During this 14-day journey through the southern part of Odisha, you'll travel through cultural villages and historic cities, learning about local culture along the way. Head to Bhubaneswar, the capital of the Indian state of Odisha, where the Lingaraja Temple awaits you. Take a tribal market stroll through Rayagada where you'll meet the local villagers of Kutiya Khonds and learn about their culture. Lay on the sandy beaches of Golparpur, then see where Mother Teresa lived and is now buried in Kolkata.

Highlights

  • Visit the Lingaraja Temple that's dedicated to the deity Shiva and god Vishnu
  • Meet the tribespeople of various villages around Rayagada to learn their traditions
  • See the city of Kolkata where Mother Teresa grew up and visit her tomb
  • Explore Puri and the Jagannath Temple, one of the four Dhams

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Kolkata  Kolkata
Day 2 Kolkata to Bhubaneswar  Bhubaneswar 
Day 3 Explore Lalitagiri, Khandagiri, and Udayagiri Bhubaneswar 
Day 4 Bhubaneswar to Gopalpur Gopalpur
Day 5 Gopalpur to Rayagada Rayagada
Day 6 Rayagada: Tribal Market Walk Rayagada
Day 7 Rayagada to Jeypore  Jeypore
Day 8 Visit the villages of Onukudelli  Jeypore
Day 9 Jeypore to Taptapani Taptapani
Day 10 Taptapani to Puri  Puri
Day 11 Excursion to Konark  Puri
Day 12 Puri to Bhubaneswar  Bhubaneswar
Day 13 Bhubaneswar to Kolkata Kolkata
Day 14 Depart Kolkata  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kolkata 

A view of the roads in Kolkata

Upon arrival at the airport, you'll be greeted with the traditional Swagat welcome and transfer to the hotel in Kolkata. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River, Kolkata is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational center of East India, and the Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port as well as its sole major riverine port. You can spend the rest of the day exploring or resting at your leisure. 

Day 2: Kolkata to Bhubaneswar

The Lingaraja Temple in Bhubaneswar

Today, you will leave for Kolkata airport to take a flight to Bhubaneswar. Upon arrival at Bhubaneswar Airport, you will transfer to your hotel and check in. The city is nicknamed "The Temple City of India” and has innumerable wonders. Later on in the day, you'll leave for the sightseeing tour of Bhubaneswar and visit Lingaraja, a temple dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu and one of the oldest in the city. You'll also witness the temples of Bindu Sarovar and Kedareshwar of Odisha. 

Day 3: Explore Lalitagiri, Khandagiri, and Udayagiri

The Khandagiri and Udayagiri caves complex

After breakfast, you'll leave for an excursion to see the architectural heirlooms of Lalitagiri, Khandagiri, and Udayagiri. First is Lalitagiri, where you'll witness the quaint lifestyle of the people as well as their crafts and pottery of older times. The next halt is at the Khandagiri and Udayagiri caves that are meticulously carved out of the twin hills. In the evening, you'll return to the hotel in Bhubaneswar.

Day 4: Bhubaneswar to Gopalpur

The beaches of Gopalpur

After breakfast, you'll be driven to Gopalpur on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. The city of Gopalpur derives its reputation from its sandy beaches and temple dedicated to Krishna, the god of love.

In the evening, relax at the beach and overnight at your hotel.

Day 5: Gopalpur to Rayagada

A shot of nature surrounding Rayagada

Early in the morning, you'll drive to Rayagada that serves as an important meeting point for the local tribes. During the day, you'll meet members of various tribes in traditional costumes, jewelry, and ornaments. You will also visit another tribal village called Langia Soura where you'll interact with the inhabitants and learn about their culture, with the help of your local guide.

In the evening, you'll attend the tribal market. After, you'll head back to the hotel.

Day 6: Rayagada - Tribal Market Walk

Colorful spices at the local market

Today you'll leave for a full day sightseeing in Rayagada. You'll visit the tribal village of Kutiya Khonds, whose people speak the Dravidian language in India. This tour gives you the chance to interact with the locals and gain insight into their life and culture. You'll also have extensive time to explore the spice market. 

After a full day, you'll head back to your hotel.

Day 7: Rayagada to Jeypore 

Balcony views of Jeypore

You'll head to Jeypore in the morning, spotting hills and lakes throughout the destination. After checking into the hotel and relaxing, head out for an excursion trip to the temples of Kali and Neelkantheshwar, among other ancients temples of India. Later, subject to availability of time, you might be able to make an optional visit to Jeypore Fort.

Day 8: Visit the villages of Onukudelli 

Man carrying bamboo baskets in Odisha

Today you'll visit Onukudelli, an isolated village with an enormous hydroelectric power plant. Apart from the tribal communities, people categorized as “lower caste or scheduled caste” have lived here over the last few generations. The place takes pride in its natural views: lush green woods, clusters of hills, a rich endowment of flora and fauna, and above all. You'll get to explore the markets of the Bonda, Gadaba, and Didayee tribes. From here, you can buy some traditional adornments and souvenirs related to these tribes.

After relishing over Onkudelli, you will be taken back to the hotel in Jeypore.

Day 9: Jeypore to Taptapani

Parvati goddess statues guarding the temple of Shiva in Taptapani

Today you'll travel through the mountain roads on the way to visit other tribal communities. Upon arrival in Taptapani, you are transferred to the hotel for check-in. You're free to relax for the rest of the day.

Day 10: Taptapani to Puri 

The busy streets of the spiritual city of Puri

In the morning, enjoy the hot water springs in Taptapani. You'll head to Puri later on in the day, and on the way, you'll visit traditional South Odishan villages and stop at Chilka Lake, the largest brackish water lagoon in India that is home to migratory birds. From here, you'll proceed further to the spiritual city of Puri, a place of pilgrimage for Hindus filled with sacred temples, beaches, and unique shops. 

Day 11: Excursion to Konark 

The famous Sun Temple in Konark

In the morning, you'll visit the famous Jagannath Temple, one of the four Dhams (places of sacred pilgrimage). This 12th-century temple is said to be the unfinished work of the craftsman god Vishvakarma and is known for its annual Rath Yatra (Chariot Festival). In the afternoon, you'll leave for an excursion to Konark that is famous for its Sun Temple, built by King Langula Narasimha Deva in the golden era of Odishan art.

In the early evening, you'll drive back to Puri and enjoy some time at the beach.

Day 12: Puri to Bhubaneswar 

Locals relaxing on the beach in Puri

Relax on the beach in the morning before driving back to Bhubaneswar in the afternoon. Once you arrive, you have the rest of the day to explore at your leisure.

Day 13: Bhubaneswar to Kolkata

Mother Teresa's room at the Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata

You'll head to the airport for your flight back to Kolkata. Upon arrival, you'll go on a sight-seeing tour of the city, starting with visiting the La Maison de la Mother Teresa to see her tomb. You'll trek to the center of Nirmal Hriday where Mother Teresa and her sisters lived. From here, go to the famous Howrah Bridge which is also known as Rabindra Setu. The tour continues to St. John Church, the oldest architecture built during British rule in the city.

In the late afternoon, visit the Victoria memorial housing a collection of antiques, built with white marble in the European colonial style. Finally, visit the Kali temple on the banks of the Hoogly River. You'll eventually head back to your hotel in Kolkata for the evening.

Day 14: Depart Kolkata

Kolkata

Transfer to the airport to board your flight from Kolkata to head back home. 

Map

Map of Cultural India: Ancient Cities and Villages of Odisha  - 14 Days
Map of Cultural India: Ancient Cities and Villages of Odisha - 14 Days