The soul of incredible India, Odisha has its own franchise of ecotourism that provides ideal getaways for tourists to cherish in the lap of nature. Each of the nature camps prove true to its type as every facility in these camps is so friendly like solar electricity, solar heater, bamboo huts, and organic food without the use of plastics. Since these eco-tourism camps have always been my priority for visiting and exploring any destinations in Odisha so this time too I decided to explore Bhanjanagar through Bhanjanagar eco nature camp. The nature camp is situated just beside the reservoir of Bhanjanagar dam which is 175 km from the capital of Odisha. Before starting from Bhubaneswar I quickly chalked out some places to visit on the way to take advantage of this road trip across rural villages of Nayagarh and Ganjam district. The tours and tourism has a lot to offer if one is ready to explore.
Eco tourism camp in Bhanjanagar Dam, an essential spot to visit for any travelogue.
My first spot to explore from the Odisha’s your and tourism was a completely unknown place called Baghua dam. Since I have a great fascination with vast open spaces of water so I always choose a dam site to capture the reflections of the greenery and the sky on the water of the reservoir.The dam is a source of income for the local villagers who are local fishermen and for the agricultural community as irrigation water flows into the paddy fields. The panoramic view of the car blue sky and ifs reflection of the clean water of the reservoir is a treat to watch. The Eastern ghats surrounding the reservoir creates a majestic landscape and an ideal backdrop for photography. The road to the dam is pretty good and mostly through rural villages of the Nayagarh district of Odisha. Flowers,Sal trees and coconut plantations forms an avenue as the road advances through the paddy fields and continues further to Bhanjanagar. It is one of the most serene places to visit and cover in one’s travelogue.
Baghua dam reservoir, a must visit to experience the beauty of Odisha’s tour and tourism.
On the way to Baghua dam, a journey worth the travel.
The most delightful event that a traveller always expects from a water body is a beautiful sunset or a sunrise. I was blessed with such an opportunity when I visited the nature camp in Bhanjanagar dam where I witnessed one of the most breathtaking sunrises in my lifetime. What makes the nature camp of eco-tourism Odisha best is, its relevant location just on the banks of the reservoir for which we can easily watch a beautiful sunrise in the early morning. Beside the nature camp, is a picnic spot where a floating wooden jetty has been constructed that positions itself as a perfect viewpoint of the entire reservoir and the Eastern ghats. Here the mountains follow its name in a perfect way as fortunately the view of the mountains is on the east and the viewpoint just on its opposite side. So due to all the suitable factors ,as the sun rises in the east the diffraction of the sun rays creates a magical wonder on the water body and the green mountains. Several fishermen can be seen with fishing nets and rowing boats in the reservoir ,waiting to catch fishes for their daily income. The rowing boats thus creates along with the colourful sky a perfect backdrop for a wallpaper when it passes through the lens of a camera with the sunlight exposing the natural landscape of the Ganjam district. Try not missing the sun on either part of the day, it looks beyond amazing.
Floating jetty in Bhanjanagar dam Reservoir, an experience worth experiencing if you are in Odisha and are willing to go to the ends of it.
In the winters the reservoir is also visited by some major migratory birds that add to the great attraction of this place for the bird watchers. Clean water, fresh air, greenery and breathtaking landscape of the Eastern ghats makes Bhanjanagar an ideal getaway for every travellers, photographers, and bloggers. Travelogues have collected images of arious species of birds which we fail to see otherwise.
I always dreamt of clicking a perfect picture of a fisherman in his rowing boat with the early morning hues in the background. Bhanjanagar nature camp has a timber house accommodation and their tent accommodation just on the banks of the reservoir providing an ideal retreat for a traveler to experience the serene nature of this green state. The timber house is well managed to provide luxurious accommodation along with eco-friendly equipments like using solar power and biogas ovens to cook food. The accommodation in the timber house is Rs 4500 that includes three times freshly cooked meals by the local people managing this resort. The hospitality is extremely good along with the delectable food cooked by expert cooks. Due to the neatly decorated property, the resort looks like an ideal retreat to capture tranquil memories of landscape photography. As I mentioned earlier due to the picnic spot viewpoint the floating wooden jetty is the most important feature of this camp providing astounding views of the sunrise and early morning scenes in the vicinity of the lake.
The most famous tourist spot in Bhanjanagar is the Beleshwar temple situated in a hill top dedicated to Lord shiva. The Shiva statue inside this temple is eighth largest in the world which attracts numerous pilgrims from all over India. The huge Shiva statue and his vahana Nandi’s statue sits at the top of the Beleshwar hill overlooking the Bhanjanagar town and showering blessings to the 20000 people living in this town. It is the largest statue in Odisha.
Since it was a monsoon season when I visited this place so from the top of the temple the entire valley looked green filled with waters overflowing from the Bhanjanagar reservoir to the villages and the dark sky, which looked like as if like the lord was holding this two features of natural geography together for the tourists to capture their memories. This extremely holy place along with the marvelous view of the statue of Lord shiva is a must visit place for any traveller to explore this beautiful town of Odisha.
While returning from Bhanjanagar dam to Bhubahneswar, thanks to my driver and guide of OD car that I was able to reach a heritage site in the Ganjam district called Budhakol,The name is derived from the word Badheswara which means Buddha in a meditating position. It was believed that Lord buddha meditated here in his lifetime and even Huentsang visited this place and mentioned in his book trip to India. This place is relatively significant for both the Buddhists and the Hindus. The highlight of this place are the five temples which are known as Panchumahadeva temples having five lingas of Lord Shiva. The temples were believed to have been build in the era of Adi Shankaracharya. The place is famous for its caves , greenery and the water stream that flows from the mountains which further forms a perennial waterfall. Many pilgrims come to this place to take a holy bath underneath the waterfall as its water is believed to have medicinal properties. Concluding the tour of Ganjam district with a visit to such a holy place was a perfect blessing for me as I concluded yet another short weekend trip in Odisha , the soul of incredible India.
One of the five temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in Budhakol, do visit to come closer to the Odisha’s vast tour and tourism escapades.
Waterfall in Budhakol.