Keonjhar: Keonjhar is rich in natural resources such as hills, forests, waterfalls, rivers and creeks. However, the gigantic rocks have missed the eyes of tourists from inside and outside the district due to lack of proper development and publicity.
So, many residents Thursday suggested that Keonjhar has a number of colossal and artistic rocks which can be better utilised for beautification of tourist destinations in the district.
“Colossal rocks are available in plenty in Ghatagaon, Sadar, Patana and Harichandanpur blocks of Keonjhar in different shapes and sizes such as oval, circular and half-circular,” a local stated.
Wide varieties of the artistic rocks are usually found in Sitabinj village under Ghatagaon block. There are also large-sized rock floors in the region. Some of the colossal rocks located on hills appear like a fort when seen from a distance. Even to the extent, some of the rocks are of about half-a-kilometre in diametre and around a square kilometre in size, which need to be measured, the residents informed.
A rock at Sitabinj with Entudisala (birthplace) of goddess Sita on it is a major source of attraction. Another large-sized rock located nearby is regarded as Bhandara Ghara (treasure house) of Dasyu Ratnakar. The large rock has one more rock placed on it, which is called Ravana Chhaya and it has ancient stone carvings on its lower part.
One such large rock at Dhanabeni village under Harichandanpur block has a Shaivite temple on it. This place of attraction in keonjhar still awaits the status of a tourist destination.
Similarly, the passersby get mesmerised by seeing one more colossal rock with a Sunya Mandira (empty temple) on it at Belada under Sadar block and beside NH-49. Some of the rocks contain inscriptions and symbols like human footprints as well.
Likewise, there is a gigantic rock at Deobandha village to the right side of Keonjhar-Harichandanpur road. After developing the surrounding area with afforestation, certainly it will attract tourist footfall, a local columnist and compiler Pradip Kumar Rout expressed.
“A number of such large-sized rocks do possess ancient carvings and inscriptions. If Keonjhar administration develops hills with artistic rocks and utilises the gigantic rocks for beautification of tourist destinations, it might contribute to the district’s economy,” a resident and retired educationist Bimbadhar Behera opined.
It is pertinent to mention, several artifacts belonging to the days of Buddha and Jain are found in Keonjhar district in its hills and forests. Even, some of the hills have many caves which are believed to have had accommodated Rishis (saints) in the olden times.