Baripada

BaripadaBaripada was the capital of the Bhanja dynasty in the 15th century and the ruins of the temples and palaces built then can be found at Haripur about 16 km southeast of Baripada. Among the ruins, the Rasikaraya temple and the Durbar hall of the Bhanja kings are the most significant and visited by tourists. The Collectorate Building and the Maharaja Purnachandra College in Baripada are also great examples of the Bhanja architecture.

Geographical Location

The city of Baripada lies in northeastern Orissa state, East India. The city lies along the Burhabalang River. It is located at 21.94° N 86.72° E and has an average elevation of 36 metres.

Baripada is a city and a municipality in Mayurbhanj district in the state of Odisha, India. Baripada is the district headquarter. It is an excellent place to stay and tour the Mayurbhanj region, a region with one of the most important wildlife parks of India (Similipal), lush valleys, forest lands and scores of ancient temples. It is the shopping paradise for the people of whole Mayurbhanj district.

How to Reach

The nearest railhead is Baripada (17 km). Other important stations are Balasore (76 km from Lulung) and Jamshedpur (115 km from Jashipur). Baripada, is 170 km from Bhubaneswar, 240 from Kolkata and 60 km from Balasore and 22 km from Pithabata, which is an entry point. The other entry point Jashipur is 94 km from Baripada on N.H. 6. Both the places are well connected by regular bus services.

Fairs and Festivals

Baripada is a land where majority of the people are tribals. For the Ratha Yatra festival or Car festival, we can see a number of chariots. The devotees arrive from every nook and corner of Baripada. The festivals are time of their merry making. All are eager to have a hand in pulling the celestial chariot. This is similar to the famous Puri car festival in which Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra make their annual journey. The only difference is that this chariot is drawn from Baripada, which is the tribal heartland of Orissa. Here the chariot of Subhadra is pulled entirely by women. The women can be seen in all vigor and spirit drawing the chariot. The chariots like the crowds are big.

Baripada is the most favored destination of women from all over. All women are eager to draw the chariots. It’s doubtful whether this special treatment has the sanction of the scriptures. But the locals say that it is a century old tradition.

Baripada is also recognised globally for the origin of Chhau, an Indian tribal martial dance. Based on the Ramayana and Mahabharata epic, this dance form shows the triumph of good over evil.

Places of Interest

Places of interest in Baripada include the Simlipal National Park and tiger reserve, and the Barehipani and Joranda waterfalls. Baripada has also made a name for the exquisite handloom articles available here. Tourists can shop for the popular handloom products of Chandanpur and stone carvings of Khiching in Baripada.