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Monglajori, Orissa – 496 kms from Kolkata...

The village of Monglajori or Monglajodi is located about 60 km. southwest of the city of Bhubaneshwar off NH5 and 4 km. southeast of the Tangi town. It is located in the Khurda district of Orissa. The region is primarily a freshwater swamp, spotted at the northeastern fringe of the Chilka Lake. This wetland of Monglajori is fed by a number of channels that cross through the reed beds along the brackish water of the Chilka Lake. The area is covered with sprawling vegetation and reed beds, comprised mostly of Phragmites karka and Typha angustata. The prime channel flows from north to south for around 3 km. and features a nature track, running parallel to it for around 2 km. ending in a watchtower. BOOK YOUR TRIP TO MONGLAJORI ‘Mongaljori Ghera’ is a refuge of the waterfowl, which attracts a number of winter migrants. Monglajori, acknowledged as an IBA, supports around 200,000 – 300,000 waterfowls during the winter along with populations of around 15 other species, surpassing 1% of their bio-geographical population. The population includes Red-crested Pochard, Tufted Duck, Fulvous Whistling-duck, Asian Openbill, Purple Swamphen, Grey-headed Lapwing and Cotton Pygmy-goose. Some other species found in considerable numbers are Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Black-tailed Godwit, Ruddy Shelduck, Garganey, Clamorous Reed Warbler, Eurasian Wigeon and other resident birds. Raptors include Brahminy Kite, Eurasian Marsh Harrier and White-bellied Sea Eagle. Whiskered Tern is also found in plenty in the season. Few years back, hunters were very active at Monglajodi, who used to travel around this wetland with loaded guns in search of migratory birds. However, lately, bird poaching is not practiced anymore. Places to see in Monglajori: Monglajori is an extensive wetland spanning an area over 300 sq. kms. The area is a safe haven of around 236 species of birds, among which, most are migratory. The tourists are truly thrilled by watching various species of birds, which include Northern Shoveller, Pintail, Brahminy Duck, Bar headed goose and others. Moreover, the tourists can also closely observe the nesting, breeding of some regional wetland birds like Open billed stork, Purple moorhen etc during the rainy season. Another major tourist attraction of the site is an age-old and largest temple of the village, popularly known as the Patita Paban Temple. The village also houses some other notable temples like, Gupteswar Temple, Maa Mangala Temple, Nilakathaswara Dev Temple and Maa Balimajhi Devi Temple. There is also a picnic spot surrounding Maa Balimajhi Devi Temple. Nearby attractions of Monglajori: The nearby prime spots of tourist interest are the Chilka Lake and Nalabana Bird Sanctuary. Chilka Lake is a salt water estuarine lagoon, which is the haven of seven to eight lakh birds, comprised of 121 species. Things to do at Monglajodi: Monglajodi is the heaven for the avid bird watchers. How to reach Monglajori: Balugaon is the closest rail station of Monglajori, which is accessible via Tangi by roadway. Beat time to visit Monglajori: The ideal time for visiting Monglajori are the months between November and March.  This is the best time for bird watching in Monglajori. Lodging and dining facilities at Monglajori: An eco-tourism camp is operated by private organizations in Monglajori. However, better lodging facilities are available at Balugaon, Kalupada and Khurda Road. BOOK YOUR TRIP TO...
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Panchalingeswar, Orissa – 280 kms from Kolkata...

If you want to live in seclusion, amidst the tranquil and scenic natural ambience, then this quaint village of Panchalingeswar, is your ideal weekend getaway. Panchalingeswar is located in the hilly areas of Balasore district in Orissa. The sheer serenity of the location is a great stress buster for the tourists. BOOK YOUR TRIP TO PANCHALINGESWAR Places to see in Panchalingeswar: Tourists are primarily attracted to the village of Panchalingeswar to visit the Panchalingeswar Temple, which is the shrine of Lord Shiva. The temple is located on a hilltop near the Nilagiri hills and is renowned for housing five shivalingas, immersed in a small flow of water. You need to ascend 263 stairs to reach the temple. Walk for 3 km from the temple site through a tribal village, to savor the spectacular sight of the Khumkut Dam. You could also locate a watchtower at the site. You can also visit Sajanagarh, the place of Budarachandi, which is also a popular archaeological site. Make a trip to the Kuldiha Elephant Sanctuary and the Jagannath temple, situated nearby. Nearby attractions around Panchalingeswar: Tourist visiting Panchalingeswar can arrange for some interesting trips to nearby destinations. Chandaneswara is a prime attraction of the tourists, renowned for its pristine beach and the shrine of Lord Chandaneswara. Tourists can also visit another serene beach at Chandipur. You can also make a tour to Remuna, the site famous for nurturing the Vaishnavite culture. The place also houses a well-decorated temple of Khirachora Gopinath. Another interesting place is Khiching, popular for housing the age-old Chamunda temple and Kichakeswari temple. Things to do in Panchalingeswar: If you are a trek enthusiast, then you can trek at the Nilagiri Hills. Enjoy your trips in the nearby sightseeing places. You can also enjoy a nature walk savoring the splendid beauty of Pancha lingeswar. How to reach Panchalingeswar: Panchalingeswar is located at a distance of 30 km. from Balasore and 85 km. from the town of Baripada. Regular facilities of transport are available from both the destinations to Panchalingeswar. The nearest airport of the destination is located at Bhubaneswar, whereas Balasore serves as the closest railway station. Best time to visit Panchalingeswar: The ideal time to visit the place is during Autumn and Winter. Lodging and dining facilities in Panchalingeswar: You can stay at Govt. accommodations in Panchalingeswar, which is operated by the Orissa Tourism Department Corporation. There are also a few standard hotels and private resorts at the location. BOOK YOUR TRIP TO...
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Gahirmatha, Orissa – 305 kms from Kolkata...

Visit Gahirmatha also known as Gaharimatha if you want to see Olive Ridley Sea Turtles during your next weekend holiday. The Gahirmatha coast nestled in the Kendrapara district of Orissa will be your ideal destination because it is the world’s largest nesting beach of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. Declared as a wildlife sanctuary of Orissa in 1979 and a world heritage site, Gahirmatha bears considerable significance on turtle conservation. BOOKING DETAILS OF GAHIRMATHA Places to see in Gahirmatha: The breathtaking view of the Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary, located on the converging point of the River Dharma and Bay of Bengal attracts nature loving tourists to see millions of turtle nesting here. You will become amazed to see the extensive area covered by the sanctuary, which comes near 1435 square kilometer. Watch the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles thriving at the marine sanctuary of Gaharimatha, a rare sight that you will treasure for years. You can also visit two other turtle nesting beaches located at the river mouth of Devi and Rushikulya. For more photos of Gahirmatha click here. Nearby attractions around Gahirmatha: While making a trip to Gahirmatha Turtle Sanctuary, you can also visit some notable spots of tourist interests, located nearby. The Temple of Lord Shiva built in the early 9th century in Dangmol is truly worth visiting. The Temple of Nahak Babu built with sandstone is also a prime attraction of the tourist. Some other spots of tourist attractions are Lailtgiri, Ratnagiri and Udaygiri Buddhist complex. You can also visit the Chandipur Beach located nearby. Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park is also located in near the Gaharimatha Turtle Sanctuary. It is recognized as the second largest Mangrove ecosystem across India, spanning an area of 672 sq. km. This mangrove forest offers shelter to more than 215 species of birds. The Bhitarkanika National Park has achieved the status of a “Crocodile Sanctuary,” as it houses the biggest population of salt-water crocodile in the country. This National Park is encircled by the Gahirmatha Beach in the eastward side. Things to do in Gahirmatha: Organize a tour to the marine turtle sanctuary at Gaharimata and watch the nesting beach of the turtles, without disturbing the creatures. Also visit the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, which offers true pleasure to the avid bird watchers. You will also be thrilled by the very sight of the mass of gigantic crocodiles at the location. How to reach Gahirmatha: The nearest airports of Gahirmatha are Bhubaneswar and Kolkata airports. The location is also accessible by waterways (Chandabali, Ragnagar and Gupti). You can also take trains from Howrah and reach Bhadrak, Balasore, Cuttack or Bhubaneswar, from where Gahirmatha is easily accessible. Gaharimatha is just 4 kms from Dangmol. The nearest railhead to Gahirmatha is Bhadrak, which is just 77 kms away. From Bhadrak, one can reserve a taxi or a jeep to Bhitarkanika Forest Reserve and hire a boat to reach Gahirmatha. Best time to visit Gahirmatha: The ideal time of visiting the Gahirmatha Sanctuary is the period between the months of October to February, when the turtle come to nest. Lodging and dining facilities in Gahirmatha: There are no such accommodation options at Gahirmatha but you have Govt. resthouses and private hotels in nearby towns. Photographs by Debkinkar Baidya. BOOKING DETAILS OF...
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Kuldiha Forest, Balasore – 350 kms from Kolkata...

Kuldiha Forest covers a total area of 282 square kilometers. It is a dense forest mostly covered with thick growth of sishu, sal, piyasal, mango, bahera, jam and simul trees that make it the perfect home to a wide number of animals like wild cats, elephants, long tailed monkeys, cheetals, gaur, leopard, giant squirrel as well as some bird species like peafowl, hill myna and hornbill. Kuldiha is located in Balasore district and is known for supporting wide varieties of reptiles too. The Kuldiha forest area merges into the Similipal Forest through the Nato hill and Sukhupada hill ranges. There is a hilly stream that flows along the forest and a watch tower that is tactically built at Garsimulia on the bank of the river. Kuldiha also has a Lion Sanctuary. BOOK YOUR TRIP TO KULDIHA Places to see at Kuldiha Forest: The Kuldiha Forest itself is the best attraction to watch out for. The forest is also the home to Tenda Elephant Sanctuary and a Lion Sanctuary. Nearby attractions at Kuldiha Forest: Among the nearest destinations, you can definitely visit the Russia Dam or Rishia Dam as it is locally known. This is a great place to look for some seclusion. The dam is also the place to watch out for some elephants from the Tenda Elephant Sanctuary who come here for water. You can also visit Panchlingeswar on a short trip. Things to do in Kuldiha Forest: You can go for an exciting trek from Nilagiri through the forests of Kuldiha. Plus, exploring the Kuldiha Forest Sanctuary along with the Tenda Elephant Sanctuary is a must when you are in this part of Balasore. How to reach Kuldiha Forest: From Balasore, you have to reach Shergarh via the National Highway. Then from Shergarh, reach Sujangarh via Nilagiri and Panchlingeswar. Now, you need to turn left from Sujangarh to reach the Kuldiha Sanctuary. Best time to visit Kuldiha Forest: You can visit Kuldiha Forest during anytime of the year except for rainy season when the forest becomes inaccessible. Lodging and dining facilities at Kuldiha Forest: You can avail accommodation at the Forest Bungalow equipped with solar lights. But for food, you have to bring your own as there are no dining facilities available. BOOK YOUR TRIP TO...
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Lulung, Simlipal – 260 kms from Kolkata...

Rolling hills covered in thick forests, distant calls of wild elephants, the sky-kissing Sal trees and the talkative Palpala River would greet you at Lulung. Located 300 m above sea level in the eastern fringes of Simlipal Tiger Reserve, the small village of Lulung is only 20 kilometres from Baripada in Orissa. Spending a few nights in the cottages of Lulung amidst sparkling waterfalls, snaking rivers, frolicking deer and dancing peacocks would rejuvenate you with a renewed life-force.  BOOKING DETAILS OF LULUNG Places to see in Lulung: Besides exploring the surrounding jungle and the Palpala River, you can visit the tribal villages situated at a small distance from Lulung. At Kalipahar, just 3 kms from Lulung you would discover a milky white waterfall. You can take long nature walks within the Simlipal Forest in the surrounding area of Lulung Bungalow. For more photos of Lulung click here. Nearby attractions of Lulung: You can explore the Simlipal Forest and visit the beautiful 399 m high Barehipani waterfall and 150 m high Joranda Waterfall. From Lulung, you would also get a good view of surrounding peaks like the 1158 m high Meghasani peak and 1178 m high Khairiburu peak. Besides Palpala River, other rivers like Khairi, Budhabalanga and Salandi meander throughout the forest. You can also visit prehistoric sites of Kuchai (famous for remains of Neolithic age) just 28 kms away, Kulaiana (famous for remains of Paleolithic age) just 38 kms away. Other attractions like Sulaipat Dam (60 kms away), Deokund Waterfalls and Bangriposhi (40 kms) can also be visited from this place. Those who are in love with reptiles can visit the crocodile rearing centre located at Ramtirtha, near Jashipur. The nearby district headquarters of Baripada also has a few attraction like Jagannath Temple and Ambika Temple. Things to do in Lulung: You can opt for hiking in the forest area of Similipal and explore wildlife, including elephants, deer and even predators like leopards and tigers. You can also opt for picnics on the banks of the Palpala River enjoying the beauty of the flowing crystal clear water and the surrounding forests. Birdwatchers would have a gala time in the surrounding areas of this destination. How to reach Lulung: From Kolkata, you can avail the option of trains to reach Baripada, the nearest rail-head to Lulung. From there, you can avail the option of State run buses, cars or taxis to reach the place. You can also reach Balasore by train and catch a taxi or bus to Lulung. Best time to visit Lulung: You can visit Lulung any time of the year but the best time to visit Lulung is during the months of November to June. Lodging and dining facilities in Lulung: At Lulung, you can stay in some beautiful Forest Cottages in sync with the nature surrounding it. Each cottage has a balcony attached to it facing the surrounding hills and the vast expanse of forest. The entire Tourist Complex is landscaped with nice lawns, gardens and fruit trees. There is also a lounge and a dining hall with all necessary facilities. Eco friendly solar power keeps these cottages and surrounding areas alive throughout the night. Excellent dining facilities are provided in these Forest cottages. Photographs by Abhijit Das, Shishir Pandey, bubaiiii, iambiplav, Pankaj Sekhsaria BOOKING DETAILS OF...
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Bangriposhi, Orissa – 230 kms from Kolkata...

To heal your mind and body, this weekend come to the marvelous landscape of Bangriposhi. This place is extremely relaxing as  well as exciting for traveling and has provided inspiration to many creative impulses of various littérateur and artists. The  best place for nature lovers, Bangriposhi gives ample scope of interaction with nature through its jungle, hills and river  and the tribal culture, who are inseparable parts of nature. So if you want to satiate your hunger for traveling to new  places, then Bangriposhi located in the shadows of the Thakurani Hills in Mayurbhanj, Orissa would be the best choice. BOOKING DETAILS OF BANGRIPOSHI Places to see at Bangriposhi: Surrounded by numerous forest tracts and hills like Vidyabhandar, Ardheshwar, Patharkushi, Buraburi, Bangriposhi is a storehouse of flora and fauna. The River Budibalam meandering through Bangriposhi is the major attraction here. Photographs of Bangriposhi Nearby attractions of Bangriposhi: A couple of kilometers from Bangriposhi is Thakurani Hill. You can reach the summit of the hill to see the temple of Goddess Bangriposi. Crossing this mountain, you can visit the small marketplace of the tribal people. You can travel 20 km from Bangriposi to Kuliyan village, which is renowned for Dokra artwork. You can also take a short trip of 25 kms to the Bankabal Lake and its adjacent dam. A visit to the nearby Duarsini temple and the Nilamadhaba temple should also be in your itinerary. Another major attraction near Bangriposhi is the Simlipal National Forest, just 60 kms. away. Things to do at Bangriposhi: Apart from visiting the tourist spots, you can also take a look at the lifestyle of the tribal people of this area who are mainly Santhal, Munda, Bhil and Lodha. However, Bangriposi is a box of surprises for photographers, bird watchers and trekkers. If you are an avid trekker, then you would love to trek along the Buribalam River’s bank and scale the hills and forests nearby. The boulders jutting out of the river’s rockbeds, the terraced Paddy fields on the hill slopes, the village life and the unknown birds chirping all around the trees are few reasons to make your trip to Bangriposhi. How to reach Bangriposhi: You can take the Dhauli Express from Howrah and covering a journey a four hours reach Balasore. From there you can hire a car and travel 2 hrs 30 minutes to Bangriposi. You can reserve a car for a couple of days to reach here and travel various spots nearby. Direct overnight buses connect Kolkata to Baripada. From Baripada, Bangriposi is just 32 kms. NH6 connects Bangriposi to Kolkata. It is just 230 kms from Kolkata. Best time to visit Bangriposhi: Avoid the summer time, anytime in the rest of the year is ideal for visiting Bangriposhi. Lodging & Dining facilities at Bangriposhi: A no-frills eco cottage located amidst sylvan surroundings with three bedrooms and attached western bathrooms can accommodate guests. There are no air-conditioners or televisions in the cottage but clean bathrooms, clean bed sheets and very cozy and clean rooms with patios blends this cottage to its environment. Delicious home cooked local meals are served by the caretaker and the cook. BOOKING DETAILS OF...
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Hatibari, Jhargram – 260 kms from Kolkata...

Spend an unforgettable weekend in the isolated jungle of Hatibari, where you can forget about your worries of city life and become a part of nature. Jhargram Mahakumar Hatibari is located on the conjoint territory of the states of West Bengal, Orissa and Jharkhand. It is the perfect destination to relax without being disturbed by anybody or anything. Though a secluded spot, it is very much safe for tourists. The serene ambience of the river and the forest will make you speechless and intoxicated. BOOK YOUR TRIP TO HATIBARI Places to see at Hatibari: The River Subarnarekha surrounded by forest on both sides is the major attraction of this place. Nearby attractions at Hatibari: On your way to Hatibari, you can go to Gopiballavji’s Temple in Gopiballavpur, where the remnants of traditional architecture are a must watch. From Hatibari, you can visit the nearby Jhilli Dam and Kendugari, known for its beautiful lotus pond. Rameshwar Temple is another place to see; the history of which is interlinked with the tradition of Lord Rama and Sita’s exile days. Things to do at Hatibari: Apart from touring various places, you can take an evening stroll, under the moonlit sky, in the peaceful ambience of the jungle of Hatibari. How to reach Hatibari: You can go to Hatibari by road from Kolkata, either by taking the Bombay Road or via Kharagpur to Gopiballavpur to Hatibari. You can reach Kharagpur, either by road or by rail. Another way is to reach the Orissa-West Bengal Jamkhola Checking Point, by getting on an express bus going in the direction of Orissa’s Baripada. From the checking point, take a van-rickshaw to reach Hatibari. Best time to visit Hatibari: Though the destination is open throughout the year, it is advisable to avoid the rainy season. Lodging & dining facilities at Hatibari: Forest bungalow, guesthouses and tents are the main lodging facilities of this area. Forest rest house allows dining facilities as well. BOOK YOUR TRIP TO...
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Dangmol, Bhitarkanika – 300 kms from Kolkata...

A weekend trip to the Bhitarkanika forest can be really exciting. Starting the journey early morning, you can stop at some roadside eatery at Belda to have the breakfast and enjoy some great scenic beauty on the way. Dangmol offers excellent opportunities to take a look at the different aspects of nature at its best in Bhitarkanika National Park. BOOKING DETAILS OF DANGMOL Places to see at Dangmol: The main attraction of Dangmol is the breathtaking beauty of Bhitarkanika forest, which is the second largest mangrove forest in India and home of the estuarine crocodile. The coastal area of Gahirmatha is nearby, here the giant Pacific Ridley Sea Turtles visit. [AFG_gallery id=’47’] Things to do at Dangmol: You can hire a boat from Dangmol and take a trip of the Bhitarkanika National Park and enjoy the exquisite nature. Besides, you can also go for some trekking inside the forest. How to reach Dangmol: You can start your journey early morning by car and reach Bhadrak via Kharagpur-Belda-Balasore. This is some 5 hours journey from Kolkata. But those who want to travel by train can board the Dhauli Express to Bhadrak and then hire a car to reach Chandbali. Best time to visit Dangmol: Throughout the year but avoid going during the rainy season. Lodging & dining facilities at Dangmol: There are guest houses as well as forest rest house for tourists. Dining facilities are available at the places of stay. Photographs by Debkinkar Baidya. BOOKING DETAILS OF...