How To Reach Odisha
Bordered by the states of Jharkhand, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Chhattisgarh; Odisha is well connected and accessible by tourists from all over the globe. However, the most convenient and comfortable way to reach Odisha is by air. Being not just a popular location for film shoots, but also a popular tourist destination, Odisha is home to 17 airports comprising commercially-used, military-used, privately-used and flying-used flights. The main airport however is the Biju Patnaik International Airport located in the capital city, Bhubaneshwar. The airport provides good connectivity with major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Raipur. This airport is located just 6 kilometres from the city centre. Around 14 airlines fly to and from the airport such as Jet Airways, Indigo, Emirates, Spice Jet and Air India. The major tourist attraction, Puri is located 61 kilometres from the airport. Air India Regional also offers flights to Port Blair from Bhubaneshwar.
The fastest way to reach Odisha is to take a flight from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus Airport in Mumbai, and you will be there in approximately two hours. This airport is equipped with high-class facilities and amenities that will take care of all your needs while you are on the go. There are quite a few places to keep yourselves entertained as you wait for your flight. Be it shopping or eating, the airport has it all. Upon arrival, individuals can avail of the cab, taxi and bus services lined up outside the airport.
It would be advisable to book your tickets well in advance, especially if you are travelling in the peak season.
Major cities and states are connected to Odisha and some of its cities by rail. The most prominent railhead in Odisha lies in Bhubaneshwar.
Rajdhani, Konark Express, and Coromondel Express are some of the trains that serve this station. Bhubaneshwar Railway station also connects you to Kolkata, Puri, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Tirupati and Trivandrum via Express and Super Express trains. These run daily as per schedule. Buses, cabs and taxis are available as soon as you step out of the railway station.
Odisha is well connected with all the major cities in the country with its accessible national and state highways. National Highway 16 traverses along the east coast of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Tamil Nadu. Coastal Odisha is a stop along the way with road routes between Kolkata and Chennai also passing through Bhubaneshwar. The road also connects Sambalpur with Kolkata, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. You can also avail multiple bus services from neighbouring states. You have access to local buses and comfortable Volvos to travel to and from Odisha. If you are fond of road trips, these two-lane and four-lane highways are a blessing to drive on. You can also hire a car or a taxi or perhaps hop on to any of the local or private buses to reach Odisha. Keeping your budget, comfort and safety mind, weigh your options carefully before you choose your mode of transport. National Highway 5, 6, 23, 42 and 43 grant access to Odisha by road.
A blessing in disguise for the tourist and locals, is Bhubaneshwar’s numbered bus system. The city’s buses function between 7 am and 9 pm. Head to the master canteen and you will find a line of buses waiting, ready to take you to your preferred destination. Before you get in the bus, do check its route since some buses run along more than one course. Odisha State Board Transportation Corporation runs buses across 45 cities in Odisha such as Bhubaneshwar, Puri, Jeypur, Vijayanagaram and Vishakhapatnam. Buses also run from the Baramunda Bus Stand to places such as Cuttack and Konark. While the main bus stand in Puri runs frequent buses to Satapada and Bhubaneshwar. Private buses can also be availed to and from various parts of the state.
Ola and Uber services in and around Bhubaneshwar cost approximately INR 100. If you want a full-fledged tour, then Odisha Tourism Development Corporation provides car and driver services to facilitate tours around the area. If you wish to travel to other cities, an air-conditioned car would cost you INR 12 per kilometre. Make sure you book the car a day prior to when you wish to travel.
You cannot miss out on the airy autorickshaw rides when in Odisha. Available at every nook and corner of Bhubaneshwar city, these rides cost around INR 200 to the airport if hailed on the street. If you are looking to share a ride with the locals along the main routes of the city, most rides cost around INR 10.
When you’re contemplating how to travel in Odisha, all the above options should be considered before you take your pick!