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Bhubneshwar Travel Guide:

Bhubaneswar is the capital of the Indian state of Orissa. The city has a long history of over 2000 years starting with Chedi dynasty (around 2nd century BCE) who had Sisupalgarh near present-day Bhubaneswar as their capital. Historically Bhubaneswar has been known by different names such as Toshali, Kalinga Nagari, Nagar Kalinga, Ekamra Kanan, Ekamra Kshetra and Mandira Malini Nagari(city of temples) otherwise known as the temple city of India. The largest city of Odisha, Bhubaneswar today is a center of economic and religious importance in the region.

It's proud possession of magnificent sculptures and architectural heritage, coupled with the sanctity as Ekamrakshetra make this one of the great religious centres of Odisha since early medieval days. With its large number of Hindu temples (over 600 in number), which span the entire spectrum of Kalinga architecture, Bhubaneswar is often referred to as a Temple City of India. Together with Puri and Konark and, Bhubaneswar forms the 'Swarna Tribhuja' (the 'Golden Triangle'), one of the most visited destinations in East India.

The modern city of Bhubaneswar was designed by the German architect Otto Königsberger in 1946. Like Jamshedpur and Chandigarh, it is one of the first planned cities of modern India. With the Chandaka reserve forest on the fringes, the city, with an abundance of in-city greenery and an efficient civic body (the BMC), has become one of the cleanest and greenest cities of India.

Bhubaneswar replaced Cuttack as the political capital of the state of Odisha in 1948, a year after India gained its independence from Britain. Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are often commonly together known as the "twin cities" of Odisha. The metropolitan area formed by the twin cities has a 2008 population of 1.9 million and The World gazetteer estimates the metro area population as 1,666,429 making it the 22nd largest urban centre in the country. Bhubaneswar is categorized as a tier 2 city. An emerging IT hub, the boom in the metals and metal processing industries have made Bhubaneswar one of the fastest developing cities of India in recent years.

The history of the Bhubaneswar may be viewed as two phases: ancient Bhubaneswar and modern Bhubaneswar. While the ancient city has a history that goes back more than 2000 years, the modern city came into existence in 1948.[5]

The first mention of Bhubaneswar in Indian history is in the infamous Kalinga War which was held near Dhauli (presently located in south Bhubaneswar) in 3rd Century BC. Later Emperor Kharavela established his capital in Sisupalgarh which is on the outskirts of the city. The Hathigumpha inscriptions at the Udayagiri caves and Khandagiri caves by Kharavela give a good account of that period which is estimated as 1st-2nd century BC. Later innumerable temples built throughout ancient and medieval history in tune with its status as Temple City give a chronicle of the city's history till Indian independence in 1947.

In 1936, Odisha became a separate province in British India with Cuttack as its capital. Notably, Cuttack was Odisha's capital since 12th century. When India got independence in 1947, Odisha became one of the states of the Indian union. But for some reasons, most visibly Cuttack's vulnerability to floods and space constraints, the capital was changed to Bhubaneswar which was built into a modern city. The city planning of Bhubaneswar was given by German Architect Otto. H. Koeingsberges. Bhubaneswar was formally inaugurated in 13 April 1948 as the capital of the Indian state of Odisha.

Modern Bhubaneswar was originally planned by Otto Königsberger to be a well planned city with wide roads and many gardens and parks. Though part of the city has stayed faithful to the plan, it has grown rapidly over the last few decades and has made the planning process unwieldy.

The State Museum of Bhubaneswar offers an extensive selection of archaeological artefacts, weapons, local arts and crafts as well as insights into Odisha's natural and tribal history. The Tribal Research Institute Museum with its authentic tribal dwellings, created by the tribal craftsmen offers a bird's eye view of the State's tribal heritage.

Bhubaneswar is divided into three Vidhan Sabha constituencies Bhubaneswar Central, Bhubaneswar North, and Ekamra-bhubaneswar. The MLAs areBhubaneswar Central- Bijay Mohanty (BJD), Bhubaneswar North- Bhagirathi Badajena (BJD), and Ekamra-Bhubaneswar - Ashok Chandra Panda (BJD). The MP from Bhubaneswar is Prasanna Kumar Patasani (BJD).

The headquarters of the Odisha State Road Transport Corporation(OSRTC) are located in Bhubaneshwar. The Bhubaneswar Bus Station is situated at Barmunda, 8 km from the city centre and OSRTC operates a regular fleet of buses connecting Bhubaneshwar to various cities in Odisha likeCuttack, Sambalpur, Berhampur, Balasore, Jeypore, Rourkela and also connects it with the neighboring states of Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh.Bhubaneswar is connected to the rest of the country by National Highways-NH 5, NH 203. Bhubaneswar has its City Public Transport run by Bhubaneswar Puri Transport Service Limited(BPTSL) and Dream Team Sahara(DTS). A fleet of 100 buses for Bhubaneswar is boon for the city's traffic and tourism.They are green coloured having LED Display Boards which show the route followed by them.In addition to this,very shortly,radio taxis would be launched.

The East Coast Railway has its headquarters in Bhubaneswar. Bhubaneswar Railway Station(BBS) is one of the main stations in India. It is located in the city center and is connected to major cities of the country such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Guwahati, Ranchi, Siliguri, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Jamshedpur etc. by daily express and passenger trains. Bhubaneswar is also one of the major Indian cities to get a world-class railway station soon.It has five railway stations within its city limits, namely (from North to South) Patia Halt, Mancheswar, Vani Vihar,Bhubaneswar station( near Master canteen) and Lingaraj Temple Road.

Biju Patnaik Airport also known as Bhubaneswar Airport is currently the only major domestic airport in Odisha. It is situated 3 km south of the city. There are regular flights to many destinations across India from this airport, like New Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Bangalore. It has been learnt from the recent visit of the Honourable Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel that the Biju Patnaik, alias Bhubaneswar Airport would soon be upgraded to an international one, with all the benefits of an international airport, heightening the glory of the state and the country.

Bhubaneswar at one point in time is supposed to have had over a thousand temples. Although a large number of temples have given way for urban infrastructure, Bhubaneswar still abounds in temples of various deities. This has earned it the tag of the Temple City. The most famous ones are Lingaraj Temple, Lakshmanesvara group of temples, Parasuramesvara Temple, Svarnajalesvra Temple, Muktesvara Temple, Rajarani Temple, Vaital Temple, Brhamesvara temple, Meghesvara temple, Vaskaresvara Temple, Ananta Vasudeva Temple, Sari Temple, Kapilesvara Temple, Markandesvara temple, Yamesvara temple, Chitrakarini temple, Sisiresvara Temple. Apart from the ancient temples few other important temples were built in recent times that includes Ram Mandir, Maa Kanakdurga Pitha,ISKON etc. The Lingaraj Temple towers above the cityscape and is visible from far. Careful conservation has helped save many of these symbols of Oriya culture.