|Places of Interest, Beaches, Handicrafts, Wildlife, People & Lifestyle, Art & Craft, Orissa Travel Agents|
Situated on the coast along the Bay of Bengal, Orissa stands for its ancient glory and modern endeavour. Endowed with nature's bounty, a 482 km stretch of coastline with virgin beaches, serpentine rivers, mighty waterfalls, forest-clad blue hills of Eastern Ghats with rich wild life, Orissa is dotted with exquisite temples, historic monuments as well as pieces of modern engineering feat. The land, while retaining its pristine glory, also offers the visitors modern amenities.
Its lush green countryside and fertile plains, tiny hamlets fringed with palm, coconut trees and mango groves offer the charm of rural beauty while the urban pockets, the four cities in particular, with the splendour of modern technology provide the amenities necessary for a comfortable stay.
This wonderful land of fascinating beauty boasts of colourful festivals round the year. Orissa is also the land of unique handicrafts and other excellent artefacts.
Orissa has a long tradition of art and architecture. The early monuments date back to the third century B.C. The remnant of an Ashokan pillar, turned into a Siva Lingam and enshrined in the Bhaskaresvara temple at Bhubaneswar and the lion capital of an Ashokan pillar, presently in the State Museum, speak volumes of Orissa's past glory.
The rock-cut caves of Khandagiri and Udaygiri and the inscriptions recording Kharavela's short but eventful reign during the first century B.C. constitute the second phase of the evolution in Orissan art. The Naga and Yaksha images found in places around Bhubaneswar belong to the post-Kharavela era. The fortification of Sisupalgarh near Bhubaneswar is yet another monument of ancient Orissa.
Orissa is also known for her exquisite handicrafts. Silver filigree work of Cuttack, horn work of Cuttack and Parlakhemundi and the famous applique work of Pipili deserve special mention. Pattachitra, a form of folk painting of Orissa, is a unique craft. Brass and bell metalware, particularly vases and candle stands, are beautiful and longlasting.
The blackstone bowls and plates of Nilagiri and Khiching and multi-coloured stone statues are other attractions. Silk and cotton handloom products, especially saris are simply bewitching. The Sambalpuri saris and Maniabandhi patas are matchless in their texture and designs.