Trip to Nursinghnath(Nursinghanath) & Harishankar

As my days in Orissa were limited, so had planned a lot and wanted to make the best use of the weekends.Next the so called roadies (Mothi,Ritesh,Debashis and me) started their trip to Nursinghnath (Nursingnath), a temple amidst green slopes of Gandhamardan mountains in Bargarh district.So checked the TTK Map and found out that it is some where 250 kms from Kansbahal. So we all decided to start on Saturday afternoon and planned to have a night halt at Bargarh. Map shows that Harishankar,another pilgrimage place in the southern slopes of Gandhamardhan(Gandhamardan) hills was just 10-15 kms by road from Nursinghnath. So ,we added Harishankar to our list of places to be visited. But we never knew that such direct road from Nursingnath to Harishankar does not exist at all. We drove to Bargarh touching Jharsuguda,Sambalpur,Attabira.At Bargarh, accommodation was arranged at Hotel Ganpathi International(quite funny...Ganpathi and International go side by side).Rooms were theek thak type but food was excellent . Hungry four gulped on great Tandoori chicken, Tikka Kebab,Mushroom Chilly and Dry Chana. Let me tell you that ,this was the best Dry Chana that i had ever had.Crispy Kabuli Chanas with fried Garlics. Had a good night sleep after having medicines since was having temperature. We got up early next day and headed for Bargarh. Didn’t get tie to have breakfast ,so we all decided to have it on any road side stall. Finally, stooped at a haat near Sohela and had some idli and god knows what Sabji. To add some punch and zing to the tasteless sabji, Debashis bought Chana Sabji(Ghuguni in Oriya) and added it to every one’s plate.It worked wonders. Let me tell you that this Chana Sabji or Ghugni that you get in village haats(markets) is far far better than what you get in towns and cities. With a lot of turmeric and home ground chilly powder, the curry smells and tastes so different.

Near the temple...
Towards the top of Gandhamardhan
From Sohela, one needs to take a left turn towards Padmapur(Padampur) which is situated around 35 kms from Sohela. Road is good in patches.After Padmapur next stop was Paikamal. Here,one needs to take a left turn towards Nursinghnath.It is hardly 2 kms from Paikamal Chowk.Being last Monday of Shravan month,place was painted orange with orange shirts of Kawariyas.Great Gandhamardhans was standing tall with open arms inviting us to admire its beauty...all green and kissing clouds.Anecdote about Gandhamardhan is that it was in the middle of the war between Lord Ram and Ravan that laxman had lost his life and so Hanuman was ordered to bring Sanjeevani Herb from Himalayas. Hanuman failed to identify the particular herb and carried on his shoulders a huge Himalayan mass. While flying above and proceeding toward Lanka (the kingdom of Ravan), a portion dropped down. Gandhamardan is synonymous to that portion only.

Waterfall near the temple

After seeing Nursinghnath temple we were told by the localites that there is no direct road from Nursinghnath to Harishankar. Only way is to go back to Padmapur and then there is a road leading to Harishankar.But there is a trek path of 16kms starting from Nursinghnath to Harishanakar.If you have time then better take this trek route. One has to start in the morning and then only can you expect of reaching the other side by evening. Better take the help of local people while opting for the trek route.There are remains of a Buddhist Monastery on the top of the hill.It was built by great Chinese traveller Hiuen T’Sang.


Picture Perfect...
Over Flowing River on the way to Harishankar
There are splendind series of waterfalls near the temple formed by perennial flow of Gandhamardan called . it has touched the Ang Tributary and finally embraced Mahanadi. We returned back to Padmapur and planned to go for Harishankar. After having a so so lunch at Padampur,enquired about the road to Harishankar which is about 40 kms from this place. One has to take a right turn towards Balangir. On that road again you have to take a right turn about 15 kms from Padampur. Road is superb. Hardly 15 kms from Harishankar ,our fear turned real. Due to incessant rains,rivers were overflowing and one of the bridges had submerged. There is no other way to go to the temple. So all of us returned back and instead of taking the regular road back to Bargarh,we preferred the road to Balangir through Patnagarh and then to Baragarh.Quickly checked out of the Hotel and headed straight to Burla

Near Bolangir

Always Hungry....

Sukha Dhaba near Burla

If you travel on this road,don’t forget to have your dinner at Sukha Dhaba.Great food.After having awesome Chicken Masala, we drove back to Kansbahal.
For fellow travellers----That scene was awesome where in me,Debashis,Ritesh were sleeping in the Car and our poor driver Anna was driving with Ankhe Phaad eyes....hahahahah

Ambabhona, Attabira , Barpali , Bhatli , Bheran (Bheden), Bijepur, Diptipur , Gaisama , Melchhamunda , Panimura, Sohela ,Burla

Khoj of Mirigkhoj Waterfalls

Mirigkhoj was one of the mystical waterfalls that I had heard of. Even if one tries to search for the information on net, there is hardly any. To add up, no body even knows what exactly is the name of this waterfall—Mirigkhoj,Mirgikhoj,Mirigtolah,Miriglotah…god knows what not. There are 1 or 2 sites on net but this f*****S needs to be sued for putting wrong snaps of the falls. Anyways, finally happy that I am putting up the correct information on the falls. You say it my arrogance-I don’t mind.

Colours of Indian Railways...Near Chandiposh on Rourkela-Barsuan B.G line

F-16 Pilots

Me,Ritesh,Chandu and Priti left on 2 bikes for the spot about 110 kms from Panposh.Every one had advised us on the reasons for not going to the place—road not good….pretty isolated…rains….bla bla. We did leave around 10 in the morning. Picked up some water bottles from Lathikata after having breakfast. Reached Lahunipada which is around 50 kms from Rourkela. There are two roads that bifurcate from Lahunipada. One towards Barkot and other towards Kalta,Koira(Koida),Barbil. Road was wonderful and bikes speeded at 90kph. On the way we kept on conforming about the whereabouts of the Mirigkhoj Waterfalls. This road runs almost parallel to the Rourkela-Barsuan Broad gauge railway line. We reached K Balang, a small hamlet. On asking about the falls, we were told that it is approximately 25 kms from the place and road ahead will be nightmare. Road till Roxy(Rakshi) is wonderful. Stopped for a moment at the railway crossing of Roxy and took some snaps of the old hut of the railway crossing . There is only one passenger train that runs on this route. Rests are the goods trains that carry iron ore from mines of Barsuan to Rourkela. The old gatekeeper was sitting alone in a small cement bench. Lots of trees and flower shrubs is one of the typical scenes that one can see near this manned railway crossings through out in India. Nightmare- road from Roxy was one of the worst that you will come across. Every 2-3 kms, we were asking about the distance of the falls but to our disappointment, half of them didn’t have any idea and rest half kept on repeating “yehi koi 15-20 km baki honge”, as if distance remained constant even if you kept on moving. If you have weak backbone, I can assure you that 2-3 disc slips are bound to happen. Luckily, I don’t have. Some of features of this road are: 1) Potholes are so big that one Alto can perfectly go inside them. 2) Hundreds of roadside dhabas are there, but you wont get food in them. They have been abandoned long back. When vehicles don’t ply, then who is going to come and have food—Ghanta 3) Not a single petrol pump. 4) In the whole drive, not a single car we could see. We could see 5-6 Mahindra pickup vans, 4-5 dumpers and 2-3 two wheelers.

On the top of Chuna Ghat
Finally, reached Chuna Ghat and stopped for a moment at a temple. More than seeking blessings from God, we were more interested in knowing whereabouts of the Mirgikhoj Falls. The priest gave us some idea and told that falls are just 4-5 kms away and is near one small settlement called Toda Chowk. We soon reached Toda Chowk and were happy to see some human faces after a long long time. There were some garages and an old closed down petrol pump. It is as if people over here had already experienced Dooms Day and seen the Phoenix flying. They have nothing to complain and have accepted the fate…fate of staying at a place where Government officials are unmoved, doctors are not there for health issues, poor communication-both road and telecom, selfish and worthless Politicians who don’t have neither say nor guts to raise the issues at Delhi or Bhubaneswar, Timber Mafias involved in rampage felling of trees leading to destruction of natural resources of the locals---God help these people. Only source of income—repairing punctured tyres of dumpers and tippers. On a lighter side, sometimes, I think politicians are unmoved about the pathetic situation of the road, as they must be getting some percentage of this income of garages. I feel soooooo sorry for them. No doubt that Naxalism is growing because of all this factors. I hope our politicians and esteemed Administrative officers understand this problem. Naxalism can't be fought only with guns.

After crossing Toda Chowk,there is a bridge.This place is 2kms before Kalta. One needs to take a right turn from this bridge on forest road. Roaring sound of Mirigkhoj waterfalls strike hard on your ears. The falls are just 100 meters from the road. There is not a single signboard which tells the passers by about this magnificent fall. Signboard hoga bhi kaise-our tourism minister would not have ever visited this place.

Mirigkhoj Waterfalls

Near the Mirigkhoj Waterfalls

Never expected the Mirigkhoj waterfalls to be so beautiful. It was in full flow because of rains. Stayed there for half an hour and went on clicking.

Railway Crossing at Roxy(Rakhshi)...old man's hut on left

As usual ...Gulping...

We returned to the main road, started our return journey and drove non stop to Lahunipada. Had our lunch of mutton and rice over there and reached back Rourkela around 6 in the evening.

Can actually name this trip as “ Khoj of Mirigkhoj”.

Mirigkhoj,Mirgikhoj,Miriglotah,Mirgitolah,Mirig Khoj,Mirgi Khoj,Mirig Tolah,Mirig Lotah.