Bhubaneswar is the capital of the Indian state of Odisha historically was often depicted as Ekamra Kshetra. It is the largest city in Odisha and is a centre of economic and religious importance in Eastern India. Bhubaneswar is often referred to as a "Temple City of India". With Puri and Konark it forms the Swarna Tribhuja ("Golden Triangle"), one of eastern India's most visited destinations. Bhubaneswar replaced Cuttack as the capital on 19 August 1949; 2 years after India gained its independence from Britain. The modern city was designed by the German architect Otto Königsberger in 1946. Along with Jamshedpur and Chandigarh, it was one of modern India's first planned cities. Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are often referred to as the 'twin cities of Odisha'. Bhubaneswar is categorized as a Tier-2 city.
Dhauli, near Bhubaneswar is the site of the Kalinga War (c. 262-261 BCE), in which the Mauryan emperor Ashoka dating from between 272–236 BCE. After the decline of the Mauryan Empire, the area came under the rule of Mahameghavahana dynasty, whose most well-known rule is Kharavela. His Hathigumpha inscription is located at the Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves near Bhubaneswar. Most of the older temples in Bhubaneswar were built between 8th and 12th centuries, under Shaiva influence. The Ananta Vasudeva Temple is the only old temple of Vishnu in the city. In the 16th century, the area came under Mughal control. The Marathas, who succeeded the Mughals in mid-18th century, encouraged pilgrimage in the region. In 1803, the area came under British colonial rule, and was part of the Bengal Presidency (until 1912), Bihar and Orissa Province (1912-1936) and Orissa Province (1936-1947). On 30 September 1946, a proposal to move the capital to a new capital was introduced in the Legislative Assembly of the Orissa Province. After independence of India, the foundation of the new capital was laid on 13 April 1948. The name of the new capital came from "Tribhubaneswar" or "Bhubaneswar" (literally "Lord of the Earth"), a name of Shiva, the deity of the Lingaraja temple. The Legislative Assembly of Orissa was shifted from Cuttack to Bhubaneswar in 1949.
Mahanadi River forms the northern boundary of Bhubaneswar metropolitan area, bounded by the Daya River to the south and the Kuakhai River to the east; the Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary and Nandankanan Zoo lie in the western and northern parts of Bhubaneswar, respectively.
In 2009, Odisha was ranked ninth among Indian states in terms of software export by NASSCOM, with most IT/ITES companies established in Bhubaneswar. In 2011–12, Odisha had a growth rate of 17% for software exports. According to a 2012 survey, among the tier-2 cities in India, Bhubaneswar has been chosen as the best for conducting IT/ITES business. Infosys and Tech Mahindra have been present in Bhubaneswar since 1996. Other software companies include TCS, Mindfire Solutions, Wipro, IBM, Genpact, Firstsource, Mindtree, MphasiS, Ericsson, Semtech and Reliance Communications. Apart from the big multinationals, some 300 small and mid-size IT companies and business start ups have offices in Bhubaneswar.
Bhubaneswar has a large number of institutes for high education. Bhubaneswar is one of the few cities in India which houses IIT, NISER, Xavier Institute of Management (XIMB), Institute of Mathematics and Applications (IOMA), National Institute of Fashion Technology, Institute of Physics, Institute of Life Sciences, Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology, Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, Regional Medical Research Center. One Govt and good number of Private engineering colleges and one of the oldest University of india i.e Vani vihar. There are four medical colleges such as All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Hi-Tech Medical College & Hospital.