NATURE TOURISM IN ODISHA: THE SOUL OF INCREDIBLE INDIA

Odisha or Orissa as it was formerly known as, is a state that lies to the east of the Indian sub-continent. This state is rightly called the soul of incredible India when it comes to tourism. The reason being its rich heritage and culture along with a long history dating back to the epic Ramayan era. This state takes the pride of being home to almost 1000 ancient temples, 11 beaches, several mesmerizing waterfalls and 19 sanctuaries. These imposing temple structures and its craftsmanship are a true testimony to the temple culture of Odisha. However, nature is also not far behind in blessing this state with some amazing and stunning tourist spots.

We bring you the list of some best-preserved nature tourism places of Odisha. These are some places where the visitors can feel the nature and have an experience of life time. Moreover these places have everything to offer starting from lush green forests to amazing wildlife, pristine beaches to stunning waterfalls. Odisha has some surprise to offer at every corner.

  1. Similipal Tiger Reserve:

Similipal reserve is a lush green forest in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha and is spread in 2750 Sq.Kms. The awe-inspiring beauty and grace of this place along with its calmness is sure to bind the onlookers. This prominent wildlife sanctuary of Odisha is home to the Majestic Royal Bengal tiger along with several other species of animals like Asian elephants, Chausingha and gaur. Because of the wide range of vegetation found here, it is also home to more than thousand verities of Mammals, 29 verities of reptiles and more than 231 verities of birds. Also, some of the most stunning waterfalls of Odisha are found here. Prominent ones are the Barehipani, falling from a height of 217 meters and Joranda falling from a height of 181 Meters. There are also several other small waterfalls like Sitakund-Deokund, Gurguria etc within the reserve area.

Accommodation options:

Accommodation options for tourists are available at Ramtirtha, Jamuani, Gurguria and Kumari. Beautiful nature camps have been set up at these places courtesy Govt. of Odisha for the convenience of tourists.These are one of the best nature camps of Odisha.

How to Reach:

Balasore is the nearest railway station located at a distance of about 76 Kilometers. It is also well connected with all major cities of Odisha by road.

  • 2. Bhitarkanika Nature park:

This is yet another most popular tourist attractions in the state of Odisha. Famous as the “mini Amazon of Odisha” this national park is famous for being home to large number of saltwater crocodiles along with many other wild animals and reptiles like the Indian python and Black Ibis. An amazing network of waterways can be found here created by the rivers like Baitarini, Brahmani, Dhamra and Pathsala. A boat ride in these waterways is a thrilling adventure in itself. During this boat ride one can easily view wild animals drinking water or simply sun bathing on the shore of these waterways.

Accommodation options:

Several nature camps are set up within the reserve area for the tourists to stay close to the nature. These nature camps are maintained by the locals. Hence one may not see a long menu, however can relish a mouth-watering local cuisine.

How to Reach:

The nearest airport is at Bhubaneswar which is about 145 kilometers from the entry point to this reserve and the nearest railway station is at Bhadrak. This place is also well connected by road. Private taxis or cabs can be booked from any of these places to reach Bhitarkanika reserve.

  • 3. Gahirmatha Beach:

The importance of Gahirmatha beach is not limited to Odisha only. It has its worldwide importance for being the largest nesting ground of the endangered Olive Ridley turtles.  This beach lies between the Mangroves of Bhitarkanika and the Bay of Bengal and is located in Kendrapada district of Odisha. It is a marine wildlife sanctuary and is the only of its kind in Odisha. During the last week of February and first week of March, Olive Ridley turtles numbering in lakhs, throng this place for mating and nesting. They migrate thousands of kilometers to reach this place. This rare site is not only spectacular for visitors but also for scientists. This is a major attraction for tourists from all over the world. However, this place becomes a no visit zone during this period until the hatching of turtle eggs. Other than this period, tourists can enjoy a boat ride and

Accommodation options:

Several hotels are available within a close proximity of Gahirmatha beach. Travelers can choose their staying options according to their budget. This is one of the best places in Odisha for nature lovers.

How to Reach:

Nearest airport is at Bhubaneswar which is at a distance of about 155 Kms and the nearest railway station is at Bhadrak. It is also well connected to all major cities of Odisha by road. Hence private taxi or cab can be booked to travel at convenience. Public transport options is also available to reach this place easily.

  • 4. Daringbadi the Kashmir of Odisha

If you are planning a visit to Odisha in the winters, undeniably Daringbadi is the destination to choose. Known as the Kashmir of Odisha”, this is the only place in the state which witnesses snowfall. It is located in the Kandhamala district of Odisha. This place has everything to offer to a nature lover, staring from beautiful valleys to cloud capped mountains, stunning waterfalls to amazing wildlife. This is a true gift of nature to the state of Odisha and the scenic beauty of this place attracts a lot of nature lovers from all over the world. This place is not only famous for its panoramic beauty, but also a major spot for tribal tourism. There are beautiful trekking trails to explore or plan a trip to the near by coffee plantations or visit the black pepper and turmeric gardens. This place assures to calm down your mind and soul. In other words, the beauty of this place is unexplainable.

Accommodation options:

Several hotels are available at Daringbadi;however, we would recommend a stay at the eco camp to experience the tribal culture of this place. Cottages have been built in the true tribal style and are taken care by locals.  Hence enjoy their hospitality and some mouthwatering local cuisine prepared in true Odia style.

How to Reach:

Nearest airport is at Bhubaneswar which is at a distance of about 250 Kms. Luxury buses also ply between Bhubaneswar and Daringbadi. Nearest railway station is at Berhampur at a distance of about 120 Kms. Travelers also have the option of hiring private taxi or choose the public transport option.

Hence the next time you plan a vacation, do keep these exotic locations in mind. As truly said, Odisha has a surprise for everyone and at every corner. Surely it won’t disappoint you.

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