Bhubaneswar, also spelt as Bhubaneshwar, is the capital of the Indian state of Odisha. It is the largest city in Odisha and is a centre of economic and religious importance in Eastern India.
Although the modern city of Bhubaneswar was formally established only in 1948, the history of the areas in and around the present-day city can be traced to 1st century BCE and earlier. With many 8th-12th century CE Hindu temples, which span the entire spectrum of Kalinga architecture, Bhubaneswar is often referred to as a “Temple City of India”. With Puri and Konark it forms the Swarna Tribhuja (“Golden Triangle”), one of eastern India’s most visited destinations.
Bhubaneswar replaced Cuttack as the capital on 19 August 1949, the year after India gained its independence from Britain. The modern city was designed by the German architect Otto Königsberger in 1946. Along with Jamshedpur and Chandigarh, it was one of modern India’s first planned cities. Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are often referred to as the ‘twin cities of Odisha’. The metropolitan area formed by the two cities had a population of 1.7 million in 2011. Bhubaneswar is categorised as a Tier-2 city. An emerging information technology (IT) and education hub, Bhubaneswar is one of the country’s fastest-developing cities.
The foundation of the modern Bhubaneswar city was laid in 1948, although the areas in and around the city have a history going back to 1st century BCE or earlier.
Dhauli, near Bhubaneswar is the site of the Kalinga War (c. 262-261 BCE), in which the Mauryan emperor Ashoka invaded and annexed Kalinga. One of the most complete edicts of the Mauryan Emperor, Ashoka, dating from between 272–236 BCE, remains carved in rock 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) to the southwest of the modern city. After the decline of the Mauryan empire, the area came under the rule of Mahameghavahana dynasty, whose most well-known rule is Kharavela. His Hathigumpha inscription is located at the Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves near Bhubaneswar. The area was subsequently ruled by several dynasties, including Satavahanas, Guptas, Matharas, and Shailobhavas.
Further, Bhubaneswar also plays an important role as a regional gateway to the Golden Tourist Triangle of Puri, Konark, and Chilika Lake. Its strategic geographic location along the east coast of India, has positioned Bhubaneswar to serve as the gateway to South-east Asia with easy access to existing and emerging ports, petrochemical and steel hubs at Paradeep, Kalinganagar, Dharma and Gopalpur. Additionally, a number of new ports are being proposed along the Odisha coast, which will further improve connectivity required for exports.