Bangriposi, a tribal hamlet nestled in the Thakurani range of hills in Odisha, offers the perfect marriage of scenery and serenity. Situated 228km from Kolkata, this attractive but unusual destination off NH6 is far from the city’s frenzy and a welcome abode in the solace of nature. Those who long for hills, jungles and waterfalls cannot afford to miss the beautiful daughter of the hills (that’s what Bangriposi means in Oriya).
Bangriposi can be easily reached by road or rail. There are buses from Esplanade to Keonjhar in the afternoons and late evenings that cross Bangriposi around five hours after departure. One can also hop on to buses heading for Baripada, which take a turn at Bombay Chowki, 14km from Bangriposi. Trekkers are available from here to Bangriposi.
If travelling by train, one can get off at Balasore and take a trekker to Bangriposi, 110km away. By road, take Bombay Road (NH6) and drive straight, past Kolaghat, Kharagpur, the Baharagora checkpost and Jamsola. The drive is pleasant, especially on a winter morning, with stopovers at roadside dhabas selling mouth-watering fare.
The main attraction of Bangriposi is its serenity. For the more adventurous, there’s rock-climbing, a picnic by the fabled Buribalam waterfall (Bagha Jatin fought the British alongside this river) and a visit to the Kanak Devi shrine in the hills. A day’s trip to the Kuliana village 7km away promises a satisfying encounter with the traditional folk-art, dhokra.
There are a number of picturesque trekking and walking trails in the area, especially those that start at the foothills of the Thakurani hills. One can also stroll midway up the hill and enjoy a panoramic view of the rocky terrain. For staying, Hotel Bangriposi is a good option. It is an earthy cottage, the last resort before the hills start. Savour their chicken curry and dimpora and enjoy a moonlit night on the portico amid the distant drumming of the madol and the strong fragrance of mahua (local brew).
Weekend trip is better to visit the local haat and get a taste of haariya (fermented local rice wine). The place is also well-known for its honey brought down by woodcutters from the forest in the hills.
Various migratory birds visit Bangriposi in winter, making it an ideal destination for birdwatchers and those interested in wildlife photography. Shutterbugs can delight in the hilly landscape, the trickling waterfall, the Buribalam river and the local Santhals.
Tourist destinations like Puri, Chandipur, Gopalpur-on-sea and Chilika are easily accessible from Bangriposi.
How to go?
Buses leave from Press Club (on Red Road) in the afternoon for Baripada and from Babughat in the evenings for Keonjhar. The former will take you till Bombay Chowki, from where you can take a trekker to Bangriposi (14 km). The latter will drop you in front of Hotel Bangriposi and OTDC’s Panthasala. By train, get down at Balasore and take a trekker to Bangriposi. By road, keep to NH6 without taking any turns.
Where to stay?
Hotel Bangriposi is a good option. Booking at 4B Pratapaditya Road, Rashbehari, Sonia Apartment, Flat-4A, 4th floor, Kolkata-26. Phone: 9831309512.
Orissa Tourism Development Corporation’s Panthasala is another option.
Booking can be done from Kolkata.
Contact Details: Utkal Bhawan, 55 Lenin Sarani, Kolkata.
Ph no.: (033) 2244653/22164556.
You can also directly contact at the Central Reservation Counter of the OTDC head office at 0674 – 2430764
Website : www.panthanivas.com.