Taptapani: A Travelling Destination of Orissa, India
The state of Orissa is always regarded as the pride of India for its strong historical importance, religious connotations and varied natural treasures.
It attracts thousands and thousands of tourists every year. A trip to Orissa will remain incomplete unless you visit Taptapani. So our destination was Taptapani, a small village on a hill of the Eastern Ghats around 50 km west from Brahmapur. The name of the village may sound unknown or half-known to the reader but one who wants to spend a lazy and rejuvenating weekend, Taptapani awaits him.
2863 Yesvantpur Express left us at Brahmapur around 6 o’clock in the morning. Coming out from the platform we took tea and refreshment and hired a taxi from the taxi stand. It was more than two hours’ journey as the condition of the road was deplorable. Our car ran through the undulating topography covered with lush green vegetation and passed several neat and tidy tribal villages of Kutia Kondh, Dingaria Kondh, Bonda and Mali.
We reached OTDC Panthanivas at Taptapani at around 9 a.m. The Panthanivas is encircled by deep forest. There are log houses, tree houses, deluxe suites, bungalows and tents for accommodation. Staying at Panthanivas includes complementary bed tea and breakfast. There is dearth of accommodation at Taptapani and for food one has to depend only on the restaurant of Panthanivas. After checking in, we ordered our lunch and left to stroll around. We hiked through the reeds with vigor and enthusiasm.
Taptapani is famous for its hot sulfur water spring. The name “Taptapani” also suggests that. “Tapta” means hot and “pani” means water. A huge boulder projecting in the spring is worshipped by the tribal people as Goddess Kandhuni. The water of this spring is believed to have some medicinal properties that can cure some skin diseases. A bath in the spring water removes one’s aches and pains and further rejuvenates his energy. The water of this spring is piped directly into the bathrooms of the Panthanivas. Besides, the water of this spring is also channelized into a nearby pond which is open for public bathing.
We came back to Panthanivas at around 12.30 p.m. We could not bathe in the spring water as it had a stinking smell. In the afternoon we left out for the nearby deer park and Sri Nilakantheswar temple of Lord Shiva. The Tibetan settlement is another place worth visiting.
The setting of the evening is quite mysterious here. It comes down so suddenly and so silently. The evening here is quite enjoyable from the balcony of the tree house. The calm and quietness of the forest, the glowing fires amid the darkness on the slope of the hill (for jhum cultivation) added an extra flavor to the adda with tea and snacks.
Going: Taptapani is well connected to the major destinations of Orissa by road. Brahmapur, one of the major railway stations of Howrah-Chennai section, is the nearest railhead (50 km) and the nearest airport is Biju Patnaik Airport, Bhubaneswar (215 km).
Staying: The Panthanivas is the only standard accommodation available at Taptapani. There are Restaurant, T.V., EPABX, and Hot Sulfur Water in Bathrooms. Check out time is 8 a.m.
Best time to visit: Taptapani can be visited round the year, though it wears a different and colorful look during the fall. But if you plan to trip between October and March, you will be able to enjoy a hot spring water bath and other nearby tourist spots.