Golden Triangle Tour in Odisha - How to Plan & What to See

A well planned trip to Odisha's Golden Triangle is kaleidoscopic with beautiful historical sights, temple architecture, golden beaches, exotic migratory birds and a sneak peak into an unhurried  lifestyle. In addition, a trip to Odisha is incomplete without planning a visit to Puri, Konark & Bhubaneswar popularly known as Golden Triangle Tour. Known as India's land of the rising sun, let's look at planning a trip to Odisha's Golden Triangle and why should should visit it at least once in your lifetime.

Depending upon the time on hand, one can plan a four day or a relaxed six day trip to make the most of Odisha's Golden Triangle tour.

Day 1: Bhubaneswar airport/train station to city

Bhubaneswar, the well connected capital city is a great point to start the trip. Besides, self drive options make life easier as you move around covering approximately 170 kms during the Golden Triangle Tour. Choose a flight that lands by mid morning, allowing you time to settle in your hotel. Bhubaneswar, also known as the temple city, has beautiful temples like Mukteswar, Parsurameswar, Rajarani, Lingaraj to name a few. For ancient temple architecture, visit Laxmaneswar, Satrughaneswar and Bharateswar temples. Additionally, one can plan a visit to Odisha State Museum, & handicrafts house. Overnight stay in Bhubaneswar.

Moreover, you can also visit Dhauli Hills, a popular landmarks of Odisha's Buddhist heritage. Located approx 8 km from Bhubaneswar, the Shanti Stupa at Dhauli, holds a lot of significance for followers of Lord Buddha. 

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Day 2: Bhubaneswar to Konark via NH 316

An easy drive, this journey should take almost 2 hours. Further, one can plan a visit to the beautiful handicraft village of Pipli en-route. Known for it's applique art, spend around an hour in this village, shopping for souvenirs. Next, visit Konark temple, built in the middle of the 13th century by King Narasimhadeva I,  during early evening or morning. Spend time with a local guide understanding the history of this spectacular architectural site. Later, shop for local handicrafts from the various stalls that line the entrance to the temple.

We have covered our visit to the Konark temple in an earlier article that shall help you understand the importance & grandeur of  this historic site. Overnight stay in Konark. 

Day 3: Konark to Puri via Puri-Konark Marine Drive

From Konark, take the beautiful Puri-Konark marine drive route, admiring views of the sea & casuarinas forests. Since, the road is smooth, the journey should take only an hour. Stop & admire the beautiful Chandrabhaga beach en-route. One of the important religious centers in India, Puri attracts many visitors due to Jagannath Temple. However, the huge temple complex requires guidance from a priest to understand it's significance. Do ask your hotel & they can arrange for someone reasonable. Also, check the timings for temple visit in advance here

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Every evening, lot of people visit the temple to witness the awe inspiring Dhwaja ceremony that dates back to more than 800 years old. Highly trained individuals climb atop Jagannath temple without any support to change the flag tied to the Nila Chakra (wheel). Moreover, the evening aarti at the temple is a good time for darshan. Enjoy the bhog (prasad) at Ananda bazaar, the largest food market in the world, located inside the temple complex.

Later, visit the many by lanes near the temple that are teeming with small shops selling a variety of goods. Pick up souvenirs, sarees, knick knacks & more. Rest your tired feet at food stalls that are famous for delicacies like mushroom biryani, mushroom pakoda, matar ka paani, Chhena Poda (dessert made with cottage cheese). Additionally, one can buy Khaja (main prasad) & variety of sweets from shops around the temple. Do try the famous rasgulla, malpua & kheera puli (a delicious sweet made with a thin layer of milk cream)

Visit the famous Puri beach for some fresh seafood at amazingly low prices. Moreover, the beach has numerous stalls that sell handicrafts & jewellery made with sea shells.

If time permits, visit Raghurajpur, located just a few kilometers from Puri, famous for the Patta Chitra art of Orissa.

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Day 4: Puri to Chilika 

The picturesque Chilika lake in Odisha is is well known as migratory bird's paradise. The largest brackish water lake in Asia attracts a lot of tourists including honeymooners. Enjoy a relaxing staycation at Swosti Chilika Lake resort with all modern amenities. To plan a visit to Chilika lake, must do activities & spend one/two relaxing days, read our earlier blog 

The distance between Puri to Swosti Chilika Lake Resort is 115 kms and will take around 3 hours but the roads are a little bad. If you want to plan a day trip from Puri to Chilika Lake, then you can visit the Satapada townn on the lake which is only a 1.5 hour drive (48 kms) and home to the Irrawaddy dolphin.

Best Time to Visit:

The milder months of November to February are a great time to visit Odisha. A variety of migratory birds visit the islands around Chilika lake during this period. Moreover, the famous Olive-Ridley turtles can be sighted during Chilika lake around January end. During the month of November, a variety of tourist visit to watch the annual Puri Beach Festival too. However, if you wish to enjoy the spectacular Rath Yatra and Nava Kalebara, the famous festivals of Lord Jagannath in Puri, plan a visit during the months of  June/July.

Where Should I Stay:

Odisha has a lot of accommodation options that can suit every budget. Depending on the activities that you plan to do, one can choose from budget to exotic options. However, in Puri, stay near the temple so that you can visit easily. Cars are not permitted beyond a point near the temple so one tends to walk a lot. In Chilika, we stayed at Swosti Chilika Lake resort to unwind & enjoy the natural beauty of Odisha.

Where Do I Eat:

Local restaurants all over Odisha offer good food. Besides, do try a typical Odia meal of rice, dalma (variety of dal), fried item and a fish/meat curry along with some khatta or chutney & dessert. Traditional dishes like Pakhala (water-soaked rice) is a must try too.

A lot of hygienic dhabas along the route, serve delicious mutton curry that can enjoyed with piping hot steam rice. Additionally, must try dishes include Ghugni (made with dried yellow peas), Dahi Baingano (fried eggplant in yoghurt), Chungdi Malai (prawn curry), Khicede (Khichadi) Macha Ghanta (made with fried fish head), Dahi vada-Aloo dum (popular street food), Chaatu Rai (made with local mushrooms), Khajuri Khatta (made with dates & tomatoes), Chhena Poda (dessert) & more.