Odisha, formerly called Orissa, state of India. Located in the northeastern part of the country, it is bounded by the states of Jharkhand and West Bengal to the north and northeast, by the Bay of Bengal to the east, and by the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to the south and Chhattisgarh to the west. Odisha Tourism has unveiled its new vibrant campaign that is sure to clinch your interest. A look at its peppy tagline “India's Best Kept Secret Got a Digital Makeover – check us out!” is a nudge in the right direction if you are set to pack your bags and head out to explore the state.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Odisha is the October–March period – especially November, December and January – when the weather is warm and dry. It gets uncomfortably hot in April–May, and the monsoon generally hits in June and lasts until the end of September.

Currency & Language

Currency: Indian Rupees

Official languages: Hindi, Odia

History & Culture

The early history of Odisha can be traced back to the mentions found in ancient texts like the Mahabharata, Maha Govinda Sutta and some Puranas. In 261 BCE, Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty conquered the region in the bloody Kalinga War which was fought at the banks of River Daya near present-day Bhubaneswar.

Odisha is a confluence of the Aryan, Dravidian and Adivasi cultures. Most festivals in the state bring out some part of these cultures and celebrate their religion by way of festivals which span out the entire year. There are festivals that are common, but the celebration remains unique to a region.

Weather and Climate

Odisha is one of the warmest region in India with an average daily high temperature of 32 degrees centigrade. With a yearly average of 32 degrees the climate is very warm, but has only a very few tropical and humid months. It is yearlong warm or hot.

Visa Gide

Citizens of most countries, including the United States, need a visa to visit India which should be arranged in advance. Full details can be found at The Government of India website (http://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/). Citizens of Nepal and Bhutan do not need a visa, while some nationalities may get them upon arrival.


There is no dearth of local transportation in Orissa. Once can avail taxis, auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws to move within the city. Orissa State Transport operates regular buses between Bhubneshwar and Berhampur, Cuttack, Konark, Puri, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Paradip, Chilka, and other places.

Pre-Trip Preparation

Before you leave on your holiday, there are at least four health-related things you should do. Please check the handbook for specifics, but for now, here’s the short list:

Step 1: Check with the CDC for their recommendations for the countries you’ll be visiting.

Step 2: Have a medical checkup with your doctor.

Step 3: Pick up any necessary medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.

Step 4: Have a dental and/or eye checkup. (Recommended, but less important than steps 1-3.)

We recommend avoiding packing any plastic bags in your luggage before flying to Kenya. You should also remove any items purchased at departure airports from their bags before boarding. Double check your luggage before disembarking in Kenya and leave any plastic bags on the plane.

Do & Don'ts

Silence and discipline is required to spot wildlife

Small groups are preferred

Early mornings and late afternoons are the ideal time to visit forests

Travelling alone is prohibited especially in the Elephant/Tiger Reserves

Always carry drinking water, tea/coffee, snacks etc.

Seek the assistance of a forest guard while going into the forests

Trekkers are advised to use jungle boots to ensure safety

Carry a first aid kit with medicines for common ailments

Avoid smoking

Radios and tape recorders are to be avoided

Do not litter the surroundings

Do not remove anything from the Sanctuary/Park/Nature camps

Carry a note pad, flash light, road maps, bus, train and airline time-tables

Do not try to explore unfamiliar things

Be careful during boat rides. Don't do anything that will rock the boat or endanger lives

Please be patient- do not expect to sight animals all the time

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