When it comes to visiting hills or any hill station , the general trend is paying a visit during spring or winter. And the usual recommendation for Daringbadi, a small hilly village in heart of Odhisa surrounded by green hills and dense forest and mainly inhabited by tribals at an altitude of 915 meters above sea level, is no exception. But breaking the stereotype I along with few companions decided to travel in the hearth of summer. No bone-chilling weather , no clouds hovering across surface trying to encapsulate leaving you drenched , almost no unknown eye-catching birds gleefully flocking branches of trees and bushes bountiful of colorful flowers – Nature may not be in its most pleasant attire but a tolerable temperature and the picturesque greenery perpetually conceiving the unique tranquility were enough to draw us in.
How to reach : Daringbadi can be reached through several routes from Bhubaneshwar , the shortest route being 243 kms which runs south of Bhubaneshwar through NH 5 and going through Aska town and Surada and then through the meandering roads in Daringbari-Udayagiri forest range. Another option , though longer but more adventurous , is taking a right turn at Khurda through Bolagarh-Nayagarh. At Nayagarh two routes are present. A left through Bhanjanagar and eventually meeting the first route at Surada; a straight route towards Daspalla and Phulbani provides passage through forest ranges of Satkosia, Daspalla, Khandapara. One can stop at Phulbani to view the putudi waterfall 15 kms from the town. From there a left route is available to Daringbari. One can also travel by train upto Brahmapur and then take a cab to the destination.
Where to stay : There is a eco home known as Deers Eco resort. This is decent and at reasonable price but you need to pre book during winter months. There are not many hotels around but some government dormitories are coming up soon.
Places of interest : Daringbadi is not a hot tourist destination yet. But it is growing steadily to become a popular spot in Odisha. Sadly, this region is alarmingly underdeveloped. Once ruled by Maoists had augmented its adversity. As reported by Jagruti , the NGO operating there since decades, the place marks the most deaths caused by malnutrition. But still amidst all this apathy , the place is developing as a tourist spot to add considerable value to its economy.
Waterfall : Few kilometres southeast from Daringbari the road crossing beautiful green valleys and hills and pine forest leads to a hilly waterfall. The place is highly adventurous as you have to take a
narrow dusty road through the jungle and then climb down the hill to reach a coveted area facing the waterfall off the small cliff. The canopy of green tall trees and the bed of loosely scattered rocks banking downwards to a small catchment area creates an enchanting experience. Photographers will definitely be kept busy discovering alluring angles to shoot.
Coffee plantations : Though the temperature and soil and the overall climate may not be entirely conducive for growing coffee , still they have managed to produce coffee. A visit to the plantation site is worth it. Tall trees providing the canopy and the necessary shade for the coffee shrubs grown amidst them – a perfect place to spend a few moments and inhale the non-contaminated air. I was already imagining the slithering white puffy clouds finding their aimless way into the plantation maze.Winter definitely has cold colors!
Hill view : Common to every hill station , Daringbari too provides a beautiful view point. Sunset is the best time to be in. There is a nature park beside it , a fun place for children to play around and spend the evening amongst butterfly park and fountains. The hill view point gives the spectacular panoramic view of the green hills encircling the Daringbari valley.The changing hues of twilight gets reflected on the face of hills as the greenish tinge slowly transforms into fading bluish facade. A perfect time for silhouette photography!
There are several sites in and around Daringbari that one can explore.Taptobani is a place on the way to Brahmapur that has hot springs. Tara tarini temple on the top of a hill is 23 kms from Aska town. Belgarh and Kotagarh sanctuaries in neighboring districts are also possible exploration options. Overall Daringbari provides a soothing experience of interaction with Nature. The natural beauty along with the harmony is something cannot be missed.Definitely winter is the ideal time to pay a visit but if you are a travel freak and your hand itches with your camera , summer or winter is irrelevant.