Odisha (formerly Orissa) is one of those parts of India which is still largely unknown to tourists, and yet with a level of infrastructure which makes travel pretty comfortable and straightforward.
With nearly 75% of its area is covered in forest and home to a series of tribal groups who live largely accordingly to traditional lore and customs, Odisha has been growing as a place of interest to outsiders for a long time. Odisha boasts significant pilgrimage sites (Puri in particular ....
is very important), a wealth of temples, little-visited wildlife sanctuaries, tribal crafts, a long coastline, Asia’s largest brackish-water lake and, at Konark, one of the most incredible of all of India’s sacred places, the famous Sun Temple.
Day 1 - Bhubaneshwar - Puri
You can fly into Bhubaneswar from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and other major cities. On arrival you’ll be met and introduced to your driver and guide. It is strongly recommended to travel with an accompanying guide here as drivers speak little or no English, so in order to get the most out of your time in Odisha, a guide will help a lot. Begin your travels with the drive to Puri, a very significant pilgrimage place on the coast. In the evening visit the Jagannath Temple, an 800 year old temple, one of the Char Dhams- four most sacred sites for Hindus. Note that non-Hindus may not enter the temple, but you can get a good view inside from a nearby viewpoint. Overnight at Puri.
Day 2 - Puri - Chilika - Puri
In the morning head down the coast to Chilika Lake, Asia’s largest brackish lake, spread over 1100 sq km. Take a boat trip on the lake and, with luck, you’ll see Irrawaddy Dolphins at the point where the lake meets the Bay of Bengal. Have lunch on an island in the middle of the lake and later return to Puri.
Day 3 - Puri - Konark - Puri
Today will begin with a visit to the world famous Konark Sun Temple. More than 700 years old, this temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and surely one of the most beautiful in all of India. Visit craft villages during the day as well, and later return to Puri
Day 4 - Puri - Bhubaneshwar
Depart at your leisure and drive back to Bhubaneshwar with en route stops at Dhauli, an important Buddhist site as well as Lingaraj temple and the 1200 year old Mukteshwar temple. Tour Bhubaneswar in the afternoon. Overnight in Bhubaneshwar.
Day 5 - Bhubaneshwar - Day Excursion - Bhubaneswar
Day excursion to two craft villages- Nuapatana is famous for textiles, while Sadeibarini is a hub for metalwork. This is a great chance to witness first-hand the work of local craftspeople of Odisha. Overnight at Bhubaneshwar
Day 6 - Bhubaneshwar - Day Excursion - Bhubaneswar
Full day excursion to various Buddhist sites around Bhubaneswar including Lalitgiri, Udaigiri and Ratnagiri. Overnight at Bhubaneshwar.
Day 7 - Bhubaneshwar Depart
Transfer to Bhubaneswar airport for onward flight to your next destination or international departure point.