Skip to main content

Best of 3 states in 3 days - Mini Niagara Falls, Secret peaks of Eastern ghats and Tribes of Odisha

Odisha, one of the lesser explored states of India, offers the best of nature untouched. From pristine beaches to gorgeous hills, rich cultural heritage, and lush greenery, you can have a chance to experience it all.

Day 1
Koraput, one of the unsullied lands in the state of Odisha has an amazing blend of best of nature and tribal life, and being one of the non-touristy, less crowded destinations is a complete bliss. Stunning valleys, rolling hills, a tribal festival called'Parab' in the month of November are all alluring.
How to Reach: Trains are plentiful from Vizag or Bhubaneswar. You can take a cab from Vizag as well. It is a very scenic route.
Photo of Koraput, Odisha, India by Anandita Pattnaik
Stay: There aren't a lot of options to stay. In the main town, there is a hotel called Raj Residency which has decent rooms and good service. But in the outskirts, you can try the Chandoori Sai Guest House or Desia Resorts.
Photo of Best of 3 states in 3 days - Mini Niagara Falls, Secret peaks of Eastern ghats and Tribes of Odisha by Anandita Pattnaik
This was a spectacular journey. With meandering roads in a backdrop of lush green step farming and scattered huts. It takes about 2 hrs by cab from Koraput to reach the peak of the mountain.
Photo of Best of 3 states in 3 days - Mini Niagara Falls, Secret peaks of Eastern ghats and Tribes of Odisha by Anandita Pattnaik
It is the highest mountain peak of the eastern ghats in Odisha and the view is simply mind-blowing. There is an energy at that place that just calms you down and rejuvenates you. There were no tourists around, just a few locals, and with the pleasant breeze blowing I could have sat there all day watching the sun play hide and seek, coloring the valley in different hues and the clouds kissing the mountains one by one.
Photo of Deomali Mountain Peak, Barakutni, Odisha, India by Anandita Pattnaik
You also have the option to trek to the top of the adjacent mountain by foot as it doesn't have a road and enjoy a superb sunset!
On Sundays, the Paroja, Omanatya and other tribal people set up a flea market in the main town offering you a tiny glimpse of their daily lives. However, globalization is quickly catching up with them too and it breaks my heart to say that very soon they too would lose their true identity.
If you're ready for another 2 hours of cab ride then you can watch the Bonda tribes as well at the Onkadelli Market.
In the evening visit the Jagannath Temple.
Photo of Best of 3 states in 3 days - Mini Niagara Falls, Secret peaks of Eastern ghats and Tribes of Odisha by Anandita Pattnaik
I'm not usually a fan of temples as such because of the religious bias and the harassing, money scavenging priests and somehow they're too noisy. But I was blown away by this temple. Standing tall on the top of a hill, this white and black structure is very unique. It was built in the 12th century and it has over 30 idols of gods and goddesses from all over India, explaining the story of each. Unlike other temples, this temple has no antagonism towards any religion, caste or creed and everyone is welcome.
Day 2
Early morning, cover a distance of 150kms in about 3 hours time to reach the Chitrakoot Waterfall, also known as the 'Mini Niagara' Falls. However, as I've seen the actual Niagara falls I'm renaming it like that 'Nano Niagara Falls'. But no matter mini or nano, the waterfall was marvelous. The Indus river plays a game of Chinese checkers before plunging down to create this mesmerizing fall with colorful misty rainbows all over.
Photo of Chitrakoot Falls, Tiratha, Chhattisgarh, India by Anandita Pattnaik
Like most tourist spots in India, this place too has a strategically places Shiva Temple nearby.
On the way back, take a look at how the Kosa silk is made at Jagdalpur. There is a government-owned factory that displays the entire procedure of how the silk is procured from the caterpillar and how the fabrics are weaved and painted. There is an outlet shop from where you can buy the finished silk products.
Photo of Best of 3 states in 3 days - Mini Niagara Falls, Secret peaks of Eastern ghats and Tribes of Odisha by Anandita Pattnaik
Photo of Best of 3 states in 3 days - Mini Niagara Falls, Secret peaks of Eastern ghats and Tribes of Odisha by Anandita Pattnaik
Jagdalpur is also famous for it wood carvings and 'Dhokra' work. Watch the skilled men at work and buy some souvenirs.
Photo of Best of 3 states in 3 days - Mini Niagara Falls, Secret peaks of Eastern ghats and Tribes of Odisha by Anandita Pattnaik
Head back to Koraput and rest your tired bodies.
Day 3
Start off early next morning to Araku valley. The journey is very picturesque and would be worth the drive. Look out for the coffee plantations en route.
Photo of Araku Valley, Andhra Pradesh, India by Anandita Pattnaik
Araku town as such doesn't have all that much to do and is very crowded. Have a look at the coffee museum and enjoy some truly amazing coffee. Buy some filter coffee and absolutely delicious chocolates available in a variety of flavors like orange, chilly, lemon, raspberry etc. from the souvenir shop.
Photo of Best of 3 states in 3 days - Mini Niagara Falls, Secret peaks of Eastern ghats and Tribes of Odisha by Anandita Pattnaik
Next, take a stroll around the tribal museum if you have time, else you can give this a skip. But this place has the most lively looking sculptures of tribal people, it's utterly hard to believe that they are unreal.
Your next stop would be the Borra Caves which is about an hour drive from Araku town. On the way soak in the gorgeousness of the golden yellow valleys, coffee plantations, and try some bamboo chicken - the specialty dish of this place.
Photo of Best of 3 states in 3 days - Mini Niagara Falls, Secret peaks of Eastern ghats and Tribes of Odisha by Anandita Pattnaik
The Borra caves, considered to be one of the deepest and largest caves of India, would be truly amazing if the number of tourists entering the caves could somehow be halved (Yes, I prefer places without the crowd. And yes, I know I am the crowd. But still.) The multicolored lights placed at strategic locations, enhance the beauty of the stalactites and stalagmites that were formed thousands of years ago. All in all, for someone who has never seen a cave this place, is impressive (I asked a few people).
Photo of Best of 3 states in 3 days - Mini Niagara Falls, Secret peaks of Eastern ghats and Tribes of Odisha by Anandita Pattnaik
Interestingly, a train line runs over the caves that run from Vizag to Araku to Koraput. There is a glass dome train that runs from Vizag to Araku (and return) which, I wonder, must be a thrilling experience. Next time, I'd definitely try it.
Head down to Vizag after a tiring but enjoyable day. And if you still have energy and time left then visit the INS submarine or just leave it for another day! ;)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Switzerland on a Budget : How I Flew Round Trip for just 25000 Rupees and other facts !!

Yes, you read it right. I've had to book last-minute one-way domestic tickets for 14000 INR, so even I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the round-trip ticket price from Bombay (India) to Geneva (Switzerland) -- JUST 25500 INR.  How did I manage to pull this seemingly impossible feat? I flew with Kenya Airways (the pride of Africa) from Bombay to Nairobi to Geneva. I was a bit skeptical about the airlines (especially after the Ethiopian Airlines incident in march 2019) and I'd googled for reviews after booking the tickets (smart, no?).  The reviews were mixed but after having flown with it I can honestly say that it is a wonderful airline! Good food, entertainment, and tangy lemon moisturizer on board (my hands get super dry while flying)....life jhingalala!! And also I booked the tickets almost 3 months in advance. Total Budget ?70,000-80,000 INR. Duration? 7-8 days.  Visa? You need to apply for Schengen visa either directly at the Switzerland embassy in New Delhi or via…

Switzerland (Un)Explored, Italy (Un)Touched - Switzerland Itinerary (Part 1)

This July I was supposed to head to Kenya with my family but somehow that didn't work out (my sister didn't get her passport on time because of the cyclone Fani. See how it's all linked?) and I ended up going to Switzerland instead. Whatta luck! :D 
Switzerland had been a far off dream of mine, up until I saw the roundtrip ticket fare from Bombay to Geneva to be 25000 INR. I mean, that seemed too good to be true. I didn't think twice and just booked the tickets impulsively. (To read more about the amazing deal click here!!)  So, over the next few months, I got my Visa ready, booked hostels, and noted the places I definitely wanted to go to. (Although maximum credit to my mausi/aunt for finding the most wonderful and offbeat places, I loved them!)
My flight was scheduled at 4.45 PM from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Bombay. It was my first tormenting experience with the infamous Bombay rains. I left my cousin's place in Navi Mumbai at around 10.30-11…

My One On One Encounter With Cyclone Fani That Has Devastated Odisha As We Know It

Cyclone Fani | 3rd May 2019 | Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India



I remember waking up that morning and looking out of the window at the swaying trees. Slowly one by one they all fell down. After a while, the wind stopped blowing. Everything came to a standstill. We thought the cyclone had passed. Little did we know that it was the calm before the storm. Or as my little sister sang, "Yeh to trailer hai, pura film dikhane aayi."

The wind returned, at least 3 times mightier than before (200kmph we later learned). This time it was scary af. The glass windows were rattling as if any minute they would burst, the entire house was shaking and then we heard a loud sound as the asbestos roof of the staircase landing fell with a spine chilling thud. 

We were saved by mere minutes.



Because we had gone to the roof to get a better look at the surrounding. We were immensely lucky that the asbestos didn’t fall on us. Hours went by but the cyclone showed no sign of stopping. The wind was making a whistl…