Berhampur is a town situated in the Ganjam district of the Indian state of Odisha. It is the third-largest city in Odisha and is known for its rich cultural heritage and historical significance. Berhampur is situated on the eastern coast of India and is approximately 160 kilometers south of the state capital, Bhubaneswar.
The city is also known for its textiles, particularly silk sarees(Annapurna Market), which are exported to various parts of the world. The Bhanja Bihar University, established in 1967, is a major educational institution in the city. The city is well-connected by road, rail, and air, with the nearest airport being in Berhampur(Rangeilunda).
Berhampur has a number of temples, including the Maa Budhi Thakurani Temple, which is dedicated to the goddess of the same name and is one of the most important religious sites in the city. Other popular tourist attractions in the city include the Gopalpur Beach, the Taratarini Temple, and the Aryapalli Beach.
Some famous unique cuisine
Berhampur is famous for its unique cuisine, which is a blend of traditional Odia cuisine with influences from neighboring states like Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. Some of the famous food items in Berhampur are:
- Puri Upma: Puri upma is a popular breakfast dish in some parts of India, including Berhampur in the state of Odisha. It is a combination of two dishes: puri, which is a deep-fried flatbread made from wheat flour, and upma, which is a savory porridge made from semolina (sooji), vegetables and spices.(Puri,Upma aau Chana Tarkari)
- Chenna Poda: Chenna Poda is a famous sweet dish from Berhampur made with cottage cheese, sugar and cardamom powder. It is baked until it turns golden brown and has a caramelized crust on the top.
- Dahibara Aludum: Dahibara Aludum is a popular street food in Berhampur made with fried lentil dumplings soaked in yogurt and topped with a spicy potato curry.
- Ghugni Chaat: Ghugni Chaat is a savory snack made with boiled yellow peas, spices, tamarind chutney and sev.
- Pakhala: Pakhala is a traditional Odia dish made with cooked rice soaked in water and served with a variety of accompaniments like fish, curries and vegetables.
- Bara, Samosa, Allu Chop, Cuttlet and Besan Pakodi(Veg)
- Chicken Soup, Chicken Egg Roll, Chowmin, Egg Chop and Chicken Pakoda(Non-Veg)
- Khaja: Khaja is a sweet made with flour, sugar, and ghee, which is deep-fried and then soaked in sugar syrup.
- Mutton Pulao: Mutton Pulao is a spicy and flavorful dish made with minced mutton and lentil flour, which is then deep-fried.
Also Papad and Pickles are more famous too!
Here are some of the famous places in Berhampur
- Gopalpur Beach: Gopalpur Beach is a popular tourist destination located near Berhampur. The beach is known for its serene environment, golden sands, and clear waters. It is a great place to relax, swim, and enjoy water sports.
- Tara Tarini Temple: Tara Tarini Temple is a famous Hindu pilgrimage site located on a hilltop in Berhampur. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Tara Tarini, who is worshipped as a manifestation of the divine mother.
- Siddha Bhairavi Temple: Siddha Bhairavi Temple is a revered shrine located in Berhampur. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Siddha Bhairavi, who is worshipped by devotees seeking blessings for health and prosperity.
- Berhampur University: Berhampur University is a premier educational institution in Odisha, located in Berhampur. The university offers undergraduate, graduate and PhD programs in different disciplines.
- Budhi Thakurani Temple: Budhi Thakurani Temple is a historic temple located in the heart of Berhampur. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Budhi Thakurani, who is worshipped by the local community as the guardian deity of the city.
- Giri Road Market: Giri Road Market is a popular shopping destination in Berhampur. The market is known for its vibrant atmosphere and a wide range of products, including clothing, accessories, electronics, and handicrafts.
- Berhampur Stadium: Berhampur Stadium is a cricket stadium located in Berhampur. The stadium is home to the Odisha cricket team and has hosted several domestic and international matches.
- Kali Puja: Kali Puja is a popular festival celebrated in Berhampur during Diwali. The festival is dedicated to the goddess Kali, and it involves lighting lamps, offering prayers, and performing rituals to seek her blessings.
- Danda nacha: is a traditional folk dance form that originated in the state of Odisha in eastern India. It is also known as Danda Jatra or Danda Nata.
The dance is typically performed during the Chaitra festival, which falls in March or April, and is associated with the worship of Lord Shiva. Dancers dress up in colorful costumes and perform intricate steps while holding sticks or dandas in their hands. The sticks are used to create rhythmic beats that accompany the dance.
The performance typically includes a group of dancers led by a narrator, who tells a story through the dance. The stories often depict mythological themes or local legends.
Danda nacha is considered an important part of Odisha’s cultural heritage and is performed in many parts of the state, particularly in the districts of Ganjam, Puri, and Balasore.
The dance is performed by a group of dancers, who carry a long bamboo pole or danda, which is decorated with colorful cloth, peacock feathers, and bells. The dancers wear traditional costumes, which include dhoti, kurta, and a turban.
The dance begins with the sound of drums and other traditional musical instruments, and the dancers perform various steps and movements while balancing the danda on their forehead and hands. The dance movements are usually circular and rhythmical, and the dancers often jump and spin in the air.
One of the unique features of Danda Nata is the use of masks and makeup by the dancers. The masks are usually made of clay, and they depict various characters from Hindu mythology, such as gods, goddesses, demons, and animals.
The dance is usually performed in a group, and each dancer has a specific role to play. The lead dancer is called the “Badya”, and he is responsible for maintaining the rhythm and tempo of the dance. The other dancers support the lead dancer and perform various steps and movements to create a vibrant and energetic performance.
Danda Nata is a traditional folk dance form that has been a part of Odisha’s culture for centuries. It is a unique dance form that combines music, dance, theater, and mythology, and it is an important cultural heritage of the region.
Some famous personalities associated with Berhampur
- Biju Patnaik – Former Chief Minister of Odisha and a famous freedom fighter.
- Sanjeev Kapoor – A well-known chef and TV personality.
- Rakhi Sawant – A Bollywood actress and TV personality.
- Chandra Sekhar Rath – A famous Odia writer and Sahitya Akademi awardee.
- Sudarshan Patnaik – A renowned sand artist who has won many international awards for his work.
- Sitakant Mahapatra – A famous poet, novelist, and literary critic in the Odia language.
- Dr. Abanindranath Dash – A renowned scientist and academician who has made significant contributions to the field of physics.
Climate of Berhampur
The climate of Berhampur is tropical, with hot and humid summers and mild winters. The monsoon season in Berhampur lasts from June to September, bringing heavy rainfall to the region.
The average temperature in Berhampur ranges from around 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F) during the summer months of April to June, and drops to around 20°C to 28°C (68°F to 82°F) during the winter months of December to February. The humidity level in Berhampur is typically high throughout the year, ranging from 60% to 90%.