Bangriposi – The Beautiful Daughter of the Hills

Bangriposi is a quaint tribal hamlet nestled at the foothills of the Thakurani hills in Mayurbhanj, Odisha. The name ‘Bangriposi’ in Odiya means the beautiful daughter of hills and rightly so. Situated in the lap of nature surrounded by hills, this is an ideal weekend destination.

The distance from Kolkata is about 230Kms and can be reached by both Road and Railways in the following ways:
i) Bus services is available from Kolkata to Baripada and it will start from Dharmatala Bus terminus near Press club. You can reach Baripada or Bombay chowki in about 4.5 hours.

ii) If you try the Railways then 12821 Dhauli Express from Howrah at 6A.M. It is 3.5 hrs journey. You will reach Balasore (231 k.m. from Howrah) at 9.35 A.M. Thereafter 78013 DEMU passenger at 10.05 A.M. from Balasore. It is the only train from Balasore which terminates at Bangriposi at 12:30 PM.

iii) Otherwise you can take the NH6 route from Kolkata and drive straight to Bangriposi.

We love long drives and since 230Km is not much so we decided to hit the roads with our Zen Estilo. With stoppages at Kolaghat and Khemisuli we decided to take the above mentioned route. We booked the cottages at Hotel Bangriposi for 2 nights. On 24th November we started off at 6.00 AM. The road condition from Kolkata to Kharagpur is excellent. Driving through the 6 lane highway has a special thrill in itself. After Kharagpur construction is going on for widening the highway from 2 lane to 6 lane, so there is often diversions. But road condition worsens on reaching Orissa. The highway is full of big potholes. The challenge was to find the smaller potholes and drive through that. It is here, some 15Km away from Bangriposi where we met with an accident. Due to the bumpy road, our car broke down. We were stranded on the road with nothing nearby. Luckily with the help of locals we found a mechanic in Bombay Chowki(about 2.5km from the accident site). It took us about 2hrs to get going again and we reached Bangriposi around 2.00PM.

Alternative route while going to Bangriposi: After crossing Balihati (just before of Khargapur Bypass) take left turn under the bridge and go to Jaleswar via Belda. After crossing Jaleswar take right turn and go to Baripada via Shilda. Baripada to Bangriposi will take maximum 30 to 40 minutes via kuliana village to reach. This route is some 30Km longer but condition is much better.

On reachimg Bangriposi my first reaction was WOW!! A place so calm and quiet situated in the lap of nature. I could see the hills in the background. A cool refreshing breeze was blowing. The tiredness of the journey was instantly gone. This was something straight out of a picture postcard. The eco cottages, the open space, the ambience. A perfect weekend gateway for relaxing.

There are two cottages, one 8 bedded cottage with 3 sepearte rooms with in it and another double bedded cottage. Every room has a clean attached bathroom within it. Every bed was neatly done and had clean sheets, pillow and warm blanket. The cottages were beautifully decorated with murals. However there are no urban luxury like televisions, air-conditioners or geysers.
The main attraction of Bangriposi is its serenity and so we didn’t feel the need of any urban luxury also.

A local adibhasi family stays within the premises and takes care of the guests. They have a simple homely food menu, not much of a choice there. Food is tasty and nicely prepared by them in wood-fire.

We were very hungry and tired when we reached. We were immediately served hot rice, dal, brinjal fry, seasonal vegetable curry and egg curry. After that we decided to take a stroll in the locality.

Since we went in end November the sun went down around 5.30PM and we had to return back. On returning we were served tea and we bought some local made pakoras. We sat out in the open under the starry sky, though it was chilly outside still we were enjoying. We were bit tired, so had an early dinner comprised of roti, rice, dal, desi-chicken curry and called it a day.

We woke up early next morning and went up the Thakurani Hills so see the sunrise over the quaint tribal hamlet.

By the time we returned we were served tea and biscuits. We hired a car for local sight-seeing and after a heavy breakfast of luchi(puri), aloo-dum(sabji) and omlete we set off for Bramhan Kund. Our first stop for local sight seeing. It was a wonderful place and is the source of Buribalam river. There is a kund or big water body and a waterfall. There were a large number of fishes of various sizes swimming in the clear water of the kund.

We spent some time there clicking photos and capturing memories.

On our way back we stopped by the banks of Buribalam river.

This place is related to history as Bagha Jatin after consultation with the members of other secret societies chalked out a plan for an armed rebellion against the British in 1915. The heroic encounter that took place between the revolutionaries and the British Police was on the bank of the river Buribalam.

Our next stop was Sulaipat Dam. Iron-ore mining by Tatas brought Sulaipat into the map. However, the project was abandoned long back and the same colony was taken over by the State Irrigation Department for construction of the dam. This dam is built on Kharkai River. The State Irrigation Department maintains this place and has a small beautiful garden just beside the dam. Hillocks were in front and behind with lush green all around.

We made a final stoppage at the Bankabal Dam. This Dam is owned by the Department of Water Resources of Orissa and is build for helping in irrigation. We had plans for stopping at Bisoi Haat on our way back but it was already dark and since we were already tired after traveling nearly 200Km, we decided to head back straight to the cottage.

We were in the mood for some roasted chicken. On requesting the caretaker family, they arranged for bonfire and roasted chicken at minimal cost. They provided us with the bonfire, marinated chicken and skewers for roasting the chicken.

We played music in our personal music system and had great fun making chicken roast. We had a late dinner that day since we were already full from having chicken roast. Dinner was same as the other night.

Next moring it was time to return home. We had brunch and bid farewell to the caretaker family who warmly looked after us for the last 2 days. Due to the unfortunate experience we had while going to Bangriposi, we decided to take an alternate route while returning.
Alternative Route: BANGRIPOSI -> BARIPADA (rail crossing) -> Moving ahead cross 3rd island and take left towards AMARDA -> NH60 (now AH-5) -> JALESWAR -> KHARAGPUR -> KOLAGHAT –> KOLKATA

We made a stop at the Kuliana village(about 24Km from the cottage on way to Baripada). This village is famous for the Dhokra art form. Dhokra is a non-ferrous metal casting using the lost-wax casting technique. Almost every family in that village is a Dhokra artisans.

We were warmly greeted by the families who showed us their exquisite art-work and also explained the technique of making. We bought some Dhokra pieces and happily started off towards Kolkata.

Bangriposi offers the perfect blend of scenery and serenity. Plan your trip over a weekend to visit the local haat, enjoy the purity of nature and have a bonfire and chicken roast.

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