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Off the Beaten Path in Odisha: Uncovering Hidden Gems and Lesser-Known Destinations in the State

Odisha, also known as Orissa, is a state located on the eastern coast of India. It is home to a rich culture, ancient temples, and stunning natural beauty. However, many visitors to India tend to overlook Odisha in favour of more popular destinations like Rajasthan, Goa, and Kerala. But Odisha has much to offer, particularly for those who want to get off the beaten path and explore lesser-known destinations. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the hidden gems and lesser-known destinations in Odisha that are worth visiting.

Daringbadi

Located in the Kandhamal district of Odisha, Daringbadi is a hill station that is often referred to as the “Kashmir of Odisha”. It is a place of unparalleled natural beauty, with misty mountains, dense forests, and cascading waterfalls. The temperature in Daringbadi remains cool throughout the year, making it a perfect destination for those looking to escape the heat of the plains. The town is also home to a number of coffee and pepper plantations, which add to its charm.

Simlipal National Park

Simlipal National Park is a hidden gem located in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. It is one of the largest tiger reserves in India and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The park is spread over an area of 2,750 square kilometres and is home to over 100 species of mammals, 29 species of reptiles, and 231 species of birds. Visitors can take a jeep safari through the park to spot tigers, leopards, elephants, and other wildlife.

Chilika Lake

Chilika Lake is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second-largest in the world. It is spread over an area of 1,100 square kilometres and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The lake is a popular destination for birdwatchers, as it is home to over 160 species of birds, including flamingos, pelicans, and herons. Visitors can take a boat ride through the lake to explore its many islands and see the dolphins that call it home.

Konark Sun Temple

The Konark Sun Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Puri district of Odisha. It was built in the 13th century and is dedicated to the sun god Surya. The temple is known for its intricate carvings and stunning architecture, which is designed to resemble a chariot. Visitors can explore the temple and learn about its history and significance.

Satkosia Gorge

The Satkosia Gorge is a stunning natural wonder located in the Angul district of Odisha. It is a 22-kilometre-long canyon that was formed by the Mahanadi River. Visitors can take a boat ride through the gorge to see its towering cliffs and lush forests. The area is also home to a number of wildlife species, including tigers, leopards, and crocodiles.

Hirakud Dam

The Hirakud Dam is one of the largest earthen dams in the world and is located in the Sambalpur district of Odisha. It was built in the 1950s to control the flow of the Mahanadi River and is now a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can take a boat ride on the Hirakud Reservoir to see the dam and the surrounding countryside.

Hirakud Dam, Sambalpur, Odisha

Panoramic View of Hirakud Dam, Sambalpur, Odisha


Gopalpur-on-Sea

Gopalpur-on-Sea is a charming coastal town located in the Ganjam district of Odisha. It is known for its beautiful beaches and tranquil atmosphere. It was once a major port for the British East India Company but is now a quiet seaside where visitors take a walk on the beach side.

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