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Tourist Places To Visit In Berhampur
The city of Berhampur is one of the oldest and largest cities of the eastern coastal state Orissa, and is situated in the Ganjam district around 170 km away from the capital Bhubaneswar. The original name of the city is Brahmapur, which translates to ‘Abode of Lord Brahma’; a fitting name for the city that houses numerous temples and brings religious devotees in from places far off. While Berhampur is a traditional and culturally rich town, the local attractions within the city aren’t just limited to its religious significance. Read on to know more about some of the best places to visit when in Berhampur.
The beautiful Gopalpur Beach, also known as Gopalpur-at-sea, is situated around 16 km away from Berhampur and is one of the key attractions around the city. It is most well known for being the mating and nesting site for the rare Olive Ridley Turtles, and tourists flock to the beach during mating season each year to experience the marvel. There is also a lighthouse here that offers amazing views of the beach and the coconut and casuarina groves that surround it. The overall serene ambience of the beach makes it a fantastic place to just take a stroll or hang out with family and friends.
The Potagarh Fort is located 35 km away from Berhampur on the outskirts of the city, and is also known as the ‘Buried Fort’ because of the position of its high walls. It is located on the banks of the Rushikulya river, which imparts a beautiful and calming ambience to the area around the fort; it is often frequented by local families who visit for picnics and excursions. The fort holds considerable importance for historians and archaeologists even though most of the structure remains in ruins today after being destroyed in the epidemic of 1815.
The Taratarini Temple is located 30 km away from the city of Berhampur and is believed to be one of the four major Shakti Piths in the country. The temple is dedicated to the twin goddesses Tara and Tarini, who are highly revered deities in southern Orissa. Situated on top of a hill that has the sacred Rushikulya River flowing alongside it, the temple can be reached after climbing a 1000 steps. During the Hindu month of Chaitra, the temple witnesses a huge crowd of devotees; Tuesdays are also considered auspicious days when the devotees perform rites and rituals associated with the goddesses.
Panchama is a small village around 13 km away from Berhampur that is most famous for the Siddhi Binayak Ganesh Temple. The actual idol of Lord Ganesha is present within the groove of a Peepal tree, which was unearthed by the king Purushottam Dev of Puri. Upon its discovery, the king ordered the installation of a temple around the tree and placed five families in the vicinity who were assigned the responsibility of performing the daily rituals associated with the temple. The construction of the temple and the necessary arrangements were completed in five days, which gave the name Panchami to the village. The eve of Vinayak Shukla Chaturthi sees crowds of devotees flock to the temple to pay their respects each year.
Often referred to as the ‘Kashmir of Orissa’, Daringbadi is a hill station located at an elevation of 3000 m around three hours away from Berhampur. It is a splendid location covered in pine trees and coffee gardens, with beautiful valleys and picturesque scenery that will make you forget that you are in the tropical state of Orissa. It is the perfect place to take a trip to during the intense summer months or enjoy the snow during winters.
Aryapalli Beach is located around 30 km away from the city and is one of the liveliest and fun beaches in the region. The shores are lined with palm trees and casuarina plantations where visitors can enjoy the spectacular combination of sun, sand and surf. The beach is always bustling with people, and the atmosphere always cheery; the dawn and dusk moments are especially magical. The seaside climate is perfect for visits all through the year, with also a village nearby where visitors can interact with the local fishers.
In contrast to the Aryapalli Beach, the Rushikulya is a quiet and tranquil place to relax and take a breather from the crowded tourist spots. The clear shimmering water makes for a picture perfect scene where one is offered the luxury of unwinding on the vast sandy beach. Apart from the Gopalpur Beach, the Rushikulya Beach is the other location where Olive Ridley turtles can be observed during the mating season.
Mantridhi Siddha Bhairavi Temple
The Siddha Bhairavi Temple is dedicated to the goddess Bhairavi and is situated in a small village called Mantridi around 18 km from Berhampur. According to legend, the idol of the goddess was unearthed by a farmer while he was ploughing his fields; in 1937, a temple was constructed around the statue while the idol was kept in its true crude form. The structure has seen numerous renovations since it was first built, and now houses hundreds of idols including a small shrine devoted to Lord Jagannath. Most of the crowd visiting the temple can be seen on Tuesdays and other occasions like Sakranti, Dussehra and Mahasaptami.
Maa Budhi Thakurani Temple
The Budhi Thakurani Temple is one of the most revered spots in the city, wherein the goddess Thakurani is primarily worshipped by the Dera – the local weaver community. Apart from that, the temple has also known to be a place where different castes of Hindus all pray together, making this temple a stronghold that brings all communities together.
The temple is also famous for being the host of one of the most grandly celebrated festivals in southern Orissa – the Thakurani Yatra. It is a month long event that is celebrated every two years in the Hindu month of Chaitra. The head priest and his wife lead a procession of devotees to the temple, where the goddess idol is dressed in traditional attire to be carried on a chariot from her marital home to her parent’s home, playing the role of a daughter who visits her childhood home after marriage every two years.