Lost Indian History amidst enchanting landscapes in Odisha–Keonjhar

Lost Indian History amidst enchanting landscapes in Odisha–Keonjhar

This monsoon has been the most special for me. I never imagined I will be able to explore a serene greenery near my residential town. Thanks to my organization for building a project amidst such undiscovered gems of nature ,here in Odisha. I work in NTPC and the designated township of my organisation is situated in a village called kaniha on the banks of Brahmani river.The village is located at a distance of 25 kms from the coal mine capital of India,Talcher.

As I left my township and proceeded towards Pallahara, I came across the huge waterlogged land of Samal village created due to heavy monsoon. Samal barrage has been built over Brahmani river to provide water supply to our power plant and water for irrigation .The chimneys were visible standing tall on the banks of the river water that flooded the nearby  dry areas of the village.The smoke of the chimney was visible and the combination of industry and the waterlogged land created a perfect landscape that juxtaposed each other.

ON THE WAY TO SAMAL BARRAGE.

After crossing the samal barrage it was a one and half hour smooth drive from Talcher Kaniha when  I arrived into this stunning landscape in this monsoon while travelling to Keonjhar, a district which boasts of seasonal waterfalls. On my way I arrived at Pallahara after which the untamed nature of Odisha unleashed itself into the most surreal form .The vast stretches of the rice fields with palm trees vanquished all my previous experiences in monsoon. The clouds seem to hover over the mountains bringing in rainfall after colliding with the peaks of the Eastern Ghats. As the clouds appeared to move away the distant vision of the paddy fields forced me to capture more hidden peaks of the green mountains which acted as a catalyst to paint the landscape with a green wall. Altogether the serene nature bestowed me with fabulous picture of the mesmerizing monsoon here in Odisha. The introduction of the trip made me spellbound and I started to empty the memory card of my camera to prepare myself for capturing numerous alluring landscapes that was waiting for me in the next phase of my journey.

A one hour drive along the Kanjipani ghat road is mandatory if anybody is travelling from southern odisha to keonjhar for the shortest route. Kanjipani ghat is situated 30 kms from keonjhar,which offers a spectatcular view of the Eastern ghats amidst dense teakwood forests.The roads are quite broad but there are heavy traffic of trucks and other heavy vehicles as it is one of the shortest route to the highway connecting Odisha with Bengal and Chattisgarh. In monsoon the ghat road always experiences a drizzle as the monsoon clouds collide with the high cliffs of the mountains alongside the road.Roads are quite smooth with patches of potholes covering almost 30 percent of the road.I was surprised to see so many trees to have been chopped down by the road maintenance department to prevent the falling of the branches on to the roads.Well that is a good thing for a comfortable journey through the road but it also brings in the deforestation which is a major concern of few states in India having thick forest cover.For the entire trip along the ghat road I saw plenty of logs of wood being placed along the road,although the cutting down of these trees have not affected much to the greenery in this highway.I must say the officials and the industrialists have taken a major step to plant more trees in place of the trees that has been chopped down due to the development of the state.

Kanjipani ghat recieves heavy rainfall all through the year which must have forced the officials of the highway to take necessary steps for easy movement of the traffic along the highway.Apart from the negative view of the logs of wood,enjoy the serene view of the moisture in the cloud and the soothing scenery of the green mountains that this ghat road offers in your trip to keonjhar.

VIEW FROM KANJIPANI GHAT.

With more than 50 thousand square kilometres in area, Odisha boasts of a huge forest coverage area in India.The trees which are abundant here in Odisha are mostly Sal and Teakwood trees which forms a thick green canopy in most parts of this mineral rich state .I chose the monsoons to experience such ultimate greenery of Odisha to see the greenery in its most raw form.As soon as I crossed the Kanjipani Ghat ,a half an hour drive brought me to the tourist spot which leads to the two sister waterfalls known as Sanghagara and Badaghagara waterfall.

BADAGHAGARA WATERFALL

SANAGHAGARA WATERFALL.

ROAD TO BADAGHAGARA WATERFALL

PATH LEADING TO BADAGHAGARA WATERFALL SITE.

While Sanghagara is more commercial, the latter is situated deep into the forest , a 15min drive from the highway .The road leading to Badaghagara waterfall looked like an enclosed highway inside a roof of green leaves that forced me to capture such stunning  greenery.Although the road was not concrete but such unexplored natural wonder created due to monsoons makes my visit  to explore this waterfall rich and green district of Odisha a relevant experience as a traveller.I reached Panthanivas of OTDC by evening and decided to stay in the government guest house due to its excellent location just below Judia ghat and its delectable food cooked by the local cooks.The price of accomodation is Rs 1200 with free breakfast.

GORGE CREATED BY SANAGHAGARA WATERFALL

Next day I started off my journey towards the highway leading to Duburi in jajpur district to explore the different monsoon fanatic places in keonjhar. The day started off with a drizzle and as we reached the highway ,the clouds heavy with moisture can be seen floating and creating mists on the top of the mountains.As we left the main town of keonjhar and the outskirts began,we came across an ancient king’s palace in keonjhar that had a  delightful architecture in the form of a temple built on a pond.The temple enticed me to capture its image in my camera and stimulating the versatile collection of keonjhar.

The flat land beneath the mountains were covered with tiny droplets of water due to the drizzle .The grass was more greener that increased the bright colour of the chlorophyll brought by the monsoon winds.The lofty green mountains alongwith the hovering clouds provided a perfect backdrop for an alluring landscape to increase the collection of photos in my camera.

I visited Keonjhar in different seasons and in the previous times that I visited I did not get to see a gushing waterfall.But thanks to the heavy monsoon in Odisha that Gundichaghai waterfall came to its original shape and offered some breathtaking  view for me as a tourist.The road leading to this waterfall is through a 9km diversion from the main highway of Harichandanpur towards the famous Tarini temple here in Keonjhar. We had to take a deviation from the highway leading to Duburi from Dhenkikote towards Tarini temple.

The road meanders through dense  Sal forests of tribal settlements, most of the time giving glimpses of fertile rice fields and ponds created by the rainfall.The entry fee to this waterfall is Rs.30 for parking the cars where we get a fascinating view point from an iron bridge of a huge gorge made by the river after creating the waterfall.The water takes a unique colour of the red soil that is prevalant  here in Odisha which is rich in iron and bauxite deposits in Keonjhar. Musala river forms this waterfall and flows into the forest forming a deep gorge .Steps have also been constructed to go near to the waterfall but one must be careful enough to cross the precarious slippery rocks of the river bed.Attempt to take a bath should be avoided as the waterfall becomes very powerful at this time of the year.Stay safe and enjoy your trip to explore Odisha in its most serene form in the monsoons.

ROAD TO GUNDICHAGHAI WATERFALL

I was so fortunate to discover such an amazingly historical place in Odisha .An eager traveller finds everything sufficient enough to enlighten his mind by visiting this historical place. Sitabinj has an amazing history which dates back to the primitive age of human settlement in this remote area of Odisha. It is believed that Sita ,wife of Rama lived here while in exile giving birth to her two sons Luv and Kush. The evidence of such early civilization can be seen in the form of Fresco paintings discovered by the Archaeological society of India.It is believed that the fresco paintings have been drawn by the ancient people using colours from dye and leaves of plants.The paintings are are drawn on the surface of a rock which is perfectly balanced on top of a boulder.The ASI has also excavated remains of an early culture and a temple,dating back to the age of Ramayana.Besides such rich historical evidences, this village boasts of of an unique landform in our country.

VIEW OF THE LANDSCAPE ON THE WAY TO SITABINJ FORESTS.

The entry to the tourist spot is marked by a huge monolithic rock known as Ravanachhaya which the local villagers believe to have been constructed in the the mythological period of Ramayana.The entire terrain is made up of uneven rocks creating an undulating surface over the grasslands.As monsoon arrives the forest becomes rich with the greenery due to the thick sal forests and the fields get irrigated with rice grains ,sowed by the local villagers.The whole area turns into a serene green grasslands with patches of small ponds due to irrigation,sometimes giving glimpses of the white rocks potruding through the surface.Visit this ancient tourist place of odisha in monsoon to enrich yourself with archaelogical history alongwith the exquisite greenery of the rice fields.

SITABINJ ROCK.(Ravanchhaya).

SITE OF FRESCO PAINTINGS.

FRESCO PAINTINGS FROM PRIMITIVE AGES.

TEMPLE BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN BELONGING IN THE PERIOD OF RAMAYANA.

My last destination on that day was to witness a sunset on the Kanjhari dam.In the morning when I arrived in the damsite it was raining heavily, so I returned back to the highway towards Dhenkikote to explore the other monsoon fanatic places of Keonjhar. Later during sunset as the sky showed me a hope to capture the reflections on a reservoir ,I drove back to this dam. After a slight drizzle when the clouds started to unleash the bright sky beyond them,the view was more than majestic.I have never seen such a sunset on an enclosed waterbody ever before.

It was a perfect time lapse of the monsoon sky as it turned from grey to a perfect blue colour and revealed the stunning reflections on the reservoir.The experience was more than my expectations as after the morning torrential rain ,I never hoped to witness such a colourful phenomena of the monsoon sky.The damsite revealed so many colours to me.The concrete wall of the dam was covered with lush greenery and the distant mountains looked like islands with dense forest.

The silver colour of the barrage gate assisted the tidy blue colour of the sky and the water, refracting colours to form a kaliedoscope. It was a perfect end of the day and after witnessing such a delightful sunset on a reservoir ,it has encouraged me to visit more dam sites to catch some unique sunsets in our country.

May be places which are rich in mineral deposits have a unique versatile geography on this planet.Odisha is a prime example of such as it is rich in iron,bauxite and alluminium mines.While exploring keonjhar if one is going towards harichandanpur and then follows the road to Gonasika we tend to see such a stupendous form of landscape tucked away into the rural villages.The roads are pretty smooth and passes through the hills of the Eastern ghats covered with teakwood forest.

VIEW OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS ON THE WAY TO HARICHANDANPUR.

While going towards harichandanpur the land on both sides of the roads has numerous boulders placed in an irregular manner that gives the landscape a different scenery in this part of our country.Since I visited in the monsoon, so the fresh new colours of the grass turns into a reddish tinge due to the thorn grasses and the boulders became whitish brown,giving the landscape an unusual event of colours.One should spend some useful time to capture the unique landform covered with rocks.

Odisha is famous for numerous temples and the natives have a deep religious connection with the hindu dieties. The natives have build a small temple on top of a huge boulder adjacent to the highway.It is worth to climb up the rocks and meditate inside the temple while a panoramic view of the rocky landscape entices us to spend more time.


As I was proceeding back towards my residential township ,I never stopped of exploring the remaining oppurtunity to explore Keonjhar. Infact every view of this district allured me to capture the landscape in its most unique form.In most of the places the surroundings were covered with large green fields with dilapidated burnt brick walls situated in the middle. From the locals I came to know that those were bricks made from the red soil ,arranged on the open field in a rectangular shape to get it dried.

Sometimes the rich density of forests made me refreshed ,while on the next moment there were trunks of trees standing alone in the middle of the land without any leaves.The reddish tinge on the green grass due to the thief thorns made me nostalgic and reminded me of my days in my rural town in childhood.

While turning back towards kanjipani the deviation from the main highway takes us towards the dense forests through the Eastern ghats giving us glimpses of a rejuvenating landscape of the countryside villages in monsoon.Explore such places as much as you can as the roads are good and the GPS signals are healthy.So I followed the GPS signals and after crossing the Gonasika village, I moved into the highway towards my township in Talcher Kaniha ,while heavy rains chased us throughout the entire return trip.


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