Friday, November 08, 2013

Travel: ChandraGiri, Odisha


Chandragiri, in Gajapati district of Odisha State is widely famous for its Tibetan refugee settlement. About 80 kilometers from Berhampur town and 260 odd kilometers from the capital town Bhubaneswar, Chandragiri at 3200 feet above MSL (Mean Sea Level) is a real scenic beauty. A place surrounded with a variety of landscapes, rivers, hill tops etc.

After Chinese invasion in 1959, 85000 Tibetans were forced to flee and seek shelters in India and other places. Odisha was chosen as one of the six major settlements, and the then Government choose Chandragiri as the place and made arrangements for their accommodation as climatically, it is cooler than other regions of the state. The first batch of refugees were arrived on 1st May 1963. These settlements were divided into 5 different camps.

The first Glance of the Monastery...



Religious bounties everywhere... And if you have traveled in North, you will realize that you are in a different world.







From far before reaching the place, one can see the glimpses of prosperity in the region, when compared to the other rural parts of Odisha. The bad narrow road suddenly becomes wider and fine. There is greenery everywhere with maze fields till your eye can reach. And neat settlement areas. Tibetans are known for their hard work and religious nature, they strictly follow their religious traditions and rituals. They actually have converted the barren land in to lush green and are actually self-sustaining. The area is known for Maze and carpet weaving. The Tibetans have now adopted the place and are well acclimatized.

Is not it amazing!

How to Travel?
- The nearest airport is in Bhubaneswar, 260 kms away.
- Nearest railway station is in Berhampur, 80 kms away.
- Own private vehicle or a rented car with good ground clearance is a good choice.
- NH 5 from Bhubaneswar till Berhampur is excellent, but the state highway is single lane and currently in a bad shape. The road widening work is in full swing and may take another quarter or so to be completed.
- Local transport in form of Bus is also available from Berhampur.
- A day trip from Bhubaneswar is very much possible but to explore the place, my suggestion is to spend a night there. There also is a private run guest house near the Monastery as well as OTDC rest-house at Tapta-Paani. Taptapaani is 30 kms from Chandragiri.

What not to miss!
- 'Tapta Paani' hot water spring. It is just 50 kms from Berhampur and is just beside the road.
- 'Tapta Paani' also has a government guest house and is a good place to stay.
- Digapahandi is the biggest market area en-route. This is the junction road connecting Bhanjanagar and Ichchapuram.
- If you are a foodie, do try desi (local) chicken in the only dhaba at Luhagudi. It is a very small junction with a road diversion to Mohana and is about 30 kms after Digapahandi. 3 and 1/2 stars for the food there.
- The drive thru the dense forest and hills is bliss, especially the 10-15 kms stretch after Taptapaani.

1 comment:

reshmi BChowdhury said...

Can you tell me where to stay at Jirang?