Odisha, known for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant traditions, and diverse natural beauty, is also home to a lot of hidden gems scattered about and overlooked by the regular traveller. The magnificent temples, ancient caves, and impressive archaeological sites are the ones most people visit the state for, but there are also a number of pristine beaches, serene lakes, and lush forests that offer a tranquil escape for nature lovers. Here is a list of some of these hidden getaways in the state that are great for weekend breaks.
Raghurajpur Art Village
Raghurajpur Art Village is a picturesque haven dedicated to preserving and showcasing the rich heritage of local handicrafts. Nestled in the heart of Odisha, this village is renowned for its exquisite art forms, particularly the mesmerizing Pattachitra paintings and palm leaf etchings. Immerse yourself in the vibrant world of mythological themes and intricate designs that adorn these unique artworks. At Raghurajpur, you'll have the opportunity to explore an array of original masterpieces created by skilled artisans, each infused with the essence of Odisha's cultural heritage. From ornate Pattachitra paintings depicting the divine Lord Jagannath and his divine siblings to delicate palm leaf etchings, the village offers a treasure trove of artistic expressions that showcase the region's devotion and artistic finesse.
The picturesque landscapes of Keonjhar, where crystal-clear waterfalls greet you at every turn, painting a mesmerizing tapestry of natural beauty, are one of the best-kept secrets in Odisha. This hidden gem beckons you to explore its lesser-known destinations, best experienced through a delightful road trip. Begin your adventure by following the path carved by the majestic Mahanadi River, as it generously feeds and nurtures the enchanting waterfalls that adorn this region. Your first stop, Bhimkund, welcomes you with its awe-inspiring beauty, offering the perfect backdrop for memorable photographs. Continue to Gundichaghai, where nature's artistry unveils itself in cascading waterfalls, creating a spectacle that will leave you spellbound. The magnificent Khandadhar waterfall is the region's crown jewel, along with Ghatagaon, a vibrant hub where over a hundred families dedicate their skills to craft exquisite terracotta products.
One of the unexplored beauties of Odisha is Rushikulya Beach, also known for its population of olive ridley turtles. The fastest way to get to the beach is via NH-16 from Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. According to reports, over one lakh turtles nest in the pristine beach located in Odisha.
The Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary is often associated with freedom fighter Surendra Sai, who is believed to have taken refuge there in the midst of planning his rebellion against the British. Famous for its wilderness and lush greenery, the dry deciduous forest, with its plentiful and wide-ranging flora and fauna, attracts wildlife and nature lovers from Odisha and neighbouring states.
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