Friday, August 29, 2008

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


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