Did You Know Of The Hidden Tibetan Settlement In Odisha?

Chandragiri in Odisha deserves a place on your bucket list.

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While Tibetan enclaves like Dharamshala in Himachal and Bylakuppe in Karnataka are a popular destination for travellers, many don’t know about Chandragiri in Odisha. The state is known for the Jagannath Puri temple, Konark and Chilika Lake, but there is a lot more to explore in its hinterland.

The Tibetan refugees who stay at Jiranga or Chandragiri, call this heavenly abode of theirs as Phuntsokling, which in Tibetan translates to the Land of Happiness and Plenty. The rare scenic beauty and the picturesque landscape surrounded by luxuriant tropical forest, gurgling rivers, exquisite mountain slopes and roaring hilltops makes it a perfect adobe for travellers.

Chandragiri offers an amazing view of the Eastern Ghats.

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Small rolling mounds of hills, covered with maize plantations, and studded with colourful prayer flags, the landscape at Chandragiri is mesmerising. A look at the hills from the top and you know that this could be one of the most beautiful panoramas of rural Indian hinterland.

The Padmasambhava Monastery is a quaint structure with beautiful interiors.

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Padmasambhava Mahavira Monastery is one of the major monasteries in Chandragiri. The interior is decorated with the delicate paintings and hangings of Tibetan origin, and it houses 200 monks at any time. It is located amidst the mountains, and the view from the terrace of the monastery is like a canvas painting held out by divine hands.

The Jiranga stupa is one of the most serene places.

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The Jeerand Stupa is close to the vicinity of the monastery. The place is so isolated from the routine tourist circuits that you might find yourself the only person in a vast landscape of beauty and serenity. Try to time a visit around dusk to this stupa, to match the picturesque landscape with a serene sky.

Chandragiri is a good place to try the local Odia cuisine.

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Chandragiri is also a rare opportunity to try the synthesis of Odia and Tibetan cuisine. You can try momos and thukpas, and also tonka pani. The place is simple and raw. While you should not expect a luxurious hotel, you will surely enjoy the rustic beauty and isolation from the busy world.

The nearest airport is in Bhubaneswar (260 km). The nearest railway station is in Berhampur (80 kms). From here, you can drive in a cab or take a local bus from Berhampur.

So, if you are looking for an unbeaten circuit, plan a trip to Chandragiri for a quiet travel experience.