By: Upendra Prasad Singh, IAS
~ Boudh ~
If you google for ‘Places of Tourist Interest in Odisha’, its highly improbable that the search will lead you to Boudh. Boudh district, carved out of #Kandhamal (Phulbani), is one of the smallest district of Odisha (next only to #Deogarh in population), not really known for tourist destinations.
(In fact during my days as Collector Balangir, I had passed through Boudh umpteen number of times, without stopping to ‘stand and stare’. During my stint as Secretary Water Resources, I have been to Bagh irrigation project in the district and have made night halt at Boudh, without discovering the hidden treasures in the district.)
Named after Gautam Buddha, Boudh and its vicinity are home to a trio of tall Buddha idols and flying Gandharvas chiselled in stone and stand-stone. While one of the Buddha statue is located in the town itself, other two are located at #Shyamsundarpur and #Pragalpur. The presence of three remarkable Buddhist statues are indicative of the fact that it was once a center of Buddhist culture.
A group of three temples of Siva at Boudh city called the #Rameswar or #Ramanath temples, date back to the 9th century AD.
Another place of tourist attraction in the town is the Jogindra Villa Palace, the palace of ex-Ruler of Boudh locally known as #Rajabati. This was constructed during the reign of Raja #Jogindra Dev, who was a benevolent and generous ruler. The palace commands a fine view of Mahanadi. Near the palace, you can visit #Bhiarabi & Madan Mohan temple.
Another place of interest is #Jagati, near village Gandhradi, about 16 kms from Boudh. Here one can see famous twin temples of #Nilamadhava and #Sidheswar. These temples were constructed under the patronage of the Bhanja rulers of #Khinjali mandala in 9th century AD. These two temples were built on one platform which are exactly similar to each other. The one on the left hand is dedicated to Siva named Siddheswar and its sikhara is surmounted by a Siva-linga. The second is dedicated to Vishnu, named Nilamadhava and its sikhara is surmounted by a wheel of blue chlorite.
Hanuman temple in the midst of a shimmering Mahanadi is a sight to behold. The #ChandraChuda and #Matengeswar temples beside the Mahanadi lure you with their sculptural beauty. Both these are Shiva temples. Boudh’s own Jagannath Temple is an an ancient edifice in the heart of the town. Tranquility reigns at the Raghunath temple in Debagarh, about 14 kms from Boudh.
If you have time, you can visit #Nayakpada cave and the Padmatola Sanctuary. You can breath in mountain air and watch the serpentine Mahanadi at #Dambarugada mountain.
#Marjakud , located on the opposite side of the river Mahanadi is a wonderful island. So those of you, who had enough of Bhubaneswar, Puri , Konark and Chilka can head westwards to this, not so well known destination.
ବନ୍ଦେ ଉତ୍କଳ ଜନନୀ II
Bande Utkal Jananee II

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