The district is filled with various ancient remains and sacred places which attracts the countless pilgrims not only from Orissa but also from entire India to visit them. These places have mythological background which attract the researchers to assemble here.
This temple is the sole emblem of ancient art and architecture. The fine arts and sculptures have been depicted by the Oriya artisans in it. It is vivid evidence of the then religious culture. The kings of Orissa were a great devotee of Lord Siva and Parvati. It is famous as “BIRAJA KSHETRA” having mention in the Mahabharat.
The place is associated with the Gaya Asura legend and called “Navigaya” It has mythological importance. The formidable demon “Gayasura” had met his tragic death here. He has also expressed his own grief and repeatancy for which this place has become so much sacred. It attracts large number of pilgrims every year.
This place teaches the devotees to attain the proximity of almighty by real inner devotion. Every year in the month of January (Makar Sankranti), a great festival (Olasuni Ekadasi) is celebrated here. The innumerable pilgrims from various places of Orissa come here with their offerings.
Chandikhol is famous for its presiding deity “Gada Chandi”. This place is very calm and quite with splendid and attractive natural sight.
It is the Buddhist sculpture of 16th century. It is situated 4 miles away from Gopalpur on the bank of river “Kelo”. It is the several colossal heads of “Lord Budha”. On the top of the hill the temple of Mahakali is setup. A large number of Budhist images lie sacattered around the temple and there is a curious twelve armed three headed image of lord “Siva-Bhairavi” among them. A government guest house is established here for the convience of the visitors.
One of the hills of the Assia, in Jajpur district, Nalitagiri, consists if three spurs, the Olasuni, the Londa or Nanda and the Parahari. The Olasuni bears no ancient remains but the cenotaph of the saint Arakshita Das, the founder of the Arakshita Dasisect, a Oriya Sadhu, is situated on it. The Parahari hill is covered with extensive remains of ancient Mahajana Budhist deities. This is the earliest Budhist complex of Orissa most likely started in the 1st century.
Nalitagiri is distinguished for two reasons. Ashok the renowned emperor of Magadha had embrassed Buddhism after the horrible battle of Kalinga. He had selected this place to be a teaching centre of Buddhism. He had erected Buddhist monuments in order to inculcate piousness among the common people. The ruins show huge brick monastery remains of chaitya wall, number of “stupas” which lay litered around this place. A museum recently set up here, displays a number of Mahajana sculptures, huge Boddhisatva statue. Its description is found in the travelogue of Hivan-T-Sang. It is also the residence of dreadful demon named “Kandarasura”, who was the father-in-law of Lord Baladev Jew, the presiding deity of Kendrapara.
The peak, also named Barunibanta Hill is covered with jungle and is seldom visited by any pilgrims. The principal curiosity of the place is a massive piece of rock known as the god Mahavinayak, over which the modern temple has been built.
On the south side of the hill are the ruin of the fort known as Teligarh. The wall and the inner rooms are made of laterite and the door ways of gneiss. A holy fountain is flowing here with a gurgling sound, which attracts the attentions of spectators. No doubt, the natural scenery of this place beggars description.
A small tank, 2 miles from the Jajpur Road railway station reputed to be the lake in which the Kourav King, Duryodhan fleeing from the disastrous Krurkshetra battle, concealed himself from the victorious Pandava till he was eventually discovered and slain by Bhima. In the Mohabharat the lake is named “Dipayana”. A mela is held on the banks in Magha of each year in the memory of this legendary event.