Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Orissa is India's 10th largest state in area and 11th in population. It was recognised as a separate province in 1936. It is bounded by West Bengal on the north-east, Bihar on the north, Andhra Pradesh on the South-east, Madhya Pradesh on the west and Bay of Bengal on the east.Orissa today is kaleidoscope of past splendors and contemporary expression.
The Sun Temple at Konark, north of Puri, is in itself reason enough for a trip to India. Like the Taj Mahal at Agra or the Kailasa temple at Ellora, Konark turns away adjective into a tired cliche. But Orissa has more. Puri's famed shrine Lord Jagannath's temple is one of India's four holiest places-"Chaar Dham" and many more Hindu and Jain temples, magnificent beaches, wildlife, great traditional dances and music, handicrafts, temple architecture and sculpture, the colorful hospitable people.
Orissa is home to some of the best wildlife preservation centres. Nandan-Kanan national Park, Chilka lake, Simlipal Wildlife sanctuary are some of the places worth visiting. One can see the rare White tigers(Nandan-Kanan), Dolphins(Chilka Lake), Lion sanctuary(Simlipal) in this state. Also some of the endangered species of animals, birds and plants are preserved here. National Geographic has declared Orissa as one of the most natural habitat for Lions and Tigers. Western part of the state is an enjoyable place for the those who love to see the untampered nature.
Orissa is home to the Hirakud Dam, one of the longest dams in the world. Orissa has several popular tourist destinations. Puri, with the Jagannath temple near the sea (famous for Rath Yatra or the Car Festival), and Konark, with the Sun Temple, are visited by thousands of tourists every year. The Jagannath Temple of Puri, The Sun Temple of Konark, The Lingaraja Temple of Bhubaneshwar, and the Barabati Fort of Katak are important in the archaeological history of India.