Discover Odisha (Orissa) in Northern India
A visit to Odisha (formerly Orissa) in eastern India will reveal an enchanting land affectionately referred to as the ‘Soul of India’ that is noted for its sublime temple architecture, colourful indigenous tribes, serene landscapes and unique artistic traditions.
Odisha is one of the 29 states of India, located in the east, with almost 500 km of coastline along the Bay of Bengal. It is surrounded by the states of West Bengal to the northeast, Jharkhand to the north, Chhattisgarh to the west and northwest, and Andhra Pradesh to the south.
A visit to Odisha is perfect for the adventurous traveller looking to discover India in her most raw form. Bhubaneshwar, the modern-day capital of this captivating state, is regarded as the ‘Varanasi of the East’ and is the gateway for most visits.
This sprawling metropolis is home to a staggering 600 temples commissioned during Odisha’s golden age and, from Bhubaneshwar, you can explore the impressive Jain cave temples of Udaygiri and Khandagiri.
To the south-east, tranquil Chilika Lake is Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon. With the forested hills of the Eastern Ghats providing a scenic backdrop, the lake attracts over 160 species of birds and is a paradise for ornithologists.
Nearby, Olive Ridley Turtles come ashore and lay their eggs (best seen from mid-December to February) and, further south along the coastal plain, is the sacred town of Puri, Odisha’s spiritual capital., which is home to the celebrated Lord Jagannath Temple.
Corinthian Travel offers a choice of private, chauffeured tours to Odisha, including the 12-day Classic Odisha Tour, highlights of which include a cruise on the Hooghly River, a walking tour of ‘White Town’, walking tour of old Bhubaneshwar, a visit to Udaygiri and Kandagiri rock cut caves, a visit to Dhauli and a rickshaw ride.
There will also be a chance to discover the artisan villages at Raghurajpur and Pipli, visits to the Lord Jagannath temple and the Sun Temple at Konark, boat ride on Chilika Lake to spot migratory birds, Dhenkanal Palace and the weaving village of Nuapatna plus the metal casting village of Dokra.
The holiday costs from £3195 pp (two sharing) which includes private transport throughout, 12 nights’ B&B (plus three lunches and two dinners), sightseeing/activities and an accompanying guide. Flights extra (bookable through Corinthian Travel).
Corinthian Travel (020 3583 6089, www.corinthiantravel.co.uk).
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