Foods We Must Try

Pakhala Bhata

Pakhaḷa (Odia: ପଖାଳ Pakhāḷa, Odia pronunciation: [pɔkʰaɭɔ]) is an Odia cuisine, consisting of cooked rice washed or lightly fermented in water. The liquid part of the dish is known as Toraṇi (ତୋରାଣି ṭorāṇi). It is popular in the state of Odisha and its similar variants in the eastern regions like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bengal, and the northeastern states of Assam and Tripura.

It is a preparation that is consumed during summer, although many people eat it throughout the year, especially for lunch. It is popular among the public as it provides a refreshing food source during the hot climate and replenishes the nutrients in the body. A traditional Odia dish, it is prepared with rice, curd, cucumber, cumin seeds, fried onions and mint leaves. It is popularly served with dry roasted vegetables—such as potato, brinjal, badi and saga bhaja or fried fish.

It is unknown when pakhaḷa was first included in the daily diet of Eastern India, but it was included in the recipe of Lord Jagannath Temple of Puri circa 10th cen. It seems that Pakhala is first introduced in Odisha. A special day, March 20, is celebrated in Odisha as Pakhala Dibasa every year. All Odia people celebrate this day.

Popular variants

  1. Saja Pakhaḷa (fresh pakhaḷa) is prepared by adding water instantly after making freshly cooked rice with drops of lemon in it. This variant doesn't need fermentation.

  2. Basi Pakhaḷa (stale pakhala, basi in Odia means "stale") is prepared by fermenting rice by adding water which is generally kept overnight and eaten in the next day. This variant of pakhala follows the traditional method of preparation. People also eat it with badi chura along with diced onions and lemon to add flavors to the dish.

  3. Jira Pakhaḷa is prepared by adding fried cumin with curry leaves to the pakhaḷa.

  4. Dahi Pakhaḷa is prepared by adding curd to the pakhaḷa. Badi chura is taken as a side dish with pakhala.

  5. Ada Pakhala is prepared by adding ginger and salt to the cooked rice soaked in water.

  6. Sugandhi Pakhala or Subasa Pakhala (flavored pakhala) is prepared by adding chopped or grated ginger and roasted cumin seeds to cooked rice submerged in salty water which gives an aroma to the pakhala.

  7. Tabhaa Pakhala is prepared by adding lemon water to the cooked rice.

Badi Chura

The badi chura is an authentic recipe of Odisha state. Badi is sun-dried lentil dumpling and chura means a coarse mixture of badi, onion, garlic, green chilli & curry leaves along with mustard oil. Nowadays there are varieties of badi available. But traditionally, soaked black gram or urad dal is grinded to a paste along with some water. Then these dumplings are sundried. Usually these are made in fall and stored away for entire year.


  • One cup ‘badi’ made of urad dal (biri dali ra badi)

  • One tablespoon chopped garlic (kata rasuna)

  • 3 green chillies – chopped (kata kanch lanka)

  • One large onion – chopped (kata piaja)

  • One teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)

  • About 10 curry leaves (bhursunga patra)

  • One tablespoon mustard oil

  • Salt to taste


First of all fry the badi with oil on a pan, till it becomes golden brown. Then put it on a blotting paper or a tissue paper, so that the excess oil is soaked out. Crush the badi using your fingers, so as to turn the badi into very small and coarse pieces. Then put a little oil on a pan. Add the cumin seeds (jeera) and curry leaves till the jeera flutters. Now add the chopped garlic, green chillies and onion and stir for about two minutes. Then add the crushed badi and stir further for about one minute. Your Badi Chura is ready to be served.

Ananta Vasudeva Temple

Ananta Vasudeva Temple ("Temple of the Infinite Vāsudeva", Odia:ଅନନ୍ତ ବାସୁଦେବ ମନ୍ଦିର) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu located in Bhubaneswar, the state capital of Odisha, India.

Ananta Vasudeva Temple is a famous Hindu Temple located on the eastern bank of Bindusagar Lake in Bhubaneswar. Situated near Lingaraja Temple, Ananta Vasudeva Temple is one of the few Vaishnavite temples in Bhubaneswar and also one of the top Bhubaneswar Tourist Places.

Dating back to 13th century AD, Ananta Vasudeva Temple is the worship place of the complete idols of Lord Krishna, Lord Balarama and Goddess Subhadra. According to the legends, Lord Vishnu was worshiped at the place where Ananta Vasudeva Temple stands at present. The new temple was built in the 13th century by Queen Chandrika, the daughter of Anangabhima III, during the reign of the king Bhanudeva. The Marathas, who extended their empire up to river Mahanadi, were responsible for renovating the Vishnu Temple at Bhubaneswar in the late 17th Century.


Mukteswara Temple

Mukteswara Temple is an ancient Hindu temple in Bhubaneswar city of Orissa state. It is one of the oldest and the famous temples in Bhubaneswar and also one of the most visited Tourist Places in Bhubaneswar.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is renowned for its beautiful carvings and exquisite sculptural work. Built in 10th Century AD, the temple is a monument of importance in the study of the development of Hindu temples in Odisha. According to legend, the temple is considered to be one of the earliest temples of Somavamsi dynasty. Many scholars believe that this temple is the successor temple of Parasurameswara Temple and built earlier to the Brahmeswara Temple.

The temple is known as 'Gem of Odisha' because of its architecture. Mukteswara Temple is the real specimen of ancient and modern Kalinga School of architecture, blended perfectly in construction. The temple is a massive structure of 35 feet high and is a marvel in sandstone. The temple faces west and is constructed in a lower basement amidst a group of temples. The temple has an entrance porch or torana, the vimana and a jagamohana, the leading hall. The temple is the earliest to be built in pithadeula type. The pyramidal roof of jagamohana was the first of its kind over the conventional two tier structure.

The main highlight of the temple is the magnificent torana - the decorative gateway, an arched masterpiece, reminiscent of Buddhist influence in Orissa. This thick pillared, arched gateway is beautifully carved with strings of beads and other attractive ornaments with statues of smiling women in languorous postures. The temple also has some exquisite carvings and is famed for its captivating and enthralling sculptures. It is fascinating to observe unique sculptures such as a meeting of thin sadhus, a group of playful monkeys, as well as illustrations from the Panchatantra on the outer face of latticed windows.

Built in 10th century, Siddheswar Temple is situated in the northwest corner of the enclosure of Mukteswar Temple and houses an attractive standing figure of Lord Ganesh. The sanctum of the temple built in pancha ratha style is surrounded with five-divisional walls. The temple tower or shikhara is grouped by a row of miniature towers, which is surmounted by four rampant lions on the central ratha.


Kedar Gauri Temple

Kedar Gauri Temple complex is a popular religious site located in Bhubaneswar. Situated behind the Mukteswara Temple, it is one among the eight Astasambu temples in Bhubaneswar.

Kedar Gauri Temple is actually a complex which consists of two separate temples, one is dedicated to Lord Shiva and another is to Goddess Parvati. Legend holds that King Lalatendu Kesari constructed these temples in dedication to two lovers named Kedar and Gauri. Even today, the lovers who want to get married come to this temple to get the blessing of the deities. Another legend holds that Lord Shiva along with Goddess Parvati came to this place from Varanasi, as he preferred a more silent place.

Kedar Temple is one of the two temples in the Kedar Gauri Temple complex. The architectural features of this temple resembles with Siddheswara Temple located in Mukteswara Temple complex. It was built by the Ganga Kings in the 12th century CE. This south facing temple enshrines Shivalinga named as Kedareshwar. It has rekha type vimana and pidha type Jagamohana. The temple is pancha ratha on plan and panchanga bada on elevation. There are Parsvadevta idols found around the exterior wall such as Ganesha, Kartikeya and Parvati.

Gauri Temple is the second temple in the complex and is dedicated to Gauri, consort of Lord Shiva. Although the legends try to associate both the temples, but both were built in different periods by different kings. This temple belongs to Somavamsi period (10th century CE) older than Kedar Temple. The exterior walls of this temple are intricately carved with the sculptures. This east facing temple has Khakhara deula type vimana and pidha type Jagamohana.

The complex also houses three small shrines for Shiva, Hanuman, Durga and Ganesha. The temple premises also houses two ponds namely Khira Kund and Marichi Kund which are said to have sacred powers. The water from Khira Kund is believed to relieve man from the cycle of birth and death whereas the water from Marichi Kund cures woman's infertility.

Every year during Shital Sasthi festival, Lord Lingaraj (Shiva) is taken from Lingaraja Temple in a grand procession to Kedar Gauri Temple, where he marries Devi Parvati.


Vaital Deula (Tinimundia) Temple

Vaital Deula Temple or Baitala Deuḷa is an ancient Hindu temple situated on the banks of Bindu Sarovara in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Locally known as 'Tini Mundia Mandira', it is one of the oldest temples in Bhubaneswar.

The Vaital Temple is an 8th century temple of typical Khakara style of Kalinga School of architecture. This is one of the rare temples in India that was used as a shrine devoted to tantric cult. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Chamundi, the tantric form of Goddess Durga. The temple is one of the most highly revered ones among the Hindus and a large number of devotees come to offer their prayers on some auspicious occasions.

The deul or tower of the temple is the most striking feature of the temple. The semi-cylindrical shape of its roof bears an affinity to the Dravidian gopuram of the South India temples. The plan of the deul is oblong and the jagamohana is a rectangular structure, but embedded in each angle is a small subsidiary shrine. The facade of the deul above the left of the jagamohana is dominated by two chaitya windows. The lower one having a beautifully carved figure of sun god Surya noted for its facial expression, with Usha and Pratyusha shooting arrows on either side. The upper chaitya-window is adorned with a 10-armed Nataraja.

In front of the flat roofed jagamohana is a stone post relieved with two Buddha like figures seated in dharma-chakra-pravartana mudra. The temple is appreciated for its sculpture and architectures. The entrance is decorated with a four-faced linga with remarkable carvings. The outer walls are covered with panels of Hindu deities, mostly Shiva and his consort Parvati in her Shakti form, hunting processions, capturing of wild elephants and the occasional erotic couples.

Another striking feature is the temple's tantric associations, marked by strange carvings in the sanctum and the image enshrined in the central niche, eight armed Chamunda, locally known as Kapalini. The presiding deity, Chamundi is depicted as enthroned upon a corpse, wearing a necklace of skulls and protruding out her bright red tongue. She holds a snake, bow, shield, sword, trident, thunderbolt and an arrow, and is piercing the neck of the demon. Around the image of Chamundi, there are 15 niches that are filled with strange figures.