No proper roads, no navigation, no internet, barely any telephone network inside a dense forest, some of the clearest waters & bluest skies you’ll see in India… & hidden waterfalls which even most locals are unaware of.
Situated along the western borders of Odisha (India), Debrigarh is truly a hidden gem & a heaven for adventure enthusiasts. It’s to be seen to be believed.
Stretching as far as 55kms across 3 districts, Hirakud Dam at 25.8km is one of the longest earthen dams in the world. Situated on the bank of it, Debrigarh is still a lesser known area on Odisha’s tourist map. Very few natives have heard about it & those who have, hardly have any idea of the sheer natural beauty that lies within. So, don’t be surprised if you ask about Debrigarh to an Odia & they are just as clueless as you.
The sanctuary has two major entry points in the districts of Bargarh & Sambalpur. Where the latter is a tourist hotspot & boasts of a beautiful eco-lodge by the water… not many people (not even from Bargarh) venture into the sanctuary from the other route. Roads die down the moment you enter the forest & if you’re going deep inside… only practical mean of exploring can be a Royal Enfield or any other powerful bike. Even that… will give up on a few occasions & you will be on your own (not kidding).
The Bargarh-Ambabhona route is surprisingly in great condition, with negligible traffic. I was fortunate enough to be able to locate 3 waterfalls, each one more beautiful than the other.
HOW TO REACH:
The forest is known to be home to elephants, leopards & more than a dozen other wild animal species (tribals also talk about a tiger). You’d be wise to start off from Bargarh as early after sunrise as possible. Take the Ambabhona route & head to Nalichuan village (26km from Bargarh) at the edge of the sanctuary. Roads are surprisingly in really good condition for the first 20 odd kms before you take a detour. Nalichuan village is till where you can take a car.
Beyond Nalichuan, you will be totally on your own. Make sure the tyre pressure is adequate on your bike; you have enough fuel & refreshments to last a day. Deeper you go… more magical are the waterfalls. Untouched, unexplored & on most days you will have the entire waterfall to yourself. Due to the rain-water flowing through rocky terrains… water remains cold, fairly clean & perfect for a dip. Be watchful of the sharp rocks & fishes at the bottom though!
BEST TIME TO VISIT
These are seasonal waterfalls & only come to life in the rainy season. Best time to visit would be July-Aug-Sept. By November the waterfalls run dry!
For any other info, DM me on Instagram @ankeetpanda & I would be happy to help.