Keonjhar: Though Handibhanga waterfall has rich natural scenic beauty that attracts many tourists round the year, lack of infrastructure and road connectivity have been stumbling blocks in its development.
The waterfall is situated under Joda block in Keonjhar district and is about 50 km away from Keonjhar town. This waterfall is located amidst lush green forest with up rolling mountain range, which has got the status of a tourist destination.
Its surrounding area is a huge reserve of rich biodiversity and ecology. Falling from a height of 200 feet and with stunning landscapes, this waterfall mesmerises tourists, picnickers and weekend holidayers.
Moreover, October to March is the best period to visit this waterfall, during which its beauty gets further accentuated by surrounding mountains and verdant forests. There are temples of Veer Hanuman and Padmeswar Mahadev in the vicinity of this waterfall.
Access road to the upper part of waterfall is rough and undulating. Often tourists have to walk up to the hilltop to enjoy the picturesque natural beauty. Some others prefer to relish the charm of the splashing water from lower part of Handibhanga waterfall.
Floral and faunal diversity of this region is huge for being a herpetofaunal hotspot. Rich in minerals, the surrounding forest areas also house several species of animals, birds and reptiles.
Bathing in the cool water here gives immense pleasure to tourists and picnickers. However, in the absence of a mobile tower, lighting and other facilities, visitors go back home much before the sun sets.
Infrastructure development could boost the footfall of foreign as well as out of state tourists at Handibhanga waterfall, which would, in turn, help support the district’s economy, locals suggested.
Notably, Keonjhar district is the playground of nature, away from hordes of tourists that throng to popular hill stations. The place thus presents an exotic mix of natural beauty along with fascinating serenity of humming rivers, which still remain to be explored.