Updated: Dec 18, 2019
Trip to the only Buddhist settlement in Odisha….Jiranga
Situated in the Eastern coast of India Gopalpur has been in news since 1999 every year due to frequent cyclones over Bay of Bengal. Just 3 hours from Gopalpur we can reach Jiranga monastery which is the only buddhist settlement in odisha. Despite the frequent devastations ,this sea side village has survived ,and the success lies on the contribution of the government of Odisha working together with the locals. Gopalpur provides an ideal gateway to some magnificent offbeat destinations in this state.
The second largest coastal lagoon in the world,Lake Chilika is situated at an hour and half drive from this village. The famous Tara Tarini temple on the top of a mountain in Easter Ghats is also situated within an hour drive. The only Buddhist settlement, Jiranga monastery in odisha which is 5 hour drive from Bhubaneshwar and the hot sulphur water spring Taptapani is also situated within 100 kms drive from this sea beach .
Tourists travelling to Odisha mostly travel to Puri and few come to this wonderful less chaotic beach which provides an ideal coastal experience coupled with numerous choices of local sea food. There are very few hotels in Gopalpur and for me the best economic hotel along with the best location is the OTDC Panthanivas. The rooms can be booked through the online site of Odisha tourism Panthanivas. Well we stayed in a hotel named Sea Pearl which is situated on the sea beach ,providing incomparable views of the sea. The morning sunrise is a delight to watch from the balcony of the hotel for which this hotel is a real gem in terms of location ,but rooms are not clean. As options for accommodation are less so perhaps that is why the tourists visiting this sea beach are much less than other parts of Odisha. Still I think every traveller must make this village their base to visit the numerous places nearby to it. Plan your routes to visit the nearby getaways while having a relax beach vacation in this lighthouse beach in the Eastern coast of India. For accomodations in Gopalpur follow the link below:-
As I mentioned earlier the east coast of India suffers from devastating cyclones every year which heavily affects the states of Odisha and Seemandhra . May be because of the wild nature of the Bay of Bengal the east coast of India is still much unexplored than the West coast. But now due to the growing awareness among the tourists of India people are starting to explore the varied geography of the Eastern coast. Odisha has a vast coastline which offers some minblowing sunrise for every photogenic travellers. In this Diwali we decided to explore one such beach in Odisha where we can get the opportunity to capture a picture perfect sunrise. Aryapalli beach near Gopalpur in Odisha is one of a beach which is devoid of crowd ,offering a perfect sunrise to start a travelspirit day.Apart from Jiranga monastery gopalpur beach must be included into the itinerary of travelling this part of Odisha.
After Puri which is famous as a pilgrimage centre for Lord Jagannath, Gopalpur is emerging as a major tourist hub in Odisha. The sea beach of Gopalpur is mainly like a beach for relaxation for the travellers ,where people also get the opportunity to visit many nearby destinations ,Chilka lake being one of them. Aryapalli beach is situated at a 20 min drive from the Gopalpur beach towards further north. Due to sand mining the terrain of the beach is more downhill and the sea beach looks like a huge mountain of yellow sand forming a wall along the length of the beach.The beach is rocky with a small temples which adds to the scenic beauty of this place. Apart from few fishermen, the beach is lonely which offers a perfect panoramic view for a sparkling sunrise.This was the perfect introduction of our tour to Jiranga monastery.
The road trip from Brahmapur to the only Buddhist village of Odisha i.e Jiranga monastery ,consists of many other attractive tourist spots that are worth to explore. This part of Odisha is well connected by road from Brahmapur which is a major district headquarter in Odisha. Thousands of tourist take this route as weekend trips from Bhubaneshwar not only for its religious and cultural significance but also due to the exquisite scenery and landscape that surrounds this area.
On the way to Jiranga.
As the road proceeded it lead us to some important tourist spots worth to mention.We encountered a deer Park at first and then we visited Taptapani,a natural hot spring, now worshipped as a religious Hindu people. In the last arrives the scenic Buddhist village of Jirang monastery that provides sparkling images of the monasteries with the mountains in the background. One can also take a off road drive to a waterfall nearby the village. The road trip has some mesmerising tourist spots to count for ,so I strongly believe this part of Odisha as one of the richest geography to explore………
While travelling to Jiranga monastery we first encountered a hot natural sulphur water known as Taptapani which is believed to have great medicinal properties.Local people here worship this place as a religious significance of God’s wonder due to the natural hot water spring which adds a divine quality to this tourist place.
The hot natural sulphur water coming from underground.
People travelling to Taptapani take bath in a nearby pond which is being fed by the natural hot sulphur water owing to it’s great medicinal property.Odisha government has built it’s own guest house known as Panthanivas Taptapani that offers a unique experience to stay amidst the dense flora and fauna of the Eastern Ghats.
Travelling further towards Jiranga there is a diversion of 3kms which takes us to a waterfall known as Khasada waterfall as shown in the two pictures below.The place is famous among the locals as picnic spot where several people gather in winters. The waterfall is more like a rapid stream for which it enables the tourists to take a bath in the natural refreshing water of the river.
While road trips can be preplanned with a predefined route in mind ,but trust me any road trip in exploring the rural parts of Odisha can lead us to some natural wonders.In this case we knew about Taptapani but we never knew about a splendid waterfall nearby Jiranga. Perhaps that is why if we give sufficient time in a road trip ,the route will surely fetch us wonders.
Odisha is a land of wonders and only the person who has explored the state knows that better. The landscape along the road to Jiranga monastery fetched me some beautiful Instagram photos as the multiple colours of natural Odisha provided some magnificent moments in the road trip. The Eastern Ghats and smooth highways always accompanied us. The fertile lands was rich in sweet corn cultivation that added another specific geography in the list of varied landscapes of Odisha. Though this time the forests were not so dense but the greenery is always worth to mention that makes this route soothing to the eyes of a traveller.
Scenic landscape on the way to Jiranga.
The white pagodas and the colourful prayer flags have been delicately set up in an elevated land on the mountains for which the tall pagodas and the fluttering flags can be seen from a distance as one approaches the town surrounded by hills. Just as we enter near Jiranga monastery ,the vast open valley welcomes us with these beautiful white structures that fits in for a perfect photogenic spot.
Jiranga and Chandragiri together constitute a major and the only Buddhist settlement in Odisha. While Chandragiri consists the main monastery where several monks reside peacefully in their Buddhist culture; Jiranga monastery has a huge park where one can see several pagodas and prayer flags decorating the landscape amidst the Eastern Ghats. Only a 100 km from the main town of Brahmapur in southern Odisha ,it is well connected by smooth roads with the rest of the state of Odisha. Though the place is more like a rural village with a beautiful picturesque setting ,but due to it’s close proximity with the main district headquarter of Brahmapur ,several buses ply to and from the Buddhist village of Odisha.
While in the main jiranga monastery on the Chandragiri hill,the officials looking after the place doesn’t allow any capture of photos or video clips inside the monastery ,but this vast organised park just as we enter Jiranga monastery with flags and numerous white pagodas provide us a plenty of opportunity to capture photos of the beautiful structures belonging to ancient Buddhist architectural style. People living here are usually Buddhist people who have settled down here from many years and their chief source of income is farming. Odisha has again proved to be a treasure of culture and versatile geography that makes it the soul of Incredible India.
Main monastery in the Chandragiri hill.
Next day while returning back to Bhubaneshwar we visted a freshwater lake lying on the national highway near Chatrapur, known as Tampara Lake. There are motor jets and paddle boats available for the tourists as water sports activities.The place has been well maintained by the government that offers a serene and peaceful experience away from the outskirts of the city.The garden built just at the entrance of the lake provide cozy benches and one can take a stroll along the avenues of the numerous trees planted in the area.A visit to this lake on our return journey was a perfect conclusion to our trip and ends another chapter of my subtle experiences in road trips across Odisha.
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For places near the coast, it is always better to wear slide ons and carry sunscreens because the risk of getting tanned is relatively way more higher than that of any other region.