Archive for the 'Village Tourism' Category

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


Ministry of tourism sanctions some projects in Orissa

Ecotourism, Nature spots, Satkosia gorge and tiger reserve, Village Tourism Comments Off on Ministry of tourism sanctions some projects in Orissa

Following are excerpts from the PIB

During the current financial year the Ministry has sanctioned so far Rs.323.00 crore for various projects throughout the country. This is an all time record and will facilitate timely execution of projects during the working season.

Some of the important infrastructure projects which have been sanctioned in the current financial year are:

A. Heritage Destinations/Circuits

III. The project of Development of Mahanadi Central Heritage (Rs.3.94 crore) has been sanctioned. In this project Jetties, River Bank, Nature Trail, picnic area, etc. will be developed at various places along the river to enhance the experience of visitors to these destinations.

C. Rural Tourism

[Note: Its not clear if the “Mahanadi Central Heritage” project covers parts of Orissa or not.]

The Ministry has launched the redesigned website which is very visitor friendly. 36 sites are being developed in collaboration with UNDP for Rural Tourism in various States. 15 sites have been completed and these places are ready for marketing from 31st October, 2007. These projects will facilitate revival of art & craft, encouragement to local skills and pride in diversity.

The list of 36 is given at It has two locations from Orissa: Pipli and Raghurapur. The above document also has a larger list of 77 locations which has 6 locations from Orissa. Those six are: Raghurajpur, Pipli, Khiching, Barpali, Hirapur and Padmanavpur.

E. Eco tourism

II. The project of development of Satkosia in Orissa (Rs. 4.25 crore) has been sanctioned in which Interpretation Centre, Landscaping, Elephant camps, Trekking park, Watch Towers and parking facilities, etc. are proposed to be developed.

Central Tourism ministry adds 4 more Orissa villages to the village tourism list

Angul, Arts village, Bargarh, Central govt. schemes, Ganjam, Handicrafts, Khordha, Puri, Raghurajpur, Village Tourism, Waterfalls Comments Off on Central Tourism ministry adds 4 more Orissa villages to the village tourism list

Update: The Orissa government tourism home page has a link to the list of tourist spots in Orissa.

In 2002-03 Raghurajpur (in Puri district) was the first village to be put in this list. This was followed by Pipli (in Khordha district) in 2004-05 and Khiching (in Mayurbhanj district) in 2005-06. The four new villages that are being added are Hirapur (in Khordha district), Barapali (in Baragarh district), Padmanavapur (in Ganjam district) and Deolajhari (in Angul district). Hirapur is famous for the 64 Yogini temple and the villages around it also make a lot of bronze utensils and artifacts. Barapali is famous for Pata Sarees – Sambalpuri style, while Padmanavapur is also famous for Pata Sarees – albeit of a different style. Deolajhari is near a waterfall. Following is Dharitri’s report on this. 20071005-village-tourism.JPG 20071005-village-tourism-2.JPG