The state of Odisha, previously known as Orissa, is not only about beaches and wildlife. It also has a number of offbeat destinations that are lesser or little known to most people. Next time if you intend to spend your weekend in Odisha, then do check out these weekend destinations in Odisha below. With no crowd around, these offbeat places in Odisha give a totally different experience.
Known as the Kashmir of Odisha, this hill station has witnessed snowfall in the past. Surrounded with green hills and hillocks, the serene valley of Daringbadi grows sandal, pepper and coffee plantations. A rather surprising terrain observing pine forestation in the Eastern Ghats of India, this attractive location is embraced as the summer retreat of the State Governor. The greenery, serenity, mesmerising waterfalls, hill view point, various sightseeing options and tribal habitation make Daringbadi (1000 m) a beautiful getaway for nature lovers.
Distance from Bhubaneshwar – 260 km
Surrounded with undulating ranges of green hills and hillocks, Kuanria has dense forests of Sal and Mehagony trees. The scenery at the 1575 metre long Dam on the confluence of the Kuanria and Kharkhar rivers is promising and very peaceful. Elephant, Bison, Bear and numerous species of birds can be watched in the forest.
Distance from Bhubaneshwar – 127 km
The main attraction of Phulbani is its tribal population who are still living the ancient lifestyle, the cool weather and the wilderness of the beautiful Pakrajhor Waterfalls, 35 km away and the popular Putudi Waterfall, 18km away from Phulbani. Nearby is Belghar, situated at a height of 2200 feet, surrounded with dense forests of Sal, PiyaSal and Mehogany and is worth visiting for its natural bounty. Belghar Wildlife Sanctuary serves a good wildlife experience.
Distance from Bhubaneshwar – 211 km
Finding mention in the manuscripts of Ptolemy as Sambalaka on the banks of Manada river in the 2nd century, Sambalpur is an ancient city that was famous as a business centre of diamonds in the golden past. At present, Sambalpur is well known for handcrafted wooden toys, folk culture, textile, Sambalpuri Saree and tie and dye print. The royal temple of Trinayani Devi Samleshwari built by Raja Balaram Deb has a gold roof and bears marvellous carvings. Sambalpur also is important as the connect junction to reach other popular destinations like Hirakud, Badrama Wildlife Sanctuary, Huma and Nrisinghanath.
Distance from Bhubaneshwar – 276 km
Famous for applique embroidery, Pipli is an outstanding destination for exploring this handwork art of Odisha. Though most visitors drop in at Pipli on the way to buy these handicrafts, it is worthy to stay back and experience the intimacy with the art work and the artists. Other sites of attraction in and around Pipli is Dhauli, Atri and Bhubaneshwar.
Distance from Bhubaneshwar – 24 km
The artist village of Raghunathpur is a heritage crafts village and provides a great experience. Famous for its “Pattachitra” or a form of painting made on Tussar cloth, palm leaf, carvings on woo, paper mache toys, masks, etc. The whole village surrounded with an abundance of coconut and mango trees looks like a beautiful colourful canvas as the all the houses are decorated with mural paintings and other art form. Every house has artists and the sight of them working/practicing their art form is common. This village is also the ancient site of Indian classical dance form of Odissi. Come back with a rich experience of culture, art and heritage.
Distance from Bhubaneshwar – 58.7 km
Known for rich mineral deposits, Koraput is a beautiful hillstation of Odisha. With captivating waterfalls like Duduma, Bagra and Khandahati, this is a beautiful weekend destination. Majorly known in the region for its mythological and historical significance of the Shabara community, Koraput is also called Shabara Srikhetra. The Koraput district is also distinctively marked as the tribal belt of Odisha.
Distance from Bhubaneshwar – 503.7 km
So, next time folks, plan out your trip keeping some of these places in your tour map and you won’t regret visiting them. Why always go the same places again and again? Come out of the known roads and hit the less explored ones and gather some extraordinary memories. Have you visited any of these lesser known destinations in Odisha yet?
Madhurima is a digital marketing specialist, editor and content marketer. She is also a published writer on the web. When she is not working, she is either travelling or writing her travel stories to share to the world. She believes in inspiring people to travel and shares her travel diary on her travel blog, mangoladydiaries.com.