Trip To Berhampur: Top places to visit and things to do

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Berhampur or Brahmapur, popularly known as the ‘Silk City,’ is a major city in South Odisha located on the country’s eastern coast in Ganjam district and is 170 kilometres from the state capital, Bhubaneswar. A trip to Berhampur will take you to the home of temples as well as many other tourist attractions which will provide you with an amazing experience. The temples that you must visit include Taratarini Adi Shakti Peetha, Budhi Thakurani Temple, Siddha Vinayaka Temple, Siddha Bhairavi Temple and Balakumari Temple.

Though not a coastal town, Berhampur is blessed with some of the best beaches in Odisha which are situated quite close to the city. Gopalpur on-sea is a mere 16 kilometres away while Aryapalli Beach is some 30 kilometres from Berhampur. This apart you can also easily visit must-see places of neighbouring districts of Gajapati and Kandhamal like Sulfur springs, waterfalls, lakes, hill stations and  monasteries. And, of course you can’t afford to miss Potagada fort, that takes you back in time to the glorious history that the area once enjoyed.

Berhampur is also known for its famous silk sarees popularly known as ‘Brahmapuri Pata’ and thus the city doesn’t disappoint those who have a penchant for shopping. In this post I will not only take you to the places you must visit in Berhampur, but also explain things you can do there. 

Let’s begin by visiting the temples.

Visit the temples in and around Berhampur

The city of Berhampur and its nearby places are dotted with several temples which you can easily visit. While some temples are right within the city limit, other shrines are also not very far and are less than 35 kilometres from Berhampur. Some of the temples which you must visit are Taratarini Temple, Budhi Thakurani Temple, Dhabaleswar Temple, Siddha Bhairavi Temple and Lord Siddhi Vinayaka Temple. Let’s begin with Taratarini shrine.

Taratarini Adi Shakti Pitha

The first destination for most of the visitors after reaching Berhampur is Taratarini Temple. The shrine is a holy site for Hindus located near Berhampur in Odisha. The place is at a distance of about 32 kms from the city centre near Purusottampur..

The Taratarini Temple is on the banks of the River Rishikulya and sits atop the Kumari hills, which has a height of approximately 708ft. It is one of the most ancient and one of the four Adi Shakti Peethas in India.  Goddess Sati’s breasts are said to have fallen on the place where the temple now stands. Tara and Tarini are the presiding deities. They reside in the temple as two stones adorned with exquisite decorations and designed to resemble the two goddesses.

The temple that you now see is a new one that has replaced the old concrete temple of the British era. The present temple is a unique modern temple structure bearing complicated carvings. The temple construction follows the traditional Kalinga temple architecture or the Rekha architecture style and is quite similar to Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri and Lingaraj temple of Bhubaneswar. Horizontal and parallel lines bear characteristics of this kind of architecture. It has been built at a cost of around Rs. 2.50 crores as per the architectural norms of ancient Orissa temple architecture. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the newly built temple three days ago (18th May 2022, Wednesday). 

trip to berhampur
Maa Budhi Thakurani Temple in Berhampur, PC: Abha S Pradhan,

Read more about the temple: Visiting Taratarini Temple, the Adi Shakti Peetha in Odisha

Maa Budhi Thakurani Temple

Maa Budhi Thakurani is revered as the istadevi of Brahmapur residents. The city residents adore the deity with great regard, devotion, love, and passion, and they have a deep belief in the Goddess as their Surakshya Kabacha (the guard wall). A must visit temple in Berhampur.

Thakurani shrine stands in the Big Bazzar area of the old city and is a mere 3 kms from Berhampur railway station. A huge number of devotees visit the temple to worship the deity inside the shrine, which is a crudely cut piece of stone smeared with sindoor.

Originally, the goddess was worshiped by the Dera people, an Andhra weaver community, when they first settled in Brahmapur. The temple is notable for its intimate relationship between low caste people and the mainstream of Hinduism. The priests are barbers by caste, although the pilgrims are from all castes.

The Berhampur Thakurani is famed for its bi-annual festival popularly known as Thakurani Yatra or Ghata Yatra. It is the main festival of not only Berhampur, but also of the entire Southern Orissa. In alternate years during the month of Chaitra (March / April), the month-long event is celebrated with great pomp as the Goddess’s homecoming.

The custom that is followed focuses on the fact that the goddess is believed to be a daughter given away in marriage, and visits her fathers house every two years. Her presence at (Paternal) home is celebrated as the festival period.The city wears a festive look during during the festival.

trip to berhampur
Siddha Bhairavi Temple in Mantridi village near Berhampur, PC: K.Venkataramana, Wikipedia

Mantridi Shiddha Bhairavi Temple

Siddha Bhairavi Temple is a well-known Shakti shrine in a small village called Mantridi near Berhampur in Ganjam district. Goddess Bhairavi is the presiding deity here. The idol is crudely carved, with one leg and four hands. This deity is claimed to have been unearthed from a ploughed field and enshrined as such in a newly adorned temple in 1937.All Sankranti days and Tuesdays are considered auspicious here.

Located at a distance of about 18 kilometers from Berhampur on NH-5, the temple is quite close to the border between Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, making it equally accessible to the visitors of both states. The temple has undergone several renovations, the most recent of which added 108 idols to an extension to the existing temple, as well as a sanctum sanctorum for Lord Jagannath.

trip to berhampur
Siddha Vinayaka Temple in Panchama village near Berhampur,

Siddha Vinayaka Temple

Another temple which is quite close to Berhampur city that you shouldn’t miss is the Siddha Vinayaka Temple. As the name suggests it is a  Ganesh temple and is located in a small village called Panchama about 12 kilometres from Berhampur. Legend has it that on his way to conquest of the Kanchi Kingdom, Gajapati Purushottama deva (15th century) of Puri recovered the image in the grooves of two trees named Bara (banyan) and Ashwattha (pipal) and paid his reverence to the image following its consecration.

 Since then, the site has been sanctified and has become a significant centre of Ganapataya devotion, perpetuating Orissa’s rich history of Panchadevata worship. The idol is still housed within the trunks of two enormous ficus trees. It is surrounded by a temple. On Ganesh Chaturthi, around 200,000 devotees from Odisha and Andhra Pradesh visit this shrine.

trip to berhampur
Maa Balakumari Temple in Chikiti near Berhampur, PC:

Do Read; Everything you need to know about Ranipur Jharial temples

Maa Balakumari Temple

This is another shakti shrine which you should visit while in Berhampur city. Balakumari, also known as Maa Balakumari, is a temple and tourist site near Berhampur. It is well known as a famous pilgrim destination for a temple where Maa Balakumari is worshipped on top of a mountain near Chikiti town.

The Chikiti royal family founded the Temple of Maa Balakumari. Maa Balakumari is the locality’s well-known goddess which is located to the east of Chikiti town.

The location has all of the essential amenities. Tourists must climb some 1200 odd steps to reach the temple’s summit. Goddess Durga is worshipped in the temple that is visited by people from across Southern Odisha  and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. The temple is 32 kilometres from Berhampur and 208 kilometres from the state capital, Bhubaneswar. Sankranti day of each month and all Tuesdays are considered auspicious in the temple.

Explore the beaches

Though Berhampur does not have a beach of its own, the city is quite close to some of the best beaches in Odisha. While some are quite popular and always crowded, there are a few which are virgin with unmatched natural beauty. Fewer tourists visit these beaches. And there is the Rushikulya beach which is famous as the nesting place for the endangered Olive Ridley turtle. A visit to these beaches will surely add value to your trip to Berhampur. Here, I have meticulously chosen four beaches that you must visit. 

trip to berhampur
Pati Sonapur beach near Berhampur, PC:

Pati Sonapur Beach

Pati Sonapur Beach is a lovely pristine beach near Berhampur in South Odisha. This beach with a beautiful shoreline is best known for its great ambiance and evening vibes. It is approximately 29 kilometres from Berhampur.

Pati Sonapur Beach is a peaceful and beautiful beach located away from the hustle and bustle of Berhampur. It is considered as one of the most beautiful beaches on the country’s eastern coast and is likely the cleanest beach in the state of Odisha. There are a lot of foreign tourists sitting around the shimmering shoreline of this wonderful beach.

 The confluence of the river Hahuda with the Bay of Bengal here offers a breathtaking view and you can take a boat to reach the point of confluence.

This place used to be one of the major shipping focal points around Ichhapur and is a place of great heritage values. What makes this beach quite different from other beaches is the golden sands decorating the seabed. It is considered to be one of the hidden treasures of Odisha’s tourism. A lot of Hindu temples are located near the beach.

trip to berhampur
Moonrise in Gopalpur beach, PC: Kalpana Mishra

Gopalpur Beach

Anyone who visits Berhampur often takes a trip to Gopalpur beach, also known as Gopalpur On-Sea. The beach is only 16 kilometres from Berhampur and is well developed to make it tourist friendly.

Gopalpur Beach is flanked by coconut trees, casuarinas, and soft sand dunes, making it desolate for kilometres. The historic jetty, which once was a major trading hub during the medieval period, has now become a popular tourist attraction among visitors. The iconic lighthouse at the Gopalpur beach is a must-see and the view from its top is breathtaking. 

Gopalpur Beach also holds the popular ‘Beach Festival,’ which is held yearly in December and attracts celebrities from the film industry as well as tourists. There are also exhilarating water sports activities such as Scuba Diving, Swimming, Paddle Boat, Water scooter that you can enjoy at the beach.

trip to berhampur
Aryapalli beach near Berhampur, PC:

Also Read: Feast with super coolant Pakhala Bhata of Odisha this summer (2022)

Aryapalli Beach

Aryapalli Beach is about 30 kilometres from Berhampur and can be accessible via the National highway, from where a  well-maintained road leads you to the popular Aryapalli beach.

Aryapalli Beach is a pristine one that offers visitors the most calm and tranquil environment in the state of Orissa. Aryapalli’s silvery, calm beach is great for relaxation. One can sit on the beach and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and gigantic waves away from the hustle bustle of the city. The serenity of the beach washes away all the blues from mind, body, and spirit.

Aryapalli does not have many vendors on the shore to hound visitors. After sunbathing at the beach, visitors can go round the hamlets nearby, inhabited by Telugu-speaking fishermen, and know the socio-cultural aspects of their lives.

trip to berhampur
Rushikulya beach is the venue fr nesting of endangared Olive Ridley turtles, PC: Pinku Halder, Wikimedia Commons

Rushikulya Beach

There is more than one reason why you must visit Rushikulya Beach. First the beach is one offbeat kind and is a picture-perfect setting for relaxation.that you should not miss on your trip to Berhampur. The other reason is that here you get the rare chance to witness the mating and nesting of endangered Olive Ridley turtles.

The beach is home to thousands of Olive Ridley turtles who flock here every year to lay their eggs.  As small turtles come out of these eggs it is such a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness such a rare moment. According to official sources at least 5.5 lakhs Olive Ridley turtles have come ashore for mass nesting in the 6 kilometers long Rushikulya beach.

You can also witness the mating of Turtles here In the months of December and January.. There is a boat tour which is conducted for the tourists who throng here to see the process. You could witness this rare moment here only. The mass nesting takes place in the months of February and March.

Hills, waterfalls, springs and lakes near Berhampur

It seems nature has been very kind to Berhampur as it is endowed with gifts of nature just within a few kilometers from city limits.Berhampur boasts scenic natural surroundings making it a refreshing destination. You should visit the many hills, waterfalls, springs and lakes near the city in Ganjam district and also the neighbouring Gajapati and Kandhamal district without a miss. Let us check out some of the attractions.

places to visit in Berhampur
Bankeswari Hills near Berhampur, PC: Ganjam Tourism,

Bankeswari Hills

Bankeshwari hills are a picturesque place in the Kerandimala hill ranges of Eastern Ghats and only 10 kilometres from Digapahandi, a small town near Berhampur.. It is quite popular as one of the major  tourist spots near the city and also known for the  topographical features that add to the beauty of the area. The hills are an ideal place to relax and unwind which are densely forested and have crystal-clear water streams making it even more inviting.

You can easily spend 1 to 2 hours savouring the panoramic splendour of the area while adventure seekers can go on a  trek. The place is best visited between the months of October and March.The best time to visit the hills is early in the morning or late in the afternoon since the view of sunrise and sunset from the hilltop is one of the most beautiful things to behold.

trip to berhampur
Mahendragiri near Berhampur, PC: Vsvlss, Wikimedia Commons

Mahendragiri Peak

Mahendragiri is a mountain in the eastern ghats at an elevation of 1501 meters in Gajapati district of Odisha about 90 kilometers from Berhampur. This is the second highest mountain peak in Odisha after Deomali hills of Koraput district. Unlike other hills, Mahendragiri is not just appreciated for its natural beauty and is different in many respects from other such places which makes visiting the hills an altogether different experience.

First, the hills and its surrounding areas have been designated as a biodiversity hot spot due to numerous medicinal plants and other species that are found here.  Mahendragiri Hills, part of the Eastern Ghats, is home to over 600 flowering plants and is a haven for medicinal plants. The region’s faunal richness is immense, and it is particularly well-known as a herpetofaunal hotspot.

The mountain is religiously and historically attributed to its associations with Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas. The area finds mention in all these holy scriptures and  trance-like state of meditation was practiced here. You can find  ancient temples and archaeological remains believed to have been built by the Pandavas dot the landscape in Mahendragiri. The best time to visit the place is between October and March.

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Daringbadi hill station in Kandhamal near Berhampur, PC: Sakar Tiwari, Wikimedia Commons

Daringbadi hill station

Daringbadi comes as a pleasant surprise for those who believe that Odisha is all about temples and beaches. Your next destination is a hill station in the neighbouring Kandhamal district about 120 kilometres from Berhampur. Fondly referred to as the “Kashmir of Odisha”, Daringbadi is a popular tourist spot and  sits calmly at an elevation of 3000 feet, waiting to be explored.

 Pine trees, coffee gardens and valleys make Daringbadi picture-perfect. It is a place where you can stay in quaint cottages amidst trees and valleys, the weather is inviting – beating the heat in summers and offering snow in the winter. The place does not only have verdant and thick forests, but is also bountiful in flora and fauna. The best part about this hill station is that you can visit this place throughout the year.

Daringbadi appears to be an unusual name for a hill station. Such a peculiar name is attributed to a British officer named Daring Saheb during colonial rule who was in charge of the place.. It was soon named after him, with the addition of Badi, which means village. More than half of Daringbadi’s population is made up of tribal and indigenous people who have lived in the area for generations. They have a unique folk dance, music, and cuisine that they share.

places to visit in Berhampur
Gandahati Waterfall, Photo Source:

Summer Special: 9 exotic places you must visit this summer holidays in 2022

Gandahati Waterfall

If you are a nature lover, then you are not supposed to miss visiting Gandahati Waterfall which is 153 kilometres away from Berhampur in the neighbouring Gajapati district. Parlakhemundi, the district headquarters of Gajapati is only 30 kilometres from the waterfall. The distance might make you become a little hesitant to visit the place, but once you reach the waterfall, you realise that the place is worth it. This is a perennial waterfall that you can visit any time of the year. 

As you travel to the fall, you will find it covered with dense forest all around. You also have to cross a few small villages on the way to the falls.To cross the stream, a wooden bridge has been built. From the point when we enter the falls area to the steps that go to the fall, there is a wooden fence. A little garden with small benches and other swing and see-saw type things for children to play is maintained for the amusement of the visitors.

The fall is about 20 meters high and the stream is also not that deep, allowing anyone, irrespective of age, to readily enter and play in it. Another viewpoint in this place is a huge rock where visitors may relax and enjoy the fall while taking photographs.To the left of the waterfall there is a shrine dedicated to Hindu goddess Maa Santoshi. The place is particularly popular among picnickers, pleasure seekers and nature lovers.

trip to berhampur
Khasada waterfall, PC: Sudeep K Guru

Khasada Waterfall

There is one more waterfall that must find a place in the itinerary of your Berhampur visit. Khasada waterfall is about 90 kilometres from Berhampur in Jiranga near Chandragiri in Gajapati district. 

The enchanting beauty of Khasada Waterfall is attributed to its location which is strategically nestled between the small hills and lush green forest.It is one of the most wonderful and crowded waterfalls. However it is not a perennial waterfall. When I visited the place in March this year, there was not much water here.

Tourists, particularly those taking baths, must be cautious because the smooth rocks underwater are rather slippery. These slick rocks give the waterfall its name, “Khasada.” In Odia language, the word “khasada” means “slippery.”

There are no hotels or dhabas nearby, therefore one must bring all necessary things and food. Snacks, cold drinks, mineral water, and biscuits are available at only a few shops and that too only during season time.

trip to berhampur
The sulfur spring in Taptapani, PC: Sudeep K Guru

Taptapani (sulfur springs)

While traveling from Berhampur to Khasada waterfall and Jiranga Monastery on the Berhampur-Chandragiri highway, you come across Taptapani which boasts of a few sulfur springs which are believed to have medicinal values. Taptapani is about 50 kilometres from Berhampur. 

Taptapani (literally ” hot water”) is a hot water spring and temple complex located on the eastern ghats on the Berhampur-Chandragari highway. There is also a deer park nearby where you can see spotted deers and sambar kept separately. It can be included in a weekend getaway because it is located on the road to Jirang and Khasada waterfalls.

 While the place has nothing much to offer except the hot water springs and the two temples dedicated to Maa Kandhuni Devi and Lord Shiva, the place is refreshing for its idyllic setting. The serenity of nature in Taptapani is enhanced by wonderful sights of the sunrise and moonlit night,, bird chirps, and sightings of wild animals. A mandatory stop when you are travelling on this state highway. 

places to visit in Berhampur
Tampara Lake, Photo Source;

Tampara lake

Lying close to NH-5 and about 25 kilometres from Berhampur Tampara Lake is a natural waterbody that has been embanked along its perimeter to create a promenade surrounding it for visitors to sit and enjoy themselves. Tampara Lake takes its name from the location in which it is situated, Tamapara. 

It is a beautiful place for water sports. Large freshwater lake with a resort , park with walking tract and wooden plank bridges on lake with food court on one side and forest on the other side where you can see resident birds,migratory birds, peacocks. Ride in the lake is very laid back on a big boat with a very cordial driver who doubles up as guide. It is maintained by OTDC . 

There is a restaurant on the banks of the lake where one can have various sea food as well as vegetarian food in open air dining with the breeze from the lake hitting you. It is a refreshing and romantic place  which you must visit..

Revisit the history near Berhampur

Apart from the many temples and the natural bounties that Berhampur is home to, the place is also enriched with quite a few historical sites. The rock edicts of King Ashoka and the inscriptions clearly indicate that the present tract of Ganjam (Berhampur is a city in Ganjam district) was a part of the Kalinga Empire, which was under the jurisdiction of King Ashoka.

 However after the fall of the Mauryan empire and the downfall of their absolute supremacy, the Ganjam region also disappeared from the political scenario of Odisha and was in a dark oblivion till in 1761, it was recognised as The French Bussy. When the French arrived Ganjam District was subdivided into several parts. 

You can visit the remains of a few historical sites which are very close to Berhampur city. Jiranga, a place in the neighbouring Gajapati district with a sizable Tibetan population with a simmering history is another tourist attraction. 

trip to berhampur
Jiranga monastery, PC: Sudeep K Guru

Jiranga near Berhampur

If you are traveling in South Odisha, then you can’t afford to miss JIranga which is popularly known as the little Tibet of Odisha. Located in Gajapati district of the state, Jiranga also known as Chandragiri boasts of a sizable Tibetan population thanks to the Chinese invasion of Tibet in !959 that forced religious and political head Dalai Lama and thousands of his followers to take refuge in India. Chandragiri in Gajapati district of Odisha was one of the six sites in India where the Tibetan refugees were settled. Since then Chandragiri or JIranga has evolved into an area with distinct Tibetan Buddhist character. 

Over the years what has become the center of attraction for the visitors in JIranga is the monastery which was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in 2010. The monastery called Padma Sambhava Mahavihara which in Tibetan is known as Thupten Mindolling Monastery is said to be the largest monastery in Estern India. 

The Tibetans refer to the entire region as Phuntsokling, which translates to “Land of Happiness and Plenty.” Thus, JIranga which is endowed with gifts of nature such as forest, hills, valleys and waterfalls has become a major tourist attraction with the JIranga Monastery as its epicenter. So, if you happen to be on a Berhampur trip, go and visit this place for sure. 

To know more abour Jiranga do read: JIranga Monastery: The Little Tibet of Odisha

trip to berhampur
The ruins of Ptagada fort, PC: Kalpana Mishra

Potagarh or Potagada Fort

The historic pentagon-shaped Potagada fort near Berhampur, which has seen three foreign rulers now stands as a ruin thanks to time and the saline breeze from the neighbouring Bay of Bengal.

Historians claim that Potagada was built in 1768 under the direction of Edward Costford, the first British resident officer of Ganjam. It has five bastions with a pentagonal design. There are office buildings, a magazine, artillery, armoury, stores, and custom houses within the fort.

The star-shaped fort is surrounded by a wide and deep moat. Its strongly built earthen rampart is about 15-ft high, 92-metre long and 19-metre wide.

Since the fort was built underground, it is not visible from a distance. Located on the confluence of river Rushikulya and the Bay of Bengal, it served as the first collectorate complex of Ganjam 253 years ago.

Potagada is a cluster of forts that shed light on the history of Muslim and French rulers as well as their administrative practises. It is claimed that Muslim rulers built a fort on the site. Monsieur De Bussy, a French commander, gained control of Ganjam in 1753 and governed out of Potagada. The French rule of Potagarh ended in 1765, when the British took over. A must visit for history enthusiasts.

places to visit in Berhampur
Historic site Jaugada near Berhampur, PC:

Jaugada or Jaugarh fort

Jaugada or Jaugarh is a ruined fortress in the Ganjam district in Odisha. The fort lies 35 km north-west of Berhampur and 160 km south-west of Bhubaneshwar. Once a provincial Mauryan fortified capital of the newly conquered province of Kalinga, Jaugada is famous for its version of the monumental stone-cut edicts in Prakrit of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka.

Jaugada is home to some of the Major Rock Edicts of Ashoka, inscribed circa 250 BCE: Major Rock Edicts 1-10 and 14 are inscribed on a central rock in the compound, as well as Separate Edicts. This configuration is similar to that of the nearby Dhauli Edicts of Ashoka which is about 250 kilometres north-east near Bhubaneswar.

Also Read; A day at Golconda Fort in Hyderabad

Shopping in Berhampur

If you love to shop then this city has a lot to offer, be it in clothing, handicrafts or things to eat.

Do you know why Berhampur is called the ‘silk city’? It is because the city is home to the famous silk saree or Berhampuri or Brahmapuri pata as it is locally called. Several units dot the city where weavers make the most exotic Berhampuri pata sarees. So, when you are in Berhampur, make sure you visit these units or you can make the purchases in the Berhampur market.

Another thing that you must try is the trio of Achar (pickle), papad and badi. Berhampur’s achar, papad and badis showcase the unique specialty, making  them rule the whole nation with their taste. 

These three give away such a wonderful flavour to the mouth that it is liked by the folks of Odisha at any and every point of time. What makes this traditional cuisine even more rich is the fact that it is prepared from local ingredients by the local inhabitants themselves! So, don’t forget to bring home some of these items.

trip to berhampur
The newly built Taratarini Temple near Berhampur, PC: Sudeep K Guru

Berhampur FAQs

Why is Berhampur famous for?

Berhampur, also known as Brahmapur is known as the home of Lord Brahma and is usually known as the silk city- the city which is famous for the lustrous ikkat silk sarees in different colours and patterns.

What is the best time to visit Berhampur?

The time between October to April is the best time to visit Berhampur. The weather is very pleasant during this time and also most of the festivals are celebrated during these month.

What is the best way to reach Berhampur?

Berhampur is an mportant city of Odisha. It has a railway station and well-connected road system. It does not have an airport of its own. There are regular trains available from major cities of the country to Berhampur. Also, you can reach there via buses or taxis.

What are the things to do in Berhampur?

The top things to do in Berhampur are to visit Gopalpur beach, Dhabaleshwar temple and beach, have darshan of Sidhi Binayak , Shiddha Bhairavi, Maa Taratarini. Shopping in Berhampur bazars. and visit the historical site of  Potagarh. You can see all these places when you visit Berhampur

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