Odisha’s Mayurbhanj makes it to TIME’s list of world’s greatest places
Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district has found a place in TIME Magazine’s ’50 extraordinary destinations to explore’ as it unveiled its list of the ‘World’s Greatest Places of 2023’. It has been described a place of rare tigers and ancient temples.
Talking about Mayurbhanj, TIME cited that rare black tigers can be spotted here but there is much more that you can do here. “This April, Mayurbhanj Chhau, a captivating dance festival on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list will take place on a much larger scale following a pandemic hiatus,” TIME noted.
Notably, Similipal National Park in Mayurbhanj reopened in November with strict instructions to restrict the number of daily vehicles to only 60 in order to safeguard its sprawling delicate ecosystem, home to over 40 mammals, including Asian elephants and Bengal tigers. Visitors can now explore its unique flora and fauna on guided safaris or self-guided cycling tours, it said.
The Chhau performances, a mix of classical and martial art forms, are scheduled to be held at The Belgadia Palace, steeped in the rich cultural history of the royal family. Guests staying at the 11-bedroom old-world property can also participate in experiential retreats and visit the area’s indigenous handicraft communities (many of which are composed of all women) that focus on intricate handloom, sabai grass weaving, and the dying art of dokra (metal casting), it added.
The TIME further noted that stunning biodiversity and interminable heritage continue throughout the state. In the capital Bhubaneswar, a new guided walking tour series, Odisha Walks, explores ancient cultural sites, monolithic rock edicts, and remarkable temple architecture. Later this year, the Pangi Forest Reserve in Jeypore, home to the eponymous Jeypore ground gecko, is opening a new trekking trail up the 4,600 ft. Nakti Dangar hill.
Apart from Mayurbhanj, Ladakh has also been included in the list featuring a mix of “far-flung and familiar spots,” from Giza and Saqqara in Egypt to the gastronomy hotspot of Dijon, France.
The recognition is a nod towards the unique experiences that these destinations have to offer, and their efforts to cater to travellers looking for authentic and sustainable experiences.