Commencing in Kolkata, we journey south to Bhubaneshwar, home to more than 500 temples. After visiting the unique tribal villages of Orissa, we round off our adventure with a trip to Puri, home to the World Heritage listed Sun Temple at Konark.
Odisha (Orissa) is one of the cities in the country which is known for their rich heritage and lineage of vibrant and colourful culture. Invaded by many rulers in the due course of its history, the place today is the ninth largest state by area and the eleventh largest by population in the country. Be it Puri Jaganath Temple or Pre-historic paintings in Kalahandi, the place has something to offer to everyone.
The capital city of Orissa all about simple pleasures and timeless beauties as the city is home to various wonderful temples, thronged by visitors all across the year. Bhubaneshwar (Bhubaneswar), a cradle of art & culture, is a bustling modern city with mesmerizing temples, enchanting natural beauty and lovely people. Once a place known for its beautiful temples and grand architecture, Bhubaneshwar (Bhubaneswar) has slowly and gradually emerged as a commercial hub. You can visit the world renowned Lingaraj Temple, Bindu Sagar, Mukteswar Temple among others. Don't forget to pay a visit to the Regional Plant Resource Center, which maintains the largest rose garden, For people who are interested in exploring caves, there are Khandagiri and Udayagiri caves. Make your vacation a memory of lifetime!
Among the most revered cities for Hindus, Puri is part of the Char Dham pilgrimages and also one of the 7 holy Indian cities. The azure waters gently lapping the soft sandy beach perfect for swimming, coupled with a heady, ceaseless milieu of religious fervor in the city nearby- the result is Puri. Welcome to this holy seaside destination where devotees throng especially to visit the Jagannath Temple.
On arrival in Kolkata, The rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure.
Kolkata – Bhubaneshwar. This morning enjoy a city tour visiting the stately Indian Museum the oldest and largest in India, the Victoria Memorial, Howrah Flower Market, St Paul’s Cathedral and the extraordinary Marble Palace which houses paintings by Rubens, Titian and Reynolds. This afternoon board the train to Bhubaneshwar.
Bhubaneshwar – Rayagada. This morning embark on a sightseeing tour of Bhubaneshwar – state capital and home to more than 500 temples. The final stop of the day is at the coastal town of Pipli which is renowned for it’s handicrafts, patchwork and exquisite appliqué. This evening board the over night train to Rayagada.
Rayagada – Jhigidi Village On day 4 arrive into Rayagada in the morning and drive to Jhigidi Village. Jhigidi Village is famous for jewellery made by the local Kondh tribe and it is your home for the next two nights. The remains of the day are free for you to explore the village and watch the locals making jewellery.
On day 5 we visit one of the most fascinating and primitive divisions of the Kondh tribes, the Kutia Kondh. Once known for their human sacrifice, the tribal women tattoo their faces geometrically, so they are able to recognise one another in the spirit world. Kutia means cave and legend has it that they were cursed by their ancestral god and have lived in the caves away from the rest of the tribe ever since. If you’re here on Tuesday, you’ll be lucky enough to experience the weekly market at Kotgarh, where the tribal people of the region gather to buy and sell goods.
Jhigidi Village – Taptapani. On day 6 drive to Chatikona to visit the bustling and colourful local market of the Dongaria Konch Group, who were once known for their Meria (human) Sacrifice, until it was stopped by the British Army. Continue on to Taptapani, stopping en route to visit Bara Paraja and Sana Paraja Villages.
Taptapani – Puri. Explore Taptapani on day 7 which is famous for its perennial hot spring of medicinal sulphuric waters. Touring includes a visit to the Chandragiri Tibetan Settlement and Taptapani Sulphur Spring Shrine. Then drive to Janhikuda for an excursion on Chilika Lake, Asia’s largest lagoon, which is famous for its migratory birds and dolphins. spend the next two nights in the city of Puri on the banks of the Bay of Bengal.
The following day explore Puri which is blessed with beautiful beaches and famous for its imposing Jagannath Temple and visit the spectacular Sun Temple in Konark, which is a World Heritage Site. The temple was built as a chariot for the sun god Surya and has 24 gigantic stone wheels, 7 horses and many elaborate carvings.
Puri – Kolkata. Spend the morning at leisure in Puri before boarding the train back to Kolkata on day 9. The following day is free for you to explore Kolkata – the showpiece capital of the British Raj. Kolkata is home to numerous churches, temples and Botanical Gardens for you to walk around at leisure before spending your final night in the city.
The final day includes hotel check out and transfer to the airport for the journey home.