A trip to Daringbadi, also known as the Kashmir of Odisha was long due. We had been thinking of visiting this gem of Odisha since long. So when our friend wanted to go for a Daringbadi tour, more precisely a road trip, we just could not say no to it. The journey becomes more beautiful when you have childhood friends for company. Don’t you think so?

Odisha is a fascinating place. Travellers have always associated the state with sea beaches and the ornate temples, but we feel that the state has much more to offer. When we made a trip to the Diamond Triangle in Odisha or visited the small village Raghurajpur, we were totally awed by the Buddhist monastic ruins. This time also, the trip to Daringbadi turned out to be a great place with a perfect mix of relaxation and adventure combined together.

So Where is Daringbadi?

Located amidst pine forests and coffee plantations, Daringbadi is a charming hill station in Odisha. Situated at an altitude of 3000 feet in Kandhamal district of Odisha, the place has all the attractions that make it an ideal weekend getaway from Kolkata, Bhubaneswar or Vishakapatnam.

We came to know that this hill station was named after one British Officer named Dering. Just like many other hill stations in India like Darjeeling, Panchmarhi, Shimla, this idyllic hill station was quite a favourite place for the British who found it hard to bear the Indian summers. The place was named Deringbadi, which later came to be known as Daringbadi.

Do you really get snowfall at Daringbadi, Kashmir of Odisha?

Well, I do not know if it ever snowed at Daringbadi long before, but now, it does not get any snowfall. Daringbadi is also called the Kashmir of Odisha, where the temperature dips below zero during the winter.  It is actually the frost and dew on the grasses that get frozen into ice and gives an impression if snow. Nevertheless, with its deep pine forests, green valleys, verdant hills and eye-catching natural beauty, this tribal-dominated area surely justifies the sobriquet it has earned.

Places to visit in Daringbadi tour, Kashmir of Odisha

  1. Mdiubanda Waterfall in Daringbadi Tour

Our first stop for the day was the Mdiubanda Waterfall. Surrounded by the dense pine trees, this waterfall is located a few kilometers away from Daringbadi main town. There is a fleet of stairs going down all the way to the waterfall. The place is quite a beautiful one. The pool was, however, a bit dirty and the water stagnant. The little one, Palash (our friends’ son) was quite excited to see the waterfall and wanted to take a bath there. He was quite upset when his mother forbade him to do so.

Mdiubanda Waterfall - places to visit at Daringbadi

  1. Pine forest and Duluri River in Daringbadi Tour

This was one of our favourite places in Daringbadi. The pine forest lies on the way to the Mdiubanda Waterfall, so while returning, we stopped at the forests and went inside to explore. The way to the Duluri River is also through the forest.

The riverside was quite scenic. We could not stop Palash this time from having a bath in the river. So he along with his father and uncle went in for some fun in the river, while my friend and I watched them enjoying as we sat down on a rock with our feet in the waters.

Having fun at Duluri River at Daringbadi

What can you do when you see the three having so much fun in the water? You have to simply join them. So both of us did not think much and joined the guys in the river. It was so much fun. The water was cool and it was totally soothing against the sun. Have a look at the pictures below to see how much we were having fun!

After our riverside story, we returned to our hotel, had our lunch and then started for the next few places.

  1. Coffee and spice plantations in Daringbadi Tour

You will definitely see the coffee and spice plantations while on your way to Daringbadi. There is also a garden where you will find the coffee and spice plantations. We saw the pepper plants and roamed around for some time in the cool shade of the gardens.

Coffee and spice plantations at Daringbadi

  1. Emu farm in Daringbadi tour

The Emu farm is around 12 km from the Daringbadi town on the way towards Baliguda. There is a small enclosure where a few emu birds were kept. Although I am against animals kept in captivity, but Palash enjoyed quite a lot at the emu farm. It was totally a new experience for him to see a new bird. The egg of emu also excited him a lot.

Emu Farm at Daringbadi, Odisha - things to do at Daringbadi

  1. Lovers’ Point in Daringbadi tour

Around 1 km from the Emu Farm is the Lovers’ Point. I don’t think many lovers visit there in the afternoon. At least we were the only ones there when we visited. The road to the Lovers’ Point is also a bit rough. But the place is extremely beautiful. The river is flowing by and you can simply sit on the huge rocks and enjoy some quiet time. It is a place to experience the silence of nature, or maybe have a love affair with nature herself! So you should not miss this place on your Daringbadi tour.

Lovers' Point - sightseeing at Daringbadi tour

  1. Hill View Park, Butterfly Park and hill Top Viewpoint

All these three are close to each other and fell on our way back from the Lovers’ Point to Daringbadi. The Butterfly Park is located within the Hill View Park and the Hill Top Viewpoint is just opposite to that of the Hill View Park.

The Hill View Park has a beautiful and well-maintained garden, a garden of medicinal plants. There is also a display of the Kutia Kondh tribe inside the Hill View Park.

The Butterfly Garden is a beautiful flowering garden inside the Hill View Park. True to its name, you can spot a number of butterflies there.

The Hill Top Viewpoint has a children’s park and it is the best place to have a panoramic view of Daringbadi and the surrounding area from there. I think the place is also good for watching the sunrise, but the park only opens after 7 AM in the morning.

Butterfly Garden, Daringbadi tour

  1. Sunset Point or Silent Valley

This place is around 2 km from the Daringbadi town and is actually a viewpoint. From the vantage point, the entire valley can be seen and is the best place to watch the sunset.

panoramic view of Daringbadi at the Sunset Point or Silent Valley

Places to visit near Daringbadi

There are a number of interesting places near Daringbadi. Taptapani, a place having hot water springs is around 2 hours drive from here. You can also visit Belghar Sanctuary, Phulbani forest, Putudi Waterfalls (located near Phulbani) from Daringbadi. We could not visit these places as we had to return the next day. You can also visit Gopalpur-on-sea, Manglajodi and Vetnai from Daringbadi.

How to reach Daringbadi, the Kashmir of Odisha?

The nearest railway station to Daringbadi is Berhampur. From Howrah, there are a few trains that go to Berhampur. Alternatively, you can also take a train to Bhubaneswar. Daringbadi is around 245 km from Bhubaneswar. There are day and night buses available from Bhubaneswar towards Daringbadi.

Our road trip to Daringbadi started from Kolkata. The first day, we drove 445 km to Bhubaneswar and stopped for the night there. The next day, we drove from Bhubaneswar to Daringbadi via NH16 and NH59. In the middle, we took a detour from Aska to Vetnai, the blackbuck habitat in Odisha.

Roads of Daringbadi

Our Daringbadi tour itinerary

Day 1: Kolkata to Bhubaneswar

We started from Kolkata at around 6 AM in the morning and drove towards Bhubaneswar. We took our breakfast stop at Kolaghat and then continued our drive towards Bhubaneswar. As we approached Bhubaneswar, we could see the devastating effect of the cyclone Fani. Uprooted trees, broken and bent signposts were seen all over the way. We had seen the devastation on the television, but seeing the effects in person was quite different. We reached Bhubaneswar around 2:30 PM.

Day 2: Bhubaneswar to Daringbadi via Vetnai

Another day of long drive started quite early in the morning. The roads in Odisha are smooth and driving was quite enjoyable. While on the way, we suddenly decided to take a detour to visit Vetnai. The speciality of Vetnai is that you can see a lot of black bucks there roaming around freely. Vetnai is about 5 km from Aska, one of the main towns on the way to Daringbadi.

Roads towards Daringbadi tour

Vetnai – The playground of Blackbucks

To be honest, we did not know blackbucks are found in the eastern parts of India also. I had come to know about Vetnai from an article that I read somewhere. While trying to figure the way on Google maps, I found out that Vetnai lies only a few kilometers detour from Aska or Asika, a small town on our way. When I proposed the idea to visit Vetnai, it was met with enthusiasm as all of us wanted to see those rare deer.

Vetnai is the natural habitat of blackbucks in Odisha. Strangely enough, the area is not a protected forest zone. We reached Vetnai at around 11 AM. There is a watchtower from where we could see the animals. But the locals warned us that we might not see any blackbucks at this time of the day. The animals are mostly seen in the late afternoon at around 3 or 4 PM. Nevertheless, we drove towards the watchtower along the rough and dusty roads.

Blackbucks roaming around in the field at Vetnai, Odisha

Did we see the blackbucks?

We stopped our car before a vast expanse of field. It was scorching hot outside and we strained our eyes to spot any blackbucks there. It was totally stark and nothing could be seen. Maybe, the animals, unlike us, did not come out of their home in such hot weather.

We felt quite disappointed, but then suddenly Agni spotted a few animals grazing in the fields. We strained our eyes to look at them. And yes, there they were. Not one or two, but quite a number of them grazing freely on the field. We walked towards the herd to get a clear view. And what a great view it was! A number of Blackbucks were grazing on the field. And when they saw us, a few were startled. They looked at us stealthily. A few kept on grazing while some of them started moving elsewhere.

I had always heard that a deer looks immensely beautiful when they stretch their body and run. I had so long seen then running on television on National Geographic. It was the first time I saw them running in front of me. And yes, they look extremely beautiful. It is just like poetry. I was so mesmerized looking at them, that I forgot to take pictures. Thankfully, better sense prevailed on Agni and he took a few pictures.

The sight of the blackbucks completely made our day. All the hot weather, perspiration, hunger, running around in the heat were all forgotten. Just imagine the number of blackbucks one could see if they came at a proper time! With happiness in our heart, we started from Vetnai towards Daringbadi.

Road towards Daringbadi

As we approached Daringbadi, the weather became a bit cooler. The roads are beautiful with trees on either side of the road. Odisha does have some very well maintained and beautiful roads where driving can be a pleasure. Finally travelling through the winding roads under the cool canopy of the trees, we reached Daringbadi at around 2 PM.

Day 3: Sightseeing at Daringbadi

We had seen the scenic beauty of the place while driving here. The dense woods and the marvels of nature in the form of rivers, waterfalls and pine forests were yet to be explored by us. So after having our breakfast, we were all ready to explore this beautiful, yet unexplored gem of Odisha.

Day 4: Daringbadi to Kolkata

This was a long long day of driving. We started from Daringbadi at around 9 AM in the morning and after a long drive, reached Kolkata around 11 PM at night. The drive was long, but the experience we had on the road was incomparable.

Where to stay at Daringbadi?

Daringbadi is yet to see the flush and rush of tourists. It has a few hotels and resorts. We stayed at Hotel Mid Town, which is an average hotel. If you are going to Daringbadi, stay at one of the resorts there for a better accommodation experience. But you need to book the resorts much in advance. We did not get rooms even when we tried a month earlier.

A few places to stay at Daringbadi

Deers Eco Home (+91 9438422452, 9348268744)

Daringbadi resorts (9348137052)

Hotel Mid Town (+91 9337335835, 7978749656)

Hotel Utopia (+91 9437781972)

For sightseeing, you can get a car from your hotel and explore the place.

Serenity at Lovers' Point in daringbadi

Best Places to eat at Daringbadi

There are a few eateries around Daringbadi. Most of the hotels do not have a restaurant. So you have to get food at some other restaurant. For breakfast, there are a few eateries along the road. You can have puris, idli and uttapam from there. For lunch and dinner, do visit the Hill View Restaurant. They serve amazing dishes and we loved the chhenapodas there.

Chhenapodas is one of the sweetdish of Odisha

breakfast at Daringbadi - street food of Odisha

Best time to visit Daringbadi

You can visit Daringbadi anytime during the year. Winters will be cold. During the summer, the climate is warm. Infact, when we visited in June beginning, the weather was quite hot. Monsoons bring rain and with its lush greenery. I am sure the place will look as beautiful and green as Bangriposi during the rains.

Petrol stations at Daringbadi: There is one petrol pump at Daringbadi. But carry cash there. They do not accept cards.

ATM: There are 2 ATMs at Daringbadi.

A few more fun pictures from our Daringbadi tour, Kashmir of Odisha

Small boy meditating under a tree at Lovers point, Daringbadi

soaking leg in the river

Tribal village at Daringbadi

emu at Emu farm

Chameleon at the Spice garden

2 Backpackers at Duluri River in daringbadi

It was quite a lovely road trip to Daringbadi. Road trips are usually fun, and it becomes even better if you have good company. We loved Daringbadi and enjoyed our stay there. Have you visited Daringbadi? To know more about our travel stories to different offbeat weekend destinations from Kolkata, subscribe to our newsletter.