||There are many interesting places and sites around
Bhubaneswer. These include Udaygiri and Khandagiri Caves, Ashokan Edicts at Dhauli,
Nandankanan, Barunai , Hirapur and Atri.
The twin rock -cut caves of Udaygiri and Khandgiri , 8 kms .from Bhubaneswer,date back to
1st and 2nd century B.C.They are noted for their detailed scupture
and profuse carvings. Udaygiri or the SunriseHill has many interesting caves.They are all
numbered and bear very fascinating names such as Rani Nahar (Queen's Cave),Ganesh Gumpha ,
Hathi Gumpha (Elephant Cave),Pavan Gumpha (Purification Cave ) ,Jay Vijay Cave,
Swaragapuri Gumpha (Paradise Cave ),Bagh Gumpha (Tiger Cave). The 117 line inscription of
Hathi Gumpha is a magnification record in Pali Language of the exploits of King Kharvel
(166 B.C.to 153B.C.). These 4 caves were built mainly for the Jain monks. Across the road
just a few minutes walk leads to Khandagiri Caves .Here the Ananta Vasudev Cave , with its
decorated pilasters and carved figures,is most interesting . A short but steep path leads
to the top of the hill from where a panormic view of the city is obtainable.
ASHOKAN DHAULI EDICTS
The rock edicts at Dhauli mark the place where great Kaling war was fought. Resulting in
Ashok's tranformation into a compassionate Buddhist.It bring s back to memory the horrors
of war which Ashoka had experienced .There is also a beutifully sculptured elephant carved
out of a huge rock. The site is also underlinedfor its BuddhistSanti Stupa or Peace
Pagoda,BUILT IN 1970'S by the Japanese Buddha Sangha and Kaling Nippon Buddha Sangha.An
ancient temple of Lord Dhavaleswer ,reconstructed in 1972,also stands on the hill -top .
This site is just 8 kms ,south of Bhubaneswar .
32 kms south -west of Bhubaneswar , Barunai is a scenic picnic spot .Thousands of visitors
come here for enjoying themselves round the year .Barunai , the presiding deity of the
spot adorns the hill top . Aperennial spring called the Swarga Ganga (the Ganges of the
Heaven ) adds to its beauty. The spot can be reached by taxis and autorikshaws.
Nandan Kanan or the Garden of Gods, is famous for its wild -life park and botanical
gardens. The Biological Park has rare white tigers, white crocodiles and the largest Lion
Safari. It also has a lake with boating facilities. Nandan Kanan is about 20 kms. north of
Bhubaneswar . Regular buses are there between the picnic spot and Bhubaneswar.
Atri ,Hirapur and Sishupal Garh are other interesting places around Bhubaneswar . At
Sisupal Garh extensive ruins thought to be the remains of an Ashokan city have been
excavated.15kms. from Bhubaneswar is Hirapur, famous for its Hypaethral temple of 64
Yoginis. It is the second of its kind in Orissa and one of the four distinguished shrines
in India ,42kms.west of Bhubaneswar, Atri is noted for its sulphur spring and the temple
of Hatekeswar. The water of the sulphur spring contains medicinal qualities and can cure
many skin diseases.
30 kms from Balasore is another picnic spot of Pancha Lingeswar perched on a hillock. The
five lingams, symbols of Shiva give it the name Pancha Lingeswar. A perennial stream and
beautiful surroundings make the spot really wonderful.