A small village in the lap of Nilagiri Hills in Orissa can be your next weekend destination. If you think everytime raw nature attracts you, you should have this trip anytime in the year. But preferable time is the winter and autumn. There is atempleofLord Shivaon the top of the hills. You have to climb 263 stairs to see that temple though. There is a small water flow which becomes bigger in monsoon and underneath that you will find 5 rock piece considered as “Shiva Linga” and for this reason this place is known as Panchalingeswar (Pancha=five, lingeswar = lord shiva).
A 3km walk can give you and divine pleasure if you go to the Khumkut Dam through the tribal village. A walk through the tribal village on a manmade muddy way will lead you to go the Khumkut dam where there is a watch tour. Basically that was a kind of pond where animals used to come to drink water. The king of nineteen hundred century of Nilagiri made a watch tower for hunting animals while drinking water. In the silence when you watch the shadows in the calm water your eyes will make you relieved of any stress.
Next destination will be Kuldiha forest, Tenda Elephant Sanctuary. A calm and quite place will give you an awesome feeling to feel the jungle silence. The silence is broken by the bird songs and the sounds of the leaves. I personally recommend not to use your mobile phone music player or any music player in the jungle as I believe that irritates the primitive environment of the jungle.
FromKuldihaForestyour next destination will be Russia Dam. That is also place of peace where your eyes will get rest. In Tenda Elephant sanctuary elephants come to this lake to drink water so you can see elephants if you are lucky. Russian technology was adopted to build this dam so it is saidRussiadam (locally known as Rishia dam). I recommend keep waiting there until the darkness fills the jungle. Get back to Panchalingeswar and enjoy the night in the lap of Nilagiri Hills and watch the small lights from the tribal huts.
Getting in Panchalingeswar: Nearest Railway station is Balasore. There are many trains fromHowrah, Hydrabad,New Delhi, Puri which connects with Balasore. From Balasore panchalingeswar is connected with roadways (NH5 then state highway) and the distance is about 35Km. You can take a commercial car from Balasore station to there.
InKuldihaForestthere is aForestbunglow of Orissa Forest Department. You need to have permission to enter the forest. Permission can be taken from Forest Department near Nilagiri Market.
Staying in Panchalingeswar:
OTDC has a Panthanivas there where you can get ac, non-ac rooms.
There is a new hut type guest house “Sun and Moons Dale” where you can enjoy raw nature very well. The staffs are very attentive and the most appreciable thing is you will never get a reply “No”.
- ForKuldihaForesttake some Geoline, Mosquito coil.
- Keep a torch and this is obvious in night.
- Don’t throw plastics, wrappers in the jungle. Keep jungle clean.