It is the gateway to one of the most ancient forest covers of Orissa which shelters the elephants, tigers and numerous species of birds and beasts. The broad plains of the river Bramhani were the dwelling place of early homo-sapiens who lived on the berries and wild fruits before the advent of rice on these heavily watered expanses. The surrounding Sal forests come ablaze with the changing seasons making this district headquarters town focal point of trips to beautiful interiors.
DHENKANAL is a district headquarters town with a cluster of temples and archaeological remains. Kapilas, the serene hill of epic fame houses the hilltop shrine of Lord Chandra Sekhar Shiva with a cluster of other temples and a mediaeval fort. The foothill is perched with a Deer Park, a Science Park and a Panthasala- 26 km from Dhenkanal. Joranda (24 km) is the religious headquarters of Mahima Cult. 11 km south-east of Dhenkanal town is Saptasajya, a hill of uncommon scenic charm-ideal for outing.
Tikarapara, on the deep Satkosia Gorge of river Mahanadi, has a Gharial Sanctuary-120 km from Dhenkanal and 58 km from Anqul. The dense forest filled with colourful wildlife is a thrill to the searching eyes. Only 90 km from Angul, Deulajhari has come to limelight for the presence of a hot spring.
Places around Dhenkanal :
Kapilas (16 km)* :
The loftiest peak of Kapilas range enshrines the temple of Loard Shiva 'Chandrasekhar' at a height of about 457 mtrs. approachable by a flight of 1351 steps and a ghat road. Identified with "Kailas', the legendary abode of Lord Shiva, the hill has several caves, shrines and the ruins of a medieval fort which are regularly visited by pilgrims. The Deer park and Science Park are other attraction of the place.
Tikarpada (120 km)* :
The tiny village of Tikarpada (120 km from Dhenkanal and 58 km from anugul) has one of the splendid setting in the world. It offers some of the most exciting visuals of the satkosia gorge, India's mightiest gorge, into which the turbulent Mahanadi river crashes with amazing ferocity through 22 km of emerlad forests, that seem to change their hues with every bend of the river's meanderings. Apart from offering gorgeous views from the pinncles of the surrounding hills, there is an excellent potential for angling, boating and trekking around these parts.
The Gharial crocodile population obviously enjoys these exotic environs and has an excellent breeding place in this sanctuary created to protect them.
Saptasajya (11 km)* :
Located 11 km out of Dhenkanal, Saptasajya is said to act as host to the Pandavas during their Agnyayvas days in these hills. The place, eith its beautiful surrounding, is popular with holidays makers. It is also favourite pilgrimage spot with the temples of Saptarshi and Raghunath reigning supreme during Ramanavami festival.