Orissa (Odisha)- An eastern Indian state on the Bay of Bengal is known for its tribal cultures and many ancient Hindu temples. The historical monuments of Orissa stand testament to the glorious architectural heritage of the state. The Kalinga Architecture as it is known came into existence in the 6th century AD and continued unabated till the 16th Century AD. What makes the Kalinga Architecture so distinctive and pleasing to the eye is its structural details, plan, elevation and skillfully crafted figurines which adorns the outer walls of the monuments. The architectural style continued to evolve incorporating new styles and aspects which added to their legend. The capital Bhubaneswar is home to hundreds of temples notably the intricately carved Mukteshvara and the Lingaraj Temple complex dating to the 11th century. The monuments were not just restricted to places of worship. In fact they were the epicenter of the Socio- cultural activities which shaped our social customs and beliefs, which are followed even today.
Tribal Museum- The museum exhibits a wide spectrum of the tribal treasure of Odisha. The museum is divided into 5 separate halls, each depicting an aspect from the lifestyle of the local tribes.
Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves- These are partly natural and partly artificial caves, and have archaeological, historical and religious importance. The caves are situated on two adjacent hills, Udayagiri and Khandagiri. They have several finely and ornately carved caves built during the 1st century BCE.
Mukteshvara Temple- Is a 10th-century Hindu temple dedicated to lord Shiva. The temple dates to 950–975 CE and there are several sculptures of skeletal ascetics in teaching or meditation poses. The most important feature of the Mukteshvara Temple is the arched gateway.
Rajarani Temple- The temple is believed to have been known originally as Indreswara. It is locally known as a "love temple" because of the erotic carvings in the temple. Rajarani Temple is built in Pancharatha style.
Lingaraj temple- Lingaraja Temple is dedicated to lord Shiva and is one of the oldest and largest temples in Bhubaneswar. The temple represents the quintessence of the Kalinga architecture.
Dhauligiri Shanti Stupa- Dhauli hill is presumed to be the area where the Kalinga War was fought. The rock on the hill is engraved with edicts of Samrat Ashoka.
Ratnagiri Buddhist Excavation- Ratnagiri was once the major Buddhist monastery said to be constructed during 5th century CE to 13th century. Monastery 1 is the largest, with a beautiful carved doorway, spacious open courtyard, cells and Verandah.
Konark Sun Temple- UNESCO world heritage site famously called as Surya Mandir built during 13th-century CE. Much of the temple is now in ruins especially the large shikara tower over the sanctuary. The structures and elements that have survived are famed for their intricate artwork, iconography, and themes, including erotic kama and mithuna scenes.
Raghurajpur Artist Village- It is a heritage crafts village near Puri and famous for its master Pattachitra painters, an art form which dates to 5 BC in the region and Gotipua dance troupes, the precursor to the Indian classical dance form of Odissi. The village is also home to crafts like Tussar paintings, palm leaf engravings, stone and wood carvings, wooden, cow dung and papier Mache toys, and masks.
Shree Jagannath Puri temple- The Shree Jagannath Temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath a form of Lord Vishnu. The Puri temple is famous for its annual Ratha yatra in which the three principal deities are pulled on huge and elaborately decorated temple cars. The image of Jagannath is made of wood and is ceremoniously replaced every twelve or nineteen years by an exact replica.
Taratarini Temple- Taratarini Temple situated on the Kumari hills at the bank of the River Rushikulya. It is worshiped as the Breast Shrine (Sthana Peetha) and manifestations of Adi Shakti. The Tara Tarini Shakti Peetha is one of the oldest pilgrimage centers of the Mother Goddess and is one of four major ancient Tantra Peetha and Shakti Peethas in India.