With its featureless 1950s architecture, Bhubaneswar may initially strike you as surprisingly dull for a city with a population of almost a million and a history of settlement stretching back more than two thousand years. However, the southern suburbs harbour the remnants of some of India’s finest medieval temples, which are made all the more atmospheric by the animated religious life that continues to revolve around them, particularly at festival times. They are quite spread out, but it’s possible to see the highlights in a day by auto-rickshaw. The majority are active places of worship, so dress appropriately, remove your shoes (and any leather items) at the entrance and seek permission before taking photographs, particularly inside the buildings. The resident priest will expect a donation if he’s shown you around, but don’t believe the astronomical amounts recorded in the ledgers you’ll be shown. Entry is free to all temples except the Rajarani.

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