Some Enchanting Districts of Orissa (1)
Samaleswari, the presiding deity of this region is enshrined at 'Samlei Gudi' on the bank of Mahanadi River. The other temple of importance is the Budharaja Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and is perched atop the Budharaja hill. These temples are located at a few kilometres' distance from Sambalpur. The Hirakud Dam, the longest dam of the world, is some 15 kilometres from Sambalpur and can be easily visited on a day trip.
Keonjhar district is a green land of panoramic beauties and a store house of mineral wealth. It offers a variety of attractions to the tourists which includes religious shrines, fresco painting, waterfalls and above all the exotic natural beauty. The terraced villages buzzing with the sweet melodies of the birds take the visitors to a dream land. The simplicity of the tribal folk mixed with the gaiety of their festivals can keep the visitors amused. A visit to the district will be an unforgettable experience.
Places to visit:
- Kendujhar: Kendujhargarh, the district headquarters town is famous for Vishnu Temple, Baladevjew Temple and on its outskirts the shrines of Sidha Jagannath, Siddha Kali and Panchbati amidist picturesque settings. It is also most convenient base centre from where the visitors can plan their visit to various places of interest in the district.
It is 9 km from Keonjhar on NH-6 towards Sambalpur, it is yet another small (200 ft. high) but exciting waterfall. It is one of the most popular picnic spots of Keonjhar district.
It is 6 km from Keonjhar on NH-6 towards Sambalpur. It is a small (100 ft. high) and beautiful waterfall, suitable for outing. The area is spread over 488 Ha. In a hilly tract with characteristic mixed deciduous and miscellaneous type of forest vegetation. The famous Sana Ghagara waterfall with perennial stream adds to the natural beauty of this forest tract and attracts large number of visitors throughout the year. The area is an extremely undulating terrain with hills, pediments and a "V" shaped narrow valley. The hills and pediments are very steep and the rock formation is of dolerite origin. The area drains into river Baitarani through Machhakandana Nala.
- Jhadeshwar Temple: It is famous for an old temple of Lord Shiva on the bank of River Baitarani near Ghasipura. In the month of March a famous festival called 'Baruni Jatra' is organised at this place.
- Deogaon (Kushaleswar): On the River Kusei near Anandapur. The temple of Kushaleswar built in circa 900 AD is a famous centre of piligrimage. Once upon a time it was a flourshing seat of Buddhism. Even now a 5 feet high image of Abalokiteswar stands there as reminiscence of the Budhist activities in the past. Another important monument of the place is the stone embackment on the river which is the second of its kind in the state.
- Hadagarh: The Salandi River flowing between two high mountains and a dam built over it are the main attractions for the tourists. This place is at a distance of 119 km from Keonjhar. It is 35 km. From Anandapur. One can approach the spot either from Bhadrak or from Anandapur and L.K.Road by bus, trekker and taxi etc.
- Gonasika: Surrounded by a series of valleys and wooded hills of varying colours, the place is famous as a centre of pilgrimage for the temple of Brahmeswar Mahadev established by the side of river Baitarani. In fact, this is the place from where the river starts flowing. A little away from the point of origin, the river goes underground (and hence called guptaganga) only to be seen jumping after a short distance over a stone projection looking like the nostril of a cow. The scenic beauty of the place is simply charming.
- Murga Mahadev:
It is situated by the side of a perennial spring of Thakurani hill in Champua Sub-Division of Keonjhar District. It is famous for the temple of Murga Mahadev. The spot is 70 km From Keonjhar ( of this 6 km, fair-weather road).
- Asurkhol : a place where cave,natural shiv ling and waterfall available 8 km from Rimuli,NH 215.
- Handibhanga : It is magnificent waterfall falling from the height of about 200 ft. amidst lush green forest. The scenic beauty of the spot attracts many tourists. Moreover the place is a good picnic spot. The spot can be approached from Keonjhar (50 km) up to Kalimati (45 km pitch road and service bus available) and from Kalimati to the spot ( 5ms) metallic fair weather road.
- Gundichaghagi : It is famous for a small charming waterfall about 50 ft. high on the river Mudala being situated amidst lush green forest. It is ideal for picnic during winter. It is 65 km from Keonjhar via Ghatagaon. For accommodation a revenue rest shed at Harichandanpur (5 km) and PWD I.B.,tarini Yatri Niwas and Panthasala of Tourism Deptt. Are available at Ghatagaon.
- Khandadhar : A sparkling waterfall of 500 ft. amidst lush green forest. A shower in the cascading water is a great experience. This waterfall is a smoking waterfall because of the "Smoke like" appearance created by the spray of the plunging waters of the waterfall at this spot. The spot is ideal for picnic. It is 60 km from Keonjhar town ( of this about 40 km fair weather and only jeepable). No accommodation facilities at the spot. Tourist will have to stay at Keonjhar.
- Rajanagar: It is famous for the ruined palace of Keonjhar King. Also raghunath Jew Matha, Dadhibaban Jew temple and chadei Kudoor are other attraction of the spot. Different kinds of birds from different places gather here ( Chadhei Kudoor) in winter which is most enjoyable. It 27 km from Keonjhar. Tourist will have to visit the spot by hired vehicle. No accommodation facilities available there. The same are available at Keonjhar town.
- Kanjipani: Kanjipani 30 km from Keonjhar is a scenic spot. In winter the temperature falls below 0 °C and it is supposed that ice falls there. The beautiful landscaping, lush green forest and wild lives of the spot are very much impressive.
- Podasingidi (Gadachandi and Chakratirtha)
The place is famous for Goddess Chandi. A perennial stream which is a part of the Boula Mountains in Anandapur flows by the side of the Gadachandi Pitha is really marvelous. Besides this another attraction is cave climbing on the hill.
It is a beautiful picnic spot. The spot is surrounded with green forest,beautiful waterfall and also a Shiva temple. The waterfall is perennial. There is a Baba (Monk) who looks after the temple. There is a beautiful garden where varieties of fruits like,lemon,Guava,Papeya,Banana and Strawberry are developed by the help of Baba. It is 97 km from Keonjhar. No accommodation facilities available there. Tourists will have to stay at Anandapur.
- Bhimkund : It is a beautiful natural water reservoir on the River Baitarani. It is located exactly on the boundary line between the districts Kendujhar and Mayurbhanj, at a distance of about 100 km from Keonjhar. This reservoir is two storeyed which resulted into the formation of two waterfalls one above another. It is being told that, Bhima, the second Pandava had taken bath in this reservoir and hence it was named after him.
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