Biju Patnaik International Airport, also known as Bhubaneswar Airport, is located 3km south of the city and is the only airport in the Eastern Indian state of Odisha. Domestic flights such as Air India and IndiGo travel frequently to this historic city of Bhubaneswar. It has previously been connected by air only with most other Indian airports but international carrier services are now beginning to be scheduled and are due to start operating soon.
What to see and do
Bhubaneswar is the capital of the Indian state of Odisha (formerly Orissa), which lies midway up the eastern coast of India. It is also the largest city in the state with a population of 1.5 million. The main language spoken here is Oriya; however, most residents understand Hindi and English. The city has a 3,000-year history and is as a major Buddhist and Hindu pilgrimage destination.
A great way to start your adventure is to walk around the carefully planned streets and get a feel of this charming and culturally rich city. Enjoy the architecture of both ancient temples and modern buildings found along Sachivalaya Road.
Don't forget to treat yourself to some of the famous lassis from one of the many excellent lassi stalls throughout the town. The old town is a perfect place to start the serious business of sightseeing as it is home to almost all of the famous temples (400 temples) that Bhubaneswar is known for. The Lingaraja Temple has been described as ‘the truest fusion of dream and reality’ and is a must-see for Hindus. Non-Hindus can see the temple from the viewing platform overlooking the temple at the righthand side of the entrance. Another temple worth visiting is the Mukteshwara Temple which dates back to the 10th century. This temple is considered to be a prime example of Odishan architecture. The decorative gateway, arched masterpiece and magnificent torana combines to make this temple impressive.
The Museum of Tribal Arts & Artefacts is considered a must-see as it offers a fantastic insight into the life, ritual, customs and history of Odisha.
From the airport, there are readily available low-cost taxis, auto rickshaws and public buses located just outside the arrivals gate. And most hotels in the area often have a pick-up service that must be booked in advance.
Bhubaneswar was planned by a German town planner called Otto H. Koenigsberger, whom it must be said done an incredibly good job, getting around town by foot is a nice and relaxing activity. The public buses are cheap and regular and can tickets be bought on the bus, although it is always wise to keep your common sense about you, as buses in India can be unsafe at times. Taxis and auto-rickshaws operate around the town and although the drivers in Bhubaneswar are known for being courteous and helpful, it’s still best to negotiate a price before setting off. Most taxi and auto rickshaw drivers here understand basic English.
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