Odisha’s capital city, Bhubaneswar, stood shining in the wake of two grand events this year – the Men’s Hockey World Cup and the Dot Festival that concluded on December 16. By Rashima Nagpal

This December, the destination for the Men’s Hockey World Cup – Bhubaneshwar – got a lot of attention. While the tournament attracted a lot of hockey enthusiasts to the city, a first of its kind 16-day-long festival organised by the state government offered a holistic experience of the city. In a vibrant mix of Food (F), Entertainment (E), Stories (S), and Trails (T), the Dot FEST painted the city in its best colours.

Bhubaneswar
Photo Courtesy: Detour Odisha

Bhubaneswar, as a city, is a gem waiting to be explored. And the Dot FEST, by highlighting upon its rich history and culture, made it all the more evident. Of centuries-old temple structures that appeal to the inquisitive mind, traces of the Kalinga empire, a rich variety of dishes (from Dahi Wada Aaloo Dum to Chhena Poda), the cultural delight that Odissi is, and particularly the inherent simplicity that underlines it all—the city of the Ekamra Kshetra holds a treasure trove of experiences.

Bhubaneswar
Photo Courtesy: Detour Odisha

The highlights of the 16-day extravaganza included an international food festival that brought a rich mix of regional and global flavours to the table; a row of starry musical performances by the likes of Vishal & Shekhar, Shaan, Farhan Akhtar, Nooran Sisters, and more, each evening; an enchanting line-up of storytelling sessions curated by well-known storyteller Deepa Kiran; and a variety of heritage walks and trails through the by-lanes and alleyways of the historical city.

Bhubaneswar
Photo Courtesy: Detour Odisha

Related: Unexplored India: Visit Odisha For its Hidden, Wild Gems