Welcome to Rayagada, the land luscious forests, meandering meadows, and terrace valleys. Nested in nature’s lap, Rayagada makes a perfect getaway from the chaos of the concrete world. It is a popular tribal tourism destination. You can get a glimpse into the culture, traditions, and life of tribes. They are deeply rooted to their traditions and culture, yet very open and adaptive to modern ways. When in Rayagada, plan a train trip to Koratpur. The 176km route is a scenic ride and a visual treat. With more than 36 tunnels and 25o bridges, this train ride is a one of its kind experience and a photographer’s delight. Apart from soaking up good vibes of nature, you can also shop for local handicrafts, exquisite handloom shawls, and souvenirs.
Rayagada Fort, Rayagada Museum, Rayagada Park, Sitagudam Waterfalls, Gudiwada Temple
16°C to 22°C
18°C to 20°C
10°C to 18°C
Nestled amidst mountains, Rayagada in Odisha is a land of meadows, terrace valleys, forests, and waterfalls. The environs are lush green to allure any traveler and the peopled, primitive tribal Kondhas or Kondhs groups, are warm & loving to hold your heart. The scenic beauty and heritage in Rayagada is an unexplored paradise. This place is a mineral-rich zone in southern Orissa, which also accounts it to be a commercial hub. The prime attraction here for tourist is tribal tourism. Other than this, unspoiled nature attracts travelers to this abode.
It is recorded that in the 3rd Century BC, when Ashoka the Great ruled ancient Odisha, Rayagada was under Kalinga Empire. Historical records also sight that the hilly track between Vamsadhara and Nagavali was once a very famous for spices zone. It was during the rule of Gangavansi and Suryavanshi Kings in Odisha, Rayagada was under feudatory chief of Kalinga-Utkala Empire. A rock inscription in Brahmin script provides an evidence to this. Rayagada then went to the Bahamanis when the last Hindu Gajapati emperor of Odisha was defeated at Gohera Tikiri. Later Rayagada was under the Nandapur Kingdom for 47 years. Places such as Sati Kunda Goddess Majhi Ghairani and the mud fort nearby are a testimony to the bygone eras. In later years, Rayagada was under the Tahasil of Vijayanagaram. The British regime moved Rayagad under Jeypore administration and later to Koraput District.
In 1992, Rayagda District was carved out as an independent district. All these and more, affected the tribes here, nevertheless the Kondhs are still present in maximum numbers. The tribe is a very adaptive tribe and has embraced modern education, medical facilities etc., while staying rooted to its culture & heritage.
When in Rayagada, the prime attraction will be touring through the tribal villages, understanding them & their age old culture & lifestyle. Other places here that have attracted tourists are Maa Majhighariani Temple, Maa Mangla Temple, Hatipathar waterfalls, Gayatri Temple at MITS College, Laxminarayan temple at Therubali, Paikapada with 99,99,999 Shivlingams in and around Paikapada shrine.; Chatikona Mahadev Temple & a wonderful picnic spot; Minajhola, Devagiri hill, Padmapur 7th-century shrine of Manikeswari Siva. Gayatri Temple at Padampur, Maa Markama Temple, Hanging Bridge at Chekaguda, Jagannath Temple at Rayagada and the Guma Ghati, scenic roads made cutting the lofty hills.
One can enjoy nature at its best here in Rayagada and if time permits, book a train ticket to Koraput. The Raygada Koraput Railway line is a 176 km route full of scenic splendors. There are around 36 tunnels and about 250 bridges in this route. Enjoy the green valleys, lofty mountains and avid flora & fauna on your way up to Koraput. Also do not miss those beautifully done handloom shawls and other accessories made by Dongria Kandha tribes. Pick a couple of them are life time souvenirs and cherish the fond memories.
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