Odisha is a lovely destination that traces the shores of the Bay of Bengal in the West. It mesmerises its inhabitants and visitors with its beautiful ancient temples, pristine beaches, vibrant tribal culture and diverse environment. The state escapes the taint of modernity and establishes a story and lifestyle of its own. Moreover, Odisha wins hearts with its ancient architectural marvels and its history of the sun worshippers – the Odra tribe. Now, as a state, it has opened its gates to showcase its settlement dictated by its history, culture and people. Odisha is currently amidst two crises that it is battling. The strength of perseverance of the Odisha people is admirable and it displays the humanitarian values that Odisha cultivates. We pray for Odisha to be safe and offer strength for its restoration. The state offers extensive opportunities to celebrate its uniqueness and put the troubling times behind. Here’s a list of activities that you can do in here post lockdown.
While you still continue to miss your daily favourites of Jagannath Temple and untouched beaches, we have listed some offbeat recommendations that are in your budget, crowd-free and unique.
BEST THINGS TO DO IN ODISHA POST LOCKDOWN
The article includes activities that are a mix of popular and offbeat locations. We have selected after consideration of factors such as time and budget. You may take out a day or a weekend off for these activities.
Check Out Tigers At Simlipal Tiger Reserve
Tigers are not a usual sight to just anybody yet it is our national animal for good reason. One can only understand the majesticity of these animals by seeing them in real life. The Simlipal National Park provides this opportunity for its visitors and is a post lockdown treat. The park derives its name from Simul which means silk cotton. The National Park, like all others, has a highly rich biodiversity with around 1078 species of plants, 55 species of mammals, 304 species of birds and more. Furthermore, the most significant project of the National park is the Tiger Reserve situated within it.
It holds an intriguing history of evolution where it originally served as a hunting grounds for tigers and later turned into a tiger reserve under Project Tiger in 1973. The Simlipal National Reserve’s project to save tigers and the depleting number of tigers within this reserve is a stark reminder of the precarious situation of the wildlife on earth. Not only would this visit remind you of the beauty of the tigers but the immediacy required to preserve their species. The place is a four and half hour drive away from Bhubaneswar.
Have A Dip At Taptapani Hot Spring In Ganjam
A trip to Ganjam district for a dip in the hot springs would be a great way to relax and give your body the treatment it deserves. The Taptapani Hot Spring is a hot spring that is known for its high concentration of sulfur. The hot spring is perennial and offers a great atmosphere for a relaxing bath. It is located within the hills surrounded by shrubbery and foliage serenaded by the sounds of nature. The area of Taptapani is thriving with tribal activity, diverse wildlife and the ever-changing beauty of nature.
Furthermore, you can witness a wonderful sunrise here. The hot springs are the main attraction point due to the medicinal properties it holds. It would make a great way to detox all the stress built up in your body through all these months. Surrounded by a vibrant community and the lush green environment, a trip to Taptapani Hot Springs would be an ideal weekend getaway. The place is a 4 and half hour drive from Bhubaneswar.
Explore A Mini Tibet at Jirang and its monastery
Jirang is celebrated as Odisha’s Little Tibet as it is a cultural attraction for locals and tourists alike. It may not have the popularity of Majnu ka Tila in Delhi or Mcleodganj in Dharamshala, but, this hamlet provided shelter to the Tibetans that migrated post China’s invasion in 1959. Their asylum has transformed into a secure settlement of the Tibetans within the state of Odisha. Locals and Tourists can witness the culture and lifestyle of the Tibetans within Odisha itself. Further on, the Tibetans have named their settlement as “Phuntsokling” that means a land of plenty and happiness. They have injected colour and a vibrant lifestyle into the environs of the Eastern Ghat mountains.
They lead a simple life dependent on farming, fruit collecting and gardening. One of the main attractions of Jirang is the Padmasambava Monastery or popularly known as Jirang Monastery. It is a beautiful white structure adorned with a golden roof that shines distinctly amongst the foliage. Moreover, the monastery is a great place to recollect yourself and let the calmness wash over you post lockdown. It will bring you closer to understanding the religion of Buddhism that emerged within the borders of our country and has inspired many.
Catch The Sun At Chandipur Beach – The Vanishing Beach
A quiet day at the beach would be a great way to unwind post lockdown. Odisha is the state of many hidden beaches. It is hard to find beaches that witness lesser crowds but the Chandipur Beach is one such beach where you can enjoy your solitude to the sound of waves. The Chandipur Beach is not just beautiful in its scenic landscape but it is quite intriguing as well. You can examine the nature of tidal waves so evidently at this beach. Known as the Vanishing beach, you can see the sea vanish from the shore and appear again! The view of the sunrise or sunset with this phenomenon is a magical one.
However, we advise you to avoid staying at the beach during high tide as it can get quite dangerous. If you walk towards Mirzapur, you may even come across horseshoe crabs scuttling across the sand. The Chandipur beach is perfect for a romantic getaway after the lockdown. It would be a calming getaway where you can walk along the waves and wet your feet. And, you may even collect shells from the beach as memorabilia.
Relish A Range Of Pithas (Odia cakes) from region to region
Perhaps the traditional way of making Poda Pitha has not endured through the years. It is an experience that only elders can cherish through memory. But the love for Poda Pitha refuses to die down in this state. It is a slow-cooked cake made from baking fermented rice, black gram, grated coconut and jaggery overnight. The locals and tourists can have a taste of this tender delight during the Raja festival much like everyone in Odisha. However, the state is home to many more varieties of traditional cakes or pithas.
If you are looking for a hearty breakfast, we suggest trying out chakuli pitha which is the Odia form of a plain South Indian Dosa. Moreover, you can also try the Chitou Pitha which is also made out of rice and coconut. The best part about Chitou Pitha is the fascinating way of its making. Talking about rice flour, we cannot miss out on Arisa Pitha which is a deep-fried beauty. Or, you could try a mouthful of Manda Pitha, a modal style ball made out of semolina and sweet fillings.
Catch a Sunrise Over Udayagiri in Bhubaneswar
The state of Odisha is abundant with various places of worship, notably, temples. The city of Bhubaneswar is widely known to be the city of temples. The Udayagiri Hills makes the perfect host for a beautiful sunrise viewing. But what makes this location even more attractive is the presence of caves. Udayagiri and Khandagiri are 32 caves that are highly unique and form the earliest Jain rock-cut shelters. These caves were built for Jain ascetics which is evident from its structural design.
Moreover, one can see that no one can stand erect within those caves which signifies the Jain’s insistence on great austerity of life. In Udayagiri itself, there are 18 caves which form the largest and most beautiful complex. The exploration of these enigmatic caves post lockdown rich in history. Watching the sunrise over its head would make a great experience.
Plan a Picnic at Deomali
A picnic with the family under the sun would be a refreshing change of location from the four-walled enclosure that you are a subject to for a while. And what better way to plan a picnic but by adding a bit of thrill? We recommend the peak point of Deomali for a lovely picnic with the family. Deomali is the highest peak point in Odisha and is usually great for aero-gliding and trekking expeditions. But, the locals love it for a good picnic afternoon!
Dotted with brooks and large green valleys, the valley of Deomali is exquisitely beautiful. The hills are overrun with wild forests that are home to diverse flora and fauna. Moreover, the hill range is even rich in mineral resources such as bauxite, limestones and gemstones. The roads to Deomali are pretty good so you can take a drive to the top for your picnic adventure. Trekking enthusiasts opt to trek all the way to the top. But one aspect of Deomali is undeniable: it offers a stunning view of the valley below. Further on, You can view the vast expanse of hills under the shadows of the clouds while standing on a rich green carpet of land.
Immerse Yourself in Tribal Villages
One of the significant identifiers of the state is the tribal community that makes up its population. The state is home to at least 62 tribal communities interfused under the statehood of Odisha. An exploration of the villages of Odisha will give you great insight into the lifestyle, culture, traditions of the tribal people. The tribal community’s main source of livelihood is hunting, gathering and fishing. Furthermore, the tribes engage in artistic and craftwork as well for their livelihoods which possess a great value as it represents their skill and culture.
The tribal villages also participate in various dance and music festivals that are intrinsic to their way of living. The tribal communities that worship nature are generally warm towards outsiders and help give a deeper understanding of their lifestyle. Some of the main tribes of Odisha are Bondo, Barogadaba, Kondhs, Didayi, Dhuruba and more. You can visit any of the following tribal villages post lockdown to explore the nature of tribal culture: Jeypore, Baliguda, Rayagada, Chatikona, Belghar and Onukudelli.
Check out the Applique Craft at Pipili
To understand the traditional livelihood that thrives within the state of Odisha, you must visit the vibrant village of Pipili. People know it for the excellent and vibrant applique handicrafts. It is a handicraft work that denoted with a French term Applique and has been inculcated by the people of Pipili. This craftwork includes stitching and embroidering coloured pieces of cloth into a wide base cloth. The unique part of these are the small mirror works that they stitch onto the clothes. The villagers incorporate themes of religion, village scenes and motifs of flowers and animals into their art. Moreover, it serves as an expression of what they know and understand in close proximity.
In Pipili, the villagers sell their craftwork items as it serves as their sole income. Here you can take home the intriguing craftwork of Pipili back home. You may find various items such as bags, garden umbrellas, wallets, wall hangings, pouches and lampshades. It would be an enriching experience to see the people of Pipili at work post lockdown – a tradition that gained excellence during medieval times. Further on, just a fun fact, these applique work also make up the colourful covers of the chariots in Rath Yatra,
Witness Turtles Nesting at Rushikulya Beach
Turtles are gracious creatures that are quite intriguing. Scuba Divers, Marine Biologists and other professionals go to great lengths to understand and witness the life cycle of turtles. But how rare is a chance for travellers like us to witness these lovely creatures in their element? Pretty rare, we’d say. The Rushikulya Beach at Berhampur offers this exciting glimpse of turtles nesting along the shore. Moreover, these turtles are an endangered species known as Olive Ridley Turtles. The Rushikulya Beach in Odisha is the best place to enjoy some quietude post lockdown.
Each adult female lays approximately 100-140 eggs at a time. It is believed that they nest in an interval of one-four years. The nesting season is between November to March where you can catch them in action. Furthermore, you can also see baby turtles making their way to the water for their first swim, You can pick the perfect spot to immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the surroundings as you watch nature work through its day. The beach isn’t frequented by crowds which is a huge reason behind the presence of the turtles. Therefore, you can witness a unique yet picturesque landscape of the turtles on the shore and the vast blue sea beyond.
On another note, Woovly requests the countrymen to stay inside their houses and follow the guidelines issued by the government. In these times of need, please help the needy and do whatever is under your capabilities to help the country.
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