When traveling to Odisha, the first thing that comes to your mind is its famous temples or sea beaches. But Odisha has many more things to offer. Many don’t know that Odisha has a hill station of its own which is fondly known as the ‘Kashmir of Odisha’.
Yes, I am talking about Daringbadi, a hill station situated at an altitude of 3000 feet, in the Kandhamal district of Odisha. Daringbadi is a quaint place covered with pine forests and prolific green valleys that are covered with clouds during monsoons. It is the only knowing place in Odisha where the temperature drops to zero degrees and sometimes receives snowfall in extreme winter.
History Behind the Name
The hill station got its name from two words “Daring” and “Badi”. Locals say that Mr. Dering, a British officer during British Raj first came here and made this place a summer destination for others. From his name, this hill station became Deringbadi and over time came to be known as Daringadi where Badi means village in the Oriya language.
Daringbadi also earned the name of the Native land of Tribals during the British era. Only 250 km away from Bhubaneshwar, Daringbadi has become a loved spot for picnics and get-togethers.
If you are a sweet-lover, then surely taste the Chhenapora – a special kind of sweet of Odisha. It literally means roasted cottage cheese.
Places to Visit
There are a lot of interesting spots in and around Daringbadi that are inviting. The colorful paddocks of Daringbadi, make a perfect spot for family picnics. The major places to visit are Hill View Park, Lover’s point, Midubandha waterfall, Sikoki waterfall, and Belghar Nature Camp and Wildlife Sanctuary. Nature is abundant at Daringbadi, so when you are in Daringbadi, forget everything else and enjoy your surroundings.
The moment you enter Daringbadi, you will see dense pine trees all around you. The place is surrounded by hills and you can see the panoramic view of the stunning vistas from the Hill Viewpoint. Daringbadi also has coffee and spice plantations all the way up to the hill station. In fact, Daringbadi produces a high quality of organic turmeric, black pepper, and ginger. Tall pine trees and stretches of coffee plantations along with waterfalls and forests make a heavy concoction to make Daringbadi a desirable destination.
Lover’s point is a place contrary to its name. Its a point of confluence of man and nature. You would find a stream off the Rushikulya river cascading down and making its way through the rocks and pebbles, inviting you to soak your feet. The lush greenery all around you will make you forget about your worries and have a calming effect on you.
Visiting the Midubandha waterfall which is also sometimes simply known as the Daringbadi waterfall is the highlight of the hill station. With a little walking from the parking spot, you will be greeted by a secluded waterfall amidst lush greenery. The sound of crystal clear water falling on crags is amazing. The path up to the waterfall is a mix of a series of steps and slopes but Odisha’s tourism department is taking initiatives to make this place more tourist-friendly.
Hill View Point
Daringbadi has a number of vantage points that give a 360-degree view of the surrounding hills. The Hill View Point is one of them and is very close to Hill View Park.
Daringbadi is great for nature enthusiasts and trekkers. There are multiple trails around the area, which rewards you with a panoramic view of the surrounding hills and valleys. The best time to set out for exploring the trails is during winters (November to March). Daringbadi receives a lot of rainfall during other seasons, making trekking not safe during those times.
Belghar Nature Camp (Phulbani)
Only 3 hours away from Daringbadi, Belghar Nature Camp is in the midst of the forest. Enjoy a stay in tents in the forest area and have an experience of a lifetime. Don’t forget to visit the Belghar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Belghar is believed to be home of the Kutia Khond tribes. Once known for their ‘human sacrificing rituals’, the Kutia Khond are now known for their vibrant traditions and lively cultures. You can learn more about them in Daringbadi’s tribal museum. Often, tours are conducted from the camp to the Kutia Khond tribal village to know their culture first hand.
Where to stay in Daringbadi?
You could stay in Deers Eco Homes, which is right in the middle of the town and gives you easy access to many of the major sightseeing spots. Alternatively, there are a few hotels in the town as well.
Tip: There is a petrol station in Daringbadi but you need to carry cash around here. You will find a few ATMs around as most places don’t accept cards here.
How to reach Daringbadi?
The scenic land of Daringbadi is only 250 km away from Bhubaneshwar which has the nearest airport. By taking a flight or train from Howrah station (Kolkata) to Bhubaneshwar or using any public bus or cab, you can easily reach Daringbadi.
Daringbadi was our second stop in our two-part Odisha journey, Puri being the other one. Head to my Puri post to read about my nostalgic trip.
Roadtrips are fun and even more when you have the right company. If you loved reading this post, don’t forget to share it with your friends and family!