Debkunda is a hamlet that rests on a hilltop and boasts a waterfall and a lake, considered sacred by the local people. To reach Debkunda you need to start your journey from Balasore in Odisha and reach our destination in about two hours by driving through the Kuldiha forest range, a gateway to the Simlipal Reserve Forest.
The village is best explored on foot. Rows of teak, aakashmoni, piyasal, mahaneem, mango and sheesham trees will provide a canopy over your trail. The view of the waterfall plunging into a large lake from atop a hill, the site of a colourful temple, delights an enthusiastic photographer.
There are a number of picturesque trekking and walking trails in the area, especially those that start from the temple compound. We may walk up a few metres up the hill and enjoy a panoramic view of the rocky terrain. Ma Ambika is worshipped in the temple, which was built in 1940 by local king Mayur Bhanj. The door of the temple is a 200-step ascent from the lake at the bottom of the waterfall. Devotees often queue up on the steps for a darshan. The serenity is striking despite the presence of devotees throughout the day, especially for the urbanites.
Sitting outdoors at Debkunda for hours to watch butterflies flitting through the foliage is fascinating. If it becomes boring, then we can take a stroll along the waterfalls to watch the green waters of the kunda. It will a mesmerizing effect on us. A trip to Debkunda will not be complete without a visit to the Kuldiha sanctuary. Sprawled out over rolling hills that rise to 200 metres at places, the sanctuary boasts a healthy population of elephant, deer, bison and bear.
Several species of birds such as the hill mynah, peafowl, hornbill and various reptiles are also a common sight.
How to go ?
Any train from Howrah to Balasore in Odisha. The best options are the Puri Express, Dhouli Express and the Jan-Shatabdi Express. We need to hire a car from Balasore. By road, it takes six hours to drive along NH 5 from Calcutta to Debkunda via Balasore.
Where to stay?
There is no proper accommodation in Debkunda but there are several hotels in Balasore. For details visit http://www.orissatourism.gov.in/hotels.htm.
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