Archive for the 'Chandaka' Category

Excellent plans to expand the visitor center of the Chandaka national forest at the Godibari gate; once done one can bike two kms inside the forest

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Chandaka, Khordha Comments Off on Excellent plans to expand the visitor center of the Chandaka national forest at the Godibari gate; once done one can bike two kms inside the forest

Following is from Dharitri.

Multiple funding sources to help further develop various tourist attractions and infrastructure in the coastal areas

Berhampur- Gopalpur- Chhatrapur, Bhadrakh, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Bhubaneswar-Pipli- Konark, Bhubaneswar-Puri, Business Standard, Central govt. schemes, Chandaka, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Dhamara- Chandbali- Bhitarakanika, Ganjam, Gopalpur-on-Sea, Heritage sites, Historical places, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Khordha, Konark, Lord Jagannath, Nandan Kanan, Odisha govt. action, Paradip - Jatadhari - Kujanga, Puri, Puri, Puri - Konark, Raghurajpur, Shamuka Beach project, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Telegraph, Temples, Tourist promotion Comments Off on Multiple funding sources to help further develop various tourist attractions and infrastructure in the coastal areas

Following is from a report in Telegraph.

The capital will soon have a mega-tourist circuit for which the Centre has sanctioned Rs 8.14 crore.

The proposed tourist circuit envisages, among others things, renovation of two major roads in Old Town area, construction of a ‘parikrama’ around Lingaraj temple, soft-lighting for eight protected monuments and two tourism interpretation centres.

While the tourism department is trying to revive Ekamreswar, the miniature temple of Lord Lingaraj near Lingaraj police station, a dedicated road corridor will be constructed to link Puri, the Old Town area and Khandagiri via Dhauli.

Moreover, a 3,000-seater amphitheatre will be constructed opposite Madhusudan Park at Pokhariput.

… Samal spoke to reporters after the heritage walk, which was held today as part of World Tourism Day function.

The circuit will aim at facilitating various cultures as the city is perhaps the only one place in the region where three major religions — Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism — have their presence and the Daya riverbed is linked to the transformation of Emperor Ashok from Chandashok to Dharmashok.

… While the mega circuit will be part of the development of the ambitious Bhubaneswar-Puri-Chilika tourism sector, the Old Town area of the city will have a 40-feet road near the temple connecting Kotitirtheswar Lane and a proposed three-acre parking site.

Later, the same road will be extended up to Kedar Gouri temple. These two roads, in turn, will provide a better corridor so that tourist vehicles can pass through the areas smoothly. Similarly, a ‘parikrama’ or circular road will be planned around the Lingaraj temple.

“Apart from providing better connectivity to the Old Town area, the side walls of various buildings and structures will be decorated with tiles of red laterite stones. The concept has already been adopted in various western cities and states such as Rajasthan. …

The mega circuit will also emphasise on infrastructure development to connect various sites of Buddhist and Jain religious interests. Other than central assistance, there is also a plan to develop a road connecting Gangua nullah (through its right embankment) to the historical Kapileswar village. Another road will link Ganesh Ghat near Dhauli Peace Pagoda with the Jatni Kapilaprasad Road.

According to the pre-feasibility report, the state government will spend more than Rs 30 crore on the two proposed roads.

“These two roads will connect Dhauli with Khandagiri and the travellers and tour operators need not take the longer Cuttack-Puri Road via Rasulgarh to reach the historical Jain sites. Even nature lovers visiting places such as Deras in Chandaka or Nandankanan Zoological Park can take this road in future,’’ said the MLA.

“The state government has also asked the Bhubaneswar Development Authority to construct an amphitheatre opposite Madhusudan Park in Pokhariput. This will resemble the amphitheatre at the Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya near Rabindra Mandap,’’ he said.

Sources at the public works department said: “There is a plan to construct a flyover over the railway level crossing at Pokhariput for Rs 42 crore. While the state government will share Rs 22 crore, the rest will come from the railways. Once the flyover is commissioned, the road from Dhauli to Khandagiri will become a vital link to various religious centre.’’

Under the mega tourism circuit, temples such as Lingaraj, Rajarani, Mukteswar, Rameswar, Parsurameswar, Lakshmaneswar, Bharateswar and Satrughneswar will be illuminated with light emitting diode based ‘dynamic lighting system’ for which Rs 3.98 crore will be utilised. The project will be executed by the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation.

Hinting at the development of two interpretation centres near the Lingaraj temple, Samal said: “While one will be constructed on the premises of Sibatirtha Mutt, the other one will come up near the employees’ colony.’’

On the proposed tourist interpretation centre near Khandagiri-Udaygiri caves, he said the project would be completed within two or three months time.

Following is from a report in Business Standard.

The Orissa government has decided to promote heritage tourism at eight locations along the coast line with an investment of Rs 7.41 crore in the next five years.

Based on archeological, architectural, sculptural and historical importance, the selected structures, identified by the state archeology department, would be taken up under the World Bank funded Rs 227.64-crore Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project.

… The structures identified to get a face lift under the scheme included Potagarh (Buried Fort), located on the bank of river Rushikulya in Ganjam town which stands as a mute witness to the vicissitudes of history in Orissa.

Apart from historic Potagarh, the British Cemetery near Ganjam town, Bhaba Kundaleswar temple of Manikapatna, Baliharichandi temple near Puri, Hariharadeva temple, Nairi, Bateswara temple, Kantiagada (Ganjam), Jagannath temple, Pentha and Jamboo Colonial Building, Kendrapara will be refurbished under the scheme.

Preservation of ancient monuments under the project will include their protection, structural conservation, chemical conservation, landscaping and maintainance from time to time.

… The officials of the Gujarat and West Bengal projects along with a World Bank team visited various places including Ganjam and Kendrapada districts in the state recently to review the implementation of the project. Project Director of ICZM (Orissa) AK Pattnaik briefed the team about various steps taken under the project and their progress. The scheme, whose tenure spans from 2010 to 2015, is being implemented in two coastal stretches: Paradeep to Dhamara and Gopalpur to Chilika.

Recent Odisha Tourism Department plans and initiatives

Chandaka, Chilika, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Ecotourism, Ganjam, Jajpur, Kandhamala, Khordha, Koraput, Lakes, Mayurbhanj, River Cruise, Sambalpur, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Waterfront 1 Comment »

Following is an excerpt from a report in

The Empowered Committee on Infrastructure (ECI), chaired by Chief Secretary has decided to run water sports facilities at Rambha, Barkul and Satapada in Chilka lake and in Ramchandi, Nua Nai, Tampara, Jhumuka, Naraj, Hirakud, Deras, Derjang, Bhanjnagar, Upper Kolab, Upper Jonk and Pitamahal.

… To start cruise, house boat and other water sports facilities in the above locations, it was decided to rope in private players on PPP Mode.

Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) will be implementing the project and Department of Tourism will provide onsite infrastructure.

The developer will provide boats and other sporting equipments and operate and manage the facilities.

… The ECI has decided to invite bidders for development of water sports in the above places.

Recently the leading Seashore Group has started water sports facilities in Mahanadi, which has attracted great attention of the tourists.

Tourists are flocking to avail the facilities, said Prashant K Dash, Chairman of Seashore Group.

Experts feel that to start with two main places for the dare-devils of the water are Chilka and Dhabaleswar.

Barkul, Rambha, Balugaon and Satpada are the bases for visiting Chilika, where water sports can be developed in a big way.

Similarly Dhabaleswar in Cuttack also provide an excellent opportunity to enjoy water sports, feel experts.

Following is an excerpt from another report in

The meeting decided to hand over 9 properties of the State Tourism for renovation by the private players and it was decided that these properties would be offered to these highest bidding private players on a long-term lease of 30 years.

… These properties at Kapilas, Daringibadi, Dhabaleswar, Patharajpur, Sunabeda, Rameswar, Jaipur, Ramachandi and Aradi are to be handed over to highest bidders, ECI decided.

DOT will go for fresh tender for Ratnagiri, Nrusinghnath, Bangiriposi and Sohela, where offers were found less attractive.

The Government will also go for fresh tenders for 17 properties which failed to attract any bidder in the tendering process held earlier.

Another 10 properties will be included in the new bidding process to attract private players, said sources.

These properties include Panthashala, Panthika and Wayside Amenities Centre (WAC) in various tourist centres of the state.

With the help of these private players the properties will be given a face lift which has been rendered decrepit due to want of maintenance.

While the State Government will continue to hold the ownership of such properties, the onus will be on the private players to refurbish and maintain them.

The renovation of the properties is being done on the public private partnership (PPP) mode.

The private players, who will refurbish and maintain the properties, will give us an upfront payment besides paying the usual annual royalty”, said Mr.Tripathy.

A 3-Star hotel and a Convention Centre will be developed at Puri on PPP mode, where the DOT has 2 acres of land as Puri is the most important destination of the state.

And Puri has the potential to be developed to a Meeting Incentive Convention Exhibition Destination (MICE), said Principal Secretary Mr.Tripathy.

Sanghamitra Jena, founder of Eastern Treasure India Tours, brings Orissa to the world

Bhitarakanika, Chandaka, Chilika, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Ecotourism, Gopalpur-on-Sea, National Parks and Sanctuaries, Odisha personalities, Puri, Raghurajpur, Similpal, Tour Operators, Tourist promotion, Village Tourism, Wild life 4 Comments »

Following are excerpts from a beautiful Forbes India piece by Mindtree CEO Subroto Bagchi.

… it is called Dangamal.

This is a tiny village bordering 672 sq. km. of luxuriant mangroves that are home to the giant Indian saltwater crocodiles. It is an unbelievably beautiful and relatively un-spoilt place. There is the usual forest rest house here, but for the real enthusiast, there is tented accommodation of commendable quality run by a first generation woman entrepreneur named Sanghamitra Jena. I am here to see her.

… After some years, when we came back to Bhubaneswar, I contacted the government-run tourist office to check if they ran courses for would-be tour guides. There was a three-month course coming up and I signed up after paying a fee of Rs. 200.

… But how did you end up becoming an entrepreneur?” I ask. “It was a story of adversity,” she says. “After many years in the same organisation, I had to leave because of disagreements with a new supervisor. For a moment, I was at the crossroads. To my surprise and delight, it led to a flood of offers from other tour operators who had known my work. Seeing that, I told myself that these people are reaching out to me because they have confidence that I could bring them business. So why wasn’t I doing it for myself?

“I had a saving of just Rs. 40,000. I bought a laptop and started sending mails to people I knew from a cyber-café. Eastern Treasure India Tours was born. Clients started coming, I took them on my off-the-beaten track tours to not just places in Orissa but also Pelling, Gangtok and Kaziranga. Word spread. Business grew. Then one day, I felt I should have a product that enables the nature-lover to enjoy a place like the mangroves of Dangamal by living in a completely rural setting. So, I came to this village and I leased a plot of land for five years. I started a high-quality, tented accommodation, complete with Western-style toilets and clean food in a completely rural surrounding. I built a make-do Web site so people could check out the options and pay online.”

… I am not in Mumbai or Bangalore. This is Orissa. This is not a land of enterprise. For girls, there is a cul-de-sac called marriage. Yet, here is Sanghamitra who has built a business in the middle of nowhere.
Before we leave for the creeks to see the giant crocs basking under the mangroves, I ask her the size of her business this year.

She is bashful for a moment. Then she replies, “I will touch a crore this year”. also has a nice article on her at


Beautiful blog with many postings on Orissa jungles and wild-life habitats

Bhitarakanika, Chandaka, Satkosia gorge and tiger reserve, Similpal Comments Off on Beautiful blog with many postings on Orissa jungles and wild-life habitats

The blog by young wild-life enthusiast Aditya Panda has several beautiful postings about his trips to various jungles and wild-life habitats. It covers many of the ones in Orissa. Excerpts will not do justice to his wonderful writing. So here are some links. Please pay a visit.

An afternoon-evening trip to Chandaka-Dampada Sanctuary

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Chandaka, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Khordha Comments Off on An afternoon-evening trip to Chandaka-Dampada Sanctuary

I finally decided to visit the Chandaka-Dampada Sanctuary which is adjacent to Bhubaneswar. We entered the sanctuary through the Godibari gate.

The above sign was visible from the road.

The above is the outer gate to the sanctuary.

The inner gate is beautifully made.

As soon as you enter the gate the above is the view of the forest with a dirt road bisecting it.

Looking back at the gate one can see the moat and the mechanism to prevent the elephants to get out. However, the elephants do get in and out of the sanctuary through other gaps in the boundary moat.

The dirt road has signs to a few destination points; the first one being the Kumar Khunti watch tower.

On the way we pass through an old structure that was part of the fort of the local king.

The above is the view from the top of a watch tower looking towards the dirt road that took us there.

In the other direction there is a lake.

About 100 yards from the watch tower there is a man made salt mound to attract the elephants.

The watch tower is a four story structure with two bed rooms in each of the second and third floors. Guests can stay there overnight. We peeked at the bath room. They looked clean. Near the watch tower there are huts where some staffs stay. The staff bring water to the watch tower rooms  and cook food for guests.

The above is a closer view of the salt mound.

Ambilo watchtower and Dampara gate are two other landmarks. Note the distance; 20 kms of forest road to the Ambilo watch tower. The whole sanctuary is 193 sq kms, almost as big as present day Bhubaneswar city limits.

With the dirt road giving us the view of only a very small part of the forest we did not see many animals. Above we saw  a few jungle fowls.

We also saw a few jungle peacocks.

This is the lake made due to the Deras dam.

Near the lake there were nicer guest houses. The elephants don’t come here. Hence they are not elephant proof.

The view of the Deras lake is beautiful. But it was getting dark. So I could not take very many pictures.

As it was getting dark and we did not have plans to make an overnight stay, we could not visit the Ambilo tower. We got out through the Kantabada gate which is near the Dearas dam.

Sanctuaries and national parks in Orissa

Bhitarakanika, Chandaka, Nandan Kanan, National Parks and Sanctuaries, Satkosia gorge and tiger reserve, Similpal, Sunabeda tiger reserve Comments Off on Sanctuaries and national parks in Orissa

The following map is from

Innovative schemes planned by the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Chandaka, Khordha, Nandan Kanan, Puri, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Temples Comments Off on Innovative schemes planned by the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation

Following is an excerpt from a report in Travel Biz Monitor.

“We have adopted this system from places like London and Berlin. Instead of a conducted tour within and outside the city, we will introduce tailor-made sight-seeing options.” The state plans to operate five coaches at a time, covering a minimum of 12-13 destinations. There will be a minimum of 10-15 minutes between each coach’s departure, in order to provide the traveller with ultimate flexibility. One day’s ticket will be issued for travellers who want to enjoy the destinations of their preference.

Conducted city tours were an important revenue-generator for Orissa Tourism. However, they have been converted into the coach service to cater to a growing demand for tailor-made packages, around the globe. “As we have started catering to a large number of international tourists, we had to resort to made-to-order services,” adds Rath.

With an aim to garner additional global business, Orissa Tourism also plans to appoint STPOs across the world, to promote Orissa as an international tourist destination. Rath claims that Orissa Tourism already employs a large number of travel agents and tour operators to sell Orissa packages. However, it is now looking to appoint non-resident Oriyas to promote the state’s tourism.

The STPO scheme will be launched on an experimental basis to garner additional employment opportunities. “We believe that the Oriya community spread all over the world will be instrumental in adding that personal touch to our state’s tourism. Although, the STPOs will not be on a payroll basis, commission against the volume of business generated will be attractive,” says Rath.

Where is this picturesque setting? It is not Koraput, Similipal or Satkosia!

Bhubaneswar, Chandaka, Khordha, Samaja (in Odia) Comments Off on Where is this picturesque setting? It is not Koraput, Similipal or Satkosia!

Without reading the caption, try to guess where this picturesque setting is? It is not in Koraput, Similipal or Satkosia!

It is in Deras, Chandaka.

Visitor facilities at Chandaka increased: Sambada

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Chandaka, Khordha, Sambada (in Odia) 1 Comment »

Progress on ecotourism in Chandaka

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Chandaka, Cuttack, Khordha, Nature spots 2 Comments »

We earlier wrote about this in  and Following is from a news report in New Indian Express.

As part of its major activity on the silver jubilee year, Chandaka Dampara Sancturay authorities have geared up on the eco-tourism front with more community involvement plans.

The sanctuary has seven tourist routes through which the nature lovers can have a glimpse of some of the 600 plant species, conduct floristic studies and watch the animals including elephants and leopards. The tourist routes of 20 and 30 km length are permitted with vehicles and guides so that the visitors can discover the charm of the wild world.

The routes touch places like Godibari, Kumarkhunti, Kheluachua, Mahuriabadi, Pitagadia, Deras, Ambilo, Saurabila, Mantu hilltop, Chandinimundia, Kuasara and Bhimakhal. But plans are on to develop five ‘nature trails’ in the sanctuary involving Deras bamboo hut-Chandinimundia and back, Deras- Gadhari-Jhumka and back, Jumka- Kheluachua-Dantaria foothills and back, Jhumka-Gadhari and Deras along the reservoir and Chulimundia-Bhimakhal-Kuasara and back, says DFO Akshaya Pattanaik. The trekking inside the sanctuary, including eco-walk, cycling and nature education trips for schoolchildren, would be taken up commercially this year. Also the WWF-India will help in getting literature on select species of flora and fauna of the sanctuary which would be supplied to the children free of cost, he added.

Watch towers with two suits each would be arranged at Kumarkhunti and Ambilo for the trekkers who want to stay put in the sanctuary to enjoy nature from close quarters. The watch towers at Kochilaberena, Mantu hilltop and Pitagadia are also being spruced up for the purpose, the DFO said.

All the eco-development activities are being executed with the active support of ‘‘Bhagabatipur- Manee Sahi Eco-Development Committee’’ at Deras. The ecodevelopment committee is also involved in keeping the environment of the sanctuary clean, especially at tourist spots and it would also get a share of the money earned through these eco-development activities so that the members can continue their good work, Pattnaik adds.

Besides, there are three revamped picnic points near Deras forest rest house which can be used for recreation, amusement and relaxation along with the nature education and to ease off stress in the lap of nature.

Chandaka sanctuary inside Bhubaneswar metro – comparison with Mumbai’s Sanjay Gandhi national park

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Chandaka, Khordha 1 Comment »

The planned Bhubaneswar-Cuttack-Choudwar metroplex will have a ring road with NH-5 consisting one part of it with the other part to be constructed. The other part will start from south of Khurda and go through Haladia, Athagarh and Nergundi (a bit south of Tangi). A detailed map of this new road is here. Inside this proposed metroplex will be the Chadaka-Dampara sanctuary. Below I give maps of Bhubaneswar area and Mumbai area to show the relative size of the Chandaka-Dampara sanctuary and the Sanjay Gandhi National Park that is part of the Mumbai metroplex. Both maps have the same resolution. Recently, there is plan to popularize the Chandaka-Dampara sanctuary among the local people. Following is an excerpt from a report in the New Indian Express.

According to divisional forest officer (DFO) and wildlife warden Akshaya Kumar Pattnaik, there are plans to popularise the various spots of the sanctuary among the nature lovers as many in the Twin City are still not aware.

The nice bamboo hut and watch tower near Deras Dam with one and two suites available respectively overlook the channels and drainage system of the water source which provides lifeline to the Mendhasal agriculture farm.

The Kumar Khunti and Ambilo watch towers also have got accommodation facility.

“Plans are on to have small wooden restsheds to accommodate the nature lovers who will come on bicycle rides and can stay overnight as practised in in the West and some well managed reserves in several parts of the country,” Pattnaik reveals.

A visitor can also have the panoramic view of Mahanadi from Mantu Hill Top and enjoy the small fall near Godabhanga Tangara in the rainy season. The caves below the fall are home to hyaenas, he adds.

Apart from wildlife, the ancient forts at Bualigarh and Chudanga can be explored which have great archaeological value, the DFO says adding an interpretation centre is on cards with a fodder demonstration centre, small herbal garden, souvenir stall and snacks parlour at Godibari entrance of the sanctuary.

Though more than 10,000 visitors visit in a year, the DFO feels the number should go up considering the charm of the jungles, especially when one can enjoy the coastal sal range from Kochila Berena watch tower.


Tourism and shopping in Orissa

Angul, Balangir, Balasore, Bargarh, Bhadrakh, Bhitarakanika, Bouda, Chandaka, Chilika, Cuttack, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, DISTRICTS & BLOCKS, Gajapati, Ganjam, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Jharsugurha, Kalahandi, Kandhamala, Kendrapada, Keonjhar, Khordha, Konark, Koraput, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Nabarangpur, Nayagarha, Nuapada, Puri, Rayagada, Sambalpur, Similpal, Sonepur, Sundergarh, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT and SHOPPING Comments Off on Tourism and shopping in Orissa

Following are some links that I collected in my site “Fun/Culture/Shopping/Tourism in Orissa”.