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Buddhakhol: Buddha & Buddheswar:A tourist destination from Odisha Tourism

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Buddhism had influenced the civilization all along the areas covering Silk route in Central Asia.In the Odisha state of India,there are many such places where Buddhism had flourished. One such place is Buddhakhol where signs of Buddhism has still exist but inside the Shiva temple.

About 70 km away from Berhampur,on the top of a hill,near Buguda, Budhakhol is a scenic spot with caves,waterfalls,green canopy and remains of Buddhism. The name Budhakhol is derived from Buddha and Khol means Caves.There are two caves still present which were being used then by the Monks to meditate. Sidhha Gumpha and Dyana Gumpha as they called it. Apart from the caves as a meditation place for the Monks, there are statues of Buddha which are being worshiped now as Buddheswar.

Lord Buddheswar

There is a perennial source of waterfall attracting picnickers from nearby areas.There are 5 temples, called Panchu Mahadeva which is another attraction for the religious tourists who throng to this place from all over Odisha to worship Gangadhareswar, Sidheswar, Buddheswar, Jagadieswar and Makareswar.

Odisha tourism has developed the site with parks,all weather roads.

Lord Shiva and Maa Parbati

Historical Importance:The place and the caves were a major site of Buddhism learning.Even Lord Buddha is said to have stayed here.The Chinese traveler Huensang too had come to this place to learn Buddhism during his 17 years stay in India during 6th CE.It is said that the King of Bhanjanagar had constructed the temples later and worship of Buddheswar had started.One family of preist wes brought from Puri to worship Lord Buddheswar. Now the family has grown to forty families engaged in daily rituals at the temple as well as another temple called Kuberaswar(another Buddhist site) near Buddhakhol. Recently a Hanuam statue has been erected at the bottom of the hill and the Statues of Shiva Parbati has been donated by Ipsita Pati, an odiya actress.

Major attraction: The Water fall, Treaking,Scenec beauty,Picnic,Temples and the Park are the major attractions.Also at a distance of 3 kms another Buddhist site called Kuberaswar can be visited.

Kuberaswar

Travel advise:One can reach to the hill top through the stairs as well as by car through the newly constructed road.But parking after reaching to the top may be a problem as space to accommodate is less. Place is safe except stiff and slippery stairs.Food shops are not available at the top, so may carry water bottle and light food from Buguda. However Prasad is available at the temple kitchen.I had my lunch at the temple.One can take bath at the waterfall.

Prasad

How to reach: The nerest train station is at Berhampur ,at 70 kms and nearest airport is at Bhubaneswar.One can take a taxi from Berhampur or by byke and reach to Budhakhol through Buguda.Road codition is good.Start from Berhampur to Aska and then from Aska roundabout straight road till Buguda.From Buguda one road at the right side leads to around 5 kms for Buddhakhol.

Accomodation: One accomodation is available at Krushnachandra Yatriniwas.But book it in advance. Otherwise one has to stay at Berhampur or Asika. Good number of budget hotels are available at Aska.For picnic ,utensils are available on hire near the park at bottom of the hill.

Accomodation.

Prefered time: Any day is prefered.But October to January is prefered when climate is not hot or rain is expected.Also during Shivaratri, one can enjoy the gathering.

Tibet Settlement in India- Jirang Monastry- Mini Tibet of Odisha-My travel story to Buddhist sites of Odisha

Buddhism and Pargalpur,Odisha-

Tibet Settlement in India- Jirang Monastry- Mini Tibet of Odisha-My travel story to Buddhist sites of Odisha

Jaugarh Fort:Major Rock edicts of Ashoka.

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Deomali Hill Top near Koraput.The highest mountain peak of Odisha.

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Situated at a hight of 1672 mtr on the eastern ghats of South Odisha,Deomali hill top is a marvelous scenic beauty with wide range of flora and fauna and inhabited by tribes like Kondh,Bhumia and Malli.On the way to Sunabeda from Koraput it is around 58 kms from Koraput.

The Deomali Hill top

I started from Raygada to Jeypore and Koraput and then after one night stay at Jeypore, went to Deomali.Wide and sometime narrow roads flanked both sides with green stretches of trees,it gives a feel of travelling in a tunnel made of trees.Negotiating the sharp turns and hilly terrain it offers an adventurous journey till one reaches to the hill top of Deomali. Cold winds blowing at the peak of the hill and sitting there at the posts made by Odisha Tourism is something one can cherish the memories of adventurous journey.

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Things to do: Photography lovers can capture some of the beautiful snaps of naturural Beauty.Treaking, Camping and film shoot or simply stitting at the posts and enjoying the nature.

Travel advice:Good driving skills,warm clothing during winter is must.In addition Stepney is must as no tyre repair shop is nearby and the road puts the vehicle tyre to its extreams.I had a tyre burst near Koraput but fortunately I had a Stepney and a tyre shop near by.Changed the tyre at the store and went ahead.

The tyre shop at Koraput

Food, one need to carry if planning for a camp or trek.Nereby villages are inhabited by tribes who are very cooperative and research scolars can make document on their lifestyle.

Where to stay: The nereby hotel available is at Koraput or Jeypore.I stayed at Jeypore in a hotel named Hello Jeypore with a rent of Rs.1895 plus. Restaurant is attached with the lodging.

Hotel Hello Jeypore.

How to reach:The Deomali hill top can be reached by car and bikes.Nearest railway station is at Jeypore.Nearest airport is Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam.

One can plan for travel to Deomali alongwith Gupteswar temple near Jeypore and some good number of waterfalls in Koraput district.

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Chadhei Club – Birders of Sambalpur and the Birdman.

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Sambalpur and the adjoining area has always been a bird’s paradise. Thanks to the green environment with a plethora of flora and the huge waterbody of Hirakud reservoir. Although some industrial units have come up since the last couple of years with their complementary polluting outputs contributing to the destruction of birds’ habitats, there are many breeding and feeding habitats still left for the birds to survive. Though some species are less visible now a days, no particular species has depleted to the extent of extinction. In such a situation,a group of individuals vowed to revive the birders club – Chadhei Club Sambalpur.

The Club was initially founded by Late Sri Surendra Mohan Pradhan in early 2010. Also fondly known among the birders of Sambalpur as the “Birdman of Odisha”, he made a wide range of documents on birds and their habitats. An avid birder and a school teacher, he spent a major part of his life documenting the birds. Spending on costly equipment for birding from own’s pocket was not easy. Since no sponsors were available in those days, he devised his own equipments to collect data or to take snaps of birds. Before his demise, he was able to gather many important documents on birds apart from authoring a book on the nestings of birds. The book was jointly authored by his only son Sri Ashis Pradhan and another Sri Nayar. The book was widely appreciated among bird lovers after being published by the Government of Odisha.

The Birdman of Odisha, Surendra Agyan(Sir) was not only a birder but also a great motivator towards bird conservation. He was able to motivate many poachers to stop poaching and join for the cause of conservation. As narrated by Ashish Pradhan, once during their birding on the banks of river Mahanadi, they noticed a group of teens searching for eggs laid by birds. They were regularly collecting the eggs for food and therefore were a source of information about the nesting sites. Surendra Agyan immediately offered the teens an alternate. He motivated them to refrain from harming the nests and stop collecting eggs. Instead he would offer them eggs purchased from the market.The teens were happy enough and became his friends for lifetime. Later on, the teens became a major source of information about nests and were actively associated against poaching.

After his demise, the club he had envisioned stopped its activities due to the lack of motivation. Efforts to register the club as a society were foiled by a lack of followups and red tapism. Interestingly, once even the official who had come for verification of the club address, didn’t get convinced and insisted on showing the birds. He misunderstood the club as some thing to be a zoo. However, the club was finally registered.

The members of the Chadhei Club again started gathering in remote areas in the outskirts of the town in search of birds. The vigour was slowly returning back with new members joining the club. Regular visits to different sites and creating awareness in the society, the members were tirelessly putting in their efforts to take the Club to a new height. And then, the pandemic of Covid-19 struck upon them. Site visits of the club were again hampered. But the doors were not yet closed.

One of the most important events was pending since long – the launching of a Logo for the club. A logo was finalised by the club which was decided to be inaugurated in a grand manner.A young creative artist Ms Sriya Sibadarshini designed the logo for the club. Struggling against lockdowns and pandemics, the club finally inaugurated the logo. Although a physical gathering was not possible but all members and guests joined on a virtual platform to inaugurate the Logo online.

And finally, on the 5th of Jun, 2021, on the occasion of World Environment day, the logo of Chadhei club was inagurated to the public eye. It was also posted on the social media of Chadhei Club. Chadhei Club with the new logo can now be followed on Koo, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The Logo
Inagurating the logo on zoom platform

The aim of the club has not changed from what it was envisioned as by the founder and Birdman of Odisha Sri Surendra Agyan. He had left behind him a team of dedicated bird lovers, who in this inaugural function again repeated their vows towards conservation of birds and their habitats.

(The club can be contacted by mail to: chadheiclubsbp@gmail.com. The club can be followed on Twitter, Koo, Insta and Fb)

Tapping the Youth power For Bird conservation-The Chadhei Club of Sambalpur

Blackbuck and the Sorodo Village:A story of co-existence

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Blackbuck, also known as Indian Antelope is one of the endangered species are found in Indian subcontinent and Nepal.Once #blackbuck was found all over the subcontinent was reported to be 80000 during 1947 have depleted to 8000 in 1964.The beautiful animal has a distinct colour that differ among sexes.The male are dark black and female are reddish brown with white underparts on both sexes.Male with long curly horns often found in a group of 5-50.Said to be only surviving member of Antelope family are still available in places though in small numbers.One such place is the Sorodo Village in the Ganjam district of Odisha,India.

While travelling by road at places the “drive slow,” caution boards near Aska town rose my curiosity to see them.After Googling on Blackbucks and checking with villagers nearby ,I came to know about the fact of endangered status of the species and also about the conservation of them by the villagers of Sorodo.Also said to be in plenty near Bhetnoi village about 10 kms away from Sorodo.In fact the entire plains of the area is inhabitated by these Anelopes.

On 19th Dec 2021, early morning with one of my friend we started from Berhampur to Sorodo village.Sorodo village is around 60 Kms from Berhampur via Aska.Road was good and we reached at Sorodo village at around 8 AM.One of the villager Mr.Vinayak who we had contacted to guide us was waiting at the village and he took us to the out skirts of the village to see the Blackbucks.It was cold winter and weather too was bit cloudy.My Nikon D500 camera was asking for more ISO and suddenly I saw one well grown male, dark black in colour was sitting alone at a distance of 50 MTR away from the main road. i stopped my car and zoomed my camera to take snaps.He looked at me and posed for some snaps before running into the bushes nearby.Another group of Balckbucks and then many other small groups at a distance of around 200 mts.

I asked Vinayak..how much close we can reach to them…in the afternoon they come very close to village, he told.Even the villagers have made a grass land for them to graze.But do they poach then I asked.Never..he told.Blackbucks are destroying the crops but villagers never kill them.And this is the reason, the number is still good at this area for this endangered species.Sometimes they find calfs which they carefully handover to forest department.The main predators are the dogs from the village.Sometime the dogs hunt them for food.The villagers are their protectors and have set an example of Human-Nature co-existence.

One can reach to this village by road from Aska or Bhanjanagar.Best time to see them is early morning and around 4 PM.

#blackbuck #antelope

Professionalism-Not someone’s whim.

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The Professional, an International best seller by Subroto Bagchi, published by Penguin, Rakesh was reading when he came across an interesting episode. Received a call from one of his colleagues. …..and then the clash of ego which could add another chapter to the best seller.

The colleague was Mt.Sanjota and was senior in Rank but equally positioned in a different department of a clerely defined structural verticals under a single boss to both of them.Both report to one boss and both have different roles.Rakesh has an advisory role where as Sanjota has the operational role.But Mr.Sanjota has knowingly or unknowingly a grid for power which landed him to a situation of avoidable ego clash with Rakesh.

A professional must always know the Organisational structures,its instructions which enables oneself in discharging better.Secondly encroaching to peers area of work not only creates enemity,distrust but also infringement of organisational instructions.

In a similar manner, Mr Sanjota unknowingly crossed his domain and was objected by Mr.Rakesh.The objection by Rakesh was rightful, bcaz a professional must know where to say NO.It may hurt someone’s ego and exactly what happened.Mr Sanjota lost control of himself and kept on going unprofessional.Although he realised latter but ego is something never fades away.Willingly or unwillingly he obeyed the organisational instructions.But in the entire episode,he lost credentials of self among his peers.

An organisation always have a clear goal for which it has a clear set of instructions.It is the man which interprete and implement the instructions.A profesional approch for implementation of instructions enriches the organisation.On other hand an unprofessional approach hampers the organisation,create poor Interpersonal Relationship,lack of humour in workplace.

As the situation moves on, the story may be another page on the best seller book.Till then organization should be run by professionals not on someone’s whim…..

(Disclaimer: Names of character are not real.Any similarity is coincidence.)

Gopalpur Beach-A tourist destination-Gopalpur on Sea.

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During my stay at Berhampur,Odisha, on holidays I travelled to nearby tourist attractions.Away from home and family, holidays are difficult for time pass.So to make the holiday a memorable one, I decided to explore the lesser known places nearby with historical importance and highlight them for a better tourist inflow.After all Odisha is “India’s best kept secret”.One such destination is the Gopalpur -on- Sea.

History of Gopalpur:A 15 Kms ride from Berhampur,Gopalpur ,a sleepy town on the beach of Bay of Bengal has been named after the Gopalji(Lord Krishna) temple built by a trader in 18 th century. Those days, traders from Odisha would sail to Burma,Java,Sumatra from this place.One such successful trader after earning huge profits,decided to build a temple in the name of Gopal or Krishna.Slowly the area became populated with more fisherman and traders settling here.The temple is located just near the beach and I could not resist my temptation to see the historical monument.

Later during British rule the place had seen major activities on the port by way of rice import from Burma.Now the old port have been modernised and trading activities have picked up.

The Beach: Gopalpur beach is one of the beautiful beach of India located in South Odisha . Mangroves,long strech of Cashew nut and coconut trees adds to the trill of blue horizon accross the sea.The light house is another major attraction,one can see the entire Gopalpur from the top.

Small food stalls selling Coconut and fishfry on the beach adds to the joy of foodies like me.Not much crowded during morning hours become a most sought-after place for the nearby people who gather here in the evening and enjoy the sea food sitting on the newly constructed sitting arrangements on the beach.

Coconut selling

It was half past noon and climate was hot.Even the crow was serching for shade.I decided to go to a restaurant for lunch.Rice,Dal, chicken biryani and sea fish was on the menu card.I prefered Chicken biriyani and a coke.

The crow searching for shade.

What are the things to enjoy: Gopalpur beach has been developed by Odisha tourism recently,like water sports, beach festivals and sitting arrangements facing the deep blue sea.One can simply sit there and watch the sea or the sea crabs fighting on the sand dunes.Water sports and bird watching are other things one can enjoy.

Water sports
Brahmy kite
Brahmy kite and large egret
Kentish plover
Large egret.

Children can enjoy in newly opened childre park on the beach or can try beach kabbadi.

Beach kabbadi
A crab on the sand dunes.

Photography lovers can go around for some beautiful snaps

After lunch, I went for birding and captured on my Nikon camera some shots of birds and the beautiful beach.

When to visit:Well for a traveller there is no particular time to visit a destination ,I feel,but it is better to consider a visit during October to December when one can enjoy the beach festival and also not to worry about rain during that time.

Where to stay:There are many budget hotels costing Rs 2000/- onwards and also some premium hotels like Mayfair and others facing directly towards the sea.Also one can stay at Berhampur.

Some budget hotels on the beach.

How to reach: From Berhampur it is only 15 Kms journey, one can hire a taxy or can prefer the buses plying frequently from Berhampur.Berhampur is a South Odisha town connected by train and roadways from Chennai,Kolkota and Bhubaneswar.The nearest airport is Bhubaneswar.

Food preferences:All types of vegetarian and Non-vegetarian food is available and is influenced by South Indian taste.Idli and Dosa are favourite for breakfast.

Clothings: Climate is pleasant and not cold to carry winter garments.Being a costal area ,rain can be expected anytime and thus may prefer to carry an umbrella.During noon hours it is bit hot and thus may advise to carry loose clothing,goggles and hat.

There is another sea side tourist place at Chilka, the largest salt water lake near Berhampur.Some other day again a travel diary to Chilka.

Another tourist place on the hills of Koraput, visited recently….Deomali Hill Top near Koraput.The highest mountain peak of Odisha.

When visiting Gopalpur,one can add the Jirang BuddhistMonastry in the visit list.Tibet Settlement in India- Jirang Monastry- Mini Tibet of Odisha-My travel story to Buddhist sites of Odisha

Kandhara:The well and Mahima dharma of Bhimabhoi.

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On the way to Baudh from Rairakhol in Odisha state of India, a lesser known place of Kandhara.A small Mutt and the famous well there.From inside the well the famous lines of Bhimabhoi once uttered, now written on the walls of United Nations…… A Mahima sanyasi at the Mutt there narrates me the teachings of Bhimabhoi.

In 1850, Bhimabhoi also known as the Blind poet and Santha kabi was born in a Kondh clan of Jatesingha, now in Subarnapur District of Odisha.Being from a very poor family, in search of livelyhood, once he reaches to Kandhara village.He plead for a job in front of the landlord there.After initial reluctance,the landlord later agreed to keep him as the care taker of the cattle folk.Bhimabhoi would take the cattles to the jungle for grazing and return in the evening.He was blind since birth.Once while coming back, he fell into a well.Cattles returned back to the village,but one calf didn’t.The calf stayed there at the well, waiting for Bhimabhoi to come out.The landlord sent someone to find out the missing calf.The man reaches to the calf and found Bhimabhoi inside the well.The villagers reaches to the spot and tried to bring Bhimabhoi out.But Bhimabhoi refused to comeout….who had made me fall here only( he meant God) will take me out…he insisted. Failed to pursuade Bhimabhoi ,finally the villagers returned back, leaving him inside the well.

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The famour well at Kandhara.

Seeing the pain, God himself went to the well to take out Bhimabhoi.God extended his right hand into the well but Bhimabhoi again refused.How can I believe you without seeing you my God…..Bhimabhoi told.There are many who had come here to help me come out.You may be one among them.But I want him to help me who had made me fall here.

Bhimabhoi being blind since birth could not see.He asked God to give him eyesight, so that he could see himeself and believe.God agreed and gave him eyesight.Bhimabhoi, then agreed to hold God’s right hand and come out of the well……but he immediately requested God to take back the eyesights…and uttered the famous lines…..

…….witnessing the plethora of plights on earth how one could bear with; let the world get redeemed at my cost” ( ପ୍ରାଣୀଙ୍କଆରତ ଦୁଃଖ ଅପ୍ରମିତ ଦେଖୁ ଦେଖୁ କିମ୍ବା ସହୁ ମୋଜୀବନ ପଛେ ନର୍କେ ପଡ଼ିଥାଉ ଜଗତ ଉଦ୍ଧାର ହେଉ।)The lines are now written on the walls of United Nations.

Mahima Dharma: Swami Mahima Gosain was the original founder of Mahima Dharma.But the credit of spreading it to places around Odisha, Andhrapradesh,Assam,Bengal, goes to Bhimabhoi.He would narrate the messages through catchy poems and his four followers, Basudev Panda,Harihara Panda,Markanda Dash and Dharmanada Dash would write them.Bhimabhoi himself had no formal education,but his teachings are now tought in Universities.Recently Sambalpur University has introduced a separate chair for study on Bhimabhoi.His teachings narrates extensively on socioeconomic,caste and religious discrimination prevailing in society those days.He tought the idea of one God, one religion,one society.God is present everywhere,in every thing. His idea was to take out the society out of this discrimination and thus wrote many poems which helped the Mahima Dharma spread among the opressed and discriminated sector of the society.United Nations and santhakabi Bhimabhoi.

Kandhara: The place can be reached by road from Rairakhol,15 Kms towards Boudh.Odisha,India.There is no hotel/lodge available.However one can stay and have food as prasad(offering) in the Mutt.

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Rakhya Bandhan: Taliban needs to learn the respect for Sisters.

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Rakhya Bandhan is the Hindu festival of brothers and sisters, but spread across all religions,cast and class in India as well as South Asian.In the months of August(Srabana in Hindu calender, on the day of Rakhya Bandhan the sisters tie a red thread on the right wrist of her brother.The brother in return gifts his sister dress, sweets and vows to protect her at every steps of life.Sister banks upon her brother in every time of crisis.This is India and its culture.

A sister tying Rakhi on his younger brother.

Taliban Culture:. Taliban teaches otherwise.The Taliban religion ( not Allah’s teachings) consider covering of face of their sisters is ultimate protection.The Taliban men covers their sisters with Burka from head to toe.In stead of chocolate as gift ,the Taliban men put a bullet on the head of his sister.

Photo from Google
Photo from Google

On this Rakhya Bandhan day I wish good sense prevails in the Talibanies and their supporters, Pakistanis in perticular.May the Pakistanis who are well acquainted with the Indian teachings of Love & Respect for the sisters can teach their Talibani friends in Afghanistan.

I wish the teachings of Rakhi reach the Taliban.Wish the sisters are protected , not butchered by Talibans.Rakhya Bandhan-An Indian festival.

A Rakhi on the wrist of brother

Rakhya Bandhan-An Indian festival.

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Rakhya bandhan, a festival of love, affection and a pledge for protection of the sisters.A Hindu festival, but observed accros the religion in India.Also celebrated in some parts of Asia.Falls in the month of August(Shravana in Hindu calender) the festival is known in different names like Rakhi and Silonu in different areas.

Rakhya Bandhan, a Sanskrit name means “Bond of Protection.On this day the sisters, tie a red thread on the wrist of their brother expecting him to be the protector from every evils .In return, the brother gifts her with dress ,sweets chocolates.

Rakhi-The sacred thread of protection.

Social significance: The brother and sister shares a special bond of affection and love while they grow together. Typically the sister marries and settles in her in- laws house.The brother remains in the parental house,takes care of the elderly parents.On this day, sister comes to her parents house and the Rakhi festival is celebrated.Jointly the entire family celebrates the occasion,shares the sweets and remembers the good times of the past.The sister gets some good times with her parents and relatives.After few days stay, the brother accompany the sister to drop her to her in-laws house.In this way ,the brother becomes a bridge between the both families.In the times of difficulty, the sister banks upon his brother for help and protection.

The function is not confined to blood relation only.Even a brother- sister relationship is created by tying the Rakhi around the wrist of a man cutting across the division of religion ,caste and creed.

A sister tying the Rakhi to her younger brother

Hindu mythology: In Hindu texts of Bhavishya Purana,Lord Krishna mentioned, the tying of Rakhi by Royal priest(Raj Purohit) on the right hand wrist of Yudhisthira.Even today, during Yagyan(worship, offering) the priest ties a red thread as Rakhi on the wrist of all present.

In India ,the Rakhi festival or Rakhya Bandhan is an occasion to bring the families Offers an opportunity to take out some quality time from the busy schedule for the family.Reminding the responsibility of brothers to their families, sisters and elderly parents.Bridges the gap between religion, cast, creed and class.

A lesson for the Talibans: On this day I pray for the sisters of Afganistan.May this Rakhi bring a hope for the sisters.Wish the Taliban learn to protect the sisters.

Jaugarh Fort:Major Rock edicts of Ashoka.

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Also known as the Kalinga fort, the Jaugarh Fort derives its name from Jau means Lac and Garh means Fort.Firstly documented by a team from Heldenberg University, the Jaugarh or Samapa in earlier days was once a fortified provincial capital of Kalinga soon after its conqure by Ashoka. The walls were made of lac, being slippery provided protection from climbing by enemy.The square shaped fort now without any signs of Lac walls,however still attracts many scolars and tourists for the Rock edicts of Ashoka present inside the fort.Protected by the Archeological Survey of India,the edicts are found to be written in Prakrit language in Pali scripts.

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The Rock edicts describes the changed and compassionate Ashoka the great.A total of 14 edicts except the 13 th are available.After the carnage of Kalinga war, Ashoka followed Buddhism but never imposed it upon followers other religions.Often he would invite religious heads of other religion to discuss on welfare of its people.

Jaugarh is situated at 35 kms from Berhampur.Other tourist attractions are the Tara Tarini temple on the way and thee Shiba temple, 2 kms away from Jaugarh.

Mode of transport: Car/taxi

Nearest airport is Bhubaneswar.

Nearest railway station: Berhampur.

Tibet Settlement in India- Jirang Monastry- Mini Tibet of Odisha-My travel story to Buddhist sites of Odisha

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About the Place:

Thousands of miles away from Tibet, a place in Odisha popularly known by the Tibetians here as “Phuntsokling”- the land of plenty and happiness.Surrounded within 5 km radius, it has the settlement of Tibetians in 4 camps at Chandagiri, Labarsing, Mahendragarh and Tanklipadar.A n important Buddhist religion followers and Buddhist site of Odisha.

In 1959 when Chinese invaded Tibet, large population fled to diffrent countries. India offred settlement camps at different places including Chandagiri.In 1963, the first batch of Tibetian refusee arrived in Chandagiri and stayed here ever since in 4 settlement camps, in and around Chandagiri.Generations passed and they made it their home, adding the colour of their culture and simplicity to the existing picturesque hills and forests of the eastern ghats range.The fluttering colourful flags and chanting sounds of Buddhist mantras from the Gompas and stupas have been spreading the essence of peace and attracting large numbers of tourists to this place, every year.

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A monastry at Jirang.

Here in Jirang near Chandagiri,the largest monastry of East India is a place of worship and study of Buddhism visited by monks from all over India and nearby countries.His Holiness The Dalai Lama inagurated the monastry in 2010. Mahapadmasambhaba, considered as the second to Lord Buddha, is worshiped here.I was told that Mahapadmasambhaba was the adopted son of King Bibhutipati.Mahapadmasambhab went to Tibet on the invitation of the King there and established Buddhism and Lamaism in Tibet.It is also believed that father of Mahapadmasambhaba,the King Bibhutipati was ruler of Sambal, the present days Sambalpur in Odisha on the banks of Manad or Mahanadi.Mahapadmasambhab is credited with the establishment of Tantric sect of Buddhism in Tibet before wiping out the evil spirits existed there, for which the King of Tibet has invited him.Since then the scholars of Buddhism always regard India and Sanskrit with high esteem and source of inspiration.

Monks of Jirang monastry

(pls visit YouTube link for detail travel videos.

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Jirang monastry
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My Travel story:

After a week long cloudy weather,it was a sunny morning of 24th july2021, an weekend holidays, with my cameras and light breakfast in a bag, I started at around 7.30 AM , in my Tata Nexon, a distance of slightly more than 80 KMs and 2 Hrs journey from Berhampur,Odisha.After a couple of stops for tea at the road side shops, I reached to the destination at Jirang.The road from Berhampur till Taptapani was straight with not much traffic.After Taptapani, the hilly drive started with sharp turns. Adventurous and scenec beuty of the road upto Jirang and a stop at the Taptapani Hot water spring is enough for a weekend jollytrip with family and friends.Although I was travelling alone but, will definitely go for another trip with family.I have a craze for local vegetables and fruits from road side vendors while travelling.And this time too I didn’t miss to buy few local vegetables and also some fruits for lunch.Before reaching to the Jirng monastry, I met with some Tibetians and talked to know about their life here and also about Buddhism.

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After a day stay here, I decided to return back at 5 PM.One may include a trip to sea beaches of Gopalpur when come back to BerhampurGopalpur Beach-A tourist destination-Gopalpur on Sea.

Travel Advisory:

Jirang monastry is accessible by all wether roads from Berhampur and Bhubaneswar .Road conditions is good but hilly terrain needs experienced driver.On the way, one can enjoy a dip in the hot springs of Taptapani.Local as well as Tibetian foods are available. Photographer s can enjoy taking some close snaps of Black Bucks at the outskirt villages of Berhampur city. #buddhism#jirang

Buddhism and Pargalpur,Odisha-