Our member Ms S. Das Chaudhuri had visited Daringbari a hill station in Orissa recently during the winter season. She describes her feelings and experience of that place.
Daringbari, a small hill station in a rural set up, located in the heart of Orissa, is a must-visit for anyone looking for a peaceful and scenic getaway. The village is situated approximately 150 km from Kolkata and is easily accessible via the bustling city of Puri.
We had decided to travel during the winter season to enjoy the scenic beauty which is a major interest while travelling from Kolkata to Puri, with lush green fields and vibrant rural life passing by. We went by car from Kolkata and halted at Puri. Daringbari is a 2-hour drive from Puri, and the road winds through lush green forests and quaint villages. We started from Puri at 8:00 a.m. in the morning with the intention of reaching Daringbari during lunch time. We had breakfast on the way and reached Daringbari at 2:00 p.m.
The homestay had a series of cottages and were surrounded by lush green hills and rolling meadows, which was a perfect escape from the hustle-bustle of city life. We had booked the cottage in advance in which food was inclusive. It had a charm of its own but I wondered why it is called Kashmir of Orissa? Is it due to the beautiful waterfall or the blue flowers seen there?
The magnificent temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, is a major attraction there which is believed to be over 500 years old. It is a perfect example of traditional Orissa architecture with intricate carvings and sculptures. But since access to the temple was by treading numerous steps uphill, it was difficult for me to visit it. I only viewed it from far.
We went to see the sunset point. But there was another point at a higher altitude, which I couldn’t climb, but definitely from there the view around must was wonderful. We appreciated the scenic beauty around and the hilly drive.
What I enjoyed most was moving within the narrow aisles of the coffee plantation, in a pollution free environment. Nights were splendid as we could see numerous fireflies. The clear sky, studded with stars gave us an opportunity for star gazing, which was an entertainment for us.
These tourist places can be enjoyed in groups. There was no dearth of tourist entertainment at our homestay. The owner ensured that we had a splendid time after dusk once we returned from our sightseeing. He had arranged for a tribal Santhal dance which was performed around a campfire. The campfire and barbeque arrangements were soothing in the cold weather. The village is dotted with traditional mud-and-thatch houses, and the local people were warm and friendly. Mostly they were from the Christian community, so we enjoyed the lights and décor as it was Christmas time.
Overall, a visit to Daringbari is a unique and memorable experience, offering a chance to immerse oneself in the beauty of rural Orissa and connect with nature. I was sad to leave the serene and peaceful atmosphere of Daringbari.