Unexplored Bhubneshwar that you should visit!!
Posted on October 20, 2019 by Ghoomophiro
Think of Bhubaneshwar and you imagine temples – after all, it has been called temple city for a good reason. Even if you can look past that, you are still thinking of museums, monuments, etc. And those are the major attractions of the city. But there is always a needy tourist crying “I need more” (okay, often that is me, but you get the point) and Bhubaneshwar, like any tourist spot worth the name, has that ‘more’ to offer. Here we take a look at that more.
1. Caves of Khandagiri and Udaigiri
Perhaps because of the amount one has to walk, it is not the first thing a tourist will want to visit. These caves, which are home to an ancient monastery, had some of the most splendid cravings that I have seen in Odisha outside of Konark Sun Temple and are much older than that belong to golden ancient ages of the country. The scenic beauty from the top of hills is itself awesome. It is not the most tourist-friendly spot as there are always monkeys ready to steal stuff and you should remember to carry your own water bottles but the view of setting sun from the top is just splendid.
2. Go to the old town
Rickshaws have so long been a part and parcel of Indian society that a journey to some of its major historical towns will be incomplete without being driven around on rickshaw for some people. Bhubaneshwar is one such city. Though rickshaws are becoming a rare sight, this is still something you should definitely try at least once. Hire a rickshaw to visit the by now forgotten parts of the old town to see the old-style settlements not far from the temples that makes the chief attraction of the city.
3. Kanjia Lake
After rickshaw we now wish you to ride a bicycle. Ride the cycle by Kanjia lake on well-preserved roads inside the botanical gardens. Some of these gardens include Japanese Garden, Orchid Garden, Mughal Garden, Rose Garden, Medicinal Garden, Butterfly Garden, Heritage Garden, Dry Garden, Evolution, Garden, Bougainvillea Garden, Arboretum etc. Enjoy looking at colorful flowers and migratory birds. The beautiful lake has been declared a “Wetland of National importance” and is home to several migratory birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes and pawns.
4. The thorny garden
The last thing you will hope to see in Bhubaneshwar is a garden dedicated to cacti and other thorny plants. But you will be wrong, the Regional Plant Resource Center (RPC) of Bhubaneshwar has Asia’s largest thorny garden with over a thousand varieties of cacti and other succulents, of which the RPC itself has engineered two hundred. The garden also has an orchidarium, bamboo septum, medicine plants wild fruit garden, seed banks etc. It also has a lake which is home to migratory birds.
The garden was started in 1985 as a research center and has, ever since, evolved to become a research institute.
It provides facilities for a morning walk (allowed in specific times only – (5-30 am to 7-30 am for March to October and from 6-00 am to 8-00 am for November to February), boating in the lake inside the garden, a play area for children, etc to name a few.
5. Medicinal Garden
Ekamra Van (literally ‘one tree forest’) Medicinal Plant Garden is situated on the bank of Bundusagar. The garden houses more than two hundred varieties of plants. The garden has a lotus pond and (well, is there a place in Bhubaneshwar where you won’t have them?) some stone sculptures. The layout of the garden is divided into three division – Shiva pindi (where plants used for worshipping Lord Shiva are grown), Parvati Pindi (where plants useful for women healthcare are planted) and Ganesh Pindi (where plants promoting intellect are planted – from Ganesh’s being the god of wisdom). The garden offers you fresh air, a majestic view of Lingaraj temple and a chance to learn about plants.
6. Simlipal and Bhitarkanika
These are home to a number of Mangroves and Crocodiles. Nature lover in you will love the environment, the wildlife, and vegetation of this area.
7. Odisha Modern Art Gallery
Though we talk a lot about art in connection with Bhubaneshwar, it is rarely modern art. A visit to the Modern Art Gallery of the city will remind you that Odisha people are awesome with modern artwork too.
8. Regional Museum of Natural History
A step away from other museums devoted to human history, this natural history museum has taxidermy displays of various animals. It also enshrines numerous endangered species. For a nature enthusiast, this museum offers a lot to learn.
9. Go on a Picnic
Both of these are minor dams and not far from Bhubneshwar and can be a great spot for going on a picnic with your family and friends. Another major Picnic spot is Budha Jayanti Park. The park devoted to Budha is a great place to visit for a refreshing evening. It also has a fish pond.
10. Take your kids to Pathani Samanta Planetarium
Here is something for your children as well as the child inside you. Enjoy the shows here and learn a bit about the universe.
And of course, go Shopping
It amazes me how people always forget to talk about Bhubaneshwar’s markets. The urbanized part of the city has markets selling products of widest range – from luxury products to cheap products. The phrase I market is most popular among the middle-class shop alcoholics for its cheap products. Buy clothes, accessories, makeup products etc here at the cheapest rates. Another affordable stopping point would be Station Square. There is also a market ‘Saree Mandir’ selling quite a huge variety of sarees. When shopping in these markets, bargain – as shopkeepers put high prices on their products anticipating that you will bargain. Also, be extra careful about your possessions. If you are looking for something to remember the city of Bhubaneshwar by, we recommend that you consider buying Patthachitra paintings, palm leaves carvings and other such handicrafts.
There is so much to do in Bhubaneshwar. It would take weeks to explore all that the city has to offer. It is unfortunate that the city’s image as a temple city keeps visitors from enjoying this great variety of experience. But not you, you know better. So what are you waiting for? It is time to get going.