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Taptapani, Ganjam – 50 kms from Berhampur...

Rolling green hills, jungles washed by rains and clouds tucked within the distant hills – that’s Taptapani located amidst the forests of Ganjam District of Orissa, just 50 kilometres from Berhampur. Taptapani is mainly known for its natural hot sulphur springs whose water is considered to have medicinal properties and is capable of curing aches, pains and skin ailments like eczema and scabies. Taptapani is surrounded by beautiful hills of the Eastern Ghats, which is inhabited by the ancient tribes of Orissa. There is also a majestic Buddhist Monastery, a deer park and a Shiva Temple nearby. It is a great weekend destination near Kolkata, which can be visited with another great beach destination of Orissa – Gopalpur on Sea. BOOKING DETAILS OF TAPTAPANI Places to see in Taptapani: In Taptapani, you can visit the Deer Park maintained by the Forest Department located nearby and visit temples like Sri Nilakantheswar Temple, and Kandimata Mandir. There are numerous small waterfalls, nameless rivulets, lakes and tribal villages all around. The other interesting place to visit is the Tibetan settlement and monastery. For more photos of Taptapani click here. However, most tourists visit this place to take a dip into the Sulphur rich Hot Springs, which rejuvenates them with a renewed life-force. You can take long walks along the forest trails and highlands of Taptapani or just sit back in your hotel’s terrace and enjoy the views of the distant hills and greenery. Nearby Attractions of Taptapaani: Gopalpur on Sea – the famous beach destination with a famous light house is very near to Taptapaani. The light house at Gopalpur offers an amazing view of the sea and a part of the Chilika Lake. The other beaches of tourist attraction near Taptapaani are the Pati Sonepur beach located near the mouth of River Bahuda and the beach at Aryapalli. You can also visit the nearby temple of Taratarini surrounded by Rushikulya River and dedicated to the twin Goddess, Tara and Tarini. You can also visit from Lake Chilka. The temple of Mahuri Kalua just 20 kms from here is located on a hilltop with a panoramic view of the surrounding hills and valleys is breathtaking. Things to do in Taptapani: You can take a long nature-walk along the picturesque landscape of the surrounding areas of Taptapani. A visit to the villages of tribal communities such as Kutia Kondh, Bonda, Dingara Kondh and Mali tribes can be interesting as you can also learn about the lifestyles of these tribal people. You can also visit Tampara, which is a large brackish lake with a water sport complex offering various water sports such as paddle boats, water scooter and more. But the most popular thing to do is to take a dip at the hot spring of Taptapani. How to reach Taptapani: From Kolkata, you can avail a train to Berhampur, the nearest rail station to Taptapani. From there, you can avail the option of taxis. Since Taptapani is situated on the State Highway connecting Berhampur with western Orissa, you can also avail the option of buses plying on the State Highway. Best time to visit Taptapani: Taptapani is an all season destination and you can visit this place all round the year. However, to enjoy the dip in the hot water spring and to visit the nearby places, the most preferred time to visit Taptapani is between October and March. Lodging and dining facilities in Taptapani: The Govt. accommodation at Taptapani the best one...
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Chandbali, Bhitarkanika – 45 kms from Bhadrak...

Located in Bhadrak District of Orissa, Chandbali is one of the main gateways to the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary. Shrouded in forests, rivers and distant hills, Chandbali is just right antidote for your stress. The picturesque Baitarani River flows beside Chandbali and meets the Brahmani River at a distance. Chandbali used to be a famous port during the medieval times but now it is a popular tourist spot. You can still find some of the remnants of the British period like anchor and cannons out here. From Chandbali, you can visit many nearby places like Dhamra, Aradi and Nalitapatia by boat. Apart from being one of the most popular gateways to the mangroves of Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, Chandbali also acts as the hub for visiting remote beaches like Gaharimatha – one of the most popular Olive Ridley Turtle nesting sights. BOOKING DETAILS OF CHANDBALI Places to see in Chandbali: Some 35 km away is located the 650 square km Bhitarkanika National Park which can be reached by ferry service. This is one of the few marine parks of India and was founded with an aim to protect saltwater crocodiles. This is the main reason behind the establishment of a saltwater crocodile breeding center inside the park. Beside, there are various other pieces of attractions including temples and monuments belonging to the period of 9th century. Chandbali also has Sri Aurobindo Dibyadham Ashram, Relics Temple and Integral Education centre. Nearby attractions of Chandbali: One of the main attractions of Chandbali is the Bhitarkanika River that has thick mangrove canopies on either side and gives a spectacular setting for wildlife viewing and majestic sunsets. Take a boat ride from Chandbali and catch the glimpse of the Giant Saltwater Crocodiles. If you are an adventure lover, then take an enjoying long walk through the Bhitarkanika forest that takes you through the remaining of an old village which was once inhabited by mariners. Beside, the beaches of Barunei, Ekakula and Habalikhati are not to be missed out. Bhitarkanika forest is home to a wide range of animals like Rhesus Monkey, King Cobra, Spotted Deer, Pythons, and others. You can see a crocodile-breeding center at Dangmol which houses the rarest White Crocodile “Sankhua.” Other than animal life, a good variety of bird life including migratory birds like Open Billed storks, Kingfishers, Whistling Teals, Sand Pipers, Sea Gulls and others can also be seen. Another very exciting thing to watch out for is the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles at Gahirmatha. Things to do in Chandbali: Take leisurely walks along the banks of Baitarini River, enjoy boat rides over the river along the mangroves, visit local temples and experience village life. You can also enjoy a daytrip to Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary. How to reach Chandbali: If you are traveling by flight, then the nearest airport is Bhuvaneshwar airport which is located at a distance of 125 km. This airport is well served by most of the major airlines. Chandbali does not have a railway station of its own and is served by the Bhadrak and Cuttack railway stations. Cuttack is located at a distance of 107 km. But if you are traveling by car, then you can surely reach this destination from Bhubaneshwar too just 125 km from Chandbali. Bhadrak is another major Railway station which is very near to Chandbali just 45 kms away. State Highway 5 connects Bhadrak to Chandbali. You would get regular buses and taxis from Bhabrak to Chandbali. Best time to visit...
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Padua, Koraput – 130 kms from Vishakapatnam...

A serene lake with an island surrounded by hills wrapped in forests – that’s Padua near Koraput in Orissa. Nature is abundant here with lakes, rivers, hills, forests, valleys and miles and miles of paddy fields. Spanning an area of around 50 sq. km, this charming location is nestled at a height of 3500 feet above sea level. It stands midway between Araku and Koraput and tourists visiting Araku, can easily make a trip to Padua just 30 km away. You can also reach Padua from Koraput, which is just 70 km away. In Padua, you can enjoy boating and angling in the Macchkunda Lake, nature walks and treks on the nearby hills and keep romancing the moonlight amidst the music of wilderness. BOOKING DETAILS OF PADUA Places to see in Padua: Padua is an outstanding destination with an array of impressive attractions. If you have planned for a two-night stay at Padua, then visit the nearby Nageshwari Caves, Duduma Dam, Rani Duduma waterfall and Sili caves. A visit to Deomari, the highest point of Eastern Ghats also offers a memorable experience. The Macchkonda Lake along with Macchkonda powerhouse is also worth visiting. Walk down to the nearby tribal village of Kulabi, inhabited by the local tribal people. Click here for more photos of Padua Nearby attractions of Padua: Padua is 30 kms from Araku valley, 130 kms from Vishakapatnam and 70 kms from Koraput so you can tag Padua into your Vizag – Araku itinerary too. You can enrich your experience of touring Padua, by making an enjoyable trip to the Koraput in Orissa. The picturesque landscape of Koraput admired with verdant hills, meandering streams, lush green valleys, spectacular caves and wonderful waterfall, bring heaven to the earth. The prime attraction of Koraput is “Sabar Shrikhetra,” a modern temple of Lord Jagannath, built on a hilltop. Do not miss the Tribal Museum and Nisanimunda, located a few kilometers away from the temple. From Padua, you can also visit Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh. Araku lures tourists mainly for viewing its rich landscape, hills and valleys. Travelling to Araku by train from Vishakapatnam truly offers an enduring experience. On its way to Araku, the train needs to cross a total of forty-one tunnels and a number of bridges. The Ananthagiri hills found on the way to Araku Valley is famous for coffee plantations and panoramic views of the entire Araku region. Nestled on the Eastern Ghats of India, Araku valley is mainly the refuge of tribal people. There is also a Tribal Museum in Araku displaying tribal handicrafts and lifestyle. Araku Valley is also a superb base for sightseeing. You can visit Katika waterfalls, Ananthagiri hills, Chaparai River and Padmapuram gardens from Araku. While returning Vishakapatnam you can also pay a visit to the Tyda forest. Another most enchanting attraction is the Borra Caves, located 49 kms from Padua. This enthralling tourist attraction, nestled at an altitude of 705 m is primarily noted for the stalactites and stalagmite formations. The caves are located in the Araku Valley of the Ananthagiri hill range and drained by the Gosthani River. At the entrance point, the cave measures around 100 m horizontally and 75 m vertically. You can also trek 4 kms to reach the nearby Nageswari caves and have a panoramic view of the  Machkunda Valley. Here you can meet the tribal people and even try to discover a part of the Nageswari caves.     Things to do in Padua:...
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Paradip – 125 kilometers from Bhuvaneshwar...

Located in the confluence of mighty Mahanadi River and the Bay of Bengal, Paradip or Paradeep is a gem of a place somehow neglected by the tourist rush. At Paradip you can enjoy mesmerizing sunsets and sunrises, pristine beaches, age-old temples, thousands of Olive Ridley turtles, a magnificent lighthouse and one of the largest ports in India. Paradip is located some 125 km towards the east of Bhuvaneshwar and 94 km towards the east of Cuttack. Fishing is a very important activity of the people of Paradip and the best part – it is not crowded. BOOKING DETAILS OF PARADIP Places to see in Paradip: One of the biggest attractions is the confluence of the Mahanadi River and the sea. Beautiful scenes of sunrise and sunset make the spot a really exciting one. There is the Hukitola Building, which showcases the rain harvesting system of the earlier days. Among the ‘must visit’ destinations of Paradip, there is the Tulasi Kshetra, which is very famous for the Baladeva Temple, the Gahirmatha beach, which has now been converted into a breeding center for Oliver Ridley turtles. Also, you must never miss a trip to the Light House, Paradeep Port, Marine Aquarium, Jagganath Temple, Smurti Udyan and Hanuman Temple. [AFG_gallery id=’66’] Nearby attractions of Paradeep: The most popular attraction near Paradeep is the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary that is spread over 672 square kilometers and is home to a wide variety of animal life like sea turtles, crocodiles and water monitor lizards apart from the wide variety of birds. The famous Gahirmatha Wildlife Sanctuary located on the fringes of Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is also a great place to see the nesting of Olive Ridley Turtles. The caves of Udayagiri and Ratnagiri are also located nearby. Things to do in Paradip: Enjoy long walks along the beach, visit temples, take camel rides on the beach and watch the mesmerizing sunsets. You can visit the local temples or go for a boat safari through the mangrove forests. How to reach Paradeep: Cuttack station is the nearest railhead of Paradip. You have to hire taxis from Cuttack to reach Paradip. You would also get hired cars to Paradip from Bhuvaneshwar. Paradip is only 125 kilometers from Bhuvaneshwar. National Highway 5A passes through Paradeep, connecting the sea side with Lalitgiri, Udayagiri and Ratnagiri. Best time to visit Paradip: The best time to visit Paradip is during the months of November to March. Lodging and dining facilities at Paradip: The Tourism Department accommodation at Paradeep is facilitated with AC Double Bedrooms, Dining Hall, Lawns and all other modern facilities. We arrange Tourism Department bookings for this Tourist Complex at Paradip directly from Kolkata through our affiliated authorised Travel Agent. Paradip is famous for its seafood – lobsters, prawns and crabs form a very common item of the local cuisine. You can also taste a lot of sweet dishes, which are quite popular here like ‘pithas’ or small cakes and Chanapora. Apart from all these, tasting the ‘Mahaprasad’ or the ‘Bhog’ offered to Lord Jagannath is a must try during a visit in Paradip. Photographs by Amit Chandra, Kshitij Kapoor, Sanjeev K, Amar Panigrahi and Aditi Pany. BOOKING DETAILS OF...
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Rambha, Chilka – 40 kms from Berhampur...

Chilka is one of the largest brackish water lagoons in the world, offering shelter to a huge variety of birds and aquatic plants. Rambha is located at the southern coast of the Chilka lagoon, at a distance of 40 km from Berhampur on National Highway 5. The lake also serves as a safe haven of around 150 species of migratory birds during winter. Dotted with numerous islands, Rambha boasts of its enchanting picturesque beauty overlooking the Chilka Lake and the hills. From here, you can go for Dolphin watching and bird watching to different islands like the Breakfast Island, Becon Island and Birds Island. BOOKING DETAILS OF RAMBHA Places to see in Rambha: You can make trip to the Honeymoon Island, nestled in the Rambha bay, adjacent to the Sankuda Island. The Breakfast Island, which has been formed between Badakuda Island and Somolo Island in the Rambha Bay is truly the most beautiful place to have your packed breakfast. The Somolo Island has the remnants of a dilapidated bungalow, built by the King of Kalikote. Some of the other major islands are Honeymoon Island, Birds Island, Parikud Island, Island of Nalabana, Rajhans Island and New Mouth. Among all these islands, the island of Nalbana deserves a special mention, as it is a sanctuary and a prime refuge point of the migratory birds. You can also savor the view of dolphins at the mouth of Chilka near Satpada. For more photos of Rambha click here The Beacon Island is also an impressive sightseeing location. The Khalikote range is also admirable, forming a wonderful backdrop of the Somolo and Dumkudi islands. Many tourists also visit the Bird’s Island, found in the southern sector of Chilka. Tourists with religious bent of mind can make a trip to the Kalijai Temple, devoted to Goddess Kalijai. Trips can also be made to the small island of Barunkuda, near Magarmukh, which houses a shrine of Lord Varuna. The Bhabakundeswar temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva is also worth visiting. Nearby attractions of Rambha: The destination is admired with a number of nearby attractions. At a distance of around 22 km from Rambha, the temple of Goddess Narayani adorns the valley hilltop. This scenic site is also a preferred picnic spot. You can also make a trip to Nirmaljhara, located 11 km from Rambha. The place has gained popularity as both a picnic spot and a pilgrimage site. Many tourists also make tour to Banpur, which is a famous Shakti-pitha of Goddess Bhagabati. The place also houses a number of Buddhist images. You will also truly treasure your visit to the nesting of Olive Ridley Turtles in Rusikulya Beach near Rambha in Chilka. However, no accommodation facility is available at Rusikulya Beach. So, the tourists need to stay at Rambha, from where hired cars are available early in the morning to the Rusikulya beach. The temple towns of Puri and Bhubaneshwar are the popular getaways from here.   Things to do in Rambha: You will never have a single dull moment during your stay here, with so many activities around. Cruising on Chilka Lake is truly an unforgettable experience. Speed boat and motorized yacht are available at fixed price from Orissa Tourism Development Corporation. Many tourists also hire a sea kayak from Orissa Tourism’s Water Sports Complex (WSC) to move around the Nalabana Island.  Rambha is also considered a great spot for bird watching. The place being a home of around 150 species of migratory birds is...
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Dhauli, Bhubaneshwar – 448 kms from Kolkata...

The sacred Dhauli Hills or Dhavalgiri cradled on the banks of River Daya has been a major pilgrimage site for centuries, frequented by both Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims. Just 10 kms from Bhubaneshwar, Dhauli was the famous battlefield of Kalinga War which proved to be the turning point in the life of Emperor Ashoka. The hills are dotted all over by a number of rock cut caves and ancient Hindu temples. You can also explore the numerous pillars, stupas and monasteries in the region. The rock cut elephant carving located at the base of Dhaulagiri Hills is one of the earliest Buddhist themed carvings in Orissa. However, the most famous are the set of rock edicts left by the Emperor Ashoka in about 260 BC. Most tourists visit Dhauli or Dhaulagiri on a day tour from Puri or Bhubaneshwar and miss the joy of experiencing the true beauty of Dhauli. You have to spend a night on the serene ambiance of Dhauli experiencing the magnificent sunset and sunrise over the endless sea of paddy fields. You can take a walk along the Daya River on the same road which was once trudged by one of the greatest kings of history – King Ashoka. BOOKING DETAILS OF DHAULI Places to see in Dhauli: You will truly admire the Japanese Peace Pagoda, set amidst a number of ancient monasteries and stupas. This marvelous structure is truly worth visiting. It is a notable Buddhist structure built jointly by the Japan Buddha Sangh and the Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangh in the year 1972. Beyond the Stupa, there is an ancient Hindu temple devoted to Lord Dhavaleshwar. For more photos of Dhauli click here. You can savor a magnificent view of the surroundings from the top of the Dhaulagiri Hill. The green stretch of paddy fields along with cashew eyes trees offer visual splendor. You will also admire the beauty of the winding and sparkling Daya River. You can also see inscriptions and engravings in Dhauli, which can be traced back to the Ashokan era. The place is a popular pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhists. Dhauli is admired with many stupas, which were once built by Emperor Ashoka himself. Nearby attractions of Dhauli: You can also visit Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Orissa and the temple town of Puri from Dhaulagiri. The handicraft town of Pipli (famous for its appliqué work) and the temple of Konark are also located nearby. Things to do in Dhauli: Apart from visiting the Dhavaleshwar Temple and Stupa, you can hike along the Daya River and take long walks around the ruins of various structures of Dhauli Hills. Also, take a stroll along the forest track of Dhauli hills, which is truly an exciting outdoor activity. How to reach Dhauli: The town of Dhauli is easily accessible by buses from the neighboring regions of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. The nearest airport of Dhaulagiri is in Bhubaneswar, which is well connected from Kolkata. There are no direct trains to Dhauli, so you need to drop down at Bhubaneswar railway station. Best time to visit Dhauli: You can experience the true essence of Dhauli, if you are visiting the destination during the winter months, starting from October and extending up to March. Summer is extremely hot in Dhauli, hence, it is better to avoid the summer season. Lodging and dining facilities in Dhauli: The Govt. Tourist Lodge at Dhauli is the only well-equipped accommodation here. The lodge is located very...
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Satapada, Orissa – 590 kms from Kolkata...

If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the temple city of Puri, then travel just 50 km from there to the coastal town of Satapada – a beautiful lake resort. Boasting a charming natural splendor, Satapada is located on the southeastern part of the famous Chilka Lake. This ‘lake resort’ is renowned as a point where the Chilka Lake pours into Bay of Bengal. The site attracts nature lovers every year, for savoring frequent sights of Dolphins swimming in the azure waters of the lake and the sea. Apart from dolphin watching, cruising in the nearby lagoon is an enjoyable activity of the tourists visiting the destination. The bird sanctuary located nearby is also worth visiting. BOOKING DETAILS OF SATPADA Places to see in Satapada: Dolphin sightseeing is the greatest attraction of this exotic lake resort. The Dolphin Motor Boat Association has plenty of boats, which you can hire to enjoy this adventurous activity. As the motorboats approach the Dolphin points they switch off their engines to maintain complete silence. If you wait for few minutes, you would see dolphins frolicking in the water. For more photos of Satpada click here. A visit to the Nalaban Island which is the home to a huge number of migratory birds within Lake Chilka is also a nice and fulfilling experience. It has been declared as a bird sanctuary under the Wildlife Protection Act in 1973. It is the heart of the park. During monsoon, the island gets flooded and it emerges after monsoon. The vast lake is the haven of 225 species of birds, algae and aquatic plants, a large variety of phytoplankton and around 350 species of non-aquatic plants. Some other areas, which also record high concentration of birds, are Parikud Island and the western shores of the Northern sector. Sunrise and sunset over Chilka from Satpada is heavenly. Nearby attractions of Satapada: The Rambha bay nestled at the southern end of the lagoon is admired with numerous islands. The site offering visual pleasure was popular among the British as picnic ground. It is an un-parallel site for Island trip as each island features some uniqueness. Pay a visit to the Honeymoon Island, nestled in the Rambha Bay near the Sankuda Island. It is located 5 km away from Rambha Jetty. Honeymoon Island is also popularly known as “Barkuda Island.” The Breakfast Island is located in the Rambha Bay between Badakuda and Somolo Island. This island is shaped like a pear and enriched with exotic flora. You will find the ruins of a dilapidated bungalow here built by the king of Kalikote. The Beacon Island is also a very charming location, bordered by the Eastern Ghat. You will admire the Khalikote hill range, forming an enchanting backdrop of the Somolo and Dumkudi islands. You can also visit Bird’s Island, located in the southern sector of Chilka. The island is shrouded with herbs, shrubs, creepers and trees. Some local birds use the island as perching ground round the year. The island also gives shelter to migratory birds during winter. The Bird’s Island is known for its rich algal communities and limited mangrove species. The religious minded tourists could visit the Kalijai Temple, dedicated to Goddess Kalijai. You can also make a trip to the small island of Barunkuda, near Magarmukh, which has a shrine of Lord Varuna. You can also visit Nabagraha, located near the village of Berhampur. The Bhabakundeswar temple of Lord Shiva, located at Manikpatna is...
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Konark Sun Temple – 35 kms from Puri...

At Konark, you can truly enjoy the roar of the waves and the splendid view of the 800 year old Sun Temple. Picturesquely situated on the shores of Bay of Bengal, Konark is admired with the exquisitely carved stone temple offering majestic charm.  Most tourists visit Konark from Puri or Bhubaneswhar in a daytrip without staying overnight and they miss all the charms of this little temple town and its glorious Sun temple. The sight of the Sun God glowing with the first rays of the rising sun and the ruins of the majestic temple with the roar of the sea is an experience of a lifetime. The pristine beach admiring the temple town enhances the appeal of the location to the tourists. The temple reflecting the essence of Oriya art and architecture is a short stroll from the sea beach. Staying at Konark and visiting the beautiful crescent shaped Chandrabhaga Beach and Chandipur, the handicraft town of Pipli and the nearby temple towns of Puri and Bhubaneshwar would complete one of the most incredible itineraries of Orissa. BOOKING DETAILS OF KONARK Places to see in Konark: The chief attraction of Konark is the Konark Sun Temple, which is also the most popular tourist spot in Orissa. It has been declared as World Heritage Site since 1984. The temple has been structured in the form of a giant chariot, featuring 12 pairs of wheels. The wheels are 10 feet in diameter, each signifying a single month. The chariot is pulled by seven horses. Two stone curved lions have been built near the entrance of the temple. You need to ascend a flight of steps to approach the main entrance. The temple features a three-tiered pyramidal roof admired by a nice looking spire. The temple is renowned for some exquisite stone carvings that admire the entire structure. For more photos of Konark click here The Chandrabhaga Sea Beach, located 3 km east of the Konark Sun temple is a hot spot for tourists visiting Konark. There is also a lighthouse near Chandrabhaga, which enhances the splendor of the place.  View from the top of the lighthouse will make you feel out of the world. The latest addition is a natural deer park, which boosts the tourist potential of Chandrabhaga. The sight is aesthetically appealing. Pay a visit to the Archaeological Museum near the temple complex, which displays sculptures and carvings from the remnants of the Sun Temple. Nearby attractions of Konarak: If you want to explore further afield in Konarak, you will not be disappointed. Along the Puri Road, the unexplored and serene Konarak Beach is a major attraction of tourists, where you can watch the local fishing fleet at work. The spectacular sunrise at this beach offer visual ecstasy. The Ramachandi Temple is picturesquely located on the confluence of River Khusabhadra, 8 km from Konark. The temple is a popular place of worship and a sought-after picnic spot. If you move further, you can locate an image of Bhddha seated in Bhumisparsa Mudra along with the image of Heruka, at Kuruma. The village of Pipli famous for its handicrafts is located at a distance of 23 km from Konark. The village is famous for a wide range of distinctive selection of handicrafts and appliqué work products. There is also the temple of Goddess Barahi at Chaurasi, 35 km from Konarak, which can be traced back to the 9th century AD. You can also make a trip to Prachi valley,...
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Puri, Orissa – 540 kms from Kolkata

Puri is considered one of the major Char Dham pilgrimages, which if not visited, means your pilgrimage tour of India is not complete. Located on the eastern coast of Bay of Bengal in Orissa, Puri is home to the Lord of the Universe, Lord Jagannath. So spend this weekend amidst the splendor of the golden beaches and the religious sites in Puri. On your way to Puri, you can also see the appliqué handicraft work at Pipili village. Overall, to spend an exciting weekend, you should decide on going eastward. BOOKING DETAILS OF PURI Places to see in Puri: The major attraction here is the Jagannath Temple. Built in 11th century, this temple is considered one of the 4 major dhams of pilgrimage for Hindus. This temple only allows Hindus to enter and offer puja. You can offer pujas, in the Jagannath Temple and the Shani Temple, and enjoy the prasad and bhog of this place. Other places to see are Shankaracharya’s Gobardhan Pitha, which is a Hindu math. The cremation site of Swargadwar, means the Gateway to Heaven, Sunara Gaurang Temple, Chakra Tirtha Temple, Bedi Hanuman Temple, Mausima Temple, Shree Gundicha Temple, where Rath Yatra ends and Shree Lokenath Temple, where the half submerged Linga of Lord Shiva is present, signifying his hiding from Shani are the places you can visit. The golden beach is another attraction that drives people to come to this place again and again. For more photos of Puri click here. Nearby attractions of Puri: There are many places to visit that are close – like the Chilka Lake, Sun Temple of Konarak, Alarnath Temple, Chandrabhaga Sea Beach, Satapada Dolphin Sanctuary, Raghurajpur that is known for Patta Chitra and Pipili renowned for appliqué work. Other places of interest are Lingaraja Temple and Bhubaneshwar’s other temples, caves of Khandagiri and Udayagiri, Ashoka’s Dhauli rock edicts, Atri sulphur spring, Chandaka elephant reserve, Balihar Chandi Temple, Yogini shrine of Hirapur and Nandankanan sanctuary. Things to do in Puri: The main thing to be done in Puri is sightseeing. The place has a wide range of touring spots, which invites people to spend an eventful weekend. The golden beach of Puri is an ideal spot for swimming and surfing. You can even choose to relax on the Puri beach, which is also a popular choice among travelers. The Ramchandi Temple is a popular picnic spot for tourists as well. You can also take a long drive on the Puri Konark Marine Drive that goes through many isolated beaches. How to reach Puri: Puri can be reached via roadways by covering a distance of 540 km from Kolkata through Bhubaneshwar. From Kolkata Bhubaneshwar can be reached by taking on the National Highway No.5 and from there taking the State Highway No. 8 you can reach Puri. It takes 2 hours to reach Puri from Bhubaneshwar on car. You can also ride any of the fast and super fast trains that connect Kolkata to Puri, like the Howrah-Puri Sri Jagannath Express or the Howrah- Puri Express and others. Both the trains cover a distance of 502 km and takes about 9 hours. You can also reach Bhubaneshwar by air. The airport of the State capital at Bhubaneshwar is something 60 km from Puri and is connected by regular flights. Best time to visit Puri: Tourists can visit the place all throughout the year, as the temperature remains moderate in this coastal region. There is a huge festival of Rath Yatra...
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Talsharee, Orissa – 191 kms from Kolkata...

Talsharee or Talsari is located at the border of Orissa and West Bengal where River Subarnarekha meets the Bay of Bengal.  Many people do not feel comfortable amidst the crowd in the sea beaches of Digha and Mandarmani and seek for isolation. For them Talsharee, shrouded in the envelope of tranquility will be an ideal destination. The Chandaneshwar Temple and Udaipur Beach is just a few minutes from Talsharee. You can walk along the Mohona (Confluence) and enjoy the kilometer long beach all to yourself. BOOKING DETAILS OF TALSHAREE Places to see in Talsharee: Talsharee is a sea beach where River Subarnarekha meets the Bay of Bengal. This long and deserted sea beach stretching for miles is a treat to the eyes. The famous Chandaneshwar temple is just a few minutes from Talsharee. There is also a Wholesale Fish Market in Talsharee, from where you can buy fresh fish at bargain rates. Images of Talsari For more photos of Talsari click here. Nearby attractions of Talsharee: You can easily travel to Digha, bustling with tourists, hotels and local shops, the nearest destination from Talsharee. Other new found beaches like Mandarmuni, Tajpur and Shankarpur is also near to Talsharee. You can also walk down to the sea beach of Udaypur or take sometime to visit Bakiput near Junput via Contai to enjoy a climb to the top of a lighthouse in Dariapur.   Things to do in Talsari: Enjoy the unexploited ambiance of Talshari with all your senses. Explore the lifestyle of the fisherman dwelling in the area. Bargain for some fresh fish in the mornings and take it to the hotel’s cook. The expansive beach looks great during moonlight nights with the snaking River Subarnarekha crisscrossing the beach. You can also hire a boat and cross the knee-deep river to reach the other side of the beach, which is a huge sand island with Casuarina groves. How to reach Talsari: You can reach Talsari by car taking the route to Digha. You can also travel direct to Digha by train and rent a car or local trekkers to reach Talsharee. Best time to visit Talsharee: Talsharee welcomes tourists throughout the year. The dark clouds roll over the horizons during monsoons and the sparkling weather of the winter is just right to spend the day on the beach. Lodging and Dining facilities in Talsharee: Our private hotel in Talsharee has four-bedded AC rooms and non AC Double bedded rooms with attached western bathrooms, televisions, hot water geysers and a fabulous terrace overlooking the sea and the golden beach.  The beach is just a minute from this hotel and the temple of Chandaneshwar is also located nearby. Essentially Bengali cuisine is served in the hotel and the prices are very moderate.   Photographs by Debkinkar Baidya, Pratyush Sengupta. BOOKING DETAILS OF...
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Gopalpur on Sea, Orissa – 565 kms from Kolkata...

If your soul is craving for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city life, then just pack our bags and head to Gopalpur-on-sea. This serene beach nestled in the Ganjam district of Orissa will offer you the ultimate seclusion, to help you in gaining the peace of mind. The pristine beach of Gopalpur, the returning fishermen, the lighthouse and the ruins of a lighthouse gives Gopalpur a long lost charm. Nearby attractions like Taptapani hot spring, Lake Chilka and the fabulous weather of Gopalpur will rejuvenate your senses. BOOKING DETAILS OF GOPALPUR Places to see in Gopalpur on sea: The pristine beach of Gopalpur is the major attraction of the tourists. The beach is never crowded and sometime, especially in the afternoon you will not find another soul near the seaside, only a fisherman hauling his net out of the seawater. The beach is also admired by a Light House, which offers a panoramic 360-degree view of the entire Gopalpur including the sea and part of the Chilika Lake. You can enter the Light House, from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm. A visit to the ruins of the ancient port of Gopalpur, upholding the lost glory of this pulsating port town is also an experience treasure. For more photos of Gopalpur click here Nearby attractions around Gopalpur on sea: There are some amazing attractions nearby Gopalpur, beckoning the tourists. One of the most famous spot of tourist interest is the Taptapani hot spring. You can make trip to this enthralling location, famed for hot spring gushing from the earth surface. Bathing in the hot spring is truly an enduring experience. Taptapani is located 67 km from Gopalpur and takes an hour to reach by road. You can also organize a day tour to the Tibetan refugee village of Chandragiri, located 36 km. south of Taptapani. Another major destination is the Chilka Lake, the backwater of Orissa, located at a distance of 68 km. from Gopalpur. You can also visit the nearby beach of Dhabaleshwar. Things to do in Gopalpur on sea: Take a stroll along the quaint beach of Gopalpur and the expansive stretch of cashew nut groves, enjoying the sight of the rolling waves kissing the beach. Savor the spectacular sunrise on the azure seawater. The sight of the truant crabs running to and fro is also enchanting. You can also buy some handicrafts and hand-woven saris from the destination. How to reach Gopalpur on sea: There are a number of options to reach Gopalpur. You can drive to the destination along the National Highway 5 from Berhampur or Brahmapur, which is located 16 km from Gopalpur. You can also board a train from Berhampur. The Bhubaneswar airport, located at a distance of 180 km. from Gopalpur-on-sea is the closest airport from Gopalpur. It takes one hour to reach Bhubaneswar from Kolkata by flight. Best time to visit Gopalpur on sea: The ideal time of visiting the location is monsoon, which initiates from mid-June to late August. Gopalpur buzz with tourists during this time. Lodging and dining facilities in Gopalpur on sea: There is an array of accommodation facilities in Gopalpur. Prior booking of hotels is required only during the high tourist season of November-January. However, the town remains idle for the rest of the year. Photographs by Debkinkar Baidya, Avik Chatterjee. BOOKING DETAILS OF...
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Chandipur, Orissa – 265 kms from Kolkata...

Chandipur is an exquisite, secluded seaside retreat featuring a unique beach. This quaint sea resort is located in the Baleswar District of Orissa. You can experience a great weekend at this seaside resort on Bay of Bengal. BOOKING DETAILS OF CHANDIPUR Places to see in Chandipur: The major attraction of Chandipur is the beach itself. The beach is one of it kind for at the time of the ebb tide, the seawater recedes from 1 km. to 5 km. and it again returns during the high tide. This phenomenon takes place twice a day, which forms wide stretch of silvery sandy beach. This rare sight is truly an unforgettable experience, which you will treasure. You can also visit Balaramgadi to view the majestic sight of the confluence of river Budhabalang or Buribalam with the sea. At this place, the famous freedom fighter Bagha Jatin was martyred by the British. For more photos of Chandipur click here. Nearby attractions around Chandipur: You can enrich your trip to Chandipur further by making trips to some exotic nearby locations. A trip to Panchalingeswar (45 km. from Chandipur) is quite noteworthy. The place is known for its un-parallel scenic beauty and the shrine of lord Shiva. The religious tourists can make a tour to Remuna (25 km.), renowned for housing the temple of Khirachora Gopinath. A day trip to Nilagiri (40 km.), housing the Jagannath Temple is also quite rewarding. The place is also known for the Kuldiha Sanctuary. Travelling a distance of 5 km. from Nilagiri, you will reach Sajanagarh, famous for the shrine of Bhudara Chandi. Spanning an area of around 2750 sq. km., the wildlife sanctuary of Similipal is also worth visiting. Covered with emerald green forest the place is the haven of a number of wild animals and 230 species of birds. You can also pay a visit to Deokund to experience the enchanting sight of waterfalls and a Sakti shrine. The serene beach of Talsari, located 90 km. from Chandipur is also a hotspot of the tourists. Another major location is Bhitarkanika, the second largest Mangrove Forest Sanctuary across the country. Things to do in Chandipur: You can enjoy a stroll along the extensive sea beach, when the seawater recedes and vanishes beyond your eyesight. You can also hire a jeep and go for a ride on this wide beach. You can also enjoy a prolong sunbath on the sea beach. Drink plenty of green coconut water available at the sea beach. You will also find some shack in the area catering some best sweets of the region. Relish the different items of prawns at the seaside eateries. How to reach Chandipur: In order to reach Chandipur, first you need to travel up to Balasore or Baleswar, either by rail route or by roadway. Buses are available from Balasore running to Chandipur. The nearest railhead of Chandipur is Balasore, located 17 km away. Best time to visit Chandipur: Chandipur beckons tourists all round the year. Lodging and dining facilities in Chandipur: Chandipur offers an array of lodging facilities, ranging from expensive accommodation to budget hotels. Decent dining facilities are also available at the destination. Photographs by Debkinkar Baidya, Dipanjan Mitra. BOOKING DETAILS OF...
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Chilka, Orissa – 496 kms from Kolkata

The Chilka lake is a brackish water lagoon, acknowledged as the largest coastal lagoon across India and the second largest lagoon around the globe. The lake extends over Puri, Ganjam and Khurda districts of Orissa. The lake is an abode to a number of migratory birds coming from Russia, Ladakh and many more far off places and offers shelter to an array of endangered species of flora and fauna. So you can well understand that a trip to such an exotic location will always surpass your expectation. BOOKING DETAILS OF CHILKA Places to see in Chilka: You will undoubtedly treasure your visit to Chilka, admired with such exotic sightseeing locations. Chilka is dotted with a number of islands. You can hire OTDC boats at Barkul and Rambha. Pay a visit to Nalbana, a big island located at the center of the Chilka Lake. The avid bird watchers will really have a visual treat in visiting the island, which is the haven of migratory birds during the winter. Make a trip to the Bird Island, which is also a natural habitat of different species of birds. Some other major islands include Phulbari, Parikud, Nuapara and Tampara. Another attraction is the Kalijai temple located in an island withing Chilka, housing the shrine of Goddess Kalijai. Tourists’ inflow increases at this location at the time of Makar Mela. You will be amazed to see flocks of peacocks roaming all around the island. For more photos of Chilka click here The Dolphin point in the Chilka Lake is where you can savor a glance of Irrawady dolphins and bottle-nosed dolphins. The Breakfast Island is just a 20 minutes boat ride from Rambha. From here you can also visit Honeymoon Island and Beacon Island. Also pay a visit to the village of Mangalajodi, which was earlier inhabited by the poachers. Nearby attractions around Chilka: Trips to the nearby spots of tourist interest around Chilka will make your experience at the location more exciting. One of the most sought after destinations of the tourists is Nirmaljhara, which features a perennial stream flowing into a number of ponds. The area also houses some beautiful temples. Tourists with an adventurous mind can take a bath in any one of the ponds in the location. You can also make a trip to Banapur, renowned for the Bhagwati Temples and markets. A day trip to the Salia Dam built on River Salia is also quite rewarding. Tours are also organized to Narayani, famous for housing a temple amidst a scenic backdrop. You can also make tours to Puri and Gopalpur-on-sea from Chilka. Things to do in Chilika: You can hire a boat in the Chilika lake, to cruise around this azure brackish water of Orissa. Visit the different islands dotting the lake while cruising. Water scooters and Pedal Boats are also available at Barkul. How to reach Chilka: The nearest railhead of Chilka is Balugaon, on Howrah-Chennai track. You can avail the buses from Balugaon to reach the lake. Some of the trains that halt at Balugaon are East Coast Express and Howrah-Chennai Mail. Chilka is also accessible by roadway. You will find a number of state operated buses (OSRTC) running from Bhubaneswar to Balugaon. Taxis and auto-rickshaw are available at Balugaon, transferring passengers to Rambha or Barkul. However, you can also avail flight to reach the Bhubaneswar airport, located 120 km. away from Chilka. Taxis and buses are available at the airport carrying tourist to Chilka lake. Best...
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Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary, Orissa – 568 kms from Kolkata...

Satkosia Basipalli Sanctuary, popularly known as Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary is one of Orissa’s famous wildlife sanctuaries. The Gharial Breeding Project, the latest venture of the wildlife reserve has attracted a lot of attention and contributed to its popularity.  The idyllic green sanctuary spans an area of 1330 square kilometers and was established in 1976. The entire area is divided into two parts by the River Mahanadi and is situated between the districts of Budh, Angul, Nayagarh and Cuttack. The sanctuary is valued by wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers, scientists and adventure freaks, in a similar manner. The region under the Angul sub division is comparatively hilly and houses dense groves, moist and dry deciduous forests and vibrant flowers like Khalsi and Genwa. BOOKING DETAILS OF SATKOSIA In its secluded premises, it houses a variety of wildlife such as elephants, tigers,  leopards, gaur, nilgai, mouse deer, wild goats, sloth bears, sambar, spotted deer, giant squirrels and four-horned antelopes. It is also home to the gharials (Indian Crocodiles), fresh water turtles, mugger crocodiles and snakes of different specoes. Its most distinctive feature is the Gharial Research and Conservation Unit, which is situated at Tikarapada. Presently, it has been renamed as Satkosia Tiger Reserve. For more photos of Satkosia click here Places to see at Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary: Tourism is permitted only across 269 square kilometers of the total area. You can explore the wild side of the sanctuary by visiting Baghmunda, the residential area of the tigers. The Athamallik-Chhendipada-Telkoi corridor, Satkosia-Khalasuni corridor and Kapilas-Rebena corridor are the three main corridors through which the elephants travel and can be mainly seen by the tourists. Nearby attractions of Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary: Apart from the main part of the sanctuary, you can tour places like Tikarpara that offers beautiful view of the gorge and meandering river. Hati Girga, known for the watch tower; Labangi, which is situated on a hill top, Purnakot – renowned for offering hiking trails and Kandhaida, known for its intense jungles; completes the list. The places that are popular for its stream and waterfall are Sitalpaani and Bheemdara, respectively. Things to do in Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary: Besides exploring the forests for various kinds of animals, you can also enjoy the panoramic vistas and opt for activities like trekking, elephant rides, night safaris and boating that are provided by the Forest Department. How to reach Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary: From Kolkata, you need to travel to Cuttack in Orissa by rail. From Cuttack, travel to Angul (which is 115 kms away), via bus, in order to reach Satkosia. The entry point is situated at Pamapsara, at a distance of around 30 kilometers from Angul. The transfer to Satkosia from Athagarh is operated by Orissa Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC). Tourists are advised to hire a vehicle from Cuttack or Angul for both traveling and sightseeing purposes. There is also a train from Howrah to Angul (via Bhadrak) that runs only on Saturdays from Howrah and takes around 10 hours. Best time to visit Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary: Though the sanctuary can be visited during the months of October to February, the months of December and January are considered to be the best time to visit the place. Lodging and dining facilities at Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary: Tented accommodation facilities are available near Tikarpada, at affordable rates. The option of guest houses is also available in and around the sanctuary. Both non-vegetarian and vegetarian food is offered to the tourists by the places of accommodation. Photographs...
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Vetnai, Orissa – 515 kms from Kolkata

Save a weekend from your busy schedule and head towards a small, lesser known village in Orissa’s Ganjam district – Vetnai or Bhetnai. The specialty of this place is that you will cease to believe yourself to be touring in a part of India. With around innumerable male and female Black Bucks roaming freely at the slopes of the mountain range of Eastern Ghats, you feel you are on an African safari. BOOK YOUR TRIP TO VETNAI Places to see in Vetnai: Vetnai is known for its 1600 Black Bucks, which roam freely on an area of 40 sq. km. Near the sanctuary is the undulated landscape of the bluish mounds, which is a beautiful sight you must enjoy. Nearby attractions in Vetnai: Chilka Lake is a popular tourist destination that every traveler visiting Vetnai generally goes to see. Another spot is Monglajori Bird Sanctuary, where you can view Whistling-duck, Asian Openbill, Purple Swamphen, Grey-headed Lapwing and Cotton Pygmy-goose and numerous other local and migratory birds. Things to do in Bhetnai: The major thing to be done in Bhetnai is sightseeing and watching the Black bucks playing around in open valleys and grasslands. You can also visit the nearby Monglajori Bird Sanctuary to view rare birds some beautiful butterflies. A trip to the Chilka Lake, to enjoy its serene beauty and playful dolphins can also be on your cards. Watch it all yourself as well as capture every moment in your camera. You can also try the popular Oriya sweet ‘Chana Poda,’ which is baked yogurt. How to reach Bhetnai: Bhetnai can be reached from both Berhampore, which is 50 km and from Balugaon, which is 75 km from the destination. However, you should choose the route through Balugaon if you want to visit Monglajori first and then Bhetnai. However, if you travel by rail, then you have to come via Berhampore that has a railway station. From Berhampore there are regular bus services that can take you to Aska as well as Bhetnai. Best time to visit Bhetnai: The ideal time to visit Bhetnai is during the winter season. Lodging and dining facilities at Vetnai: Although Vetnai doesn’t have accommodation facilities for its tourists, good hotels are available in Balugaon. Even many comfort and budget hotels are available in the nearby town of Berhampore. Dining facilities come attached with the hotels of Balugaon and Berhampore. BOOK YOUR TRIP TO...