Daringbari, also known as the Kashmir Of Odisha, is situated in Kandhamal- a tribal-dominated district in Odisha, endowed with nature’s bounty. The district is home to many waterfalls, sanctuaries and hills. The district’s territory is rich with natural flora and fauna. About 77% of its land is covered by forests. Here are the top 8 places around Daringbadi you must include in your bucket list. Let’s start our journey from Daringbadi itself…
Daringbadi – Kashmir of Odisha
A hill station in the district, it is also dubbed as the ‘Kashmir of Odisha’. A very famous tourist attraction and is located at the height of 3000 feet. It feels like someplace among the clouds and is sure to win your heart. It derives its name from an English officer Daring Saheb who used to be in charge of this place back in the British era. Badi means village, and it is together spelt as Daringbadi. During summertime, the place is very pleasant to visit because of the lower temperatures in comparison to the scorching heat everywhere else. If you visit Daringbadi in the winters, you will be able to experience snowfall, because of the temperature dropping below than 0°C. It also has coffee plantations which attract tourists. There is a tourist complex for accommodation purposes.
Here is a list of best places to visit around Daringbadi
Kotagarh Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary is located in the Baliguda subdivision of the district, 125 km from Daringbadi. The place is rich in biodiversity. Kotagarh is well spread over 399.5 sq. kilometres. The sanctuary is one of the most important wildlife reserves of Orissa with five reserve forests, three proposed reserve forests, and two deemed protected forests within its fold. The vegetation in the sanctuary mainly consists of dense, moist deciduous forests with grasslands. The dominant flora includes sal, piasal, sisu, kendu, gambhari, asan, kusum, harida, bahada, amala, mango, tamarind, mahua, etc. The wildlife consists of tiger, leopard, nilgai, sambar, barking deer, peafowl, wild boar, gaur, four-horned antelope, civet cat, jackal, rattle, sloth bear, pangolin, porcupine, giant squirrel, mongoose, and others. The lush greenery of the wildlife sanctuary coupled with the serene ambience is ideal for tourists who want to enjoy a leisurely vacation. There are guest houses inside the CV sanctuary, but due to impediments regarding the maoists, it is safer to stay in Daringbadi and then visit it.
Located at a distance of 15 KM of Phulbani and 120 KM from Daringbadi, this waterfall is perched amidst the thick luscious forest, and the barren rocks of a mountain and falls into the river Bada Salunki. Away from the chaos of the city, in the whispering forests and a tranquil environment, the waterfall roars falling along its length of 100m. The beauty of this place is enough to quench the thirst of the camera. The place is well connected by roads and attracts a lot of tourists who come for picnics with their friends and family. It is best recommended to visit the place during the winters.
At a distance of about 60 KM from the wonderful Daringbadi, this waterfall is located inside the Kotagarh Wildlife Sanctuary among various other smaller waterfalls. The scenic view of the waterfall with lush green forests and rocky hills around is a treat to the eyes. The exquisite beauty of the place makes up the difficulties you might face reaching there due to bad road conditions. The area is flanked by Sal trees all around. This place is somewhere where you can just sit and admire the serene beauty of nature. It is a paradise for the shutterbugs.
Kalinga Valley (Kalinga Ghati)
Another jewel around Odisha’s Daringbadi, the roads of this valley go around the hills like a serpent. The zig-zag roads here give off a vibe of adventure and is the perfect place for you and your gang to visit. The thrilling drive on the roads of the valley will give you a feeling of carefreeness like you are driving to the edge of the world. Apart from this, the valley also has a silviculture garden. Several medicinal plants are grown in this garden. The silviculture garden has a dense population of thick bamboo trees and plenty of rubber plants. The garden gives off an aroma which spreads through the whole Valley and the villages surrounding it, and can easily entrap your body and soul with the fragrance.
The Kalinga Ghaati is also birthplace to many freedom fighters who fought relentlessly for the independence of our country.
Belghar is one of the most beautiful places around Daringbadi. Around 110 km from the famed hill station, this sanctuary is located at an altitude of 2555 ft above sea level. Surrounded by thick forests, towering mountains and exquisite wildlife, Belghar is a sweet treat for the nature lovers. The sanctuary has a varied collection of flora and fauna. The white tusk elephants are its major inhabitants. The inspection bungalow of the Forest Department is a thing attraction for tourists. The whole place is powered by solar energy. Peacocks in great numbers can be seen in the Ushabali Valley nearby. If your planning to visit places around Daringbadi, you can not miss this!
The primitive inhabitants of the Belghar are known as Kutia Kandhas. Another major attraction here is the cane work made by these tribal people.
Nestled in thick green forests and lofty hills, Pakadajhar- a natural waterfall, remains undiscovered. It is yet to be declared as a tourist site and is only used by the locals as a picnic site. The pristine waterfall has a single route which leads to it, from Sudurukumpa village on the Panisal and Baghipada road. It is around 125 km Daringbadi. The panoramic view of the waterfall amongst the greenery is breathtaking. If you are interested in photography, this is definitely the place for you.
One of the top places of interest around Daringbadi, Katramal is a hub of natural bounties. The road that leads to it is not particularly in good condition, the drive there although exhausting will enthral you as well. The magnificence of the natural beauty around will leave you spellbound. The water falling creates a small pond which is home to a lot of fishes. The fishes jump to catch if a feed is thrown in their close vicinity. The tourists huddle around to throw biscuits and puffed rice to see them jump up from the surface and catch it.
How to travel to Daringbadi – Kandhamal?
If you decide to visit Kandhamal, the nearest railway station is in Rairakhol, which lies in the Sambalpur-Bhubaneswar railway line, and is 99 km from Phulbani. You can reach it by road from Sambalpur via Boudh (170km) and Berhampur, which is around 165 km. Another route is from Bhubaneswar via Nayagarh, which is about 210 km. The district has no said ‘tourist buses’ running, but you can hire taxis from Phulbani or Baliguda.
This beautiful district is, unfortunately, highly underrated. Let us visit these spectacular places around Daringbadi to experience and popularise their unsurpassed natural splendour.