Majestic Mayurbhanj

Tripoto
10th Sep 2019
Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman
Day 1

With our bearings set for Baripada,we drove on the beautiful National Highway 16 towards our destination for the next 3 days.The road conditions are fantastic throughout the way and only a few stretches are single lane roads with the new lanes being constructed on the side.You will come across toll gates on this stretch and the wait is not more than 5 mins on  an average. 
Odisha is a major rice producing state and zipping across the highway during the monsoon season,you see acres and acres of paddy fields on both sides of the road.Paddy is the very backbone of the rice farming community as this directly affects how good or bad the final harvest would be.As a chef from India,I believe its my absolute duty to celebrate and promote indigenous rice varieties grown across India.
We reached just by lunch time and headed straight to Hotel Neelkamal to have our first taste of Mayurbhanj food.We had some of the famous Baripada Mutton,which was wrapped in Sal Leaves and roasted in a flavourful mix of ground masala and chillies giving it a distinctive taste and aroma.

Long stretches of road with plantations on either side welcome you into this part of the State.

Photo of Baripada, Odisha, India by Rachit Kirteeman

Kasatandi are in full blooms during this time and is a sign of Durga Puja and the coming winters.

Photo of Baripada, Odisha, India by Rachit Kirteeman

Lush green paddy fields are so tempting,that you cannot but stop and click a photo!!

Photo of Baripada, Odisha, India by Rachit Kirteeman

A road trip is just a road trip without the right company,and with that it becomes one EPIC Road Trip!!

Photo of Baripada, Odisha, India by Rachit Kirteeman

"Mutton Poda" at Hotel Neelkamal

Photo of Baripada, Odisha, India by Rachit Kirteeman
Day 2

After a recharging our camera batteries in the night as well as ours,we headed to explore the breakfast in Baripada and had the best Malpua and Aloo Dum flavoured with hing,fresh crushed green chilli.Light on the tummy but still flavourful,we then headed to a tea stall where a hand powered charcoal stove was used to make piping hot tea which we gulped down by glasses!!
As a chef no trip for me is complete without visiting the local vegetable market and being in a rich produce location like Mayurbhanj I could not miss it.I was stunned by the produce in the market.From fresh fish,to variety of mushrooms and foraged jungle produce,Mayurbhanj and its vibrant food scene is a wonderful experience.I learnt so much in the market and got to know about produce that I never knew existed.
Mayurbhanj has a rich royal heritage.The city is dotted with a number of beautiful buildings made by the erstwhile royal family of Mayurbhanj who continue to patronize the city and its people.The Belgadia Palace a part of which has now been converted into a royal homestay can also be visited on a day tour. 

Sweet Malpua and savoury Aloo Dum!!

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

Charcoal Fired hand powered stove makes the best tea!!

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

Fresh prawns and needle fish.

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

Jungle foraged red hen mushrooms.

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

The old Mayurbhanj palace which has now been converted into an educational institute.

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

More mushrooms.

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

This unique mushrooms grows only during the monsoon in the wild!!

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

Bali Chattu or Sand Mushrooms grows on termite hills and is foraged from the jungle.

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

The Jagganath Temple at Baripada.

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

Phirana which is sourced from the sea and is a loved by people for its taste.

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

Old colonial structure which houses a fantastic kachori chaat place.

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

Queens Palace which now houses the Kichinkeswari Temple.

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman
Day 3

We were in Mayurbhanj in the middle of the Monsoons,for a reason.To see the gorgeous waterfalls and experience the beautiful greenery around.Although you can spend a whole day in the Simlipal Tiger Reserve,but since we were against the clock,we drove upto Lulung instead and visited the famous Sitakund Waterfall nearby.The drive through the jungle is fun with a few stream cutting across the path.
On the way back we checked out a "weekly haat" something like a farmer's market,and came across a lot of unique produce and even witnessed barter system being followed here.We say handicrafts like brass vessel and utensils made of  clay which is used for local cooking.
For dinner we had the famous Mudhi Mangso (Puffed Rice with Mutton Curry) at Garma Garam a 50+ year old restaurant,we also sampled Rama Rochak which is Baripada'e answer to Pakodi Curry.It is made with black moong dumplings and a gravy made with potato and brinjal.It is very unique in texture and taste.

Sitakund Waterfall

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

Sitakund Waterfall is a multi layered waterfall and is beautiful.

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

The roads to Lulung are beautiful and dreamy.

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

Dhanua Lanka a local chilli which is very very spicy!!

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

Lime powder used for pan made by roasting shells of clams.

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

70 year old man with the best smile in the market!!

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

Lulung.

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

Mudhi Mangso a must try at Baripada.

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

Rama Rochaka.

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

Sprouts salad at the local haat.

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

Clay utensils.

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

Chilli and garlic which are portioned out for easy selling.

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman

Brass ware being sold in the weekly haat.

Photo of Majestic Mayurbhanj by Rachit Kirteeman
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