Barunei Hill is located in between Khurda & Jatani town on the national highway that connects Bhubaneswar with Chennai & Kolkatta and is not that far from Bhubaneswar. Its popular designation for localities due to its religious & tourism importance that attracts many low spending tourists throughput the year apart from school & college students for occasional trekking. I had opportunity visit this hill first time in 1992 as a student of Geography academic programme but that time i never ever thought my next visit to the hill will take twenty four year that to an unplanned routine when am an Urban Regional Planner with much more in-depth knowledge now on eco-tourism as I have now completed my Ph.D.
Although i have seen this hill from highway quite often but never took the turn to visit it in over last two decades. Well last weekend while going to Jatani took a left turn into Barunei that was covered under the clouds. The tempting clouds and green cover was enough to ignite us to explore the hills as the temple was yet to open. So after locking the Bicycle in down took the steps unto temples and then into hill. The steps that were once reflected like part of hill now concretised with marbles and granites some what given the feelings of its lost identity with modern tourism infrastructure.
Once on the top learned the temple gate was yet to get open while some people were taking bath on the water fountain. After interaction with the people realised having a walk on to top of the hill is not a bad idea as it is still safe and in good shape. So a half an hour walk full of nature vibration landed me on the top of the hill with a spectacular view as each hill looks in a different colour while ground was yet to be visible inside the clouds. The wild flowers on top the hills with the touch rain drops were further kept on questioning why it took so many years to re visit.
Some of the trees were so colourful that they have earned their body from nature over years clearly expressed how they are different from urban life and their presence. In between time tunes of birds and monkeys some time created fear but often made the atmosphere more soothing. As the the clouds kept passing with stronger sunshine was a reminder to descend back. Once nearer the ground the ringing bells of temple kept ringing and slowly the devotees arrival into the hill were clearly visible.
While descending saw some concrete work were visible that upon interaction realised Govt. is in the process of creating some base for parking as well as setting some host of tourism infrastructure that will place mechanised foot steps unto the hills. In one way its good but i felt instead of creating more concrete based infrastructure let their be a natural passage just like the present one so that people get opportunity of adventuring and trekking. As there are enough parking lots and tourism guest houses are their than what a tourist would expect. What is necessity is how the hill will remain less concrete as well as from from littering and more attractive to people interested for adventure tourism and eco-torusim.
Barunei in my words within two decades still celebrates its beauty but so much concrete structures spoiling the surrounds that seems not an attractive destination for tourists and yet the hill is still virgin for many who are in search of trekking and adventure as well as finding peace then Barunei is ultimate place that one should explore no matter what season it might be.
I will soon visit it again hopefully this time the gap will not be over two decades or so.