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Tourist Places To Visit In Balasore
Balasore is a beautiful district in the northernmost regions of Orissa that is well known all over the state for its glorious coastlines, magnificent temple architecture and some wonderful spots that are simply perfect for picnics and other outdoor activities. The region boasts a mix of various cultures and a rich ancient heritage that creates the perfect ambience for a great holiday destination, especially for those visiting from cities and towns located nearby. Listed below are some of the best places to visit in and around Balasore.
Around 30 km from Balasore, the Panchalingeshwar Temple is located on a hilltop in a village called Nilagiri. The temple is named after the five Shiva Lingas that it houses and is a very well-known religious spot in the area. There is also a perennial stream here that constantly bathes the Lingas. The hillock on which the temple is situated offers some amazing views of the surrounding mountains, valleys and forests. The natural beauty of this region draws crowds, both religious and non-religious alike, from places near and far.
The famous Chandipur Beach is located just 12 km from Balasore and is a unique seaside spot that people love to visit; especially during low tide. The distinctive feature of the beach that sets it apart from others is the receding of the shore to as far back as 5 km during ebb tide, which gives visitors the opportunity to explore the dry sea bed. People choose to stroll, cycle and occasionally even drive on the sea floor and make a fun day out of it. A small fishing village located close to the beach gives visitors the chance to interact with the locals and even hire a boat to venture out into the sea.
Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary
The Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary spreads across an area of around 300 sq. km. and is linked to the Simlipal National Park through the Sukhupada and Nato hills. It is home to a variety of rare as well as indigenous wildlife species, including an array of reptilian species as well. The best way to enjoy the sanctuary is through a jeep safari across the region with expertly trained guides. The animals in the sanctuary usually venture into the open more commonly during the winter months, which is the best time to visit this place.
Raibania is a village of historical significance in the Balasore district that is best known for the ancient group of forts located here. They are believed to be the largest medieval fort complex in eastern India and were constructed during the Buddhist era of Orissa. These forts have also been mentioned in the ‘Ain-i-Akbari’, a document detailing the administration of emperor Akbar. The forest of Jayachandi located close to the forts is a popular picnic spot.
Considered the religious centre of Balasore and also the neighbouring districts, the Chandaneswar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva – also known as Chandaneswar – and witnesses hundreds of devotees visiting it on a daily basis. Pana Sakranti, the first day of the Odia calendar, is celebrated in a grand manner in the temple premises. Other festivals like the Chadak Mela, Shivratri, and Nilaparva also sees devotees from within the state and neighbouring cities visit the temple to celebrate and pay their respects to the deity Chandaneswar.
Emami Jagannath Temple
The Jagannath Temple of Balasore was constructed recently and displays splendid stone carving in its architecture. Dedicated to Lord Jagannath, all rituals and practices in this temple follow those observed in the Jagannath Temple of Puri. Ever since its establishment, this 75 feet tall structure has become one of the top attractions of Balasore for its religious significance and magnificent architecture.
Khirachora Gopinath Temple
This 12th-century temple was constructed by King Narasimha of Utkala Dynasty and is dedicated to Lord Krishna; Khirachora Gopinath can literally be translated to ‘Krishna, the Milk Thief’. This religious site has also been the seat of Vaishnavite culture for a very long time. The statue of Lord Krishna is made up of black stone and also has idols of Lord Govinda and Madan Mohan on its either side.
Aradi is situated on the banks of the river Vaitarani, also known as the ‘Ganges of Orissa’. Located around 100 km from Balasore, it is one of the major religious sites in the district. The Akhandalmani Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva witnesses hundreds of devotees visiting the shrine on a daily basis not just for pilgrimage but also to seek relief from physical ailments. Aradi is most easily accessible through a boat journey from the river port of Chandabali.