Kashmir of Odisha: Daringbadi is a hidden gem

Waterfalls, serpentine roads and viewpoints in verdure

Tourism

October 17, 2021

/ By / New Delhi

Kashmir of Odisha: Daringbadi is a hidden gem

During the winters, the minimum temperature in Daringbadi often dips to about 3°C (Photo: Abhijeet Panigrahi)

While Odisha attracts tourists for its golden beaches, temples, archaeology as well as wildlife, the eastern Indian state is also home to some little-known hill stations that can give the much more famous northern counterparts a serious run for the money.

Barely 250 km from the capital Bhubaneswar lies a quaint hill station whose rolling hills offer amazing landscapes that lead tourists to term it the “Kashmir of Odisha”. Daringbadi is located in the Kandhamal district, at an altitude of 915 metres above sea level.

Nestled in hills covered with dense pine forests and filled with a series of waterfalls, Daringbadi has become known for its pleasant weather that attracts tourists who are left awed by raw, natural green landscapes, fog covered hill-tops and a cool breeze. Daringbadi is believed to have been named after Daring Saheb, a British in charge of this region during the colonial era.

“Early morning while walking through the pine forest when the sun rises, hearing the sound of birds chirping in a peaceful place situated in front of coffee garden has been my favorite activity since childhood. That is how I start my day,” Bikash Kumarsahu, a software engineer, who lives in Daringbadi tells Media India Group.

As the temperature dips sharply during the winters, with minimum of about 3°C, Daringbadi attracts tourists not only from within Odisha but also other parts of the country. The low temperature, combined with humidity, leads to frost formation and this has created a myth that Daringbadi receives snowfall during the winters. However, locals are quick to dispel these rumours.

“During winters the mountains are covered by fog and we can see the frost, while many say it is snow but we have never seen snowfall in winters. It is just the frost, but that adds to the beauty of Daringbadi,” says Kumarsahu.

For many tourists, winters make Daringbadi an attractive destination as they allow visitors to feel the refreshing cool breeze that flows here. “I went there twice to spend my weekends to get away from my mundane lifestyle. Travelling through the serpentine roads with lush green forest around and spent more time near waterfalls. It is a perfect place to avoid crowds and to have a pleasant weekend,” says Ritwik Bhunia, a traveller from Kolkata who recently visited Daringbadi.

Midubanda Waterfalls is about 15 km from Daringbadi (Photo: Motimala Konhar)

Even though there are few facilities available for tourists, people visit Daringbadi regularly. Daringbadi Nature Camp & Belghar Nature Camp are the only places available for accommodation for travellers with a beautiful valley dotted with coffee & pepper plantations.

“During the monsoon, many tourists bring their own tents to stay and explore Daringbadi, and now tourism department is also working to provide adequate facilities for tourists as nowadays this place is becoming popular. Still there is a need for improvement,” says Kumarsahu.

He explains that during the winter, Odisha Tourism organises adventure activities like Bungee jumping, Zip lining, trekking, boating and water sports for tourist to make Daringbadi an adventure spot and to make it more popular, these activities last only three months.

Daringbadi is also famous for its production of superior quality of organic turmeric which has already obtained the geographical indication (GI) tag.

Hill View Park

Around 2 km from Daringbadi, a prominent place Hill View park has a watch tower, a children’s park and a fountain. From there, tourists can see whole of Daringbadi and the neighborhood.

“The joy of visiting the hill station is further boosted when travelling uphill from the plains and viewing it from the top and riding a bike makes the trip even better,” says Kumarsahu. Besides this park lies a beautiful butterfly park with a large variety of butterflies and flowers.

“The Sunset point is a viewpoint from where we can see a panoramic view of the Eastern Ghats and also the sun set from over the hills. These are amazing views one should not miss,” says Kumarsahu.

Midubanda Waterfall

Dubbed as Daringbadi Waterfall, is about 15 km from Daringbadi and is deep inside a forest with a breathtaking splendour. “My friends and I went to Midubanda Waterfalls by walk, after reaching there we get down around 180 stairs to reach the Waterfalls, surrounded by different types of big trees and flowers. The waterfall gushes down from a hill, high up and at the bottom it has created a pond where the water is reddish in colour. We took pictures and spent more than an hour there,” Bhunia tells Media India Group.

There are other few waterfalls and cascades near Daringbadi like Putudi Falls, Dasingbadi Falls, Badangia Falls and Ludu Falls.

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