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Things To Do In Baripada
Baripada is a town rich in culture, spirituality and traditions. It is situated in the Mayurbhanj district of northern Orissa and serves as the headquarters of the district as well. Baripada usually features on the itinerary of tourists visiting the popular attractions in Mayurbhanj; with great options in accommodation and food, Baripada serves as an excellent base to travel to all neighbouring tourist spots and is often considered the cultural centre of northern Orissa. Read on to know more about some of the best things to do while in Baripada.
Explore the Wildlife at Simlipal National Park
Simlipal National Park is known to be the largest wildlife sanctuary in the country, being home to a significant population of tigers and elephants that are some of the key highlights of the park. Moreover, the extensive biodiversity within the sanctuary means all wildlife enthusiasts will find themselves in awe of the variety of bird and animal species found here, which easily range in hundreds of numbers. Jeep safaris are the most popular way to explore the park, with the help of guides who travel with the visitors and are experts in tracking different species.
Bhimakund is a sacred pool located close to a village named Booring, around 160 km from Baripada. It is formed by the flowing of the river Vaitarani from a gorge, which drops down to create a pool that is believed to have been the bathing spot of Bhima, one of the five Pandava brothers, during their stay in the region. There are no direct bus services to Bhimakund, but the roads are good and private cabs can be hired to reach here. The most convenient accessibility is through Dhenkikote on State Highway 11 to get to Keonjhar, from where Bhimakunda can be reached easily. The locals are known to gather here in large numbers during the celebration of the Makar Sakranti festival.
Enjoy a Picnic at Devkund
Devkund is a beautiful tourist spot around 60 km away from Baripada, and falls under the range of Simlipal National Park. A 50 feet high waterfall that drops into a reservoir is the most splendid sight in the area, with the Maa Ambika Temple situated on a hill at the head of the waterfall. Devkund translates to ‘bathing area of gods’, and while the region is very popular among visitors as a spectacular picnic spot, the pool of water and the temple are just as revered among the locals for its religious significance.
Experience Rath Yatra
The Rath Yatra celebrated in the Jagannath Temple of Baripada is a famous festival that involves the practice of carrying the deity of the temple by devotees in a large chariot. The procession involves large crowds of people gathering to celebrate the festival with a lot of merriment. The grandiose of Rath Yatra in Baripada is second only to that celebrated in Puri, which has given Baripada the name of Dwitiya Srikhetra (Second Puri). The uniqueness of the festival celebrated in Baripada is that the people carrying the chariot are primarily women devotees, who also carry the deity Maa Subhadra all across town.