Bhubaneswar replaced Cuttack as the capital on 19 August 1949, 2 years after India gained its independence from Britain. The modern city was designed by the German architect Otto Königsberger in 1946. Being the capital city, the place eventually got an infrastructure boost, which led to the growth in communication, transport, sports, education and health facilities; and rose to become one of the foremost, to be found suitable for being developed as the a smart city of India
Bhubaneswar derived its name from Tribhubaneswar, which literally means the Lord (Eeswar) of the Three World (Tribhuban), which refers to Shiva. Along with the old town, the present day Bhubaneswar has often been illustrated as the Ekamra Khetra (Temple City). Although the modern city of Bhubaneswar was formally established only in 1948, the history of the areas in and around the present-day city can be traced to the 3rd century BCE and earlier. It is a confluence of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain heritage boasting of some of the finest Kalingan temples.
Not just in architectural and infrastructural splendor, the place is also endowed with a green canopy of forests which makes it a haven for daredevil spirit in you to explore and the beasts in their wilderness.
Welcome to the whole package of a tourist’s dream destination. Welcome to Bhubaneswar
Get enraptured by a myraid of tourist attractions in Bhubaneswar ranging from monuments of ancient history, breathtaking temple architecture & buddhist sites, art & craft villages, museums and artefacts that amaze.We have found 71 such attractions for you to visit. Scroll the list below to continue unravelling the secrets of Odisha
Below is our low-down on the must try activities and experiences in and around Bhubaneswar. Plan your stay to coincide with some of these events to get completely entrenched in the culture and heritage of Odisha. We assure you that the below list will leave you Odisha Amazed!
Famous celebrity Chef Thomas Zacharias ( popularly known as Chef TZac) was bowled over by Odisha cuisine on his recent trip to Odisha. He has now created Odisha inspired menu 'ODISHA UNWRAPPED' - A FEAST FROM THE EAST! At The Bombay Canteen which Explores The Culinary Secrets From Eastern India. I caught up with him to know more about his visit, experience and the cuisine which delights him the most in Odisha.
Tell us about your trip to Odisha.
Part of what we do at The Bombay Canteen is to explore and celebrate regional cuisines from around the country and the way we learn about the different cuisines is through travel. So, for the past five years every few months I travel to a different part of India to explore the cuisine I learnt and I have always known about Odia cuisine and it had always been on my list of places to go and explore and then I finally figured out a plan to make it happen. I am very well aware that Odia is very under-represented, when you generally talk about Indian food nobody really mentions Odia cuisine and even when in the past I have done a few Odia inspired dishes like "Pakhala Bhata" the response is that they are completely unfamiliar to what Odia cuisine is. If you ask anybody here in Bombay what is Odia cuisine they won’t be able to tell you or give you an answer. So, it was very important for me to do this trip and do it properly and kind of, at least explore as much of Odia food in a week's time. So, it was kind of the right to do it.
Which is your favorite Odia dish and what do you like about Odia food in general?
What I like about Odia food in general is that it has really clean and crisp flavors, like every dish has one particular flavor profile to it , its not a cuisine that is muddled , so it what I refer to is an "evolved cuisine". Its been molded over for centuries and refined within the state and you can tell what you taste in the dishes because usually there aren't so many ingredients being squished and the flavors are very clear and I love the fact that there is a lot of diversity in the cuisine, like each region of Odisha has a different dishes that is unique to that region. I really like a lot of ingredients and techniques that I use, like the Patrapada technique that I use. As a chef it is a really cool idea. Even the idea of using ingredients like badis for texture, so, when I think like a chef I think of like say am example when I think of ways to incorporate texture in the dish and it is inspiring to see cuisines that have already discovered such techniques many many centuries ago. Because a lot of chefs these days think it’s a modern idea to balance dishes with textures and flavors but a lot of Odia cuisines have already figured that out. I would say the favorite dish I tasted would be "Machi Haldi Pani" that was really really nice and it’s also one of the dishes we incorporated in our menu.
Tell us about your recent Odisha inspired menu at The Bombay Canteen.
So everytime we do a menu like this we usually try and get someone from the region who is a cuisine expert to collaborate with us because we want to do justice to the cuisine. So during the trip we were introduced to a college junior whose name is Rachit Kirtiman who is a chef as well who introduced us to Alka Jena who actually invited us to her home and showed us how Odia cuisine is prepared and we learnt a lot from this one afternoon. So when we decided to do this as a full celebration at our restaurant we got in touch with her, flew her down a month ago to test about 60-70 recipes with her and then decided on 30-35 dishes to showcase on our ala carte menu. We also do a full four course Odia menu so guests can come and have a full Odia experience with around 25 dishes.
Which Odia dish you think you can prepare the best?
I hope I can prepare all the dishes pretty well but the basic idea is to stay true to the cuisine and do justice to the cuisine. We served our first Odia inspired meal to 25 Odia guest at the restaurant and the response from them is that they really liked "Chakuli pitha" "oou khata" "ghee anna". And some of the dishes were interpretation so a part of the menu is kept in a traditional form and the other part is interpretations or are the inspired versions of the original dishes. We take inspiration from home style Odia dishes and also street food dishes so we have our version of the classic "dahi vada aloo dum" and also our version of Behrampur fried chicken. I think the "Chenna Poda" is really really good. That’s one Odia dish that is very hard to replicate and I am really happy with the way it has turned out so we actually made it into a chenna poda cheesecake with strawberry compote and a crush of granola that is really really nice .
If you were to suggest 3 best places to try some of the variety of Odia food in Odisha , what would they be ?
So the 3 places to try Odia food I think one would be there is a place called "Kaka hotel" inside Ekamra hat, they serve simple Odia food and then you get fantastic meals at "Odisha hotel" in Chandrashekharpur in Bhubaneswar and I would say at Alka Jena's home because no matter where you go home food will outshine everything else.
On the Odisha Inspired Menu at The Bombay Canteen is –
Kadali Monja Bora (poha-crusted banana stem croquette with a raw banana chutney); Behrampur Fried Chicken (Badi-crusted chicken wings with Odia ambula rai); Bhaja Chenna Tarkari (Pistachio-filled paneer kofta in a tempered yoghurt curry, served with Ekbarni rice) and Kankda Jhola (mud crab with tomato and khada masala).
Celebrating the lesser-known cuisine of Odisha through a special menu that gives a real insight into seasonal, home-style Odia cooking as well as street food that influenced Odia food. The menu will have a combination of both traditional recipes as well as our contemporary interpretation of some; highlighting unique Odia ingredients and cooking techniques. While the traditional Odia meals are rich in flavours and spices, as we move towards the East, the flavours are less spicy and more nutritious. From sal to banana, colocasia, pandan and turmeric to rare local varieties, Odias use a wide variety of leaves to cook their food in.The abundant sal leaves are used to wrap and roast food especially Chhena Poda which give this cardamom-scented cottage cheesecake, a distinct aroma.
The Odia Experience menu, a four-course feast, is available only at dinner and serves classic dishes starting with Kadali Monja Bora- poha-crusted banana stem croquette with raw banana chutney and Ambula-Cured Chowchow- cured winter chayote squash with raw mango, fermented chilli, & dried mango and cumin broth for vegetarians or Ambula-Cured Prawns- cured prawns with raw mango, fermented chilli and dried mango & cumin broth. The second course is small bites of Pithau Bhajaor deep-fried winter gourd in crispy rice batter; Habisa Dalma– raw banana, arbi & elephant apple simmered in moong dal, tempered with ginger & chilli; Potol Rassa- pointed gourd stew with kalonji, tomato & coconut milk and Gota Baigana– comprising baby eggplant with khada masala & reduced milk. An option of Bhaja Chenna Tarkari or pistachio-filled paneer kofta with tempered yoghurt curry for vegetarians or Machi Haldi Paani an incredible boneless Pabda fish in a fresh turmeric & buttermilk gravy. Accompanied with Ghee Anna or steamed rice flavoured with ghee; Badi Chura– essentially crushed dried lentils with chilli, onion & mustard oil; Oou Khata– a chutney of elephant apple tempered with panch phutana and Chakuli Pitha or soft rice pancakes.
Followed by the third course, the much loved Pakhala Bhata– the famed fermented rice and curd, tempered with ginger & mustard seed, Jahni Pura Bhaja- stuffed baby ridge gourd with mustard & poppy seed, Chatu Patrapoda- that’s mushrooms with mustard & chilli, wrapped in sal leaves and charred over open fire. On offer for the non- vegetarians are the Checcha Chingudi or dried shrimp with onion & chilli kachumber and Chingudi Patrapoda a delicious combination of prawns with mustard and chilli, wrapped in sal leaves & charred over open fire. With Badi Bhaja– which is crispy fried assorted dehydrated lentil cakes and Odia Winter Carrot Pickle. Ending on a sweet high, is the Rasabali- deep-fried chhena soaked in sweetened condensed milk.
To add to all this is the a la carte menu that will be available for lunch and dinner. A selection of lip-smacking dishes like Sambalpur Mansa Poorga (braised mutton shanks with caramelized onion, served with chakuli pitha; Macha Haldi Pani- boneless Pabda fish in fresh turmeric and buttermilk gravy; Kancha Lanka (Desi) Kukuda or country chicken curry cooked in coriander & green chilli and Kankda Jhola- mud crab with tomato and khada masala. For those with a sweet tooth, the famous Chhena Poda "Cheese cake"– the traditional Odia milk cake baked in sal leaves, served with fresh strawberry jam is a must try.
Along with this, the bartenders have been inspired to create a few cocktails including the Ambula Tiki a mix of dark rum, white rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, Ambula or salted dried mango reduction, saline solution with lime juice and mint leaves; Indian Lady made with gin, Annapurna wine, betel leaf tincture, litchi cordial, egg white and a beer made with Ambula by Greatstate Aleworks.
The Traditional sweet dishes of Odisha-We start of with the sweet dishes, as we Odia’s do have a very pronounced sweet tooth. The specialty of the Odia sweet dishes are that the main ingredient is usually the home made cottage cheese and the sweet dishes don’t satiate your tongue.
Khaja– Offered to Lord Jagannath as one of the Chappan Bhog’s (Fifty Six Offerings) and is very popular amongst of devotees who visit the Lord at Puri. Khaja – is basically refined flour mixed with sugar and made into a dough garnished with just a little bit of cardamom and gently fried in oil. Khaja is also stuffed with various things like grounded coconut and jaggery amongst other things. But the plain Khaja available at Puri just takes the cake. After all you cannot fault Lord Jagannath’s taste.
Rasogulla – Pahalo the village credited with the invention of the popular sweet Rasogulla (made out of Indian Cottage Cheese and Dough) on mass scale. As per the Madala Paanji an old chronicle of Jagannath temple and Dandi Ramayana – an adaptation of Valmiki’s Ramayan in Odia- there is a mention of the sweet Kheera Mohan- which is offered as Prasad to goddess Laxmi by Lord Jagannath to appease her after he comes back from his nine day Rath Yatra- the ritual is called Bachanika and his part of the ritual Niladri Vije. Pahalo a village between Cuttack and Bhubaneswar had many cows. People used to throw the surplus milk everyday. Seeing this, a priest from Jagannath temple taught the villagers the art of curdling and making Kheera Mohana. Till this day while going to Bhubaneswar from Cuttack along the National Highway- once can see lines of shops of Pahalo selling the famed Rasogulla along with Chhena Podo ( Burnt Indian Cottage Cheese) and Chenna Gaja ( Indian Cottage cheese with a hard sweet coating). Rasogulla is made from cottage cheese which rolled into round balls and lightly fried in sugar syrup.
Chhena Jhili – Originated in Nimapada, a town near Puri, this sweet dish made from cottage cheese which is fired and caramalised with sugar syrup and cooled. Though as a popular sweet dish its available all across the state, but Nimapada does stand head and shoulders above everyone because of the taste and quality. The best part of the delectable Chhena Jhili from Nimapada is that , the sugar content is not that high that one’s mouth gets satiated. So for the sweet loving insatiable’s this is the go to dish. Nimapada is 41 KM.
Rasabali – Owes its origin to Baldev Jeu temple of Kendrapada. The most striking aspect of the temple is that Lord Balabhadra is the main deity of the temple, though Goddess Subhadra and Lord Jagannath are also worshipped. Probably Lord Balabhadra expressed a desire to have an offering which is different from the offerings made to Lord Jagannath- hence this enticing sweet dish. Rasabali is made from cottage cheese which is flattened and deep fried into reddish brown cheese cakes. Then they are soaked in milk which is thickened and sweetened and garnished with sliced dry fruits.
Chhena Podo – Literally meaning burnt cheese, Chhena Podo is believed to have originated around the 12th Century in the Nayagarh district of Odisha. Chhena Podo is made by mixing cottage cheese with semolina and kneading it into a dough, cardamom is added for flavour and then the dough is baked in a container coated with caramalised sugar. It is one of the most popular sweet dishes of Odisha and available through out the state.
Chhena Gaja– One of the popular sweet dishes throughout the state. The ingredients required for the preparation of this enticing sweet dish is the same as that of Rasgulla or Chhena Podo but the treatment is different. Cottage cheese is mixed with semolina and kneaded thoroughly.The dough is then put in a cloth and squeezed so that the water is drained from the dough. The dough is left to dry briefly to get the consistency and moulded into oval shaped pieces and boiled and deep fried.
Khiri– One of the favourite sweet dishes in every household. Khiri is milk mixed with sugar or jaggery and thickened and mixed with either rice or vermicelli and boiled. Its used as offerings to gods or functions and festivals and even forms a part of everyday household meal.
Rabidi – Rabidi is like khiri minus the rice or vermicelli. In rabidi the milk is thickened further and the consistency is thicker and it tastes sweeter.
Surrounded by the magnificent Hirakud Dam on the North and East, the Debrigarh Sanctuary is one of the most beautiful forest reserves in the country.The deciduous forest range spread over 347 Sq KM comprises of Kamgaon and Lakhanpur forests. While the famous Barapahad hills adds a touch of "History" to this beautiful sanctuary,the numerous water falls during the monsoon and the nearby Ushakothi water falls gives it a touch of "Glamour", the easy sightings of wild animals like the White Socked Indian Bison, Sambhar, Wild Boar, Peacocks even Elephants and Leopards at night gives the necessary "Substance" to this beautiful sanctuary.The presence of migratory birds during the winters in the Hirakud is like an added incentive to mark this place as a must visit destination.
Where to Stay
Odisha Eco Tour has a property of 5 double bedded A/C cottage and one four bedded A/C cottage at Eco-complex, Barakhandia.
For booking- log onto the website-www.ecotourodisha.com – click on Debrigarh Email – email@example.com / Mgrkl.firstname.lastname@example.org Ph- 0674-2531891 (M) - +91-7539821046 / +91- 9437279340 Alternatively one can stay at Sambalpur or Jharsuguda which has good hotels. Contact Information Divisional Forest Officer, Hirakud Wildlife Division, Sambalpur Phone No. 0663 – 2548743, Mob. No.9437960604 Fax - +91663- 2548743 E_mail : email@example.com Site Manager at Division Office : 9438113285 Forest Range Officer, Kamgaon Wildlife Range at Dhodrokusum. Site Manager at Barakhandia Eco-complex : 9438113270
Brief History of Barapahad and Veer Surendra Sai
The hills of Barapahad and the exploits of Legendary freedom fighter Veer Surendra Sai go hand in hand, as the hill and the adjoining forest was a rebel strong hold during the freedom struggle against the British. Though the historical records portray's it as a mere skirmish for the throne of Sambalpur , the fact is the British establishment faced huge resistance in Western Odisha right up till 1862 It all started when the Britishers gained full control of Sambalpur from the Maratha's in 1826. The selective policy of alienation and appeasement followed by British created a lot of heartburn amongst the locals particularly the tribal's who were tortured and severely marginalised . The last straw came when the appointed King of Sambalpur Maharaj Sai died in 1827 and the British ignoring precedence and norms, appointed the deceased King's wife, Queen Mohan Kumari to the throne. Burdened by the sudden surge of responsibilities, the Queen failed to discharge her duties effectively and the region fell to anarchy and nepotism. Insurgency broke out in various corners of the kingdom, though the Britisher's adopted tough measures to quell the rebellion, the situation didn't improve.Soon the Queen made way for Narayan Singh which fueled the discontentment amongst the locals further and if at all made them more determined in their pursuit of freedom. Odisha's legendary freedom fighter Veer Surendra Sai, the right full heir to throne led the rebellion comprising of the oppressed tribal's and locals against the establishment. He was ably supported by his six brothers and his son and many of the local chieftains and landlord's of the region. Chief among them was Balabhadra Deo- the Gond landlord who supported Veer Surendra Sai to the hilt. The hills of Barapahar inside the present day sanctuary was his stronghold and it was the very place in which he was killed by the troops despatched by Narayan Singh in 1837. Veer Surendra Sai was arrested shortly after and sent to Hazaribagh Jail under life imprisonment. However during the Sepoy mutiny of 1857, Hazaribag Jail was captured by the Indian Sepoy's. Veer Surendra Sai and his confidante's were released. His arrival in Sambalpur was met with jubilation and excitement amongst the locals. However Veer Surendra Sai wanted peace, he met, he met the British Officer stationed in Sambalpur Captain Leigh and assured him of his fill cooperation, if his and his brother's sentences are remitted and if not the throne of Sambalpur, let him be allowed to live in his birthplace Khinda along with his relatives. However he was denied his wishes and made a political prisoner in Sambalpur. Meanwhile the Britishers began fortifying the city, making Surendra Sai suspicious of their activities and he escaped on the night of 31st Oct 1857 to start the armed rebellion against the Britisher's. Barapahad was the base of Surendra Sai, from where he managed his operations. He successfully cut of the ration and ammunition supply of the Britisher's and fell upon the hapless British troops like raging bull. So fierce was the resistance put up by Veer Surendra Sai and his rag tag army compared to the well mechanised troops of the Britisher's that at one point the Britisher's transported their entire artillery gun's and ammunition from Cuttack along with soldiers to Sambalpur, they were joined by the artillery division of Madras unit and the Nagpur division. The guerrilla warfare went on for five long years. Finally in April 1861 Major Impey was appointed as Deputy Commissioner of Sambalpur. His arrival saw a sea change in the British policies. He renounced the path of war and instead made overtures to the rebels to lay down their arms, in return they would be granted official pardon and their land will be returned to them along with other rehabilitation measures. Major Impey's overtures bore fruit as many rebels tired of fighting a sustained war laid down their arms for a life of peace and tranquility. They were welcomed with open arms by the British Administration. The conciliatory measures had its desired effect, on 16th May 1862 Veer Surendra Sai wrote to Major Impey that we wanted to surrender for a guarantee of "life, liberty and free pardon". Shortly afterwards the two men met at Barapahad hills where Veer Surendra Sai surrendered. He was granted free pardon and a yearly pension of Rs5600/- for himself and his extended family However some of Veer Surendra Sai's followers carried out sporadic acts of violence across the region, heightening the administration's suspicion. Despite Major Impey's strong observation that Surendra Sai isn't linked with these acts, the suspicion grew as the rebel attacks suddenly grew. Major Impey died in December 1863 due to illness and with his death the administration plotted to arrest Veer Surendra Sai. a midnight raid was carried out in complete secrecy and Surendra Sai, his son and brother's were arrested on 23rd Jan 1864. In spite of the strong verdict absolving Veer Surendra Sai and family of any wrong doing,by the Principal Court of Appeal in the Central Province under Judicial Commissioner John Scarlett Campbell, Veer Surendra Sai was detained and by the Chief Commissioner and sent to Asigarh jail. Surendra Sai's son Mitrabhanu Sai was released on 1st January 1877 and his family was allotted their share of land and their share of pension. However Veer Surendra Sai continued to be in jail at Asigarh Fort till he breathed his last at 1 am, 28th February 1884. Veer Surendra Sai was born on 23rd January 1809.
Best time to Visit- October to March. Dhodrokusum is the only entry point of the Sanctuary which is 40 kms from Sambalpur. From Sambalpur take the road to Burla, from Burla cross the Ashok Niwas and take the right dyke road of Hirakud Dam to reach the sanctuary gate. The last stretch on the right dyke road to the sanctuary over the hirakud dam is a sight to behold. The cottage tariff, includes the cost of food. Consumption of meat, chicken and alcohol is strictly prohibited within the sanctuary premises. For non vegetarians fish and egg's are on the menu. Food served is hygienic and homely. Eco tour cottages are run by the Forest Department under the PPP mode, the villagers of the nearby areas are entrusted for the upkeep of the property. They are compassionate individuals who attend to your needs with a great degree of care and genuineness. Just be kind and patient with them. The staff can understand Hindi, Odia and a little bit of English and Bengali. The Odia language spoken in this part of Odisha is markedly different than that of Bhubaneswar and Puri region. During winters the temperatures ranges between 8 degree's to 12 degree's Celsius. Summers i.e April to June - The temperature ranges from 40 degrees to 45 degree Celsius. The eco tour cottages are equipped with AC and offers a great view of the Hirakud Dam. The toilets and the bed sheets are neat and clean. However the four bedded cottage is a bit clumsy. It's an area full of big animals like Elephants , Bison and Leopards- so don't venture into the forest at night, heed the Forest Department officials advice. The watch tower which acts as the staff quarter's offers a panoramic view of the jungle and the children's park within the cottage premises keeps the kids engaged. Essential items to carry :-camera, trekking gear, torch, mosquito repellent, medicine and first aid kit. Nearest ATM , petrol pump and hospital is at Burla which is around 20 KM away. The Veer Surendra Sai Medical College and Hospital at Burla is one of the major Government hospitals in the state. Nearest Railhead is Hirakud station. However one is advised to alight at Sambalpur junction and book a cab to the sanctuary. State transport and Private buses ply to Sambalpur and Burla at regular intervals from Bhubaneswar. One will be advised to take the over night train or bus to reach the sanctuary if you are coming from Bhubaneswar. Sambalpur is a major junction and is well connected by the rail network with the city being connected to Delhi via Amritsar- Hirakud Express, Mumbai via Lokamanya Tilak Super Fast Express, Bangalore via Bangalore Express, Kolkata via Howrah Sambalpur Express, Bhubaneswar via Hatia Tapaswini Express, Ahmedabad via Ahmedabad Puri Express, Rajasthan via Jodhpur Puri Express, Vishakapatnam via Vishakapatnam Amritsar Hirakud Express, Jamshedpur via Tata Nagar Allepy Express. to name just a few. For details click on the Indian railways link given.
Like what you see? Looking to have a well rounded experience in Odisha? Scroll to see a list of the choicest of curated pre-packaged tours covering the most coveted destinations in Odisha.Browse the list and see details of the trail/package which interests you most. Contact the Dept. Of Tourism recogonized Tour Operator who has published the tour and finalize your trip to Odisha today!
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