A soothing stay in a serene eco village – Roopark, Orissa

It was a long awaited trip, more of a get together with friends in nature’s paradise. One of our friends suggested this place and we were convinced without any hesitation. Roopark Village this time. It’s an Eco-friendly theme village resort inside a tribal village, situated at Kantabonia near Panchalingeswar, Balasore, Orissa.

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Roopark main entrance

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Roopark – beside resort area

We were 7 people (family of 3 friends and a lil angel) decided to take 3D/2N package for Roopark. The package includes Pickup from Balasore railway station till drop back at Balasore railway station, including stay at Cottages/Swiss Tent, Food from bed tea to dinner, sight-seeing and other entertainment activities. We started our journey from Howrah station by a morning train to Balasore. As per schedule, we reached Balasore and one guy was waiting there with a SUV to take us to Roopark. It took 45 mins to reach the destination including a 10 mins journey through the tribal village. The car stopped at the front gate of Roopark Village and we were surprised to see the staffs were waiting at the gate wearing their uniforms with tribal musical instruments (maadol, flute etc.), flowers. OMG, it was so impressive. They greeted us by playing the tribal instruments and rain of flower on us. We never imagined that we will be greeted like we came back winning an important tournamentJ. Then we were directed to visit a small temple inside the park and went to the dining area. We have been served with chilled coconut lassi in a clay mug and finally showed us our Cottages.

Park is full of green areas including rare species of orchids and flowers, a place where people can touch and smell earth, feels the nature, breathe in fresh. These were thached cottages with interior & exterior made by completely natural materials and tribal craftsmanship. All the arrangements inside the park will make you feel that you are in a tribal village surrounded by the beautiful nature. We have been provided hot water to become fresh and then went for lunch. We were very hungry as we started from Kolkata early morning. It was a very delicious lunch with a variety of veg and non-veg items including Hilsa (sorshe elish) and prawn. We were very impressed by the quality of food. In the afternoon, we went to visit Khemkut Dam through tribal village and forest by walk with a guide from Roopark. It was not more than 20 mins walk to reach the Dam through a narrow lane inside a tribal village. Little kids are playing wearing dirty clothes. We usually see these in movies but this time in real. We waited for few mins to see the kids, talked to them. They were so happy that you will realize happiness is not something defined by money or wealth.

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Tribal village-kids playing

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Tribal village – a lady bringing water

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Tribal village – kids playing

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Tribal village – kids posing for photo

When we came back from visiting Dam, they provided snacks with tea/coffee. In the evening they arranged for BBQ especially for us. They provided sufficient amount of veg and non-veg items for BBQ. In a cold freezing evening, BBQ with best friends in the middle of nature’s nest followed by playing songs and dance. Around 9:30 PM, we went for dinner because next day we had a plan for visiting Devkund Waterfalls at Simlipal Reserve forest.

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Roopark Village – BBQ at night

On day 2, the car came at sharp 9, we took our breakfast and we started our journey to Devkund. Roopark authority has provided a guide and took the cooked food with us for lunch. It was a scenic drive through a road full of trees both sides. We parked our car and started walking up-hill road by stairs to reach the hill top. There was a temple on top of a hillock near the Nilagiri hill. The scenic beauty was simply superb. From lower end you see the waterfall is coming from the hill top and coming into the lake beneath the hill. When we reached the temple at top, saw the waterfall is coming from other side of hill and flowing beside the temple and going straight down ward into the lake. People are enjoying the water flow beside the temple. We spent some time on the top, visited the temple and slowly came back to the lake down. If you area travelling with little kid or very old people, they might prefer to wait in the bottom of the temple and enjoy the beauty of that place rather than visiting the hill top temple in Devkund. The way from the lake to the parking area, we saw beautiful art on the stones and wood. We started our journey back to Roopark and after 20 mins, driver stopped at a picnic spot for taking our lunch. The guide served the lunch and once we all completed, he and the driver had their food. Today’s menu was fried rice with chili chicken along with chatni and sweet dish. We roam around the place after lunch. It was inside the simlipal forest area.  In the afternoon, we visited a Rajbari, a Jagannath Temple on the way back to Roopark. We took road side tea and bought Khaja (famous sweet iteam of Orissa) for family beside the Jagannath temple. We were a bit tired when we reached Roopark but so excited to see the arrangement of Bonfire and Tribal cultural dance at night.

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Devkund waterfall and temple

We were relaxing and gossiping in the evening along with hot tea and snacks sitting on Khatia bed in front of our cottage. We have been informed that the tribal cultural dance and bonfire will start around 7 PM. We were charged again to witness the live tribal dance for the first time.

We get ready and went to the designated area. It was a circular ground decorated with green trees and flowers. Cottages one side and tents in another side of the ground. In the center of the ground, they piled up wood for the Bonfire. We have been provided chairs to sit and enjoy the dance. It was about to start as per the schedule, and suddenly saw the group of tribal dancers enter into the place. They were around 15-20 members, 4-5 men with musical instruments (Maadol, Flute etc.), 2 for singing tribal songs, 10-12 male and female dancers. All were properly dressed for the typical tribal cultural dance. We were so happy to see the big dancing group. Bonfire started, and the long awaited dance. We were enjoying the dance for the first song but couldn’t resist to just sit and enjoy rather joined with them. Initially thought it was a simple but unique dance style but when we actually joined we realized a very tough thing to follow their steps. Though we were unable to cope up with them but their sportiness encouraged us to continue with them till the end. We have been offered to play their instruments as well at the end. Overall we have enjoyed every bit of the show. They were also happy to see such a bunch of mad people enjoying with them for a long time, may be they haven’t expected the audience could join with them.

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Bonfire and Tribal cultural dance

It was the last night at Roopark and almost all the entertainment and fun activities are about to end. We were a bit sad coming back to the cottage. After some time went to the dining area for delicious dinner followed by spending long time under the moon to recall all they moments we spent for the last 2 days.

Next day morning, we had a plan to visit Panchalingeswar temple nearby but we thought of skipping this time to spend some more time in the park premises and take some photos. After taking breakfast, we packed our bags as we will be starting for Balasore railway station to catch the after train back to Kolkata. Roam around the park premises and discover small ponds full of water lily and few other species of flowers.

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Water lily at Roopark village

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Roopark village – leisure arrangement

Now its time to say goodbye. Had lunch and started for Balasore. We thanked all the staff of Roopark for their awesome service and kind gesture. Our vacation package has one more place to visit, Chandipur sea beach. It was on the way to Balasore railway station. We spent some time at the beach, took some snaps and went to the station to catch our train back to Howrah railway station. Before leaving Roopark village, we promised that we will visit this place again..for the beautiful natural beauty, the food, and definitely to spend few days away from the busy life and chaos of the city.