smacking Bara-ghugun and Gupchup (golgappas).

Local Cuisines

Dos and Donts:     Be careful of pickpockets, put your bargaining skills to negotiate and double-check all the items for any damage.

Opening and Closing time: 10 am to 10 pm

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