Odisha Eco Retreat 2021 inaugurated: Things you must know before you plan. Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik inaugurated Eco Retreat 2021 recently. Eco Retreat is the State Tourism Department’s flagship camping event for tourists who want to explore and experience nature.
This year, the Eco Retreat is being held at seven locations– Konark, Satkosia, Bhitarkanika, Daringbadi, Hirakud, Pati Sonapur, and Koraput.
You can book a stay at tents located at the Eco Retreat spots can be made by visiting the official website – https:// ecoretreat.odishatourism.gov.in
Konark: The set is located in the idyllic Ramchandi Beach. You can enjoy the views of the magnificent Konark Sun Temple on one side and the Bay of Bengal on the other. Visitors here will be treated to cultural performances, guided tours to nearby destinations of nature, culture, historic and architectural importance, and other recreational activities including adrenaline-inducing water sports, ATV rides, beach volleyball, archery and much more.
You must visit the Sun Temple, Konark Museum, and Balukhand Sanctuary, as is the ride to the Golden Beach in Puri which was recently re-certified as a Blue Flag Beach. Guests interested in art and crafts can visit Raghurajpur, a heritage crafts village where every household is an art gallery in itself. After a hectic day outdoors, return to the luxurious campsite and unwind at a beach shack or retreat to the air-conditioned tent for an indulgent end to the day.
Satkosia: Satkosia spreads along the magnificent gorge over the mighty Mahanadi river. The word Satkosia means – ‘Sat’ meaning seven and ‘Kos’ which is a unit distance measure for two miles. The beauty of this gorge is that this is the meeting point of two biogeographic regions of India – the Deccan Peninsula and the Eastern Ghats. This biodiversity-rich hotspot houses the Satkosia Tiger Reserve. Satkosia is a perfect destination for anyone who wants to experience luxury in the lap of nature.
Bhitarkanika: An unexplored virgin beach that too inside a National Park is a treat for nature lovers. This is Eco Retreat at Pentha Beach inside the Bhitarkanika National Park. The location is surrounded by a casuarina forest, Pentha Beach is absolutely breathtaking. The Bhitarkanika National Park is also a Ramsar Site and the wetlands house the largest variety of mangrove species in India along with the largest number of saltwater crocodiles in the Indian subcontinent, monitor lizards, eight varieties of kingfisher, has one of the largest heronries in India, and acts as a feeding ground for migratory birds during winter. Do not miss the opportunity of going on a boat safari along the creeks of Bhitarkanika to spot this exquisite wildlife.
The visitor can have one of their best time of life in the Bhitarkanika sanctuary as well as the crocodile breeding center. Go on a trip to the nearby turtle sanctuary at Gahirmatha Beach where the lovely Olive Ridley turtles come to nest every year. Other activities on offer here include rifle shooting, archery, zorbing, cycling, cultural performances, etc.
Daringbadi: Is popularly known as the Kashmir of Odisha, Daringbadi hill station surrounded by beautiful valleys and plateaus that are dotted with coffee and pepper gardens. Perfect for those looking to luxuriate in tranquil environs, this eco retreat’s itinerary includes visits to Midubandha waterfall, and the Daringbadi coffee garden. You can even visit nearby picture-perfect destinations like Beghar – a place landlocked by green mountains popularly known as the land of Hills and Waterfalls, Ushabati valley to spot huge gathering of peacocks, Putudi waterfall and Mandasaru (also known as a silent valley) for that solitude amidst nature or interact with the local tribe ‘Kutia Kandha’.
Hirakud: Built across the mighty Mahanadi River, the main attraction of this Eco Retreat is Asia’s longest earthen dam Hirakud. Behind the dam extends a reservoir spread over 743 sq. km. Nestled between Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary and the reservoir, this glamping site offers an opportunity to explore the vibrant culture of Western Odisha and delectable traditional Odia cuisine. Expect guided treks into the Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary or find your wild side from a range of exciting water sports activities like parasailing, jet-skiing, banana boat rides, etc. Widely known for exquisite handloom and handicrafts, do not hesitate to go on a shopping spree. The presiding deity of the area is Maa Samaleswari and one can even catch the evening light and sound show at Maa Samaleswari Temple located nearby. After a day full of exciting activities, witness a cultural evening with beautiful folk performances before retiring for a luxurious night at a capacious swiss cottage that comes replete with every modern amenity.
Pati Sonapur: Words fall short to praise the beauty of this southernmost beach in Lord Jagannath’s own land, Odisha. Located right on the confluence of the river Bahuda and the Bay of Bengal, and bang on the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border, Pati-Sonapur is one of the most exquisite beaches on the east coast. Glamp at this retreat to find your inner peace and beauty or indulge in taking that perfect insta-worthy shot. Sunbathe at the beach, enjoy some water sports activities, or gorge on some delicious seafood while at the campsite. Nearby attractions include the port town Berhampur with its rich maritime history, Potagarh Fort, Tampara Lake, and the famous Gopalpur-on-Sea and Lighthouse.
Koraput: Putsil in Koraput welcomes all those who love to live among the clouds. Known as the Switzerland of Odisha, this table-top mountain destination lies at the base of the Deomali hill range of the Eastern Ghats – the highest hill range in Odisha. The location is so picturesque that you’d want to stay numerous days just to wake up to the gorgeous view of clouds gliding through the hills and valleys. Idyllic for paragliding and trekking, this Eco Retreat destination will arouse the adventurer within you and if not, the nearby scenic attractions like Duduma and Rani Duduma Waterfalls, lush green valleys, and the indigenous tribal communities will surely inspire the poet within you. Staying here is like living inside a landscape scenery, just like the one you set as your desktop wallpaper.