Besides its exotic tribal population and abundant natural resources, Odisha is a name renowned for its centuries' old marvelling architectures in the form of temples. Odisha has a rich cultural heritage which well reflects in its strings of countless temples scattered around the state.
From interesting mythologies attached to it to magnificent architecture technique used, the temples here invoke reverence and curiosity from their devotees and tourists alike. A number of annual festivals are also arranged in some of these temples that are a huge occasion in the state with thousands of devotees and visitors involving fascinating traditions and customs.
Some of the most known temples in Odisha are:
Surya Mandira (Konark Sun Temple): The temple is probably one of the most spectacular pieces of architecture in India you'd ever lay your eyes on. Displaying Oriya architecture at its best, the temple features a chariot with seven horses and 12 wheels while carrying the Sun God. The temple came to existence back in 13th century and is situated 65 km away from the capital, Bhubaneshwar. The temple is also a part of the popular Golden Triangle tour in Odisha among the pilgrims as well as tourists.
Jagannath Temple: A stunning piece of architecture from 11th century, the temple is the abode of Lord Jagannath and his siblings and boasts the status of being one of the sacred 'Char Dhams' under Hinduism. Every year, thousands of tourists flock to this temple to receive the blessings of Lord Jagannath. It is also believed that visiting the idol of Lord Jagannath gives you the attainment of moksha.
Temples in Bhubaneshwar: There are a number of temples in Odisha that deserve a special mention here. These include Vaital Deul, Mukteswar Temple, Lingaraj Temple, Brahmeshwar Temple and Rajarani Temple to name a few. During your tour, you can cover all the main temples in a single day tour.
Sri Sri Baladev Jew Temple: Located in a small town Ichhapur, this temple is dedicated to Lord Balabhadra and is hugely popular among the locals. The architecture comprises of main aera with four divided parts Sri Mandir, Natya Mandir, Bhoga Mandap and Mukhashal and the other area including several small temples. There is also a spectacular garden developed inside the premises.
Gupteshwar Temple: This is a slightly different temple from the rest in Odisha in terms of its architecture but still holds a pivotal place among devotees. Essentially a cave shrine, the temple derives its name from two Hindi words, meaning 'the hidden God'. During the festival of Lord Shiva, the temple gains special popularity and has hoards of devotees coming from various places to gain blessings. For the tourists, it offers unbeatable views around and from the temple.