Introduction When we speak about the famous tourist destinations in the state of Odisha, places like Bhubaneswar, Puri, Konark, Balasore, Gopalpur and Paradip would immediately strike into our mind as they have become more popular because of their access by road or rail. But the state has good number of hill stations and places for sightseeing include coffee and pine plantations and waterfalls. One among such lesser known tourist places is Daringbadi, also known as the Kashmir of Odisha.
About Daringbadi Not an exaggeration, if you want to enjoy the chill of hill stations and charm of pine forests, the fragrance of coffee gardens and the beauty of lush green valleys, then plan a trip to Daringbadi. Considered as one of the most beautiful hill stations in the country, it lies at 3000 feet above mean sea level in the Kandhamal District of Odisha. Located at a distance of 125 K.M from Berhampur, a major city of Odisha and 250 K.M from the state capital Bhubaneswar, it is famous for its rich cultural heritage and unique handicrafts. With the enchanting beauty of the tall trees, water springs, hilly mountains and streams, Daringbadi promises its tourists a visit full fun and unforgettable moments.
As it is surrounded by hilly terrain and valley, a large part of population contains Tribes only with unique customs and beliefs. Still they are different from that of the mainstream culture and appear to be deprived of civic life. The prime inhabitant of this region which is covered with dense forests and mountains are Khondhs, a sect classified under ancient Gondids.
We can notice freezing of dew during winter and this is the only place in Odisha such natural phenomenon occurs. With the downfall of temperature to zero degrees and even lesser early morning, ice crystals get accumulated on the grass, leaves and on the ground during this period. This would be an eye fest for the tourists.
Important places of visitThe nearby places for sight-seeing include coffee and pine plantations, a waterfall at Daringbadi about 15km from Daringbadi, another waterfall at Ranipanga 22km from Daringbadi. Sonepur valley, a stretch of forests on the Daringbadi-Daringbadi road, is only 12km from the hill town. Besides, visitors can also enjoy the scenic beauty of Mandasaru valley.
Putudi waterfall, which flows into River Bada Saluki is a prime tourist attraction and a feast to our eyes. The area is surrounded by dense forests and we can hear the humming of birds which take us to a different musical world. It is one of the famous picnic spots and you can drive there from Phulbani which is located at a distance of 15 Km.
Another worthy location is Belhar, an internationally recognized Eco-friendly village situated at a distance of 50 Km from Daringbadi on a hilltop within a small periphery. There are also opportunities for future gliding club due to its seven mountains with a decreasing height. Even elephants can also be seen on the way.
The Belghar Sanctuary is famous for its thick tropical forest and highly vegetated cover with a variety of flora and fauna. Wild elephants with long tusks are seen in large numbers in this area. A wooden bungalow, may be constructed during the British regime, is another glimpse for the visitors.
A two and a half walk inside would lead you to witness the Bonda man & woman coming down from the forest side who are considered is the most primitive tribe of India or otherwise known as the Nakate tribes of the mountain. Better you go with a local guide and any individual venture may give rise to any type of harm as these Nakate tribe still not refined and belong to the old civilization.
Hill View Point at Daringbadi is a place for nature lovers, bird watchers, sunrise and sunset viewers. Everyone would land here to have a beautiful glance of the hill town of Daringbadi standing at this point.
Pine Jungle and Coffee Garden bs the Lovers Paradise , A romantic and solitary picnic spot with small stream are the other spots not to be missed during the visit. The beauty of the forest really takes you to paradise and comes alive on a full moon night.
How to reachIt is lying at a distance of 250 Km from Bhubaneswar the state capital and it is the nearest Airport of those who want to fly from anywhere in the country. We can reach Daringbadi from Berhampur, the silk city of Odisha. It is the nearest railway Station located at a distance of 120 Km. It is better that one should make his base camp at Berhampur and can use a public transport or hire a taxi to complete the tour. Actually there are three road routes from Berhampur to Daringbadi.
Surrounded by dense forests, hilly terrains, streams, waterfalls, natural caves and natural parks, this hill station is very often called as the Kashmir of Odisha. But lack of avenues such as frequency of transport, proper lodging and boarding facilities and inactiveness of the tourism department to explore the feasibilities of securing proper revenue generation by attracting tourists form other parts of the country makes this place less popular. We have to be stationed either at Bhubaneswar or at Berhampur to make the visit a part of our trip to Odisha.
Wrap up In brief, Daringbadi in Odisha is a natural lover's' paradise and is blessed with diverse scenic beauty. It is definitely a place worth watching. Truly a God's gift , Daringbadi with its natural beauty hosts wild-life and a bracing climate. The journey to the hill station itself would be memorable with pleasant ghat roads for Tourists to travel along. You can plan a visit as it is a lovely place to get relaxed and you can experience an awesome and lively scenic beauty.
Jagdish Patro is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to ISC and other websites. Fond of reading books, novels and spends his leisure time by listening to music. He did his B.Sc in Applied Chemistry and his M.Sc in Resource Development Technology. He edited and published an in-house monthly journal by name ‘Srujana’ during 2009-2011 which was totally a private circulation.
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Patro JI, I have visited Berhampur, Bhubaneswar, Phulbani, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Jatni, Puri, Konark of Odisha. My relatives are in Phulbani and Berhampur. Let me know whether this place Daringbadi is near Phulbani? Also let me know the route from Berhampur, if possible.Thanks
Normally when ever Odisha is referred we immediately connect to Kalahandi district where there was severe drought and even today most of the districts in Odisha are backward and needs to be developed. But in spite of all these drawbacks, it is great to note that at one place there is Kashmir like feeling and that is called Daringbadi. It seems to be a interesting place to visit because having a cold and chill weather in humid climate like Odisha is something new I am coming across. It would be better if the author gives further more details on this place so that people from all over the country can have the first hand information before going to that place.
It is true that most of the tourists visit Puri, Konark, Bhubaneshwar mostly because of its perfect connectivity. Cricket fans also visit Cuttack for watching cricket matches while rest of the beautiful places of Odisha remains untouched with the visitors due to lack of awareness among people. Even I was unaware about Daringbadi, which is truly Kashmir of Odisha. I had visited Puri, Konark and Bhubaneshwar in my previous trips. Now, whenever I visit Odisha again, I would visit Daringbadi to explore its beauty.