Archive for the 'Tourist promotion' Category

Multiple funding sources to help further develop various tourist attractions and infrastructure in the coastal areas

Berhampur- Gopalpur- Chhatrapur, Bhadrakh, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Bhubaneswar-Pipli- Konark, Bhubaneswar-Puri, Business Standard, Central govt. schemes, Chandaka, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Dhamara- Chandbali- Bhitarakanika, Ganjam, Gopalpur-on-Sea, Heritage sites, Historical places, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Khordha, Konark, Lord Jagannath, Nandan Kanan, Odisha govt. action, Paradip - Jatadhari - Kujanga, Puri, Puri, Puri - Konark, Raghurajpur, Shamuka Beach project, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Telegraph, Temples, Tourist promotion Comments Off on Multiple funding sources to help further develop various tourist attractions and infrastructure in the coastal areas

Following is from a report in Telegraph.

The capital will soon have a mega-tourist circuit for which the Centre has sanctioned Rs 8.14 crore.

The proposed tourist circuit envisages, among others things, renovation of two major roads in Old Town area, construction of a ‘parikrama’ around Lingaraj temple, soft-lighting for eight protected monuments and two tourism interpretation centres.

While the tourism department is trying to revive Ekamreswar, the miniature temple of Lord Lingaraj near Lingaraj police station, a dedicated road corridor will be constructed to link Puri, the Old Town area and Khandagiri via Dhauli.

Moreover, a 3,000-seater amphitheatre will be constructed opposite Madhusudan Park at Pokhariput.

… Samal spoke to reporters after the heritage walk, which was held today as part of World Tourism Day function.

The circuit will aim at facilitating various cultures as the city is perhaps the only one place in the region where three major religions — Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism — have their presence and the Daya riverbed is linked to the transformation of Emperor Ashok from Chandashok to Dharmashok.

… While the mega circuit will be part of the development of the ambitious Bhubaneswar-Puri-Chilika tourism sector, the Old Town area of the city will have a 40-feet road near the temple connecting Kotitirtheswar Lane and a proposed three-acre parking site.

Later, the same road will be extended up to Kedar Gouri temple. These two roads, in turn, will provide a better corridor so that tourist vehicles can pass through the areas smoothly. Similarly, a ‘parikrama’ or circular road will be planned around the Lingaraj temple.

“Apart from providing better connectivity to the Old Town area, the side walls of various buildings and structures will be decorated with tiles of red laterite stones. The concept has already been adopted in various western cities and states such as Rajasthan. …

The mega circuit will also emphasise on infrastructure development to connect various sites of Buddhist and Jain religious interests. Other than central assistance, there is also a plan to develop a road connecting Gangua nullah (through its right embankment) to the historical Kapileswar village. Another road will link Ganesh Ghat near Dhauli Peace Pagoda with the Jatni Kapilaprasad Road.

According to the pre-feasibility report, the state government will spend more than Rs 30 crore on the two proposed roads.

“These two roads will connect Dhauli with Khandagiri and the travellers and tour operators need not take the longer Cuttack-Puri Road via Rasulgarh to reach the historical Jain sites. Even nature lovers visiting places such as Deras in Chandaka or Nandankanan Zoological Park can take this road in future,’’ said the MLA.

“The state government has also asked the Bhubaneswar Development Authority to construct an amphitheatre opposite Madhusudan Park in Pokhariput. This will resemble the amphitheatre at the Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya near Rabindra Mandap,’’ he said.

Sources at the public works department said: “There is a plan to construct a flyover over the railway level crossing at Pokhariput for Rs 42 crore. While the state government will share Rs 22 crore, the rest will come from the railways. Once the flyover is commissioned, the road from Dhauli to Khandagiri will become a vital link to various religious centre.’’

Under the mega tourism circuit, temples such as Lingaraj, Rajarani, Mukteswar, Rameswar, Parsurameswar, Lakshmaneswar, Bharateswar and Satrughneswar will be illuminated with light emitting diode based ‘dynamic lighting system’ for which Rs 3.98 crore will be utilised. The project will be executed by the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation.

Hinting at the development of two interpretation centres near the Lingaraj temple, Samal said: “While one will be constructed on the premises of Sibatirtha Mutt, the other one will come up near the employees’ colony.’’

On the proposed tourist interpretation centre near Khandagiri-Udaygiri caves, he said the project would be completed within two or three months time.

Following is from a report in Business Standard.

The Orissa government has decided to promote heritage tourism at eight locations along the coast line with an investment of Rs 7.41 crore in the next five years.

Based on archeological, architectural, sculptural and historical importance, the selected structures, identified by the state archeology department, would be taken up under the World Bank funded Rs 227.64-crore Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project.

… The structures identified to get a face lift under the scheme included Potagarh (Buried Fort), located on the bank of river Rushikulya in Ganjam town which stands as a mute witness to the vicissitudes of history in Orissa.

Apart from historic Potagarh, the British Cemetery near Ganjam town, Bhaba Kundaleswar temple of Manikapatna, Baliharichandi temple near Puri, Hariharadeva temple, Nairi, Bateswara temple, Kantiagada (Ganjam), Jagannath temple, Pentha and Jamboo Colonial Building, Kendrapara will be refurbished under the scheme.

Preservation of ancient monuments under the project will include their protection, structural conservation, chemical conservation, landscaping and maintainance from time to time.

… The officials of the Gujarat and West Bengal projects along with a World Bank team visited various places including Ganjam and Kendrapada districts in the state recently to review the implementation of the project. Project Director of ICZM (Orissa) AK Pattnaik briefed the team about various steps taken under the project and their progress. The scheme, whose tenure spans from 2010 to 2015, is being implemented in two coastal stretches: Paradeep to Dhamara and Gopalpur to Chilika.

Tourism and Airport of International Standards in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Bringing International Connectivity, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Khordha, Tourist promotion 12 Comments »

(Thanks to Purna Mohanty for the pointer.)

Following is from PIB

Development and promotion of tourism is undertaken primarily by the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, extends financial assistance to the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations for tourism related projects which are identified in consultation with them, under various tourism schemes of the Ministry. In the year 2008-09 a mega circuit project named development of tourist circuit “Bhubaneswar-Puri-Chilka” in the State of Orissa was sanctioned for an amount of Rs. 30.23 crore.

The Biju Patnaik Airport at Bhubaneswar has been taken up for development and upgradation to international standards, with a new terminal building with all modern facilities including two aerobridges and expansion of apron.



Following are some pictures of the planned new terminal for Bhubaneswar. One of them appears in the web page of Thanks to Devasis Sarangi, Rajeswar and others for the pictures.

Tourism is only one aspect of Bhubaneswar. The others include: capital city, metropolitan area of 1.9 million, educational and knowledge hub (e..g., 70+ engineering colleges) and surrounded by emerging industrial and business centers (Berahmpur, Angul, Kalinganagar, Paradeep) and existing and emerging ports (Paradeep, Dhamara, Gopalpur and many new ones in pipeline).

Camping on the riverbed in Satkosia: a Telegraph travel report

Angul, Ecotourism, Nature spots, River Cruise, Satkosia gorge and tiger reserve, Tourist promotion, Wild life 1 Comment »

The full article by Bibhuti Barik is at Following is the graphic from that article.

Sanghamitra Jena, founder of Eastern Treasure India Tours, brings Orissa to the world

Bhitarakanika, Chandaka, Chilika, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Ecotourism, Gopalpur-on-Sea, National Parks and Sanctuaries, Odisha personalities, Puri, Raghurajpur, Similpal, Tour Operators, Tourist promotion, Village Tourism, Wild life 4 Comments »

Following are excerpts from a beautiful Forbes India piece by Mindtree CEO Subroto Bagchi.

… it is called Dangamal.

This is a tiny village bordering 672 sq. km. of luxuriant mangroves that are home to the giant Indian saltwater crocodiles. It is an unbelievably beautiful and relatively un-spoilt place. There is the usual forest rest house here, but for the real enthusiast, there is tented accommodation of commendable quality run by a first generation woman entrepreneur named Sanghamitra Jena. I am here to see her.

… After some years, when we came back to Bhubaneswar, I contacted the government-run tourist office to check if they ran courses for would-be tour guides. There was a three-month course coming up and I signed up after paying a fee of Rs. 200.

… But how did you end up becoming an entrepreneur?” I ask. “It was a story of adversity,” she says. “After many years in the same organisation, I had to leave because of disagreements with a new supervisor. For a moment, I was at the crossroads. To my surprise and delight, it led to a flood of offers from other tour operators who had known my work. Seeing that, I told myself that these people are reaching out to me because they have confidence that I could bring them business. So why wasn’t I doing it for myself?

“I had a saving of just Rs. 40,000. I bought a laptop and started sending mails to people I knew from a cyber-café. Eastern Treasure India Tours was born. Clients started coming, I took them on my off-the-beaten track tours to not just places in Orissa but also Pelling, Gangtok and Kaziranga. Word spread. Business grew. Then one day, I felt I should have a product that enables the nature-lover to enjoy a place like the mangroves of Dangamal by living in a completely rural setting. So, I came to this village and I leased a plot of land for five years. I started a high-quality, tented accommodation, complete with Western-style toilets and clean food in a completely rural surrounding. I built a make-do Web site so people could check out the options and pay online.”

… I am not in Mumbai or Bangalore. This is Orissa. This is not a land of enterprise. For girls, there is a cul-de-sac called marriage. Yet, here is Sanghamitra who has built a business in the middle of nowhere.
Before we leave for the creeks to see the giant crocs basking under the mangroves, I ask her the size of her business this year.

She is bashful for a moment. Then she replies, “I will touch a crore this year”. also has a nice article on her at


Monuments of Orissa

Buddhist site, Heritage sites, Historical places, Konark, Monuments, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Tourist promotion Comments Off on Monuments of Orissa

Following are links from

Site Index, Part X: East India, before 1000

Maurya (323-185 BC)
Dhauli –
Ashoka’s Rock Edict (3)

Chedi (2d century BC – 1st century AD)
Udayagiri (Khandagiri) – Jain Cave Temples (8)

Orissan dynasties, 8th – 12th century
Ratnagiri – Buddhist Monastery (12)
Udayagiri – Buddhist Monastery (5)
Bhubaneshwar – Hindu Temples (31)

Site Index, Part XI: East India, 900-1400

Somavamshi (9th – early 11th century)
Hirapur –
Chaunsath Yogini Temple (9)

Eastern Ganga (10th – 14th century)
Konarak – Surya Temple (12)

Youtube videos of the 13 Orissa sites in NDTV’s shortlist of 7 Wonders of India

Angul, Anugul- Talcher - Saranga- Nalconagar, Bhitarakanika, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Chilika, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Heritage sites, Keonjhar, Konark, Lakes, Nandan Kanan, Puri, Raghurajpur, Rural artisan villages, Sambalpur, Sambaplur- Burla- Bargarh- Chipilima, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Sundergarh, Temples, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT and SHOPPING, Tourist promotion, Turtle nesting sites, Waterfalls 1 Comment »

The NDTV site of the 13 Orissa sites is at The youtube videos below are from The descriptions below and the pictures are from the NDTV sites and the youtube sites.

EIGHT Sites near Bhubaneswar:

A 64 Yogini Tantrik Site

Located in Bhubaneswar, Orissa.
The Sixty Four Yoginis temple at Hirapur is a circular enclosure with a narrow doorway to the eastern side. The diameter of the enclosure is 7.62 meters or 25 feet and height of the wall on the paved floor inside is 1.87 metres or 6 feet 2 inches. Yogini was considered sacred, hence this temple was created. Inside the temple there are 60 niches and in every niche there is a figure of a Yogini. All the Yogini images stand and are carved on black chlorite stone.

Nandan Kanan National Park

Located in Chandaka Forests, 20km from Bhubaneshwar, Orissa.
The park is spread in about 4 of area, while the wildlife
sanctuary is spread in around 5 sq. km. The park is home to more than 75 species of mammals and reptiles.The Nandan Kanan National park houses the very first captive gharial breeding centre of the country. Nandan Kanan justifies its literal meaning i.e. "Garden of Pleasure".

Lingaraja Bhubaneshwar Temple

Located in Bhubaneswar, Orissa.
The Lingaraja temple is located in a spacious courtyard covering
over 250000 sq feet and is bounded by fortified walls. Its tower rises up to 180 feet and is elaborately carved. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Lingam here is unique which is a harihara lingam -half Shiva and half Vishnu.
Built by Yayati Kesari in the 7th century. This temple is dedicated to Tribhubaneshwar or the Lord of Three Worlds. The Lingaraja temple is about 1000 years old.

Udaygiri and Khandagiri Caves

The caves are located atop the twin hills known as Udayagiri
(meaning the hill of the sunrise) and Khandagiri (meaning the
broken hill) which rise abruptly from the coastal plain, about 6km
West of Bhubaneswar, separated by a highway. Udaygiri caves are approximately 135 ft high and Khandagiri caves are 118 ft high.
The main attraction of these caves consists of its stupendous carvings. Of all the caves in Udaygiri, the largest one is the Rani Gumpha or the Queens Cave. The origin of the rock cut caves of Udaygiri and Khandagiri dates back to the 2nd century BC.
The caves are reminiscent of influence of Buddhism and Jainism in Orissa. The inscription and carvings on the walls show that they once served as Jain Monasteries.


Raghurajpur Craftsman Village

Located 14 kms from Puri in Orissa. The village is inhabited by artisans producing sheer poetry on pieces of treated cloth, dried palm leaf or paper. The Villages runs from east to west with houses arranged in two neat rows facing each other. In the centre runs a line of small temples. The village has a community of artisans who produce different verities of handicraft items like pata paintings, palm leaf
engravings, stone carvings, wooden toys and mask, wood carving, wooden toys, cow-dung toys, tusser paintings, etc. 


Puri Beach

Located on Shores of Bay of Bengal, at a mere distance of 35 kms from the Sun Temple and 65 kms from Bhubaneshwar. Pilgrims from all over India visit Puri to take a dip in the holy water of the rolling waves which is considered religious. It is renowned for the sand sculptures created particularly by the internationally famed Sudarshan Patnaik. Puri is the abode of Lord Jagannath and considered one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage destinations. The beach is a festive place where people come to relax and be entertained. It serves as the venue of the Puri Beach Festival.



Sun Temple, Konark

Situated at a distance from the famous religious and tourist centre of Puri (35 Km.) and the capital city of Bhubaneswar (65 Km). The entire temple was designed in the shape of a colossal chariot with seven horses and twenty four wheels, each about 10 feet in diameter, with a set of spokes and elaborate carvings. The Sun Temple of Konark marks the highest point of achievement of Kalinga architecture depicting the grace, the joy and the rhythm of
life all it`s wondrous variety. It was built by King Raja Narasinghs Deva-I of the Ganga Dynasty in the thirteenth century. It is a temple to Surya, the sun God.



Chilika Lake

Chilika Lake (also called Chilka lake) is a brackish water coastal lake in India`s Orissa state, south of the mouth of the Mantei River.
The area of the lake varies from 1165 km sq. in the monsoon season to 906 km sq. in the dry season, and is studded with numerous small islands. The lake is an important habitat and breeding ground for both
resident and migratory and aquatic birds, most notably flamingoes.
The lake was formed due to the silting action of the Mantei River
which drains into the northern end of the lake, and the northerly
currents in the Bay of Bengal, which have formed a sandbar along the eastern shore leading to the formation of a shallow lagoon.
The main attractions inside the lake are Kalijai Island, Honeymoon Island, Breakfast Island, Birds Island, Nalabana (Island of Reeds) and Parikud Island.


The Other Five sites in Orissa:

Olive Ridley Sea Turtles

Found in the Indian Ocean along the Bay of Bengal is Orissa. Average weight of the turtles is just over 100 lb (up to 50 kgs). They have a high-domed shell, with a carapace length of only 30 inches (70 cms). Olive Ridleys are omnivorous, feeding on crabs, shrimp, rock lobsters, sea grasses, snails, fish, sessile, pelagic tunocates and small invertebrates. The Orissa coast is one of the three sites worldwide where mass nesting of the olive ridley turtle occurs. This sea turtle is especially known for its mass nesting when several thousand turtles migrate to the breeding ground to mate and nest simultaneously. Hindu mythology worships sea turtles as an incarnation of one their gods. Over the past five years, sea turtles have suffered mass mortality along the Orissa coast due to death by drowning as incidental catch in trawl- fishing nets. About 5000 to 10,000 dead turtles have been washed ashore each year, a total of over 100,000 in the last ten years.


Sitabinji Caves

Situated on River Sita, 30 km from Keonjhar.  The structure is like a half opened umbrella. It depicts a royal procession.
It has gained prominence for the ancient fresco painting on a rock shelter called “Ravan Chhaya”.

Khandadhar Waterfalls (youtube videos)

Khandadhar Waterfall is located amidst the forest of Sundergarh  (specific location is Nandapani). The Khandadhar Falls is categorized as a horsetail waterfall. The falls appear to be located on a smaller watercourse, though are said to be perennial.
During the monsoon months the water from the Koprani Nala, a rivulet, overflows and it drops down as a fall from a height of 800 feet.
This waterfall because of its height is visible from a distance of about 5 kilometres.

Hirakud River Dam (youtube videos)

Located 15 km from Sambalpur, Orissa. The Hirakud Dam is built across the Mahanadi River, about 15 km from Sambalpur in the state of Orissa in India. The dam regulates the flow of the Mahanadi River and produces hydroelectricity through several hydroelectric plants. Hirakund dam is about 4.8 km long, bordered by earthen dykes on its left as well as right. Built in 1956, the dam is the world`s largest earthen dam. The dam helps control floods in the Mahanadi delta and irrigates 7,500,000 hectares of land. Hirakud dam was the first post- independence river valley project in India.

Sleeping Vishnu Temple

The sleeping statue of Lord Vishnu is situated in Bhimkund, at a distance of about 28 kilometres from Talcher. The sleeping image of Vishnu at Bhimkund is second only to Gomateswar (Karnataka) in size. It has the honour of being the largest sleeping image in India.
In spite of its magnanimity, image contains a natural softness. The period of its creation is believed to be 8th-9th century AD.

Bhitarakanika, a Ramsar site of International importance, is proposed for a world heritage site

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Following is an excerpt from a report in

… In India, just five natural sites have been accorded the WHS status. Manas, Kaziranga, Keoladeo, Sundarbans and Valley of Flowers – all national parks – have made it to the list between 1985 and 1988. No natural site has made into the list after that.

Currently, the Sun Temple at Konark is the only site in Orissa to have been accorded the elite WHS status. The Sri Jagannath Temple at Puri was proposed but in vain.

This time around, the Government of India has chosen seven natural sites to be projected before Unesco. Deserts have made it to the list this year.

It is Bhitarkanika’s unique eco-system that has worked in its favour. After Sunderbans, it is home to the second largest mangrove forest in India.

The wetland, one of India’s finest coastal ecosystems, is home to the country’s biggest salt water crocodiles. The latest crocodile census has put their number at over 1,500. Besides, it possesses Gahirmatha, largest nesting ground for Olive Ridley turtles in the world.

However, much depends on the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun, which is entrusted with the responsibility of presenting the case of the natural sites before Unesco. In fact, role of IUCN too would come to play during selection in case of natural sites.

In view of its exquisite flora and fauna, the State Government had notified it as a wildlife sanctuary in 1975. The sanctuary spreads over 672 sq km. In 1998, the core area of Bhitarkanika consisting of 145 sq. km was declared a national park.

The area was accorded the status of Ramsar site of International Importance in 2002 in view of its unique and fragile biodiversity. A proposal to notify it as a biosphere is underway.

The following map is from

Following are some pictures from a report in

Following is a description of it from

Widely acclaimed for its biodiversity in flora and fauna, it is the second largest compact mangrove ecosystem in India. It is also a Sanctuary and National Park. Extending over more than six hundred square kilometres, it is one of the very few evergreen repository of most luxuriant mangrove vegetation in the world. More than sixty varieties of mangrove plants are found here which provide home to a variety of rare and endangered species. The pneumatophores, better known as breathing roots, stand like sentries of the land.

Bounded by rivers on the three sides and the sea on the fourth, Bhitarkanika is criss crossed by numerous creeks and canals which finally meet the sea and make the estuarine delta, the playground of the Bay of Bengal. When the tide enters, the forest floats and the water kisses the foliage. As it recedes, the multi layer mud flats on the banks of the creeks expose their bosom with fiddler crabs, mud skipper fish, little reptiles and the like. it’s a sight to watch.

This deltaic region comprises a couple of tiny islands formed by the meandering creeks. With Dangmal at the centre stage (the others being Ekakula, Habalikhati etc), Bhitarakanika is a natural habitat of a lot of wild creatures like Crocodiles, King Cobra, Pythons, Wild Pigs, Rhesus Monkey, Sambars, Spotted Deer etc. There. is a Crocodile Breeding Farm at Dangmal. The pride possession of this Farm is the White Crocodile Sankhua, a rare species in the World.

Over 170 species of resident and migratory birds of different hue enhance the beauty of the wild. Prominent among them are King Fisher, Open billed Storks, Sea Eagles, Kites, Sand Pipers, Darters, Whistling Teals, Sea Gulls, etc. The chirping of birds nesting at Baga Gahana is sure to leave an indelible impression in any body’s mind. Watching the wildlife in their natural habitat while cruising through the creeks is a thrilling experience. A trek on the laid out routes will also be equally rewarding.

Another amazing phenomenon of nature here is the visit of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles to Gahirmatha in lakhs twice every year between January and March to lay eggs en masse.

An unexpected additional attraction is the remains of tw 9th century monument – a temple dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva and the other, a Shakti Shrine at Dangmal.

Away from the blinding lights and deafening sound, Bhitarakanika is a different world altogether, a real retreat in the lap of nature. Once in here, the world outside will virtually disappear. Back in work place, the memory will haunt like a fairy tale.

Entry Points :
Permission to visit Bhitarakanika can be obtained from Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar, PIN : 754225, Ph: (06729) 72460 or Assistant Conservator of Forests, Chandbali, Pin . 756133, Ph: (06786) 20372 on payment of prescribed fees.
Best season to visit – October to June.

Approach : Bhitarakanika can be approached only through water ways. Most convenient entry points being –

    *      Chandbali (60 km from Bhadrak and 190 km from Bhubaneswar)
    *      Rajnagar (30 km from Kendrapara and 130 km from Bhubaneswar)
    *      Gupti (25 km from Rajnagar)

Motor boats are available on hire
Rajnagar to Dangmal – 3 hrs
Chandbali to Dangmal – 3 hrs
Gupti to Dangmal – 1.5 hrs
Regular bus service are available to Chandbali and Rajnagar.

Nearest Rail head –

    *      Bhadrak (60 km from Chandbali)
    *      Balasore (110 km from Chandbali)
    *      Cuttack (110 km from Rajnagar)
    *      Bhubaneswar (190 km from Chandbali and 130 km from Rajnagar)

Nearest Airport – Bhubaneswar and Kolkata


    *      Aranyanivas, Chandbali
      Reservation : Tourist Officer, Balasore. Ph : (06782) 362048
    *       Forest Lodge-Dangmal, Ekakula, Gupti and Habalikhati.
      Reservation : Divisional, Forest Officer, Mangrove,,Forest,Division, Rajnagar. Dist: Kendrapada, PIN -754225 Ph.(06729), 72460. 

Swosti Hotel group’s plan for Puri and Chilika

Beaches, Bhubaneswar-Berhampur, Bhubaneswar-Puri, Chilika, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Ganjam, Hotels and resorts, Khordha, Puri, Puri, Tourist promotion 1 Comment »

Following is an excerpt from a report in

Swosti Group is redesigning two of its upcoming resorts according to chartered tourist requirements, since both properties were initially designed for individual and MICE segments. Puri’s Swosti Chandan Spa Resort and the company’s upcoming resort at Chilka, Orissa will undergo a number of redesigning and renovation processes as they target chartered segments (in large numbers), instead of regular tourists.

About this sudden change in plans, S Patnaik, General Manager, Swosti Group, told Hospitalitybiz, “We have experienced a sudden influx of MICE travellers in Bhubaneswar; this has resulted in many hospitality giants commissioning projects in the state capital. Similarly, other places in the state, especially Puri and Chilka, will be ideal to host chartered segments. Moreover, the segment’s favourite Indian destinations like Goa and Kerala are exceeding their carrying capacity; therefore, chartered operators are now looking for other options.”

The number of chartered flights to Puri is increasing from 180 to 250. Hence, Swosti Group is already in talks with leading chartered tour operators in India, who have exhibited an interest in the suggested places and upcoming properties. “Our Puri property was earlier designed with 70 rooms, but the inventory has been hiked to 100 rooms in favour of hosting chartered groups. The Chilka property, which has not been named as yet, will offer 50 cottages to start with, while it will be somewhat experimental with chartered tourists. The Chilka property will upgrade rapidly if it did well with the mentioned segment,” informed Patnaik. Slated to start operations in October 2008, both properties will take another few months to start. “The season for this segment (to visit India) is from October – March 2008,” added Patnaik. He added that even though the company will lose out on most of the season, it wishes to atleast begin catering to some chartered tourists.

On the other changes in terms of architect and design, Patnaik said that both properties will highlight their swimming pool as it is the biggest attraction for the chartered segment. The resorts will be equipped with bigger lawns and additional private areas as the segment does not appreciate external disturbance from other guests. “We are working on the properties’ sloping structures and the proximity of the pools and beaches from the resorts,” informed Patnaik.

…  We are inclining our properties towards chartered tourists as we will be able to provide them with the peace and serenity that they seek.” Swosti Group is also interested in presenting Buddhist tourism to this segment, in a new light. has a good collection of articles on Orissa spots

Chandipur, Chilika, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Gopalpur-on-Sea, Heritage sites, Hills and hill stations, Historical places, Konark, Mahanadi tourism, National Parks and Sanctuaries, Nature spots, Puri, Similpal, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Temples, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT and SHOPPING, Tourist promotion, Travelogue 1 Comment »

Their page on Orissa is at The list of sites in Orissa that they cover are:

Hoteliers selected for the Shamuka beach project

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Hotels and resorts, Puri, Puri, Shamuka Beach project, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Tourist promotion 1 Comment »

Following is from a report in hospitalitybizindia.

Eleven hospitality majors like the Indian Hotels Company, ITC Welcomgroup, Dubai-based Emaar MGF, DLF, IHHR Hospitality, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels, Goa-based VM Salgaonkar Bros Pvt Ltd, Unitech, Delhi-based Zoom Developers, Kolkata-based Shristi Infrastructure Development Corporation and Mumbai-based Subha Hospitality have been selected by the Tourism Department of Orissa to convert Samukha Beach, the long virgin beach situated near the Konark Temple, into the biggest beach city of India.

The project was planned to be completed in two phases on a public private partnership (PPP) format in October 2007. The beach city will house five-star properties, golf courses, convention centres, handicrafts centres, art centres and conventions halls. It will also include special varieties of housing estates, social housings, condominiums, budget hotels and villas.

The Tourism Department inaugurated the commencement of the awaited hop-on and hop-off bus services, recently. Sasank Rath, Officer on Special Duty, Orissa Tourism said that the work for sizing of the lands is currently going on, while lands will be disbursed by the end of August 2008. The Tourism Department plans to invest Rs 2000-3000 Crore to build the whole project. The State Government will invest Rs100 Crore for infrastructure development. Work on the project is expected to start in August 2008 and it will take another 42 months for it to be completed.


Hop on – Hop off tourist bus to debut in Bhubaneswar from August first week: Samaja

Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Khordha, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Tourist promotion, TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION Comments Off on Hop on – Hop off tourist bus to debut in Bhubaneswar from August first week: Samaja

Beautifying Bhubaneswar — the murals of Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Murals and Wall paintings, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT and SHOPPING, Tourist promotion 1 Comment »

Update: See for hundreds of pictures.

See pictures at and

CM meets the union tourism minister

Airports and air connectivity, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Chief Minister's actions, Khordha, Konark, Press release, Odisha Govt., Puri, Puri, Railways, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT and SHOPPING, Tourist promotion Comments Off on CM meets the union tourism minister

The following is from




New Delhi March 20, 2008

Shri Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister, Orissa met Smt. Ambika Soni, Union Minister, Tourism & Culture today and discussed about various tourism projects of the State. The Chief Minister demanded for an early sanction of Rs.50 crore for development of tourism infrastructure and facilities in the famous tourism circuit of Bhubaneswar-Konark-Puri-Chilika under the Mega Circuit Scheme. The Union Minister agreed to include the circuit of Bhubaneswar-Konark-Puri-Chilika under the Mega Circuit Scheme and extend all necessary assistance under the scheme for its integrated development. She also agreed to consider release of 50% of the funds immediately.

The Chief Minister asked for a direct flight and a thematic tourist train to connect Varanasi and Bodhigaya with the Buddhist sites of Orissa. This would provide a great boost to employment and tourism in the State. The Union Minister intimated that the Government of India will extend all support for the connectivity of the Buddist sites. She also agreed to take up the matter with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Ministry of Railways soon. She also intimated that the matter of rail connectivity of Bhubaneswar, Banaras and Gaya will be discussed with the Planning Commission and Ministry of Railways soon.

The Chief Minister urged the Union Minister to take up the project of sound and light show for Konark, which is a world heritage site and also for the historic Barabati Fort at Cuttack. The Union Minister was also requested for expeditious completion of the sound and light show at Khandagiri. The Chief Minister also demanded for better maintenance of the historical monuments, Buddhist sites, temples and other protected monuments by the Archeological Survey of India.

Plans for a maritime museum in Jobra and Brindavan Garden like parks in Naraj and Hirakud: Samaja

Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Cuttack, Khordha, Samaja (in Odia), Sambalpur, Tourist promotion Comments Off on Plans for a maritime museum in Jobra and Brindavan Garden like parks in Naraj and Hirakud: Samaja


8th Konark festival: 1st to 5th December (Schedule from a Samaja ad)

Festivals, Konark, Konark Festival, Tourist promotion Comments Off on 8th Konark festival: 1st to 5th December (Schedule from a Samaja ad)

See also Following are some excerpts:

The annual Konark Festival, which is held in an open air auditorium with the temple as the backdrop, showcases a magical parade of India’s classical and traditional dance forms. Eminent dancers and their troupe delight visitors in the wintry evening of early December with dramatic choreographies.

Besides, the dance performances the visitors will be treated, in an Artist Camp, to an exhibition of Orissan temple sculptures which are often described as poetry transcribed on stone. Sand Art exhibition will be yet another attraction for tourists.



1st Session
(6.00 PM – 7.00 PM)

2nd Session
(7.00 PM – 8.00 PM)


GKCM Odissi Research Centre, Bhubaneswar  

Bireshwar Gautam, Mumbai


Dr. Venkit & Troupe, Kerala

(Dakshya Mashruwalla & Group), Mumbai


Banshi Bilas, Bhubaneswar

Geeta Chandran, New Delhi


Shyamala Sundaran, Kerala

Madhavi Mudgal & Group, New Delhi


Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalay, Bhubaneswar

Performing Art Centre, Imphal, Manipur

It is a festival of classical dances of India performed at the backdrop of the Sun Temple, Konark.

Konark Festival was organised for the first time in 1989 in the Open Air Auditorium at Konark constructed with the financial assistance of Government of India.

Conceived as a festival of Classical Dances of India, the objective of Konark Festival was to promote Konark as well as Orissa as place of tourist destination.

Initially during the year 1989 and 1990, the festival was being organised for a period of 3 days. Subsequently increased to 7 days during 1991 and 1992 in different dates. Since 1993 the festival is being organised for a period of 5 days from December 1-5 every year. The festival was however not organised during 1999 due to the Super Cyclone.


Gurukul project: Organized by Konark Natya Mandap, Konark

Arts n crafts, Chhau, Festivals, Jatra, Konark, Odia music, Odisha Culture, Odisha dances, Odisha theatre, Odissi, Palla and Daskathia, Tourist promotion Comments Off on Gurukul project: Organized by Konark Natya Mandap, Konark

This is a very interesting set of training programs and presentations in traditional performance arts such as:

  • Ghanta Mardala
  • Shankirtan
  • Gotipua dance
  • Chhau dance
  • Odissi mardala
  • Odissi dance
  • Odissi Vocal
  • Shankhi Nata
  • Shabda Nrutya
  • Pala
  • Danda Nata
  • Dhudki Nata
  • Ghoda nata
  • Daskathia


Central funds for development of Nrusinghanath and Harishankar temples

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Following is an excerpt from a report in Pragativadi on this.

The Centre has sanctioned Rs 5 crore for the development of Nrusinghanath and Harishankar temples, the two famous tourist and pilgrimage destinations of Orissa.

According to official sources, Rs 2.32 crore and Rs 2.62 crore have been sanctioned for Nrusinghanath and Harishankar temples respectively.

Besides, Rs 1.28 crore has been sanctioned for the 64-Yogini Pitha of Ranipur-Jharial. The Central funds will be used for beautifying the pilgrimage spots, making arrangements for bathing at the local fountain, construction of a rest house for the tourists and setting up new markets, the sources added.

Dolphin Theme park in Satpada, Chilika – Orissa

Chilika, Nature spots, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT and SHOPPING, Tourist promotion, Wild life 1 Comment »

(a picture of Dolphins in Satapada from the Orissa government photo gallery)
Dolphins in Satpada

New Indian express reports that an ecological park will be setup in Satpada. Satpada is famous for Irrawady dolphins in the area. Following are excerpts from the New Indian Express article.

Satpada, the approach to the home of Irrawady dolphins in Chilika, will soon have a distinct feel and look about it. Almost everything about this tourist spot would now connect either to the brackish water lagoon or to its rare aquatic species.

A theme-based park and illumination based on dolphins will be the highlight of the face-lift that the State Government is planning for this tourist site.

The tourist arrival in Chilika through Satpada is on the rise – from 76,000 in 2005 to 96,000 in 2006 and the Government is keen to leverage from it.

The Centre for Environment Education (CEE), Ahmedabad, has been roped in by Chilika Development Authority (CDA) to conceptualise and design an eco-park at Satpada over a 4.5 acre land near the latter’s visiting centre.

Estimated at a budget of Rs 15 lakh, the park’s central theme will revolve around Chilika itself. “The park will give tourists a feel of the ambience of the lagoon. Special sections on avian and aquatic species of Chilika will find place in the park,” CDA Chief Executive Dr Sudarshan Panda said.

Besides, CDA has also tied up with a private sector electrical major which has designed what it terms ‘dolphin-lights’ for the first time. Panda said, the lights are designed in dolphin shape and are going to be launched at Satpada where streetlights will be installed over a stretch of 400 metres.

Apart from disseminating information about the lagoon, these measures will also put up a strong case for conservation needs of the lagoon. The Orissa Government has already banned use of polythene bags in the lagoon and CDA has been authorised to implement it.

Panda said a local development committee is also being constituted to look after maintenance of the new installations. The committee will have power to collect parking fees from tourists and maintain streetlights in days to come.”

A business standard article on monsoon tourism talks about Goa, Kerala and Orissa

Arts village, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Chilika, Puri, Raghurajpur, Temples, Tourist promotion Comments Off on A business standard article on monsoon tourism talks about Goa, Kerala and Orissa

A business standard article on monsoon tourism talks about Goa, Kerala and Orissa. Following is what it says about Orissa.

The monsoon at one of the most underestimated destinations in India, Orissa, is a surprise. The destination is wonderful, but unfortunately it’s just not sold very well yet. You can get a three night, four day Bhubaneswar and Puri package from Thomas Cook for Rs 12,950 onwards per couple, not including the airfare.

The trip includes visits to Khandagiri, Dhaulagiri and Udaygiri in Bhubaneswar as well as many temples, including the world-famous Lingaraj and the Mukteshwar temples. You would also be taken to Kalijai island, about three hours from Bhubaneswar, and then, on the way to Puri, you can check out the applique work at Pipli village.

Puri is famous for the Jagannath Puri temple, with its fabulous annual procession. Close to Puri is an interesting artisans’ village called Raghurajpur. The village is famous for Patta Chitra work (paintings on palm leaves). In Orissa you get an opportunity to view dolphins in the Chilka Lake. After you are through with the Sun Temple at Konark, don’t forget to pick a few Sambhalpuri sarees.

Bhubaneswar among the four initial “shopping tourism destinations”

Arts n crafts, Arts village, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Handicrafts, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT and SHOPPING, Tourist promotion Comments Off on Bhubaneswar among the four initial “shopping tourism destinations”

Following are excerpts from a report in on this:

… Talking on the prospects of shopping tourism, Soni said initially the government had identified four places across India – Noida, Hyderabad, Aurangabad and Bhubaneswar – to develop as shopping tourism destinations.

‘This new concept of shopping tourism will help local artisans get a good market for selling their traditional artefacts. Subsequently, it will create tremendous amount of job opportunities in different rural pockets and will also promote the cultural heritage of our country. The union ministry is also looking at some other places, including West Bengal, to develop as shopping tourism destinations,’ she said. …

This PTI report in Hindu elaborates on one point.

Noida in Uttar Pradesh with world-class facilities, Shilpagram near Hyderabad, permanent art and crafts fair at Bhubaneswar and another at Aurangabad near Ajanta-Ellora in Maharashtra are the shopping tourism destinations coming up.

Tourism in the 11th Five year plan

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Following are excerpts from a Telegraph report on this.

The government will develop 100 heritage circuits for tourists by the end of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan. Of these, 25 are expected to be of international standard.

The government plans to build world-class infrastructure at Hampi, Agra, Konark, Khajuraho, Orccha and Datia along with the Buddhist and Jain circuit tourist centres. Moreover, 10 new heritage circuits are expected to be identified every year. To develop cultural tourism, the government has identified six museums — one each in Calcutta, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Cochin. These will be upgraded so that they can compete with global rivals.

Important religious pilgrimage sites will also be developed. The tourism ministry has identified 11 sites. These are the four dhams of Uttaranchal — Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri — Sabrimala in Kerala, Kamakhya temple in Guwahati, Dwarakadhish in Gujarat, Puri in Orissa, Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Kanchi Kamkioti and Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu. …

Rakesh Mathur, president of ITC Welcome Heritage, said, “Heritage sites in India need to be looked after well. A combination of dining, storytelling and live entertainment can do wonders and create a lot of interest in travellers.”

Kalinga’s mother and relatives take her back after abandoning her for 41 days

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Cuttack, Khordha, National Parks and Sanctuaries, Tourist promotion Comments Off on Kalinga’s mother and relatives take her back after abandoning her for 41 days

A one year old baby, named Kalinga, was abandoned by its parents and relatives; after 41 days she was taken back by them. This happened in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. Should not we be outraged by the fact that the baby was abandoned in the first place? Should not the parents be put in jail for abandoning their months old baby? And what has this got to do with the growth of Orissa. Read more and watch the following embedded video to find out why this is such a sweet and charming story and its happening in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, makes Bhubaneswar an attractive place.

You see Kalinga is a baby elephant which got isolated from its herd when the herd had strayed into Bhubaneswar from the adjacent Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary. The wild life staff tried many ways for the baby elephant to be taken back by its herd, and finally yesterday a herd took it back. Although the wild life staff which fed it with lactogen is worried about its future feeding, they are extremely happy that the baby elephant was taken back to the wild.This is Bhubaneswar. A city with a similar sized elephant sanctuary just next to it. We discussed this sanctuary in earlier postings (here and here). I have never gone inside the sanctuary, but I will definitely go there in my next visit and spend some time in the Bharatpur watch tower to watch elpehants in the wild. I wonder if there is any other city in India where you have an elephant sanctuary right next to it. This aspect of Bhubaneswar is not much known. May be it should remain that way despite this posting.

Note: New Indian Express has a nice report on the forest officers attempt to reunite the lost baby elephant with its herd. Following are some excerpts.

It’s something unheard of but Kalinga which slipped into a small well after getting isolated from its main pack that strayed into an OUAT farm on May 5, finally found acceptance on Saturday from a group of 22 elephants in forests of Chandaka, on the City outskirts.

Two forest guards monitoring the calf saw how it was welcomed into folds of two herds near the watch tower of the protected area. Kalinga was allowed to roam near a water point adjoining the watch tower at Bharatpur.

The herds – in groups of four and 18 – reached the spot at 5.30 pm where a female, as if in a gesture of welcome, tugged at the calf before dragging it into the group. The rest encircled the baby and vanished into the jungle. …

The Chandaka Sanctuary officials had tried the reunion earlier but in vain. Kalinga was kept confined in a breakable enclosure near sanctuary’s entrance at Godibari but the herds would pass by it.

However, DFO Akshay Kumar Patnaik was not one to give up hope. The calf was shifted near Bharatpur watch tower on June 11 as the area is frequented by several herds because of the water point. On the first day itself, two herds came calling but Kalinga found no acceptance.

Then the calf was freed from its enclosure so as to facilitate interaction with the approaching herds. On Tuesday, three packs came across the calf and approached it but Kalinga was reluctant and returned to its base where it is fed and taken care of by the forest officials, Patnaik said.

On Saturday, Kalinga had ‘lactogen’ for lunch and what followed was nothing short of milestone in wildlife management.

But sanctuary officials are worried about Kalinga’s diet as it was on lactogen for last 41 days and could face difficulty in taking milk from its mother.

Following is a picture of Kalinga with a mature elephant trying to take it back. This did not work out. The picture is from Kalinga Times photo gallery and the photo was taken by DFO Akshaya Patnaik. But the next attempt succeeded. (CNN-IBN also has a nice video.)



There are several other charming stories associated with the Chandaka Sanctuary. Decades ago a royal Bengal tiger from the sanctuary jumped into the enclosure of another tiger in the adjoining Nandan Kanan zoo. More about this another day.




Orissa planning a palace on wheels

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The Hindu reports that Orissa is planning a palace on wheels similar to the concept of the one in Rajasthan. It will be the 3rd such state after Rajasthan and Haryana. I’m sure that Orissa has higher potential than these two states in terms of tourism. Following is an excerpt.

In an attempt to attract more tourists to the state, Orissa tourism has mooted to introduce luxury trains for travellers following Rajashtan’s much hyped palace-on-wheels model. If implemented, Orissa would be the third state in the country after Rajashtan and Haryana to be the proud provider of this service. Sources in the Department of Tourism said talks were on with the Ministry of Railways for earliest launch of the service following which the Indian Tourism Finance Corporation has undertaken a survey to find the feasibility of the project.

The project proposal has already been endorsed to the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) that has evinced keen interest in it, the sources added.

Collaborative project

While the Ministry would provide the luxury train, the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) would look after the hospitality expenses of travellers, the proposal says. It would be a collaborative project of the IRCTC and the OTDC, it was learnt.

The travel plan would extend over a minimum period of one week and a maximum period of a fortnight.

The train would commence its journey from Kolkata and would be back to its originating point via Balasore, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Berhampur, Koraput, Sambalpur and Rourkela, it was learnt.

Nice step.