If you wish to travel in India off the beaten track, then this tour in India to discover the state of Orissa will be your ideal choice. From the ancient capital of the British Empire: Calcutta to Puri and its sacred temple passing by the impressive park of Bhitarkanika, you will be transported into the vibrant heart of India with its religions, its myths and its traditional way of life. The state of Odisha (Orissa) has some of the most beautiful Indian temples, spectacular nature reserves and endless beaches.
The perfect blend for a trip combining spirituality and nature.Visit of Bhitarkanika Park would allow the amateurs of nature to observe the rich local birdlife. Lalitgari, Ratnagiri, Udayagiri form a trio of Buddhist sites, made of temples and sculptures carved from rock or hidden in mysterious caves, less than 90 km from Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Odisha (Orissa). They are called the Golden Triangle.
The caves, sometimes double-decked, have a large number of cells, each opening onto a large common space. Finely carved, sculptures adorn the walls, representing animals, plants and various flowers.
- The Victoria Memorial and other sights in the colourful city of Kolkata
- Amazingly rich and unique biodiversity of Bhitarkanika Park
- Bhubaneswar - City of thousands of medieval stone temples
- Beautfully carved rocks of Udaigiri, Lalitgriri and Ratnagiri
- Immense Jagannath temple in Puri
- Majectic Sun Temple in Konark
Day 1Traditional welcome on arrival
Upon arrival at the international airport and after the traditional welcome ‘Swagat’, we are transferred to the hotel. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly river, Kolkata is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port as well as its sole major riverine port. As a nucleus of the 19th and early 20th-century Bengal Renaissance and a religiously and ethnically diverse centre of culture in Bengal and India, Kolkata has established local traditions in drama, art, film, theatre and literature that have gained wide audiences. Kolkata also holds a unique and rich colorful cultural heritage.
Day 2Sightseeing of Kolkata
We begin our day with the visit of the Mother Teresa's House to see her tomb and then to Nirmal Hriday. It is here where Mother Teresa along with her sisters lived. From here, we move to the famous Howrah Bridge, also known as the Rabindra Setu. Continuing our sightseeing, we drive to St. John Church, the oldest architecture of the British rule in the city. Then, we visit exquisitely designed Marble Palace. Lying in the midst of a lush green meadow with artistic sculptures, this building is a treasure house of antiques, like curios from China and paintings of Ruben. Sightseeing of the day comes to end with a visit to the majestic Victoria Memorial, a marble edifice constructed in memory of Queen Victoria. Now, it has been converted into a museum displaying paintings, miniatures, statues and book and offers an indepth knowledge of Indian history to visitors.
Day 3Kolkata - Chandipur by train
Today in the morning, we will leave for the Kolkata station to board our train to Balasore . Upon arrival in Balasore, transfer to the hotel in Chandipur. The sea of Chandipur has a particularity to retreat on 5 kilometers.This tidal game happens twice a day and is a particularly unbelievable phenomenon to observe. Add to that a peaceful atmosphere, solitary sand dunes, and the gentle sound of waves. Then, we will visit Remuna and its temple Khirachora Gopinatha. Remuna is a small town located 9km east of Balasore.
Day 4Submerge in the lapse of nature
Chandipur - Bhitarkanika National Park
Today, we will depart towards the Bhitarkanika Park. It is the nesting site of a million olive Ridley turtles that come ashore to the 35 km long stretch of beach at Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary, a World Heritage site. On arrival, we relax in our Swiss tent. After a delicious home style lunch, we leave for a cruise to Kalibhanja Diha Island on countryside boat approved by Wildlife Department to enjoy panoramic view of Ramsar site. Thereafter, we visit to Dhamara Port and Dhamarai Temple. In the evening, enjoy the camp fire with our Snacks and Dinner .
Day 5Bhitarkanika National Park
After a delicious home style breakfast, we visit the Bird Sanctuary where we observe variety of birds followed by trekking to Hunting tower of Ancient King and a cruise to different creeks on countryside boat approved by Wildlife Department, to spot crocodiles, visit to Museum and Project Area. After the lunch, enjoy the surrounding nature’s beauty and paddy field. In the late afternoon, visit the Jagannath temple to participate in the Live Aalati Darshan. In the evening, enjoy the campfire with Snacks and Dinner.
Day 6Aul – Ratnagiri – Lalitgiri – Udaygiri - Bhubaneshwar
Bhitarkanika National Park - Bhubaneshwar
Today, we will leave for the Bhubaneshwar. On the route, we visit the Golden triangle of Orissa. These three hills and their surroundings together form an incredible Buddhist complex. The Chinese pilgrim Hiuen T'sang founded there the seat of a flourishing Buddhist university: Puspagiri. Large ruins of brick pagodas, portals of carved stones and esoteric Buddhist images, testifying to its former glory, have been restored. We will visit Ratnagiri, nestled on the banks of the Birup River, and about 100km from Bhubaneshwar, Ratnigiri contains some very beautiful Buddhist antiquities. Created in the 6th century AD, it would seem that Buddhism was taught in these places until the 12th century. The museum of Ratnagiri also deserves a detour. We then go to the Lalitgiri. It is one of the oldest Buddhist complexes, dating back to the 1st century. Thereafter, we go to Udaygiri, one of the largest Buddhist complexes in Orissa, and well known for its bell-shaped stupa, representing the Vajrayana (Tantric Buddhism). On arrival in Bhubaneswar, you will be transferred to the Hotel.
Day 7Sightseeing of Bhubaneswar
This day will allow us to follow the footsteps of the Jains. Religious centre of Tribhubaneswar or "Lord Lingaraj", Bhubaneswar is an important Hindu pilgrimage center. Hundreds of temples dot the landscape of the old city, which used to be around 2000. While the modern city is buzzing, its landscape awakens curiosity, between the bell towers of the Lingaraja Temple, the white dome of Peace Pagoda on the hill of Dhauli and the pink hues of Mahariva Jina. Together they embody the advent of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism through the different periods of Orissa's history. Among these 600 temples, the Lingaraj temple, dedicated to Shiva, and one of the most refined and imposing temples of Bhubaneswar. Non-Hindus can not enter it, but can observe it from an outside platform. We will also have the opportunity to visit the Rajarani temple built of pink and gold sandstone, one of the most recognized in the city. The Mukteshwar Temple is one of the most remarkable temples in Bhubaneswar and its architectural style is close to that used to build the Kalinga School of Temple Architecture. We can also explore the Parashurameswar temple, built in the year 650 AD. Small, but richly decorated, the Parashurameswar Temple, Shiva Shrine, has many statues of couples, animals and floral motifs.
Day 8Bhubaneshwar – Pipli – Konark - Puri
Bhubaneshwar - pipili
After delicious breakfast, we head towards Pipli. On the way, we stop by in the small villages along the road. Pipli, for example, center of applied arts, which transmits the essence of the arts of Odisha. This will be the occasion to bring back some typical souvenirs of our trip to India to our relatives. Infact, the village is also famous for its handbags and other traditional objects. This mix of colors is a feast for the eyes. Pipli, capital of the arts of Odisha, looks brightly in the storefronts.
pipili - Konark
Thereafter, we resume our journey to Konark, one of the most spectacular examples of religious architecture in the world. The Sun Temple of Konark was conceived as a massive tank dedicated to carrying the God of the Sun in the sky by the power of seven magnificently sculpted horses. It was originally much closer to the sea and was used as a navigation point by European sailors, who nicknamed the temple the "Black Pagoda". This architectural wonder of the 13th century has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will also have the opportunity during this day trip to India to visit the ASI Museum in Konark, as well as the local fishing village.
Konark - Puri
After the visit, we will head towards Puri. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Rest of the evening is free to explore the beach during sunset.
Day 9Excursion to Satpada Chilka Lake – Raghurajpur
Today, we visit the Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri. This temple is one of the most sacred of India, it is a high place of pilgrimage. According to legend, the most extraordinary form Jagannath takes is that of the unfinished work of the god Vswakarma, who in anger did not finish his portrait of Lord Vishnu. A mythical place not to be missed during a trip to India in the region.
Attention: Non Hindus are not allowed inside the Jagannath Temple, but can see this one from the platform of the Raghunathan library. On Sunday, this platform is closed, but the temple can be seen from another platform outside the temple
After the visit of the temple, we head to Chilka Lake to observe the Dolphins. This vast lake on the east coast of Orissa boasts magnificent islands, flamingos floundering in shallow waters and birds that come from as far away as the Caspian Sea, the Aral Sea, and other parts Mongolia, Central and Southeast Asia. And this is only a glimpse of what Chilika Lake can offer. Extending over 1,100 square kilometers, and covering three districts of Orissa, the place is a paradise for nature lovers and bird watchers. The best time to visit the lake is Winter as it is the time that birds choose to migrate to the Island.
Optional: Boat ride on the lake to see the dolphins.
Late afternoon, we will visit Raghurajpur, a charming village not far from Puri. The artisan activities of Raghurajpur contribute to the reputation of the village throughout the country. There are about 100 homes and 300 craftsmen in the village. We can walk around, admire the magnificent frescoes painted on the walls, interact with craftsmen, see them in action and of course, shop, the opportunity to bring back authentic souvenirs.
Optional: During our visit in Raghurajpur enjoy a unique Gotipua dance, a typical folk dance. It is a form of dance originating in this village. It is performed by young boys who transform into feminine and graceful dancers. Acrobatic postures and movements are inspired by the life of Radha and Krishna and other mythological narratives
Day 10Return to Bhubaneswar
Puri - Bhubaneshwar
Today we will be transferred to the airport of Bhubaneswar to board the flight to Kolkata.
Bhubaneshwar - Kolkata
On arrival, we would be received by our representative and will be transferred to the Hotel in Kolkata.