Odisha is known for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant traditions and diverse natural beauty, but it's also home to lots of hidden gems that are overlooked by travellers. While magnificent temples, ancient caves and impressive archaeological sites see the most footfall, there are also a number of pristine beaches, serene lakes and lush forests that offer a tranquil escape for nature lovers.
Here's our list of some hidden getaways in the state that are great for weekend breaks.
The Raghurajpur Artist 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, paint a mesmerising tapestry of natural beauty and are one of the best kept secrets in Odisha. This hidden gem beckons you to explore its lesser-known destinations 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 is Bhimkund which 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 that will leave you spellbound. The magnificent Khandadhar waterfall is the region's crown jewel and, 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. It's known for its population of olive ridley sea turtles and according to reports, over one lakh turtles nest in this pristine beach. The fastest way to get to it is via NH-16 from Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
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.