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Temples of Orissa


Temples of Orissa

India Holidays - The Sun Temple at Konark

KonarkLotus Eco Resort
1 night
PuriMayfair Heritage
3 nights
The Trident
3 nights

Click on the name of the hotel for details


8 days from £1085

excluding flights - see below for airfares from Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai or Bangalore


Orissa is one of India's hidden gems, a region with a distinctive and rich cultural heritage that can boast the highest concentration of historical and religious monuments in the country.  This add-on tour begins and ends in Bhubaneshwar. It can be combined easily with any of our India itineraries that include stays in Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai or Bangalore




DAY 1 - Arrive Bhubaneshwar.  Transfer to Konark.

On arrival in Bhubaneshwar you will be met by a representative of World Discovery and taken by private car to Konark, a journey of around 2 hours.  The rest of the day is at leisure at the simple but charming Lotus Eco Resort, located on the quiet and pristine Ramchandi Beach on the Bay of Bengal, just 7 kilometres from the Konark Sun Temple.


"The Language of Man is defeated by the Language of Stone at Konark" - Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941).


India Holidays - Orissa - Raghurajpur - artisanDAY 2 - The Sun Temple at Konark.  Drive to Puri.

This morning visit the glorious 13th century Sun Temple at Konark, also known as the 'Black Pagoda'.  Dedicated to the God Surya, this is undoubtedly one of the finest religious buildings anywhere in the world, and has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status.  Afterwards drive to the coastal town of Puri, stopping en route at the crafts village of Raghurajpur, where you can see artisans working with silk, paper, betel nuts, coconuts, coir and even cowdung, producing a fascinating range of local products.  The afternoon is free in Puri.
Meals included: Breakfast, dinner.

India Holidays - Orissa - Chilika LakeDAY 3 - Chilika Lake.

An excursion today to Chilika Lake, the largest lagoon in Asia.  Between December and April this 11,000 square-kilometre expanse of brackish water welcomes countless migratory birds from Siberia, Australia and other parts of the world; take a short boat trip on the lake and you'll see flamingos, pelicans, painted storks, fish eagles, ospreys and kites.  Chilika Lake is also home to the Irrawaddy dolphin.  As well as the excellent wildlife, you will also be able to watch the local fisherman at work.  Return to Puri for an afternoon at leisure.
Meals included: Breakfast, dinner.

India Holidays - Orissa - Puri - Jagannath TempleDAY 4 - Puri.  Jagannath Temple.

Puri is one of the 4 holiest pilgrimage cities (dhams or 'abodes of the divine') of Hinduism.  Its centrepiece is the mighty Jagannath Temple, built in the early 12th century.  Only Hindua are allowed to enter the temple itself, but we will take you to a viewing platform (closed on Sundays and public holidays) to watch some of the activities inside the temple.  Puri is especially famous for the Rath Yatra Festival (also known as the 'Chariot Festival') which takes place every year during the Asadha full moon (in July or August*) and which attracts more than a million people from around the world. The highlight of the festival is when three enormous chariots (or raths) - each with about a dozen wheels up to 7 feet in diameter - are ritually pulled through the streets, from the Jagannath Temple to Gundicha Mandir Temple. The raths are replicas of the Jagannath Temple.  The word 'juggernaut' has its origins in this ancient and colourful procession.
Meals included: Breakfast, dinner.

* In 2017 the Rath Yatra Festival is on 25 June. World Discovery can organise a tour to coincide with the festival, although it should be remembered that the Rath Yatra takes place during the monsoon or rainy season.


India Holidays - Orissa - Pipli - Applique workDAY 5 - Drive via Dhauli and Pipli to Bhubaneshwar.

Leave Puri after breakfast and pay a visit to the 9th century Chaushathi Yogini Temple, one of the best preserved temples in India, built in a circular shape and open to the sky; this tantric temple houses 64 goddess idols made of black granite.  Continue to Dhauli, near to the spot where in 260 B.C. the Mauryan emperor Ashoka defeated the Kalingas in a decisive battle.  Horrified by the number of people slain (reputed to be 150,000), Ashoka decided to renounce the path of violence and dedicate his life to Buddhist faith.  At Dhauli he installed the first of his famous rock edicts (which eventually appeared all over his kingdom) in favour of non-violence and tolerance.  Stop briefly at the village of Pipli, famous for its appliqué work (pictured), where traditionally the intricate umbrellas and canopies used on the chariots in the Rath Yatra festival were produced.  Continue to Bhubaneshwar for a 3 night stay.  The remainder of the day is free.
Meals included: Breakfast.

India Holidays - Orissa - RatnagiriDAY 6 - Bhubaneshwar.  Ratnagiri.  Lalitgiri.  Udaugiri.

The Orissan state capital, Bhubaneshwar is famous for its 500 or more temples and monuments of unique architecture and elaborate sculptures.  Today you will drive outside the city to visit three contrasting Buddhist sites, beginning with Ratnagiri University, believed to date from the 5th century A.D., which has a magnificently carved door jamb and some superb Buddha sculptures.  At Lalitgiri there are the ruins of 4 monasteries dating from the 9th century, whilst at Udaigiri, the largest Buddhist complex in Orissa, where excavation is still ongoing, there is an inscribed step-well and a wealth of rock-cut sculptures.
Meals included: Breakfast.

India Holidays - Orissa - Bhubaneshwar - Khandagiri CavesDAY 7 - Bhubaneshwar.  Khandagiri and Udaigiri Caves.

After breakfast visit the Mukteshwar Mandir, generally considered to be the most striking of Bhubaneshwar's temples, containing some exquisite sculptures.  After briefly looking at some of the city's other temples, including the 11th century Brahmeshwar Mandir which still houses a living deity, continue to the west of the city to the ancient cave complexes of Khandagiri (pictured) and Udaigiri (not the same Udaigiri as yesterday!), which once were home to a community of Jain monks.  The caves date from more than 2,000 years ago and rank among Orissa's foremost historical monuments.
Meals included: Breakfast.

DAY 8 – Depart.

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
Meals included: Breakfast.



There are direct flights to Bhubaneshwar from Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai and Bangalore on a selection of airlines.  World Discovery can book these flights for you and put together an itinerary to suit your requirements.


The itinerary shown above is designed at a fairly leisurely pace.  Distances are short and road conditions good so it would be possible to put together a shorter duration tour of 4 or 5 days and still see the bulk of the sites mentioned.  Please ask for details.


India Holidays: Temples of Orissa (Reference: WDIN040)
2018 Departures
Price per person based on a minimum of two persons travelling together:

Daily departures


Jan to Apr
Oct to Dec*

* Supplements will be charged during the Christmas and New Year period.

Single Room Supplements on request.

We do not recommend travel to this region in the summer months (May to September) because of the weather conditions.

The price includes:

  • Hotel accommodation as listed above in twin-bedded rooms with private facilities.
  • 7 breakfasts and 3 lunches as shown in the itinerary.
  • Private transportation throughout.
  • All sightseeing as shown (unless indicated as ‘optional’), including entrance fees.
  • The services of a private English-speaking driver throughout.
  • The services of private guides for the included sightseeing.

Not included in the price:

  • International or domestic flights (see our recommendation above). We are happy to discuss the flights with you and give you further guidance.
  • Airport taxes.
  • Optional sightseeing.
  • Tipping. We will give you guidance in this often sensitive matter.
  • An Indian Visa. This should be obtained before departure from the United Kingdom. Applications should be made online through VFS Global, the official representatives of the High Commission in London -

A deposit of £250 per person is required at the time of booking, plus the cost of the international airfare and service charge if World Discovery is booking the flights on your behalf.  The balance of the price for your India holiday must be paid at least 8 weeks before your departure date.

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