Berhampur – The silk city is a beautiful amalgamation of the eastern and southern culture
Berhampur is the largest city of South Odisha. It is the capital of Ganjam District, owing to its fertile land and healthy crops, the word Ganjam literally means "Granary of the world" in Odia.
Berhampur and the entire district of Ganjam along with Parlakhemundi have a distinct South Indian touch, this is due to the fact that after the Britisher's annexed Ganjam from the French in 1759 ( in the battle of Deccan), the district was Governed by the Madras Presidency under the aegis of the British Empire in India.
Berhampur is also known as the Silk City due to the famous Berhampuri Silk Patta Sarees. The weaver community of Berhampur (locally known as the Dera community) migrated to the city from Rajahmundry ( a city in Andhra Pradesh where they were called Debanga) on the request of the then King Harihar Narayan Dev of Mahuri Dynasty between 1662-1672 and started plying their trade in Berhampur.
Maa Budi Thakurani the chief deity of the Dera's is the ista devi or main deity of Berhampur too.
The Ganjam Kala Parishad and Prakasam Hall are one of the oldest theatre halls in the country. The Sri Sitaram Vials Talkies is the oldest movie hall in Odisha which was established in 1927 but closed down in 1999 after the super cyclone which hit Odisha.
Berhampur acts as a gateway to Southern Odisha, as the main city in this part of Odisha it is well connected by road and rail network with rest of the country.
While in Berhampur, here's what can look forward too-
Maa Budi Thakurani
In this part of Odisha Berhampur is the best place for shopping especially the famous Berhampuri Silk Sarees and dress materials. The shops near Old Bus Stand offers authentic Patta Silk Sarees which are the trademark of the place. The Boyanika shop at Mayuri complex, Girija Chowk is the other place where one can buy the famous Sarees.
If you are lover of Handloom and want to experience the weaving of the gorgeous Sarees and the other materials, a tour to Ganesh Nagar and Dera Sahi is recommended. The weavers and their families are welcoming of the uninvited guests and share their experience, which is fascinating, if you care to listen.
Besides for other items- the Annapurna Market is the most popular, where the shops remain open till late night.
Mahuri Kalua – Located approximately 15 KM from Behrampur en route to Taptapani, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Mahuri Kalua- the presiding deity of the temple. The setting of the temple located in the forest range of Kerandi hills makes for a picturesque setting.
Earlier the deity was located in a cave as the Mahuri King the chief devotee of the Goddess believed in keeping her off from the prying eyes and the public at large.
However after the British established their control over the region, the King with the help of the local tribe Sabara built a temple at the foothills and it was thrown open to the public.
One has the option to take the motorable hill road to the temple or climb nine hundred ninety nine steps to the temple.
It’s a popular picnic spot amongst the locals. A short trek into the dense jungles and you can come across patches of small huts. They belong to the Sabara tribal’s.
It has the addresses of some of the most scenic pristine destinations of the state.
Tara Tarini Temple
Bhanjanagar Nature Reserve
Biranchi Narayan Temple
Baldev Jeu Temple
Pancha Mahadev Temple
Though the tourists prefer to stay either at Gopalpur and Rambha and visit Behrampur for shopping. There are quite a few decent hotels dotted across the city.
Spectrum – offers a comfortable stay at a mid price range. But the service may not be that prompt.
Opposite old bus stand
Ph: - 0680-2221177
Nandan International – also in the mid price range and offers a comfortable stay
Opposite old bus stand, opposite GPO
Check in & check out -24 hrs
Ph: - 0680-2223297/2220662
Email: - firstname.lastname@example.org ,email@example.com
Website – www.hotelnandaninternational.com
Hotel Gautam Palace – offers a comfortable stay and is a budget hotel
Check in: - 12PM , Check out: - 12PM
Address - Hanuman Bazar
Berhampur like all major cities, it has its own set of joints which appeal to your gastronomic sensations.
Pidha Hotel– Located at Triveni Nagar- perhaps one of the few hotels in the country where the age old tradition of sitting on a Pidha (wooden plank) on the ground and eating is still in vogue. The specialty of the hotel is the Odia favourite Mutton Curry, Rice and Daal. The food is so tasty that one overcomes the inhibition of sitting on the wooden plank on the ground and gulping down the spread served.
Nandan Restaurant – Located on the church road offers sumptuous south Indian fares at a very reasonable price
Mayurva Restaurant – Located on the City High School Road near Satya Sai Baba temple is one of the oldest and best restaurants of the city. Try the Chinese dishes especially the Manchow soup.
Olive Restaurant – Located at the Old Christian Street, Subba Rao Square is a multi cuisine restaurant with a very good ambience and generous service.
The city is also known for its street food:-
Girija Restaurant- Located at UB road. Gandhi Nagar, popularly known as the KFC of Behampur amongst the locals. No trip to the city is complete without a plate of the lip smacking pakoda’s from this place.
Calcutta Roll Corner – at Ramalingam tank as the name suggests offers sumptuous egg chicken rolls.
Shabbir Kebab Centre – near Biju Patnaik Park is famous joint for chicken kebabs.
Saradhi Lassi Centre – Annapurna Market is famous for its lassi and juice. Try the chocolate shake.
Munna Hari – Near the Railway station is famous for its breakfast snacks of Idli, Vada and ghuguni
Kalia – In front of Roland Institute of Pharmaceutical at Gopalpur Junction – is another famous joint serving delicious snacks.
Samal – Near Annapurna Market – serves some of the best idli’s in this part of the world.
Best time to visit Behrampur is the winters; summers are very hot and humid. However Taptapani , Chandragiri and Mahendragiri peak are pleasant through out the year, but do avoid Mahendragiri during the monsoons as its not advisable to climb peaks during monsoon
While shopping for Sarees in Behrampur in the old bus stand street put on your bargaining cap. Berhampur is a congested city with narrow lanes. The best way to go around the city is by an auto. If you are visiting Behrampur during the Maa Budi Thakurani Yatra beware of pick pockets.
There aren’t any eating joints along Mahuri Kalua apart from snacks.
People of Ganjam understand Hindi, English, Odia and Telugu.
Behrampur as the major city of the area has the requisite infrastructure in terms of health care centres, automobile service stations and banks. The government run MKCG is the major hospital in south Odisha, website - www.mkcgmch.org
The people are generally friendly, helpful and down to earth. However if they perceive you to be a bit over the top then they immediately withdraw.
If you are visiting Bhanjanagar nature camp carry walking shoes and trekking gear.
For specific tourism related issues call the tourist information centre at Ganjam in Behrampur, office timing- 10 am to 6pm ( saturday, sunday closed)
Address – Hillpatna, Berhampur- 760005
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org