Immerse yourself in the arts & cultures of the Tribal people. Visit a tribal village and make art with them such as Dhokra and learn dying arts such as chhau (martial arts dance form)
Visit villages and learn the different art forms such as black stone carving with visits to famous temples to understand the intricate architecture native to Odisha (Khiching). The temple of Kichakeswari at Khiching, built entirely of chlorite slabs is unique of its kind in India. A plethora of other temples also dominate the place some of which are still in active worship. The small museum situated here boasts of highly important historical specimens of sculpture, art and architecture.
Receive blessings at Kichkeshwari Temple, Khiching (150km)
Goddess Kichakeswari is the family deity of the Royal Family of Mayurbhanj and hence is mentioned in various texts involving the formation of Odisha. The temple was re-constructed by Maharaja Pratap Chandra BhanjDeo in 1941 (original temple was built during 10th century A.D). The temple is around 100 ft tall and made of chlorite (black granite) slabs. The style of architecture is called Orissan Rekha , meaning absence of a porch. The design is pancharatha (5 point structure), with a flat base, parallel rectangular mid structure and a curvilinear tower. Inside the temple, Goddess Kichakeshwari is in the form of eight armed Chamunda (warrior Goddess) - another form of Goddess Kali.
On the way to the temple, one can also find numerous stone-carving artisans creating beautiful stone statues, mortar pestles and other stone products. The area thrives on the black granite found in the temple.
Wildlife and Nature Tourism
One of India’s most famous wildlife parks, Barheipani Falls, Simlipal National Park, Jaranda Falls are the must see attractions of this place. It is highly distinguished for its intensively dense forested lands, green vegetation and unique wildlife. Deokund, a beautiful scenic spot amidst green forests, has a picturesque waterfall. The hill top temple of Goddess Ambika is a special attraction of the place.Bhimkund a waterfall is a place of pilgrimage and is a scenic tourist spot.
Visit building and structures that were constructed before the British entered india and pre independence such as the railway, air strip, Rani’s Dharamsala (old hotel built in 1904 for pilgrims and tourists), palace temple built in the 1930s,original royal palace with a 106 rooms and multiple courtyards, Haripur which was the original palace of the bhanja kings.
- Haripur comes within the Baripada subdivision and at a distance of 10 miles from Baripada. It was the former capital of the state of Mayurbhanj before it was shifted to Baripada. The vast ruins afford ample and interesting material for antiquarian research.It was named after the Maharajah of Mayurbhanj Shri Harihar Bhanja who founded this place as the Capital in 1322, shifted from Khiching and later on is famous as Haripurgarh.
Events/Festivals: Rath Yatra: Rath Yatra, also known as Car festival of Lord Jagannath is a very prominent festival of Simlipal city. Rath Yatra is popular for its distinctive culture and feel. One of the unique customs of this Yatra is women pulling the Ratha of Maa Subhadra and the devotees gather from every corner of the country to enjoy this festival.
Photographed by Rohit Chhantbar
& Rajesh Singh