Keonjhar: Keonjhar district is endowed with a number of scenic tourist spots, but many places having tourism potential have remained far from the sight of the tourists for lack of development and connectivity.
One such place is Dargadishila near Singhanali under Anandapur block. The place, no less than a nature’s paradise, is located in a picture-postcard setting. It offers enchanting sight-seeing scope for people visiting a hydro power project near it.
This hydro power project is the first of its kind in the district. Water of Baitarani river has been dammed and diverted through to a turbine to generate electricity. Many people visit the barrage to enjoy in the lap of nature.
Locals have long been demanding a tourism tag to the place in view of the visitors coming to the place throughout the year.
“If Dargadishila is accorded tourism status, tourism can bring about socio-economic development of the people, mainly the tribals living in villages in the area,” locals observed.
The scenic place is located amid lush green forests and in a calm and tranquil environ. If one travels on NH-20 from Ananadapur toward Ghatgaon, he/she has to take a turn from Kolimati and travel through a hilly road for about 15 km. On the way to the place, people come across a hanging bridge and verdant forests all around. The place is inhabited by tribals. All along the route, one will get delight watching the huts of tribals and their lush green farmland. What makes the place more attractive and enchanting is broad riverbed of Baitarani.
People come to see the barrage, hydro power project and take a dip in the river. Many come for picnicking in winter and even on other days.
This place has another advantage – tourist spot Bhimkund is just 10 km from Dargadishila. Locals and experts have suggested that if boating and rafting facilities are made here, locals will get a scope to earn more money.
Other facilities like ropeway and a hanging bridge connecting two hills over the river will be an added advantage and will boost ecotourism, they pointed out.
They also said that the tourists visiting Ghatagaon, Gundichaghagi waterfall and Sitabinj may come to Dargadishila. If it is planned properly, these places can be converted into a tourist circuit in the district, said Pradip Rout, local resident.
When contacted, district tourism officer Ramesh Chandra Nayak said that steps are being taken to accord tourist tag to Dargadishila in view of its natural settings.