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Surrounded by scenic hills and rivers, Rourkela is a planned city and the third-largest urban centre in Odisha. Also known as the ‘industrial capital’ of Odisha – the word Rourkela is a combination of two words, ‘rour’ meaning ‘our’ and ‘kela’ meaning ‘village’ in native language. Primarily known for steel plants and industries, this beautiful city of Odisha attracts tourists for its scenic and man-made wonders. You can find gorges, dams, caves, parks, heritage temples and markets. There is a lot to see and a whole lot of things to do in Rourkela. We have shortlisted the most fun-filled and exciting ones, right for you, so that you don’t miss out!

12 Things To Do In Rourkela

Here is the list of fun and engaging things to do in Rourkela. Take a look and choose what and where you want to do in this serene Odisha city.

1. Trek to Khandadhar Falls

2. Picnic at Darjing

3. Indira Gandhi Park

4. Visit Jagannath Temple

5. Enjoy the scenic beauty of Pitamahal Dam

6. Visit Badaghagra Falls

7. Ghogar: The Gorge

8. Shavitri Mela at Vyas

9. Leisure walk at Hanuman Vatika

10. Visit Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir

11. Shop at VIP Market

12. Deer Park – Natural Date

Best Time To Visit Rourkela

Rourkela is adorned with hot and humid climate throughout the year but the best time to visit Rourkela is between October and March. Rourkela experiences moderately cool and comfortable climate during these months.

1. Trek To Khandadhar Falls

Khandadhar Falls

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Located on the outskirts of Rourkela in the Nandapani region, Khandadhar Falls is one of the major scenic attractions of the place. Trekking up to the Khandadhar Falls is one of the most exciting things to do in Rourkela. Korapani Nala plunges from an altitude of 240 m to form Khandadhar Falls which is one of the highest waterfalls in Odisha. Surrounded by dense forests, the waterfall resembles the edge of the sword, hence named ‘Khandadhar’. Ideal for nature lovers and peace seekers, a trip to Rourkela remains unfinished without visiting this surreal cascade.

Location: Sundargarh, Rourkela, Odisha 770041

Distance from Rourkela: 62 km

Entry fees: Free

Timing: Before Sunset

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2. Picnic At Darjing

Picnic at Darjing

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A family picnic at Darjing is one of the most amazing things to do in Rourkela. Nestled on the bank of river Brahmani, Darjing is a popular scenic spot. Known for its picturesque charm and serenity, this is one of the best romantic places in Rourkela. For couples, a leisure walk is one of the most sought-after things to do in Rourkela. One can even plan a day picnic with friends and families or can spend the day at the Inspection Bungalow located there. For those who love hiking, do visit the 2 km long Gorge located nearby.

Location: NH143, Rourkela, Odisha 770040

Distance from Rourkela: 47 km

Entry fees: Free

Timing: Before Sunset

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3. Visit Indira Gandhi Park


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Sprawling over 42 acres of land, Indira Gandhi Park is a spectacular city park with well-manicured lush green meadows. This is a perfect place to spend time with family, particularly kids. They can enjoy at the park’s mini zoo and aquarium, spot animals like deer, crocodile, black bear and varieties of colourful fish. One can also visit the fascinating doll museum, rose garden, Japanese garden, and fountain. Children can even enjoy the toy train ride and boating.

Location: Sector 4, Rourkela, Odisha 769006

Distance from Rourkela: 3 km

Entry fees: INR 3 per person. Boating charges are separate.

Timing: 8 am to 6:30 am, on all the days of the week except Monday.

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4. Visit Jagannath Temple


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Devoted to Lord Jagannath, Lord Balarama and Goddess Subhadra, this is a sparkling white temple in Rourkela. Constructed in 1975, this 90 m high temple showcases splendid architectural wonders. Visiting here for some peaceful time and worship is one of the most rejuvenating things to do in Rourkela, Odisha. Located in Ahirabandh, this is also known as Ahirabandh Jagannath Temple and the place attracts visitors from different parts of India throughout the year, particularly during Rath Yatra.

Location: Ahirabandh, Sector 3, Rourkela

Distance from Rourkela: 1 km

Entry fees: Free

Timing: Round the clock

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5. Enjoy Scenic Beauty At Pitamahal Dam

Pitamahal Dam

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If your heart is craving for mesmeric beauty and peaceful ambiance, Pitamahal Dam is the right place for you. Surrounded by scenic mountains, this dam, built on Pitamahal River overwhelms every visitor with its charming views. Day picnic or simply relishing the scenic beauty is one of the most refreshing yet free things to do in Rourkela.

Location: Pitamahal River, Rourkela, India

Distance from Rourkela: 17 km

Entry fees: Free

Timing: Before sunset

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6. Trek To Badaghagra Falls: Hikers Heaven


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If you love trekking and wondering what to do in Rourkela, enjoy a trek up to the Badaghagra Falls. An offbeat yet exceptionally beautiful waterfall in Kendujhar district. Badaghagra attracts tourists with its serenity and scenic aura. Plunging from a height of 200 feet, Badaghagra Falls is a perfect place for a fun-filled day picnic. Those who are planning to trek, do not miss your trekking shoes as the trail is quite undulating.

Location: Kendujhar District | City – Kendujhar, Rourkela

Distance from Rourkela: 95 km

Entry fees: Free

Timing: Before sunset

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7. Visit Ghogar – Where Natural Beauty Combines With Spiritual Aura

Visit Ghogar

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Sprawling over 5 km, Ghogar is a gorge on River Ib in Rourkela. The place has immense natural beauty but what makes your visit to this place one of the must-do things to do in Rourkela is the naturally formed Shivalinga, made of black granite. Presently, this Shivalinga is enclosed in Ghogar Dham temple, which is run by Sri Ghogareswar Mahadeb Trust. Every year, during the month of Shravan and Shivaratri, visitors from all over the country visit this temple to seek blessings. The temple offers community lunch and accommodation to outstation devotees.

Location: Sundargarh, Rourkela

Distance from Rourkela: 21 kms

Entry fees: Free

Timing: 24 hours

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8. Explore Vedvyas Temple: Instil The Divinity Within

Vedvyas Temple

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Vedvyas is a holy place, located at the confluence of three rivers – Koel, Shankha and Saraswati. This place is named after great sage Vyasdeva as mythological tales reveal that great epic Mahabharata was written here. There is a holy cave named Vyasa Cave on the riverbanks. Vedvyas is most popular for Shavitri Mela.

Location: Vedvyas, Rourkela 769004

Distance from Rourkela: 7 km

Entry fees: Free

Timing: Open 24 hours

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9. Leisure Walk At Hanuman Vatika

Hanuman Vatika

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Hanuman Vatika is a lush green garden dedicated to the Lord Hanuman and contains a 75 feet tall statue of the lord. Other than this, there are several temples in the park, devoted to Maa Laxmi, Sarala, Vaishno devi, Dwadash Linga and Siva. Taking a leisure walk in this spectacular city park and experiencing the sight of such a gigantic sculpture is one of the most exciting activities to do in Rourkela.

Location: Basanti Nagar, Rourkela, Odisha 769012

Distance from Rourkela: 5 km

Entry fees: Free

Timing: Round the clock

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10. Visit Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir


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Visit to believe that Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir in Rourkela is exactly the replica of the one at Jammu. Located on a hilltop, this temple was constructed in 2003 and attracts devotees round the year particularly during Navaratri Festival. Besides offering prayers and seeking blessings from Mata Rani, this place offers a jaw dropping view of the entire city.

Location: Vaishno Devi Temple Road, Railway Colony, Rourkela

Distance from Rourkela: 3 km

Entry fees: Free

Timing: Open 24 hours

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11. Explore VIP Market

Fruits market

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Built in 1960, the VIP market is one of the oldest marketplaces in Rourkela. The market has got this name owing to its high-profile customers visiting this shopping area. VIP market has 36 big and 32 low-profile shops located close to each other, run by local Odisha traders who have their home on the first floor of the shops. From daily need items, knick-knacks to local handicrafts; one can get everything here while exploring this age-old VIP market.

Location: Sector 5, Rourkela

Distance from Rourkela: 2 km

Entry fees: Free

Timing: 10:30 AM–12 PM and 5:30 PM–9:30 PM

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12. Spot Nature At Deer Park

Deer Park

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Popularly known as Mrig Vihar, this deer park was built by the Steel Authority of India during the Silver Jubilee celebration of Rourkela Steel Plant. Spotting herds of deer and enjoying musical fountain shows is one of the super exciting activities to do in Rourkela for people of all age groups.

Location: Sector 8, Rourkela, Odisha 769009

Distance from Rourkela: 5 km

Entry fees: Free

Timing: 7 am to 7 pm, on all days except Mondays

How To Reach Rourkela

By Train: The best way to travel to Rourkela is by train. Super-fast and express trains connect Rourkela with various parts of India.

By Flight: The nearest airport to Rourkela is Birsa Munda Airport at Ranchi, 250 kms away.

By Road: National Highway number 23 and State Highway number 10 connects Rourkela to other cities like Bhubaneswar and Puri. Regular buses ply to and from Rourkela to nearby major cities of Kolkata, Ranchi, and Raipur.

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Rourkela is a scenic and serene city in Odisha, ideal for people who like peace and want to stay close to nature. From trekking to leisure walks, temple to market visits, the list of things to do in Rourkela caters to tourists of all kinds. Plan a trip to Odisha and experience the surreal charm. Do not forget to share your experiences with us.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In Rourkela

What does Rourkela mean?

Rourkela is an amalgamation of two words. ‘Rour’ means ‘our’ and ‘kela’ means ‘village’ in the local language. The city is also known as ‘tribal heartland city’.

What is the best time to visit Rourkela?

Rourkela can be visited round the year. But the best time is between October and March owing to pleasant and comfortable weather.

What are the must visit places in Rourkela?

The must-see places in Rourkela are Indira Gandhi Park, Mrig Vihar, Hanuman Vatika, Jagannath Mandir, Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir, Darjing and Ghogar.

How to reach Rourkela?

The most convenient way to reach Rourkela is by train. Express and super-fast trains connect Rourkela with major Indian cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Mumbai, Bhopal, Ahmedabad etc.

Name some weekend getaways near Rourkela?

Hirakud, Gumla, Sambalpur, Ramgarh, Bilaspur, Netarhat, Simlipal, Chaibasa and Ambikapur are some of the popular weekend getaways near Rourkela.

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