India Guide

Orissa India Tourism Guide to Orissa Travel

Largely untouched by mass tourism, Orissa is an Indian gem likely to be a much bigger tourist destination within the coming years. With its exquisite temples, laid back atmosphere, stunning retreats, wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, Orissa will no doubt draw in more and more tourists as the word gets out about its beauty. However Orissa has had big problems in the past and currently with Christians being discriminated against with often violent attacks. However, it has been the tribal people who have seemed to suffer the most in the conflict. It has been suggested that perhaps a separate state for the tribal people should be formed in Orissa similar to Jharkhand’s separation from Bihar.

Orissa Tribal Woman 


Unfortunately, Orissa has been hit with some unfortunate forces of nature. With a devastating cyclone in 1999 and a serious flood in 2008, the monsoon rains have had a big affect on the lives of the people and the infrastructure of Orissa. Aside from these adverse situations, Orissa is a great destination with a variety of activities to partake in.

Located in East India on the coast between West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, Orissa is known for its brilliant wildlife. The Similipal National Park is a key tiger reserve while the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary houses dolphins and even monster crocodiles! Hire out a boat to make your own adventure in the mangroves of this wildlife paradise. Chilika Lake is also a great place to check out the vibrant birdlife including herons, cranes and flamingos.

Alternatively, spend some time in south eastern Orissa at Puri. Not only is it one of the holiest pilgrimage destinations of India, it also has a spectacular sandy beach attracting holiday makers and travellers. Many Kolkata locals make the journey out here on public holidays – a good sign that it is a place to be.

Apart from the beach, take in the sights of the Jagannath Mandir temple. Belonging to the Lord of the Universe, this impressive temple is guarded by stone lions. What’s astounding is the approximate 6,000 men hired to perform the complicated rituals for the gods. Festivals also cram the Orissa calendar including the Puri Beach Festival which includes a show of sand art, food stalls and other cultural events.

There is a range of accommodation available here from budget quarters to high end resorts. Most are well presented but remember that you will be getting what you pay for.

When travelling around this area, make sure you are aware of the dangers of being bitten by mosquitoes as they are known to carry dengue and malaria. Consult your doctor or travel doctor to consider taking malaria tablets, having insect repellent and/or a mosquito net. Other dangers include the treacherous water currents sometimes resident at the beaches and muggings. So be aware and is best to travel in groups to avoid being hassled.


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