Bhubaneswar:18/3/23: Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district has found a place in TIME Magazine’s ’50 extraordinary destinations to explore’. The TIME Magazine recently released its list of the ‘World’s Greatest Places of 2023’.
To compile this list of the World’s Greatest Places, the magazine solicited nominations of places from its international network of correspondents and contributors, “with an eye toward those offering new and exciting experiences”.
Emma Barker Bonomo, the senior editor at TIME, was quoted as saying by CNN that the list reflects a couple of big trends in travel right now: Sustainability and authenticity. “Many locations on this list are finding ways to let tourists visit with a more limited environmental impact. And many have responded to travellers’ desire to have unique, local experiences by offering indigenous-led tours or curated homestays,” she said.
About Mayurbhanj, the magazine noted that it is the only place on earth to spot the exceedingly rare black tiger. Apart from the famous Similipal National Park, there’s a lot more that you can do in this district. “This April, Mayurbhanj Chhau, a captivating dance festival on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list will take place on a much larger scale following a pandemic hiatus,” TIME noted.
The only place on earth to spot the exceedingly rare black tiger is open to visitors again. Similipal National Park in Mayurbhanj, an under-the-radar region in India’s eastern state of Odisha, reopened in November with strict restrictions to the number of daily visitors—only 60 vehicle entry permits are available each day—in order to safeguard its sprawling delicate ecosystem, home to over 40 mammals including Asian elephants and Bengal tigers. Visitors can now explore its unique flora and fauna on guided safaris or self-guided cycling tours.
There’s plenty more to do while you’re in town. This April, Mayurbhanj Chhau, a captivating dance festival on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list will take place on a much larger scale following a pandemic hiatus. Bespoke chhau performances that combine ancient martial arts and folk dance are scheduled at The Belgadia Palace, an elegant boutique hotel and royal residence. Guests staying at the 11-bedroom old-world property can also participate in experiential retreats and visit the area’s Indigenous handicraft communities (many of which are composed of all women) that focus on intricate handlooms, Sabai grass weaving, and the dying art of Dokra (metal casting).