East Inida Tourism



















Cities of East Inida

West Bengal
Indian statesman Gopalkrishna Gokhale once said -- "....what Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow!" Renowned worldwide as a thriving, dynamic centre for art & literature, West Bengal's location, fascinating culture, people history and heritage have made this statement true in more ways than one.

Soul of Bengal "Banglar mati, banglar jol".....West Bengal is one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse states of India. The people of West Bengal inherit their identity and aspiration from the larger Indian mosaic. One can still recapture the colonial era in its relics which survived the state's progressive development. The land of West Bengal has in it intricately woven stories of many bright mornings and dark nights; stories of many civilisations have left their footprints here. Awash in the memory of that rich history and heritage West Bengal boasts of different ethnicities, cultures, religions, people and languages which add to this beautiful landscape. And that is why Deshbandhu Chittaranjan once said - "There is an eternal truth in the soil of Bengal. ....It is that eternal truth that has been expressed through innumerable changes, evolution and revolutions in Bengal. It is that truth which has proclaimed itself in literature, philosophy, poetry, war, revolution, religion and karma, in ignorance, in unrighteousness, in freedom and in subjection. That is Bengal's life - Bengal's soil and Bengal's water are the external forms of that life."

Essence of Bengal West Bengal is located at the centre of the Eastern Region of India. It is the nation's fourth most populous state. The state of West Bengal borders the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, Sikkim and Assam and is strategically positioned with three international frontiers Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. It stretches for about 700 km, from the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal in the South to the Himalayan terrain in the North. Being such an important region of the Indian independence movement through the early 20th century, Bengal was divided in 1947 into two separate entities: West Bengal - a state of India - and East Bengal, which initially joined the new nation of Pakistan, before becoming part of modern-day Bangladesh in 1971. Agriculture is the main economic activity in the state.

Kolkata

Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. It is also the commercial capital of East India, located on the east bank of the Hooghly River. The city of Kolkata has 4.5 million residents, and the metropolitan area, including suburbs, has a population of approximately 15.7 million, making it the third most populous metropolitan area in India and the 13th most populous urban area in the world. The city is also classified as the eighth largest urban agglomeration in the world. Kolkata was the capital of India during British emperor. The city's documented history, however, begins with the arrival of the English East India Company in 1690, when the Company was consolidating its trade business in Bengal. Job Charnock, an administrator with the company was traditionally credited as the founder of the city. In 2003 high court order states that the city should not have a specific founder. While the city's name was always pronounced "Kolkata" in the local Bengali language, its official English name was changed from "Calcutta" to "Kolkata" in 2001, reflecting the Bengali pronunciation. Some view this as a move to erase the legacy of British rule.

Kolkata Art & Culture

Kolkata has long been known for its literary, artistic and revolutionary heritage. As the former capital of India, Kolkata was the birthplace of modern Indian literary, artistic and scholastic thought. The people of Kolkata tends to have a special appreciation for art and literature; its tradition of welcoming new talent has made it a "city of furious creative energy. For these reasons, Kolkata has often been dubbed as the Cultural Capital of India or the Literary Capital of India. Cultural extravaganza in Kolkata include

Dooars

Dooars - The place where nature has kept its doors open. Derived from the word 'doors' (doors to Bhutan), this region, located in the district of Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar, forms a gateway to the hill stations of North Bengal, Sikkim, Bhutan & North-Eastern states. The dense natural forests, interwoven with lush green tea gardens, criss-crossed by Teesta, Raidak, Torsha, Jaldhaka, Kaljani and other rivers & their innumerable tributaries rolling down the hills fill up your senses with sublimity.

Darjeeling

Darjeeling conjures visions of snow peaks, serenity of vibrant green hills steeped in splendour, a land of breathtaking beauty crowned by the majestic Himalayas. Darjeeling is one of the most magnificent hill resorts in the world. This heavenly retreat is bathed in hues of every shade. Flaming red rhododendrons, sparkling white magnolias, miles of undulating hillsides covered with emerald green tea bushes, the exotic forests of silver fir - all under the blanket of a brilliant azure sky dappled with specks of clouds, compellingly confounds Darjeeling as the QUEEN OF HILL STATIONS. The crest of Kanchenjunga shining in the first dawn light truly supports the title.

Darjeeling beckons thousands today for a leisurely respite from the bustle of the madding crowd. The traveller - whether a tourist or a trekker, an ornithologist or a photographer, a botanist or an artist - will find in Darjeeling an experience which will remain etched in the memory - forever.

Sunderbans


Sunderbans, the world's largest estuarine forest and delta covered by mangrove forests and vast saline mud flats is situated on the lower end of Gangetic West Bengal. A land of 54 tiny islands, criss-crossed by innumerable tributaries of the Ganges that was once infested by Arakanese and Portuguese pirates is now the abode of varied flora & fauna population. Sunderban is bound on the west by river Muriganga and on the east by rivers Harinbhahga and Raimangal. Other major rivers flowing through this eco-system are Saptamukhi, Thakurain Matla and Gosaba.

Unlike other wildlife parks, where roads, jeeps & guides provide a semblance of control, here visitors will find themselves holding their breath and stiffening to a state of alertness as their boats glide through the creeks and rivulets, bordered with primeval mangrove forest sheltering the most unimaginable dangers in its impenetrable undergrowth. A unique region where there are no borders to divide fresh from saline water, river from sea.

With a little luck one may experience a salt water Crocodile sunbathing in the mud; a flash in the corner of your eye could be Deer running into the forests. Most famously, however, this protected area is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger. There are strategically placed watch towers from which, fortunate travellers may get the opportunity to observe the regal beast in its natural surroundings, a thrill that can only be experienced first-hand. Incidentally, these watch towers may be reached only through corridors covered in protective net fencing.

You can explore the wildlife of Sunderban that harbours Jungle Cats, Fishing Cats, Axis Deer, Wild Boar, Rhesus Monkeys, Mongooses and the largest Estuarine Crocodiles in the world. Sunderban is the breeding ground of immense variety of birds like Heron, Egret, Cormorant, Fishing Engle, White Bellied Sea Eagle, Seagul, Tern, Kingfisher as well as migratory birds like Whimprel, Black-tailed Godwit, Little Stint, Eastern Knot, Curlew, Sandpiper, Golden Plover, Pintail, White-eyed Pochard and also Whistling teal. Come and discover wide variety of aquatic and reptile life forms that include Olive Ridley sea turtle, hardshelled Batgur Terrapin, Pythons, King Cobra, Chequered Killback, Monitor and Lizards including the Salvator Lizards.

Shantiniketan

Shantiniketan is a small town near Bolpur in the Birbhum District of West Bengal and about 212 kms north of Kolkata. It is famous due to Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, whose vision became what is now a University town - Visva-Bharati University. The place now attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Shantiniketan was earlier called Bhubandanga (named after Bhuban Dakat, a local Dacoit), and was owned by the Tagore family. In 1862, Maharishi Devendranath Tagore, the poet's father, while on a boat journey to Raipur, came across a landscape with red soil and lush green paddy fields. He decided to plant more saplings and built a small house. He called his home Shantiniketan. He founded an ashram here in 1863 and became the initiator of the Bramho Samaj.

In 1901, Rabindranath started a school at Shantiniketan named Bramhachari Ashram that was modeled on the lines of the ancient Gurukul system that later came to be known as the Patha Bhavan, the school of his ideals, with central premise that learning in a natural environment would be more enjoyable and fruitful. With the financial backing of the Maharajah of Tripura, the Visva-Bharati Society was established in 1921. Tagore envisioned a center of learning which would have the best of both the east and the west. Nobel Prize (1913) won by Rabindranath Tagore, not only the enhanced the pride of India but also the prestige of Shantiniketan. The school was expanded into a University. It was named Visva-Bharati, which was defined by Tagore as "Where the world makes a home in a nest." The Open-air education as opposed to being cloistered in the four walls of a classroom became a reality here. Eminent people from all over the world came to Visva-Bharati during its peak period. Visva-Bharati became a Central University in 1951. Leaves of the Chhatim (Saptaparni - or 7-leaf sprigs) trees are given to graduating students at the annual convocation. Many world famous teachers have become associated with it over the years. Indira Gandhi, Satyajit Ray, and Amartya Sen are among its illustrious students. The Prime Minister of India is the Chancellor of the University.


Assam
Assam is a land of fairs and festivals. Most of the festivals celebrated in Assam characterize the spirit of accommodation and togetherness in the diverse faith and belief of her inhabitants. This perfect fusion of heritage of her numerous races has made Assam the home of the most colorful festivals reflecting the true spirit, tradition and lifestlye of the people of Assam.

The major festivals celebrated in Assam are Bihu, Baishagu, Ali-Ai-Ligang, Baikho, Rongker, Rajini Gabra Harni Gabra, Bohaggiyo Bishu, Ambubashi Mela and Jonbill Mela and so on.
The people of Assam also celebrate Holi, Durga Puja, Diwali, Swaraswati Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Kali Puja, Idd, Muharram, Me-Dam-Me-Phi, the birth and death anniversaries of Vaishnava Saints Srimanta Sankardev and Madhabdev.
The tribals of Assam have their own colourful festivals like the Kherai Puja of the Bodos, the Baikhu and Pharkantis of the Rabhas, Ali-ai-ligang and Parag of the Mishing tribe, the Sagra-misawa wansawa and laghun of the Tiwas.

Bihu

Bihu is the most important festival of Assam. It is celebrated with joy and abundance by all Assamese people irrespective of caste, creed, religion, faith and belief.

Three Bihus are celebrated in a year: Bohag Bihu which augurs the wish for a good harvest because this is the time when farmers start sowing, Kaati Bihu which is observed to mark the cutting and binding of grains and Magh Bihu which marks the season of harvesting of grains.

Me-Dum-Me-Phi

The most important Ahom festival which deserves mention is the Me-Dum-Me-Phi, i.e., the ancestor worship festival which is observed by the whole Ahom community. This is performed annually on the 31st of January and helps to develop social contacts and community feelings among the Ahoms. Colourful processions with devotees in traditional finery are also taken out on the occasion.

Baishagu


Famous for its myriad colours and merriment, 'Baishagu' is generally celebrated by the Bodo Kacharis during mid April. It is the most cherished festival of the Bodo tribe. The Bodos also celebrate it as a springtime festival at the advent of the new year.

Ambubachi Mela

Is the most important festival of Kamakhya temple of Guwahati and is held every year during monsoon (mid-June). It is a ritual of austerities celebrated with 'Tantric rites'.
During Ambubashi the doors of the temple remain closed for three days. It is believed that the earth becomes impure for three days. During this time no farming work is undertaken.
Ambubachi mela is held at the Kamakhya temple, after being closed for the afore-mentioned three days. On the fourth day only the devotees are allowed to enter inside the temple for worship. Thousands of devotees from all over the country and abroad visit this mela..


Bihar
Bihar's antiquity is evident from its name, which is derived from the ancient word "VIHARA" (monastery). It is indeed a land of monasteries. Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Muslim and Sikh shrines abound in this ancient land where India's first major empires rose and fell. Where the ruins of the worlds' earliest university slumbers in the void of time. The passage of Ganga, flowing wide and deep enrich the plains of Bihar before distributing in Bengal's deltoid zone.

Among all Indian states, Bihar is the one most intimately linked to the Buddha's life, resulting in a trail of pilgrimages which have come to be known as the Buddhist circuit. The Buddhist trail begins at the capital city, Patna, where a noteworthy museum contains a collection of Hindu and Buddhist sculptures as well as a terracotta urn said to contain the ashes of Lord Buddha.

The Khuda Baksh Oriental Library has rare Muslim manuscripts including some from the University of Cordoba in Spain. 40 km away, Vaishali, was the site for the second Buddhist Council is the presence of ruins testify. 90 km south of Patna is Nalanda which translates as the place that confers the lotus' (of spiritual knowledge). A monastic university flourished here from the 5th to the 11th century. It is said to have contained nine million books, with 2,000 teachers to impart knowledge to 10,000 students who came from all over the Buddhist world. Lord Buddha himself taught here and Hieun Tsang, the 7th century Chinese traveler, was a student. Ongoing excavations have uncovered temples, monasteries and lecture halls. Rajgir, the royal palace', 12 km south, was the venue for the first Buddhist Council.

The Buddha spent five years at Rajgir after having attained enlightenment, and many of the remains at Rajgir commemorate various incidents related to life of Buddha, the hill of Gridhrakuta being perhaps the most important, as this is where the Buddha delivered most of his sermons. Bodhgaya is the spot where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment, with the Mahabodhi Temple marking the precise location.

This landlocked state of Bihar is surrounded by Nepal, Bengal, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and comprises four cultural regions-Bhojpur, Mithila and Magadha and Chotanagpur. Rivers Kosi and Gandak from the north and Sone from the south join the Ganga. In the fertile plains, rice, sugarcane, oilseeds, gram, maize, jute, barley and wheat are cultivated.

Patna

Patna once called Pataliputra the capital of Bihar,is among the world's oldest capital cities with unbroken history of many centuries as imperial metropolis. A very fertile arched stretch of land along the bank of the Ganga. The history and heritage of modern day Patna go back well over two millennia. Like Delhi, Patna too had been the regal seat of governance for successive kingdoms since ancient times. And to this day, it is the capital city of the state. As each ruler ascended in power and established dynastic glory, he gave his capital a new name. Thus, the ancient Kusumpura metamorphosed through Pushpapura, Pataliputra, Azeemabad and now into Patna, a continuous history ranging from 6th century BC to present times - a record claimed by few cities in the world. It was Ajatshatru the Magadha king who first built a small fort in Pataligram on the bank of the Ganga in 6th century BC, which later blossomed into the ancient glory still to be seen in the neighboring archaeological sites at Kumrahar. Bhiknapahari, Agamkuan, Bulandi Bagh and Kankar Bagh. Pataliputra dominated the political fortunes of the whole of north India between 6th century BC and 5th century AD, a fact established by archaeological excavations. After a temporary eclipse, in 16th century, Sher Shah Suri returned the city to its former glory and established the present Patna. After the decline of the Mughals, the British too found Patna a convenient regional capital and built a modern extension to this ancient city and called it Bankipore. It was in Gandhi Maidan in this area, that Mahatma Gandhi held his prayer meetings.

Nalanda


Nalanda, founded in the 5th century AD, is famous as the ancient seat of learning. The ruins of the world's most ancient university lies here which is 62 km from Bodhgaya and 90 km south of Patna. Though the Buddha visited Nalanda several times during his lifetime, this famous center of Buddhist learning shot to fame much later, during 5th-12th centuries. Hieun Tsang stayed here in the 7th century AD and left detailed description of the excellence of education system and purity of monastic life practiced here. He also gave a vivid account of both the ambiance and architecture of this unique university of ancient times. In this first residential international university of the world, 2,000 teachers and 10,000 monks students from all over the Buddhist world lived and studied here. The Gupta kings patronized these monasteries, built in old Kushan architectural style, in a row of cells around a courtyard. Emperor Ashoka and Harshavardhana were some of its most celebrated patrons who built temples, monasteries and viharas here. Recent excavations have unearthed elaborate structures here. An International Center for Buddhist Studies was established here in 1951. Nearby is Biharsharif, where an annual urs is celebrated at the Dargah or tomb of Malik Ibrahim Baya. Baragaon, 2 km away has a sun temple, famous for Chhath puja. To be visited are Nalanda museum & Nava Nalanda Mahavihar in addition to the great ruins.

Kushinagar

Kushinagar - Set against a pastoral landscape, the small hamlet of Kushinagar, 53 km west of Gorakhpur, is revered as the site of the Buddha's Mahaparinirvana, his death and cremation, that marked his final liberation from the cycles of death and rebirth.

During Buddha's lifetime, Kushinara, as it was then called, was a small town in the kingdom of the Mallas, surrounded by a thick forest cover. It remained forgotten, until the late nineteenth century, when archaeologists rediscovered the site, and began excavations.

Today, Kushinagar is rediscovering its roots, as a center for international Buddhism, and is home to many viharas, including a Tibetan gompa devoted to Sakyamuni, a Burmese vihara, and temples from China and Japan.

Vaishali

Vaishali today is a small village surrounded by banana and mango groves as well as rice fields. But excavations in the area have brought to light an impressive historical past. The epic Ramayana tells the story of the heroic King Vishal who ruled here. Historians maintain that one of the world's first democratic republics with an elected assembly of representatives flourished here in the 6th century B.C. in the time of the Vajjis and the Lichchavis. And while Pataliputra, capital of the Mauryas and the Guptas, held political sway over the Gangetic plain, Vaishali was the center for trade and industry.

Lord Buddha visited Vaishali frequently and at Kolhua, close by, preached his last sermon. To commemorate the event, Emperor Ashoka, in the third century B.C. erected one of his famous lion pillars here. A hundred years after the Mahaparinirvana of the Buddha - Vaishali hosted the second great Buddhist council. Two stupas were erected to commemorate this event. Jainism, too, has its origins in Vaishali, for in 527 B.C., Lord Mahavir was born on the outskirts of the city, and lived in Vaishali till he was 22. Vaishali is then twice blessed and remains an important pilgrim center for both Buddhists and Jains, attracting also historians foraging for the past.


Jharkhand
The 28th state of the Indian Union was brought into existence by the Bihar reorganization Act on November 15,2000- the birth anniversary of the legendary Bhagwan Birsa Munda. Jharkhand is famous for its rich mineral resources like Uranium, Mica, Bauxite, Granite, Gold, Silver, Graphite, Magnetite, Dolomite, Fireclay, Quartz, Fieldspar, Coal (32% of India), Iron, Copper (25%of India) etc. Forests and woodlands occupy more than 29% of the state which is amongst the highest in India.

The most important information about Jharkhand includes its capital city, the basic parts of its government, like the chief minister and the governor, the population of the state and its weather conditions. Other important information on Jharkhand is the means of communication in the state, the various languages spoken and the basic infrastructure of Jharkhand.

The capital city of the state of Jharkhand is Ranchi. The level of progress this city has shown since the birth of the state of Jharkhand proves that it has the potential to become one of the leading industrial cities of the entire country of India.

The chief minister of Jharkhand is Madhu Kora. He has been a member of the Legislative Assembly in the years 2005 and 2000. The governor of the state of Jharkhand is Syed Sibtey Razi.

An important aspect about Jharkhand is the total population of the state, which is 2,18,43,911. The major languages spoken in Jharkhand include Bhojpuri, Urdu, Hindi, Bengali, Oriya, Kharia, Bhumij and Ho.

An important piece of information about Jharkhand is its transportation. The state of Jharkhand is easily accessible by rail, air and road. The capital city of Ranchi houses an airport of its own. The major railway station of the state is also located at Ranchi. Some good roads are being constructed in the state.

Some of the important districts of Jharkhand are Ranchi, Palamu, West Singhbhum, East Singhbhum, Hazaribagh, Bokaro, Deoghar, Dhanbad and Koderma.

The state is not lagging behind in its infrastructure. To cater to the need of various industries, the infrastructural development of Jharkhand has become absolutely necessary.

RANCHI

Ranchi is the capital city of Jharkhand, India. Ranchi was the center of the Jharkhand movement for a separate state for tribal region of south Bihar. This state was formed on the 15th of November 2000, by carving out the districts form the Chhotanagpur and Santhal Parganas divisions of Bihar. Chhotanagpur plateau consists of the three smaller plateaus of Ranchi, Hazaribag, and Koderma.

The city of Ranchi is located at an altitude of 654 meter above sea level on the plateau of Ranchi. As part of Bihar, it used to be the summer capital from the time of the British Raj because of its cool and salubrious climate. Temperature range from 20C - 37C in the summer and 6C - 22C in winter. The Subarnarekha river flow by the side of the city.

JAMSHEDPUR

Jamshedpur, as the burgeoning township was named in 1919 in tribute to Tata Steel's Founder, is India's first planned industrial city. It is a model for the harmonious co-existence of industry and environment. Acres of verdant parks and gardens dot the city and provide bucolic sanctuaries from the pressures of everyday life.
Jamshedpur, also called Tatanagar is just 171 kms from Dhanbad & 140 kms from Ranchi. Both the names come from the legendary Jamshedji Tata. It was his vision that saw Bihar in the steel map of world so long back. Iron ore found in the area made Jamshedpur the idle location for a steel plant. Jamshedpur has a number of tourist attractions too.

DEOGHAR

Located in northeastern Jharkhand, Deoghar is a major Hindu pilgrimage and a famous health resort. It has the ancient temple of Baba Baidyanath, which is one of the twelve 'jyotirlingas' in India. Baidyanath Dham, situated in the Santhal Parganas of Bihar, is a very important piligrim centre. It's famous for the temple of Shiva-Baidyanath and the place is a popular holiday centre. Deoghar is an ancient town famous for its group of 22 temples dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Numerous Buddhist ruins are also located nearby. Deoghar has a hospital, a tuberculosis clinic, and a leper asylum and houses several colleges (including a teacher-training institute) affiliated with Bhagalpur University. The Muslim invader Bhaktiyar Khilji made Deoghar his capital in 1201 after the conquest of Bihar.

BOKARO

The district of Bokaro commonly known as the steel city came into existence in the year 1991. It is situated on the Chhota Nagpur Plateau and was formed by carving out one subdivision consisting of two blocks from Dhanbad district and six blocks from Giridh district. The district headquarters is at B S City which is located at latitude of 23.29 and longitude of 86.09. The District Bokaro has a Geographical area of 2861 sq Km and 357663.36 Hectares of Land. The Average altitude of the Land is 210 mts from mean sea level. The nearest small town to the steel city is CHAS.

CHATRA

The Chatra district is situated in the extreme northwest part of Jharkhand. The district came into existence in 1991, was previously a part of Hazaribagh district.
The district is bounded on the north by Gaya (Bihar State) district and Hazaribagh district and on the east by Hazaribagh district, on the south by Palamu and Ranchi district and on the west by Gaya (Bihar State) and Palamu district The major portion of the Chatra district is covered by forest (more than 60%) and has scattered settlement patterns.

DHANBAD

The Dhanbad district situated in the state of Jharkhand lies between 23o37'3" N and 24o4' N latitude and between 86o6'30" E and 86o50' E longitude. The district is bounded on the west by Giridih and Bokaro on the north by Giridih and Dumka and on the east and south by Purulia district of West Bengal.
There are 100850 acres of hillocks and 56454 acres of forests. It is about 500-1000 feet above Sea level. Its soil is by and large lateritic in nature.


Odisha
Odisha,formerly known as Orissa, is an Indian state on the subcontinent's south-east coast, by the Bay of Bengal.It is surrounded by the Indian state's of West Bengal to the north-east and in the east, Jharkhand to the north, Chattisgarh to the west and north-west and Andhra Pradesh to the south. It is the modern name of the ancient kingdom of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka in 261 BCE. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April 1936, as a province in British India and consisted predominantly of Oriya speakers. 1 April is therefore celebrated as Utkala Dibasa (foundation day of Orissa). Cuttack remained the capital of the state for over eight centuries until 13 April 1948 when Bhubaneswar was officially declared as the new state capital, a position it still holds.

Odisha is the 9th largest state by area in India, and the 11th largest by population. Oriya (officially spelled Odia) is the official and most widely spoken language, spoken by three quarters of the population. Odisha has a relatively unindented coastline (about 480 km long) and lacked good ports, except for the deepwater facility at Paradip, until the recent launch of the Dhamara Port. The narrow, level coastal strip, including the Mahanadi river delta supports the bulk of the population

Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa, is also popularly known as the "Temple City of India". Being the seat of Tribhubaneswar or 'Lord Lingaraj', Bhubaneswar is an important Hindu pilgrimage centre. Hundreds of temples dot the landscape of the Old Town, which once boasted of more than 2000 temples. Bhubaneswar is the place where temple building activities of Orissan style flowered from its very inception to its fullest culmination extending over a period of over one thousand years.

The new Bhubaneswar with its modern buildings and extensive infrastructure perfectly complements its historic surroundings. With facilities to cater to every type of visitor, Bhubaneswar makes an ideal tourist destination.

Konark

The magnificent Sun Temple at Konark is the culmination of Orissan temple architecture, and one of the most stunning monuments of religious architecture in the world. The poet Rabindranath Tagore said of Konark that 'here the language of stone surpasses the language of man', and it is true that the experience of Konark is impossible to translate into words.

The massive structure, now in ruins, sits in solitary splendour surrounded by drifting sand. Today it is located two kilometers from the sea, but originally the ocean came almost up to its base. Until fairly recent times, in fact, the temple was close enough to the shore to be used as a navigational point by European sailors, who referred to it as the 'Black Pagoda'.

Keonjhar

Keonjhar, the district headquarters of the district of Keonjhar offers varieties of attractions to the tourists. It is the most convenient base from where visitors can plan their visit to various places of interest in the district.

Bhawanipatna

BHAWANIPATNA, the headquarters of Kalahandi District, is a town of numerous temples dedicated to different deities of Hindu pantheon. Named after its presiding deity 'Bhawanishankar', it is the most convenient base for touring various places of interest in the district and the nearby district of Nawapara.

Phurli Jharan, a perennial waterfall of 16 mtrs. high has a special charm of its own - 15 km. The old capital of the ex-State of Kalahandi, Junagarh was a well built fort with Oriya inscriptions on its temple walls- 26 km. The historic fort Asurgarh is only 35 km.

Karlapat, known for charming wildlife, is 32 km from Bhawanipatna. Nearby is Khanduala fall. A short distance from Karlapat is Thuamul- Rampur, a little slice of paradise on earth. On the confluence of the rivers Tel & Utei, Belkhandi, 67 km from Bhawanipatna is a place of archaeological importance.

The Ambapani hills (77 km) with its frolicking valley called 'Haladigundi' is a place for viewing colourful wildlife and 7 km away from here is the prehistoric cave paintings at Gudahandi.

Budhikomna houses the unique brick temple of Pataleswar - 40 km from Khariar and 115 km from Bhawanipatna. Also 9 km east of Khariar is Yogimath, famed for the cave paintings of Neolithic age. Patalaganga, 40 km from Khariar, is considered as a holy spot.

How to get there : 418 km from Bhubaneswar, Bhawanipatna is connected by all-weather roads and regular bus services from important parts of Orissa. The nearest railway station is at Kesinga - 35 km.

 

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