When you talk about the best or the most tourist places in India, it is unlikely that Odisha would or any of the cities in the states would feature in the list. But not all good things have to be popular, and one such example is Mayurbhanj.  

Recently, the magnificent Mayurbhanj city has garnered immense attention from tourists all over India and overseas as it was named among the 50 most extraordinary places of 2023 by Time Magazine. It is the one of only cities in India that finds its mention in the coveted list along with Ladakh. Apart from the global recognition it gained recently, Mayurbhanj also came into limelight for being the home district of our honourable President Droupadi Murmu.  

Being one of lesser-known places in India has worked as a blessing in disguise for Mayurbhanj as it retains its pristine natural beauty in all its glory. The lack of commercial activities here and the massive influx has preserved this hidden gem from being spoiled due to littering and irresponsible behaviours of the tourists.  

If you are keen on exploring on Mayurbhanj and travel to one of the most extraordinary places in the world, here is a complete guide to Mayurbhanj that will help you get valuable information, including 

  •     About Mayurbhanj District
  •     Best way to reach Mayurbhanj
  •     Best places to see in Mayurbhanj
  •     Best things to do in Mayurbhanj
  •     Best time to visit Mayurbhanj 

About Mayurbhanj District

Mayurbhanj is one of the 30 districts, and it holds an important place in the state’s tourism map. A landlocked district, Mayurbhanj is spread over 10418 sq.km out of which nearly 39% of the land is covered by forests and hills. So, there is bountiful of natural beauty all around Mayurbhanj. 

From wildlife sanctuaries, untouched forests, gushing waterfalls, and ancient temples, the place has everything to attract the interest of all kinds of tourists. Whether you are on a spiritual journey, trying to find your inner self or looking for some adventure, the place will satiate all your wanderlust needs.  

To protect the natural environment of Mayurbhanj, and help the locals earn better livelihood and increase their standards of living, the Odisha State Government has been taking several measures to promote the local handicrafts, handlooms and other unique arts and artisans of the region, including Sabai Grass weaving and Dokra metal casting.  

Also, to safeguard the biosphere in the region, i.e., the Similipal, the government limits the entry of vehicles inside to only 60 per day. Besides, another highlight of this wonderful district is that the government has allowed the local tribal groups to run and manage the stay facilities in the region so that the tourists get the best and most authentic experience of indigenous hospitality and culture.  

Best way to reach Mayurbhanj 

Being one of the important districts in Orissa, Mayurbhanj is well-connected to the rest of the state and India by all modes of transport. It has well-connected roads, and you can also reach Mayurbhanj from anywhere in India.  

Travelling to Mayurbhanj by Air 

Mayurbhanj does not have its own airport. The closest airport to Mayurbhanj is Dum Dum International Airport in Kolkata and Biju Patnaik Airport in the capital city of Orissa, Bhubaneshwar, both of which are situated more than 200 kms away from the city. You can travel to Kolkata and Bhubaneswar from anywhere in India; there are regular flights operating to these cities.  

After you arrive in one of these two cities, you can travel to Mayurbhanj by road. From Bhubaneshwar there are regular state transport-operated buses. The fares for the buses are quite inexpensive and you can reach your destination comfortably within 3-5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a taxi, or book a private vehicle from either of the airports to reach Mayurbhanj.  

Travelling to Mayurbhanj by Rail 

Mayurbhanj is well-linked to all prominent cities, including Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Jamshedpur, Kozhikode, etc. by rail. You can take a train from these and other major cities to Baripada to reach Mayurbhanj. Distance from Baripada to Mayurbhanj is just about 65 km, and it takes a two-hour trip. From Baripada, you can take a bus or book a cab and reach Mayurbhanj easily. 

Travelling to Mayurbhanj by Road 

Perhaps the best way to travel to Mayurbhanj is by road, especially if you are travelling to other cities in Odisha. The main cities like Balasore, Kharagpur, are about 60 and 103 kms away respectively. Bhubaneshwar is about 255 kms away. The city is well-connected via road, and the Odisha State Road Transport Corporation runs buses to Mayurbhanj from all cities.  

If you are travelling from other states outside Odisha, you can reach the nearest major city via different National Highways and then make your way to Mayurbhanj.  

Best places to see in Mayurbhanj 

Mother nature has blessed Mayurbhanj with immense beauty. The landscape is replete with lush green vegetation, waterfalls, exotic wildlife and more that lures several travellers from all over the country. Mayurbhanj has many top attractions, and you may need a few months to explore all the popular places and the hidden gems. But if you are on a short family holiday for a week, here are some of the best places to visit in Mayurbhanj, Odisha.  

  •     Khiching 

Once the capital of Bhanja rulers, Khiching holds a significant place in the history of Mayurbhanj. Home to many ancient temples, Khiching gets its name from an ancient temple in the region known as the Kichakeswari temple.  

The Kichakeswari temple is dedicated to Goddess Kichakeshwari, who was much feared by the rulers of Bhanja dynasty and the Mayurbhanj chiefs. One of the major highlights of this temple is that it is the only in India dedicated to the Goddess.  

Apart from its spiritual and cultural importance for the locals, the temple is also known for its exquisite architecture. It is made of Chlorite slabs. Apart from the main sanctum, the temple premises houses a small museum where various artefacts are preserved.  

  •     Devkund 

Mayurbhanj has many religious places that are also popular tourist attractions. One such place is Devkund. The name literally translates to ‘a place where Gods and Goddesses bathe.’ It is basically a waterfall that cascades from a hill, and it holds an important place in the hearts of the locals and also in the Hindu culture.  

It is believed that the Gods descend to Devkund to bathe and that the waters have divine power and if simply by touching the water from the falls you receive the God’s blessings.  

  •     Similipal 

A tourist guide to Mayurbhanj would be incomplete without mentioning Similipal. One of the most popular tourist places in Mayurbhanj, Similipal is a national park and a wildlife sanctuary and it plays an integral part in India’s save the Tigers project.  

The park is spread over 2700 sq.km and has gained immense popularity all over the country for being home to the rare Black Bengal Tiger, which has been spotted in the forests. The black colour of the Tiger is a result of its pseudo-melanistic skin condition. Apart from its star attraction, the Black Tiger, the sanctuary also houses many other rare and exotic flora and fauna, which are native to this region.  

When you are in Similipal, you must take a jeep safari that takes you on a ride to the heart of the forest and you can spot several wildlife species in their natural habitat. Make sure that you carry a pair of binoculars inside to see the birds and animals up close and you may even have a tryst with the majestic Tiger.  

Apart from its wildlife, the sanctuary is known for its surreal landscape, which makes your safari a memorable experience. The tall and towering Sal trees, and the wide array of colourful flowers uplift the beauty of the forest and provide a perfect backdrop for you to click some epic pictures that you can boast on your social media.  

  •     Jagannath Temple 

Many people tend to confuse the Jagannath Temple in Mayurbhanj with the temple of the same name in Puri, Odisha. Although the main deity in both the temples is Lord Jagannath, this temple in Mayurbhanj is only a replica of the more popular temple in Puri, which is considered one of the holiest sites in the country by Hindus.  

This temple in Mayurbhanj is also an ancient temple, and is considered to be one of the oldest in India. Built by Shri Baidyanath Bhanj during the Saka Era, it dates back to 1497. An interesting aspect of this temple, which makes it popular among the tourists is that even though it is majorly a Hindu temple, inside the premises you can find several small sections or compartments where icons of other religions are kept and prayed.  

So, if you are looking for the suggestions on best things to do in Mayurbhanj, make sure to visit this temple and offer your prayers. Even if you don’t have religious or spiritual inclination, you would surely love being inside the premises and seeing the beautiful architecture of the temple.  

  •     Ramatirtha 

Located close to the Simlipal National Park is Ramathirtha, a popular tourist place in Mayurbhanj as it houses a temple dedicated to Lord Rama, which has a mythological associated. Legends have it that Lord Ram, his consort, Goddess Sita and his brother, Lord Laxman passed through these forests during their exile. And while passing, the tired Goddess sat on the plateau to take rest and washed her feet in the river that runs below.  

Apart from its mythological significance, Ramatirtha is known for being one of the few crocodile breeding centres in India. Here the experts rear these deadly predators and take care of them.  

Best time to visit Mayurbhanj

Mayurbhanj is a beautiful tourist place that you can visit anytime of the year. But, most travel guides to Mayurbhanj suggest September to January as the best time to visit Mayurbhanj. This is the peak tourist season in the region.  During this time of the year the weather is pleasant with both humidity levels and temperature being at their lowest, providing an ambient setting for you to explore the various popular sightseeing attractions without any hassles.  

If you are a hardcore nature lover, and like to embrace nature, you may enjoy visiting Mayurbhanj in the monsoon season as well. The rain paints the entire region in a million shades of green, and accentuates the natural beauty. Plus, during rains you can see the hills are decorated with plenty of waterfalls and natural streams, which add more fun and excitement to your holiday experience.  

The summers in Mayurbhanj, which starts from March and extends till June tend to be pretty hot and humid. The temperature soars up to 35 degrees Celsius, and the humidity levels reach up to 80%, which would make you sweat and feel thirsty, making it extremely uncomfortable for you to go out in the day.  

So, now that you know everything you need to know about Mayurbhanj, it is high-time you plan a trip to this wonderful destination. Make sure that you have sufficient time at hand to explore all the popular attractions and the hidden gems of Mayurbhanj. Most importantly, have fun in everything you do, and it will go down as one of the best holidays you have had! 

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