Golden triangle of Orissa is different from its counterpart in North India. It is about three important religious centers for Hindus that have recently been started to promote as golden triangle of Orissa by the state tourism department. Over 10 million devotees visit these pilgrimage destination in a year. These places not only attract Hindu pilgrims but their remarkable architecture also attracts foreign tourists as well.
Lingaraj Temple of Bhubaneswar - The capital of Orissa, Bhubaneswar, is often referred as temple city because of over 100 temples, some of which dates back more than 1000 years. The most important temple here is the Lingaraj Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is quite old, more than 1100 years old. There is very little known about the temple. Its not just a temple but a massive complex with more than 55 shrines dedicated to different Hindu gods and goddess. The architecture of Lingaraj Temple is impressive. Unfortunately it does not allow entry to non-Hindus. This is part of trend followed by the temple since 11th century. No exception has made by the priests of temple to allow any Non-Hindu to enter inside it. Reaching Bhubaneswar is quite easy thanks to good air and train connectivity. There are daily flights to Bhubaneswar from Mumbai and Delhi. Frequent train service is also offered to Bhubaneswar from major Indian cities.
Jagannath Puri Temple - Once you have paid homage at the Lingaraj Temple, travel 57km to the beach city of Puri. It is easy to reach by car or bus from Bhubaneswar. Your destination in Puri is Jagannath Puri temple. One of the four stop of chardham yatra. This makes Jagannath Puri Temple a very important pilgrimage destination for Hindus. Similarly to Lingaraj temple it also does not allow entry to non Hindus. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and dates back to similar time as Lingaraj Temple. Some historian believe that both temples were built around the same time. While non-Hindus can't enter inside they should still consider to travel Puri. Because there are several other temples that will keep you interested. Not to mention the golden sand beach of Puri, the finest in India for swimming. The months of June/July see a big festival in Puri. Annual Rath Yatra is quite a tourist draw attracting more than 1 million people. This is the only time non-Hindu can see idols of the Jagannath Puri Temple when they are carried in three huge chariots.
Konark Sun Temple - In term of architecture, the above two temples are no match to Konark Sun temple. And, it allows entry to everyone. Thanks god for that. Unfortunately the temple is quite old and has not been maintained in over 500 years. As a result several sections of the temple are turned into ruins. Saying that, it still is remarkable piece of architecture. A visit to Konark Sun temple would not disappoint you. The temple is dedicated to Lord Sun. The temple is designed in the shape of a chariot carried by 7 horses and 24 wheels. To make it short, it is designed in the shape of Sun God's vehicle.