Here’s why you should take a road trip to Odisha

By Nahid

The charm of road trips is back in trend this travel season. After all, what better way to travel than to join a group of your closest friends or relatives and embark on a one-way journey to pleasure and happiness?

While many road trips are often repeats of the old ones, now might be the time to explore somewhere truly off the beaten path. That is why we have created not one or two but seven different Odisha road trip options for you to choose from. Why Odisha? Well, because the state is India’s best-kept secret, and you’re about to find out why by scrolling through the list of options below.

Immerse in the mangrove forests

This epic road trip from Kolkata to Bhitarkanika to Odisha is packed with sights and sounds you will not soon forget. Pass the famous temples like Balasore’s Emami Jagannath Temples before marvelling at the fascinating phenomenon of ‘inverted beach’ at Chandipur Beach, tasting the local cuisine, and arriving at Bhitarkanika National Park for an epic nature-filled trek through the mangroves, boat trips and cruises. In addition, bike tours that discover hidden marine ecosystems, as well as a wide variety of bird and crab species as well as its star attraction – saltwater crocodiles.

The trail of the waterfalls

Depart Ranchi, visit Keonjhar in Odisha, and discover its many attractions, like Bhimkund and Sanaghagara Nature Camp, which is especially suitable for nature lovers. Do not forget to stop along the way at places like the twin waterfalls of Sanaghagara and Barakuda and the incredible Sitabinji mural and rock inscription, as well as the picturesque Kanjipani Ghati. Around every corner, be enchanted by the inspiring natural beauty of Odisha.

The Royal Tigers

This trip will take you from Ranchi or Jamshedpur to Similipal and Baripada Tiger Reserve in Odisha. It is a road trip that can be enjoyed for its historical attractions as well as the wildlife along the route. The latter can be seen in its entirety at places like Barehipani, Devkund and Joranda: waterfalls, peacock and sambar viewing at Chahala and the grand jungle safari to Similipal Biosphere Reserve and Tiger Reserve to follow the traces of the royal Bengal tiger. You can also visit Mugger Crocodile Breeding Park and Gurguria Orchid Garden to satisfy your craving for wild animals. For history, be sure to stay in the vast Belgadia Palace and explore the Krushna Mohan Hanumana cave temple and the Athara Deula temple complex.

Reach the hills

Take a trip to Odisha’s hill station Daringbadi from Visakhapatnam via Rayagada on this enchanting road trip to get all the adrenaline rush you need on a road trip. Walk through the hill station’s coffee and pepper plantations, visit Daringbadi Falls, and stop at Butterfly and Hill View parks for epic photos. Follow the path to Mandasaru, a quiet valley known for its rare medicinal plants and animal species. Along the way, enjoy thrilling water sports at Gopalpur-on-Sea beach for a real adrenaline rush.

Odisha Wild West Quest

This road trip will take you from Raipur to Dibrugarh via Hirakud, and its myriad of attractions is worth making a detour at the earliest. From driving along the man-made wonder of modern India, the Hirakud Dam, the world’s longest earthen dam, to spotting wildlife in the nearby Debrigarh and Satkosia game reserves to hiking in the Gandhamardan hills and revered temples like Chausath Yogini, Patali Srikhetra and visit Indralath. Temples, among others, the beauty and joy of driving through these places are like taming the Wild West.

Enjoy the Monsoon

This route, which will take you from Visakhapatnam to Koraput to Odisha via Deomali Hill, is more suitable for the monsoon but can be done any time of the year. The trip allows you to visit the mighty Deomali Hills and stop at Duduma Falls, which divides Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, before travelling to Koraput, known for its tribal influence, coffee plantations and incredible landscapes. Once there, be sure to interact with the locals of the Dhuruba and Gadaba tribal villages, stop at the Koraput Tribal Museum to learn about their culture, and visit Kotpad Village to learn about the rich textile history of Odisha.

Sail through the Circars

A heady mix of nature and culture, this road trip from Visakhapatnam to Chilika via Gopalpur promises to be spectacular in many ways. The itinerary stops at the healing hot springs of Taptapani for a natural massage session, admires the Gandahati Falls and visits the Jirang Monastery Buddhist temple complex before departing for Chilika and Mangalajodi. The latter is not only a true paradise for bird watchers, but you can also try to spot the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins and admire the mesmerising sunrises and sunsets over the Chilika Lake while taking this fascinating road trip. 

There you have it, the seven itineraries lined up for your next road trip that promises excitement and adventure, as well as a wealth of discoveries and experiences along the way. These routes are also officially a part of Odisha tourism, which makes them even more interesting.

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