Last month on one of the Sundays afternoon I was working on my blogpost and my wife listening to music through her earphone. Suddenly she stopped listening to music and told me that it was already 3 months over when we are going for our next short trip. I told her we can spend our next weekend outside. After a brief search, I found we can spend one night and cover Panchalingeswar and Kuldiha both, of which are in Odisha. That was the beginning of our Panchalingeswar and kuldiha weekend tour.
Panchalingeswar and kuldiha weekend tour
Our plan was simple. We will take Dhouli express from Howrah at 6 am and reach Balasore around 10 am. After getting down at Balasore station we will take one auto/Toto and reach directly to the hotel. Personally I prefer Toto (battery operated rickshaw) because it is slow in motion and I can see the surrounding areas properly. Moreover, I can use my camera well and Toto is pollution free. Next day we will come back by same train and reach Howrah around 8.30 pm.
How to reach Panchalingeswar from Kolkata
By train– There are many trains from Howrah to Balasore. But preferred trains are-Falaknama Exp (Dep- 7.25 am), Dhauli Exp (Dep- 6 am), East Coast Exp (Dep- 11.45 am) and get down at Balasore station. From there take car, auto, toto to reach Panchalingeswar.
By road– It will take near 6 hours to reach Panchalingeswar from Kolkata if you take NH16. It cover Howrah, Tamluk, Kharagpur, Balasore and then reaches Panchalingeswar.
On the day of journey we got up around 4.30 am and reached Howrah station at 5.30 am. The road was clear and we reached before time. We carried breakfast snacks and as we have time in our hand we finished them on platform when we were waiting for our train. Our journey started on time and we reached Balasore at 10 am. From Balasore we took one Toto and reached our pre booked Hotel Guru Shakti.
Balasore is a town in Odisha, is the administrative headquarters of Balasore district. It is best known for Chandipur beach. The Indian Ballistic Missile Defense Program’s Integrated Test Range is situated 19 km south of Balasore. Balasore is also a regular destination for tourists. Various tourist spots like-
Chandipur-on-sea is a seaside resort well-known for its mile-long beach. It is an exceptional beach – the tide comes to the shore only four times a day, at fixed intervals.
At a distance of 32 km, the south-west is Panchalingeshwar, a temple and picturesque spot high on a mountain. The presiding divinity there, Shiva, cannot be seen. One has to touch and feel the figurine as it is submerged under a waterfall.
About 31 km south-west of Balasore, the town Santaragadia has the Bisweswar temple located on a hill.
Khirachora Gopinatha Temple, located at Remuna, approximately 8 km from the main town of Balasore.
Jagannatha Temple, Remuna is a newly built temple in the area, the construction of which is influenced by the famous Jagannatha Temple of Puri.
After checking in at Hotel Guru Shakti we took our bath. Around 12.30 pm we had our lunch. The hotel was well maintained. The rooms were spacious and clean. The bathroom was well cleaned. The bed was big and clean too. As per exterior is concern they had a spacious lawn where you can enjoy tribal dance or barbeque. The restaurant was also well maintained. After lunch, we started our Jodachua and Kuldiha Forest Safari.
First, we reached Rissia Dam which was just gorgeous. And during the late afternoon, we all enjoyed the hypnotic scenario of the Rissia Dam. From there our driver drove us to Jodachua Wildlife Sanctuary. We reached there at about 2:50 p.m. It was more like a jungle bit-office than a rest-house. There was no electricity except 4-5 solar lamps. Later we came to know that at first it was built as an anti-poaching barrack but now used as a back-up rest-house for Kuldiha. The area was separated from the rest of the jungle with a channel all-around it.
Next, we reached to Kuldiha Forest. The Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Balasore district of Odisha, India. The national park is spread across 273 km2 in the Chota Nagpur Plateau region. It is connected with Simlipal National Park via the Sukhupada and Nato hill ranges. Nearby in Kuldiha, the elephant reserve is known as Tenda Elephant Reserve. There is a watchtower tactically created at Garsimulia for animal lovers to have a look at elephants bathing or drinking water from a small stream that runs right through the reserve.
The sanctuary offers night stay lodging at Kuldiha entrance along with Jadachua and Rishia in the form of huts, tents, and a few concrete houses. Prior reservation is required for night stay. It is usually closed during the peak monsoon season which falls between July and September. There are solar lights at the bungalow as your source of light.
Kuldiha Forest had many trees like sal, piyasal, sishu, mahanim, mango, jam, bahera, and simul has become a wild habitation for the wild elephants, cheetals, wild cats, long-tailed monkeys, and various other species of wildlife.
For Booking contact: Range Officer, Sujangarh, Nilagiri, Balasore, Ph: (+916782) 2333262. Or, Divisional Forest Officer, Baripada. You have to arrange your own food.
For online booking click this link
Entry fee= Nil
Carry photo id card (VI Card/PAN Card/AADHAR anyone) original and Xerox.
Carry sufficient water, hat, and sunscreen lotion.
After coming back to our hotel we enjoyed a tribal dance with veg. Pokora with coffee. Around 10 pm we had our dinner. The next day we left our bed a little bit late as we have enough time in our hands. We completed our breakfast and went to visit the Panchalingeswar Temple, which is the shrine of Lord Shiva. The temple is located on a hilltop near the Nilagiri hills and is famous for housing five shivalingas, immersed in a small flow of water. You need to climb 263 stairs to reach the temple. The perfect time to visit the place is during autumn and winter.
Not only for devotees but is the place also a great sightseeing choice for nature lovers. Since it is situated on a hilltop thus it makes fantastic surroundings for the visitors to relish in. From the temple, one can also adore the spectacular sights of the small tribal villages and hamlets of the region. Being a common pilgrimage site lies amidst a scenic setting, Panchalingeswar Temple is one of the sought-after tourist spots in Odisha that appeals oodles of travelers from different areas.
The history of the construction of this temple is still a mystery. However, it was discovered by King Krishna Chandra, son of the King Gobinda Chandra.
Apart from this story, there are two legends associated with the shrine. One says that these Shiva Lingas were protected by Goddess Sita, the wife of Lord Rama, during the period of their exile. While the other one goes like that a great disciple of Lord Shiva and a powerful demon – King Banasura installed the five lingas here to worship Lord Shiva. These five lingas are the noticeable attractions of this Lord Shiva’s temple in Odisha.
Then we came back to our hotel, taken bath and had our scrumptious lunch and went Balasore railway station to come back to rejoin once again in our hectic lifestyle.
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