Bhubaneswar, also spelled Bhubaneshwar, is the capital of the Indian state of Orissa, officially spelled Odisha. The city has a history of over 3000 years starting with the Mahamegha-bahana Chedi dynasty (around 2nd century BCE) who had Sisupalgarh near present-day Bhubaneswar as their capital. Bhubaneswar has been known by names such as Toshali, Kalinga Nagari, Nagar Kalinga, Ekamra Kanan, Ekamra Kshetra and Mandira Malini Nagari (City of Temples) otherwise known as the Temple City of India. It is the largest city of Orissa, and a center of economic and religious importance in the region today.
Bhubaneswar's possession of magnificent sculptures and architectural heritage, coupled with the sanctity as Ekamrakshetra make this one of the great religious centres of Orissa since early medieval days. With its large number of Hindu temples (over 600 in number), which span the entire spectrum of Kalinga architecture, Bhubaneswar is often referred to as a Temple City of India and together with Puri and Konark it forms the Swarna Tribhuja (Golden Triangle); one of the most visited destinations in eastern part of India. The modern city of Bhubaneswar was designed by the German architect Otto Königsberger in 1946. Like Jamshedpur, Chandigarh, it is one of the first planned cities of modern India.
With the Chandaka forest reserve on the fringes, the city with an abundance of greenery, is one of the cleanest and greenest cities of India. Bhubaneswar replaced Cuttack as the political capital of the state of Orissa in 1948, a year after India gained its independence from Britain. Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are often commonly together known as the twin-cities of Orissa. The metropolitan area formed by the twin cities had a population of 1.4 million during 2011. Bhubaneswar is categorized as a Tier-2 city. An emerging Information Technology (IT) hub, the boom in the metals and metal processing industries have made Bhubaneswar one of the fastest developing cities of India in recent years.
Bhubaneswar is primarily, being the capital of Orissa, an administrative city and also a tourism city. Bhubaneswar has emerged as a fast-growing, important trading and commercial hub in the state and the eastern India. Tourism has been and is one the major industries in Bhubaneswar, with the city attracting about 1.5 million tourists in 2011. Bhubaneswar was meant to house the state's machinery and hence was designed to be a largely residential city with outlying industrial areas. The city's economy had few major players till the 1990s and was dominated by retail and small-scale manufacturing. With the economic liberalisation policy adopted by the Government of India in the 1990s, Bhubaneswar received investment in telecommunications, information technology (IT) and higher education.
The headquarters of the Orissa State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) is located in Bhubaneswar. The main Bhubaneswar inter-state bus terminus is situated at Barmunda, 8 kilometres (5.0 mt) from the city centre, from where OSRTC and other private operators run a fleet of buses connecting Bhubaneswar to cities in Orissa and with the neighboring states of Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh. Bhubaneswar is connected to the rest of Orissa and India by National Highways-NH 5, which is a part of the Kolkata-Chennai prong of the Golden Quadrilateral, NH 203, State Highway 13 and State Highway 27.
Bhubaneswar is supposed to have had over a thousand temples; earning the tag of the Temple City of India. Temples made in the Kalinga architectural style - which typically constitutes, the pine spire that curves up to a point over the sanctum housing the presiding deity, and the pyramid-covered hall where people sit and pray. Some of the famous temples include, Lingaraj Temple, Muktesvara Temple, Rajarani Temple, Ananta Vasudeva Temple. The twin hills of Khandagiri & Udayagiri, served as the site of an ancient Jain monastery which was carved into cave-like chambers in the face of the hill. These caves, with artistic carvings, date back to the 2nd century BCE.
Dhauli hills has major Edicts of Ashoka engraved on a mass of rock, and a dazzling white Peace Pagoda has been built by the Japan Buddha Sangha and the Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangha in the 1970s. Apart from the ancient temples few other important temples were built in recent times that includes Ram Mandir and ISKCON temple.
Bhubaneswar's major sporting arena is the Kalinga Stadium, having facilities for athletics, football, hockey, basketball, tennis, table tennis and swimming. East Coast Railway Stadium, a prominent cricket stadium hosts Ranji Trophy, and other matches. Construction of the galleries and renovation of the stadium is under process. An air-conditioned indoor stadium with a capacity of 2000 spectators for hosting badminton, volleyball, basketball and table tennis games is also under construction. Barabati Stadium, Cuttack, Orissa's only venue for international cricket matches, is located around 25 kilometres (16 mt) away. Bhubaneswar has its own franchise of Odisha Premier League, Bhubaneswar Jaguars, which started in 2010. Bhubaneswar Golf Club, a nine-hole golf course is situated in the Infocity area of the city.