Nearby ports - existing and planned:
There are several existing and planned ports around Bhubaneswar. The existing ports are at Paradeep, Gopalpur and Dhamra. A nearby port is coming up at Astaranga for which land acquisition and economic survey is underway. Riverine ports are also planned at the mouth of Mahanadi river.
4. Livability aspects of Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar provides a high quality of life and yet is the fourth most inexpensive place in the world (and India) in terms of cost of living. With abundant water bodies and greenery (including forests) around the metropolitan area (and Odisha in general) and Odisha being a power surplus state, Bhubaneswar is blessed with excellent water and power service and lack of pollution. It is close enough to the coast (60 kms from the coast) to enjoy the Bay of Bengal and the nearby beaches, yet far enough to limit climatic issues.
Bhubaneswar has several excellent K-12 schools at different cost levels, many of them ranked nationally. For example, Education World ranks Sai International School number 7 nationally among day-cum-boarding schools, and ranks DAV Chandrasekharpur at number 18 in the same category. Similarly, KIIT international school is ranked number 10 among international schools in the country in the day-cum-boarding category. St. Joseph’s girls school Cuttack is ranked 41 among girls day schools in India. In the co-ed day schools category, some of the ranked schools from Bhubaneswar are DAV Unit VIII, DPS Kalinga, Mother’s public school and St. Joseph’s high school. Some of the other brand name schools in Bhubaneswar include Loyola School, Sri Aurobinda Integral Education Center, Doon School, and Amrita Vidyalayam.
Bhubaneswar has several premier housing developments that includes Ariana by the Tatas, various CRISIL star rated properties, and much more. Bhubaneswar has many malls, couple of multiplexes and as in the rest of India, many more are in the works.
AIIMS Bhubaneswar and the SCB Medical College Cuttack are the apex health care institutions in greater Bhubaneswar. AIIMS Bhubaneswar is made in the model of AIIMS Delhi and is on its way to have an exhaustive list of departments and specialities. This includes
Obstetrics and Gynaecology,
Transfusion Medicine and Blood Bank,
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,
Medical and Haemato Oncology,
Plastic Surgery and Burns,
Bone Marrow Transplantation,
Stem Cell Facility,
Geriatrics, Hospice, Long Term Acute Care, Geriatric Mental Health, Palliative Care and Bereavement Services.
The SCB Medical College in Cuttack is the premiere medical college of the state with 1200 beds and has several associated
specialized centers such as,
Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Center,
Sishu Bhawan - SVP Post Graduate Institute of Paedriatics,
Regional Spinal Injury Centre,
Central Red Cross Blood Bank,
Laproscopy training center, and
Center for Bone marrow transplant. There are three private medical colleges in KIMS, IMS-SUM Hospital and Hi-Tech. ESI is making a medical college and hospital and the state and the center are upgrading the district medical center of Puri to a full-fledge medical college. Besides these Bhubaneswar has several corporate and private hospitals and Cuttack has a large number of reputed private nursing homes. Some the well known
corporate hospitals in Bhubaneswar are, Kalinga Hospital, Apollo Hospital, AMRI hospital, L V Prasad Eye Care center, Neelachal Hospital,
Sparsh Hospital, CARE Hospital and Hemalata Hospital. Some of the upcoming
corporate hospitals include Asian Heart Institute and
Restaurants and Cafes:
Bhubaneswar has a wide variety of restaurants and cafes with many offerings of Indian, Chinese, Thai, Continental, asian, Italian, and Mexican cuisine. The Dalma and Dalema restaurants offer typical Odishan cuisine. Top Indian chains in Bhubaneswar include Cafe Coffee Day, Mainland China and Hakka. International fast-food chains include Subway, Dominos, Pizza Hut and KFC. Bhubaneswar has a few Discos such as Underground, Dezire, Xstacy, and Rock on and several high end pubs such as 10 Downing Street, Baron and Baroness.
Visual and Performance Arts:
Odisha in general, and especially the greater Bhubaneswar area, is a center of arts. The Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) has a regional office in Cuttack. The local language Odia and the dance form of Odissi are given the designation of classical language and classical dance by the Government of India. The Odissi music and the Odissi painting forms are also considered by many as distinct and classical. One can get a quick concentrated glimpse of all of these in the Raghurajpur Artist Village, 50 kms from Bhubaneswar and 10 kms from Puri. The greater Bhubaneswar area has several famous Gurukuls for Odissi (Dance, Music or both) such as
Odissi Music Gurukul,
Odissi Natya Sala,
Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Odissi Research Center,
Orissa Dance Academy, and the
Gotipua (the precursor of Odissi) Gurukul. The Odissa performance art forms have attracted many from abroad and some of them have settled in Bhubaneswar and have enriched its cultural repertoire. Notable among them are Masako Ono’s MOPA and
Ileana Citaristi’s Art Vision.
Vrindaban Gurukul of Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia has one of its two centers in Bhubaneswar. In arts, the J D Center of Art and Odisha Art Gallery are major landmarks.
In recent years dancers from Odisha have excelled in Modern dance of various forms. Notable among them are Rajasmita Kar, Harihar Dash and Prince Dance Group. Rajasmita Kar, the winner of the Reality Show, Dance India Dance 2012, is associated with the
Blue light dance studio of Bhubaneswar that offers classes in Hip Hop, Ballet, Modern, Tap, Jazz, Locking and Poping, Break Dance, Bollywood, Salsa, and Acrobatics. Another modern dance academy is Anu’s Dance Freak. There are several schools such as, Rawa Academy Of Art, Music And Dance that offer courses in art, music and dance. Among the more formal institutions of Bhubaneswar that offer degrees and diplomas in Music, Dance and Arts are Odissi Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, B K College of Arts and Crafts, Utkal University of Culture, and Sri Sri University.
Various literary, cultural and events are held throughout the year (more in the winter) in Bhubaneswar. This includes Bookfairs, Trade Fairs, Literature Festivals, Film Festivals (such as the Art and Artists Film Festival), Music Festivals, Dance Festivals, Drama Festivals, SPICMACAY Events, and ICCR events. Some of the well known events are Odisha marathon, Konark Festival, Gotipua Dance Festival, International Sand Art festival, Toshali National Crafts Mela, International Odissi dance festival, Mukteswar dance festival, Rajarani music festival, Samrachana (Choreography festival of dance), Rangabati (western Odisha dance festival), India Surf Festival, Bali yatra, Kalinga Literary Festival, Sankirtana Mahotsava, Puri beach festival, Dhauli-Kalinga Mahotsava, Festival of Ballards (Palla and Daskathia), Megha Utsava, National Chhau dance festival, National Tribal dance festival, National Contemporary theatre festival and Bharatiyam (a festival of patriotic songs).
Auditoriums and Special venues:
The main venue for large performance arts events in Bhubaneswar is Rabindra Mandap. Some of the other performance arts venues of Bhubaneswar are Kala Mandap, Soochana Bhavan (Jaydev Bhawan), IDCOL Auditorium, Utkal Mandap (an open Air Theater at Utkal Sangeeta Mahavidyalaya), Red Cross Bhawan and auditoriums at Odisha State Co-operative Bank, KIIT, OEC, IMMT, XIMB, NALCO, Institute of Engineers and Institute of Physics. Auditoriums in Cuttack include Kala Vikash Kendra Auditorium, Ravenshaw auditorium, Parija auditorium, BOSE auditorium, Sahid Bhawan, Town Hall, Barabati Club House, Special Circuit House and SCB auditorium. Some special performances, such as the Konark festival, Mukteswar dance festival and Rajarani music festival are done in the backdrop of the famous temples of Konark and Bhubaneswar. Other special venue for dance performances include Konark Natya Mandap, and Shanti Vihar (in the foothills of Dhauli). Odisha Tourism maintains a detailed list of convention facilities and auditoriums in the state.
Parks and Nature:
Bhubaneswar and its vicinity have many parks of varying sizes. The biggest among them, almost as big as Bhubaneswar itself is the 193.39 sq km Chandaka-Dampara elephant sanctuary adjacent to Bhubaneswar on its west. The elephant sanctuary has hills, rivluets, dams, and lakes. The fauna of the Chandaka-Dampara sanctuary includes elephants, pangolins, bears, leopards, wild pigs, pythons and monitor lizards. The two huge parks in Bhubaneswar are the famed Nandan Kanan Zoological garden and its adjacent Botanical garden and lakes, and the Ekamra Kanan Regional plant resource center (Ekamra Kanan) and its lakes. Some of the other largish parks in Bhubaneswar are Forest Park, Jayadev Batika, Indira Gandhi Park, Mahatma Gandhi Park, Buddha Jayanti Park, Shyamaprasad Mukherjee Park, Nehru Park, City center park, Spice garden around Bindusagar lake, Sikharchandi hill, Dhauli Peace Park, Guru Kelucharan Park, Jayaprakash Narayan park, Netaji Subash Bose park and Panchasakha park. In addition there are many small neighborhood parks as well as recreation areas along the river banks.
In the northern outskirts of Bhubaneswar, separating Bhubaneswar from its twin Cuttack, is the mighty Mahanadi river, and across the Mahanadi is the Ansupa lake. Upriver on Mahanadi one will reach the famous Satkosia gorges (also a sanctuary and a tiger reserve) and downriver in 10-15 kms one will get to the point where Kathjodi originates from Mahanadi and together they almost surround the millennium city of Cuttack. One can participate in rowing and sculling at the Jagatpur water sports complex in Cuttack, or embark on a rafting expedition down the Mahanadi from Satkosia gorges to Paradeep. Besides the plenty of things one can do on a short trip to Puri, Konark, Chilika lake and Gopalpur-at-sea, one can spend a day or half a day learning sand art making skills at the Golden Sand Art Institute in Puri and if lucky watch the international award winning sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik making some of his masterpieces. Along the coast to the north of Puri there are many attractions (including the world site Konark). Half way to Konark is the exciting Surfing Yogis (near Kushabhadra river mouth) where one can learn and practice surfing and other water sports. For that matter, Chilika and Kushabhadra river are listed among the top 5 stand-up paddle boarding places in the world. For longer trips, one may venture to Bhitarkanika national park, Similipal national park (one among nine UNESCO Biosphere locations in India) or the many spots in the tribal and mountainous districts of South Orissa.
Matching its cultural heritage, history and archaeological sites, Bhubaneswar and its vicinity have several museums and monuments. The most highly rated museum in Bhubaneswar is the Museum of Tribal Arts and Artifacts listed by Trip Advisor at number 1 among attractions in Bhubaneswar. The Odisha State Museum of Bhubaneswar is famous for its archaeological collection and palm leaf collections. The Regional Museum of Natural History (RMNH) of Bhubaneswar
is an Eastern regional centre of the National Museum of Natural History.
The Regional Science Center of Bhubaneswar aims to expose science to kids. An Odissi Museum and a Handloom and Handicrafts museum are under construction in Bhubaneswar. A record center of the National Archive, the Odisha printing museum and Odisha state archive are also located in Bhubaneswar. Smaller museums are housed at the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), the Geology and Anthropology departments of Utkal University and the RD Women’s College.
The twin city of Cuttack also has several museums and historical buildings. The main museums in Cuttack are the Netaji birth place Museum
and the Maritime museum. The Madhusudan Museum is located in the campus of the Sailabala Women’s college. Two particular historical building complexes in Cuttack are the Swaraj ashram and the Gunanidhi Bhavan. In the outskirts of Bhubaneswar there is Khurda museum, the
Folk & Tribal Art Museum at Chilika Lake, Konark Museum,
Aquatic animal museum (not an aquarium) at Chandrabhaga,
ASI Museum in Konark, ASI Museum in Ratnagiri, and an ASI Museum being constructed in Lalitgiri.
Monuments: Various historical monuments, some of which are temples that are currently operational abound in Bhubaneswar and its vicinity. Among them, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) ticketed monuments are Konark (a world heritage site), Udaygiri and Khandagiri caves, Rajarani temple, and the Buddhist Mahavihara sites of Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri and Udayagiri. The operational temples include Mukteswar temple, Lingaraj Temple, 64 Yoginis temple, Kedar Gauri Temple, Parasurameswara Temple, Brahmeshwara Temple,
Vaital Deul Temple, Ananta Vasudeva Temple, Kapilesvara Temple and the Sri Jagannath Temple (Puri). Other important monuments in Bhubaneswar include, Dhauli hills, the Ashokan rock edict, and the ruined fortification of Shisupalgarh (5th century BC). Among these, the Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri, and Udayagiri Buddhist sites are more recent excavations with some ongoing excavations.
The Archaeological Survey of India Brochure made available at the Archaeological Musuem at Ratnagiri, says the following:
“Extensive excavations conducted at the site by the Archaeological Survey of India between 1958 and 1961 have brought to light remains of a Buddhist establishment consisting of stupas, monastic complexes and temples hitherto unparalleled in Orissa and comparable to the well known Buddhist site at Nalanda.” Debala Mitra, ASI Director general between 1975-1983, in her book, Buddhist Monuments says in Page 226-227: “Ratnagiri-mahavihara … It played a significant role in disseminating Buddhist culture and religion forming itself, like Nalanda, an important religious and philosophical academy, to which flocked the entrants and scholars to take lessons from the intellectual stalwarts of Buddhism. … Indeed, excavations have revealed that here was an establishment that can be compared with that of Nalanda. In the overwhelming number of portable monolithic stupas Ratnagiri can compete even with Bodh-Gaya.” In her
book Ratnagiri, she says in Page 152, “Monastery 1 … Not a single monastery of Nalanda, which has yielded so far the largest number of spectacular structural monasteries , can compete with this one in respect of embellishment.”
Sports venues and Stadiums:
The greater Bhubaneswar area has two major sports complexes: The Kalinga stadium complex in Bhubaneswar and the Barabati stadium complex in Cuttack. The Kalinga stadium complex in Bhubaneswar has facilities for athletics, soccer, field hockey, basketball, tennis, table tennis and swimming. It has a 8-lane synthetic athletics track, a sports hostel, gymnasium and two new olympic standard pink and blue hockey turf. It is the home field for the Hockey India League team Kalinga Lancers. It hosted the 2014 Men's Hockey Champions Trophy and is expected to host part of the 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup. Kalinga Stadium hosts the Govt. College of Physical Education. While an indoor stadium is under construction at the Kalinga stadium complex, ECOR has built one with playing area of 864 square meters (36m x 24m) that can accommodate 1,720 spectators. The Barabati stadium complex in Cuttack hosts the Odisha Cricket Academy and has an Indoor Hall, a Swimming Pool, a Gym, a Basketball complex, and Tennis courts. It has hosted Cricket Test matches, One day internationals, 20-20 international matches, and IPL matches. It hosted several games of the 2013 Women's Cricket World Cup matches. The SAI Water Sports Complex in Jagatpur, Cuttack is a premier Rowing facility. The Jawaharlal Nehru indoor stadium in Cuttack has a capacity of 5,626 spectators. Bhubaneswar and its vicinity has several other cricket grounds such as ones at ECOR, KIIT and DRIEMS. Besides the outdoor ground that has hosted Ranji cricket matches, KIIT University has the Biju Patnaik Indoor stadium with facilities for indoor games such as table tennis and badminton. Both the state of Odisha and Sports Authority of India have established several sports hostels and centers of excellence in specific sports in greater Bhubaneswar. Athletes and sports persons from Odisha have excelled in Rugby, Men’s and Women’s Hockey, Rowing, Surfing, Athletics, Weightlifting, Women’s football, and Chess. Bhubaneswar has a golf course located near the Infocity.
Volunteerism and social service is an active aspect of the people of Bhubaneswar. Two special and non-political volunteer groups and activities that stand out are the Bakul foundation and the Bhubaneswar Bird walking and Birding groups. The Bakul Foundation started as an effort to build a community library and space for kids and has since then developed several such libraries. It has attracted youngsters from Bhubaneswar to volunteer and organize socially conscious events in education, arts and environment. The Bhubaneswar bird walking group recently completed its 50th bird walk and has led to a huge group of birding fans who regularly bird in Bhubaneswar and beyond. Their activity has led to the recorded sighting of the Pale capped pigeon which was never sighted in the past in this part of the country. A recent volunteer group STOPP-US is also doing a lot of good activities (cleaning walls and painting them, tree plantation, etc.) in Bhubaneswar. Interesting one-off volunteering efforts (that one may consider repeating) include the 34th Street Store, first Street Store in India.
Media: Greater Bhubaneswar has a vibrant media of all forms, newspapers, magazines, TV stations and radio. What makes the media in Bhubaneswar special is the presence of country’s second Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) in Dhenkanal, in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar and many other good schools in journalism and mass communication. Media persons trained from these institutions can be found at a disproportionately high percentage in the major media outlets and metros of the country. A large number of newspapers are published from Bhubaneswar-Cuttack. This includes Odia papers such as Sambada, Dharitri, Samaja, Pragativadi, Prameya, and Samaya; local English papers such as Odisha Sun Times and Odisha Post; and local editions of national news papers such as Times of India, Telegraph, New Indian Express and Daily Pioneer. The top e-newspapers are tathya.in and orissadiary.com.
Law and Order: The Bhubaneswar-Cuttack area is among the most peaceful urban areas of the country and it is well supported by the Police Commisionerate of Bhubaneswar-Cuttack which uses several innovative methods in maintaining law and order. Recently they have developed an Android App to get quickly connected to the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Police. As a testament to the peaceful nature of Odisha in general and greater Bhubaneswar in particular, when the BCCI and ICC were worried about Pakistan’s matches in the womens’ world-cup final in 2013, they were shifted to Cuttack.
5. Other Information Sources:
Bhubaneswar Buzz with presence in the web, Facebook, twitter, flipboard and instagram is a good source of additional information on Bhubaneswar and Odisha. Odishalinks-Odishagrowth with presence in the web (a bit old), Facebook and Twitter is another source of information. In particular, the Facebook albums index is a good resource. 101 Bhubaneswar is a good source of pictures and lists and has presence in the web and Facebook. The Stunning Bhubaneswar Facebook page also has beautiful pictures of Bhubaneswar. Odisha Tourism is very active in its Twitter account. IBEF has doing business slides on Odisha from 2012. IDCO, IPICOL and TeamOdisha are Odisha government sites relevant to investing in Odisha. IPICOL’s recent presentation to attract investment from Taiwan is a useful one. Couple of useful slides at Slideshare are: Real Estate Bhubaneswar and Invest Bhubaneswar.