What does a nature lover want? Bliss, inner peace, or an urge to dive into the beauty of nature. In a vast country such as India, Odisha is such an example of a state, which serves a nature lover. With vast diversity in food, a perfect blend of culture, and laden with astounding architecture, Odisha has it all to satisfy a visitor.
In this article, I have shortlisted some of the best places that will overwhelm your soul and your mind. And I assure you that once you visit Odisha, you are definitely going to fall in love with this state. Now I won’t take much of your time, and let’s just swoop into the article.
KASHMIR OF ODISHA
From the title of first place, you must be wondering why I am mentioning this place as KASHMIR OF ODISHA. As I proceed with this article, you will realize why everyone says this. The name of the place is Daringbadi. Daringbadi is set amidst coffee plantations, echoing valleys, pine forests, and amazing pastures; this place is a complete summer retreat for travelers. It is situated in the Kandhamal district and is surrounded by dense forests of Odisha. Over a few decades, it has become one of the most searched destinations to relax, especially during summers. If one wants to enjoy the beauty of this place to the fullest, then you have to do some hard work and climb to the top of this place. The best places to visit here are as follows:
Madubanda and Badangia waterfalls.
- Hill View Park
- Doluri River
- Butterfly Garden
- Belghar Sanctuary
- Kothgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
- Rushikulya River
Daringbadi is a perfect spot for trekking and camping lovers too. As it is famously known as the KASHMIR OF ODISHA, the febricity and weather pattern are suitable throughout the year. In a nutshell, it is a year-round destination. It has gained much popularity as a tourist place, most of the people visit during the summer season. You can never find a perfect holiday destination amidst forests, rivers, waterfalls, coffee plantations, and valleys anywhere else in India.
HOT SPRING OF ODISHA
Set amidst rolling green hills, green forest, and clouds playing hide and seek with the hills, TAPTAPANI is the most beautiful tourist attraction. It is situated in the Ganjam district of Odisha, just 50 kilometers from Berhampur. As from the title, you must have an idea that there is a hot spring that is completely natural and consists of Sulphur. The water of these springs is known to have medicinal values and can cure aches, pains, and skin diseases such as eczema and scabies. The best places to visit in Taptapani are suggested as under:
- Deer Park, which is maintained by Forest Department
- Sri Nilakantheswar Temple
- Kandimata Temple
- There are many small waterfalls, anonymous brooks, lakes, and tribal villages.
- There is a Tibetan settlement and a monastery.
Most visitors come to this place to dive into the Sulphur-rich hot springs, which revives them and provides them with the calmness of mind. You can also go for a walk along the forest paths or just relax on your hotel deck and enjoy the views of the far-flung hills and greenery. You can reach Taptapani from Kolkata, you can take a train from there to Berhampur, the nearest railway station to Taptapani. After reaching Berhampur, you can take the taxis or else the option of buses is also available every time.
HEAVEN OF ODISHA
The third-place that I am talking about is MAHENDRAGIRI, it is the 2nd highest peak of Odisha. It is surrounded by the Eastern Ghats, and the loftiness of this peak is 4,925 ft. It is famously known as the heaven of Odisha. In Odia, the mountains are known as “GIRI.” So now you know what the word girl implies here. Mahendragiri is located in the Paralakhemundi, which is a subdivision of the Gajapati district, 51km.
To the southwest of Berhampur. Apart from its scenic beauty Mahendragiri also has its religious significance. It is believed that a long-time back Lord Parshuram used to stay here and meditate to please Lord Shiva, and after that, only he was blessed with the Parshu. One more belief is that the five Pandavas with their mother Kunti used to stay here during their exile. Some of the places to visit in Mahendragiri are as under:
- Sunnamuddi River
- Mahendra Tanaya River
- Shandling stream
- The Kunti Temple
- The Gokarneswar Linga
- The Yudhisthira Temple
- The Bhima Temple
An unusual fact about Gokarneswar Linga is that no matter the amount of water you pour, it will disappear. The blue sea at a distance and the peak with its grand beauty will make you as if you are in a fairy tale.
One sad news is that there are no hotel or lodge facilities available there, but if one has the urge to stay there, there are ashrams near Kunti temple. Trekking and camping lovers should add this place to their bucket list. The major festival of Mahendragiri is Maha Shiva Ratri, and during this festival, thousands of devotees come here and hike to the peak to worship Lord Shiva. One can reach here through Bhubaneswar to Paralakhemundi by road.
SPIRITUAL CITY OF ODISHA
If anyone has heard about the char-Dham yatra, Puri is one of them. Puri is a city of beaches with the most famous attraction for the tourists is the Jagannath Temple. It is well known as the resting place of the Lord Shiva. Puri is situated alongside the coast of the Bay of Bengal.
Without the visit of Puri, any pilgrimage tour won`t be completed. The city is visited by a crowd of nature lovers, adventurers, newly married couples, travelers. Puri is gifted with ancient temples, mesmerizing beaches, and famous holy places. Puri has all facilities; it is well equipped with luxury hotels, resorts, and relaxing spas. Puri has all to satisfy a visitor. Some of the best religious destinations to visit are as follows:
- Shree Jagannath Temple
- Ganesh Temple
- Markandeswar Temple
- Narendra Tank
- The Puri Beach
- Swargadwar Beach
The best time to visit is during the summer season. The crowd of tourists mainly visit between the months of April-June as in the summer season one can enjoy the beauty of the place completely, and you don’t need to worry at all about the climate of the Puri you will feel the cool breeze at every time during the day and also at night.
If you visit any place during the season of rain, you won’t be able to enjoy the beauty of the place at all, and if you plan to travel during winter, you won’t be able to enjoy the waves of the sea beach. You can reach here from Bhubaneswar via road or train.
CITY OF TEMPLES
Bhubaneswar is known as the city of temples. It is the capital city of Odisha. Bhubaneswar is the largest city of Odisha, with an area of 419sq. Km, located on the southwestern bank of the Mahanadi River. It is known for its numerous numbers of temples. The city of temples has a rich history. This place is a complete fusion of both modern places and ancient places. Here, you can find the best temples during the daytime with rich architecture and heritage to visit, and during the night you can enjoy completely modern life, you can find malls, clubs, parks and many more places to visit and enjoy. Some of the best places to visit here are as under
- Udaygiri Hill
- Khandagiri Hill
- Dhauli Giri
- Nandankan Zoological Park
In Bhubaneswar, you can find a zoological park to visit, in which there are in total 151 animals, out of which 49 species are mammals, 75 are birds, 36 species are fish, and 27 are reptiles. Some of the well-known species are crocodiles, panthers, blackbucks, hill mynas, civets, storks, and many more. Among all of the temples, The Parshurameshwara and Rajarani Temple are the two most well-known and most visited temples. You can reach here through roadways, by rail or by air. Any mode which is preferable to you.