Temple Tours of Odisha
Jagannath Temple: The Seat of Lord Jagannath, God of the Universe, is a splendour to behold. This 12th century monument in Puri is a stuctural beauty with its rich and glorious temple architecture. Within its precincts is the Anand Bazar (The Market of Bliss), the biggest food market in the world where around 400 Supakars (cooks) work 24 hours to cook in age old traditional method to feed thousands of devotees.
Lingaraj Temple: The Jewel in the Crown of Bhubaneswar-the City of Thousand Temples, the capital of Orissa. This 11th century monument dedicated to Lord Shiva, is the tallest and biggest temple in Orissa. Near by the temple, there is an ancient pond, called Bindu Sagar (Sea of Drops) where it is believed that drops of water from every sacred place on earth had been poured into.
Rajarani Temple: Constructed in the 11th century, it is set in picturesque surroundings in Bhubaneswar, and is noted for its intricate carvings of floral, animal and human figures. It has an unusual tower and more interestingly, this temple has no residing deity.
Bimaleswar Temple, Huma The Pisa of India. This huge temple of Lord Shiva is a wonder structurally. It leans towards one side, still stands to withstand time. It is situated in a village ‘Huma’ in western part of Orissa. The river Mahanadi flows by this temple, adding to its beauty.
Konark Sun Temple: This crowning piece of orissan architecture, built in 13th century is a poetry in stone. It is designed as a celestial chariot of the Sun god, complete with twelve wheels and seven horses. It is a world heritage site declared by the UNESCO. Though the main sanctum is in the ruins, the Dance Hall and the Audience Hall still evokes wonder by its massive presence and marvellous carvings.
Beaches Tours of Odisha
PURI...This place is the most favoured destination for pilgrimage and pleasure as well. Puri has one of the most beautiful and widest beaches in India. One can stroll and enjoy miles of Golden sand among casuarina fringed shores. Various Beach Trekking activities can also be taken from here, which is an wonderful experience in itself.
Chandipur…This place has a unique distinction of its own. Unlike other beaches, the sea water here recedes away from the shoreline about 5kms. Twice a day, an unusual phenomenon, rarely found anywhere. You can see the sea literally vanishing before your eyes and also watch it coming back rhythmically at regular intervals. When the water recedes, one can take a jeep ride straight into the sea! The beauty of the exposed bosom of the beach is further enhanced by the small red crabs.
Gopalpur-On-Sea…It is one of those un spoilt beaches letting one to explore and enjoy on own. It is sleepy, has un spoilt beauty and almost untouched. Lay in the Sun with beating waves in the day, join the excitement with local fisherman with their catch of the day in the evening and listen to the whispering music of casuarina and coconut palms in the night. For more adventure, take a bicycle and explore the shoreline.
Wildanimals Tours of Odisha
Shimilipal National Park: Spread over 2750 sq. km., it is paradise on earth with 1076 plant varieties, 87 orchid species, 42 mammals, 29 reptiles, 231 birds and an wonderful bio-reserve one of its kind in India. It is widely known for its Project Tiger and Asiatic Elephants.
Tiger : 98(Male-28, Female-44, Cub-26, As on January 1999)
Leopard : 115 (Male-32, Female-59, Cub-24 As on January 1999)
Elephant : 449 (M-85, F-282, Y-82 As on May 1999)
CHANDAKA: It is relic of wildland that once extended all over Bhubaneswar. Spread over 193.39 sq km of rolling table land and small sprawling hilloks, it is a wild life sacntuary since 1982. The sanctuary, literally abutting on the Capital City of Orissa, is the pachyderm country. Originally established to provide inviolate refuge for elephants with a view to minimize their depredation, the sanctuary is now a treasure trove of biodiversity.
This small but beautiful sanctuary has forest type well distributed in a mosaic of habitat sheltering variety of tropical Indian Jungle Fauna. The return of the Leopard in 1991, which seemed exticnt for long, further reaffirms the revival of biodiversity. Floral diversity is distributed in 6 types, secondary moist miscellaneous semi evergreen forests, moist Kangada forest, Coastal Sal Forests, thorny bamboo brakes, planted teak and Eupatorium scrub. A few species of ground Orchids, Ferns, Club mosses, Bryophytes and Lichens are distributed in shady wet pockets and rock escarpments. Elephant is the flagship species and indicative of the productivity of the habitat. Other habitats are Leopard, Chital, Barking Deer, Wild Pig, Common Langur, Pangolin, Sloth Beer etc. Birds like Peafowl, Red Jungle Fowl, Crested Serpent Eagle, Black headed Oriole are found here.
Tribals of Odisha
In India there is an amalgam of 437 tribes, and in Orissa the number is 62. According to recent Census, in Orissa the total strength of tribal population is approximately seven million which constitutes 22.21% of the total population of the State. Linguistically the tribes of India are broadly classified into four categories, namely (1) Indo-Aryan speakers, (2) Dravidian speakers, (3) Tibet-Burmese speakers, and (4) Austria speakers.
In Orissa the speakers of the Tibet-Burmese language family are absent, and therefore Orissan tribes belong to other three language families. The Indo-Aryan language family in Orissa includes Dhelki-Oriya, Matia, Haleba, Jharia, Saunti, Laria and Oriya (spoken by Bathudi and the acculturated sections of Bhuyans, Juang, Kondh, Savara, Raj Gond etc.). The Austria language family includes eighteen tribal languages namely, Birija, Parenga, Kisan, Bhumiji,
Koda, Mahili Bhumiji, Mirdha-Kharia, Ollar Gadaba, Juang, Bondo, Didayee, Karmali, Kharia, Munda, Ho, Mundari and Savara. And within the Dravidian language family there are nine languages in Orissa, namely, Pengo, Gondi, Kisan, Konda, Koya. Parji, Kui, Kuvi and Kurukh or Oraon.
Each type has a distinct style of life which could be best understood in the paradigm of nature, man and spirit complex, that is, on the basis of relationship with nature, fellow men and the supernatural.
Tribes of the first type, namely Kharia, Mankidi, Mankidia and Birhor, live in the forests of Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Sundargarh districts, exclusively depend on forest resources for their livelihood by practicing hunting, gathering and collecting. The Koya which belongs to the Dravidian linguistic group, is the lone pastoral and cattle-breeder tribal community in Orissa.