Raw Untamed Wild

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Nestled under the foot hills of the Kapilash mountain range, also known as Dalijoda reserve forest is a beautiful little English manor! Yes you read that right. You can try reading it again or you could view the accompanying picture if you don’t believe us. Built in 1931 by Raja Jyoti Prasad Singh Deo of Panchkote Raj, Kila Dalijoda boasts of a very interesting history. He disliked the British and they hated him back equally since his ancestors had been a part of the 1857 movement. “In the late 1920’s he was denied entry into Deogarh for a hunting party since the British feared his presence would incite the locals. Angered and hurt by this denial the Raja took the British officer’s decision as a personal insult. He bought huge landed properties including a reserve forest with exclusive hunting rights from a zamindar near Kapilash.”Says Namrata Singh Deo. Located just an hour away from Bhubaneswar, Kila Dalijoda is a home stay now run by his grandson Mr.Debjit Singh Deo and his wife Mrs.Namrata and not to mention a budding naturalist of eight years their daughter Shreevidya. One can take the NH- 16 till Manguli intersection and take a left turn towards Chaudwar on the NH-55 and proceed on the right side road towards village Mangarajpur on a single lane state road. The roads in general, like everywhere else in Odisha are pretty good and it takes just about an hour from Bhubaneswar. On the way you could snack at the world famous Pahala and have Odisha’s famous rasagolla and chennapoda. As you enter you realise it is a place where time seems to have stopped. You have all modern amenities beautifully weaved into a quaint petite building (not by today’s standards) which provides old world charm. The house which is also the present family residence of the erstwhile rulers of Panchkote Raj is itself very engrossing. Steeped in India’s colonial history, one can just spend hours looking at the various photos of the family, beautiful paintings and objects which were commonplace once but now curio. “People around here call it a ‘Rajabati’ but it was actually meant as a hunting lodge for my great grandfather,” Says Mr.Debjit. The house has been maintained and purposefully kept in a manner to give it the feeling of old world exuberance. The house boasts of two very spacious non AC suites and two smaller rooms on the roof top which offer stunning view of the Kapilash mountain range, just three kilometers away. Why choose a home stay? What lies in store? Well to answer that you must visit Kila Dalijoda. “For us you aren’t a customer. When you stay at Kila Dalijoda you become a part of this place and this home. One can do a lot of things in and around the property surely you won’t get bored around here.” Says Mrs. Singh Deo. And we from team Coffee Bytes, second that. Do not underestimate this place just because you haven’t heard about it. There is a myriad of activities that a group or a person can do to just unwind or really understand nature. Debjit organizes village walks or cycling tours around Kila Dalijoda to nearby Munda and Sabar settlements showcasing village life of Odisha. “For us the villagers around our home are stake-holders in the community. We encourage our guests to visit these villages and interact with the local communities. Get to understand what Odisha’s village life really is. You have everything here,” says a brimming Debjit. Kila Dalijoda is not a place for those who are in search for a star property, everything here apart from your stay in the house is a DIY. It attracts people with a curious and research oriented mindset. “We have had guests from all over the word since we started in 2012 and you would be surprised about what they have found and researched in this area. Kila Dalijoda acts as a base for treks into the forest or a great cycling track for tourists. Syncretism with nature is what we give as an experience here and at night we prepare a scrumptious platter of local cuisine on which you can relish and share the experience with us. The dinner table acts as a knowledge sharing platform for us and the world”, says Mrs. Singh Deo. Apart from trekking and cycling the area also boasts of excellent fishing areas and is slowly becoming a popular destination for angling. On a little side note here angling in Odisha has a huge potential but due to lack of awareness not many are into this sport yet but since the Mahanadi is close by guests can try angling as an option. This home stay sits well-connected to the major highways of Odisha that is the Manguli- Sambalpur NH- 223 and the much traversed NH-16 between Kolkata – Bhubaneswar. Kila Dalijoda is a great location to stay and explore offbeat Odisha ( ok we just coined a great hash tag here right now). You can visit the Ratnagiri Buddhist complex which is just 65 kms away and spend a whole day over there. Or maybe visit the maritime museum of Cuttack which is less than thirty minutes away from the property. The home stay also offers a range of angling options near and on the Mahanadi if you are an avid angler. For the fitness freak there are literally five to six really good trails where you can cycle or trek either alone or in groups accompanied by Mr.Debjit or a local guide if you wish to choose one. “There are no restrictions here, you can either go by the itinerary provided by us or plan your little escape while you are here,” says Mrs. Singh Deo. Kila Dalijoda is an all weather destination thanks to Mother Nature. The Kapilash mountain range and the nearby Gapabala forest keep the area cool and breezy and just to fill you in a little secret as we left this beautiful Raj era building. Mr.Debjit told us “You see it has a great potential to be great birding destination. There is a small but very beautiful wetland nearby which I have been observing for the last few years. Migratory birds along with a great range of resident aquatic birds live here. Come over in sometime and I shall take you there with me. I have seen some rare birds in the last few years. Bring along a birder too if you want.” As we rolled out of Kila Dalijoda we can promise you one thing for sure. This quaint and serene home stay is a package of emotions, history, arts, culture and natural beauty all entwined within a stone edifice which stands proud of not only the royal heritage of Odisha but also of the utterly amazing historical and natural legacy that we have received as inheritance which should at all costs be preserved

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