This time our destination was Orissa, our neighboring state, surrounded by Bay of Bengal, hills and deep virgin forest with many historical places. At around 4.30 am in an early we came out with small luggage for Dhauli Express which was scheduled at 6.00 am. The morning was not so cold - sky was very clear.
Around 9.30 am, we reached Balasore. We took a car from there. Our destination was Panchalingeswar, around 26 km away from Balasore station. We booked Panthanivas, OTDC for one night stay at Panchalingeswar. The road condition was good - yellow paddy fields spreading throughout both sides of the road endlessly miles after miles. We reached a place named Nilagiri within 40 minutes.
Here we saw Nilagiri Raj Palace along with some temples. The place was surrounded by a Nilgiri hill range. It was really a beautiful historical place. Balasore is famous for its forests and mines. This district is noted for the river Buhdabalanga and 3,824 feet high mountain Mahagiri. After spending 30 minutes there, we again moved towards our final destination. The road was damaged - but our eyes was on the nilgiri hills rangs. We had a grand view of the skyline with Nilgiri range with the yellow paddy landscape on earth. At around 11.45 am - we finally reached panthalivas. There were some construction works going around at that time. The accommodation was good - Devgiri range (part of nigiri) around us - monstrous rocks were scattered all around over the hills and the silence of forest prevails the beauty of that area; After bath and a hefty lunch we came out on the meadow road directing towards the famous Panchalingeswar temple.
We did not exert ourselves much that day as we were little bit tired, but took some snaps and enjoyed the nature. The night was a full moon night with the moon like a silver plate. The silhouette of the entire range in the moonlit night was a grand feast to our eyes. We indeed were lucky for that. The romance of the night covered us with mystic fulfillment. We called it an early night . Next day started for us at around 5.30 clock. The moon was still there in the sky. We planned to give puja at temple. So, we started towards the temple without stopping for breakfast .
After crossing half km from the panthanivas, we found a gate. From there, 260 stairs was waiting for us to take us to the auspicious heavenly abode of Lord Shiva. We found the rocks of different sizes all over the road side. Water from the falls situated on the hill top was trickling down under the rocks. It was real fun to watch people playing and bathing on those rocks and water. After crossing 260 stairs, we worshipped shiva lingas. This is the only place where one can find five shiva lingas. Nilgiri kings found those lingas long back. According to our guide , the character Jarashandha from our great epic Mahabharata, worshipped shiva here and due to some reason, he kept those lingas in the rocks. This is now very famous auspicious place for the local oriya people.
After this event, we planned for forest trek. Panchalingeswar is actually part of the Kuldiha forest. Kuldiha is called as Elephant Sanctuary. Bison, elephants, bears, deers, panther etc many animals are there in this forest. On top of the panchalingeswar temple, we found another temple of Banabibi (in Sunderban forest also, we find the same devi for worship). In front of that temple, there was a small lake. Our guide told us - the lake is not connected to any water flows; but it comes out from the bottom of that lake. We sat for 3 -5 minutes there and found bubbles coming out from the bottom.
Another wonder we saw. Then we started with vigour and renewed energy fast through the forest. It was really a dense one and the path was so narrow that two people can not move side by side. We saw the elephant's dung and footsteps of bison on our way . We walked nearly for an hour and found a small water fall - Charpuria Falls. It was really nice one. We felt total and utter bliss in that magical surrounding. Then we came back and after checking out of the panthanivas, we took some breakfast and started for the car waiting for us. Before getting into the car, our eyes again strayed to take in one last glance of the serene and rustic natural beauty of the place and we promised to ourselves that we will surely come back again atleast once again in our life. No luxury stay, no A/C no any other modern amenities but only nature , forest, poor people, hills , rocks and deep silence A wonderful combination of all Great Panchalingeswar.
At around 12.30 PM, we got into Chandipur - we booked our accommodation at anandamoyee hotel, the big hotel in Balasore. We took big lunch and then we took rest for the full day. In evening, we just roamed around the hotel compound. In dinner, we ordered for Sea Crabs. Uff...the taste was horrible; The size was huge. We wake up in early morning and went to the sea beach; The sea shore was long away from the hotel - say around 2 - 3 kms; Basically the there is nothing attractive in Chandipur; We watch the Sun rise; it was beautiful. The land was totally isolate. Normally 2 times in a day, sea water comes in Chandipur. On the sea shore, we watched many birds- this was something extra we got there. Here is end of this trip.
Here is some useful information:
Best time to visit: Sep - Jan Also March - April is good to watch animals
Not to forget: To bring mosquito coils, woolen clothes (in winter)
Best stay at:
OTDC Panthanivas, Panchalingeswar (Booking can be done through Utkal Bhavan, Kolkata)
Anandomoyee Hotel, Chandipur (Booking can be done through - The Wheels)