Ladakh, bordered by the Karakoram chain of mountains in the north and the Himalayas in the south, is consisting of two districts Leh and Kargil. It is popularly known as “Little Tibet” as its culture is highly influenced by Tibetan culture.

It is fast gaining popularity as an amazing tourist destination of India, with the great Indus flowing right through Ladakh, the province is divided into Leh, the capital, Nubra, Zanskar, lower Ladakh and Rupshu. It is a land of mesmerizing beauty offering great opportunities of adventure sports.

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Kolkata, also referred as 'City of Joy' located on east bank of the River Hooghly, is a colonial city developed by the British East India Company and then the British Empire. The city was the capital of the British Indian empire till 1911 when the capital was relocated to Delhi. the city witnessed a fast rise as the second city of the British Empire in the 1800s accompanied by the development of a culture that was a coalescence of European philosophy with Indian tradition. The city was formerly known as Calcutta, is known as the Cultural Capital of India.


Kolkata city, one of the four metropolitan cities in India has a history of no more than 300 years. The city, formerly known by the name of Calcutta has undergone a sea change in a very short span of time. Kolkata as it stands today is the largest metropolitan city of India. The city has the distinction of being the procurer of many important movements encompassing politics, arts, literature, theatre, cinema, science and technology, in India.

There are more than one accounts of how the city got its name. According to some the name of the city has been derived from the Bengali word Kalikshetra, meaning the ground of goddess Kali. Yet others are of the opinion that the name has been derived from the term Kilkila, meaning flat surface in Bengali. The city was named Calcutta by the British Power and the place continued to be called so till 2001 A.D. when the city was officially renamed as Kolkata.

Kalikata or Kolkata city used to be a small village ruled by the emperors of different dynasties before the coming of the East India Company of British Power. From 8th century to 12th century there was a frequent change of the power ruling the village. The power shifted amongst the Pala, Sena and Deva dynasties. From 13th century to the concluding 17th century the place was dominated by a series of rulers including the Mamluk rulers, the Balbans, Shahs, Abyssinians and finally Afghans. With the opening of a factory at Cassim Bazar the East India Company established its colonial rule in the year 1690. The land revenue rights were bought by the East India Company and the region gained its own presidency. A fort was established and named after King Willam I. At that time Kolkata was not the capital of Bengal and the capital used to be Murshidabad, located some 60 miles north of Kolkata. The nawab of Bengal attacked the city in 1756 and captured the fort. The city however, was recaptured by the British in 1757 . After being victorious in the battle of Plassey in 1772 against Siraj Ud Daulah the East India Company established their base and the city became the capital of British India. The important offices were moved from Murshidabad to Kolkata. Till 1912 the city was the capital of India, when the British moved the capital to Delhi. In 1947 when India got its independence the city was included and made the capital of the West Bengal.


Air: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, located at Dumdum, is 17 km away from the heart of Kolkata. This airport is well connected to all major cities in India including north east capitals. Kolkata is a major international airport which is connected to many cities in abroad. Airport to the city center costs about Rs 400 by Tourist taxi car.

Rail: Howrah and Sealdah are two major railway stations in Kolkata. These stations are well connected to all major cities in India.

Metro rail system in Kolkata connects all the main junctions in Kolkata. It is the fastest way to reach the different parts of the big city.

Road: West Bengal state buses connect all parts of the state with Kolkata. The bus charges are less than Rs 2 per km. Deluxe and A/C luxury buses are available from Kolkata to various cities in the state and neighboring states.


For those who have value for their money, Kolkata can be describe as a paradise. All over the city there are a number of markets and shopping complexes where you can buy everything from A to Z. Visit New Market, one of oldest and most famous markets of the city, it offers shoes, clothes and several other items. Park Street, Jawahar Lal Nehru Road, Shakespeare Sarani, Camac Street, Chowringhee Road, Dakshinapan Shopping Complex and Russel Street area are other famous shopping spots of the city. Here you will find numerous eating joints, multi-cuisine restaurants, bookstores and music stores. Charnock City at satellite township of Salt Lake is an air-conditioned shopping complex and it houses a number of shops dealing in various items.

Kolkata can be described as a 'shopping paradise' for those who want the value for their money. There are many markets spread all over the city. From 'cucumbers' to 'cargos' and from 'shoe-strings to 'sarees' everything is available under one roof at this century-old market.

New Market, located on Lindsay Street, is one of Kolkata's oldest and most renowned Markets. During the annual 'Durga Puja', the area in and around New Market wears a festive look as people from different parts of the state and even neighboring states come to shop here. Park Street, the fashion street of the city and the arterial roads, JL Nehru Road, Shakespeare Sarani, Camac Street and Russel Street area are other happening spots of the city. Spacious shopping malls, food joints, music stores, bookstores and a host of multi-cuisine restaurants are situated here. Charnock City in Kolkata's satellite Township of Salt Lake is an air-conditioned shopping complex spread over three floors. Chowringhee Rd is an amazing variety of pavement vendors who sell everything from water pistols to dancing dolls. Dakshinapan Shopping Complex is one place that is a favorite with college students looking for clothes to fit their budgets.


Hotels in Kolkata offer you the traditional Bengali hospitality together with the modern amenities and advanced technological facilities. Most of the hotels in Kolkata, India are ideally located near the main business districts, shopping areas and tourist destinations, making it feasible for you to easily access any part of Kolkata with perfect ease, visiting tourist attractions in Kolkata or shopping in Kolkata.

No other city offers a dining experience as varied as Kolkata. Right from the restaurants at the five-star hotels to the roadside eateries, the city has everything from Indian to Chinese, and from Continental to Mughlai and of course authentic Bengali cuisine. 'Tea' has been a favorite pastime of the Bengalis for ages. They believe that anytime is teatime and enjoy tea in any form offered.


Hyatt Regency Hotel
ITC Hotel Sonar Bangla Sheraton and Towers
Oberoi Grand Hotel
Taj Bengal Hotel
The Park Hotel


Peerless Inn
The Kolkata Kenilworth Best Western Hotel


Rutt Dean
Fort Radisson Resort

STD Code
Best time to visit
November to February



Puri, one of the oldest cities in eastern part of India, is a popular beach resort of Orissa that is positioned in a unique place that provides a visitor view of both sunrise and sunset from the beach. Puri is also famous for its annual Rath Yatra (Festival of Chariots), when the deities Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra, are brought out of the temple, and placed in a chariot procession. It has dual identities of a relaxed seaside resort and of an important pilgrimage centre.


Puri is the site of the Govardhana matha, one of the four cardinal institutions established by Sri Adi Shankara Charya, the others being those at Sringeri, Dwaraka and Jyotirmath.

Puri is also famous for its annual Ratha Yatra, or "Festival of Chariots", when the deities Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra, are brought out of the temple, and placed in a chariot procession. This festival occurs on various dates of the Gregorian calendar, typically in the month of July.

The town is famous for its many Mathas (monasteries of the various Hindu sects). It also houses the relics of many Hindu Saints as traditionally it is seen as a holy place to die in or to be cremated. As a result, it has had a disproportionate number of widows. Like other old Hindu religious towns it has a lot of character that is difficult to be glimpsed or picked up on easily by a casual visitor.

In 1903, Sri Yukteswar established an ashram in the sea-side town of Puri, naming it "Kararashram". From two ashrams, Sri Yukteswar taught students, and began an organization named "Sadhu Sabha."

Sri Yukteswar and his disciple, Paramahansa YoganandaLocation: Puri, Orissa State, East India.

Puri is a holy city in the State Of Orissa. It is well connected by National Highway No.203 starting from Rasulgarh of "BHUBANEHSWAR" (State Capital) mail and express trains by Indian Railways and airport, at about 57 km. from Bhubanehswar.


Air: Biju Patnaik airport at Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport to Puri, which is nearly 56 km away from the heart of the Puri city. It costs about Rs 900 by taxi cab. The airport is connected to Delhi and Mumbai. International travelers need to get connections through Delhi or Kolkata.

Rail: Puri is a major railway junction. Regular direct train services are available from Puri to many cities in India, including Bhubaneshwar, New Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.

Road: Orissa road transport corporation buses connect Puri to many cities in Orissa. Frequent bus services are available from Bhuvaneshwar (56 km), Cuttack (32 km) and Konark. Orissa Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) offer deluxe buses for sight seeing tours in Puri, which costs about Rs 250 per person.


Puri is a wonderful place for shopaholics. In fact, it is one of the most common activities that travelers indulge in. You can check out numerous shops in the streets of Puri, which display fabulous Indian handicraft items, stone crafts and silver works. Apart from this, you can get the best deal for shoes, designer clothes, bags and other accessories as well. Beach-side shops often sell products made from shells, at reasonable prices. Sarees of Puri are famous, so it would be a delight for female travelers to move around shopping, in Puri.

Puri is a very popular destination in Orissa. For the discerning shopper, shopping in Puri may turn out to be a true delight. The state of Orissa has a rich tradition of handicrafts.

Being a beachside destination, shells and oyster are available in abundance in Puri. Over the years the ace craftsmen have perfected the art of making artifacts out of shells and oysters. A variety of utilities, decorative showpieces are definitely a feast to eyes and may leave you spoilt for choice. Do pick up a few items while shopping in Puri.

Weaving saris is a traditional craft of Orissa. Even in Puri you would find many outlets dealing in textiles where shoppers flock in large numbers. Do check out the exquisite Passapali, Bomkai and Ikat saris while shopping in Puri.

Palm leaf painting, Patta Chitra is also a popular craft in Orissa. The craft has earned worldwide renown. The item serves well to decorate the interior of your home. An item or two must feature in your shopping cart in Puri.

At the same time, stone crafts and silver works are also favorite items for shopping in Puri.


Puri, being the abode of Lord Jagannatha, is one of the most celebrated pilgrimage centers for Hindus in India. The land of many temples attracts huge number of tourists every year.

Alongside the temples, Puri is famous for its beaches too. Although Puri is not a typical beach resort, but the lure of sun, sand and surf is also an enduring lure for many.

Since Puri is a popular destination, there are a large number of hotels in Puri. Some hotels in Puri offer you high-end luxury and comfort. Some hotels are located close to the beach whereas others are in the city.

In the luxury hotels in Puri, you would find state of the art amenities like: well-furnished room, multi-cuisine restaurants conference halls, shopping arcade, swimming pool, well equipped gym, children parks, tennis courts and other indoor and outdoor games. They offer different categories of rooms too. From elegant suites to ethnic villas - choice is yours as per your taste and budget.

But it is not that all the hotels in Puri are expensive ones. In fact there are several other economy hotels in Puri to suit your budget if you wish to spend less on accommodation. There are lots of options that offer decent arrangement at a modest price.

Some hotels in Puri have great dining facilities too. A number of good restaurants and bars are available in Puri. The cuisine is definitely a gourmet's delight.

Toshali Sands
Mayfair Beach Resort
Hans Coco Palms
Hotel Arya Palace, Puri


Jagannath Rath Yatra: Rath Yatra, which is also known as the Chariot Festival, is one of the most prominent festivals of Orissa, which is celebrated in the holy city of Puri. ‘Rath Yatra’ has derived its name from the words ‘Rath’, meaning ‘Chariot’, and ‘Yatra’, meaning ‘Procession’. This festival is celebrated with gusto in almost every part of the country. However, it was initiated in Jagannath Temple and it still attracts devotees from different parts of India. Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra is a very colorful festivity, in which people participate enthusiastically.

In the yatra, the idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, enshrined in the Sri Mandira, are brought out and placed on their respective chariots. These chariots are then pulled by the devotees and the idols are taken to Gundicha Temple. The deities stay at this temple for seven days and then, return to Sri Mandira, in a similar procession. Before the procession starts, Gajapati (the ceremonial King of Puri) comes and cleans the chariots with a golden broom and then, sprinkles holy water on them.

Originally, the local king used to sweep the road on which procession was to take place with a golden broom, proclaiming to be the Lord’s first servant. Rath yatra has been gaining popularity and drawing more and more devotees year after year. It is believed that it is very auspicious if one manages to catch even a glimpse of Lord Jagannath on the chariot. People also hold a belief that the one who manages to touch the chariot, or even the ropes with which it is pulled, is bestowed with the results of several pious deeds for ages.

Puri Beach Festival

One of the most popular festivals of Orissa is the Puri Beach Festival. Fun lovers look forward to celebrating this festival every year at one of the holiest cities of India. The credit for conducting the wonderful Puri Beach Festival goes to the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Orissa (HRAO). It is co-sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India; the Department of Tourism, Government of Orissa; Development Commissioner of Handicrafts and the Eastern Zonal Cultural Center; Calcutta.

A variety of cultural events take place at the festival, ranging from fashion shows to various music shows. Puri Beach Festival, held at the beautiful beach of the holy city, is a delight not just for locals, but also for the tourists. It is a four-day long annual festivity that is hosted in the month of November. This festive occasion has been attracting more and more visitors every year. So, if you are planning a tour of Puri, the abode of Lord Jagannath, make sure you don’t miss being a part of the fabulous Puri Beach Festival.

Things to do

Since Puri is famous for its Lord Jagannath Temple, you should not miss to pay visit this religious site. Dedicated to Lord Jagannath (Lord Krishna), the temple exemplifies the magnificence of ancient Indian architecture. The best time to visit the temple is during the Rath Yatra in July, because that is when the air is filled with festivity.

Nature Walk
Puri beaches are the best places to catch a glimpse of the blazing sun rising in the east. For the same, you may head towards the sea shore in the morning, whenever the time of sunrise is predicted. After witnessing the beautiful scene, you can enjoy taking a stroll along the shore and catch a breath of fresh air!

Cruising in the sparkling water of the sea can be a fun-filled experience for travelers coming to Puri. You can take a boat ride in the sea and catch a glimpse of the picturesque beauty of the town, while on board.

Apart from fishermen, amateurs are also seen thronging the beaches of Puri, to catch fishes. So, fishing is also a wonderful thing to do in Puri. In fact, it would serve as a nice pastime during a weekend getaway trip to Puri.

Other Beach Activities
You can indulge in a number of beach activities, while staying in Puri. There, you can have the pleasure of playing a number of adventurous water sports such as scuba diving, surfing, swimming etc. Sun bathing is yet another activity popular in the beaches of Puri.

STD Code
Best time to visit
October to March
Famous For
One of the four holiest points of pilgrimage for Hindus



Konark is a small town, famous for the 13 th century Sun temple built in from oxidizing and weathered ferruginous sandstone by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The Konark Sun temple is a World Heritage Site that takes the form of a chariot of Surya, the Sun God, and is heavily decorated with stone carvings.

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Konark derives its name from Konarka, the presiding deity of the Sun Temple. Konarka is actually a combination of two words, Kona (corner) and Arka (sun), which, when combined, means the sun of the corner. Konark was one of the earliest centres of Sun worshipping in India. The place finds mention in the Puranas as Mundira or Mundirasvamin, a name that was subsequently replaced by Konaditya or Konarka. Apart from the Puranas, other religious texts also point towards the existence of a sun temple at Konark long before the present temple.

On delving deep into the historical background of Konark, it is revealed that Konark owes its name to Konarka, the presiding deity of the Sun Temple. It would interest one to know that Konark is actually an amalgamation of two words, "Kona", meaning corner and "Arka" meaning Sun. The two when taken together, implies the sun of the corner. On leafing through the pages of Konark history, you would come to know that Konark was one of the earliest centers that practiced sun worshipping.

The earliest mention of the Konark in the history of Konark is in the Puranans when, the place used to be referred to as Mundira or Mundirasvamin. This name was later replaced by Konaditya or Konarka. One curious fact that one stumbles upon while flipping through the pages of the Puranas and other authentic religious texts is the fact that there already existed a Sun Temple at the place, way before the present temple came into being.

Konark happened to be a busy port that shared mutually beneficial trade relations with the South East Asian countries. The construction of the much renowned Sun Temple that exists now in Konark is credited to King Narashimhadev I belonging to the Ganga dynasty. The construction of this temple was the commemoration of his triumph over the Muslims. The temple later suffered the brunt of neglect and received the final blow when it was deconsecrated by the envoy of Jahangir, the Mughal Emperor.

There is more than one legend associated with the construction of the Sun Temple. According to one popular opinion, the Sun Temple was commissioned by Samba, Lord Krishna's son. Lord Krishna had cursed his son with leprosy. After undergoing a rigorous penance for twelve years, he was restored to health by the blessings of the Sun God and it was in his honor that the temple was constructed.


Air: The nearest airport is at Bhubaneswar, which is at a distance of 64 km away from Konark. The taxi cab charges about Rs 1400 to cover the distance from Konark to Bhubaneshwar. Bhubaneshwar is connected by regular flights to many major cities India including Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi and Hyderabad.

Rail: Puri, which is at distance of 31 km is the nearest railway station to Konark. Puri is connected to all major cities in India. Pre-paid taxi from Puri railway station to Konark cost about Rs 600.

Road: Konark is connected to other cities in Orissa State Public Transport buses. Private Volvo bus services are available from Bhubaneshwar and Puri to Konark. Public buses charge about Rs 1.50 and private buses charges about Rs 3 per km travel.


Besides a temple town, Konark is a fascinating destination for shoppers as well. Konark is dotted with a number of shops dealing in various items including locally made items. The town is popular for its elegantly carved images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, woodcarving and decorative items made of stone and horn. Patta paintings and the appliqué work of Pipli are other attraction of Konark. Another interesting buy include the marvelously embroidered umbrellas. If you are looking for some souvenirs, then visit the government emporium which have a fine collection of fabrics and handicrafts. For complete enjoyment of shopping in Konark take a leisurely stroll through the markets of the town. While exploring the markets on foot you will get an insight into the culture, lifestyle and eating habits of the local people.

Konark is famous for the exquisitely carved images of Hindu Gods and decorative items made of stone, horn and woodcarvings. If you are an art connoisseur, you should check out the Patta paintings and the appliqué work of Pipli.The brilliantly embroidered umbrellas make fascinating buys. If you are planning to buy souvenirs then the best option would be the government emporiums which stock fabrics and handicrafts items from across the state of Orissa.

Shopping in Konark is definitely a delight for shopping enthusiasts. The city is known for its exquisite handicrafts. One of the most popular shopping items of Konark comprises of the beautiful sculptures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Apart from that, there are a number of decorative items of stone and natural wood that sell like hot cakes in the market. For art lovers, the best buys in the city are Patta paintings. There is also a great demand for the appliqué work of Pipli, which is easily available here.

You can also buy beautifully embroidered umbrellas, to give as souvenirs when you get back home. The traditional fabrics of Orissa are also available in Konark and are definitely on the list of must-buy items. Now, we have an answer to ‘what to buy’ in Konark. As far as the shopping places in the city are concerned, the best place consists of Government run emporia, especially if you are looking out for some souvenirs or gifts for your near and dear ones. Along with that, there are a number of private shops also.


Though hotels in Konark have several guesthouses and tourist lodges the accommodation options are relatively limited. For those tourists who would prefer to travel from Puri or Bhubaneswar, then you will find a range of staying options at the hotels there.

Some of the prominent hotels in Konark are:

Panthanivas Tourist Bungalow
Yatri Niwas
Konark Lodge
Sunrise Lodge
Banita lodge


Festivals of Konark
Konark Music and Dance Festival is one of the most rocking festivities of Orissa, celebrated with much gusto and enthusiasm. It usually takes place in the month of December. The open-air auditorium of the Konark Sun temple serves as the venue of this wonderful festival. Konark Dance Festival is organized to promote the classical dances and music of India. It witnesses many exceptional performances by established performers as well as novices, who come here from the different parts of the country.

Accomplished as amateurs musicians come here to play various instruments, which include drums, cymbals, etc. It is a grand extravaganza that sets the mood of people with sounds of music. The dancing hall of the Sun temple is truly an architectural wonder. The designing of its wall, which is a reflection of the ancient times, is simply outstanding. Konark Dance Festival provides a golden opportunity to the newcomers to exhibit their talent.

One can witnesses almost all the classical dances of India in this festival, right from Odissi to Bharathnatyam to Manipuri to Kathak. Thus, it acts as a great platform for the dance connoisseurs and other performing artists to learn about different dance forms of the country. At Konark Music and Dance Festival, one can also see a Crafts Mela, displaying the ethnic craftsmanship of Indian artists. Then, there is the Food Mela, providing the most delicious delicacies of the country. The festival is gaining more popularity day by day, attracting a larger number of art lovers every year.

STD Code
Best time to visit
October to March
Famous For
Famous throughout the world for its magnificent Sun Temple, which is dedicated to Surya, the Sun God.



Deogarh, also known as Debagarh, is the former capital of Bamanda or Bamra princely state of British India.


Air: The nearest airports for visiting places of interest in Deogarh District are at Bhubaneswar (280 km) and Raipur (376 km).

Rail: The nearest rail heads for Deogarh are at Sambalpur (90 km), Bamra on the Nagpur-Howrah Section of South Eastern Railway (103 km), Jharsuguda (98 km) and Rourkela (115 km)

Road: 90 km from Sambalpur, 115 km from Rourkela & 280 km from Bhubaneswar.




Cuttack, one of the oldest towns in Orissa, is famous all over the country for its exquisite and delicate filigree works, its artistic horn works and colourful textiles. It is located at the apex of delta formed by the rivers Mahanadi in the north and Kathajodi in the south. The city got its name from a military camp 'Kataka' that was set up here by Keshari dynasty. It is also called the city of Fort due to the Barabati Fort that dominates the Cuttack landscape. It served as the capital of Orissa for more than nine centuries.


The oldest city in Orissa and the former capital of the state, Cuttack was founded in the 10th century by Nripati Keshari. The History of Cuttack is a checkered and eventful one. The city has been under various rulers since its foundation and thus boasts of a rich history.

Early History of Cuttack begins with its association with the Keshari dynasty. Eminent historian A. Sterling stated that present-day Cuttack was founded as a military cantonment by King Nripati Keshari of Keshari dynasty in 989 A.D. This statement was based on Madalapanji, a chronicle of Puri's Lord Jagannath Temple. During the illustrious reign of Markata Keshari, he built a stone embankment to protect the new capital from flood in 1002 A.D.

The History of Cuttack also suggests that in 1211 AD, Cuttack became capital of a kingdom founded by Anangabhimadeva of Ganga dynasty. At the end of Ganga rule, Orissa came under the rule of the Gajapati Kings (1435-1541 A.D.) of Solar dynasty. Cuttack continued to be the capital of Orissa even under the Gajapati rulers. It was after the death of Mukunda deva - the last Hindu king of Orissa that Cuttack came under Muslim rule and later under the Mughals.

According to the History of Cuttack India, the town came under the Maratha rule by 1750, and flourished greatly as a business center. It served as a convenient point of contact between the Marathas of Nagpur and the English Merchants of Bengal. It was in 1803 that the British occupied Cuttack and made it the capital of Orissa division in 1816. In 1948 the capital was shifted to Bhubaneswar, But Cuttack continued as the administrative headquarters of Orissa.

Cuttack history also states that the Holy Historical Sikh Shrine 'The Gurdwara Daatan Sahib' in Cuttack marks the place where the first Sikh Guru, Shree Guru Nanak halted on his way to Puri. People believe that a tree planted by Guru Nanak after using it as a Tooth Cleaner (Daatan) still exists, hence the name Daatan Sahib.


Air: The nearest airport to Cuttack is the Biju Patnaik Airport of Bhubaneswar, which is about 25 km away from the heart of the city. This airport is well connected to the major cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad. The taxi fare to the airport from the city is around Rs 300.

Rail: The railhead in Cuttack lies on the Chennai-Kolkata rail line. This station is pretty well-connected to the cities in and around Orissa.

Road: State owned public transport buses operate from Bhubaneswar (25 km) and Puri (90 km) to Cuttack. The tariff per seat is about Rs 50 to Bhubaneswar and Rs 200 to Puri. Private luxury buses are also available from Cuttack to nearby cities.


Cuttack is one of the best places in Orissa for shopping. The famous silver filigree work, horn and brass products, tie and dye textiles from Maniabandha and Sambalpur, and the stone works of Puri are loved by most tourists.

Any trip to Cuttack is incomplete without some shopping. In fact, the city is the major shopping centre of Orissa and you can not return back without doing some shopping. Cuttack is dotted with a number of government emporium and private shops, which offer a variety of items. Some of the must buy include the handicrafts and textiles of the Cuttack region, both in silk and cotton. Cuttack is noted for exquisite silver filigree work, from which jewelry, utensils, and decorative items are prepared.

Cuttack is the shopping hub of Orissa. The shopping places in the city are stocked with distinctive kinds of handicrafts and textiles. They have something or the other for everyone, be of any age group. Infact, there are so many things in Cuttack that are worth buying that you will be forced to think what to buy and what not to buy. The city is famous for its silver filigree work, which is used in making exquisite jewelry.

You can also check out other decorative items made of fine quality silver. For those who want to buy traditional fabrics, the best option is the Government-run state emporia, where one can see an amazing variety of cotton and silk fabrics. Lacquer work is also very much in demand in Cuttack. After applying several coats of lacquer, the surface of the material is embellished with delicate motifs, depicting different aspects of nature.

This work is usually found on the colorful boxes made by tribal people residing around the city. Among the other shopping items available in Cuttack, the more popular ones are brass and metal ware, including fashionable ornaments made from brass and metal that are a favorite amongst the women. For men, there are the lovely brass made tiepins and cufflinks. Stone carvings of the city can also make extremely good souvenirs to take back home.

Shopping in Cuttack Orissa starts with the handloom saris produced in the districts of Sambalpur and Sonepur which are popularly called sambalpuri and sonepuri gharana of handloom fabrics.

Shopping in Cuttack Orissa is a non starter without venturing out to the Silver Filigree or "Tarakashi" one of the places which produce good silver crafts. Here you get items like necklaces, ear pendants, brooches, anklets, hairpins, bangles and those worn by the Odissi dancers. The beauty of Shopping in Cuttack In India is that you can buy showpieces, Puja items and utensils at best bargain prices.


Plenty of accommodation options are available in Cuttack. You need not to worry about your budget, as the hotels are available rates. Equipped with contemporary facilities, the hotels of Cuttack provide a pleasant stay. Some of the famous hotels of Cuttack are Pantanivas, Hotel Akbari Continental, Hotel Bombay, Hotel Dwarka, Hotel Ashoka, Hotel Monalisa, Hotel Lords, Hotel Roxy and Hotel Blue Lagoon.


Bali Yatra
Bali Yatra is a very well known festivity that takes place on the banks of river Mahanadi in Cuttack city of Orissa. It usually falls on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Karthik (November-December). The yatra is also popularly known as Karthik Purnima and is celebrated to commemorate the glorious past of voyages that were organized to the islands of Bali, Sumatra and Java for commercial purposes. During this festive period, the idols of "Kartikeswar" are constructed and worshipped. Bali Yatra lasts for a period of three to four days.

On this great occasion, a fair is organized on a very large scale, where myriad varieties of goods are displayed for buying and selling. For entertainment purposes, there are boating facilities, which can be enjoyed in the moonlight. As a part of the celebrations of Bali Yatra, the people of Orissa float small boats, which are made up of cork, paper and banana tree barks, in the river and water tanks. Some of them also place lit lamps in the hollow of the boat and this ritual is known as Boita Bandana.

On the day of Bali Yatra, the images of Lord Karthikeswar are worshipped and then immersed, amidst huge fanfare, in the waters of Mahanadi River. The immersion serves to mark the conclusion of the holy month of Karthik. Thousands of enthusiasts from different parts of India come to Cuttack to take part in this yatra. This is the perfect time to explore the cultural heritage of the rich state of Orissa and indulge in some fun too.

STD Code
Best time to visit
October to March



Bhubaneswar, also known as "The Lord of the Universe" or "City of Temples", is famous for its role as the ancient capital of the Kalinga Empire. The city has a 3000 years old history which is boasted by marvelous architecture of the temples of the city. It is situated south west to Mahanadi River, is an important Hindu pilgrimage centre.

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The history of the Bhubaneswar may be viewed as two phases: ancient Bhubaneswar and modern Bhubaneswar. While the ancient city has a history that goes back more than 2000 years, the modern city came into existence in 1948.

The first mention of Bhubaneswar in Indian history is in the infamous Kalinga War which was held near Dhauli (presently located in south Bhubaneswar) in 3rd Century BC. Later Emperor Kharavela established his capital in Sisupalgarh which is on the outskirts of the city. The Hathigumpha inscriptions at the Udayagiri caves and Khandagiri caves by Kharavela give a good account of that period which is estimated as 1st-2nd century BC. Later innumerable temples built throughout ancient and medieval history in tune with its status as Temple City give a chronicle of the city's history till Indian independence in 1947.

In 1936, Orissa became a separate province in British India with Cuttack as its capital. Notably, Cuttack was Orissa's capital since 12th century. When India got independence in 1947, Orissa became one of the states of the Indian union. But for some reasons, most visibly Cuttack's vulnerability to floods and space constraints, the capital was changed to Bhubaneswar which was built into a modern city. The city planning of Bhubaneswar was given by German Architect Otto. H. Koeingsberges. Bhubaneswar was formally inaugurated in 13th April 1948 as the capital of the Indian state of Orissa.


Air: Biju Patnaik airport at Bhubaneswar is nearly 5 km away from the heart of the city. It costs about Rs 100 by taxi cab. The airport is connected to Delhi and Mumbai. International travelers need to get connections through Delhi.

Rail: Bhubaneswar railway station is about 6 km away from the city center. This railhead is well-connected to the metro cities and also to the cities Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

Road: The New Bus Stand which is located at a distance of 6 km from the town center connects well to the major cities around Bhubaneswar. Bhubaneswar is connected to Puri and Konark by regular bus services.


Bhubaneswar, the ‘Temple City of India’, is not only known for its magnificent places of worship. Rather, it is also a shopping lover’s delight. You don’t need to worry about ‘where to shop’ at all. There are innumerable shopping places in the city; of which some are run by private owners, while others are Government-owned. For those who are fond of traditional fabrics, Bhubaneshwar is just the place to shop. The city is well known for its Ikat fabrics, which are extensively used in making Saris as well as other readymade garments.

Appliqué work of Bhubaneswar, locally called Chandua, is in great demand these days. Other best buys include Tussar silk, Sambalpuri silk and Cotton. Apart from the fabrics, there is also a wide variety of metal ware available in the city. It mainly consists of exquisite pieces of jewelry made from fine silver and distinctive kinds of metal sculptures, known as Dhokra. Other interesting items available in Bhubaneshwar include handcrafted wooden items, like lampshades, vanity boxes, vegetable baskets, etc.

Even the stone sculptures of Gods and Goddesses made in the city are selling like hot cakes in the market. Bhubaneswar is also well known for its paintings. Some of the popular paintings are Patachitra, paintings made on palm leaf, and Ganjapas. One can easily find seashells in the coastal city of Bhubaneshwar. Available in different shapes and sizes, they are used on a number of items like lampshades, fruit baskets, purses, mirrors, jewelry boxes, trays, etc and are a favorite amongst tourists.

Shopping in Bhubaneshwar will be a fascinating experience for a tourist looking for traditional fabrics and curios. One can find many shops in Bhubaneshwar, both privately run ones and the government run Utkalika, from where you buy souvenirs, which are typical of the state of Orissa.

Bhubaneshwar is famous for woven ikat fabrics, which can be purchased as readymade garments, fabric and saris. Appliqué worked fabric locally known, as Chandua is a typical Orissa handiwork. Sambalpuri silk and cotton, tussar silk and gold embroidery are other items in fabrics that you will find while shopping in Bhubaneshwar.

While shopping in Bhubaneshwar, you will be dazzled by the array of metal ware-silver filigree jewellery or tarakash, unique metal sculptures and figurines known as dhokra. Bhubaneswar is also known for its exquisite woodwork items like lampshades, fruitbaskets and jewellery boxes. Stone sculptures of gods and goddesses are also interesting buys from your travel to Bhubaneshwar.

Shopping in Bhubaneshwar will be a delight for an art collector because Orissa is famous for its traditional paintings like the patachitra, ganjapas and paintings on palm leaf done with etching. In Bhubaneshwar, one can also find seashells of all shapes. This coastal city specializes in decorative and utility items from seashells like mirrors, lampshades, tabletops, purses, jewelry boxes, fruit baskets and trays.


The city of Bhubaneshwar is also famous as a tourist destination for its marvelous temples. This temple city has a range of hotels to offer. The hotels in Bhubaneshwar cater to those looking for luxury stay and budget accommodation alike.

Bhubaneshwar is a temple town and offers a wide range of hotels to visitors. From luxury to budget, you may chose hotels in Bhubaneshwar according to your budget. Some of the famous hotels of Bhubaneshwar include :

Five Star Hotels : Hotel Oberoi.

Four Star Hotels : Hotel Sishmo, Hotel Swosti, The Marrion

Three Star Hotels : Hotel Kalinga Ashok, Hotel Swosti Plaza, Hotel Keshari, Hotel Siddhartha International, The Garden Inn.

Hotels in Bhubaneshwar City

5 Star Hotels in Bhubaneshwar
Hotel Oberoi

4 Star Hotels in Bhubaneshwar
Hotel Sishmo
Hotel Swosti
The Marrion

3 Star Hotels in Bhubaneshwar
Hotel Kalinga Ashok
Hotel Swosti Plaza
Hotel Keshari
Hotel Siddhartha International
The Garden Inn
Hotel Siddhartha


Rajarani Music Festival

Rajarani Music Festival is a very well known festivity of Orissa. The credit for organizing it goes to the Department of Tourism, Orissa; in collaboration with other organizations like Bhubaneswar Music Circle, Orissa Sangeet Natak Academy, NALCO and the Union Ministry of Tourism. The Raja Rani temple complex of Bhubaneswar, which dates back to the eleventh century, serves as the venue of this musical concert. The aim of the festival is to showcase the glorious tradition of Indian classical music.

Rajarani Music Festival is characterized by awesome performances by the connoisseurs of Indian classical music. The musical performances that are held here resemble the settings resemble the Darbari Gayans (musical performances in the court of a king). Eminent personalities, consisting of instrumentalists and vocalists, participate enthusiastically in this festival and every year, they give fantastic performances. The festival has been attracting not just the locals, but the tourists also.

Best time to visit
August to March



Hampi is a small village in the northern Karnataka state, earlier being the capital of Hindu empire, Vijayanagara, who ruled south India during 14 th to 16 th century AD. The ruins of Hampi are an amazing treat full of history, architecture and religion. Hampi is a declared UNESCO’s world heritage site. Hampi is spread over an area of 25 sq. kms packed with giant temples, palaces, market streets, aquatic structures , fortifications and an abundance of other ancient monuments.


The first settlement in Hampi dates back to 1st century AD and a number of Buddhist sites belonging to that time have been found nearby. Hampi was the capital of the mighty Vijaynagar Empire. Vijaynagar was one of the largest Hindu empires in India. Two brothers, Harihar and Bukka founded it in 1336. Krishnadevaraya (1509-1529) was the greatest ruler and controlled almost all of peninsular India south of Tungabhadra River. The town of Hampi in 14th century had a population of half a million people. Seven concentric lines of fortifications protected the city. It maintained a huge army to protects it from other kingdoms. Vijaynagar Empire flourished, as it controlled both cotton and spice trade routes of southern India. Medieval historians refer to Hampi as an important center of trade. However, the glory of Vijaynagar was short lived. With the death of Krishnadevaraya, the combined armies of the five Muslim kingdoms-Bidar, Bijapur, Golconda, Ahmednagar and Berar-destroyed this mighty empire in 1565.


Air: Bellary is the nearest domestic airport, which is about 60 km away and Bangalore is the nearest international Airport, which is 350 km away. Taxi cab costs about Rs 1200 from Bellary to Hampi and Rs 6000 from Bangalore to Hampi. Bellary air terminal is connected to Bangalore. Bangalore airport is well connected to almost all airports in India. International flights to major foreign cities are also operated from Bangalore

Rail: Nearest railhead is Hospet, which is nearly 13 km from Hampi. Taxi cab will charge nearly Rs 200 from Hospet to Hampi. Hospet is well connected to Bangalore, Hyderabad and other major cities in Karnataka and neighboring states.

Road: Hampi is well connected by KSRTC bus services with all nearby cities. There are many private bus providers operating from Gokarna and many places in Goa to Hampi.


Hampi, the ancient seat of Vijayanagar kingdom, lie frozen in time. The ruins of palaces, temples and many other royal paraphernalia from an old mighty kingdom lie scattered in and around Hampi.

Today it's like a deserted village. Do not look forward to plush shopping complexes built in glass and concrete or colorful shops overloaded with touristy souvenirs. In fact shopping in Hampi is not the focus of activity. This is the place to explore the ruins reminiscent of a splendid past and be fascinated.

But if you just cannot think of returning from a tour without shopping some souvenirs for your near and dear ones, Travel.Mapsofindia suggests you to shop at Bangalore. Bangalore is the capital of the state of Karnataka. Swanky commercial places, markets for buying souvenirs and local handicrafts abound in Bangalore and would supplement for the lack of shopping opportunity in Hampi.


Hampi does not have many hotels, but the tourist can find a number of lodges and guesthouses. Most of these are concentrated in Hampi Bazaar area near the main bus station and the Tourist Office. Travelers can also find lodges and guesthouses in the area north of the bazaar across the Tungabhadra River. Accommodation in Hampi is very cheap. The Karnataka State Tourism Development Council's hotel Mayura Bhuvaneshwari is located in Kamalapuram area to the southeast of Hampi Bazaar.

Here is a selection of hotels in Hampi:

Hampi Boulders
Mayura Vijayanagar
Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneswri
Hotel Priyadarshini


Vijayanagar Festival : An annual festival, the Vijayanagar festival is organised by the Karnataka Government in December every year. The colourful festival recreates the grandeur of the bygone era. People of Hampi and nearby areas participate in this festival with great pomp and enthusiasm.

STD Code
Summer 27-40°C, Winter 20-26°C
Best time to visit
October to March
Famous For
Former Capital of Vijaynagar Empire



Gulbarga is a unique synthesis of two cultures. Filled with beautiful palaces, mosques, stately building and bazaars. The Khwaja Bande Nawaz, tomb of the great Sufi saint, Khwaja Syed Mohammad Gesu Daraz is the venue of an annual 'Urs', attended by nearly one hundred thousand people. The Dargah Library houses almost 10,000 books in Urdu, Persian and Arabic. Also worth seeing are Sultan Hasan's tomb, the tomb of Ghias-Ud-Din, the mausoleum of Feroze Shah, the Haft-Gumbuz, the well-kept lawns of Mahboob Gulshan and the Shrine of Shri Sharanabasaveshwara.


Gulbarga and the area around it was a part of the ancient Chalukyan kingdom of Badami. The origin of the town of Gulbarga goes back to the local Kakatiya rulers of Warangal. It witnessed a lot of turmoil in the early medieval period. In the early part of the 14th century, it became the part of the Delhi Sultanate. It was captured by Ulugh Khan, one of the generals belonging to the Tughlaq dynasty of Delhi Sultanate, and later captured by Mohammed bin Tughlaq, the Sultan of Delhi. It remained a part of the Delhi Sultanate until the death of Mohammed bin Tughlaq. Later it became a part of the Bahamani kingdom. The Bahamani kings made it their capital from 1347 to 1428. In the 17th century, it was annexed by Aurangzeb, the last great Mughal ruler and inducted into the Mughal Empire. In the 18th century, Gulbarga came under the erstwhile rulers of Hyderabad.



The nearest airport is Hyderabad (220 kms)


As Gulbarga is on the main Mumbai-Bangalore line, a number of express trains are available from here. There are number of trains for Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kochi.


Gulbarga is connected by road to: Hyderabad (220 kms) Bangalore (600 kms) Bijapur (150 kms) Bidar (110 kms) Basavakalyan (80 kms) KSRTC Buses ply from Gulbarga to Bangalore, Bijapur, Bidar, Raichur and Sholapur.


There are only a few hotels in Gulbarga. Whatever accommodation is available is of cheap and medium quality. Most of the hotels are on the main Station Road.

Vadiraj Lodge, Super Market Ph : 08472 - 21140
Sanman Lodge, Super Market Ph : 08472 - 22801
Hotel Bahamani Mayura. Ph : 08472 - 20644
Hotel Santosh, College Road. Ph : 08472 - 22661.
Hotel Mayura Bahamani, Public Gardens. Ph : 08472 - 20644.
PWD Circuit House.

STD Code
Best time to visit
Famous For
Mosques and Bazaars



Gokarna is an incredibly beautiful stretch of hills and beaches in the state Karnataka in southern India. The Gangavali and Agnashini Rivers converge at Gokarna before flowing into the Arabian Sea. The confluence is shaped like the ear of a cow and that is what the name Go (cow) – Karna (ears) means.


The earliest history of Gokarna is not known. Mayurvarma of the Kadamba kings brought Brahmins from Ahicchatra what is now called Bihar. Gokarna was a center for Indian tradition and ancient Ganja Culture. During the 15th century, a sect of Brahmins fled from the Gomantak to escape forcible conversions by the British and Portuguese. It was part of the Sodhe and Vijayanagar kingdoms but later, the Konkan region including Goa was occupied and rule by the Portuguese.


Air: The nearest airport is in Dabolim airport in Goa. It is nearly 140 km away from Gokarna and taxi fare is about Rs 2500. The airport connects the domestic cities as well as international cities in U.K. and Germany. Goa to Mumbai and Goa to Delhi flights are making daily services from Goa. Bangalore (475 km) is the major international airport connecting to all major cities in India and abroad.

Rail: Gokarna has a rail link to Margao, but most of the trains do not stop here. Nearest major railway station is Ankola (20 km away). It takes about Rs 350 from Ankola to Gokarna by taxi.

Road: KSRTC buses are plenty connecting Gokarna to various cities around. Madgaon (125 km), Mangalore (225 km), Dabolim (140 km) and Bangalore (475 km) are all well connected to Gokarna by KSRTC. Tourist bus services are available from Bangalore to Gokarna, daily and costing around Rs 1400.


Gokarna has simple, clean and very reasonable priced accommodation options. Some of the hotels like New Prasad Nilaya are run by temple priests and expectedly offers only vegetarian food. Other hotels are Hotel Gokaran International, Hotel Mayura Samudra and Om Hotel. Home stays are also available. If you want to stay on the beach, you better carry your sleeping bags and mattresses.

Uttara Kannada
STD Code
Summer 22-40°C, Winter 12-33°C
Best time to visit
October to March