Odisha (formerly Orissa), an eastern Indian state on the Bay of Bengal, is known for its tribal cultures and its many ancient Hindu temples. The capital, Bhubaneswar, is home to hundreds of temples, notably the intricately-carved Mukteshvara. The Lingaraj Temple complex, dating to the 11th century, is set around sacred Bindusagar Lake. The Odisha State Museum is focused on the area’s history and environment.
The best time to visit Odisha is during the winter and autumn season during the months of October and February when temperature ranges from 16°C to 28°C.
Odisha also is served by a number of railways. Major train stations are located in Bhubaneshwar, Puri, Baleshwar, Cuttack, Khurda Road (just southwest of Bhubaneshwar), and Brahmapur—all in the coastal plains. There is an all-weather, sheltered, deep-draft port at Paradip, at the mouth of Mahanadi River. That port has become an important departure point for the state’s exports, especially coal. An airport in Bhubaneshwar offers domestic service.
The town of Puri is the site of the Jagannatha temple, perhaps the most famous Hindu shrine in India, and of the temple’s annual Chariot Festival, which attracts hundreds of thousands of people; the English word juggernaut, derived from the temple’s name, was inspired by the massive, nearly unstoppable wagons used in the festival. A short distance away, in Konark (Konarak), is a 13th-century temple that reinforces the significance of the chariot in the region; it is constructed in the form of the chariot of the Hindu sun god, Surya.