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Bhubaneshwar - India
Me2Desi Travel Information
Bhubaneswar (The Lord of the Universe) is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Orissa, India. Once the capital of ancient Kalinga, the city has a long history and is today a center for commerce and religious activity. However, the modern city of Bhubaneswar was designed by the German architect Otto Königsberger in 1946. It became the modern capital of the state of Orissa in 1948, a year after India gained its independence from Britain. Before Bhubaneswar, Cuttack was the capital of Orissa until 1947. Both Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are known as the "twin cities" of Orissa. With its vast variety of Hindu temples, Bhubaneswar is often referred to as the temple city of India. The history of the Bhubaneswar-Khurda region goes back 2000 years. 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 are evidence of the region's antiquity. Having merged its intriguing past so uniquely with its modern aspirations, it forms an integral link in the Golden Triangle that incorporates the holy city of Puri and Konark. The area is attractive to tourists for its spiritual significance. To the east are the famous Sun temple of Konark and the Jagannath Temple of Puri. The Lingaraj Temple of old Bhubaneswar, built in the 11th century, is another temple noted for its ancient history. The Khandagiri and Dhauligiri, situated on the outskirts of the city, carry monuments of the Jain monks since the times of the great king Kharavela. Another such monument is the Shantistupa, which was built with Japanese aid, as a symbol of peace at the site where the great Kalinga War took place between Emperor Ashoka and Kalinga (the old empire of Orissa). Bhubaneswar is known for its architecture and ancient temples The imposing spire of the Lingaraj Temple, the quiet beauty of the Vishwa Shanti Stupa and the pink translucence of the Mahavira Jain Temple in nearby Khandagiri, inspire feelings of wonder at their sheer beauty and their cross-cultural permutations.

The State Museum of Bhubaneswar offers an extensive selection of archaeological artifacts, weapons, local arts and crafts as well as insights into Orissa'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. Modern Bhubaneswar was originally meant to be a well planned city with wide roads and many gardens and parks. The plan was made by Otto H. Königsberger , a German town planner. 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. As of India's 2001 census, Bhubaneswar has a population of 647,302. Males constitute 56% of the population and females 44%. The city has an average literacy rate of 74%, higher than the national average of 59.5%. Ten percent of the population is under 6 years of age. Bhubaneswar is situated between 21° 15' North Latitude 85° 15' Longitude and at an altitude of 45 meters above sea level, the average temperatures range between 15 °C in the winter to a maximum of 40 °C to 45 °C in the summer. With the economic liberalisation policy adopted by the Government of India in the 90s, Bhubaneswar received large investments in the fields of telecommunications, IT and higher education, particularly engineering. Bhubaneswar has air and rail linkages with most major cities in India. While the Biju Patnaik Airport is the only major airport in the state, an international airport is planned for 2010. In addition to airflight, Bhubaneswar is well-connected to other major Indian cities by highway.

Important Sites:

Khandagiri & Udayagiri (Jain Heritage)
Lingaraj Temple
Dhauli Giri

Websites:

http://wikitravel.org/en/Bhubaneswar
http://www.bdabbsr.in/
http://www.indianrail.gov.in
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