Christmas Eve and New Year Eve Family Trips in and aound Keonjhar

     On the eve of Christmas and New Year, I have been to my home town. It was fully a family time to enjoy, as my sisters and relatives also visited to our home. We had few small trips near my home and around Keonjhar.

    Our first trip was to the Gadachandi Temple and Hadagarh Dam. The motor bike ride in the forests of Baula Mountains was an exceptional experience to cherish about. The Gadachandi Temple is situated on the foot hills of Baula Mountain, around 8KM from my home. Maa Gadachandi is the adobe of the temple. A small fountain flows in front of the temple, provides water for the temple as well as to the visitors, round the year. The source of the fountain is still unknown, most probably from the Salandi River, flowing though the rocks of the mountain. Visitors, preferably the youth, prefer climbing the rocks along side the fountain through the forest. Due to insufficient time, we could not climb for a ample amount of time. The banks of the stream is the best place for picnic for visitors in the season from October to March of the year.

     Hadagarh dam is situated amid the Baula Mountains, around 17KM from my home. The dam is built on the Salandi River, joining two mountains, one from either side. During rainy season the dam becomes full with water and the view of the gushing water from the top gates to the bottom of the dam is really amazing. The sub-merged hill inside the dam also creates a beautiful scenery for the visitor. In the dry seasons like from February to June, the water level of the dam reduces. During summer, one can go till the hills by walk, which were generally submerged during rainy season. Hadagarh has guest houses from tourists and visitors can stay overnight there.

    Our next trip was to the places near Keonjhar Garh, around 100KM from my home. We started our journey early in the morning. While going to Keonjhar, we have to cross the Ghatagaon, the place of Maa Tarini. There is a famous folk-tale related to how the deity came to Keonjhar and selected the place for her stay. Ghatagaon also has temples for Lord Shiv and Lord Jagannath. Maa Tarini is also famous as Nadia Rani, the coconut queen. People send coconuts to the temple on fulfillment of their wishes. The coconut transport service to Maa Tarini Temple is the largest free transport service. Not only from Orissa, but also from near-by states, coconuts comes to the temple. Due to the availability of huge amount of free coconuts, Ghatagaon also hosts to household factories of coconut subsidiaries.

    We offered our prayer in the temple, had prasada and had our breakfast there. From Ghatagaon, it took us around 1 hour to reach Keonjhar. Our next destination, Khandadhar waterfall, which is around 50KM from Keonjhar. [Wikipedia] It is a 500 ft (152 m) high waterfall in the midst of a dense forest. It has a "smoke like" appearance created by the spraying of water as it cascades down the rock face. The ride from Keonjhar till the fall was really enjoyable. In rainy season, the road is closed, as the road crosses few high speed streams on its way. To reach the falls, we had to climb the stair-cases from the bottom of the hill

    After spending some quality time at Khandadhar waterfalls, we went to Bada Ghagara [Wikipedia], a waterfall nearly 6KM from Keonjhar. The source of the water to the fall is from a dam, which in turn comes from a stream from the mountains. The Bada ghagara dam is the source of water for Keonjhar city. Both Bada ghagara and Sana ghagara are famous picnic spots, which are very close to the town, still very much different from the city life, in the lap of nature. 
    Next we went to Sana ghagara [Wikipedia], which is just besides NH6, around 4KM from Keonjhar. People come to Sana ghagara round the year for picnic, due to its accessibility and the facilities provided there. In Sana ghagara, boating facility is available in the lake, children's park is available for children. Apart from these rose garden, cactus garden and the rock garden are the major attractions apart from the waterfall. Visitors has to pay for entry to the park and waterfall. Separate entry fee is charged for picnic in the area.

    Due to lack of time, we had to conclude our trip at Sana ghagara. Apart from these, close to Keonjhar, there are many more tourist destination, like, Gonashika (the passage of Baitarani River through a cow nose shape rock), Sitabinji, Keonjhar Jagannath Temple etc.

Few Links  of Keonjhar Tourism : Orissa Govt , Holiday IQ , Keonjhar Tourism

P.S.: Original post on 12th March 2015


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