It was 8 in the evening, the sun had sent long ago in this part of the country with winter in full force. No, I am not talking about the Himalaya or the North East; I was in the state of Kalinga. The forests were looming all around and overarching on to the single carriage road as I sped my way ahead. The darkness banished till only as much as the high beam of the Truck pierced through them. As I crossed ahead, darkness reclaimed the forest. All my senses alert as I dived deep into the land, Exploring Odisha Tourism through Daringbari.
The lesser known Dhenkanal region of Odisha, called in certain circles as the “Home of Elephants and tigers of the country” is one of the elite and obscure group of regions that consist of virgin deciduous forests spread out over the undulating mountain ranges.
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In the Dhenakal region lies a vast tropical dense deciduous forest, wild and raw. Prone to frequent whims of nature and weather. Rich in natural beauty and biodiversity lies the Mandasaru – Silent Valley, a stretch guarded by close to 22 hills positioned one after the other, leaving only one-way for the visitor to enter and exit.
Exploring Odisha Tourism through Daringbari
Close to this mystical region lies another rapidly becoming popular place known as Daringbari. Also, popularly called Kashmir of Odisha owing to being prone to substantial frosting of the ground during the winters. Recorded to be the coldest place in Odisha-Daringbari is a nature lover’s paradise. The region is surrounded and nestled amid vast swathes of dense forests spread out as far as the eye can see.
Odisha Travel guide
Di you know that there are 62 different tribes in Odisha? The state is a treasure trove of temples and beaches and great forest ranges, coupled with historical tribes and legends. One of the most underrated states of India when it comes to tourism and exploration aspects. It is a great self drive exploration state as per me. I soon plan in the near future to explore Satkosia Wild Life sanctuary to see the crocodiles of the Mahanadi River and wild Elephants trumpeting in the thick forests. Then there is Vetnai , the back buck habitat in Odisha.
I also have a plan to interact and witness these ethnic tribes and draw some insights into their lifestyle and unique traditions before they are completely lost to the vagaries of modernity. These are primarily located in the Dhenkanal region as well as in the Rayagada region of Odisha. Both these regions are thickly forested and home to ethnic cultures and traditions. The side effects of hordes of social media influencers trooping through these place is still restricted owing to remoteness in reaching these places.
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Odisha Tourism – Daringbari
Daringbadi, located deep within towering pine forests and cultivated coffee plantations, is an idyllic hill station situated in the above mentioned Kandhamal district of Odisha. With its deep pine green valley forests and natural beauty, the region is waiting to be explored by travelers from far outside the immediate neighborhood. Odisha tourism Daringbari has been an initiative by the state government to promote this region among nature lovers.
- Exploring Odisha Tourism through Daringbari
It was to this place and the surrounding region that I was headed to in the present road trip. Pausing in my path as I made my meandering way as the road twisted and turned, climbing steadily upwards. Road trips are an integral part of me, and I try to be on the road as much as possible. Those who know me will smile at this statement but will exactly relate what I mean by it. Exploring Odisha Tourism through Daringbari was the theme of this present road trip.
The Road trip started from the great Eastern Metropolis of Kolkata and made its way down towards the state of Odisha and then turned inward to pierce into the tribal and forest heartland. The highways were not the expressways of the Golden Quadrilateral once one turned inward from the city of Cuttack , rather they were state highways built years ago reaching far into the forest belt. India is such, road trips are best when they are done using the network of state highways soaking in the vibe of the region passing through . One sees feels and imbibes life as it flourishes on the sides of the tarmac, the silent road which reassures the traveller that there is a journey ahead which needs to be done.
Places to see in Daringbari
The essential places to see are all related to nature, for that is the basic theme for such a place as this
Mdiubanda Waterfall: This simple waterfall is situated just a few km ahead of Daringbari town and can be visited quite easily. There are a series of steps that lead down to the waterfall. Weekends in winter are quiet crowded with visitors from the nearby region who troop in to have a picnic in the winter sun by the waterfall itself.
Pine Forests: Exploring the pine forests is a must activity to do when visiting Daringbari. it is relatively safe to do and quite a fun activity. One can just visit the pine forests during the morning to see the winter sun piercing the mist of the forests.
Coffee and Spice plantation: One of the most extensive coffee plantations that I have come across. The plantation is run by the government. Visitors are more than welcome to visit and explore the entire plantation area.
Sunset Point: This one of the best place to witness the sunset. Around two km outside the Daringbari town. I would definitely recommend a visit to this place. Enjoy the passion of seeing a sunset across the undulating green hills and deep valleys that stretch right till the horizon.
In addition to these, I would recommend a visit to the following nearby places to get a comprehensive and unique perspective of the region.
Mandasaru: Explore this region of deep forests and the elusive Mandasaru gorge, which also have 6 waterfalls spread out. Also known as the Silent valley of Odisha-Mandasaru is a nature lover or a self conscious seeker’s answer to all questions.
Giant Squirrel Nature Camp. Stay at this property to find oneself in the company of Giant flying squirrels. Soak in their lifestyle while slowing down oneself in the circle of life
Podapada Historical Temple: This historic temple dedicated to Lord Narsingha. It is built in the ancient style of wooden architecture, located deep in the tribal villages, is a unique visit. I was very interested to see this, but I had difficulty in finding the same.
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Exploring Odisha Tourism through Daringbari- Stay Options
There are several options to stay. But I would definitely recommend pre-booking if one is going during the winter months or summer months view many local visitors come here on weekends especially.
Some of the property that I can recommend are
- Deers Eco Home
- Nature Valley Eco Resort
- Eco Retreat Daringbadi
- Ram Prakash Resort
- Mandasaru Nature Camp
How to explore this region of Daringbari and beyond
One can use a local state transport bus to reach Daringbari. However, I would recommend this only for travelers from this region. My recommendation would be to hire a cab or self-drive to explore this region to its fullest for other travelers.
It is tricky to reach Daringbari, considered the gateway to this region or one of the key points for exploring this region. So follow google maps and don’t hesitate to ask locals if in doubt. Brahmapur is the nearest big town. One can arrive by train to Brahmapur or Bhubaneswar and accordingly then hire a cab to move ahead. One should plan accordingly to arrive by early evening in Darinbari. Late night travels on winding mountain forested roads is definitely not for the faint hearted.
I would be revisiting this region to cover the above places that I have not seen. This region is definitely gaining popularity. However it still retains the charm of the tribal culture, which I feel is so very important to experience.
Tips for visiting this region
- Carry sufficient hard cash
- BSNL network is essential to have
- Pre-booking is mandatory
- Try to avoid driving at night, so plan your journey accordingly
- Carry water filter
- It is in the middle of nowhere; hence self-drive is most recommended
What is my Blog about!
My blog focuses quite a bit on ancient temple history among other places of travel which I keep doing. The temple history posts come up because there has been in ancient Indian History so many monumental architectures which were created. Read through the posts on Land of 1000 temples , Tamil Nadu or Stunning churches of Goa. I am sure a visit to them would be fascinating to just about anyone purely from an architectural magnificence prism of view. Temples of Pattadakal travel guide is based on the same theme. In case interested read about HAMPI here.
In addition the reader if interested can also browse recommendations for weekend destinations from Kolkata. Also there are few interesting snippets of information on Birding destinations and Trek destinations in India. So outdoor activity is a major focus area of my blog.
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