About BanapurIndia is a land where legends and stories from literary epics and tales walk hand in hand, presenting themselves as the history. No matter how believable the claims are, or not, they certainly offer an interesting glimpse of how history, along with culture is written, perceived. From Kolhapur in the western Maharashtra to the corners of the north east, several towns, cities in India have been named after the colourful deities and Asuras, (or giants). One such small town is the town of Banapur, in the coastal district of Khorda in the state of Odisha.
Banapur Nayagarh Temple
This small town is named after the King Banasura, a demon-king believed to have been hailing from the pre-historic age. However, in a more credible and recent history, the town was the power centre of feudal lords, who were the ancestors of the Rajas of Parikud, whose reign continued until the 18th century. Banapur holds an important place as a spiritual centre, as the temple of Goddess Bhagabati is one of the most revered Shaktipeethas of the Odisha state.
Geography of BanapurBanapur is geographically located in the eastern coastal plains of the Odisha state, in the agro – climatic zone. The climate of Banapur comes under the sub – tropical system and is in tune with the rest of the regions in the eastern coastal belt. There are about three annual seasons; summer, rains and winter.With its close proximity to the Bay of Bengal as well as the Chilka lake, the topography and the soil structure is much influenced by the eco – environment of the water bodies. The geology of the region consists of sandy-loam, Lome, clay-lome and clayey soil in the ecosystem. The district of Khordha is divided into two geological divisions, ie; Deltaic Alluvium sub – region and Lateritic sub – region, while Banapur belongs in the latter. Situated right in the neighbourhood of the famous Chilka lake of Odisha and the Khallikote forests of the eastern ghats, Banapur is blessed with a unique location and incredible natural beauty. The satellite location of the Banapur town is 19.78°N 85.18°E and as it sits in the coastal plains, it has a minimal elevation of 1 metre (3ft). It shares its boundaries on the east with Balugaon, on the north with Tangi, on the west with Nayagarh and on the south with the district of Ganjam. From the district headquarters of Khordha, Banapur lies to the south in the Banapur Block, at the distance of abot 79km. Brahmapur is the other major city closest to Banapur on its south at the distance of about 84km. Banapur town lies to the south of Bhubaneshwar, the state capital of Odisha, at the distance of about 100km.
Administration in BanapurBanapur is a Notified Area Committee city in the Banapur block of the district of Khordha in Odisha. For the administrative purposes, the city has been divided into 15 for which elections are held every five years to elect locally elected members on the Notified Area Committee. In its administrative borders, the Banapur Notified Area Committee administers over 3,425 houses. The Notified Area Committee is responsible for water supply, road construction and maintenance and other infrastructure such as sewage and is also authorised to collect taxes from the residents within its administrative purview. The District Collector of the Khordha district is the administrative head, who is responsible for the law and order situation as well as for disaster management and policy implementation. He is a functionary appointed by the state government and works as the government's representative.
District Collectorate, Khordha
O/o Collector & DM , Khordha At-New Collectorate Po-Pallahat Dist-Khordha, 752056,
Phone : 06755220001, Fax :06755221567
E-Mail : email@example.com
Demography of BanapurAccording to the data released by the Population Census of India, 2011, the population in the Banapur Notified Area Committee stands at 17,278 of which 8,707 are male residents whereas 8,571 are females. The population of children (age group 0 – 6) stands at 1810 which is around 10.48% of the total population. The female sex ratio in the Banapur Notified Area Committee is very high at 984 against the equally impressively high Odisha state average of 979. However, the child sex ratio is relatively lower, and in fact lower than the Odisha state average. The child sex ratio of Banapur Notified Area Committee is 929 compared to the Odisha state average of 941. The population belonging to the Scheduled Caste in the Banapur Notified Area Committee is 1719, which is 9.95% of the total population. The population belonging to the Scheduled Tribes stands at 247 which is about 1.43% of the total population.
Literacy and Language in BanapurOdisha as a state lags behind in terms of penetration of education owing to its turbulent history as well as communities living in the treacherous mountains and dense forests, which make it difficult to provide them with consistent educational and academic opportunities. However, the literacy figures in Banapur are quite high. The overall literacy in the Banapur Notified Are Committee stands at 85.76% which is higher than the Odisha state average of 72.87%. Among the literate population, male literacy measures up to 91.85% whereas the female literacy rate is 79.61%.
Economy of BanapurKhordha district of the Odisha state is the most urbanised and industrially developed district in Odisha. From Bhubaneshwar in the north to Banapur in the south, the district has vast economic resources including heavy industry as well as small scale and cottage industry. The revenue generated from technological resources has been among the highest in the state. Apart from the IT and other industry, there are several units of the handloom. The sarees and cotton produced here are famous not just in Odisha but also all over the country. Because of the availability of water and land, the conditions are conducive to good economic activity and development.
Culture of BanapurThe district of Khordha is a rare blend of people and communities from from both rural and urban regions in the state. There are several Telugu speaking speaking people in the region and the Odiya and Telugu traditions and cultures have influenced one another. Since there are people belonging to several faiths in Banapur, the religious and spiritual culture of the city is quite colourful and festive. Festivals such as Diwali, Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi as well as Eid Ul Fitr and Christmas are also celebrated with much enthusiasm and joy. Since Banapur is also home to the temple of the goddess Bhgabati Devi, there are many festivals and fairs dedicated to the goddess. All these festivals involve carnivals, fairs and several processions. The people of Banapur are extremely affectionate and all the religious festivals are celebrated together by the people of all faith coming together. Sand artistry, sculpting, textile, painting, local and folk music and dance forms from the region are quite famous in Odisha. In the Daksa – Prajapati Siva Temple, the festival of Makarsankranti is celebrated with much fervour in Banapur. The temple of Bhagbati Devi is the epicentre of spirituality and devotion during the Durga Puja in the month of October. Devotees and Pilgrims from all over Odisha flock to Banapur during the Durga Puja.
Cane Handicrafts in BanapurAlthough known to be a city of temples, Banapur is also very famous for its cane furniture. The cane furniture includes chairs, baskets, garden swings, and other household items along with Mats of bamboo straps.
Tourism in BanapurBeing only about 100km away from Bhubaneshwar, Banapur is situated on a strategic location that provides several sites of interest to the tourist. From the archeological remains dating back to the 1st century BC to some beautiful and most revered temples in the state, Banapur has it all. Once the capital of the Sailodbhava dynasty which encouraged art and architecture, Banapur today is an important place in terms of tourism in the state. Following are some of the most sought after tourist attractions in Banapur.
Daksesvara Siva Temple (Daksa Prajapati Temple)One of the best preserved and probably the most beautiful temples of the region, the Daksesvara Siva Temple is believed to have been built during the Ganga period in around the first half of the 13th century AD. This temple is an example of the incredible artistic excellence that had reached its pinnacle during the Ganga dynasty. Facing the east – west axial alignments, the temple is surrounded by walls. The temple is a treasure trove of several ancient figures and figurines, some carved with artistic erotic postures and expressions, carved in stone and wood along with several gods and goddesses. There are instances from the folklore in the carvings. Inside the temple complex, there are temples of Budhima, Budhalinga and Mahavir. The figures of Parvati, Ganesha, Kartikeya, Hanuman among some of the prominent figures in the temple. Apart from the several figures and statues, the temple also houses an excavated stepped well in its premises.
Bhagbati TempleBelieved to have been built under the patronage of the Gajapati Maharaja of Puri, the Bhagabati temple is dedicated to the Goddess Bhagbati and is one of the Saktipithas according to the Oriya Mahabharata written by Sarala Dasa. The temple is surrounded by a high wall and is erected at the edge of a pond. The temple is a stone construction with walls plastered with lime stone. The Mandapa before the main temple seems to have been constructed after the completion of the temple construction. The temple has sculptures of Ganesha, Parvati, Kartikeya and Chamunda. In the heart, or the sanctum of the temple is the figure of the Goddess Bhagbati, also known as Mahisamardini Durga among the locals. The Devi is shown to be sitting on a lotus pedestal and has just decapitated the demon buffalo king, who lies at her feet. The Devi also holds a number of weapons such as a sword, spear, arrow and dagger and is adorned with decorative ornaments. The temple complex also has a small temple dedicated to the Goddess Polaksuni, who is an Avatar of Bhagabati Devil.
Tikarai TempleLocated in the heart of the city, near the Tehsil Office is the Tikarai Temple of the Goddess Mahisamardini Durga, known to the locals as Tikarai. The temple and the figure of the Goddess depict a theme in which lotus plays a recurring motif. The Goddess sits on a lotus throne also holding a lotus in one of her hands. As per the calculations of the archeologists, the construction and the architectural tradition indicate that the temple dates back a thousand years to the 10th Century AD.
Chilka LakeBanapur is not just an immensely important spiritual place historical and archeological significance but also a unique city that offers several excursions to the nearby wonders in the most thrilling and the rugged natural terrain. Chilka lake, largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest lagoon in the world is at a very short distance from the town of Banapur. The lake, due to its massive size and the extremely diverse ecological life is famous not just in India but also the world. Shaped like a tear drop, the Chilka lake is a Site extraordinaire. It is spread over a massive area of 1,100sqkm. The lake is a brackish water lagoon and is home to a number of threatened species of plants, animals and birds. It is an extremely rich and sensitive eco – system. The lake is a haven for the migratory birds in the months of winter. The birds travel great distances and migrate from region as far away as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea, the vast steppes of Russia, central and south – east Asia. The migrations of these birds are nothing short of epic as some travel more than 12,000km in extremely difficult circumstances to reach the Chilka Lake. Chilka lake is not just a bird sanctuary but it also houses some of the most endangered and rare species of fish in the world. The Chilka lake is home to Irrawaddy dolphins, and is one of the only two lagoons in the world that houses them. The lake also attracts a number of bottlenose dolphins that migrate from the sea into this massive lake. For the tourists travelling to Banapur, the Chilka is a magnifiscent visual spectacle never to be missed. There are several sites of tourist attractions from which the Chilka lake could be enjoyed, such as the Becon Island, Nalban Island, Birds Island and Honeymoon Island.
KalijaiNear the town of Banapur is the rocky island, which is home to the Goddess Kalijai. There is a temple on the island dedicated to the Goddess. It is believed that after her wedding, the Goddess was being taken to the island by her husband. However, during their journey, they were met by a thunderous storm in which the Goddess was killed. The island is believed to have been haunted by her and the locals worship the Goddess at the temple. On every Makar Sankranti, there is a festival which is visited by a number of locals. The Goddess especially is revered among the local fishing communities.
BhusandapurAt a distance of about 52km from Banapur is the village of Bhusandapur. Here stands an old shrine of Ugatara, who is an Avatar of Chamunda and sports four arms. The Ugatara Devi worshipped in this old temple is believed to have been the Goddess of the Gajapati Kings of Orissa. Surrounded by natural beauty and an ideal place for a day's excursion, this place is extremely well connected to Banapur by a motorable road.
AchitarajapurJust under 2km away from the town of Banapur is Achitarajapur. The place has gained immense importance because of the discovery of the Buddhist ruins here. In the excavation, the largest collection of Buddhist bronze images of extremely fine craftsmanship so far found was discovered here. Significant among the figurines recovered here are those of Buddha, Tara, and Trailokyavijaya. There is also a circular Buddhist Stupa. A temple was later built here to house the old figures, images and statues of the Buddhist lineage.
Hotels in BanapurAlthough Banapur is not a big city, due to its importance in the tourism industry of the Odisha state, as well as its close proximity to the Chilka lake, there are several hotels and guest houses in Banapur where the visitor or tourist can stay. Some hotels are built right on the edge of the Chilka lake providing great views and beautiful atmosphere. Details below.
Address: National Highway 5, Chilika Road, Balugaon Khurda, Odisha 752030
Phone No: 06756 250409
OTDC Panthanivas Barkul
Address: Panthanivas, Barkul, Odisha 751014
Phone No: 06756 257488
Address: Main Road, Balugaon Khurdha, Odisha 752030
Address: Main Road, Balugaon, Odisha 752030
Since Banapur is at an hour's drive from Brahmapur and around 100km from the state capital Bhubaneshwar, the tourists could also choose to stay in either city and travel to Banapur in the day.
Utility Services in BanapurAny tourist destination is good and enjoyable only until there are no problems or emergencies. Travelling to the remote places in India can be quite a challenge, especially when you don't know the region, its language and the who's who! Following are the details of all the emergency services as well as the important services in the Banapur town.
Police and Safety in BanapurAlthough Banapur is not as remote as some other places in Odisha, it still is not a major city. In an unwanted and unexpected situation having the contact numbers of the local police is very important. Details below.
Superintendent of Police, Khorda
Dilip Kumar Das
Phone No: 06755220535
Banapur Police Station
Address: Banapur Road, Banapur, Odisha 752031
Phone No: 06756 – 253127
Emergency No: 100
Banks in BanapurAlthough Banapur is strategically an important city, it does not have many banks. In case you wish to withdraw cash, there is an ATM of the Punjab National Bank near the Raghunath Temple of the Banapur Road. There are a couple of banks in Balugaon, at a short distance from Banapur.
Hospitals in BanapurVisiting Banapur as a tourist involves a lot of site seeing and walking. Plus the warm climate and the humidity could take its toll on the wandering tourist. Sometimes, to counter any medical complications arising from the tourist activities, a visit to the local hospital becomes a necessity. Following are the details of the medical facilities in Banapur.
Govt Hospital, Banapur
Address: Banpur Road, Banapur, Odisha 752031
There are some clinics in the nearby town of Balugaon which include Dr. Jogendra Senapati Clinic and Nandighos Hospital.
Postal Services in BanapurDue to its small size, Banapur does not have a courier service. a DTDC outlet is there in the nearby town of Balugaon. However there is post office in Banapur where services such as sending letters, post cards, parcels, speed post, registered post can be availed.
Banpur S.O (Khorda)
Post Office Status: Sub Office (Delivery)
Head Office: Khurda H.O
Pin Code: 752031
VSAT: KHURDA HO
SPCC: KHURDA HO
Phone No: 06756 – 230121
Transport in BanapurThe road network in the Khordha district is extremely good as the majority of the district lies on the coastal plains. Banapur can be reached by the National Highway (NH) 5 from Bhubaneshwar easily as it lies to the south of the capital city at a short distance of about 100km. Brahmapur is the closest major city from where Banapur can be reached via the NH 5. The distance between Brahmapur and Banapur is about 84km. There is a robust network of buses which run between Banapur and the major and small cities in the region.
By Train : Balugaon Railway Station (BALU) is the closest railway station to Banapur. It lies on the Howrah-Chennai main line and is well connected to the cities on the route. The railway station sees a high amount of train traffic. The trains include Muzaffarpur Express, Puri Chennai Express, Hirakhand Express, East Coast Express, Guwahati Express, Shalimar Express, etc. Many of the major cities in the east and south India can be reached via Balugaon railway station. The distance between Banagaon and the Balugaon railway station is a mere 7km.
By Air : The nearest airport to go the city of Banapur is the Biju Patnaik International Airport at Bhubaneshwar. It is about 100km away from the city of Banapur. The airport has two terminals, one of which is for the domestic flights and the other is operated for international flights. However, all the international traffic currently is routed via Delhi. The domestic terminal has daily flights operated by Air India, Goair, and Indigo to Delhi, Mumbai, Port Blair, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad and Vishakhaptnam.
Banapur at a glanceCountry : India
State : Odisha
District : Khordha
Elevation : 1 m (3 ft)
• Official: Oriya
Time zone : IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN : 752031
Nearest Railway Station: Balugaon Railway Station (BALU)
Nearest Airport: Biju Patnaik International Airport, Bhubaneshwar
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