When the district of Puri was split into 3 different districts during the year 1992, the district of Nayagarh has come into existence. The other two districts are Khurda and Puri. This district is the home for Baisipali Wildlife Sanctuary. This district is often considered as if a hill station due to the natural sceneries that make this district really very gorgeous. When you are in Nayagarh district, you shouldn’t miss the chance to taste Chhena Poda which is a very popular sweet of this part of Odisha. As per the census of 2011, the population of this district was 962,215. Nayagarh as a district is Odisha is not just popular for its Chhena Poda. Rather there are many tourist hot spots located in this region. There is also some popular pilgrimage spots located in this district that mostly attracts the Hindu devotees.
Kantilo Nilamadhaba Temple
When you are talking about Nayagarh district and its hot spots, the Kantilo Nilamadhaba temple will surely appear at the top of the list. This temple is very popular across Odisha. This is where the Lord Vishnu is worshiped. Right at the bank of River Mahanadi is Kantilo, this temple is located. Here, there are two hills that are covered with dense forest are located. The prime highlight of this place is the holy water that uses to flow constantly from the feet of Lord Siddheswar and Lord Nilamadhava. However, the central position is always offered to Lord Nilamadahava at this cult that belongs to Lord Jagannath. The shrine of Lord Nilamadhava is still located at the right side of Laxshmi temple which is located at the Puri Jagannath temple.
It’s the Kantilo Nilamadhaba temple which is an ancient temple and it is also famous as a Vaishnav Temple. There are some prime festivals celebrated at this place with a great interest and these are Magha Saptami, Pausa Purnima and Ekadasi. During the Pausa Purnima, Lord Nilamadhava uses to appear with all the gold ornaments decorated on him. From the state capital Bhubaneswar, this temple is located at a distance of hundred km. from the town of Nayagarh it is 33 km away. Over the years, it has also managed to develop as one of the best picnic spots. From this place, Shiva devotees use to take water from the River Mahanadi during the Bol Bom time. Kantilo as a place is also popular for the manufacturing of bell metal and brass utensils.
On the 6th May 1981, the Baisipalli Wildlife Sanctuary was announced. This wildlife sanctuary is also located close to the Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary. This sanctuary is spreading over an area around 168.5 sq km. this wildlife sanctuary is the home for some amazing wild animals like elephants, bears, leopards, spotted deer and sambar deer. This wildlife sanctuary is also located at such a place where the Mahanadi River uses to pass through a gorge that is associated with the Eastern Ghats hills. At this place the elevation from sea level can be 900m or so. The Baisipali is located right at the highlands of Eastern Ghats and covered with the deciduous jungle eco-region.
There are two major plants visible here and these are Sal and the Riverine forest. In the year 2007, Satkosia Tiger Reserve was announced and this tiger reserve comprises of Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary and the Baisipali wildlife sanctuary. Baisipali is also the place that borders river Mahanadi with Satkosia Gorge. This is also the place where the Tikarpara’s Gharial Crocodile Sanctuary is located. If you are in Tikarpara, then you should take a tour of 25 km along gorge while watching the dense forests that are located at both side of the river. This can offer you a lifetime experience. In order to avail the medical facility, you need to go for CHC at Gania. From the state capital city Bhubaneswar, this place is located at a distance of 100 km.
It’s the Ladukeswar Shrine which is located at Sarankul stand is a prime spot in Nayagarh district. From the dist HQ, it is located at a distance of 14 km. it is also known as Ladu Baba. Here, the presiding deity is believed to be the combination of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. This deity is quite similar to the one located at Lingaraj Temple in BBSR. So the festivals celebrated here are also celebrated at the Lingaraj temple. Shiva Ratri is the most important festival here. Pilgrims from different parts of the state use to come here during this festive time.
Panchupaili Pargana is the serene place that is nestled right at the center of nature’s tranquility. This is the place where the two rivers Mahanadi and the River Brutang use to meet each other. There are also some amazing shrines of Sri Sri Navagunjara Jiu, Sri Gupteswar Mahadev and the Goddess Kalapat Thakurani is located here. Throughout the year, different festivals and celebrated at Panchupaili Pargana. Here, tourists can find good accommodation facility as well. From Bhubaneswar, it is located at a distance of 120 km and from dist HQ Nayagarh it is 55 km away.
There are two steep hilly ranges where the Dakhinakali is located and it is 90 km away from the state capital of Bhubaneswar. This place is known for the natural beauty. In Nayagarh town the Dakhinakali shrine is located and it is considered as the living Shakti-Pitha. This is also the place where the temple of Lord Jagannath is also located. The Jagannath temple located here was built during 1788-1808 AD. This temple was built with Kalingan style. The presiding deity of this temple is the Dadhibamana.
If you really want to explore such a place that is holds a rich history and natural beauty, then you should move for Ranapur that is located at a distance of 28 km from the Nayagarh town. There are many things to explore and enjoy here for the tourists. Among all these points, the Maninag temple is the special one. This temple is located right at the top of Mainak hill and famous for the living Shakti-Pitha. There are some other popular shrines located at Ranapur which are Asurakumari temple that is located close to a scenic water fall as well as the Jagannath temple which is mostly accessed by the devotees during the Ratha Yatra.
The temple of Raghunathjiew is located at Odagaon. This is a famous temple across Odisha where Lord Rama is worshiped. At this temple you can see the most amazing wooden idol of Raghunathjiew, Laxman and Sita. It’s the Kalash of this temple that is made of 100% gold. There is a popular saying about this temple and that dates back to the 17 century. It was the time when the famous poet, Kavisamrat Upendra Bhanja composed the magnum opus named as Baidehisha Vilas. He composed it right here while sitting at the feet of Raghunathjiew. Odagaon is located 26km away from Nayagarh town. This temple was constructed during 1903.
From Nayagarh town at a distance of 32 km and at the foothills of Sulia, the shrine dedicated to Sri Dutikeswar Mahadev is located. There is also a Banyan tree located here which is century old. This is called as the Kalpabata and this tree is standing right at the front of the temple along with a pond. This temple is where the Goddess Bana Durga is worshiped. Astabhuja and Son God are also located at the campus of this temple. The nearby bus stop to Jamupatna is Odagaon which is five km away from this spot.
It’s the Sidhamula village that comes under the Sidhamula Grama Panchayat and Khandapara Block where the Gokulananda temple is located right at the top of a hill. This hill is also located on the bank of Mahanadi River. This place was first traced by the late Sri Baba Swami Ram Laxman Dash Maharaja. It’s always a good experience to watch the scenic beauty of this hill side. The water of River Mahanadi uses to flow adjacent to this hill and through the Sidhamula Bridge. This hill is packed with tall tress as well as medicinal plants. Right at the bottom portion of this hill, you can find the plain and green surface that is expanding for more than one km. it’s the bank of the Mahanadi River that is a proper place for picnic. Here, you can find people cooking and playing the games during the picnic season.
From Nayagarh town, this place is located at a distance of fifty km. this place is famous for the reservoir which is surrounded by hillocks. There is also a dam here on the River Kuanria and this dam is 1.5km long. There are some other top attractions like the deer park which is spreading over an area of six acres. This park is the home for near about 160 spotted deers, sambars and barking deers. During the winter time, different migratory birds use to land on this reservoir. The natural beauty of the hills, river, deer park and forest make this place a more prominent tourist spot in the district of Nayagarh. This place is located at a distance of five km from Dasapalla.
From Baramul, Kuturi is located at a distance of 8km. this place is located under Mahanadi Wildlife Sanctuary. This is also the home for Habitat Development Center. This is the center where they facilitate the natural breeding programs for different wild animals. This area comprises of pond, napier grass, salt lake as well as an orchard where you can see the medicinal plants and indigenous decorative plants. Here, you can also access the cottages and the watch towers that are constructed to offer you a great view of the spot. These watch towers can be used during the night time to see the animals and their activities during night.
Just 8 kms from Baramul, inside the Mahanadi Wildlife Division Sanctuary, is a place called Kuturi which houses the Habitat Development Centre for facilitating natural breeding of wild animals. This area contains a pond, salt lake, fodder variety Napier grass and an orchard with varieties of indigenous decorative and medicinal plants. There are cottages, watch towers from where one can watch the free movement and activities of animals during nights. Over the years, Kuturi has evolved as a prominent picnic spot. From big mountains to the relaxing spots that are surrounded by the nature preserves; Kuturi is the place that you must visit once you are in Nayagarh district.