Asurgarh, Fort of Asura, is near Narla in Kalahandi. This place is was once inhabited by urbanised and civilised people of 500 BC to 500 AD and served as a political and cultural hub. People travel to this place to marvel at the remnants of a fort that is located near a large tank of 200 acres named Asursagar.
It has four entrances in each direction and each entrance enshrines a different deity. The east entrance is presided by Goddess Ganga, whereas the west entrance is ruled by Kala Pahad. The Vaishnavi image is installed in the south and Lord Budharaja is worshipped in the north direction. The fort’s presiding deity is Goddess Dokari or Old Lady who is enshrined inside the fort. Locals believe that the fort was home to a demon king, Gosingha Daitya. Anyone travelling to Asurgarh Fort is guaranteed of sailing into the virtual tour of ancient times.
Aryapalli is a beach located at a distance of 6 km from Chhatarpur, the district headquarter of Ganjam. The Aryappalli Beach is known for its invigorating weather that magnetises the tourists from all over the world. The Casuarina trees that have thickly crowded its shores somehow render a delightful sight.
The sands that turn golden brown with the reflection of the sunlight add to the charming beauty of the place. The deep blue sea accompanied by the sandy beach offers a calm and relaxing environment where people come for stress busting and rejuvenating.
Sun bathing and surfing are common activities enjoyed by visitors of the place. The transition period of day and night is worth watching when the sun sets across the horizon with all its glory to give way to the pleasant moonlight. The Sand Mineral Project is something not to be missed here at Aryapalli. The best time to visit Aryapalli is between October and March.
Alarnath Temple, which is around 25 km from Puri in Brahmagiri is a popular pilgrimage destination for devotees of Lord Krishna. It is believed that during the Satya Yuga, Lord Brahma worshipped Lord Vishnu on a hill top, and pleased with him asked him to build a four-armed deity of Lord Vishnu from a single piece of black stone holding a conch shell, disk, club and lotus.
At the Alarnath Temple, Lord Vishnu is worshipped as Lord Alarnath. Garuda, Lord Vishnu’s eagle, can be found kneeling at the feet of the deity with hands folded in prayer. Rukmini and Satyabhama who are Lord Krishna’s queens, as well as an idol of Lord Chaitanya are found inside the temple.
A stone slab bearing impressions from Lord Chaitanya’s body is present in the temple and it is believed that the stone below Lord Chaitanya melted when he first lay in front of Lord Alarnath.
Ahirabandh Jagannath Temple is one of the most famous temples of the city of Rourkela. As the name indicates, the temple is consigned to Lord Jagannath. Along with Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra are also worshipped here. The temple is located in a small town that goes by the name of Ahirabandh, which is about 1 km from the city centre.
The temple was built in the year 1975. It has a height of 90 ft and is magnificent in structure and architecture. The temple follows the Puri Jagannath Temple in several cases. In the Ahirabandh Jagannath Temple, 13 festivals are celebrated throughout the year.
A large number of people take part in the festivities. Among these festivals, the Rath Yatra holds a special significance. It is celebrated on a grand scale. Tourists and devotees visit the temple throughout the year.
Astaranga is a famous fishing centre near Konark. The place is situated near the mouth of the Devi river. It lies at a distance of 19 km from Konark. Astaranga is a combination of two words, "asta" meaning "sunset" and "ranga" meaning "colour" in the Oriya language.
The name is appropriate for the place as the horizon of Astaranga displays mesmerising colours during the sunset. It draws tourists from all over the country to see this enchanting site. The Astaranga Beach provides the backdrop to enjoy the beauty of the place in a more enchanting manner.
The place is also well known for salt production and fishing. The small fish market on the beach is the place where fishermen display various fish and sell them to interested buyers. The mornings in Astaranga are a milieu where the fishermen return from the sea and buyers wait anxiously to buy the fresh catch.
Anand Niketan is also famous as the Khujenpali Ashram as it is situated at Khujenpali, 5 km away from Balangir. The ashram was set up by Paramahansa Swami Sree Satyaprajananda Saraswati in the year 1985. The ashram is situated on a land of about 40 acres.
It is surrounded by the Viswatma Vidyamandir School, Ashutosh Peeth, Sadhana Kehtra, Puja Mandapa, Yoga Centre, Prajna Kutir, Santh Nivas, gardens and green jungles. Thousands of visitors come to this place every year from all over the world to find peace and connect to divinity.
Visitors also come here to learn and practice Yoga. Several festivals, such as Navratri, Guru Purnima and Shiva Ratri are celebrated here. A visit to this ashram is highly recommended.
Bada Ghagara is a famous waterfall situated at a distance of 3 km from the Sanghagara Waterfall. It is one of the prides of the state of Odisha as most of the tourists who visit the state always visit the site for its scenic beauty. There is a dam that has been constructed by the State Government and has been constructed on the downstream side.
The waterfall is a perennial one as the Maccha Jansdana river blends with it. The river flows from a height of 60 m from the waterfall in just a single drop. There were rumours that there was a scarcity of water flowing in the waterfall but proper measures have been taken by the State Government to solve the matter and they have been able to restore the lost pride of the waterfalls.
The scorching heat of the sun is a major factor but alternative steps are also being taken to save the waterfall.
Bala Kumari is a very famous temple located in Orissa and is considered as one of the auspicious places that one must visit in the state. There are 1240 steps that one has to surmount in order to get a glimpse of the deity.
There are a lot of myths that are associated with the temple. The Goddess is believed to be a Kumari, i.e., she is not married and that is why she is considered to be so powerful by the locals. The Goddess is so powerful that people from the other states also visit the temple to seek her holy blessings.
A festival is held in the temple premises every year during Navaratri where thousands of devotees come to pay tribute to Mother Goddess. The devotees pay a special tribute to the Bala Kumari on Tuesday.
Athagadapatna is located 37 km from Chhatrapur. Athagadapatna is rich in huge historic memoirs. It is the birth place of great poets Kabisuriya Baldev Rath and Kabi Jadumani Mahapatra. It is believed that once the king of Athagadapatna had provided shelter to Gajapati king of Puri and had hidden the idol of Lord Jagganath to save them from the attack of Kalapahad.
Thereby, during his reign, the Lord Jagganath Temple was built along with a few other temples clustering altogether amidst towering mountains and mystic forests. Soon after the attack, the idol was shifted to its original place in Puri and here in Athagadapatna the temple was vacated.
Till date, the temple remains empty. All the festivals related to Lord Jagganath are celebrated with huge pomp and fervour in this deity-less Temple. The place can still be viewed in its real and unspoiled picture. The marvellous beauty of this temple is the major tourist attraction of this place.
Aryapalli Beach is a very famous beach in Orissa. One who has visited the famous Gopalpur Beach should always visit the Aryapalli Beach as it looks absolutely gorgeous during high tide at sunset. The coastline of Aryapalli Beach falls in the rain-shadow of the region. Hence, adequate rainfall takes place in the place during the monsoon season.
The beach is a quiet and charming place where visitors can relax and refresh. It is a cherished experience that one gets by visiting the place. The best time to visit Aryapalli Beach is between the months of October and June.
Surfing, sun bathing and swimming are a few leisure activities that can be relished by the visitors at the beach. There are adequate hotels and other amenities for the tourists. This beach can be visited from Berhampur as it is around 30 km away from the Berhampur Railway Station.
Ansupa is a freshwater lake with breathtaking natural beauty. It is situated on the left bank of Mahanadi river in the Cuttack district of Odisha. It lies at a distance of 52 km from the city of Cuttack.
The huge lake covering 141 hectare area is one of the major freshwater lakes of India. The lake with a unique shape of a horseshoe is a high point of tourist attraction. The beauty of the lake is increased during the winter season when the migratory birds take shelter in the lake. The Saranda Hills and the greenery of bamboo and mango trees standing nearby add to the visual attractiveness of the lake.
Apart from the natural beauty, the lake also offers a few activities for the visitors. One can enjoy boating and fishing in the waters of the lake. The lake can be visited throughout the year.
Ampani is a picturesque location situated 60 km away from Dharamgarh. The dense and intricate forest that creeps around the undulating hills provides enough subject for a lover of photography. Rich in the rare species of flora and fauna, Ampani also houses some roaring waterfalls. A valley named Haladigundi that is beautifully located amidst the hills gives a panoramic view to the entire location.
Ambapani Sanctuary is located near this place and it consists of black panther, spotted dear and sambar. One Budharaja Temple is situated amidst the dense green forest. Trekking is a popular activity here. It acts as a beautiful picnic spot.
Anyone looking to spend some time with Mother Nature, Ampani is the right option for them. Monsoon is the best time to visit Ampani as the waterfalls are bestowed with immense beauty and the water plunges from the top with maximum volume and full force.
Archaeological Museum in Konark is situated near the famous Sun Temple of Konark. People flock to the museum to know and understand about the past glory of the Sun Temple and to see the loose pieces of sculptors of the temple. These pieces have been collected from the temple complex and preserved in the museum.
The museum started operating from its present location in 1968, when the fallen structures and archaeological remains of the Sun Temple were shifted to the present museum. The museum comprises of four galleries which preserve around 260 antiques that have been retrieved from the clearance work of the Sun Temple. Besides these, the museum also displays images of various other monuments and archaeological sites of Odisha.
The museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm everyday except Friday.
Bagara is much renowned for its waterfalls. One can reach Bagara crossing Kutcha roads for 3 miles from Khondaguda which is 6 miles away from Jeypore. It has got three waterfalls which descend from a height of about 30 ft on the river Kolab.
A rest house has been put up by the site of the fall to aid the visitors. People often come to this place for picnic owing to its panoramic natural beauty which embellishes this place. Tourists travel to this place to witness the constant gush of the waterfall.
The view of the water plunging down from 30 ft height to form white milky streams is heavenly. This place too gets a strong hold among the list of must-visit places of Jeypore. It can be easily reached by bus, taxi or auto-rickshaw which are readily available here.