Places around Bhubaneswar
UDAYAGIRI AND KHANDAGIRI CIRCA FIRST CENTURY B.C. (10 KM)
Udayagiri (33m.) and Khandagiri 37.5m) look like some incongruous growth in the midst of a vast plain. The twin hills are important landmarks in ancient Orissan history.The rock-mass, a coarse-grained sandstone formation in different shades of yellow or grey, is often considered unsuitable for artistic chiselling work because of its brittle nature and soft texture.
Kharavela was a great patron of Jainism, the royal religion at that time; and his queen most possibly was responsible for the sculptural decorations of the caves those were used as dormitories by the Jain ascetics. Considering the austere life style, it is not difficult to explain the total absence of basic amenities in the caves. Some of them are cut barely head-high for any one to stand erect in them. The ascetics lay on the uneven rock-bed resting their heads on the rising part of the floor that slanted downwards towards the entrance door.There is also a Jain temple on the Khandagiri caves with a tall and beautiful Lokeswar image carved out of a huge block of black granite and presented fully unclothed in true Digambara fashion.
BALAKATI (12 KM)
It is a village of artisans who still follow the age-old method of metallurgy and produce exquisite pieces of art and artefacts in bell metal. Decorative pieces of antique-type consisting of designs of floral patterns, bird-motif, figures of fantasy, salvers and lamps are popular and attractive. Utensils of brass and copper, both ornamental and functional, are produced in this village.
HIRAPUR (17 KM)
Hirapur, a small and sleepy village in the east of Bhubaneswar, has a pride of place in the tourist map of the state as the site for the icons of the sixtyfour Yoginis. The small but beautiful images are remarkable for their proportion and fine details. The images are housed in separate niches in a circular structure.
PIPILI (21 KM)
Pipili is a small town on the Bhubaneswar-Puri road. It is famous for its applique work. On either side of the road can be seen scores of thatched houses selling and displaying the richly ornamented articles. Each work is exquisitely embroidered, striking in its colours and often studded with dazzling pieces of mirror-glass. There are wall-hangings, bed spread, large-size fancy umbrellas and nice little shoulder bags. Some of them have, of late, found a good export market.
The rock outcropping on Dhauli hill at the bank of the river Daya, is a little away from the main road as one drives 8 km south of Bhubaneswar. It is the site of a set of rock edicts left by the Maurya emperor Ashoka in about 261 BC.
Atri (50 km)* –
Situated amidst greenery and famous for the hot sulphur water spring, Atri, 42 km. from Bhubaneswar and 14 km. from Khurda, is also a holy place with the shrine of Hatakeswar. A bath in the spring water is reputed to cure skin diseases apart from being a pleasant experience.
SISUPALAGARH (7 KM)
It is evident from the ruins at Sisupalagarh, dating as far back as the third or the fourth century BC, that this was the site of Kalinganagar, the capital of the Chedi kings of the Mahameghavahana family. During this period Kalinga, an ancient name of Orissa, has forshaken the yoke of the Magadha rulers to become an independent kingdom.
The excavations highlight the fact that the city was primarily a military garrison, well-planned and fortified for adequate protection. Ramparts were erected on all sides, gateways as entry and exit points, regulated all movements. The ancient Gangavati river, locally known as the Gangua streamlet, flowed all around the ramparts, thus providing a perennial source of water to the dwellers of the city while serving as a natural moat-barrier to the enemy. The Udayagiri inscriptions record Kharavelas extensive repair work here, after a devastating cyclone.
From amongst the wealth of findings from the site, the Kushana coins and their imitations, clay bullae imitating the Roman coins and the gold-piece with a Kushana motif on one side and a Roman head with a Roman legend on the reverse, point at an unmistakable Roman connection during this golden period of Kalinga.