Memorable Anshupa Lake and Dhabaleswar temple tour from Cuttack:-
Welcome to a memorable blog on Anshupa lake and dhabaleswar temple tour from cuttack,the first capital of odisha. Bhubaneshwar,the capital of Odisha now and odisha tourism, is known as the city of temples . It is now the most modern city of Odisha India. Bhubaneshwar has been recognized by the Government of India as one of the Smart cities. So lets proceed to the blog of anshupa lake and dhabaleswar temple tour.
While the city is developing in a rapid way, keeping itself at par with the modern architecture of an elegant township, it still holds as an important destination to visit some major Ecological sites. There are also some important cultural and historical towns near to this city. Among the numerous historical and ecological trails in this state we decided to combine both. This can make up for a perfect day trip from the capital city.
Bhubaneshwar to Anshupa lake:-
In this article of anshupa lake and dhabaleswar temple tour I will cover some places in Cuttack. It is just 20 kms from Bhubaneshwar . Try to make this article a guide as well as one of the best travel blogs for odisha tourism.
As we started from Bhubaneshwar we proceeded towards Nandan kanan road for our first destination which is Dhabaleshwar temple. We needed to cross the Kathajodi river and then drive along the fertile plains of the Mahanadi river in Banki road. If tourists are visiting this part of Odisha in the monsoons one can see a substantial amount of increase in the volume of the two rivers in Cuttack. In the rest of the year due to heavy civilization, the river remains dry with vast stretches of river bed sands.
The first glimpse of the huge river basin can be seen from the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Setu . It connects to Cuttack Athgarh road as shown in the picture above. The bridge leads us to the Mahanadi river basin from Kathajodi river.
Dhabaleswar temple -Introduction to Anshupa lake and dhabaleswar temple tour from cuttack
Only 25kms from Odisha’s old capital city Cuttack, Dhabaleshwar temple is a delight for devotees of Lord Shiva . And it contributes in promoting Odisha tourism. This ancient 12th century temple is white in color . It owes its origin to a miracle performed by Lord Shiva. It is believed that once a thief stole a black calf from the village . He then hid himself up in the temple premises as angry villagers chased him.
He prayed to Lord Shiva . Listening to his prayers Lord Shiva arrived as a sanyasi. He then saved the thief by bringing the calf as white in front of the villagers. Seeing a white calf the villagers spared the life of the thief. From that day the thief understood that stealing is a crime. So he devoted himself to the services of Lord Shiva .
Hence the temple got its name as Dhabaleshwar . In the local language Dhaba means white and eshwar means Lord . The temple was renovated into a shrine complex by the king of khurda in the 12th century. Since then it has become a famous holy place for lacs of people who come to Odisha India every year.
Odisha’s first ever hanging foot bridge:-
The Odisha government built the first ever hanging foot bridge to go to the island inside the Mahanadi river. The temple complex is situated in this island.
The 250 feet long suspension foot bridge can accommodate 600 persons at a time. A walk through the bridge and then in barefoot on the marble stones of the temple stimulates a spiritual feeling in every traveller’s mind. Inside the temple numerous priests can be seen offering flowers and incense sticks. Also the devotees ringing the bells hanging from the ceiling to create a spiritual sound. This is the first highlight of our anshupa lake and dhabaleswar temple tour.
Due to its mystic and moral mythological background the temple must be visited by anyone visiting the capital of Odisha . The journey through the suspension bridge over the mighty Mahanadi river also adds a sense of adventure to the trip. I hope that such in depth description makes this article one of best travel blogs about temples of Odisha.
Proceeding further along Banki road the landscape soothes our eyes with the greenery Of Chandaka forests . The serene breeze from the fertile plains adjacent to the Mahanadi river is refreshing.
Banks of river Mahanadi
A short diversion from the state highway leads us to a tranquil place on the banks of Mahanadi called Devi Dwara. The shore of the river here is marked with rocks,small temples and a huge banyan tree. It provides respite for the travelers travelling here in the hot and humid times of summer. Devi dwara is an island situated inside the river which can be reached by manual boats.
I could not find any clue to reach the island . This was due to the rise in the level of water in the monsoon season. Instead I found a panoramic view of the river from the spot. According to the locals the place looks majestic and provides a serene effect at the time of full moon with a clear sky full of stars.
The spread of the two rivers like numerous roots of a tree in Cuttack. It provides a unique geography to the delta town. While the religious temples in the fertile land along the rivers makes the trip in this part of Odisha both spiritual and scenic.
Nowadays the availability of freshwater ponds or lakes has become rare due to acquisition of the lands by the high rising buildings. But due to recent awareness of protecting the biodiversity, government has taken huge steps in protecting waterways and lakes which has impacted in Odisha tourism. The example of which we find while visiting Anshupa Lake in Athgarh district of Odisha India.
Anshupa lake -Largest freshwater lake in odisha
Just 2 hour journey from the capital city of Bhubaneshwar, this lake is the largest freshwater lake in the state . This lake provides a large breeding ground for various species of migratory birds that flock here in the winters. OTDC Eco tourism controlled by Odisha tourism Government, has also built bamboo cottages . These cottages provide accommodation for travellers on the nearby Saranda hill.
Near Anshupa lake:-
The lake is 5km long . It is situated on the banks of Mahanadi river which is the largest river in Odisha India. The lake has an entry point at the downhill of Saranda hill where a beautiful park has been built. In order to have a panoramic view of the lake one has to visit the site of Odisha Eco tourism where a watchtower has been built .
This clearly suggests how odisha tourism government has taken huge steps in preserving the nature of odisha india and thus kindles ideas in writing one of the best travel blogs about exploring Odisha india. On a clear sunny day the view from the watchtower becomes magical as the sun sets into the hills of the Athgarh forest . On the other side the reflections on the lake become kaleidoscopic.
We missed the opportunity to catch a clear sunset due to the monsoon clouds . But we were gifted with a view of utmost greenery in the vicinity of the plains surrounding the lake. From the watchtower the different colour of the water of Mahanadi and the lake is clearly visible which adds to a photogenic moment.
Boating facilities are also available inside in the park. From the park the lake can be seen covered with numerous water lilies which are abundant throughout the lake. To capture the actions of numerous birds one has to enter the park and go near the lake . Then one must patiently wait for the birds that feeds on the fishes and algae of the lake. In the north west of Anshupa lake lies the remnants of an old dynasty who once ruled major parts of Odisha.
Archaeological site in Anshupa Lake:-
The Keshari dynasty built a fort surrounding the lake,and archaeologists believe that it belongs to 10 th century A.D. Now only a well and a closed ammunition cell are the remains of the lost history . This is now maintained by OTDC eco tourism. Much of the Saranda hill is still unexplored . There might be many such remnants of lost civilizations yet to be discovered.
The road from Cuttack to the hill top of Saranda hill is pretty smooth . This road runs through the state highway leading to the Athgarh forests. Athgarh forest is on the other side of the hill . So elephant crossings are frequent along the highway.
If one is lucky they may see herds of elephants coming down from the forest in search of rice grains in the villages situated on the banks of river Mahanadi. A day trip to Athgarh provides complete satisfaction for nature lovers and bird watchers in the form of Anshupa Lake . While the historians may find the Saranda hill more interesting.
I hope that this article provides the relevant essence and knowledge about Odisha tourism . So I would request readers to promote this article as one of the best travel blogs on Odisha India.