Odisha is a huge state in India and it could take a long time to see all it has to offer but these are the 10 places to visit in Odisha that are the most highly recommended for a visitor.
The options range from beautiful natural attractions in Odisha to historical places, to give a good mix of both to choose from. The best way to get a feel for the fascinating state of Odisha is to see some nature and some of the history.
Konark is famous for the Konark Sun Temple which is one of the best temples in India to visit. The stone carvings of the Konark Sun Temple are one of the seven wonders of India and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The temple is dedicated to the sun god. While there check out the nearby Chandrabhaga Beach.
It’s easy enough to get to the Konark Sun Temple as it’s only 35km from the city of Puri (see further down the article) so you can easily do a day trip to Konark from Puri.
Similipal National Park
Out of all the places to visit in Odisha, the Similipal National Park is the ultimate wildlife sanctuary destination in the state. Yes, there are plenty of other great outdoor places but Similipal National Park is the jewel in the crown for animals and nature, so to speak.
It’s also the seventh-largest national park in India.
It is a tiger reserve where the famous Bengali tigers roam free and many other animals make this national park their home, such as Asian elephants.
As far as nature goes, be sure to check out the Devkund waterfall.
Satkosia Tiger Reserve
Along with the Similipal National Park, the Satkosia Tiger Reserve is home to Bengal tigers and is also one of the most beautiful natural areas of the state and one of the best places to visit in Odisha for that, as well as being an important ecosystem.
You’re unlikely to see a tiger as they are reclusive animals, but you never know. If anything it’s worth going to get out into nature by itself.
The best time to visit is in late autumn to early spring.
Bhubaneswar is an ancient city in Odisha with some parts, like the Hindu Lingaraja Temple, dating to the 11th-century. It’s one of the best places in Odisha to visit for beautiful ancient architecture.
Top tip: Visit the Odisha State Museum to see some of the artefacts that have been found in Bhubaneswar.
Puri is all about getting onto the beaches and enjoying the seaside. It also makes a good base to stay at and do day trips to other tourist places to visit in Odisha.
Puri is also famous for its sand sculptures and Golden Beach is the place to go, and you can also do boat rides there and also ride a camel or horse down the beach.
There are also plenty of historical buildings to see, especially the Jagannath Temple, which is an important Hindu pilgrimage site.
Cuttack has some great old places to visit in Odisha with a history stretching back millennia. It’s also known as the “Silver City” due to the silver works there along with brass works.
The old Barabati Fort located there is one of the main historic attractions in Odisha and it’s also nearby the aforementioned Satkosia Tiger Reserve.
If you have any interest in the maritime history of India then pay a visit to the Cuttack Maritime Museum (picture above).
Daringbadi is where you go to escape it all and is one of the best hill stations in Odisha. It’s also known as the “Kashmir of Odisha”, with beautiful forests all around.
Be sure to get to some of the stunning waterfalls in the area such as the Putudi and Badangia Waterfalls.
Just driving to Daringbadi is a scenic dream unto itself and staying a night in Daringbadi is a great way to get out and see the nearby attractions such as the many waterfalls in the rea, like the Putudi and Dasingbadi Waterfalls.
Daringbadi is one of the best places to visit in Odisha for mountain scenery and nature.
Chilika Lake is one of the best destinations in Odisha for bird watchers where you can see birds such as flamingos and sea eagles. It’s one of the most important areas in India for migratory birds.
It’s a great destination for nature in itself even if you do not have much interest in bird watching as it’s also the second-largest coastal lagoon where you can get out on the water in a boat to explore making it a fun day out.
Top tip: Visit the Nalabana Bird Sanctuary when there.
It’s around an hour’s drive from Puri so you could do a day trip from there.
Gopalpur is another great beach destination in Odisha, along with Puri. There is not much else to do there except beaches so only go here for a beach break.
There are several good beaches with Gopalpur beach and Dhabaleshwar Beach being among the best.
The Udayagiri Caves is another ancient site and one of the best tourist places to visit in Odisha for history buffs. It consists of 20 caves to explore that date back to the 5th-century BC.
This is a historical place that ranks as one of the best ancient places in India to visit as it houses some of the oldest Hindu temples in the country.
Udayagiri is one of the best archaeological sites in India. Make sure you see the sculpture of Vishnu when there.
Tourist Places To Visit In Odisha
Those are just 10 great places to visit in Odisha, but the state has a lot more to offer, but if you’re thinking of some of the best places to visit in Odisha then make sure to see at least some of the ones mentioned here.
I recommend using SafetyWing Travel Insurance for your trip, just in case, it’s best to be prepared.
If you are heading to Kolkata in the neighbouring state of West Bengal then take a look at the best things to do in Kolkata.
And read more of my guides to India.
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