The Mandasaru Gorge is perched on a plateau around 2500 feet above sea level and the gorge is 820 feet deep from the main surface of the plateau. The Mandasaru Gorge ecosystem is located in the eastern part of Kandhamal District of Odisha and is surrounded by dense tropical moist deciduous forest on all sides. This 15 km. long gorge is guarded by 22 hills positioned one after another with the highest peak Saashimaha Manda Hill towering at 3280 feet above sea level. The village resort at Mandadsaru is located at the edge of the gorge overlooking the endless lush rolling hills. BOOKING DETAILS OF MANDASARU
Places to see at Mandasaru: The gorge falls under Lendrika Reserve Forest and is spread over 5.28 sq. kms. There are 06 waterfalls in the Mandasaru Gorge out of which two are perennial and rest are non-perennial. Water from the four falls – Prisibrunda, Kaadigdapa, Beingumaha and Keragaadu forms the Naputimaha perennial stream which flows down the gorge and the forest to finally meet one of the tributaries of Rusikulya River.
Nearby attractions of Mandasaru: Just 33 kms. from Mandasaru is the “Kashmir of Odisha” – Daringbadi. Located at an altitude of around 3000 feet above sea level, Daringbadi occasionally records nearly zero temperatures in winters. Daringbadi is gifted with lush green valleys, Pine forests, Coffee Gardens and a British heritage. Tourists visit Daringbadi to explore its various parks, tribal legacy and natural beauty. The Bhanjanagar Lake created out of the Bhanjanagar Dam is around 75 kms from Mandasoru. A huge park, named “Biju Patnaik Children’s Park” has recently come up on the shores of the lake with various attractions like Model Zoo, Toy Train ride, Science Park, musical fountain etc. Other attractions like the famous Kaliamba Forest and the picturesque Phulbani Forest are all located within 50 kms. of Mandasaru.
Things to do in Mandasaru: This eco-system is considered the Silent Valley of Odisha due to its rich biodiversity and mesmerizing beauty. The local guide would help you to trek along the gorge and deep forests to reach the famous Magnet Hill and few waterfalls on the way. In total 150 species of birds have been recorded in the Mandasaro gorge so a bird watcher will never be disappointed. The gorge enjoys a unique array of plant and animal life too. It is home to 30 species of mammals ranging from leopards to Flying Foxes, 14 species of amphibians, 30 species of reptiles and more than 148 species of butterflies.
How to reach Mandasaru: The nearest major rail head in Brahmapur (BAM) around 155 kms. away. The nearest airport is at Bhubaneshwar around 251 kms away. The nearest main town is Raikia.
Best time to visit Mandasaru: You can visit Mandasaro anytime of the year. It experiences fairly cold winter where the minimum temperature sometimes falls to 02 deg C between December and February. The monsoons bring in the rolling dark clouds and lush greenery whereas the winters bring the chill and sparkling weather.
Lodging and dining facilities at Mandasaru: There are two watch towers, a Children’s park, a plantation, a dining hall, four wood cottages, a watch tower room and even a grotto within the resort area of Mandasoru. As of now, there are 04 wood cottages and 01 watch tower room to accommodate the guests. All rooms face the Mandasaru Gorge and are equipped with modern facilities like attached Western Bathrooms with Hot Water geysers, comfy beds and balconies with views of the surrounding hills. Barbecue arrangements are made for the guests too. The food is essentially Indian cuisine served in a separate traditionally designed dining hall.
Photo courtesy: Avirup Kumar.