Come winter, it is time to pack up the woollen clothes and head to the hills for some rest and relaxation. If you seek the allure of a destination that is truly off the beaten track, head to Bhubaneshwar and take the long drive to a gem that has been hidden in plain sight; the hill station of Daringbadi. Having dense woods, coffee plantations and waterfalls, the picturesque Daringbadi is a quiet place to sneak away to for a long weekend.
A Hill Station Like No Other
While Odisha is renowned for it’s famous temples and national parks, nestled in the Kandhamal district of Odisha, this charming hill station located at an altitude of 915 km has been shielded from aggressive tourism. Hence there are very few places to stay here such as Deers Eco Home and Hotel Utopia. Like most hill stations, Daringbadi holds wondrous sights for travellers in the winter months between November and January when it experiences snowfall. Buses and cabs ply between Daringbadi and Behrampur which is the closest railway station about 125 km away. The drive from Bhubaneshwar to Daringbadi of roughly 250 km is one that will gift you with many spectacular views to be cherished for a lifetime. Take the NH16 and NH157 route passing through the towns of Asika and Surada to reach this choice destination which has picture perfect sunsets.
Pine Trees and Aromas of Java Abound
Lover’s Point at Daringbadi
You can see the dense woods of pine trees or the mist hanging over the valley here, and the verdant hills of Daringbadi can be viewed from the Hill View Point. Other scenic spots to be added to your itinerary would be the coffee and pepper plantations and Lover’s Point. The Rushikulya river which has been a vital place of interest to observe the Olive Ridley turtles, also originates in this hill station. Be it the falls, the Doluri river, the various picnic spots where one can still experience quiet and solitude, Daringbadi is a gift to all the travellers yearning for a place that has not been overpopulated by tourism. Tip: Do stock up on essentials while heading here and expect patchy mobile network in this area.
Prime Touch Down Point of Phulbani
A prominent waterfall of Orissa, the Putudi falls are located near Phulbani which is a two hour drive from Daringbadi. The wild tropical forests of Belaghar which also houses a wildlife sanctuary is located around 100 km from Daringbadi. Here you will get to see virgin lands populated by fauna such as wild elephants and deer. You can venture into the internationally declared eco-village of the Dongia tribe in Belaghar.
When you walk through the valleys of Daringbadi, you will be taken aback at how much of this place (like many of the spots in Kandhamal) remain unexplored and make discoveries of quiet water bodies and picnic spots that are not frequented by many people. If you do drive down to visit Daringbadi, Phulbani and Belaghar, you could also visit Mandasaru which is an hour’s drive away and observe the birds, waterfalls and green forests, visible from the watchtower here. Kandhamal has many destinations that are closely spaced and boast of rich flora and fauna. A nature lover’s paradise, drive down to Daringbadi to experience the vivid beauty of Odisha.
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