One touch of nature makes the world kin
Bhubaneswar: As the scorching summer heat has forced the schools across the state to close down from April 18, parents have started making holiday plans for their kids.
While many choose the hill stations in Uttarakhand or Himachal Pradesh or Mount Abu in Rajasthan, a few know that Odisha has plenty to deliver in terms of summer escapades.
Endowed with miles of green forests, gurgling rivers, elaborate coastlines, lakes and lagoons and forestry the scenic view of some of the holiday places in the state are simply irresistible.
Orissa POST explores some of the tourist locations which are worthy of a summer visit.
Termed as ‘little Kashmir’ of Odisha, the place is mindboggling for its ‘snowfall’. Its dense forest and wild animals, coffee and black pepper gardens, pine trees and the valleys and plateaus which are dotted with turmeric gardens are a sight to die for. Its natural beauty is constantly explored by travellers. Lifestyle of the Dongri and Kutia Khond tribes are a treat to watch while one can explore the natural Mudubandha waterfall which is a big part of Odisha’s eco-tourism. Around 251 km from Bhubaneswar, one can travel by road and the nearest railway station is at Berhampur which is 120 km from here.
The eco-resort ‘Satkosia Sands Resort’ has seven luxurious air-conditioned cottages on mountain slopes facing the Satkosia gorge. The campus has nine luxurious Swiss cotton tents pitched on the sandbar of river Mahanadi. Spread over 796 sq km, Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1976 in Orissa. Spread out in four districts of the state namely— Angul, Boudh, Cuttack and Nayagarh— Satkosia Gorge has an exclusive geomorphology feature as Mahanadi cuts it through the Eastern Ghats thus forming a wonderful gorge around 22 kms long. One can see alligators and turtles basking on river banks during boating in the gorge. Sand sports and boating in the gorge, cycling in the forest, swimming in the river and trekking through the hills with eco-guides make your day well spent in the wilderness. Satkosia Tiger Reserve, surrounded by thick forests on banks of Mahanadi at Badmul is one of the best summer destinations in the state.
Similipal National park was established in 1980 in an area of 845.70 sq km. The name is derived from Red Silk Cotton trees called Semul in local language, which are available in plenty in this area. The park has two beautiful waterfalls like Joranda and Barehipani. Similipal is home for Royal Bengal Tigers, wild elephants and many other animals. Tourists can try jungle and hill trekking, farm visits and safari. Visit to three waterfalls – Barehipani, Joranda and Uski – and back to camp via Chahala is a must to see the wildlife here. Tourists make night halt in three nature camps at Gurguria, Jamuani and Kumari, and Ramatirthanature camp which are close to the tiger reserve.
Chilika Lake is the natural brackish water lagoon of Odisha. It is the largest ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent which witnesses a fascinating global celebration of winged guests every year. The lagoon has been a habitat for Irrawaddy dolphins. The lake has been declared as ‘Destination Flyway’ by the United Nation’s World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) because of its natural treasure and bio-diversity.