INDIA TRAVEL - THE UNSEEN KASHMIR OF ODISHA - DARINGBADI

Hi friends! There are plenty of places in India, which are still unknown to the travelers or have not been fully explored. Places, which are as or more beautiful and amazing as our regular travel destinations. An avid traveler is always on the lookout for new, unexplored exciting places. And what if I tell you about a small but extremely beautiful hidden hill station, still away from deep human glare? Well, the name is Daringbadi.

Daringbadi is located in Kandhmal district of Odisha in eastern India. Odisha attracts tourists mainly for the world famous Konark temple and Jagannath Yatra. However, there is much more to Odisha than these two.  Daringbadi is one of these hidden treasures of Odisha.

Located at an altitude of 915 m(3000 ft), the most amazing thing about Daringbadi is that it often attains sub zero temperatures during the winters. It is often referred to as "Kashmir of Odisha", for it's sheer natural beauty. It owes it's beauty to it's magnificent water bodies like lakes, rivers and waterfalls as well as it's prolific vegetation.


Daringbadi, Odisha
DARINGBADI
Image source - patratravels.com
Daringbadi got it's peculiar name from a British officer, who was known as Dering Saheb. Badi means village. He named the village Derinbadi but with time, the name became Daringbadi. The population here majorly comprises of tribal people. Surrounded by thick forests, this place is full of beautiful meadows, picturesque valleys and lush green coffee plantations. And to top it, there are ample opportunities for trekking and camping.

Daringbadi has many points of interest for any traveler. However there are a few, which are must see for everyone.

1. DASINGBADI WATERFALLS - Located at a distance of 20 km(12.5 mi) from Daringbadi, this beautiful hidden waterfall is situated on the way to Bamunigam. It takes around 45 minutes to reach here but the journey itself is amazing. You have to pass through a beautiful Daringbadi ghati through dense forests to reach this place. Once you reach the place, there is a combination of steps and slope to reach waterfall. It may be a little difficult for elderly. But the sound of water falling from a height and echoing from the quiet surroundings, will leave you spellbound. The view of crystal clear water falling on the rocks is a treat to the eyes. And when you get sprinkling of this cool water on your body, you will find yourself thrillingly refreshed. Dasingbadi waterfall is surrounded by small flowering plants as well as big trees.


DASINGBADI WATERFALLS, Kandhmal
DASINGBADI FALLS
Image source - tripoto.com
2. BELGHAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY - Located at an altitude of 2255 ft, Belghar Wildlife Sanctuary is full of picturesque surroundings including mountains and forest. It is spread over a huge area of 1617446 acres. Of this 3900 acres is cultivated and rest of the area is covered by forest and others. The main attraction of this sanctuary is the wild elephant. It boasts of big variety of flora and fauna including some rare plant species. The area is inhabited mainly by tribal people. You will find British era bungalows here, made entirely of wood, which are big attraction. Apart from wild elephants, smaller animals like deer and aves are also found here. The sheer beauty of the place is enough to captivate you.


BELGHAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, Daringbadi
BELGHAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Image source - spectralhues.com

BUNGALOW IN BELGHAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, Daringbadi
BUNGALOW IN BELGHAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Image source - medium.com
3. NATURE PARK - Spread over an area of four hectares, Nature's park is aunique place which integrates various green components. It comprises a butterfly park and a medicinal garden. It also has a 3D film theater with capacity to seat 40 people. It also exhibits the traditions of one of the local tribals Kutia Kandh. A display of life size models of various wild animals adds to it's charm. The butterfly park has at least 15 host plants. The medicinal garden has 50 species of medicinal plants. And the best part of Nature's Park is that it is managed by local people only. Entry to the park is by tickets, prices of which can be confirmed from the state government website.



Nature Park, Daringbadi, Kandhmal
NATURE PARK
Image source - ollywoodlife.com

Butterfly Park, Daringbadi, Odisha
BUTTERFLY PARK
Image source - bhubaneswarbuzz.com
4. LOVER'S POINT - A small stream, surrounded by natural beauty is what Lover's point is all about. It is not that typical spot ideal for lovers. Rather, it showcases the love of living beings with mother nature. The water, flowing through big rocks, making musical sound makes for a thrilling sight. The stream, moving through curvy terrains, has a serene beauty. The lush green surroundings add to it's beauty. The place is generally quiet and very peaceful except for the water falling on and flowing through the rocks.


Lover's point, Kandhmal
LOVER'S POINT
Image source - tripoto.com

View of Lover's point, Daringbadi
ANOTHER VIEW OF LOVER'S POINT
Image source - wikimedia.org
5. SPICE GARDEN - It is one of the highlights of Daringbadi. You can see spice gardens, turmeric gardens and coffee gardens all around. There is a watchtower available to have a grand view of the valley and the gardens all around. Daringbadi is known to produce superior quality turmeric. You will also find black pepper gardens here. Walking through these gardens and talking to locals is a memorable experience.


Spice garden, Daringbadi
BLACK PEPPER GARDEN
Image source - travelerbase.com
Surrounded by awe inspiring valleys, beautiful pine forests, beautiful meadows and coffee plantations, Daringbadi is a retreat for everyone. The exotic locales of Daringbadi are sure to leave you spellbound.

REACHING DARINGBADI

Air - The nearest airport is Bhubaneswar, which is about 245 km(153 mi) away. It is asdvisable to hire a cab from the airport to directly reach Daringbadi. It is about 6 hrs drive.

Rail - Daringbadi doesn't have a railway station. The nearest railway station is Brahmapur, which is approximately 120 km(75 mi) away. Brahmapur is well connected to all the major cities of Odisha by rail. From here, you can hire a cab to reach Daringbadi.

Road - Daringbadi is easily accessible by road. You can either take a bus to Brahmapur or Phulbani and from there hire a cab or you can take a direct cab to reach there.

STAYING IN DARINGBADI

Darinbadi has only a handful of hotels so it is always advisable to go with a prior booking.

There are many other activities that you can indulge in apart from soaking in it's beauty. You can enjoy tribal village visiting, hiking, biking etc. You can also go trekking on the mountains or camp in the peaceful surroundings. For trekking and camping, you can connect with togedr.com. It can be visited throughout the year but as I said earlier, during winters, it attains sub zero temperatures. So be prepared for that.

So the gardens, hills, waterfalls, streams and forests of Daringbadi beckon you. Plan a trip now!!

HAPPY TRAVELING!!



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