The twin hills of Kumargiri and Kumarigiri known as Khandagiri and Udaygiri contain varieties of rock-cut caves, built mainly for the jain monks around 1st - 2nd century B.C.#The thirteen years lithic record of King Kharavela engraved in Hatigumpha (elephant cave) is a magnificent specimen of Pali records so far found in India.
Surrounded by paddy fields, the Dhauli hill brings back memories of the historic 'Kalinga war' which was fought around here. It is here that Ashoka, the terrible, was transformed into Ashoka, the compassionate and championed the cause of Buddhism. On the foot of the hill one can see the Rock Edicts of Ashoka and the forepart of a skillfully sculpted elephant hewn out of a huge rock. Dhauli has gained prominence due to the establishment of a Buddhist Peace Pagoda, popularly known as Shanti Stupa, built in the early seventies by the Japan Buddha Sangha and Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangha. An old temple of Lord Dhavaleswar, reconstructed in 1972, also stands on the hill-top.
Just two km from the famed Lingaraj Temple of Bhubaneswar lie the ruins of Sisupalgarh. Dating back to the third or fourth century BC, these ruins show that even at that early date there was a well fortified city here, and establish the fact that the Orissan civilization has very ancient roots.
Hirapur has the 11th century Hypaethral temple of sixty four Yoginis. It is second of its kind in Orissa and one of four such unique temples in India.
Situated amidst greenery and famous for the hot sulphur water spring, Atri, 42 km. from Bhubaneswar and 14 km. from Khurda, is also a holy place with the shrine of Hatakeswar. A bath in the spring water is reputed to cure skin diseases apart from being a pleasant experience.
Picturesquely carved out of the Chandaka forest, Nandankanan is a Biological Park where animals are kept in their natural habitat. A centrally located lake divides the Zoo from the Botanical Gardens. Tigers, Lions, Clouded Leopards, Black Panthers, European Brown Bear, Himalayan Black Bear, Gharials, Rosy Pelican, Grey Pelican, Indian Python, King Cobra, etc. are among the attractions of the zoo, which is famous for its White Tigers. The exotic Botanical Garden on the other side of the zoo preserves varieties of indigenous plants. Regular bus services are available to reach the place.
The 55-metre-high Lingaraja Temple is a rare masterpiece depicting the high point of Orissan architecture of the 10th-11th century. Described as /”the truest fusion of dream and reality,/” every inch of its surface is covered with elaborate carvings of gods, goddesses, dryads, nymphs and fairies. The temple can be seen from miles away and the sculpture and architecture here fuse elegantly to create a perfect harmony. It is believed that all pilgrims, who wish to go to the Jagannath temple at Puri, must first offer worship at the Lingaraja temple. The temple has two added structures—the Natya Mandir (dance hall) and the Bhoga Mandap (offering platform). It is important to note that non-Hindus are not allowed inside the Lingaraja Temple.
Perhaps the most ornate temple in Bhubaneswar, the Mukteshwar Temple (7th–8th century AD) has intricate carvings of deities that show the amalgamation of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain styles of architecture. The carvings on the roof, especially the bho motifs of the grinning lion and the monkey, are quite striking. There is a well to the south of the temple in which childless women toss a coin to wish for a child.
The Brahmeshwara Temple (AD 1050) is situated around a kilometre east of the main road of the city. It stands in a courtyard flanked by four smaller temples and a Shivling. Besides, there are other minor shrines in every corner of the courtyard. Two interesting images are found inside this temple: a well-oiled image of Lakshmi, covered in cloth, and a miniature image of Nataraja sitting on a bull and playing a veena.