Sharing borders with West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, Orissa state now spelled as Odisha is situated on the eastern coasts of India. The one-time capital of the mighty emperor Ashoka, Orissa was and is still known for its great cultural heritage and history. The state culture boasts of architectural marvels like the Sun Temple at Konark, ancient dance forms like Odissi and Chau and most importantly the state literally abounds in natural beauty. Such great attractions add to Orissa tourism making it an important part of the itinerary of a traveler out on a trip of India.
The state of Orissa is a coastal state that faces the Bay of Bengal and is a great cultural hotspot. The state whose ancient name was Kalinga; boasts of a thousand year old history and it is also a melting pot for the three indigenous religions- Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. The third was brought by Emperor Ashoka who had a change of heart after the Kalinga War which was fought here. The ancient war zone is now being honored by a beautiful marble structure; the Shanti Stupa. The three most important places in Orissa according to Orissa tourism are Puri, Konark and Bhubaneswar. Puri is most famous for its great Jagannath temple that is dedicated to a mysterious incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Puri is also famous for its beautiful beaches that attract tourists and devotees in equal measures. Konark is a small town near Puri that is known mostly for its architectural wonder the Sun Temple. The capital city of Orissa is Bhubaneswar which has been named the city of temples for its hundreds of old temples strewn across it. The three places combine to form the Golden Triangle of Orissa Tourism and are essential places that a traveler must visit when he travels to Orissa.