An Indulgent Weekend in Sonapur: Things To Do, Eat And See

An Ultimate Cold Weather Weekend Bucket List

Sonapur, also known as the Subarnapur district, is a small town in Odisha. It is popularly known as the second Varanasi of India for its historical cluster of temples and also the second Allahabad for the meeting point (Sangam) of two rivers Mahanadi and Tel just like Allahabad. It is famous for silk, handloom, prawns and terracotta etc. Once this place was a melting pot of various religious creeds like Jainism, Buddhism, Saivism, Somavamisis, Telugu Chodas, Gangas and Chouhans who had ruled the state.

It is also the place that holds the 10th Century treasures buried and later found in the form of gold, silver and bronze coins which belong to the Ganga Dynasty. The best tourist places of Sonepur are Patali srikhetra, Maa Sureswari Temple, Thengo Dam and Hima Bhoi Samadhi Pitha. Sonapur is famous for its ancient Suvarnameru Temple, Metakani Temple and Kosaleswar Temple.

Breathtaking temples

If you are particularly fond of temples and adore visiting them to learn more about a certain religion or the local culture of the place you are visiting from a historical standpoint, here is a list of the popular temples in Sonapur that you absolutely MUST visit!

-Patali Srikhetra, Birmaharajpur, Subarnpur, this place is situated at the foot of Trikut Hill at Kotsamalai of the Birmaharajpur subdivision of Subarnapur district. This place is associated with the Lord Jagannath of Puri, Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra. The religious place is associated with Shaktism, Buddhism and Vaishnavism. It can be easily reached by bus or the train throughout the year. 

-Sureswari Temple is situated on the banks of river Tel in Sonapur town. It is an ancient seat of the practices of Yantra, Mantra and Tantra owing to which, it regularly attracts a lot of attention from scholars studying or researching about the same.

-Subarnameru Temple is situated on the banks of Tel river in the southern part of Sonapur. It is the shrine devoted to Lord Shiva built in 1660-1680 AD and later completed in the 17th Century and is one of the popular tourist spots of not only Sonapur but also Odisha.

-Samaleswari Temple is situated 02 Kms away from Sonapur Town, one of the places to visit. The main temple was built by Raja Sobha Singh Deo. Goddess Samaleswari is standing in the Garbhagriha facing the north. This temple is one of the popular temples in Subarnapur district.

-Pancharatha Temple situated at the center of Subarnapur, is the beautiful temple built in a chariot size resembling Sun Temple at Konark. It is a Shiva Temple where Shiva, Parvati, Ganesha and Kartikey are worshiped in five shrines built on a single platform. A lot of hindus from all over the world visit the temple to pay their respects to the deities. 

-Gundicha Temple is situated 01 Km away from Sonapur town and is the highest monument of Sonepur representing the last glimmer of Chola Dynasty. The temple is 90 feet high and the highest temple in Western Odisha. 

-Lankeshwari Temple is known for its intriguing natural beauty and is counted as one of the unique tourist destinations. It is a delightful shrine located in the centre of the river Mahanadi. This temple can be viewed while traveling on the road connecting Ulunda, Dharamshala, Sonapur and Birmaharajpur.  A deep gorge is formed near the hillock and is known as Lankeshwari Darha. Sailing and fishing with the local fishermen is a pleasurable experience.

And the glorious ghats…

-Bhima Bhoi Samadhi Pitha, Subarnapur is situated in Khallipali village almost 16 Kms away from Sonapur. The place is named after the famous poet Bhima Bhoi who was born here. This place became significant in the late 19th century as hundreds of books were composed by poet-philosophers on this land. Suti Chintamani is one of the best books written by Bhima Bhoi. The Kathaui (wooden footwear) used by Mahatma Bhima Bhoi is worshipped by the saints residing there. This Samadhi temple was built in his sacred memory. 

River Mahanadi is the longest river in Odisha. It is a clear river which flows through the rocky bed and sand dome of varied sizes and shapes. There are several ghats on the riverfront like Tentli, Rajaghat, Dasamatighat, Gourighat, Mastyendraghat, Dhobighat, Gokarneswar ghat and Rameswar Ghat etc. The river looks gorgeous on a full Moon night. It’s a treat to the soul to hear the crystal clear water and the melody of gentle flowing Mahanadi in the stillness of the night. You can sit on the shores and enjoy the gentleness of life.

Sonapur Beach is 30 Km away from Behrampur and around 41 Kms away from Gopalpur sea beach. A virgin beach awaits here for the visitors. The Pati Sonapur Beach offers peace and tranquility to one and all visiting. Beach has connectivity via brisge over a lake also connected to the sea provides a fishing area. The Oceanic view of the sunset is serene and one of the cleanest beaches of Odisha.

Thengo Dam is a popular picnic spot located at a distance of 34 Kms from Sonapur. It is a medium irrigation project that was built to conserve water. Local as well as visitors across the globe visit here for picnics and other recreational activities. It is known for its natural and beautiful surroundings. Theno reservoir is the best picnic spot near Sonapur.

These beautiful sights can be easily visited by every mode of transport. Nearest Bus Stop is Sonapur, nearest Airport is Veer Surendra Sai Airport.

Yummy, finger-licking delicacies

While traveling to these places one can savor local oriya delicacies which are rich and varied and rely on local ingredients. Rice, both sun dried and par-boiled, is the staple food of the people in this state. However the eating patterns have slightly changed in the urban setups. Oriya food is prominent and well known for their exceptionally mouth watering and finger licking vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies. Mudhi is a famous snack mostly served at breakfast. Lunch includes Macha Ghanta, Bhendi Bhaja, Crab Kalia, vegetables and pickles; Dinner can be typical breads served with Fish/Crab dishes; Lentils and rice are also served. Famous sweets are Rasgulla, Rasmalai, Khirmohan, Rasabali, Kalakand. Other traditional sweets are Chhena Poda, pittha, Endura Pittha and Chittau Pitha, malpua.

One can also devour Luchi, the most popular cuisine which is served with curries or gravies.

Khecede (Khichdi) , a popular dish made with rice and lentils cooked together in ghee, is offered as Prasad.

One can also enjoy Chungdi Malai (Prawn Malai Curry) which is both delicious and mild prepared in coconut milk and adds nutrition value to the dish. It is served with Basmati Rice.

There are a number of local hotels, Restaurants, and 5 star cafes you can visit with your friends, loved ones, or even on your own and enjoy the food.

Overall you can have an experience of a lifetime by just exploring Sonapur, the ancient city of Odisha. With its flavor of cultural temple vibes which soothe the soul from within, blue clean beaches and lush green forests,the  untouched raw nature of the place is a treat to one’s eyes and provides comfort to one’s inner self.

Framed by multiple coupled trees, the village of Raghurajpur is one of the most beautiful craft villages in India. It has a heartwarmingly traditional culture of craft making and most villagers invest in the performance in its entirety to ensure it does not stop existing. The works are mostly inspired by the temples and other attractions of the state of Odisha, and have their own stories to tell. Almost every household is covered in art and decorated by craft.

Pipli is another phenomenal village in Odisha that is famous for its applique work, which is essentially carried out by stitching and embroidering different pieces of cloth that are based on the most amazing decorative items such as umbrellas, pouches, wallets, mirrors etc. Take them with you to add a certain twist and change to your homes in the best way possible.

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