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Tourist Places To Visit In Rourkela
A city in northern Orissa that appears to be an amazing confluence of natural beauty, religious significance and commercial industrialism, Rourkela is located in the beautiful Sundergarh district and features as one of the finest cities in the state worthy of a holiday trip. With numerous temples spread all over town along with scenic locales surrounded by streaming rivers and serene lakes, Rourkela perfectly combines spirituality with nature’s glory; read on to know some of the most amazing places to visit while in Rourkela.
The Khandadhar Falls are situated in the middle of a dense forest around 100 km away from Rourkela. The relatively long journey to reach this masterpiece of nature will prove worthy of all the trouble once you witness the beauty of this waterfall that drops from an immense height of 244 m. There are also a number of interesting legends attached to the origins of this waterfall – the most famous one related to the goddess Kankala Devi. The local Pauri Bhuiya tribe who live close by are known to worship this goddess; they believe the goddess is capable of consuming everything including soil and when they placed her on a rock on the hill, she bore a hole in the rock that led to the gushing of water from it, which formed the waterfall as we know it today.
Vedvyas, earlier known as Parasara Munda, is the location where the rivers Koel, Saraswati and Shankha meet to form the Brahmani River. It is believed to have been named after the sage Vedvyas, whose most notable contribution to the world is the composition of the Hindu epic, Mahabharata. The place consists of a number of temples dedicated to different gods, which also drives huge crowds of devotees to the spot each year that visit for occasions like marriages, thread ceremonies and even rituals related to last rites. The festival of Shivratri is celebrated with special grandeur, with events that last 10 – 14 days on the grounds of the temples.
At a distance of around 25 km from Rourkela, a gorge on the river Ib that extends over 5 km features a naturally formed Shiva Linga – the phallic form of Lord Shiva – made up of black granite. The Linga is a major place of worship for the locals in the area; the place has been turned into a temple that was constructed by the King Shekhar Dev and was named after the gorge itself – Ghoghar Temple, also known as Ghoghar Dham. With influx of crowds of Shiva devotees from the neighbouring states as well as locals, arrangements have been made in the area for accommodation purposes of the visitors.
Hanuman Vatika is a gorgeous garden in Rourkela that is best known for being the location of a giant statue of the Hindu deity Hanuman; standing at 75 feet tall, it is the tallest Hanuman statue in Asia and was constructed by Sri Lakshman Swami of Hyderabad. Spread over an area of 13 acres, there are a number of other temples within the garden dedicated to various deities like Maa Kali, Santoshi Maa, Jagannath etc. A new Sai Baba temple has been recently added to the existing group of impressive religious monuments. There is also a separate demarcated area that is available to the public for functions and gatherings like marriages, parties etc. Important festivals like Rath Yatra and Shivratri are also celebrated on a large scale in this religiously significant garden.
Rourkela Steel Plant
The Rourkela Steel Plant is Orissa’s first integrated public sector steel plant that was established in the year 1955. With the help of a collaboration with German companies, the plant was gradually increased to a tremendous capacity over time. It now comes under the management of Steel Authority of India (SAIL), which has helped the plant undergo multiple stages of development and modernization. A key element that has helped put Orissa on the map, the Rourkela Steel Plant should be one of the top attractions to visit in the city.
Vaishno Devi Temple
A replica of the famous Vaishno Devi temple from Jammu, the one in Rourkela was constructed in the year 2000. It includes beautiful idols of the goddesses Kali, Saraswati and Lakshmi, and also consists of a Bhairavnath Temple close to the Vaishno Devi – just like in Jammu. The temple is located on Durgapur Hill and can be reached after climbing 600 stairs, with picturesque views on offer once you reach the top. Since the upkeep of the temple falls under the management of the Vaishno Devi Trust, there are brilliant facilities available for the comfort of the visitors.
Rani Sati Temple
Rani Sati temple is located in Birmitrapur, around 35 km away from Rourkela. It is a white marble structure that was constructed in 1967, and is also known as Jhun Jhun Dham. The deity Rani Sati is widely worshipped by the Marwari community of Rajasthan, but also has a considerable local following in Rourkela. Brilliant artwork can be admired within the interiors of the temple along with beautiful gardens outside the monument, one of which has an impressive statue of Lord Shiva.