Just 8 km away from Bhubaneswar looking down on the plains that bore witness to the gruesome war waged on Kalinga by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka the Great, stand the rock edicts of Dhauli. It was here that Ashoka, full of remorse after the Kalinga War in 261 BC, renounced his blood-thirsty campaign and turned to Buddhism. In the Kalinga edicts he warned the people of Kalinga not to revolt and that he would take appropriate action if they did. This is in sharp contrast to all of his other edicts and proof of his political acumen. The edicts are remarkably well preserved, despite the fact that they date back to the 3rd century BC. A sculpted elephant, the universal symbol of Lord Buddha, tops the rock edicts. The Shanti Stupa or the peace pagoda, built through the Indo-Japanese collaboration, is located on the opposite hill.
Nandankanan National Park
Nandankanan National Park is a must-visit tourist attraction of Orissa. On one hand, it fulfills the criteria of being a zoological park. On the other hand, it also serves as a grand botanical garden, where one can see even the rarest species of plants. The zoological park has been demarcated from the botanical garden with natural lake. Nandankanan Wildlife Sanctuary has been named after the ‘mythical garden’ of Gods, the mention of which has often been made in the Puranic literature of India.
The sanctuary has been so named because of its exquisite beauty and alluring serenity. It serves as the natural habitat of a number of animals, ranging from the rare white tigers, reptiles and snakes to distinctive kinds of birds.
Orissa State Museum
The origin of Orissa State Museum can be traced back to the year 1932. Its very first glimpse will take you into the world of past, reminding you of the history and cultural traditions of the state. Orissa state museum of Bhubaneswar has an amazing collection of copper plates, coins, stone inscriptions and sculptures. You’ll be astonished to see rare manuscripts written on the palm leaves. The museum also houses age-old bronze tools and traditional & folk musical instruments.
Museum of Tribal Art & Artefacts, CRPF Square:
The museum gives an impressive insight into the culture of the many different tribals living in and around Orissa. Tools, clothes and artwork are presented over several halls. In every area a guide of the museum will take care of you and give you extensive explanations - you really get to know something about the things you see. Anyway there is no entry fee.
Bhubaneswar, the ‘Temple City of India’, is not only known for its magnificent places of worship. Rather, it is also a shopping lover’s delight. There are innumerable shopping places in the city; of which some are run by private owners, while others are Government-owned. The city is well known for its Ikat fabrics, which are extensively used in making Saris as well as other readymade garments. Appliqué work of Bhubaneswar, locally called Chandua, is in great demand these days. Other best buys include Tussar silk, Sambalpuri silk and Cotton. Apart from the fabrics, there is also a wide variety of metal ware available in the city. It mainly consists of exquisite pieces of jewelry made from fine silver and distinctive kinds of metal sculptures, known as Dhokra. Other interesting items available in Bhubaneshwar include handcrafted wooden items, like lampshades, vanity boxes, vegetable baskets, etc.