Berhampur is a city situated in the state of Odisha. It has a lot of interesting and historic places to visit. These include the Mandriti Siddha Bhairavi Temple, Potagada fort, Gopalpur beach, etc.
Mandriti Siddha Bhairavi Temple
If you’re looking for a calm, serene place to visit near Berhampur, the Mandriti Siddha Bhairabi Temple in Berhampur is a perfect destination. The presiding deity of the temple is Bhairavi, a goddess of fertility. There are several sanctuaries within the complex, including a small temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath.
One of the main attractions at this temple is the idol of the Goddess. This idol has only one leg and four hands, and it was said to have been excavated from a plowed field.
In addition to the main temple, there are several other attractions to see in the area. Another popular attraction is the Yatri Vishram Grah. You can stay here and enjoy the various kinds of flowers in the surroundings.
You can also visit a waterfall in the area. The waterfall is accessible to visitors on most days of the week. However, it’s not safe to go at night. So it’s best to go during the day.
Another attraction is the Maa Siddha Bhairavi temple, a shrine that is famous for its Shakti Pitha. It is located in a remote area near Berhampur.
Hundreds of devotees flock to the temple each year. They make prayers in front of the goddess, and the wishes will come true according to their beliefs. On Tuesdays, it’s a very good time to visit. These days are considered very auspicious in the Hindu calendar.
The temple also has a gallery of statues, murals, and wooden carvings, which are very informative. Many stories and legends are depicted in the murals. For instance, the murals tell stories of the Hindu epics such as Ramayana and Sita-viva.
In addition to the main temple, you can visit 108 other sanctuaries, including a small temple of Lord Jagannath. The temple is surrounded by a garden. And you can even take a ride on a two-wheeler to get there.
It’s worth visiting the temple during the Thakurani Yatra, which is held for a month starting on Mahashivaratri. Devotees from all over India gather here. Some of the festivals that are celebrated here include Sankranti, Magha Saptami, and Janmashtami.
Gopalpur beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Odisha. This sea beach is located near Berhampur. It is famous for its quiet and peaceful atmosphere. The beach is surrounded by casuarina trees and coconut groves. There are several food shacks and food kiosks.
The Gopalpur beach is also famous for its lighthouse. It is constructed by the Orissa government in 1965. From the lighthouse, visitors can get a breathtaking view of the town and the Bay of Bengal. In addition, the lighthouse is perfect for photographers.
In the past, Gopalpur was a commercial port. It was a place where trade was carried out with Burma and Rangoon. When the British left India, Gopalpur reverted to its original status as a fishing village. However, the town slowly regained its commercial importance.
Today, Gopalpur is a tourist spot in southern Odisha. Many people from across the country visit the town to take part in the annual beach festival held here. During the festival, cultural troupes from various parts of the country come here to perform and enthrall the audience.
The best time to visit the Gopalpur beach is during the winters. As the weather is cold, the maximum temperature is around 35 degrees. On a sunny day, you can see the Chilika Lake. While in the area, you can also explore the corals and underwater sports.
The Gopalpur beach is a great place to spend a peaceful afternoon. It is one of the most popular beaches in the state. You can enjoy the calm atmosphere, the beautiful sunsets and the gentle breeze from the sea.
The beach is a popular destination for weekly picnics. It is also ideal for bathing. During the day, you can also find shells, stalls and food kiosks.
Gopalpur is a small and quiet sea beach in Southern Odisha. You can visit the beach anytime, but the best season is during winters. For the ultimate experience, go to the Gopalpur Beach Festival held in December. Since 1996, the Ganjam District Hotel Association has organized the festival.
Several star hotels and other attractions are located in the Gopalpur area. Visitors can rent a bicycle or take a taxi to reach the town.
Maa Budhi Thakurani Temple
Maa Budhi Thakurani is an Adhistatri Devi of Angul. The temple is popular among mainstream Hindus and the weaver community of the region. Earlier, the temple was closed for public darshan but later it opened up. It is considered one of the oldest temples in the State.
People are invited to participate in a month long jatra. A large number of devotees assemble in the city during the festival. They wear mythological costumes and move in the streets.
On the first day of the Jatra, the hereditary head of the festival invites the Goddess to the temple. He then performs rituals. Meanwhile, his wife makes floral offerings to the deity.
After the main ritual, the devotees move out of the main temple in a procession. A big decorated chariot is set out to carry the idol of the goddess.
This is one of the most important rituals of the festival. Thousands of devotees come to see the procession. There are several restrictions on entering the temple. For example, the devotees cannot enter the sanctum-sanctorum. And people are required to wear masks.
Some of the other rituals include Changudi Puja, Danda Nacha, and Ghata parikrama. All of these are a part of the preparations for the festival.
During the festival, the streets in Berhampur also get an entirely new look. As a result, the entire town is a festive site.
The temple is located near the Big Bazar in the Old City. In order to avoid chaos during the festival, the district administration has put up barriers and restricted access to the area. However, devotees are permitted to visit the shrine on some auspicious days.
According to the officials, sanitizers are mandatory for all visitors. Visitors can expect to spend at least an hour at the temple.
The festival dates for the next Thakurani Yatra at Berhampur are April 2023. Until then, devotees will not be able to have darshan of the deity.
To maintain the physical distancing, the temple management has placed barricades on four sides of the mandap. Moreover, no persons outside the Desibehera Sahi are allowed to enter.
The Potagada Fort is situated on the confluence of the River Rushikulya and the Bay of Bengal. This historical fort is 350 years old. It is surrounded by a deep and wide moat.
Potagada fort is an important tourist attraction. Students, scholars, history lovers and other tourists are attracted by the fort’s architectural beauty and ambience. In recent years, the fort has been renovated. However, the state archaeology department has not built basic facilities like Panthanivas and power supply.
According to historians, the fort contains medieval Orissa artifacts that shed light on the social and political life. These artifacts are inscribed on rock edicts in the central rock of the fort.
A huge number of devotees visit the temple during Ganesh Chaturthi. There are 108 idols in the extension of the temple. Apart from this, there is a sanctum sanctorum for Lord Jagannath.
The state archaeology department laid a 2-km approach road from National Highway 16. The moat of the fort was cleaned and de-silted. Several wild bushes were removed.
In 2012, Rs 66, 40,195 was spent on beautification of the fort. The most recent renovations added a sanctum sanctorum of Lord Jagannath.
The chief secretary of Odisha, Suresh Chandra Mahapatra, visited the fort recently. He also reviewed the progress of the Maa Taratarini temple. On the occasion, Vijay Amruta Kulange, Ganjam collector, was present.
Potagada fort was the first collectorate complex of Ganjam. It served the purpose for 253 years. During this period, the region was under French rule. Later, the region was under the influence of the Muslim rulers and the French government. After 1765, the fort was transferred to Berhampur.
Berhampur is a major city in South Odisha. It is also famous for its silk sarees. The city has a railway station and is well-connected to other parts of the country via buses and taxis. Other tourist attractions in the city include waterfalls and lakes. Many temples are also found here.
The fort is an interesting place to visit and deserves systematic preservation. If the fort is renovated, it can become an important tourism destination.