States Odisha Pilgrimages

Pilgrimages in Odisha

With a history spanning two thousand years if not more, Odisha is a major tourist attraction in India. More importantly, the state is home to many temples and holy places making it one of the premier pilgrimage destinations in the country. In fact, more pilgrims than tourists visit the state each year, ensuring that pilgrimage tourism is a major contributor to the state's economy. Odisha is home to a plethora of places of worship of different religions and hosts some of the most prominent festivals and religious events. While the majority of these are Hindu, there is a Buddhist and a Jain presence as well. If you are interested in a religious tour in India, Odisha is definitely the state to head to. In fact, a pilgrimage tour to see the most popular temples in Odisha should be on everyone's travel itinerary when visiting India. The capital city of Odisha, Bhubaneswar itself has been named the Temple City of India. Home to over 500 temples, the city is a major destination not only for tourists but also for the devout. The Lingaraj Temple is the city's most famous landmark and is dedicated to Shiva. Apart from this, Bhubaneswar also houses the Ananta Vasudeva Temple, one of several religious shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu, which dates back to the 13th century. Then there is the Mukteshwar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and a must visit holy place for any devotees of Shiva. The Sun Temple in Konark is so wondrous and unique that it has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Designed to look like a rath or chariot, the temple has twelve massive stone wheels on its sides and seven horses in front. Of course, no visit to Odisha is complete without paying homage at the Jagannath Temple in Puri. One of the sacred 'Char dham', it is one of the most holy sites in India and attracts devotees and tourists by the thousands every year. The famous Rath Yatra is an occasion not to be missed by anyone, especially those who count themselves amongst the devout. Thanks to the Kalinga war and King Asoka in the 6th century BC, Odisha has had a long history with Buddhism. It is no wonder then that you can find plenty of historical and religious Buddhist sites in the state. One of the most well-known is Dhaulgiri, the site of the famous battle of Kalinga that changed King Asoka; it is where he chose to set up the Rock Edicts. Then there is Chandragiri, where Asia's largest monastery was inaugurated by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Jainism too has a millennia old relationship with the state. Parsvanath, the 23rd Tirthankara preached in the region around the 8th century BC. The most prominent of the Jain temples in Odisha is the Digambara Jain Temple on top of Khandagiri Hill. The current shrine is built on the site of an earlier temple. The caves of Udayagiri are also significant remnants of Jain culture and history.

Popular Pilgrimage Places in Odisha

  • Jagannath Temple Puri

    Built in the 11th-century, Jagannath Temple is probably the most sacred pilgrimage site in East India. Given the honour of being of one of the Char Dhams, the shrine is one of the most-visited Hindu temples in India. Read more

  • Konark Sun Temple

    A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular temple in Odisha is Konark Sun Temple. This enticing tourist attraction is a monumental representation of Lord Sun's chariot with massive wheels and horses. Read more

  • Brahmeshwar Temple

    Seek bundles of blessings from Lord Shiva at the beautiful Brahmeshwar Temple which is surely a masterpiece. Given a special importance, this temple is known for its uniquely enthralling architecture along with exotic carvings. Read more

  • Mukteswar Temple

    Embracing the architectural development in Odisha, Mukteshwar Temple is often treated as the jewel of the state. This 10th-century temple is one of the pristine temples of Lord Shiva that witnesses a large chunk of devotees round the year. Read more

  • Parasurameswara Temple

    Gorgeously ornamented and remarkably constructed, Parasurameswara Temple is a 7th-century masterpiece having two main characteristics - the deu and Jagamohana. It is one of oldest temples in Odisha. Read more

  • Rajarani Temple

    Nestled amidst a lavishing garden, Rajarani Temple boasts a special charm in the hearts of devotees. The exquisite settlement of this place makes Rajarani Temple amongst the most-visited temples in the region. Read more

  • Vaital Deul Temple

    A prospering and advancing centre of both art and culture, Vaital Deul Temple is an acclaimed tourist site in Odisha. Vaital Deul is one of the few temples in the country that was devoted to the tantric cult and is now dedicated to Goddess Durga. Read more

  • Lingaraja Temple

    Make the most of your Odisha pilgrimage tour by seeking blessings at the astonishing Lingaraja Temple. This Lord Shiva's temple boasts a remarkable Kalinga style of architecture that lures a large number tourist. Read more

  • Taratarini Temple

    Situated in the Ganjam District of Odisha, Taratarini Temple is reckoned to be the oldest shrines of Mother Goddess. The holy temple is believed to be the place where the breast of Sati fell making it an important Shaktipeetha as well as Tantrapeetha. Read more

  • Panchalingeswar Temple

    An ancient Shiva Temple, Panchalingeswar Temple is perched atop the Nilagari Hill in Balasore district in Odisha. At this holy shrine five Shivalingas are erected after which apparently the temple has been named. Read more

  • Biraja Temple

    Also known as Viraja Kshetra, Biraja Temple is a 13th century Hindu shrine where Goddess Durga is worshipped in the form of Goddess Girija. An important Shaktipeetha and a pilgrimage destination in Odisha, Biraja Temple has also been named in the Skanda Purana. Read more

  • Kapilash Temple

    Atop a hillock in Dhenkanal Town of Odisha, is situated a popular pilgrimage of Kapilash Temple. The shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva and can be only reached by climbing 1352 stairs. Kapilash Temple comes to live on the festive occasion of Shivratri. Read more

  • Devi Ambika Temple

    Dedicated to Goddess Durga, Devi Ambika Temple is an important temple in Devkund. The temple is known for fulfilling the wishes of the devotees who pay a visit. Built from marbles, this shrine of Ambika Maa is quite a sight to see. Read more

  • Samaleswari Temple

    On the banks of Mahanadi River, Samaleswari Temple is a 16th century shrine which is also believed to one of the older Hindu pilgrimage sites in Odisha. The temple is dedicated to Maa Samleswari who is also worshipped as Mahalaxmi, Adishakti, and Mahasaraswati. Read more

  • Ghanteswari Temple

    Also reckoned to be the temple of bells, Maa Ghanteswari is situated in Sambalpur city of Odisha. As the name suggests, the temple is adorned with numerous bells and is called the 'lighthouse without light. Read more

  • Gupteswar Temple

    An important cave temple, Gupteswar in Koraput District is known for housing a large Shivalinga, which according to a popular belief increase in size by itself. This limestone cave temple is thronged by a number of devotees in the Shravan month. Read more

  • Bharateswar Temple

    A 6th century temple, Bharateswar is situated in Bhubaneswar city. A popular temple in Odisha, it is built by the Shailodbhava Dynasty in Kalinga architecture style making it one of the most stunning temples to be seen in the state. Read more

Odisha Travel Information at a Glance

Get authentic information on how to plan an incredible trip to Odisha. Tour My India brings to you all the important details on how to reach Odisha by different means of transport along with information on where to visit and what to do on your Odisha tour. Find information on best time to visit Odisha and a comprehensible travel guide to varied destinations in the state that are worth visiting.