Here are nine of the most notable cities.
- Bhubaneswar — state capital, transportation and education hub
- Brahmapur (previously Berhampore) — also known as The Silk City
- Cuttack — the old capital of Odisha
- Koraput — has enchanting hills, verdant forests, winding streams, exotic wildlife and a rich tribal way of life
- Paradip — the port city
- Puri — famous for Jagganath Temple and vibrant beach, and the most popular tourist destination in the state
- Rourkela — one of the biggest cities of Odisha, also known as "Steel City" of Odisha
- Sambalpur — the biggest city in western Odisha
- Sunabeda — the Kashmir of Odisha
- Bhitarkanika National Park — Mangrove Wetland Park
- Chilka Lake — one of the biggest Wetlands Areas in the world, and a migratory bird hotspot. Also home to Sea turtles and Dolphins
- Nandankanan Zoological Park — a zoo and botanical garden in the capital city (Bhubaneswar). It is home for white tigers and several endangered animals. In addition, one can visit several aquaria, a reptile house and the orchid house
- Simlipal National Park — a massive wild life sanctuary in Northern Odisha. Home to tigers and elephants
Odisha borders on the Bay of Bengal. The eastern part, close to the sea is more prosperous, with a lot of tourist locations and religious places. The western part is a hilly and forested area, generally drought prone. It is a predominantly tribal belt. However, the western part of the state contains enormous volumes of iron ore and other minerals that promises to herald a major industrialisation of the state.
It is a culturally rich state. The Bhubaneswar-Puri-Konark golden triangle is the pride of the state.
Traditionally, Odisha descended from the historical kingdom of Kalinga. The script for the Odia (Oriya) language derives from the Kalinga script, which is one of the descendants of the Brahmi script.
Odia (also spelled Oriya) is the local language. It is an Indo-European language like most North Indian languages. It is closely related to Bengali, to the extent that the two languages are mutually intelligible. Hindi is also spoken here. Many people understand English. Bengali is spoken particularly in the tourist centres. Even Telugu is widely spoken in south western Odisha.
There is a airport in the heart of the city of Bhubaneswar with flights operated by all the major public and private airlines. It is well connected to other major destinations like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru (Bangalore).
- Taxis or hired cars are available in important cities and towns.
- Private rickshaws cost less than regular taxis but you will have to squash up with whoever else gets inside.
Temples, sea beaches, geographical specialties like Chilka Lake, and wild life. you have time you can visit Shimilipal National Forest which is a paradise for nature lovers.
Breathe fresh air.
Odisha is well-known for handicrafts. Sambalpuri and Kataki sarees in handspun cotton and silk or tussar, have traditional Hindu and Buddhist designs on them. There is filigree work in silver that you will find in Kataka. You will also find fine tribal work in brass and other metal-wire. Pattachitra is traditional painting on palm-leaf or raw silk.
A typical meal in Odisha consists of a main course and dessert. Typically breads (roti, paratta) are served as the main course for breakfast, whereas rice is eaten with lentils dal during lunch and dinner.The breakfast consists of chuda (poha, flattened rice), mudhi (muri, puffed rice), chuda can be eaten either as fried or with curd-banana-sugar(called as Chudaa Dahi). Mudhi is a famous snack in north Odisha. Different pitha also form breakfast menu. The main course in lunch includes one or more curries, vegetables and pickles. Given the fondness for sweet foods, the dessert course may include generous portions of more than a single item. Oriya desserts are made from a variety of ingredients, with milk, chhenna (a form of cottage cheese), coconut, rice, and wheat flour being the most common.
Eat the rasagullas from the dhabas or the little snack stores set in freeways; they come in yellow-white and brown colours and are very delicious. Taste chena pod, another traditional sweet-meat from Odisha. If you enjoy spicy food and used to Indian cuisine, you can try out the local Odia cuisine made out of seafood (like fish, tiger prawns and crab curry prepared with exotic spices). Its a foodie's paradise.
Green coconut. Hard drinks are available in most towns. And never forget to drink the sugarcane juice. Its awesome in Odisha.
There are several good hotels in Bhubaneswar, such as Trident Hilton, Hotel Mayfair, and Hotel Swosti Plaza. You can also get decent accommodation at the [OTDC] hotels all over the state in tourist locations. In the smaller towns, try and stay in the Forest Bungalows or Inspection Bungalows, mostly run for government officials on tour, but provided to others when vacant.
The area is infested with mosquitoes and so carry mosquito repellent creams, mosquito repellent coils and take the doctor's advice, in advance, about anti-malarial medicines.
Its also not advisable to venture out late in the night in deserted places and sea beaches. Its better to have a local tourist guide with you for company.
There are cyber cafes in most of the important tourist cities like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri. It would not be difficult to get one. Per hour rate is also as low as ₹10/Hour or even less.