Brahmapur- “The Silk City” is the main city in the South Odisha, and is known for its hand woven Ikat silk. Though not a tourist centre, Brahmapur act’s as a base point for the tour of South Odisha. Being well connected by roads, public transport and rail network, plus presence of numerous hotels marks the city as an important stop over and a connecting point. Plus the ladies while touring South Odisha might feel deprived of shopping; Brahmapur provides the window to fulfill that.
Coming to the city one can easily distinguish a touch of Telugu influence on the way of life. The subtle mix of Odiya and Telugu cultures is what gives this place its unique identity and flavour which transcends into the delectable handicrafts and gourmet that the region dishes out.
The silk city is famous for its Brahmapuri Patta Sarees – which are unique due to its typical design and its style of weaving .The city is also famous for its pickles, Pappad and Badi’s, which are as tasty as they are unique.
Where to Eat
Pidha Hotel – Located at Triveni Nagar- perhaps one of the few hotels in the country where the age old tradition of sitting on a Pidha (wooden plank) on the ground and eating is still in vogue. The specialty of the hotel is the Odiya favourite Mutton Curry, Rice and Daal. The food is so tasty that one overcomes the inhibition of sitting on the wooden plank on the ground and gulping down the spread served.
Nandan Restaurant – Located on the church road offers sumptuous south Indian fares at a very reasonable price
Mayurva Restaurant – Located on the City High School Road near Satya Sai Baba temple is one of the oldest and best restaurants of the city. Try the Chinese dishes especially the Manchow soup.
Olive Restaurant – Located at the Old Christian Street, Subba Rao Square is a multi cuisine restaurant with a very good ambience and generous service.
Street Food of Bhramapur
Girija Restaurant- Located at UB road. Gandhi Nagar, popularly known as the KFC of Brahmapur amongst the locals. No trip to the city is complete without a plate of the lip smacking pakoda’s from this place.
Calcutta Roll Corner – at Ramalingam tank as the name suggests offers sumptuous egg chicken rolls.
Shabbir Kebab Centre – near Biju Patnaik Park is famous joint for chicken kebabs
Saradhi Lassi Centre – Annapurna Market is famous for its lassi and juice. Try the chocolate shake.
Munna Hari – Near the Railway station is famous for its breakfast snacks of Idli, Vada and ghuguni
Kalia – In front of Roland Institute of Pharmaceutical at Gopalpur Junction – is another famous joint serving delicious snacks
Samal – Near Annapurna Market – serves some of the best idli’s in this part of the world
Where to Shop
For Brahmapuri Patta Sarees and Silk items – the shops near Old Bus Stand offers authentic Patta silk sarees which are the trademark of the place. The Boyanika shop at Mayuri complex, Girija Chowk is the other place where one can buy the famous Sarees. Besides for other items- the Annapurna Market is the most popular, where the shops remain open till late night.
If you are lover of Handloom and want to experience the weaving of the gorgeous Sarees and the other materials, a tour to Ganesh Nagar and Dera Sahi is recommended. The weavers and their families are welcoming of the uninvited guests and share their experience, which is fascinating, if you care to listen.
along with Makarshankranti in the month of January is a big festival in this part of Odisha. It also signals an amalgamation of the Odiya culture with that of Telugu culture.
Maa Budithakurani Yatra
The Maa Budi Thakurani temple located at the big bazaar of the old town is arguably the most auspicious temple in the city- she is known as the Ista Devi (main deity) of the Silk City. Originally worshipped buy the Dera community (community of weavers from Rajamuhendry who set up their bases in the silk city ages ago) the biennial yatra is held during the month of Chaitra (March /April). The month festival is celebrated with the concept that after her marriage, the Goddess returns to her paternal home. The temple tradition is unique, the priests are barber by caste where as devotees come from all walks of life.
Brief History of the Thakurani yatra
Though there are no records to support the origin of this yatra, according to historian Dandapani Mohanty- the Dera community settled near the Mahuri Palace which was built between 1662-1672. Historian Pradeep Mohapatra opines that the name Mahuri is derived from the Musical Wind Instrument Mahuri- as the first King of the Mahuri dynasty – Sana Raja who was made king of the region between Rushikulya and Bahuda Rivers by King Purushottam Dev of the Gajapati dynasty- was fond of playing the instrument Mohuri and thus named his new kingdom after it.
It is believed that Mahuri King Harihar Narayan Dev was taken in by the silk weavers during his visit to Andhra Pradesh and requested them to set up their bases in his Kingdom. The Debanga Community (the dera’s) migrated to Ganjam between 1772 and 1782 and started the Thakurani Puja. However the socio political climate of the region forbade the inception of such a magnanimous festival, as after the murder of Harihar Narayan Dev, the Mahuri Kingdom was unstable and there is no mention of the yatra in the British records of that time. In 1865 there was the great famine which shook the foundation of Odisha. It can be safely concluded that it must have started sometime in the late 19th Century when Odisha recovered from the after effects of the terrible famine.
The festival starts with the Desibehera (head of the weaver community) accompanied by his wife in traditional attire visits the temple and invites the goddess to her paternal home. A temporary temple – depicting her paternal home is built at the Desibehera Street to welcome the goddess. Hundreds of Vesadharies (people in disguise of mythological figures like Krishna, Hanuman etc), chariots, palanquins and processions engulf the city from time to time. The entire city wears a festive look for the whole month and people reveal in it.
The chariot festival of Lord Jagannath is also very famous can celebrated with great pomp and show. The Ganjam is place of royal families of Odisha- different dynasties perform their royal chhera pahara (the act of sweeping the chariots with a broom made of gold) duties and the event see’s lakhs of devotees throng the region to catch a glimpse of the Lord as well as the Royal scions who descend to the place for the occasion.
Located along the coastline and hills of the Eastern Ghats, Brahmapur has its share of gateways.
Located approximately 15 KM from Brahmapur en route to Taptapani, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Mahuri Kalua- the presiding deity of the temple. The setting of the temple located in the forest range of Kerandi hills makes for a picturesque setting.
Earlier the deity was located in a cave as the Mahuri King the chief devotee of the Goddess believed in keeping her off from the prying eyes and the public at large. However after the British established their control over the region, the King with the help of the local tribe Sabara built a temple at the foothills and it was thrown open to the public.
One has the option to take the motorable hill road to the temple or climb nine hundred ninety nine steps to the temple.
It’s a popular picnic spot amongst the locals. A short trek into the dense jungles and you can come across patches of small huts. They belong to the Sabara tribal’s.
Festival – The Mesha Sankranti is the annual festival of the temple and is attended by many people of the region.
Where to Stay:-
Though the tourists prefer to stay either at Gopalpur and Rambha and visit Brahmapur for shopping. There are quite a few decent hotels dotted across the city.
Spectrum – offers a comfortable stay at a mid price range. But the service may not be that prompt.
Opposite old bus stand
Ph: - 0680-2221177
Nandan International – also in the mid price range and offers a comfortable stay
Opposite old bus stand, opposite GPO
Check in & check out -24 hrs
Ph: - 0680-2223297/2220662
Email: - firstname.lastname@example.org
Website – www.hotelnandaninternational.com
Hotel Gautam Palace – offers a comfortable stay and is a budget hotel
Check in: - 12PM
Check out: - 12PM
Bhanjanagar Nature reserve-
Located 72 Km from Brahmapur, the Odisha ecotour nature camp has immense potential especially with the new tree house and cottages coming up at Kaliamba forest. Barking deer, Wild boar, Jackals and Giant Malabar Squirrel are common sighting here along with peacocks and other birds and animals.
Bhanjanagar camp can be accessed from Chermaria Nature camp too which is 40KM away.
One can book online – www.ecotourodosha.com -– click on Nature camp Bhanjanagar
Email – email@example.com
Best time to visit Brahmapur is the winters; summers are very hot and humid.
While shopping for Sarees in Brahmapur in the old bus stand street put on your bargaining cap.
Brahmapur is a congested city with narrow lanes. The best way to go around the city is by an auto.
If you are visiting Brahmapur during the Maa Budi Thakurani Yatra beware of pick pockets.
There aren’t any eating joints along Mahuri Kalua apart from snacks.
People of Ganjam understand Hindi, English, Odiya and Telugu.
Brahmapur as the major city of the area has the requisite infrastructure in terms of health care centres, automobile service stations and banks. The government run MKCG is the major hospital in south Odisha.
The people are generally friendly, helpful and down to earth. However if they perceive you to be a bit over the top then they immediately withdraw.
If you are visiting Bhanjanagar nature camp carry walking shoes and trekking gear.