- Taratarini, Toptopani, Daringbari & Dhoboleshwar, Orissa
Mr. Debashis Bose,
10-1-2007 to 16-1-2007
I10-1-07 : This time we
were 7 heads. We left Howrah by Gurudev Express at 11.25 pm and our
destination was Brahmapur.
: We arrived at Brahmapur at 10.10am, and then reached
the bus stand by auto in 10 minutes. Our bus for Taratarini
started at 11.05 am and reached at 12.20pm, covering 30 kms. We
had lunch at a roadside hotel and then went to Panthashala of OTDC
by a trekker. It is a small, calm and quite place. The Panthashala
is at the top of a small hillock - a nice location, clean and tidy.
While at the top of the hill, we could see valleys and ranges of
hills around us.
the temple compound of the Taratarini Temple
sun went down. We went to the temple of Tara & Tarini.
The old temple is smaller while the new one is under construction
- located just around the old one. There were a lot of craftsmen
giving shape to stone boulders. This may take another two
and a half years to be completed. Though there will be a vehicular
road, there will also be 777 steps. Around the temple, there
are lots of big trees and its serenity can be felt. Going
down, we reached Rishikulya river. Here we met two local young
men who informed us that a lot of pilgrims arrive at the temple
on all Tuesdays of the month of Choitro (15th March to 15th
April) every year, to worship the goddess. The other bank
of the river is known as Purushottampur.
: We hired a Tata Sumo and left at 07.22am to Purushottampur
to visit the temple of Tumbeshwar Shiva and Dokshinakali
Temple of Lord Shiva near hot spring at Toptopani
Our next target
was Toptopani. Though there is a direct road, we
Gopalpur since some of our teammates had never been to Gopalpur.
Temple of Dakshinakali at Prushottompur
- on-sea, as it was known earlier, is a very small
place with a few hotels and shops on the sea beach and around.
We went for a stroll along the beach, had tea and visited
a few shops of local handicrafts. We also indulged in some
shopping. Next, we reached Toptopani at 12.25pm. Here again,
we stayed at Panthashala of OTDC. There are a few double storied
buildings that offer double bed room accommodations with attached
bath, and a two room suite & office in a separate building.
There is an eatery in a separate building as well.
Toptopani is a calm and quite village with big
trees, almost within a jungle. We had our lunch at the eatery.
In the evening,
we went for a walk and visited a hot spring from which Toptopani
has derived its name. As expected, the water of the hotspring
was smelling of sulphur. There are two separate bathing places
near the hot spring, for gents & ladies. The hot water
has been taken by pipelines to a few taps on the roadside
and to the panthashala. Bathing in this hot water makes one
feel fresh and energetic. it has been said that this water
is good for health. We had our dinner at the same place.
: After our morning's daily routine and breakfast, we
left at 10.30am by Tata Sumo and reached Horbhongi Dam, 30
km away, at 11.45am. Here we spent 45 minutes, going around the
dam & the inspection bunglow.
Dam at Horbhongi
Our next destination
was Daringbari, 240 km away and reached at 02.30
pm, at a height of 4000 ft. This place is also known as
the Kashmir of Orissa, and it is said that in the
past, there was snowfall here. We had our accommodation
booked at the Panthaniwas of OTDC.
Another view of the dam
The Panthaniwas was not
very clean and the caretaker was not in a normal state. Anyhow, the rooms
were cleaned and we occupied our respective rooms. This is like a small
town and the temperatures are low here. Next day was Mokor songkranti, a
festival day and hence, the shops and markets remained closed. We decided
to purchase some ingredients to prepare our food for the next day. Here,
it may be stated that, OTDC has two types of accommodation for tourists -
Panthashala & Panthaniwas, the former has arrangements for cooked food,
while the latter does not provide food. There are a few utensils available
and food may be prepared with the help of the caretaker. We had our dinner
at a roadside hotel.
All of us
jointly prepared our breakfast and lunch too and enjoyed a picnic at the
roof-top. Later, we left by the same vehicle to see the watch tower, about
2 km away. This is a decorative place for tourists and has a garden,
swings etc. for children. There were 10 steps to go to the top of the
watch tower from where a beautiful natural scenery of valleys and hill
ranges could be seen. Then we drove to pepper and coffee plantations. Back
to the Panthaniwas - after having dinner, the day ends.
: We were ready by 06.00 am and left Daringbari for Dhoboleshwar
via Cuttack, 300 kms away. We had our breakfast en route, and had
lunch at the ISKON temple at Cuttack - very nice vegetarian food.
Sunset at Mahanadi river at Dhoboleashwar
Moncheshwar at 02.35pm. and had to cross the Mahanodi
river on foot, over the concrete bridge, as the Panthaniwas
of Dhoboleshwar was on an island. Here there is only one
Temple of Dhoboleshwar (Shiva) & the Panthaniwas. We
went to the temple for Darshan - this temple was built in
10/11th century by the Utkalraj.
Temple of Lord Krishna (ISKON) at Cuttack
We also had a round
on a boat in the Mahanodi. Next, we went to the other side of the
river, to visit the temple of Moncheshwar (Shiva). We had our dinner
at the Panthaniwas. 16-1-07 :
After breakfast, we packed up and went to Moncheshwar. We availed
the bus at 08.40 am and reached Cuttack at 10.25 am. Many of us
went for shopping. We had our lunch at the Railway station canteen.
We left for Howrah by Dhauli Express and reached at 08.40 pm. By
local train to Uttarpara. We dispersed for “Home, Sweet Home”.
About Contributing Traveller
: Mr. Debashis Bose is a 72 year old retired Railway
employee whose hobbies include travelling & tourism, photography
and amateur radio. He is a nature lover and prefers to visit little
known places as opposed to big cities with the aim of enjoying nature
in abundance. Before going on his regular tours with family and
friends, Debashis spends time in studying different places and collecting
information about them. On returning from the visit, he prepares
a travelogue, with sketch map & photos, so that he can inspire
others to visit these places and enjoy nature. firstname.lastname@example.org
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