Rath Yatra festival is one of the most famous festivals celebrated with great pomp and grandeur in the state of Orissa. The festival is celebrated in Orissa’s seaside town ‘Puri’ and is associated with the Jagannath Temple of Puri; a much-revered pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Vaishnavites.
- Puri sightseeing and excursion to Chilika lake
- Experience the iconic Rath yatra festival
- Visit to the famous heritage crafts village of Odisha - Konark
- Scenic road trip to Bhubaneshwar
- Full day Bhubaneswar sightseeing
Day 1 :Arrive Puri At Puri
Upon arrival at Puri railway station, you’ll be greeted by our tour representative who escorts you to your pre-booked hotel. Puri is an important spiritual destination of the country; a revered seat of Lord Jagannath and a bustling beach town of Orissa. The spiritual importance of Puri lies in the fact that it is home to the famous Jagannath Temple; one of the Chardhams of the All India Chardham Circuit.
Later in the day we make an excursion to Chilika; a vast saltwater lagoon set on the country’s eastern coast. The lake covers an area extending between 600sqkms and 1100sqkms and is laid out across the Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Orissa. A narrow strip of salt marsh known by the name of Rajahansa cuts off Chilika Lake from the Bay of Bengal, resulting in the formation of Chilika Lake; Asia’s largest lagoon. The pear-shaped Lake is dotted with several small and big islands of which Breakfast Island and Honeymoon Island are the most charming. Chilika Lake is a celebrated Ramsar Site as it consists in the most accommodating and extensive ecosystem wherein thrives a vast array of fauna and flora. We’ll explore the Chilika Lake in speedboats and you may carry with you your binoculars to visualize with clarity the many exotic migratory birds and dolphins that you may see here. After spending few hours at Chilika, we’ll return back to Puri by evening.
The evening is left free to you. You may utilize the time by taking a stroll on the Puri beach that offers the symphony of roaring waves and bustling crowds keeping your attention engaged all the time. There are souvenir stalls on the beach and you may spend some time at the stalls shopping souvenirs.
Post stroll and shopping, we return to hotel for dinner and night stay.
Day 2 :Rath Yatra Darshan
Next day we proceed to visualize one of Asia’s most iconic chariot festivals and a pompous spiritual spectacle in the true sense of term, the Puri Rath Yatra. Three magnificent Chariots carrying the three deities of the Jagannath temple; namely Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra begin procession from Jagannath Temple to reach Gundicha Temple which is believed to be the Lord’s aunt’s house. According to religious beliefs, Lord Jagannath along with His brother and sister departs from his own abode to reach His Aunt’s House for a mid-summer vacation. This journey of the lord from his own house to that of his aunt’s is celebrated in the form of the annual Rath Yatra festival in Puri. During this festival alone, the commoners too can catch a glimpse of all the 3 deities of the Jagannath Temple. huge crowds of people gather to watch this festival and lay their hands on the ropes attached to the chariot for dragging the chariots. It is an experience in itself to do so and is said to pave the path towards moksha for the doer. We will watch the Rath yatra procession from rooftop and hence people who are interested to take awesome clicks of the festival can do so with ease. After being part of this grand and joyous festival, we’ll return to hotel for dinner and night stay.
Day 3 :Puri – Konark
Next day we leave for Konark from Puri en route Raghurajpur; the famous heritage crafts village in the state of Orissa. The houses in this crafts village belong to artisans who are probably practicing the art of Pattachitra across many generations. The village laid out along the river banks of River Bhargavi showcases the rich crafts, arts and cultural heritages of the state of Orissa. In the village we’ll be able to see the arts and crafts like Tussar Paintings, palm leaf artworks, Papier Mache toy crafts and stone carvings from close proximity. After spending few hours in this crafts village we’ll head straight to Konark, another well-known coastal town of Orissa. On reaching check into hotel, freshen up, rest for some time and later set out to explore the tourist places of Konark.
First we’ll visit famous Konark Sun Temple; a UNESCO recognized world heritage site. King Narasimha deva, a ruler belonging to the Eastern Ganga dynasty had built this magnificent Sun Temple around 1250AD. Konark Sun temple, also known as ‘Black Pagoda’ is shaped in the form of Sun God’s colossal chariot consisting in twelve pairs of richly carved, giant wheels and seven, robust horses. The temple stands in close proximity to the Chandrabhaga beach. Bathing in the sea at the Chandrabhaga beach comes with miraculous healing powers and is said to cure those affected by leprosy.
Day 4 :Konark – Bhubaneshwar
Next day after breakfast we hit the road for Bhubaneshwar; the capital city of the state of Orissa. En route we visit three major tourist attractions; i.e. Pipli village, Dhauli Hills and Chausath Yogini shrine. The scenic village of Pipli falling on the highway between Puri and Bhubaneshwar is a crafts village of Orissa home to numerous skilled artisans who excel in the colorful craft of appliqué work. After spending few hours at Pipli and visualizing the craft from close proximity, we visit the Dhauli hills; a Buddhist pilgrimage destination. It is a hillock lying along the banks of River Daya. The top attractions at Dhauli Hill include rock edicts of King Ashoka and a Shanti Stupa atop the hill. Next we visit the Chausathi Yogini shrine of Hirapur. The temple dates back to the 9th century and is an abode of Devi Shakti and her yoginis, 64 in number. This circular shaped temple with an open top is a rare surviving specimen of Tantric Buddhist shrine. After visiting this temple we drive straight to Bhubaneswar and check into our pre-booked hotel for dinner and night stay.
Day 5 :At Bhubaneshwar
Post breakfast, we set out for Bhubaneshwar city tour. The city of Bhubaneshwar is as old as 3500 years. The city is bequeathed with glorious heritage, temple and monuments, art and culture. The city is often referred to as ‘Temple city of Orissa’ as it is dotted with innumerable temples. Also, Bhubaneshwar is regarded as the ‘gateway to splendid Orissa’. During the city tour of Bhubaneshwar, we’ll visit places like Rajarani temple, Ananta Vasudeva temple, Lingaraj temple. The marvelous architecture of yesteryears is beautifully showcased in these temples. We’ll also visit few temples of the modern era like Ram Mandir, ISKCON Temple. Later, we visit the caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri. The inscriptions you get to see on the walls of these caves are believed to date back to the 1st and 2nd centuries. Next we visit the Nandankanan Zoological Park. The park sprawls across 400 hectares and is home to both zoo as well as botanical garden. Enjoy a thrilling lion or tiger safari at the park. Post sightseeing return to hotel for dinner and night stay.
Day 6 :Departure Bhubaneshwar
Today is the last day of this tour. You’ll be dropped at Bhubaneshwar airport/railway station where our representative sees you off and you proceed for your onward journey back home with lots of happy memories of the tour.
- Meals as per itinerary
- Accommodation as per itinerary
- Toll taxes, driver allowance, parking charges, fuel price
- Guided sightseeing tour
- Pick up and drop off service
- Any expense of personal nature
- Extra charges in case of an emergency
- Shopping, tipping, portage, laundry
- Monument entrance fees, camera charges
- Anything not in the inclusions section
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q.Why is Chilika lake famous?
A. Chilika lake falls in the UNESCO world heritage culture centre for being the largest wintering ground for migratory waterfowl found anywhere in india.
Q.When does the Rath yatra festival take place?
A. Annually rath yatra takes place in the months of either June or July.
Q.Which is the nearest railway station to Konark sun temple?
A. Puri railway station is the nearest station to Konark sun temple. From here people can hire a cab or a shared taxi service.
Q.How far is Raghurajpur from Konark?
A. The heritage village of Raghurajpur is about an hour away from konark sun temple.
Q.What should I shop for in Bhubaneshwar?
A. Bhubaneswar is mainly known for its woven ikat fabrics.