Bhubaneshwar, located in the eastern coastal plains of India and the capital town of Orissa state, is a popular "Temple City" with a rich ancient past. It presents a charming blend of ancient art and culture where sublime architecture exists in monuments. Once the town of over 7000 shrines, which is reduced to around 500 now, it attracts tourists as well as pilgrims for its myriad religious as well as cultural delights.
Tourist spots in Bhubaneswar are many, and among them, the Udaygiri and Khandgiri caves top the list. Besides these caves, the Hathigumpha (an elephant cave) adds to the treasure of Indian history. The Dhauli is a white pillar-like stupa of the reign of 3rd century BC by Ashoka. The Lingaraj Temple, a 10th century structure, is considered a rare masterpiece that showcases ancient Hindu style of architecture with elaborate carvings.
Tourist attractions in Bhubaneswar also include the striking zoological park of Nandankanan that houses a wide variety of animals and reptiles, including the white tigers. The Mukteshwar Temple, a 7th Century marvel, is a rare site for blending the architectural styles of the Jainism, Hinduism and Buddhism. A hot sulphur spring at Atri attracts tourists for picnic where Lord Hatakeswar's Temple adds the religious quotient.