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Places to Visit Near Rourkela - Excursions to Temples, Waterfalls and the Hidden Gems

9 mins. read

Only a few destinations are a visual treat and delve into the realm of discovery, industrialisation and connection to men.

Rourkela, the steel city of Odisha, is located on the cusp of hills, waterfalls, temples and a rich history. Its name originates from the local Sadri language, which translates to Your Village. But when you consider its origin in the Odia language, native to its state, Rour means sun and kela translates to land - Land of the Sun.

The culture here goes beyond the conventional. Delving into the realm of industrial prowess, home to India’s first public sector steel plant, Rourkela is one of the first planned cities located in Sundargarh, the northern district of Odisha.

But beyond the steel giant, the city’s abundant naturally occurring mineral deposits. The blessed landscape offers distinctive glimpses of the tribal culture of the past, living harmoniously alongside modern civilisation, and the prominent Hindu religion with its many temples, Ashrams and festivals. And let us not forget the academic hub the city has built. There are innumerable places to visit in Rourkela, cultures to explore, sites to see and natural attractions to indulge in. The city stands as a charming destination waiting to be explored.

Explore the Best of Rourkela

Whether you are inclined towards nature, spirituality, history or the general sense of exploration, Rourkela and the hidden gems near this steel city are sure to leave an indelible impression on your soul.

A Glimpse into The City

  • Food
  • Best Time to Visit

Places to Visit in Rourkela

  • Vedvyas Temple
  • Ahirabandh Jagannath Temple
  • Hanuman Vatika
  • Biju Patnaik Hockey Stadium
  • Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium

Nearby Gems - Places to Visit Near Rourkela

  • Khandadhar Falls
  • Deojhar Waterfalls
  • Bada Ghagara Waterfall


No city tour is complete without an evening spent savouring the delectable cuisine at the local eateries, street food stalls and family dhabas. And Rourkela is no different. When it comes to tasting the traditional dishes of Odisha and culinary offerings that will leave you craving for more, Rourkela is the place for you.

Influenced by the tribal communities, many still residing in the outskirts, the food culture of Rourkela offers a tempting array of rice, lentils, and vegetables, with an emphasis on celebrating the subtle and savoury flavours. From the staple Dalma, a lentil and vegetable stew to the Aloo Dum, Santula or tangy Khatta, each palate is a testament to the simplicity and flavourfulness of the Odia cuisine. If you are a foodie, then make sure to visit the local eateries and places that define Rourkela’s food culture.

Best Time to Visit

Winter, a whole season lasting from October to March is the best time to visit tourist places in Rourkela. As temperatures dip and the weather becomes pleasantly cooling, it makes for a perfect time to tour the city and wander beneath the clear skies.

Once a hunting ground for kings, Rourkela experiences hot and humid temperatures throughout the summer season. While the rising temperatures may not suit most tourist excursions, if you are up for an early morning trip to the verdant parks and gardens and waterfalls and off-season prices, summers can be a good time to plan a trip.

Many tourists prefer visiting in February for the grand celebration of the Vedvyas Mela, a twelve-day fair, a hundred-year-old tradition welcoming devotees and traders from across the country.

Places to Visit in Rourkela

Vedvyas Temple

Located on the banks of the Brahmani River, Vedvyas Temple has an atmosphere of its own. Made to commemorate the great sage Vyasa, the compiler and classifier of Vedas, who was also revered for narrating the grand epic Mahabharata. Legend has it, that the temple is where the Maharishi Vedvyas used to meditate and also where Lord Ganesha wrote the Mahabharata. Vedvyas Temple is among the renowned places to visit in Rourkela. A place that comes alive on Shiv Ratri and Kartik Purnima and other auspicious occasions. Vedvyas is a hub of spiritual fervour with tourists and devotees flocking to worship the many temples located within the compound.

Ahirabandh Jagannath Temple

A small yet beautiful replica of the Puri Jagannath Temple, Ahirbandh Jagannath Temple is among the most revered places to visit in Rourkela.  The temple is the presiding place for Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra. The temple hosts various festivities and celebrations throughout the year. Devotees from far and wide gather to partake in the joyous festivities and activities including Rath yatra in July.

Hanuman Vatika

Hanuman Vatika is a garden temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The Vatika is renovated to house a towering statue of Lord Hanuman, standing at an impressive height of 75 feet. Surrounding the foot of the statue is a beautifully landscaped garden and a temple complex with shrines and temples of Indian Gods and Goddesses. Each corner of the Vatika tells a story of the richness of Indian spirituality, culture and folklore. Hanuman Vatika is among the best places to visit on your trip to Rourkela.

Biju Patnaik Hockey Stadium

Whether you are a die-hard hockey fan or simply love to indulge in a competitive game or two, Biju Patnaik Hockey Stadium is a great place to visit in Rourkela. The stadium is equipped with modern amenities and state of art facilities to benefit the players. It is also the home ground for the Odisha Hockey Team and serves as a training ground for aspiring hockey players, championship events and community outreach programs.

Hockey Stadium

Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium

Officially recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest fully-seated hockey stadium in the world, Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium stands as a symbol of pride for the people of Odisha and reminds people of the undying truth that hockey remains a core part of the Indian culture. The stadium is built over 50 acres of land inside the Biju Patnaik Campus and is a tribute to Birsa Munda, an Indian tribal freedom fighter from Jharkhand.

Rourkela is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by travellers who seek simplicity and authenticity. Besides the many temples and hockey stadiums, the city also welcomes tourists to indulge in the panoramic views from the hilltops, picnics by the riverside, and excursions amidst nature.

Go Beyond the Steel City

There is no doubt that Rourkela is among the top stopover destinations for tourists on their northeastern Indian peninsula exploration. Yet there are plenty of destinations near the city that call for exploration.

As you venture beyond the limits of the city to the famous tourist places near Rourkela, each promising a journey filled with adventure, and discovery, the cityscapes and the countryside are sure to captivate your heart and mind.

Nearby Gems

Khandadhar Falls

Located a short distance from Rourkela in the Bonai subdivision of the Sundargarh district, Khandadhar Falls is a must-visit place on your trip to Rourkela. A perfect retreat for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike, Khandadhar Falls is a spectacle that will captivate the senses and leave your soul tranquil. The waterfall is surrounded by a lush green forest and winding roads that travel through the quaint villages, tribal areas and rugged trails that offer an adventure of their own.

Deojhar Waterfalls

Tucked away in the Cuttack district of Odisha and a few hour's drive away from Rourkela, Deojhar Waterfalls is an enchanting destination that offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle. Also known as the Dian Dhar waterfall, it is undoubtedly one of the main tourist places near Rourkela. With crystal clear water gushing down the rocks into the basin, the waterfall and the lush greenery will be the perfect backdrop for your Instagram photos.

Bada Ghagara Waterfall

Bada Ghagara is among the most visited tourist places near Rourkela. Located in the Kendujhar district, some 200 kilometres away from Rourkela, this majestic waterfall offers a one-of-a-kind experience. Cascading from a height of 200 feet and flanked by a dense forest area teeming with vibrant flora and fauna, the sight of the Bada Ghagara Falls is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

With this guide, you now know all about the top tourist places to visit in Rourkela and nearby destinations. Choose from our pre-curated Odisha tour packages and set off on an exploration of a tapestry of unparalleled beauty, captivating nature spots, hidden gems and timeless treasures.

April 06, 2024


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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