Bhubaneswar, October 6: Odisha is a land of hidden treasures, which often surprises people with its distinct flavours and colours. While the state has a rich collection of beautiful temples, sea beaches, lakes and reserve forests, very few people know that there are many amazing waterfalls in various districts of the state.
In order to identify and promote these waterfalls, a group of wildlife photographers has embarked on a unique road trip ‘Waterfalls of Odisha’. During their trip, the group will cover 28 waterfalls of 22 districts, spread across 2600 kms in 15 days.
The trip was flagged off by Sports & Youth Services & IT minister Chandra Sarathi Behera and Tourism Director Nitin B Jalwale at Kalinga Stadium here on Friday.
The group comprises wildlife photographer Durgesh Singh, photographer Udayan Sarathi, wildlife conservationist Aditya Panda and VFX artist and photographer Sumanta Lenka.
Some of the important waterfalls which will be documented during the trip includes Duduma, Barehipani, Joranda, Bhimkund, Devkund, Sanghagra, Badaghagra, Khandadhar (Keonjhar), Khandadhar (Sundergarh), Pradhanpat, Nrusinghanath,Handibhanga, Gundichaghai, Pulrijharan, Rabandhara, Uski, Katramal among others.
Excited about the trip, Udayan said, “This trip is also a part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan where we intend to clean all the waterfalls we would visit. We would do documentation of each and every waterfall which has the potential to be a tourist hotspot. We would also try to create awareness among local people for the conservation and maintenance of theses waterfalls. After the trip, we would submit the documentation to the Tourism Department.”
The team will be creating a database of factual and audiovisual data from the expedition that shall be used to educate the public, aid policymakers and promote Odisha’s rich natural heritage globally.
Interestingly, for the trip, the members have raised funds through crowd funding. “For the last one month, we have been promoting our initiative in various social media platforms which has helped us raise a good amount of funds, shared Udayan while adding that the accommodation arrangements will be taken care of by the Tourism Department.
Talking about what motivated them to start this initiative, Durgesh shared, “Odisha is a land of natural resources and each part is different from other, but unfortunately they are still unexplored. There are many interesting stories related to some of the waterfalls which people would love to know. Most of these waterfalls are located in protected areas and are hidden. So, we would try our best to capture their beauty.”
“The trip will be very exciting and full of adventure. Passing throughthe dense forest and hilly terrains would be really amazing,” added Durgesh.
Stating that the documentation of the waterfalls would help understand the tourism prospective of these sites, Tourism Director Nitin B Jawale told MCL, “There are major tourist destinations in the eastern ghat which we wanted to document and this initiative by these young energetic wildlife photographers will help us do that. All the documented information will be posted in the tourism website. The team members have arranged all the funds by themselves and Tourism Department is only giving them logistic support.”
“All these waterfalls are important for us and we would develop infrastructure in these areas to attract tourists. Some of the waterfalls will also be promoted as night campsites while others will be promoted for adventure activities with trekking,” informed Jawale.