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Overview of the city

Srikakulam district has the longest coast line about 193 km (120 mi) in the state of Andhra Pradesh according to Wikipedia. Srikakulam town, the headquarters of the district, is located on the east bank of the River Nagavali. Towards the east is Bay of Bengal and towards the South East is Vijayanagaram district and towards north is state of Orissa. Srikakulam was formerly known as Chicacole. Srikakulam has a vast coastline, natural resources, granite fields worth crores of rupees, historic temples.

Srikakulam is also known to many as Uttarandhra and Kalingandhra. Srikakulam, the northernmost district in Andhra Pradesh and it was ruled by Chedidianasti kings, Satavahana kings and Golkonda nawabs in the olden days. (source: srikakulaminfo.com)

We have been there for the first time.  Its nearness to Bay of Bengal and ancient temples attracted our attention. We started from Rayagada in Odhisa and reached here covering a distance of about 140 kilometers. The route had beautiful view of the mineral rich hills and forests area.

What caught my attention in Srikakulam city is the number of movie theaters. You can come across two or three on the same road with mostly Telugu movies. The posters showing the number of days the movie is running in the theater.

We didn’t get much time to hop in the city market as we were more attracted towards the beach and the temples which is outside the city.

The day we reached, it was Hanuman Jayanti. Earlier I thought Hanumanji was more worshipped in the North but I was surprised to found the ape God being worshipped in very village I had crossed during my trip. Huge idols of Hanumanji dorned the temples and the entire village had assembled to seek blessings on this auspicious occassion with community meals and cultural activities.

Kalingapatnam Beach was our first halt which is about 25 kilometers from the city.

The beach is pristine and completely undeveloped.

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Kalingapatnam Beach

Even the beach resort, Haritha Hotel, of Andhra Pradesh Tourism is under construction. However, they offer stay in non-ac room with no generator facility. So one had to stay in Srikakulam and come down here to enjoy the beach, mostly in the evenings.

The most scenic beauty of Kalingapatnam is of the River Vamasadhara merging in the Bay of Bengal.

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River Vamasadhara

 

The meeting of the two waters is distinguishably a scene not to miss. Undoubtedly it is one the safest and cleanest beaches in Andhra Pradesh. The most beautiful view is of the dancing waves of the Bay of Bengal that fall so silent where the river meets the sea. Other than that there is the light house which is way inside the village from the sea shore.

Ideally you can spend time playing in the sea waves for couple of hours but there is no food shop around or rather no shop around on the beach. The place also talks of Buddhist excavations but we could not trace it as the locals had no idea or rather they could not understand us.

Arasavilli Temple is the Sun God Temple which is located about 3.5 kilometer from the city.

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Arasavilli Temple

There are many sun temples all over the world. However, this is the only temple in the country where Sun God, “Sri Surya Narayanswamy” is worshipped. All the other sun temples do not have deities. The temple is built by Kalinga King and is as old as 7th century.

Srikurmam Temple is another must see place during the trip. The temple is about 18 kilometers from the city and is dedicated to the Kurmam Avatar i.e the tortoise Avatar of the Lord Vishu.

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Srikuramam Temple

The temple dates back to 2nd century and is the only of its kind in the world. The premise is big with a pond in the front and which is home to numerous tortoises. This is the only temple where the deity is facing westward and is in the form of a tortoise.

The beach is about 6 kilometers from the temple. We headed for the beach again and this time it was amid the coconut and palm tree grooves.

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Coconut and Palm

We also crossed a small fishermen village on the way and reached the beach which was completely naïve of any living being.

We started from Srikakulam to Raipur on road at 12.00p.m the same day. The route was Srikalum – Pondulu- Simliguda-Koraput- Jagdalpur- Dhamtri – Raipur.

The road is very smooth and so is the scenic beauty of the South Odhisa. The area being home to several tribal communities among the hill ranges of Deomali and Chandragiri mountains is a beautiful destination to visit. 8956e25284db2dbf41389768ce7b3c9d_1359344493_lHowever, it is not advisable due to the Maoists troubled area too. One can enjoy the beauty while travelling through the curves of the mountains while on the way to Jagdalpur.dEOMALI-1

We took break for lunch in Koraput, dinner break in Makdi, enroute Kanker and reached Raipur at 00.00a.m. It was completely unplanned tour but it surprised us with so many beautiful memories for life.

 

 

 

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jungle copy-horz

After walking for about two hours they came across their first halt. A small tribal village on the slopes of the Mikal hill.

Neha had completely forgotten that she was tired. Her camera just won’t stop rolling. She had been capturing images of everything she came across so far in her trek and here, in the tribal village, she had dig gold. Everything about this Stone Age village was worth capturing.

Ritesh had gone with Shankar to take a tour of their home stay while Neha was busy with her camera shots. Suddenly her camera lens caught hold of a veiled tattooed lady in a black robe.

She was sitting alone under a tree. The piece of cloth just hid her private assets and her whole body was nude, displaying tattoos in various forms. Like all the other in the village she was dark complex too and her hair more milky white than silver. She wore a pair of big silver ear studs the name of jewelry which was very prominent in her body. But unlike the other women she wore the minimum jewelry.

Neha adjusted her camera lens to take a picture of her. The lady suddenly unveiled her face to which Neha jolted in dismay. Never in her life had she come across such a dreaded face. It was the face was of a very old woman, the wrinkles were the clear evidence of it. It was the face that had lived its life and seen many ups and down. What remained today was just the tattooed criss- crossed skin over the skull. She was blind or partial blind for her eyes were complete white with no pupils.

This excerpt is part of my upcoming #paranormal book based on the jungles of Chhattisgarh, THE JUNGLE SERIES, a collection of short stories. The tag line is- GET READY TO BE ASSAULTED.

***

Chhattisgarh is a newly developed state of India with Raipur as its capital city. The state is well known for its bastar arts and Kosa Silk. Chhattisgarh is also home to many tribes and communities who thrive in the jungles and still practice their age old tradition and culture. You can know more about it The Erotic Rock Carvings of Chhattisgarh
Join me  to know more about this virgin destination that has so many stories to tell.
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Bhoramdeo Temple

Chattisgarh is best known for its rich tribal culture and temples. Bhoramdeo Temple is one of the major attractions of the state. This ancient temple is situated in Kawardha district of Chhattisgarh which is about 116 kilometers from the capital city of Raipur or just 20 kilometers from the Kawardha town.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and dates back to 7th to 12th Century A.D during the period of Kalachuri dynasty. This ancient temple has a close resemblance to the Konark Sun Temple in Odhisa and the Khajuraho Temples in Madhya Pradesh.

The temple was built by Nagwanshi King, Raja Ramchandra, who practiced Tantrism, an ancient form of Hindu practice that seeks to channelize the divine energy from God to human to attain Moksha. Therefore, the temple walls have magnificent erotic rock sculptures depicting various Kama sutra positions. Hence the temple is also popularly known as “The Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh.

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Rock carvings, Bhoramdeo Temple

Within the temple premises there are several other small temples dedicated to other deities. Madwa Palace within the temple premises is also another attraction. It is built like a marriage hall and resembled the wedding Mandap of Raja Ramchandra with his wife Queen Ambika Devi.

It is a must visit place during Chhattisgarh tour. The best time to visit is during the Bhoramdeo Mahotsav held in the last week of March within the temple complex. This festival gives the tourists a deep insight into the culture of the state with various tribal dance and songs.

Bhoramdeo Mahotsav
Bhoramdeo Mahotsav
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Mikal Hills

Apart from that the nature lovers and the adventure freak can always enjoy the picturesque beauty of the Mikal Hills and the wildlife sanctuary here. The temple is situated on the foothills of the Mikal Hills.

***

EXCERPT #THEJUNGLE SERIES

Neha had heard a lot about Bhoramdeo Temple since her arrival in Raipur. The newspaper, few days back in the end of March, mentioned about the Bhoramdeo Mahotsav which she desperately wanted to visit but could not due to Ritesh’s busy schedule. She was very excited to visit the temple now.

This write up is part of my upcoming #paranormal book based on the jungles of Chhattisgarh, THE JUNGLE SERIES, a collection of short stories. The tag line is- GET READY TO BE ASSAULTED.

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