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Konark

Konark which is the most popular tourist destinations of Odisha, because of the beaches, the Sun Temple and the rich culture and heritage. Konark is popularly famous as the home to Konark Dance and Music festival, one of the oldest and popular cultural festivals of India. Konark is also called as Konaditya and is located in the Puri district of Odisha on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. The word with which Konark is named is derived from two words Kona and Arka – Kona meaning corner and Arka, meaning sun.


At present though the temple stands partly ruined; but some of the sculptures of the temple are preserved in the Museum maintained by Archaeological Survey of India. The Sun Temple and other temples built during the rule of King Narsimhadeva I (1236-1264) of the Ganga dynasty is a beautiful 700-year-old Sun Temple and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an architectural wonder.


Konark is also discovered as stated in the Puranas as Mundira or Mundirasvamin. Muslim rulers invaded India during the 12th century but after the death of Mohammad Gauri, the Muslim rule destabilized, this the Hindu kings take as an opportunity to restrict the movement of Muslims in India. This led a ferocious battle between Tughan Khan and King Narsimhadeva I, in which the Hindu king won and thus the Sun Temple was constructed as a victory memorial.


Cuttack

Cuttack, the second biggest city in Odisha is 27 km from the state capital Bhubaneshwar and is located at the meeting of Mahanadi and Kathajodi Rivers. For almost a century the city serving as the capital of Kalinga, the older name of Odisha has still maintained its medieval majesty. As Cuttack was established as a military cantonment by the Keshari dynasty so literally it means ‘the fort’.

As Cuttack is recognized as the ‘Millennium City’ of Odisha, it serves as a significant commercial center. In Cuttack is organized the annual Bali Yatra which is the largest trade fair in India and the second largest in Asia. The people of Cuttack are followers of Goddess Durga and the Cuttack Chandi temple, where Goddess Chandi a personification of goddess Durga is the city’s presiding deity. Cuttack is a city where the culture of the city revolves around Hindu practices, but then also the city houses a large population of Muslims and Sikhs and their important shrines.

Being a commercial and a pilgrim center, the city very well serve as an outstanding tourist destination. With its medieval beauty in the form of superb monuments like Barabati fort, Stone Revetment among others, Cuttack leaves visitors enthralled.


Bhubaneshwar

Bhubaneshwar the busy and the lively city is the capital of Odisha and is most prominent for its architecture and ancient temples. Like Cuttack Bhubaneshwar is a Hindu pilgrimage center and is also well famed for Buddhism. The Lingaraja temple belonging to the 10th century devoted to Lord Shiva is a must visit.

The city and this temple together with the holy city of Puri (Jagannath Temple) and Konark (Sun temple) form the Golden Triangle.

Bhubaneshwar along with Jamshedpur and Chandigarh designed by a German architect, Otto Konigsberger, is one of the first planned cities of India.


Mandarmani

Mandarmani which is situated about 14 km from Chaulkhola, is known to have the longest travelable beach in India. Mandarmani is located in the East Midnapore district of West Bengal and is one of the fastest growing tourist attractions of West Bengal as the village offers a peaceful atmosphere for tourists to relax and is known as Mandarboni by the locals.

Mandarmani beach is a perfect spot to watch the sunrise, and it offers water sport facilities like surfing, banana boat rides, jet skiing, ATV bikes and bungee trampoline. During the Digha-Mandarmani festival held in January several water and beach sports are conducted. During this festival several Bangla bands perform on a temporary stage built on the beach. If you love shopping, then there are objects and ornaments made from seashells and oysters which are a must have.


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