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Hogenakkal-Falls

Hogenakkal Water Falls, Tamil Nadu – It is located at the intersection of rivers Cauveri & Chinnar

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The name Hogenakkal is derived from Kannada. It means smoky rocks. This place is popular for the Hogenakkal Water Falls. When the water falls on the rocks it appears as if hoge (smoke) is emanating from the top of the kal (rock) because of the force of the water, hence Hogenakkal. Situated on the Melgiri hill, Hogenakkal water fall is formed by the intersection of the two rivers of Cauveri and Chinnar. The setting of the descent of the Cauveri at Hogenakkal is panoramic. Surrounded by hills at various heights, Hogenakkal offers the visitors a different ambience and is a refreshing place to relax.

Places to see at Hogenakkal: The Hogenakkal Waterfall is the main highlight of the place. This waterfall is often called the Niagara Falls of India. Waterfalls here fall from a height of 60 to 1000 ft.

Nearby attractions around Hogenakkal: You can make a trip to places like:

Theerthamalai:

Theerthamalai, a popular pilgrim centre 16 km from Dharmapuri is an interesting place that you can visit Hogenakkal. Theerthamalai is an important Sacred place.The temple situated about one k.m up the steep slope of a hillock derives its name from the five springs in the temple. Lord Theerthagireeswar (Lord Shiva) is the worshipping deity.

Pennagaram

Just 15 km from Hogenakkal, Pennagaram is a village with lush fields of mulberry. On the outskirts of the rural settlements en route are their fascinating guardian deities, often referred to as Iyanars. Made of terracotta or plastered brick, these giant figures are brightly colored and generally depict fearsome and mustachioed warriors. As the scrub-covered slopes give way to thickets of thorny vegetation and then, almost imperceptibly, when tall trees began to rise, the air reverberates, with the soft roar of running water becoming more and more assertive as one reaches lower and lower.

Things to do in Hogenakkal: A boat ride here is a thrilling activity and a good way to get a slice of adventure. It is a spectacular experience. One can also take bath in the falls. The forest department maintains a mini zoo and a crocodile park here which is worth a visit.

Best time to visit Hogenakkal: Hogenakkal can be visited through the year.

How to go ?

It is better to reach Hogenakkal by train, though it does not have any railway station. Coimbatore Jn (CBE), Salem Jn (SA), Erode Jn (ED), Bangalore Cy Jn (SBC) and Mysore Jn (MYS) are 5 nearby train stations connected to Chennai. From there you can reach Hogenakkal by hired cars or bus that will take you to the village boundaries.

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Where to stay ?

Hogenakkal has of few accommodation options, for example:

Hotel Tamil Nadu (TTDC) : +91-04342 – 256447
Hotel Adhiyamaan Palace: +91-04342 – 270007

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Jog Falls

Jog Falls, Karnataka – Located at a distance of 402 km from Bengaluru, it is world’s one of the most spectacular cascades

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Located in a region that is densely forested, the Jog Falls, also known as Gerusoppa, is India’s highest waterfalls. The wide span of Jog falls covers the whole of Shimoga and Uttar Kannad districts. Created by the Sharavathi River, the cascade falls from a height of 253 m (830 ft). The  Jog falls is the second-highest plunge waterfall in India. It is ranked among the world’s best, the spectacular cascade. This milky foamed waterfall descends along the slopes of the Western Ghats. Four distinct cascades – known locally as Raja, Rani, Roarer and Rocket, are created with arching rainbows formed by the sunlight hitting the spray from the falls. Associated with the waterfall is the nearby Linganmakki Dam across river Sharavathi.  Before the onset of monsoon season, when there is not much water in the Linganmakki Dam, the Jog Falls are only a pair of thin streams of water trickling down the cliff, as the water collected in the dam is exclusively for generation of electricity; during monsoons local rain-water is the source of water to the falls.

Places to see at Jog: Being an outstanding destination Jog is loaded by an array of tourist attractions.

Dabbe Falls

One gets to see mesmerizing view of the water scaling into a narrow gorge. The best time to visit the falls is during the monsoons.

Linganamakki Dam 

Located about 6 km from Jog Falls, Linganamakki dam is a popular tourist spot. The dam forms the reservoir for the Mahatma Gandhi Hydro Electric Power Unit.

Tunga Anicut Dam

Located about 12 km from Shimoga, the dam is surrounded by green paddy fields and are coconut palms. One gets to see panoramic view of the Bababudain Giri Range.

Thyvare Koppa Lion and Tiger Reserve

Located about 12 km from Shimoga on the way to Jog Falls, the reserve is home to tigers, lions and deers.

Sharavati River

The river originates from Ambuthirtha in Thirthahalli taluk flowing to the north-west through the Western Ghats to form the Jog-Falls.

Nearby attraction from Jog: There are many places to visit that are close to Jog Falls.

Honnemardu

Honnemardu is a wonderful getaway for those who love a taste of adventure and prefer water sports. The small village is located on the slopes of a hill close to the Honnemardu reservoir.

Banavasi

Located at a distance of 51.2 km, an ancient temple town whose roots can be traced back to 4000 BC, Banavasi is tucked away deep inside the forests of the Western Ghats. Located in the Uttara Kannada district, the town is located on the banks of the Varda River.

Sirsi

Sirsi is a scenic little place located at a distance of 57 km from Jog falls. Lush green forests, towering waterfalls and quaint old temples make Sirsi in the Uttara Karnataka district a popular destination.

Bhatkal

Bhatkal is one Karnataka’s oldest towns and has a rich past. It is regarded as one of the oldest ports in India. Located in Uttara Kannada, Bhatkal is 84 kilometers away from Jog Falls and has some lovely beaches. The town is located on NH17 and is easily accessible via the Konkan railway.

Things to do at Jog Falls: Watching the breath taking waterfall is in itself a wonderful activity. Besides the sight seeing to the nearby destinations is also a pleasure.

Best time to visit Jog Falls: The monsoon season is the best season to visit Jog falls, as the beauty of the place is enhanced during monsoons. But if you are planning for picnics, outings and sightseeing activities, then the winter season, characterized by pleasant and cool weather is ideal.

How to go ?

By Air

You will get flight upto Bangalore (402 km) which is connected to all major cities in India and abroad. From there you have to hire a cab to reach Jog falls.

By Train

You  have to reach Bangalore first which is connected by rail routes from all major cities in India. From there you have to reach Shimoga railway station by Shimoga or Intercity express and then take a bus to reach Jog Falls.

By Road

It is quite comfortable to reach Jog Falls by road as the place is well connected by a network of good roads. Jog falls is at a distance of 372 kilometers from Bangalore located on the national highway 206. This highway connects Tumkur (308km) and Bellary (345km). One can take buses or taxis from Bangalore and from nearby cities.

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Where to stay ?

You can stay at the KSTDC Hotel Mayura Gerusoppa in Jog falls. For booking details you may contact: +91-0818-6244732. However more staying options are available at Shimoga. Few options are:

Hotel MG Palace: +91-08182-261 194, 196
Hotel Surya Comforts: +9108182- 221 817, 324, 040, 400
Hotel Ramakrishna Lodge: +9108182-227 551
River Tern Lodge: +91094495 99778

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Bhedaghat

Bhedaghat, Madhya Pradesh – You will never have a single dull moment, during your stay at this exquisite location

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Lying by the side of River Narmada Bhedaghat is situated at the Jabalpur district of Madhya Pradesh. The Marble Rocks at Bhedaghat are a dazzling magnificence. It rises to a height of hundred feet on either side of the Narmada. The placidity and the Bhedaghatloveliness of the site will steal your heart. The sunlight sparkling on the marble-white pinnacles and casting dappled shadows on the pellucid waters. These white rocks with views of black and dark green volcanic seams are truly majestic, and produce a magical effect on moonlit nights. The holy river flows by tranquilly flanked by the towering cliffs which reflect in it like a mirror the changing moods of nature. A little distance away, it becomes turbulent as it plunges in a mighty water fall known as Dhuandhar.

Places to see at Bhedaghat: At Bhedaghat the marble rocks are really a visual delight and are a must watch. You can avail the boating facilities here. Boating in a moonlit night is a thrilling experience.

The Chousat Yogini Temple is located near the marble rocks is also an important tourist spot which you must visit. It is believed that the temple has a Secret Underground Passage Leading to Palace of Gond Queen Durgavati.

BhedaghatThe Dhuandhar falls is another place worth seeing. The Narmada Falls makes its way through the marble rocks and then plunges into the Dhuandhar falls or Smoke Cascade.

The soap stones artifact are a unique architecture of the place. These soap stones are uncovered by the NarmadaRiver. It provides occupation to the families of carvers of gods and goddesses, lingas, crosses, madonnas, ashtrays and trinket boxes.

Nearby attractions at Bhedaghat: From Bhedaghat make a trip to the Bargi Dam which is 50 km from Bhedaghat and the beautiful city of Jabalpur which is just 25 km away.

Things to do at Bhedaghat: You will never have a single dull moment, during your stay at this exquisite location. The adventures of boating on the heart of Narmada, the marvellous Dhuadhar falls will make your itinerary fun filled. Don’t forget to carry an item of soapstone artifact. These soap stones are revealed by the river Narmada. It is then carved to make different beautiful things.

Best to time to visit Bhedaghat: The best time to visit Bhedaghat is from November to May.

How to go ?

By rail: Jabalpur, on the Mumbai-Howrah (via Allahabad) main line, is the main railhead. All mail, express and passenger trains halt here.

By road: Jabalpur, on the Mumbai-Howrah (via Allahabad) main line, is the main railhead. All mail, express and passenger trains halt here.

 By air: Jabalpur (23 km) is the nearest airport connected to Bhopal & Delhi with regular flights.

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Where to stay ?

There are no such accommodation facilities at Bhedaghat. The tourist can stay at Jabalpur which is only few kilometers from Bhedaghat. Some options are:

Hotel Rishi Regency: 0761-4046001, 0761-5046464, 094251-51520, 09301273125
Hotel Prestige Princess: 2627550, 2627551, 2627552, 2627553

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Chaaya_Taal

Chaaya Taal, Sikkim – Pack your bags to take the pleasure of an itinerary this weekend

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Staying beside a placid lake and enjoying the picturesque view of Mt. Kanchenjungha is a long cherished dream for every urbanite tired of the polluted city life. Pack your bags to take the pleasure of an itinerary this weekend. Chaaya Taal is a mixed magic bag consisting of waterfalls, monasteries, dense forests, largest prayer wheel in the world, rhododendrons, red pandas, water gardens, 65 species of different birds and activities like boating, village walks and trekking. The place is located almost 136 kms from New Jalpaiguri, and just a km above Hee Gaon. It is one of the newest spots on the tourist map of West Sikkim. At the foot of Chaaya Taal is located the twin villages of Hee and Bermiok. The nearby attractions include the Srijunga waterfalls, Vanjhakri Waterfalls, Yuma Samyo Manghim temple, Phurtsa Chu hotspring and Rabindra Nath Tagore Smriti Van. You can also visit the nearby Barsey Rhododendron sanctuary famous for Red Pandas and Rhododendrons from Chaaya Taal. For trekking lovers, an eight-day trek is arranged that will take you to Phoktey, which is one of the very few places on earth from where you can watch sunrise over Mt.Everest and Kanchenjungha, the highest and third highest peaks in the world at the same time.

Places to see at Chaaya Taal: The spell-binding views of Kanchenjungha from the balcony and a turquoise lake beside your guest house with boating facilities makes Chaaya Taal one of the most beautiful destinations of West Sikkim. The twin villages of Hee and Bermiok are located in the foothills of Chaaya Taal. Then there is the famous Yuma Samyo Manghim, the temple where the believers of Yuma Samyo – the great saint from Nepal worship. In front of the temple is a big stone from where this great saint used to deliver sermons to his followers.

About a km westward from the nearby Bermiok Bazar there is a cave on Niya Bhir cliff known as Alley Gufa, where Lord Shiva is worshiped. You would also find a watch tower located just above this Alley cave temple at upper Martam from where you can get a beautiful view of Kanchenjungha. The beautiful Vanjhakri Waterfalls also known as Pheng Doje Falls descends in an isolated destination near Hee-Gaon along the Hee River. However, the biggest attraction of Chaaya Taal is the water garden at the bank of Hee Khola where you would find the world’s largest Buddhist prayer wheel powered by water current, a swimming pool, a cafeteria and few Gazebos.

Also, within a kilometer at the bank of River Kalez lies the sleeping statue of Buda Neel Kantha. On the hill top of Mt. Yumang Thegu (the hill overlooking the lake) a 65 feet high statue of Teyongsi  Sirijunga is under construction. Along with this is, the work of constructing the Sirijunga Study Centre with all the facilities to study and research about Guru Sirijunga is in progress too.

Nearby attractions of Chaaya Taal: One of the major sightseeing options here is the Srijunga waterfalls about an hour’s downhill walk from the Yuma Samyo Manghim. There is a holy cave at the foot of this waterfall in Phagudara village where according to legends the great Guru Srijunga is said to have hidden his mysterious box full of knowledge. Presently, there is a temple located at the confluence of River Reshi and River Kalez which houses a black block of stone which is believed to be the same box of knowledge, now turned into stone.

You can also visit the nearby village of Berthang at the confluence of River Rangsang and River Kalez to see the erstwhile tiny kingdom of Berthang Berfok Mangerjong. The Manger kings ruled this tiny Himalayan Kingdom till 18th century when their last ruler Dal Kinari Khapangi Manger was killed in the battlefield. The locals worship this place as ‘Raja Bhajey Dham’ where he was killed. About 10 minutes’ walk above Bermiok 13th mile village is the ancient cave temple – Kailash Pati Gufa. Hundreds of people come here to offer Puja on Shivaratri every year.

Another popular nearby destinations is the Phurtsa Chu sulphur hotspring which is famous for its ‘medicinal water. It is located below Legship – Jorethang Road between Reshi and Legship along the bank of Rangit River. You can also visit the Rabindra Nath Tagore Smriti Van located at Megie Dara, about a furlong eastward from Rinchenpong Bazar. Though the exact account of this visit to this place is not available, the novel laureate had once arrived here somewhere in the first quarter of 20th century. This is a beautiful place and it can be guessed how the imaginations of the Novel laureate might have soared on his arrival here. There is also a beautiful monastery at Rinchenpong.

You can also visit the famous Reesum Monastery from Chaaya Taal. To reach this monastery, you have to hike over 600 steps but the effort would be rewarded with one of the most magnificent views of Mt.Kanchenjungha. You have to leave Chaaya Taal at around 3:30 am to view sunrise from Reesum Monastery. The car would take around 40 mins to reach the base of the hill from where you have to trek for another 40 min to reach the monastery.     Other than the nearby sightseeing destinations, the major spots of West Sikkim like Pelling, Pemyangtse, Uttarey, Kaluk and Richenpong are all within an hour’s distance.

Things to do at Chaaya Taal: Boating at Chaaya Taal is a wonderful experience. You can also catch the glimpses of Kanchenjungha from your balcony or from the various viewpoints located all around Chaaya Taal. You can take long nature walks and be a patient listener to the quarrels and songs of the birds. If you are an adventure lover then the Everest Singalila trek covering the higher reaches of the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary can be your itinerary. This trek is famous for its flowers and spectacular views of Mt.Kanchenjungha and Mt.Everest. After you cross Thulo Dhaap the trail climbs up to the Singiila Ridge and from Phoktey you can see the sunrise on Mt Everest and Mt.Kanchenjungha – the highest and third highest peaks of the world at the same time.

If you love re-discovering ethnic cultures then try to visit here during the Kalez Valley Heritage Festival held every year from 10th to 13th May. This colourful festival showcases multi ethnic cultural practices, cultural dances, demonstration, mountain biking and traditional cuisine.

Best time to visit Chaya Taal: You can visit Chaaya Taal any time of the year. However, if you want to trek at Barsey Rhododendron sanctuary and see rhododendron in full bloom then visit during March- April.  Also the Kalez valley Heritage Festival is held every year between 10th and 13th May.

How to go ?

Chaaya Taal is located above the twin villages of Hee-Bermiok. New Jalpaiguri is around 136 kms away and it takes around 4 hours to reach. The usual route to be followed is Melli – Jorethang via Mangalbaria, Rinchenpong – Kaluk – Hee Bermiok – Chaaya Taal. You can also come via Nayabazar – Soreng – Kaluk- Hee Bermiok.

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Where to stay ?

There is only one guest house named Chhayatal Village Guest house with four Double Bedrooms at Chaaya Taal. The accommodation is decked with all modern facilities like hot water, television and attached bathrooms. The guesthouse faces Mt.Kanchenjungha and overlooks the lake. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food is available at the guesthouse. Treks to Singalila Ridge and Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary can be arranged from the guesthouse itself. For booking details you may contact:

Chhayatal Village Guest house: +919434012213 / 9775915168.

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Pelling

Pelling, Sikkim – At an altitude of 7200 ft the place is bestowed with magnificent natural beauty

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Located in the district of West Sikkim Pelling is bestowed with magnificent natural beauty. It lies at an altitude of 7200 feet, and from here you can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped peak of Mt.Kanchenjunga and other peaks of the Eastern Himalayas. Pelling comprises two localities – Upper Pelling and Lower Pelling. Pelling is the tourist hub for travelling to various nearby destinations of West Sikkim like Khecheopalri Lake, Rimbi Waterfalls, Kanchenjungha waterfalls, Temi Tea Garden, Rabdentse Ruins, Sewaro Rock Garden and Pemyangtse. Besides the panoramic views of the Himalayas, Pelling is also famed for being the home to some of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim like the Pemyangtse Monastery and Sang Da Choeling Monastery.

PellingPlaces to see at Pelling: Savour the panoramic view of the splendid Kanchenjangha and other snow covered Himalayan peaks from Pelling. Pelling offers wonderful view of some peaks like Rathong, Frey, Kabru Dom, Pandim, Narsing, Tinchikhang, Siniolchu and Kanchenjungha.  You will be truly amazed by viewing the earliest monastery of the region, the Pemayangtse Monastery, belonging to the Nyingapa sect.

The monastery offers visual pleasure by its impeccable sculptures and wall paintings. If you are visiting the monastery in January-February, you can witness a religious dance called ‘Cham’. Locate the Rabdantse Ruins, which is 10 minutes walk away from the Monastery. You will also find a forest area nearby, admired with some exotic orchids and few lakes. Pelling also features a helipad ground, though there is no provision for regular air service.

Nearby attractions of Pelling: You can make a trip to visit some of the prominent locations around Pelling. The Changey Waterfall, located at a distance of 10 km. from Pelling is worth visiting.  Tourists also travel a distance of 28 km. to view another Pellingspectacular waterfall, the Kangchendzonga waterfalls. Make a trip to the site of Khecheopalri Lake, highly acknowledged as one of the holy lakes in Sikkim. Surprisingly, there is not a single leaf on the lake surface, which is said to be cleared by birds. The other two major tourist attractions are the Rimbi Water Falls and Karchen Power House. You will truly enjoy your visit to the Sewaro Rock Garden, admired with flowers, fountains, spectacular gardens, ponds, swimming pool, cafeteria and well-maintained rocks. A fair called Maghe mela is also celebrated at the site.

Things to do at Pelling: Peling is a great place for monastery trek. You can take part in a 3 day trek, from Pelling to Kechapalari lake and then to Yuksum and finally to Tashiding. Enjoy a nature walk along the pathways of Pelling. You can also try your hand in fishing at Rimbi, where you can angle a local fish called Assala. There are few shops in Pelling, displaying an array of gift items, post cards, maps etc. You need to bargain a little, if you intend to buy from those shops.  You can also take a short 30 mins nature walk to Sang Da Choeling Monastery – which is one of the oldest monasteries of Sikkim. Pelling is also popular as a bird watching destination.

Best time to visit Pelling: You can visit Pelling round the year, though it is good to avoid the rainy season.

How to go ?

The nearest railway station of Pelling is located at New Jalpaiguri at a distance of 135 km. There are regular trains like Darjeeling Mail, Kachenjungha Express, Kanchankanya Express, Teesta Torsa and others from Howrah to New Jalpaiguri. Hired cars are available from New Jalpaiguri, Siliguri, Gangtok, Kalimpong, Jorethang and Namchi to Pelling. The nearest airport from Pelling is the Bagdogra airport.

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Where to stay ?

Himalayan Retreat and Resort
Ph: (+91) 9007358444 /  9432324780
Kolkata Office :  (+91) 033 24309371 / 033 32941172

Hotel Sikkim Aurora
Ph.:  (+91) 9732258987, 9434591378

Norbu Gang Resort:
Ph.:  (+91) 03595-258272, 919933004492/93/96

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Queen of Chotanagpur

Netarhat, Jharkhand – The Queen of Chotanagpur

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Netarhat, resting on the Chotanagpur plateau in Jharkhand, is an ideal weekend getaway for its charm and beauty. The lush green vegetation of the place, the hillocks and the barren rocks justifiably makes the place “Queen of Chotanagpur”. It is located at a Netarhatheight of 3,700 feet above sea level. This place will rejuvenate all your senses with its cool refreshing breeze. The mesmerizing sunrise and sunset from the hills and viewpoints of Netarhaat is really enthralling. Netarhat was truly a favourite spot of the British. One can still recollect the memories of the British Raaj as one gets the view of the pear orchards, manicured gardens, churches, colonial buildings and numerous sunset points here that keep the memories of alive.

Places to see at Netarhat: Netarhat is primarily known for its panoramic landscape, calmly ambience and wonderful climate. There are patches of sal and simul forests dotting the region with occasional pines and cypresses planted by the British reaching out to the sky. Seasonal flowers are grown all through the year and the weather and soil of this region is apt for growing fruits like peaches, lemons and even apples. The beautiful Koel River and its tributaries – Amanat and Auranga skirts its way through Netarhat creating beautiful landscapes. A number of winding small streams also bound the region. The sunrise and sunset seen from the viewpoints of Netarhat is truly a wonderful experience.

Nearby attractions of Netarhat: The place includes a number of nearby tourist attractions. The Upper Ghagri Water Falls, located 4 kms from Netarhat is a major picnic spot. The Netarhat Dam also creates a nice small waterfall. The Lower Ghagri Water NetarhatFalls located 10 kms away from Netarhat is a delight to watch. The stunning waterfall leaps from a towering height of 320 feet. If you want to savour the excellent view of sunset, make a trip to Magnolia Point, located some 10 kms from Netarhat. You can also travel to the Koel View Point, located 3 kms from Netarhat. However, to savour the beauty of the highest fall in Jharkhand, Lodh Falls, you need to travel almost 60 kms from Netarhat. The Sadni Falls located 35 kms from Netarhat is also equally appreciable. Destinations like Gaya, Bodh Gaya, Ranchi, Daltongunj and Rajgir are also closer to Netarhat.

Things to do at Netarhat: Explore the entire region of Netarhat, full of natural resources. Do not miss the spectacular sunrise and sunset. If you are an adventure lover, you can hike the Burhaghagh, the second highest fall of Jharkhand. Less adventurous ones can visit the local Netarhat public school established by the British, visit any local fruit orchard or take a long nature walk.

NetarhatBest time to visit Netarhat: You can visit this Netarhaat any time of the year. However, the summer at Netarhat is quite cool offering a pleasurable climate. It can well be said that Netarhat is the coolest region in the entire state of Jharkhand.

How to go ?

Netarhat is located at a distance of 160 kms from Ranchi. So you can avail bus services from Ranchi and Daltonganj to Netarhat. You can also drive from Ranchi along the NH23 to Sisai and then cross Ghaghra and finally reach Netarhat.

If you travel by train then you have to reach upto Ranchi station which is connected with all major rail routes in India.

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Where to stay ?

In Netarhat, Jharkhand Tourism’s Prabhat Vihar is the most popular and well-equipped accommodation. It has one of the best sunrise points in Netarhat and offers excellent views of the surroundings. Dining facilities are excellent here, which mainly comprises ethnic Indian cuisine. However, Western styled food is also served here. For booking details you may contact:

Prabhat Vihar: (6569) 277628 /9431528751. Kolkata Booking: Tel: 22259639.

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Ranchi-Tagore Hill

Ranchi, Jharkhand – The city of hills, waterfalls and forests

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The term Ranchi has been derived from a local word “Archi,” which means bamboo forest.  It is a quaint destination resting in the Chota Nagpur Plateau and surrounded by different beauties of nature like hills, waterfalls and forests. It is also endowed with Ranchivarious religious destinations. It is shrouded with emerald hilly areas, barren rocks and lush green valleys. Ranchi is also called the ‘city of waterfalls’ for you will find a number of gushing fountains from here. From here you can visit the nearby destinations like Hundru Falls, Jonha Falls and Dasham Falls. Ranchi is the present capital of Jharkhand state in India

Places to see in Ranchi: Nature has bestowed Ranchi with endless natural beauty. A number of tourist attractions furnish the place. The Rock Garden, located near the Albert Ekka Chowk is a must visit for all tourists in Ranchi. Spend some quality time in utter desolation at the top of Tagore Hill, named after the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Visit the Divyayan and Agararian Vocational Institute and the Ramakrishna Mission Ashram nestled at the foot of the Tagore hill. You will truly admire the majestic sight of the Kanke Dam in Ranchi nestled at the foothills of the Gonda Hills. The serene atmosphere, unpolluted air, secluded ambience and pleasant weather makes this lake a favorite spot for tourists yearning for seclusion and relaxation.

RanchiThe religious minded tourists can visit the temple of Lord Shiva, locally known as Pahari Mandir, located at the top of Ranchi hill, boasting an altitude of 2140 feet from sea level. You can savour an enchanting view of the entire Ranchi city from the temple premises. At the base of this colossal Ranchi hill, you will also find a pristine lake. You will be amazed to find that the Jagannath Temple of Ranchi features the same architectural style of the renowned Puri Jagannath temple. Tourists are mainly attracted to this temple during the festival of Rath Yatra, celebrated with much vigour and pomp. The Deer Park of Ranchi is also a central tourist attraction, which is home to hundreds of different species of deer. The park is decorated with splendid gardens, parks for children and well laid pathways. You will truly enjoy the park safari at the location.

Nearby attractions of Ranchi: Numerous waterfalls are located near Ranchi, the most popular being Hundru Falls, Jonha Falls, Dasham Falls, Hirni and Panchghagh Falls. River Subarnarekha features many waterfalls on its course among which Hundru Falls is the most admirable, falling from a towering height of 320 feet. Hundru Falls makes a scenic landscape and is a favourite picnic and resting spot of tourists in summer. The picturesque Jonha Falls formed by Kanchi River is popularly known as Gautam Dhara named after Gautam Buddha. Other nearby waterfalls includes Dassam falls and Sita falls. However, you need to step down around 500 steps to admire the natural splendour of the Johna Falls. The marvellous sight of the Panchgagh waterfall comprised five waterfalls cascading in a row offer ultimate visual pleasure.

Tourists can also make a tour to Birsa Zoological Garden, located near Ormanjhi on the Ranchi-Patna National highway, close to Ranchi. This eco friendly tourist spot is a safe retreat of several wild life including tigers, lions, monkey and deer.

Angrabadi temple complex, placed amidst a calm and tranquil atmosphere is a legendary temple complex in Khunti, located nearby Ranchi. Tourists visit this temple to uplift their spirituality by offering prayers to Lord Shiva, Ram-Sita and Hanuman.

Things to do in Ranchi: Boating in the Ranchi Lake or in the pool made by the Hudru falls is a real wonderful experience. You can also organize picnic near the Kanke dam or the Hudru falls. Enjoy a park safari at the Deer Park. Visit the fair organized near the Jonha Falls on every Tuesday and Saturday. If you are adventurous, experience the challenging hilly safaris. Above all, savour the eternal beauty of this exotic location.

Best time to visit Ranchi: Ranchi welcomes tourist all throughout the year. However, you can avoid the peak summer season.

How to go ?

Ranchi airport is situated at Hinoo, nearly 7 km from the city centre. The closest international airport is at Kolkata, located 400 km from Ranchi. Ranchi railhead is well linked with all important rail routes of the country, the nearest station being located at Hatia. Ranchi is well connected with bus routes from Bokaro, Chaibasa, Dhanbad, Patna and Jamshedpur.

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Where to stay ?

A number of hotels, lodges and guest houses are found in Ranchi suitable to all budgets. The accommodation also arranges for decent dining facility. Few options are:

Radisson Blu Hotel: (91) (651) 6602222, 800 180 0333, 800 616 1263 (Toll-free) Website: www.radissonblu.com
Hotel Ranchi Ashok: (91) (651) 2480759-765 Website: www.hotelranchiashok.com
Capitol Residency: (91) (651) 6607777 Website:www.capitolhotels.in
The Pinnacle Hotel: (91) (651) – 2212348, 2212384, (91) (651) 2212348 Website:www.hotelthepinnacle.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Galudih

Galudih, Jharkhand – An ideal place for rejuvenating your senses

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Galudi is one of the Bengali’s favourite weekend destinations. This place is ideal for rejuvenating your senses. Galudi has really become densely populated now and the place has eternal attraction. The atmosphere of this place is like medicine for people suffering from indigestion. The cool breeze of the Rocky hills is really soothing and refreshing.

GaludihPlaces to see at Galudi: The prime attractions of the place are Galudi dam, the rocky hills, Shalpial forest and landscape surrounding River Subarnarekha.

Nearby attractions from Galudi: The places you can visit from Galudi are Ghatshila, Panchapandav Mountain, Burudi Lake, Temple of Rukminidevi, Dharagiri Falls, and the night view of the point where the river meets the sea.

Things to do at Galudi: Travelling the nearest tourist spots and taking walks near the waters of Galudi are the best things to do here. You can even take ample rest in the calm atmosphere of Galudi.

Best time to visit Galudi: Autumn is a lovely time to visit Galudi, due to the cool breeze, which will make you shiver. Though strong chilly winds play a major role in Galudi, winter is also a nice time to visit.

How to go ?

You can travel on road from Kolkata by taking the Bombay Road (NH-6) you have to cross Kharagpur, Balibhasha, Chichira and Baheragora and then you need to take NH-33. After travelling for 5hrs and 30 mins on the National Highway, you can reach Ghatshila and then arrive at Galudi. You can also take the morning Ishpat Express from Howrah and reach Ghatshila after a 3 hrs 20 mins journey. From here you can hire a car or auto-rickshaw and travel 11 km to reach Galudi.

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Where to stay ?

Many resorts and hotels are available on the way to Galudi and Ghatshila. Dining facilities are also available in these hotels and resorts of Galudi.

Galudih Resort is an option. For booking details you may contact: 09570200268 , 09199868541.
Website: www.galudihresort.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Kaagey

Kaagey, North Bengal – A perfect getaway just 21 kms from Kalimpong

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A picturesque-view of the peaks of Mt. Kanchenjungha along with a meandering river down the valley with a jungle in the backyard, a waterfall just 15 mins away, a monastery, a church – all that makes the little unknown village of Kaagey a perfect getaway just 21 kms from Kalimpong. Kaagey is situated near to popular tourist destinations like Kalimpong, Pedong, Reshi and Sillery but far from the tourist rush. The place is also known for its impressive bird population and its indigenous people and culture. Like other nearby destinations, resourceful individuals have developed home stays in Kaagey, which are clean, comfortable and very homely. If you are planning a trip to a quaint destination, then drop at Kaagey to experience nature in all its glory.

Kaagey-viewPlaces to see at Kaagey: A 15 mins walk from Kaagey would take you to the 50 feet high Jhakri Falls where you can take your shower. There’s a small church and a small village monastery around 3 kms away. These structures may not be big or historical but they are simple and fit the place where they belong. There are a whole lot of opportunities at Kaagey for the nature lovers who like to trek and love bird watching. The Ramitey Dara viewpoint, which falls on the way to the village school, has one of the longest views of River Teesta flowing in the gorges. The not very known Deorali Dara also offers great views of Eastern Sikkim and the snow capped mountains. You can also visit the nearby Lepcha village of Gerok to understand the traditional lifestyle of the Lepchas.

Nearby attractions of Kagay: Kaagey is 21 kms from Kalimpong and 15 kms from Pedong. You can make day trips to Damsang Fort, Sillery Gaon, Valley of Silence, Tinchuley View Point, Cross Hill, Pedong Monastery and numerous other sightseeing destinations. There is an 8 km long trek route from Kaagey to Reshikhola through the forests and villages, which is a heaven for birdwatchers. However, the journey to Reshikhola is a bit longer. Day tours to Lava, Lolegaon and Kalimpong can also be done from Kaagey comfortably.

Things to do at Kaagey: Trekking, bird watching, butterfly watching, village walks and soaking under the waterfall are few activities you can have at Kaagey after enjoying a breath-taking view of sunrise over Mt.Kanchenjungha in the morning. You can take short walks around Kaagey to Jhakhri Falls (15 mins walk), Monastery (around 3 kms away), Deorali Dara (around 2 kms away), Kanchenjungha view point near Shivalaya mandir, the local Church and herbal garden (around 4 kms away). You can also trek to nearby Lingzey around 8 kms away to see a local temple and church. Apart from visiting all these destinations, you can enjoy short treks through jungles and villages to enjoy sight-seeing all around Kaagey, which offers glimpses of Mudung Khola or Reshi Khola winding across the valleys and gorges.

Best time to visit Kaagey: Winter is the best time for viewing Kanchenjungha and the other peaks from Kaagey and its adjacent areas. The monsoons fill up the rivers and waterfalls of Kaagey. The summers are cool in Kaagey and the winters are not that biting cold.

How to go ?

The closest railway station from the destination is the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station. The nearest airport is the BagdograAirport. Hired cars are available from both airport and railway stations to Kalimpong via Teesta Bazar. From Kalimpong you can take a pick-up to Kaagey village.

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Where to stay ?

Kaagey-home-stayPresently, Kaagey offers only one home stay facility, which provides furnished rooms with attached western bathrooms. Necessities like hot water, transport facilities and guides for local trek are also arranged. There are Double Bedrooms, Triple Bedrooms and even family rooms in the home stay. All rooms come with attached western bathrooms and clean beds. The food is essentially Indian and home cooked and the vegetables are picked from the kitchen garden in the backyard.
Contact No: +91-9733267517, 03563-262292

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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lulung-cottage

Lulung, in Odisha, a land of rich greenery & flooded with natural beauty

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Lulung located in Orissa is a land of rich greenery and flooded with natural beauty. It is one of the entry points to Simlipal National Park and is located on its eastern fringes. The other entrance is at Joshipur.

lulungA pleasant four-hour train journey to Baleswar and an hour and a half by road will take you to Lulung. The Orissa Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC)’s guest house Aranya Nivas is ideal for staying here. It has gardens, lawns, a lounge, a terrace and a dining hall on the outer part. Inside, concrete cottages stand on mounds.

The climate at Lulung, located at an altitude of 300 metres, is wonderful. The view of the hillocks in the distance is equally nice. The sunset view is heart stealing. Its reddish glow seems like a shade of vermilion that matched the reddish soil of the forest. The trees cast their long shadows on the ground and the sound of homing birds fills the air.  The dark wings of the night envelopes the forest within one hour.

lulungThe shrill cry of a hill bird would occasionally rise above the soft gurgle of a nearby rivulet. Ripe fruits fell off the trees landing on the leafy forest floor with thuds. Solar panels provide power to the cottages at night. The dinner is sumptuous. There is a jungle around Aranya Nivas which you can explore. Some of the tracks lead to nearby villages which are also interesting to explore for a hardcore urbanite.

There is also a waterfall at Kalipahar with milky white water that is just 3km from the guest house.

How to go ?

A four-hour journey by train to Baleswar, followed by a 90-minute bus/ hired car ride, or, take NH6 till Bangriposi (230km), which itself is worth a visit. Lulung is 20km from there.

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Where to stay ?

Aranya Nivas.  Book at OTDC
Website : www.otdc.in or www.panthanivas.com
Call Us : 1800 208 1414 (Toll free)

Kolkata office at Utkal Bhavan, 55 Lenin Sarani, Kolkata
Ph: 91-033-22493653.

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Debkunda

Debkunda, in Odisha, a hamlet that rests on a hilltop & boasts a waterfall & a Lake

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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, aakashmonipiyasalmahaneem, 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.

DebkundaThere 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.

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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.

OTDC Head Office
Panthanivas (Old Block),
Lewis Road, Bhubaneswar – 751014
Tel.No. (91-674) 2430764
Website: www.panthanivas.com/balasore.html

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Buxa Tiger Reserve

Buxa, in North Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district

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A destination that makes hectic urban life seem irrelevant; a location in the lap of nature with mountains, forests, and streams. That’s Buxa for you. With its scenic charm and a rich bio-diversity, Buxa in north Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district is famous for its tiger reserve, the only one in the whole of the Kanchenjunga circuit.

Buxa Tiger ReserveTake a train to New Alipurduar station from Sealdah and hire a car from there to reach Santrabari. A 5km trek will take you to the first village on the hills, Buxa Sadar Bazar. It is a small village of 25 families with no electricity and poor cellular network, which means complete freedom from phone calls and a chance to absorb the beauty of the place.

Indrashankar Thapa’s guesthouse — Rover’s Inn — is the only tourist accommodation in the village.

The weather is chilly but the wooden houses will keep you warm. The food available there are basic foods. They also serve a “special chicken thukpa”. The friendly villagers will offer you a special kind of tea known as the pepper-tea, a refreshing potion to soothe your nerves.

The entire Buxa range is tailor-made for trekking. The place is a bird watcher’s delight. Trans-Himalayan migratory goosander, the beautiful ibis bill, fork-tails, varieties of red-stars, wagtails and great pied hornbills abound in the area. Migratory birds such as common teal, gargani teal, large whistling teal and white-eyed pochard visit the Narathali Lake. One of the rarest birds of India, the black-necked crane, can be sighted in Buxa in early winter.

Buxa Tiger ReserveAn hour’s trek along the winding roads by a rippling stream will take you to Buxa Duar and Buxa Tiger Reserve. The forest was declared a tiger reserve in 1983 and it received the National Park status in 1992. Covering around 700sq km, the park boasts of elephants, bisons, leopards, tigers and deer. But you have to be lucky to sight a leopard or tiger. Elephants and bisons are, however, visible to the keen eye.

Accommodation is available at the Buxa forest bungalow. The 13km stretch from Buxa Duar to Jayanti is a popular trekking route. The Buxa Fort in Buxa Duar, located at an altitude of 2,600ft, was established as a cantonment by the East India Company in 1873, and was used as a deportation camp for political prisoners. The uneven roads, mountain peak views, low clouds add to the trekking experience.

From Buxa Duar, there are two trek routes. One route leads to Lalbangla, Tashigaon and Chuna Bhati. At Tashigaon and Chuna Bhati there are monasteries or gumphas atop the hills. The trek is tedious but once you reach the peak, the sight of the Rydak river from between the mountain peaks of Tashigaon till Lepcha Kha — is a treat for the eyes. Don’t forget to pack your lunch and water bottle since there are no food shops in the one-and-a-half-hour trek from Buxa Fort till Tashigaon.

From Tashigaon, you can take the core forest route to reach Lepcha Kha, around an hour’s trek down the forest. Accommodation is available here. On the way to Lepcha Kha, one needs to make an entry in the BSF register. On your way back to Buxa Fort and then to Sadar Bazar, do carry a torch, as it might get dark.

A peaceful retreat nestled in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas; Buxa remains as one of the favourite tourist destination till date.

How to go ?

Take a train from Kolkata to reach New Alipurduar via New Jalpaiguri. From New Alipurduar, hire a cab (Rs 450 – Rs 600) to reach Santrabari and then trek your way to Sadar Bazar.

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Where to stay ?

At Sadar Bazar, Rover’s Inn is the only option. For photographers, charged spare batteries would come handy, as the village does not have electricity.

For bookings, contact :
Rover’s Inn
Phone : 9434014233 – 9434754349 – 9734903177 – 9734172815
Website : www.roversinnjayanti.com
Email : contact@roversinnjayanti.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Bangriposi Odisha

Bangriposi, a tribal hamlet nestled in the Thakurani range of hills in Odisha

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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 OdishaBangriposi 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.

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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.

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laxmipur-odisha

Laxmipur, hamlet in the hills in the wild western part of Odisha

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Laxmipur is a hamlet in the hills in the wild western part of Odisha. It was unheard of by tourists even a decade back. The launch of the 160 km-plus Koraput-Rayagada line put it on the map of those willing to go off the beaten track.

The new line branches off the Kirandul-Visakhapatnam route through the Araku Valley, covering Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Chhattisgarh. The tracks were laid mainly for transportation of minerals mined in the region and development of tribals who populate the stretch.

The route, with numerous waterfalls and over 40 tunnels, is one of the most picturesque in the country. The 1.5-km tunnel near Tikri is the longest on broad gauge tracks in India. There are also more than 50 bridges. At an altitude of 3,000 ft, Laxmipur is surrounded by thickly forested hills. The forest envelops even the station, which is 3 km from the village. It is deserted after evening, when wild animals often drop by. Bear, hyena, wild boar, neelgai, sambar and peacock are some of the other inhabitants of the forest.

Several streams gurgle through mango, jackfruit, mahogany, tamarind, sirish and akashmoni trees to merge with rivers like the Marbeguda, Apreboda and Godlam. There are several water bodies which are frequented by animals. Tribals constitute the only human presence. Clouds stretching several kilometres hang over the hilltops from monsoon to winter. This has earned Laxmipur the title of Darjeeling of Orissa. Nights can be cold even in August-September.

Damonjodi, Kakrigumma, Tikri, Rauli, Lilligumma, Bhalamaska and Kentuguda are some of the stations near Laxmipur that are also known for their wild natural beauty. The largest bauxite mine in India is at Damonjodi. Bhalamaska was named after bears that overrun the forest.

There are many places of tourist interest in this region. Koraput, Kolaba, Gupteswar, Duduma and Chitrakoot and Tiratgarh falls are worth a visit.

How to go?

Howrah-Koraput Express touches Laxmipur. If you are staying at Rayagada, get off there. Cars are available on hire for the 60 km-plus journey to Laxmipur.

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Where to stay?

Rayagada and Koraput have plenty of hotels.  For details visit http://www.orissatourism.gov.in/hotels.htm#RAYAGADA  and http://www.orissatourism.gov.in/hotels.htm#KORAPUT

There are also a few lodges at Laxmipur, along the Rayagada-Koraput road.

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kiriburu

Kiriburu, at West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand

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The twin hills of Kiriburu and Meghataburu is located in the West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand.

You have to get down at the Barbil station and hire a car that will take you to your destination via Barajamda. Truckloads of iron-ore coming down from Barajamda, Nuamundi, Barbil, Danguaposi mines trundle along the road. The car would pass through the Saranda forest range and Chaibasa, where Shakti Chattopadhyay composed some of his poetry, is not far. The sal forest on either side of the road looks beautiful. Sal, teak, dhaura, mahul, kumbhi, moi, harida and many other varieties of trees bordered the road. Monkeys are found swinging from the branches.

Kiriburu situated at a height of 4,300ft, offers a  mesmerizing view. The township has been developed by the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL). The tranquil place is surrounded by hills on three sides.

As the sun sets, the electric lights are turned on, all the way up to the top of hills of Meghataburu, from where, local residents say, 700 hills can be seen from a single spot.

Mining continues in the evening. It seems as if the hills are speckled with lights. The cries of the birds can be heard from the trees till late evening.

You can enjoy a stroll in the early morning amid the mist around Kiriburu and Meghataburu. The name “Kiriburu” originated from the tribal words “kiri”, which means elephant, and “buru”, which means hills surrounded by clouds.

Pundul falls, which is 20km from Kiriburu is a visiting spot. The forest is dense here. The road is very narrow here almost covered with fallen leaves of trees.

In the middle of the dense forest there is a temple named Swapneswari Temple. The dilapidated temple had an idol of Goddess Durga and a Shivlingam. A priest conducts the daily puja.

kiriburu SAIL Guest HouseA little away is a waterfall where the Karo river descends from the hills. The river water is crystal clear here. The spray of water at the fall and the song of birds made the visit charming. Elephants visit the forest regularly. Bears, deer and boars are also found.

There is a chance of losing your way because after going for sometime you will find the road disappear into the dense forest  so be careful as you go. The next spot is the hilltop at Meghataburu from where the view of the sunset is splendid. The view of the birds returning home against the crimson sky of the setting sun is breath taking.

How to go ?

Take the Janshatabdi Express, which leaves Howrah station daily, and get down at Barbil station. It takes about two hours to reach Kiriburu from Barbil via Barajamda. If travelling by road, vehicles can reach Kiriburu via Tatanagar and Chaibasa. The best time to visit is between July and December.

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Where to stay ?

Rest houses maintained by SAIL are an option. There are lodges too. Rest houses have to be booked before arrival. Bookings can be done at Ispat Bhavan on JL Nehru Road. Contact (Kiriburu) for booking: 9430109755

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Barsuan Valley on the Jharkhand-Odisha border

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Want to experience the beauty of hills, forests, rivers and waterfalls on a single weekend? Then BarsuanValley on the Jharkhand-Odisha border is  an ideal place

The almost-five-hour train journey from Rourkela to the Barsuan mines, through the hills and the Saranda forest, provides the glimpses of the beauty.

The leaves of teak and other trees will brush against the arms and the breeze will fill the nostrils with the smell of wild flowers as the train chugs past tiny hill stations like Dhumetra, Lathiketa, Champajharan and Chandiposi.

There is only one local train from Rourkela to the BarsuanValley every morning so the trip is to be arranged accordingly.

The hills that surround the valley are rich in minerals, especially iron and manganese.

The area is a part of the Saranda forest range and the trees like sal, akashmoni and sissoo are found in large numbers.

Among the animals, deer and elephants roam in the forest. Human presence is restricted to tribals and they are generally very helpful.

A 30km driving will take the tourists to Khandadhar — India’s 12th highest waterfall — at Nandapani in Sundargarh district. It’s a must visit. The waterfall originates from Karapani Nala at a height of 801ft and looks like the tail of a horse.

The spume at the base of the waterfall extends a quarter of a mile down the river.

How to go?

There are several trains from Howrah to Rourkela. A morning local from Rourkela goes to Barsuan. The journey takes around five hours. You can also hire a car for the trip to Barsuan.

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Where to stay?

Barsuan has few hotels and lodges. Rourkela offers several accommodation options.

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