Eco-Tourism In Odisha – Odisha has been accorded the title “India’s best kept secret” for a very long time now. For ages has the beauty of Odisha been hidden from the rest of the world.
As beneficial as it is for Odisha to have it’s essence stay chaste, people of Odisha today think otherwise.
The title was starting to become more true to its impact and Odisha even being on the map was invisible to many.
Many Odiyas have prospered in their respective fields from time to time, building an international level of recognition for Odisha with pride.
Yet, the mainstream media didn’t feel the need to cover the immensely suffering state during the enormous storm- Cyclone Fani
The part of this state that had to suffer the biggest loss has always been it’s tourism.
Albeit called the city of temples and having numerous ‘stellar’ destinations, Odisha lacked tourist attraction. Therefore a program named “Eco retreat” was launched by the Eco-tourism of Odisha.
Eco retreat- Konark, 2019-2020
This program was started as a trial at the Ramchandi beach near Konark on the coast of Marine drive in December 2019. The whole festival lasted for 2 months.
The objective of this program is to attract tourists to get the opportunity to unfold the secrets of Odisha, preserved in its natural beauty.
Targeting to increase the footfall into the Eco-tourism of Odisha by 2022, this flagship camping carnival is considered as a gamechanger in the arena of Odisha tourism.
After the initial success at the Chandrabhaga beach in Konark, the government of Odisha along with the Tourism department of Odisha has conceptualized and organized the eco-retreat carnival at five exotic biodiverse destinations of Odisha this year, concurrently.
Eco-Retreat Odisha 2020-2021
Eco retreat Odisha lets you explore the unseen and the unexplored terrains of Odisha. A celebration of the mesmeric sea. A revelry of nature’s bounties.
A carnival of ancient culture. An indulgence of local cuisines, along with an experience of glamorous camping (glamping) accommodation.
Odisha Tourism’s flagship three-month long glamping festival started from December 9th 2020 and is planned to end by Feb 28, 2021.
It began at five major tourist destinations in the State this year; Badmul (Satkosia), Nalitapatia (Bhitarkanika), Daringbadi and Hirakud along with Ramchandi beach (Marine Drive-Konark).
Maintaining a view on domestic tourists, the event aims at reviving the tourism sector which was the worst hit during the Pandemic.
The event that was to be inaugurated on Tuesday 8th December but, was deferred by a day due to Bharat Bandh. The Tourism department arranged a small inauguration meet at all five locations at 11.30 am.
Tourism Director Sachin Ramachandra Jadhav said the video messages of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel and Union PNG and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will be displayed at the locations as part of the opening ceremony. Jadhav said that through this event they want to convey that Odisha is now open to tourists.
50 camps are to be set up on the coast of Marine Drive, Konark. In comparison to other places, this particular site has got more accommodation facility because of its maximum vulnerability towards tourists.
Being on the route to Puri, it is unlikely to go unnoticed. Moreover, people are more attracted by the idea of sleeping under the stars with the terrain beauty of the sea complimenting the night.
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Hirakud is a small township located in Sambalpur, Odisha. Hirakud Dam is one of the most visited tourist spots. It is one of the longest and largest dams in the world.
It is constructed across the Mahanadi river between the Gandhi Minar in North and the Nehru Minar in the South, which connects these two hills.
Eco retreat Hirakud welcomes tourists to celebrate the spellbinding sea cocooned in nature’s bounties.
Sambalpur and it’s peripheral districts like Debrigarh, Burla etc are also filled with natural beauty.
Sambalpuri Handloom Sarees are exclusive on the eco retreat market. Traditional Sambalpuri cuisines are also served during meals. At night, Sambalpuri folk dance and folk lores are also organized for tourists entertainment.
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Daringbadi is a hill station in Kandhamal district of Odisha. Widely known as “Kashmir of Odisha ” for it’s climatic similarity.
The temperature level of Daringbadi has often been recorded below 0 °C and traces of snow could be found at times.
It is also famous for its production of superior quality organic turmeric and for ginger harvesting.
Dotted with pine forests and waterfalls, the hill stations of Phulbani are popular holiday destinations of the state.
Surrounded by beautiful valleys and plateaus as well as coffee & pepper gardens, it is a land of the most ancient tribes of India.
It is a perfect getaway for people who are looking for some time off from the mundane city life.
A glamorous camping experience In the cusp of nature, along with cultural entertainments and various tribal cuisines. The purpose of the whole programme is very indigenous.
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The Satkosia Tiger Reserve once was a part of ‘Abhaya Aranya’ (Unending Forest range) which connected Odisha to Central India.
The name Satkosia literally means 7 Kos (A unit of measurement, usually 1 Kos = 1.3 KM). The place is bursting with flora and fauna and is a coveted destination for the nature lovers.
Birding is one of the beautiful activities to take part in, rarest of nature’s avian beauties can be seen.
Organised trecking and boating in Gorge are some other activities to not miss. Seasonally Dolphins could also be noticed jumping ahead one’s boat in the mid of the river.
Tourist would have never been to such a place before, camping and spending night here is a bliss.
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Bhitarkanika Mangroves is a mangrove wetland in Odisha, covering a large area in the Brahmani and Baitarani river deltas. It hosts many mangrove species, and is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India.
The national park is home to Saltwater crocodile, Indian python, king cobra, black ibis, darters and many other species of flora and fauna. Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Kendrapara district of Odisha.
It’s view of various types of saltwater crocodiles, especially the Baula kumbhira (toothless crocodile), and the Rani Gori kumbhira (Queen Albino crocodile); makes it a major tourist spot.
All kind of protection holds a major priority for the tourists. Beautifully decorated camping sites and 3 star to 5 star accommodation facility is provided.
Apart of the reptiles, Kendrapada also attracts tourists for it’s famous temples and forts such as Baladevjiu temple, Sakhibata Temple, Kanika Rajbati (fort), etc. On the other hand there is Rajnagar pentha sea beach, which is a prime tourist attraction.
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There are cultural programmes and adventure sports in all the above places. Jet skis, ATV, archery, e-cycles, banana boat, speed boat, trekking services are available, starting at Rs 500.
Tourist guides are appointed to give each camper (Individual or group) a tour of all the tourist spots and secrests hidden in these lands along with all the nearby areas.
Musical nights, water sports, tented accommodation, para gliding, cultural performance, camp fire, surfing, beach volleyball etc are organized. It is foreseen to be vastly helpful in tourism revenue.
Where in Eco retreat Konark 50 camps are set up, all other places has 25 to 30 each depending on their vulnerability to tourists.
This programme is launched by the Tourism department of Odisha in the guidance of our honorable chief minister Mr. Naveen Pattnaik. A perfect gateway to stable our distress mind post Covid-19, this winter season.
All the bookings and enquiry can be done online in the Odisha tourism official website- ecoretreatodisha.com or ecoretreat.odishatourism.gov.in. Bookings are available till February 28, 2021.