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A Rhetorical Voyage to the Unrevealed Odisha

When your faith leads the way, you will locate the source of hidden treasures. As the door of opportunity opens, let 'you' free for that is unseen and covered somewhere waiting to be unveiled. Cradled between the sun-kissed beaches of the Bay of Bengal and dense forest of Eastern Ghats, Odisha is a land of splendor and beauty and boasts of various destinations that are identified and some yet to be. A state rich with biodiversity, cultural heritage, architectural splendor, and numerous beaches makes it the best reason to visit. Scout on some of the rarest scenic places that will lure the traveler out of you.

1. Mangaljodi Wetlands: The Bird Paradise


mangala


Tucked away in the northeastern fringe of Odisha's Chilika Lake, the home to lakhs of birds is Mangaljodi wetlands, one of the largest of the 132 villages on the banks of a lake. An hour and thirty-minute ride from the capital city of Bhubaneswar, this paradise is slowing making a mark on the birding map of India. Mangaljodi is inhabited by nearly 300 species of birds and around 50 resident species in the winters, November-February is the best time to visit the place.
Representing a lifestyle that is on the verge of extinction, Mangaljodi village comprises of fishing communities and depends on the fish catch as it forms the important part of their diet. The best way to explore this wetland is by a small boat with a well-trained bird guide. And Yeah! Don't forget to take your Camera's. Capture the moments, watch the enveloping dusk and listen to the sweet melody of the soft gurgle of water, and the chirping, & squeaking birds.

2. Daringbadi: The Little Kashmir


daringbadi


Back in the days when British ruled, there was a British official with a name of Daring Saheb who was in charge of the place. Since then, this place is called as Daringbadi (Badi-village). Nestled in the lush green forest, pine trees, coffee plantations, and waterfalls, this tiny underrated hill station is at a height 3000 feet in Kandhamal district. Unexplored and untouched by the commercial space of the tourism, this is the only place where dew freezes to ice in chilly winters and is a soothing escape in summers.
This tribal-dominated place boasts of Waterfalls such as Dasingbadi, Ludu, Putudi & Babangida, Butterfly Park, Belghai & Kotagarh wildlife sanctuary, black pepper & turmeric gardens that prove to be a photographer's favorite spots. To reach Daringbadi, you can opt to take a bus or car from Berhampur (115 km), Bhubaneswar (250 km), or Baliguda (49 km).  It is also a place of haven for hikers & road trips enveloped in luxuriant frondescence, away from daily life and patchy telecom network.

3. Mahendragiri: The Mythological Mountain


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After Deomali in Koraput, the second largest mountain peak in Odisha is Mahendragiri at an altitude of 4925 ft. in Paralakhemundi, Gajapati district and 51 km south-west to Berhampur. It is been said that this place has a mythological touch to it. According to Hindu Puranas, Lord Parshuram meditated in remembrance of Lord Shiva and achieved the Parshu (double axle) on this mountain. It is also believed that during Dwapara yug, Mother Kunti and her five sons used to stay here when on exile and Bhima used to worship Lord Shiva here.
Mahendragiri has temples of Shiva, Parshuram (below the mountain), Kunti, Yudhistir and Bhima at the hilltop. You can climb, trek or go to the hilltop by vehicle (bike or car) keeping in mind the difficult roads. There is an ashram near Kunti temple where you can prefer to stay that has a big hut & can accommodate 20 people at a time, amidst the mountain, scenic beauty and the forest with thick vegetation in and around the place. What else you can expect from a spiritual retreat! This mountain calling is worth giving a try.

4. Jirang: A Mini Tibetan Kingdom


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Exploring this relaxed abode that has in place the perfect ingredient of nature's bounty and peaceful enlightenment, Jirang is a treat to the soul. Symbolizing the Tibetan culture, its verdant surrounding complement the aesthetic looks of the monastery named Padma Sambhav Mahavir is 70 ft. high. The road leading to it is replete with lushness and one can find the Tibetan fondness of colorful flags all over the place. Around 200 Tibetan monks reside in the monastery and follow the rich reflection of their culture. Jirang is a marvel at the architectural brilliance and vivid paintings as well as prayer wheels filled with 'aum mani Padme hum'.  The monks in the monastery who have come from Nepal, Sri Lanka & Thailand call this Phuntsokling, which means land of happiness. The breathtaking views of mountains, peaceful surrounding, calmness, and the colorful flower garden will fill you with immense joy and will let you forget all the chaos in your mind.

5. Satkosia: The Home for Wilds


Dakota


Nothing can be more beautiful than a drive from Angul to this place through the forest and if you are lucky enough, you may get a chance to see elephants, herds of deer or lone Chita, wild dogs, jackals, giant squirrels, and tigers. The tiger reserve is located in the eastern highlands' moist deciduous forest and straddled by a breathtaking gorge, cut by the mighty Mahanadi river. The river is a home to Gharial &Mugger Crocodiles and 38 other species of mammals. Boating is also available at this place so that you can see the crocodiles & Turtles in the water. A night stay can be thought of at Chotkei Nature camp, Tarava nature camp and Baliput nature camp, while other all facilities are quite basic. Other cottages available there also provide homely food. If you want to experience a vacation with wildlife in the midst of a forest, this is the correct place for you.
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