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Odisha is a land of temples. Nevertheless, the antiquity of temples in tandem with the serene and sublime natural extravaganza, makes the state a unique destination for spiritual alleviation. Therefore, the motivation to visit Odisha transcends faith or religion to a more encompassing concept of pilgrimage, festivals, meditation, yoga and wellness. Odisha fits the bill, be it as the potent fervor of temples, the meditative calmness of the waves, or the refreshing air of the forests.
The Faith of Hinduism
Odisha is not only known as the land of temples but also a state with the largest number of ancient temples in India. Cities of Odisha like Bhubaneswar and Purialone have hundreds of temples. Moreover, the state is a haven for pilgrims who are one with the faith in the chaos of these temples.
No pilgrimage tour is complete without the quintessential visit to Jagannath temple. This temple at Puri is one of the chaar (4) dhaams(supreme religious center) in India according to Hindu scriptures.
The Jagannath temple complex also enshrines Pada-Vimala(pada: feet) temple, which is one of the 52 Sakti (goddess of power) peeths (shrines) in India. Tara Tarini Sthana(breasts) Khanda, Purnagiri, Berhampur is another. In fact, both are two amongst the four Adisakti(ultimate power) peeth of the 52 enlisted.
The Buddhist connection
Buddhism flourished in Odisha. Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri, Chandragiri, and Dhauli monuments stand as a proud testament to the flourishing of Buddhist religion in the state. A trip across the destination will transport you into an era of the pursuit of attainment of Bodhi, the ultimate enlightenment. TheUdayagiri and Khandagiri caves to the west of Bhubaneswar are the multi-storied ancient apartment residence for Jain monks by the Odia ruler, King Kharavela. The inscriptions recreates the king’s military exploits, and also that his royal city had gate towers, bathing and drinking tanks, and was the scene of formally organized music and dance performances, as well as sporting and social events