The scenic state is divided into 30 districts, one of which is Balasore/Baleswar. The gateway from Balasore is as contrasting as one can get lost into the profusion of ecotourism destination or trudge calmness of river and seas, one can go deep dive into faith and spirituality.
So to experience in and around Balasore, one should plan to stay and match with some of these events to get completely entrenched in the cultural heritage of Odisha.
This beautiful temple in Remuna is located 9km east of Balasore about halfway between Kolkata and Puri. The name “Remuna” comes from the word “Ramaniya” which means very good looking.
This is a temple of Lord Krishna with a history attached to it, Sri Gopinath is made by black stone, edged by Sri Madan Mohana and Sri Govinda. “Khirachora” in Odia means ‘stealer of Milk’ and “Gopinath” means the ‘Divine companion of Gopis’; this is referred to as child Krishna’s love for milk and milk products.
Lord Krishna is known by the name of Khira Chora because he used to steal and hide a pot of khira (milk) out of love for Madhavendra Puri.
One can taste the delicious khira here called Amrita Keli. The Gopinatha khira is prepared with homemade milk, sugar, and cream with a sprinkle of raisins which come in pots and used as Prasad to Sri Gopinatha.
The wall painting of this temple is simply fascinating with the entire atmosphere having a divine feeling, devotees from all around come to this shrine.
Panchalingeswar Temple is Lord Shiva’s Pitha, based on a hillock of Nilgiri hill with a perennial stream located about 30km from Balasore town.
This temple’s name is aesthetic about its uniqueness itself, where Panch means ‘five’ and linga is a natural linga that has automatically groaned up. The Shiva Lingas are completely immersed in flowing water.
To reach the temple one has to walk 1.5 km and then climb 200 above steps, one has to bend down to feel and look for the lingas inside the pool.
The shiva lingas are washed continuously with the flow of gushing water which is creating a shrimp lake in front of the temple.
Magha Saptami and Maha Shivratri are the famous fairs and festivals celebrated in this temple; it is surrounded by top hills, forest and stream.
FAIRS AND FESTIVALS
Like other cities, Balasore also celebrates each festival of every religion such as Kite festival, Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja, Rathayatra, Christmas, Eid, Muharram and etc.
There are some festivals which are indelible.
This is one of the great festivals is organized during the Muharram festival and Durga Puja in Balasore, the akhada is pretty unique to the culture of this district.
Locals enjoy the play; as many as 18 teams are displayed in front of Mahaveer Mandir to mark the celebration of Birastami on Thursday.
There is no age limit in the game, Youth from different cast and community can participate in it.
This is a very important festival of Balasore which represents the true religion of this district; it is celebrated to honour Lord Lingaraj, another name of Lord Shiva.
On this day the Car festival is organized as Rathayatra, Lord lingaraj sitting on the rath and a grand parishioner follows as the wheels move through the city, it occurs on the 8th day of chaitra.
Lord Shiva is almighty to the people of Balasore and to the whole state. Probably the ritual is celebrated with great ecstasy and happiness.
One can see the Supreme Being is worshipped with great honour, people fast for the entire day and at night they gather to seek his blessings.
Bhang is an important part of celebrating these festivals; generally it is celebrated in the month of February and March.
On this festival the Sun Deity is worshipped with great enthusiasm by all Odia people, if one wants to celebrate the zeal of this occasion while in Balasore, one must attend Makar Mela. This mela is held at Makar Muni temple of Balasore.
This is celebrated for the rising sun of this month, the mela held at khandagiri of Balasore, on these days the pilgrims come from abroad to take a holy dip into the Chandrabhaga Tirtha which is very near to sea.
This mela continues for a week, one would find colours and fervour being afforded along the avenue of this mela. It is celebrated in the months of January.
There are many beaches in Balasore but the most tourist attractive beaches are:
The serene and peaceful beach at chandipur is one of the famous tourist sites in Balasore district which is merely 16km from the town.
This beach offers a truly unique and mesmerizing site as the sea water recedes approximately 5km during low tide and again returns to the shore line during high tide.
Due to it’s such unique feature it is also renowned as “Hide and seek” beach of Odisha. The casuarina trees and white sand dunes add more beauty to the site.
This is the calmest and pristine beach as its water is not as turbulent as others. Major tourist attraction is the backwater and red crab; one has to cross the back water to reach the sea shore.
The magnificent beauty of the beach is further enhanced by casuarina trees and gestures of the sand. This is located in Balasore district; a drive from Talasari to Digha would give a rewarding experience.
This beach can be said as a natural health resort of the state. The pollution free and fresh air gives quite relaxation to the tourist from their stressful life.
It offers tourists a scope to experience Sun bath on the beach. Those who like playing adventurous sports, Balaramgadi presents a plethora of exciting sportive events.
Fishing is another well known sport practiced here by locals and tourists as well. On river Budhabalanga which is just 2km from the beach, the boat rides refresh the mind and soul of the tourist.
Balasore district is a bewitching part of the state, where the marvel of nature gives tourists an unexpected pleasure, walking happily and taking a bag full of exciting memories.
This place is an instinctive combination where the almighty’s presence is deeply acknowledged with grandeur of Mother Nature.