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Orissa Ecstasy with Wildlife

Description

This tour is an expedition packed with great scenic views, ancient religious monuments with amazing beaches and wild life sanctuary that will fascinate you. The Golden Triangle of the East will give you an insight into the history of Hindusim, Buddhism and Jainism practiced in the old times. You will watch the majestic white tigers in The Nandan Kannan Zoo right inside the forest and experience amazing wild life in the Bhitarkanika sanctuary which is home to the salt water crocodile, white crocodile, several species of snakes and many other varieties of flora and fauna. Unwind yourself in the beaches of Gopalpur and watch the mesmerizing sunset and Puri a haven for beach lovers as you enjoy the sports activities and experience the thunderous wild sea waves while you tread in the white sands .

Itinerary

Destinations: Kolkata – Bhubaneshwar – Konark – Puri- Chilka – Gopalpur – Bhubaneshwar – Bhitarkanika – Kolkata

Duration: 11 nights/12 days

Day 1

Arrive Kolkata

On arrival you will be met our representative who will welcome you and transfer you to your hotel. He will assist you in the check in formalities and explain the itinerary to you. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2

In Kolkata

Post breakfast you will embark on a city sight tour of the City of Joy, Kolkata, once the capital city of the Britishers. Kolkata is culturally a vibrant city with its blend of British and Indian architecture. You will Mother’s House headquarters of the International religious congregation of the Missionaries of Charity which has been a home to Mother Teresa and her sisters since 1955, Marble Palace – a nineteenth century palatial mansion built in the Neo classical architecture style which houses many western sculptures, Victorian furniture, paintings by European and Indian artists and many varied artefacts. Then on to Victoria Memorial a large white marble building built between 1906 and 1921 dedicated to Queen Victoria now converted to a museum. Admire the splendid sculptures on the dome. Visit Parasnath Jain Temple built by Ray Badridas Bahadur in 1867which is one of the most revered shrines of the Jains in Kolkata known for its enthralling beauty with a scenic beautiful garden decorated with glass mosaics and silver European styled statues, and St. Paul’s Cathedral, Riverside (Princep Ghat), Jorashankho Thakur Bari (abode of the Nobel Laurate Rabindranath Tagore).
Drive Pass : General Post Office, Shaheed Minar, Eden Gardens, Akashvani Bhawan, Writers’ Building, Raj Bhawan, High Court, Maidan, Town Hall, Race Course, Lal Dighi Street, Andrews Church.
Drive over : Howrah Bridge or Vidyasagar Setu. Return to the Hotel.
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3

Kolkata – Bhubaneshwar ( By air)

After breakfast, this morning you will be transferred to the airport to connect flight to Bhubaneshwar, the capital city known as the “Temple City of India” as it has around 600 temples and thus is a centre of religious importance in India. Bhubaneshwar is a confluence of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain heritage boasting of some of the finest Kalingan temples with many 6th – 13th century CE Hindu temples, and together with Puri and Konarak if forms the “Golden Triangle” of the East. You will be assisted on arrival and transferred to Hotel. Later you will proceed to visit the Lingaraj Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and the largest temple in the city representing the quintessence of the Kalinga architecture. The unique feature of this temple is the Swayambhu Linga – a merge of half Lord Vishnu and half Lord Shiva. The central tower of the temple is 55m tall and built in the Deula style that has 4 components, sanctum, assembly hall, festival hall and hall of offerings. Next in line is the Mukteshwar temple which dates back to the 10 th century dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a monument of importance in the study of the development of Hindu Temples in Odisha. The sculptures in the temple seem so realistic tht they narrate the thoughtfulness of the sculptor. Also visit the Museum of Tribal Art and Artefacts which is also a research and training centre disseminating knowledge covering the human species in totality. Return to the Hotel. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 4

Bhubaneshwar – Konark – Puri

This morning have your breakfast and proceed to Konark, a town in the coast of Bay of Bengal is the site of the 13th century Sun Temple, also known as the Black Pagoda, built in black granite, which is a World Heritage site. It’s a perfect example of poetry depicted in stone. Built in a classic architectural style, the temple is chariot shaped with magnificent carvings and splendor dedicated to the Sun God. Then spend some time relaxing in the Chandrabhaga Beach, which was formerly considered to be a place for natural cure of lepers. Later drive to Puri, and on arrival in Puri check into your hotel. Experience the nectar of devotion with a visit to the famous Sri Jagannath Dham, a 12th century Jagannath temple, this amazing city offers calm, peace and tranquility. The 24 festivals including 13 major ones held every year contribute to the economy of the town. The Rath Yatra (Chariot Festival) that involves a public procession with a chariot with Deities Jagannath (Vishnu avatar), Balabhadra (his brother) and Subhadra (sister) and Sudarshan Chakra (his weapon) pulled by millions of people irrespective of their faith and religion from all across the world, holds immense importance. Also visit the Gundicha Temple which is the destination of the celebrated Rath Yatra and take the blessings of the Lord. Later in the evening spend some time on the Puri Beach, relaxing and unwinding yourself. Overnight at your hotel in Puri.

Day 5

Puri

Today morning after you will embark on a temple tour of the city with full devotion. Visit the Sonar Gauranga Temple, the Loknath Temple, a 11th century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, Atasambhu Temple again dedicated to Lord Shiva and devotees visit this temple to seek salvation, wealth, relief from pain, gain knowledge. Then onto Dakshinkali temple dedicated to Goddess Kali and Siddha Mahavir Temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The amazing spiritual atmosphere at these temples is soul elevating and memorable. Take the blessings of the Lord while on your temple circuit. Evening is free at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 6

Puri – Chilka – Gopalpur

Today after your breakfast you will proceed to Gopalpur, enroute visiting Chilka Lake, a major tourist attraction, which is a brackish water lagoon flowing into the Bay of Bengal with an area of 1100 sq km. Surrounded by hills, punctuated by emerald green islands, Chilka is a sanctuary that spells magic through its innumerable migratory birds and treasure house of aquatic fauna. You can enjoy an adventurous boat ride on this lake and see the Dolphins which keep jumping on the water surface. Chilka is studded with many islands , the most charming being the Honeymoon island and the Breakfast Island. Sunrise and sunset views from from the Lake are indeed spectacular. Continue your journey till Gopalpur, this languorous beach with coconut groves, casuarinas and gentle sand dunes is deserted for miles. Once a commercial sea port, now is one of India’s most loved sea beaches. On arrival check in at your hotel. In the evening relax on the Gopalpur Beach. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 7

Gopalpur

After breakfast today you will embark on a tour of the city – visit the Rushikulya Turtle Island where you can see a vast number of these turtles swimming in every direction. Visit Maa Tara Tarini Temple one of the oldest pilgrimage centres on the banks of the River Rushiulya worshipped as the Breast shrine (Sthana Peetha) and manifestations of Adi Shakti. Return to the Hotel and overnight.

Day 8

Gopalpur – Khordha – Bhubaneshwar

Have your breakfast, then get ready to drive to Bhubaneshwar, enroute you will visit Atri in Khordha, which is a hot spring said to have medicinal properties to cure skin diseases. Continue your journey to Bhubaneshwar. On arrival check into your hotel. Late in the day you will visit the Nandan Kannan zoo, built right inside the forest, famous for its preservation of majestic white tigers. Nandan Kannan zoo is also the only conservation centre for breeding of Indian Pangolins and also the only Indian Zoological park to become a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. There are more than 3000 animals including 1175 mammals, 1546 birds, 262 reptiles and 21 amphibians. Take the exciting jungle safari to have an encounter with the inhabitants of the zoo. Return to the Hotel and overnight

Day 9

Bhubaneshwar – Bhitarkanika (160 kms 4 hours approx)

After breakfast today drive to Bhitarkanika, the World Heritage Biosphere Reserve Forest. En route visit Chatia Jagannath Temple, one of the famous Hindu temples of Odisha dedicated to Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra. Visit Barua Village of the Golden Grass Craft Workers. You will also visit Lalit giri, a magnificent Buddhist spot with one of the earliest Buddhist complexes in the world comprising of esoteric Buddha images, stupas and monasteries and a colossal statue of Lord Buddha. It is believed that Tantric Buddhism was practiced here.
Continue your drive to Bhitarkanika. Bhitarkanika, an exquisite biodiversity combined with beautiful terrains and a Mangrove dominated eco system is what Bhitarkanika National Wild life sanctuary has to offer. It is one of the most amazing wild life sanctuaries in India located in the estuarine region of Brahmani-Baitrani. On arrival at Bhitarkanika you will check into a resort. Overnight at the resort.

Day 10

Bhitarkanika

Today after breakfast you will explore this amazing sanctuary. The sanctuary has 55 different varieties of Mangroves ( which are used as nesting ground by migratory birds from Europe and Central Asia) are spread across the entire area of 625 kms. Teak, Salaia, Bamboo, babul, Zizphus, Palas are the significant flora and fauna of the region. The park is of immense geomorphological, ecological and biological significance because of the criss crossing creeks, rivers, estuaries, backwaters and accumulated lands and is an ideal location for trekking, camping and picnic. See the Giant Salt water crocodiles, and other reptiles like Pytheon and King Cobra. Water Monitor Lizards, Flying Fox, wild dogs, Leopards, Boars, Four horned antelopes, Chinkara and Hyaena are all flourishing here in this protected sanctuary. There are 215 species of birds like the Kingfisher, Woodpecker, Wide Bellied sea Eagle, Sea Gull, Hornbill, etc.
In the evening visit the nearby Farmers’ village and enjoy watching their lifestyle. Return to the hotel and overnight

Day 11

Bhitarkanika – Bhubaneshwar (160 kms 4 hours)

After breakfast today you will proceed to Bhubaneshwar. Upon arrival check into the hotel. Later in the afternoon you will visit the ancient Jain Monastery rock cut caves in the twin Hills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri. There are number of finely and ornately carved caves, party formed naturally and partly artificial, used as residential blocks for Jain monks during 2nd century BCE. Udaygiri has 18 caves and Khandagiri has 15 caves. Major caves are the Rani Gufa and Hati Gufa.
Return to your hotel and overnight at the hotel.

Day 11

Bhubaneshwar – Kolkata (By air)

This morning after breakfast you will check out of your hotel to be transferred to the airport to connect flight to Kolkata. On arrival you will be assisted to connect your flight for your onward destination or back home with fond memories.

The above is only a suggestive itinerary. The duration of the tour can be modified to suit your specific requirements.

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