How we started
We had arraived in Gugudia in Simlipal forest and slept the night over. So we start a fresh day with a new story to unfold
The Simlipal forest never end Day 2
Gurugudia Orchidarium, Forest Walk and Elephant ride
At sunrise I went to the platoon bridge. Khairi river bore a mysterious look as soft sunrays penetrated the morning fog. The forest silence was broken by the water splashing sounds of the flowing rivulet.
Saw the only mobile point in gurgudia and one of few in simlipal. few rocks staggered to create seats and cut bamboo sticks in front to act as mobile holder. Frantic men struggling at dawn to talk with family at home. Spent some good time on Khairi river embankment and over the wooden bridge.
On returning to guesthouse took my wife for a stroll in the forest and we walked some distance along the Khairi embankments. We saw several birds. I visited the orchadarium with much pleasure. Had breakfast on returning to dinning area and visited the tamed elephants. Having a good bath we started for our travel once again.
We decided to visit another not so well known waterfall Uski through Netraghosra. So we passed through Bada Uski village to find the water supply for drinking , utensil cleansing and even cultivation.
It was a small waterfall much isolated and had lots of birds in the adjoining trees. We had to leave the car and walk a little through a forest road.
The fall water was collected to be piped to nearby human settlements for drinking. Also we saw many birds eating fruits from the adjacent trees. We saw a jungle hawk too.
From Uski to Muktapur Canteen through Jashipur
The travel from Uski to Joranda was rough but the pain taking was worth. Road at this stretch has a rustic beauty.
We visited Muktapur Canteen couldn’t get anything to eat but used the toilet facility. The entire forest stretch had a single shop only here and that too makeshift.
To Joranda Waterfall & back to Pithabata
Though we visited the Joranda Waterfall I resented not having a wide angle 10-20 mm lens with me. As the view of the adjoining hills was marvelous.
Ultimately we started for our return to Pithabata as we had called the Panthanivas manager to keep 2 lunches for us.
We missed the following waterfalls in and around Simlipal
Chandipur on Sea, Odisha
The beach at Night
Eventually we arraived at Panthanivas Chandipur almost by the sea beach just after sunset. After getting fresh at my room and arranging dormitory seat for our driver we went for a evening stroll.
At night I attempted for a picture of the starry sky alongwith the sea. It was unsatisfactory due to my less skills. Above all we had lights at the Panthanivas ground. We were deadly tired and couldn’t drive to a darker place by the sea beach for the shots. We ordered food to room and slept early.
The sea at dawn
I woke up at dawn to witness the rising Sun. Thus the colours spread on the sea waves. And lots of sea birds were on the shore enjoying the riches offered by the sea. The adjoining trees also had wild birds plucking at the fruits. I tried to snap some flying birds. I felt the need of a drone.
The cool sea breeze freshened us up and after a good bath we had an early breakfast. We had other plans so we didn’t move to the confluence of Budha Balanga river nor did we attempt to cross over the confluence to get to the Buribalam Sea Beach. This sea Beach is a historical site in India’s freedom struggle. It was the venue of pitched gun battle between revolutionary Jatindranath Mukherjee alias Baghajatin (Tiger Jatin) and the imperial British rulers. Better another time.
Nilgiri Hills and Panchalingeswar Temple, Odisha
Significantly the name Nilgiri itself spreaded wonder in my childhood days. Ohh the blue mountains. Finally we were headed to it. Also I had childhood stories of my forefathers relatives getting there to worship. Of course a nonbeliever but who is not thrilled by ancestry. After all my native place at Mandarmoni was once part Ganjam district of Odisha and also a sea shore. Furthermore 8 generations ago my paternal line migrated from Odisha itself. While Homo sapiens sapiens have about 500 generations altogether.
We started from Panthanivas Chandipur at 8:40 am along the Chandipur Balaramgadi Road. Soon we took the bypass Sonapur Road to reach the Chandipur Road again. Crossing the Noa Nala we reached Hemkapada Chowk and started with the Indira Gandhi Road. We continued with the Balasore Bhadrak Cuttak Road to reach Balasore at 9:14 am. From there we drove to Shergada and took right on SH 19 to reach Gobara. By Nilagiri Bypass road we reached a Kadambasi Bus stop . Then we took left along Panchalingeswar road to reach the Panchalingeswar parking at 11:30 am.
Lunch and to further away places
Further more on road we saw a queer mountain with a portion of it seeming to be scooped out by some. Nilgiri hills pays home to Kuldiha Sanctuary. Specifically we were in a hurry so we couldn’t pay a glimpse this time. We had our lunch at a restaurant opposite to Panthanivas, Panchalingeswar and drove back to Kadambasi Bus stop to take left also this time along Nilagiri Bypass road. At sajnagad bustop I took right to take Sajnagad Ajodhya Road and after kms moved straight along the Ajodhya balipal road to reach the Marichi Temple at 1:44 pm.
Marichi Temple, Ajodhya, Odisha
Thus we arraived at this Buddhist Hindu temple with Jain influences after much search. However the temple was closed . So we spent about an hour to search the priest from his home. We requested him to let us see the temple which he obliged. Buddhist inscriptions and idols were there. And he told us of a book of its history but could not give us a copy. We drove back to Nilgiri by 3pm to visit Nilagiri Palace.
Nilgiri Palace and Jagannath Temple, Odisha
Driving back along Nilagiri( Nilgiri) and Basudevpur Balasore road we started with Badshahi Road to reach Jaleswar after crossing Subarnarekha river. Ultimately we visited the Nilgiri palace the capital of the British princely state with Raj Nilgiri as capital. It was bounded in north and west by State of Mayurbanjh and south by Balasore district. Rajas of Nilgiri came from chotonagpur and rose to prominence serving emperor Akbar against Afgans. The Palace has old articles of use a temple and a library. Astonishingly for 10yrs a queen Rani Chira Devi ruled here. Odisha freedom fighters had a role in succeeding it to Indian national Government.
But we couldn’t visit the Nilgiri Jagannath Temple as we were in rush to cover 2 more places before sunset.
Moghalmari, West Bengal
Upon entering Bengal we visited Moghalmari a recently excavated Archeological site. Astonishingly the Buddhist stupa is still being excavated . We had a glimse of the excavation area. Not to mention I also saw the relics in the temporary museum at a local club over the excavation mound.
Kurumbera Fort, West Bengal
As a matter of fact we rushed to Kurumbera Fort. The only fort of bengal after the buxar fort in ruins at north Bengal. It was a tax collection site on way to Bengal in the Mughal era. But to our despair the sun set and the ASI site had closed down to visitors. In addition the road to the fort was bad narrow and pitch dark. Better next time. I tried some night photography not properly shot because of interrupting car lights.
We rushed home along the Kona expressway and 2nd highly bridge.