It all started with a sudden occurence of ice formation during winter when temperature dropped to -10C in year 2011. Daringbadi, an otherwise unexplored tribal village saw a sudden surge of tourists thereon. A village in Khandamal district, is located around 250 km from Odisha. The state is dotted with tourist spots, owing to its distinct topography and rich culture. The scenic coastal beauty, unpolluted tribal villages, Buddhist sites, national parks and many other places are quite and one may not get to explore elsewhere. Many places go unnoticed as they do not get promoted or receive due recognition. Daringbadi is one such off-beat destination in Odisha which was a chance discovery as it drew newmakers in 2011.
A destination so unfathomable to ordinary thoughts, Daringbadi is situated at about 3000 ft above sea level. It is surrounded by thick green vegetation and one can enjoy nature is at its bounty. This pristine hill caters for all tourists with its varied banners. The valleys, waterfalls and pine trees around gives immense opportunity for passionate photographers. For people who are nature lovers, the serene atmosphere with a green carpet is ever inviting.
Daringbadi has a dense forest, owing to this factor it houses a number of species of wild animals. If you are one of those with a lucky streak, you could catch a glimpse of one or two. With plummeting mercury level during winter one can see nature cladding a different attire. The dew drops on the grass, leaves, thatched roofs freeze and a slim layer of ice is visible, which shines and emanates brilliance.
The coffee and pepper plantation, is a fairly new venture and an effort for soil conservation in this area. The fresh green leaves of the coffee plants, which seems to be growing as far as it can stretch and the crisp, lush pepper corns that droops out of the climbers takes your breath away.
The Putudi waterfalls inside the forest adjacent to Daringbadi, is another spot worth visiting with a guide, since this picturesque waterfall is amidst a thick jungle. The adventure of walking through the lush dense canopies and thick foliage sets the adrenaline pumping. Once you reach the waterfall, the surroundings are filled with exotic variety of flora and fauna. The water of this fall merges into the River of Bada Saluki.
The Doluri River which runs across this mountain enhances the beauty of the place manifold.
When at Daringbadi one can make the most of it and visit the places in Kandhamal district. Belghar Sanctuary, 50 Km from Daringbadi, is a must visit place. This sanctuary spreads over 16,174,46 acres, out of which a partial area is used for cultivation and the rest is a reserved forest area. There are a number of endangered species and plants that one will get to see at this place. One of the oldest tribes belonging to India, the Dongria Khond, inhabit these areas. The tribal patches, which fall between the villages, show how the place remains untouched by the commercial or the technological world. A laid back environment, tattooed faces, huge ethnic jewellery, pierced rings, thatched houses, friendly people, living quite in harmony with nature is unlike the fast paced life style of a city bred . If you happen to be a foreign national, it is wise to take a prior permission from the necessary authorities while visiting the tribal villages. Anthropologists have been working hard to preserve the tribal patches which seems to be fast diminishing. One will also be amazed at the peaceful coexistence.
When at Daringbadi you may try a local concoction or juice prepared from the extracts of Salap and Palm. A word of caution, consuming more of this can lead to intoxication.
One can reach this place either by bus or private taxis. Since proper roads have been laid, the connectivity quotient has improved over the years.
Daringbadi has tourists round the year, while some of them choose it as a summer retreat others come to see the beauty of the place which remains under the blanket of a thin silver lining during winters. No wonder this place is often referred to as the ‘Kashmir of Odisha’.