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 Khordha district
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HIRAPUR

The village Hirapur, situated in Balianta police station, is about 10 km. to the east of the temple city Bhubaneswar. It is not far from the south bank of river Bhargavi. The place is famous for the hypaethral temple of sixty-four yoginis dated to the 9th century A.D. It is a protected monument under the Ancient Monument Preservation Act. Of such temples there are only four in India, and it is of great importance that the state of Orissa possesses two such temples entirely devoted to the sixty-four mysterious godlings called yoginis. The other yogini temple of Orissa is at Ranipur-Jharial in Balangir district. The temple at Hirapur is a circular enclosure with a narrow doorway to the east. The height of the enclosure from the level of the ground around the outer surface of the monument varies by 2.43 metres (8 feet) to 2.74 metres (9 feet). The height of the enclosure from the level of the ground around the outer surface of the monument varies by 2.43 metres (8 feet) to 2.74 metres (9 feet). The diametre of the circular space inside is nearly 7.62 metres (2.5 feet) and the height of the wall on the inside paved floor is 1.87 metres (6 feet 2 inches), varying by a few centimetres here and there. The round wall is built of a coarse kind of sandstone which is generally found in the neighbouring areas, whereas its foundation has been constructed with blocks of laterite like many ancient temples of Bhubaneswar. The inner wall of the circular enclosure contains sixty sculptured panels of the Yoginis were each enshrined in a niche. The images of the other four Yoginis were perhaps enshrined in the pillared Mandapa, the remains of which can still be seen at the centre of the shrine. The miniature size of the shrine, its compact design, admirable proportion and close-grained stone sculpture neatly arranged in small niches make it a fascilnating monument. All the Yogini images are carved in black chlorite and are in standing posture. Most of these relievo figures are beatiful, seductive, full of charm and in exquisite variety of poses. On the outer surface of the circular enclosure there are nine beautiful sculptured female figures set in nine niches. These nine panels are larger in size than the panels of the sixty-four Yoginis within the temple.


In the middle of the enclosed space, there is a small shrine which has been repaired a few years back with modern arches. Near the shrine there are some pillars and blocks of sandstone that were used in it before its fall. Probably an image of Siva was the original icon of this covered structure, but no image is to be found there now.

The Yoginis are attendants on Durga, and in a sense, are considered to be various forms of the goddess herself. According to scholars the temple of sixty-four Yoginis at Hirapur was a centre of Brahmanical Tantric religion in 8th-9th century A.D. when this cult was predominant in Orissa.

Jatni

Jatni is a town and railway junction situated in 85 degree 42'30''E. and 20 degree 9'N. in the Bhubaneswar subdivision. It is 12.8 km. from Khurda on the Khurda-Pipli road and is the headquarters of Khurda Road Division of the Southern Eastern Railway. The railway colony is a planned township containing residences of the railway staff which extends on both sides of the railway line. With the ex-State areas of Nayagarh, Ranpur and Daspalla as its hinterland, Jatni has prospored as an important trade and business centre. The civic affairs of the town is looked after by the Jatni Municipality.

Kaipadar

Kaipadar is a village situated in 85 degree 33'E. and 20 degree 8'N. in Khurda district. It is 11 km. to the south-west of Khurda. The place is well known for the tomb of Bokhari Saheb. Bokhari Saheb was a 18th century Muslim saint and according to local tradition was a close friend of a Hindu hermit both of whom preached their respective religious beliefs with a spirit of synthesis and harmony.

Pilgrims, both Hindus and Muslims, visit the tomb to obtain fulfilment of their wishes. Formerly they used to leave a piece of paper in which their desire were written. The paper was kept hanging on a wire along with hundreds of such petitions. As the children were tearing off the petitions now the priests tie the petitions round a pillar. It is a popular belief that the desires of the petitioners are fulfilled. Offerings of sweetmeats are generally made. On every Thursday a big fair is held here and a number of pilgrims congregate to get the blessings of Bokhari Saheb.

On the 25th October of every year the birthday of Bokhari Saheb is celebrated here. Adjacent to the shrine, there is a mosque. The place is connected with Khurda by bus route. There is one Dharmasala called 'Osmania Sarai' where the pilgrims may take shelter.

Kenduli

The village Kenduli is situated on the Prachi river in Balianta police station of Bhubaneswar Tahasil. It was originally a sasan or Brahmin settlement. Even at present a part of this area is known as Kenduli Sasan, the other part being Kendulipatna, while the area containing the old reliccs of temples and images is known as Kenduli Deuli. The village has a long standing tradition of being the birth place of poet Jayadeva of 'Gita Govinda' fame. The area has extensive relics of brick temples and sculptures of Saiva, Vaishnava and Sakta cults some of which may be ascribed to the 10th-11th century A.D. Among the notable images mention may be made of Bhairava, Madhava, Ambika and another goddess called by the people Jageswari. A two-armed image (both the arms broken) with heavy matted hair is worshipped by the local people as the sage 'Jayadeva'.

On the southern side of the village there is a temple dedicated to god Lakshmi-Nrusimha and the image of Nrusimha carrying Lakshmi on his lap reveals the iconographic peculiarities of the Ganga period.

A cultural organisation called the Jayadeva Sanskrutika Parishad was started here in 1966 for which land was purchased and building constructed at governemnt cost. A small museum containing old images and other archaeological finds unearthed from the nearby area is housed in the Parishad building. Every year a cultural function in honour of the poet Jayadeva is organised at Kenduli by this cultural organisation.

Khandagiri

Khandagiri is a small hill range situated in 20 degree 16'N. and 85 degree 47'E. close to the new township of Bhubaneswar. One may arrive at the very foot of the hill by a pucca road from Bhubaneswar. The National Highway No.5 passes very near the hill range. The hill range rises abruptly and stretches in a long curve, from noth-east to south-west. From the foot it is seen to be divided into three distinct peaks called Udayagiri, Khandagiri, and Nilagiri. Because of its eastern portion the name Udayagiri was given to it but in ancient times it was called Kumari Parbata (Kumari hill). Khandagiri was known as Kumar Parbata (Kumar hill) i.e. the hill of Kumar, the son of Siva. Kumar is also known as Skanda and hence the name Skandaparbata or Skandagiri which later corrupted itself to Khandagiri.

The crest of Khandagiri on which is perched a Jain temple is 37.4904 m.(123 ft.) high. the highest crest of Udayagiri is 33.528 m.(120 ft.) and Nilgiri is still less (measurements are from the Vaishnav Matha at the foot of Udayagiri hill). The Vaishnav Matha is also called as "Paduka Pratisthan".

There are a number of wooden sandals believed to be the sandals of saints who lived in Khandagiri. An old Kaupinidhari Babaji (a religious mendicant wearing a langoot) is residing here. The Matha has its humble existence, besides a Jain Dharmasala, constructed sometime after 1929.

At the base of Khandagiri there is a government inspection bungalow, and a Youth Hostel. A mela is held at Khandagiri on the Magha Saptami day which lasts up to the full-moon day. A brief account of the Khandagiri and Udayagiri caves is given below :

These hills are honey-combed with caves, of which forty-four are in Udayagiri, nineteen in Khandagiri and three in Nilgiri. Unlike the rock-hewn monuments in western India, which were the handiworks of Buddhists, these Orissan caves were both excavated, and for many years tenanted, by adherents of the Jain religion, who have left behind them unmistakable evidence of their faith, both in the early inscribed records and in the mediaeval cult statues, which are found in several of the caves. To this sectarian difference are due many distinctive features of the architecture, including among others the entire absence of Chaitya halls, for which apparently there was no need in the ceremonial observances of the Jains.

In Udayagiri a foot-path running from the north-east and to the gap divides the caves into two groups, one higher, the other lower. The higher group is roughly divisible into three sub-groups, the eastern-most, the central, and below the central, the south-western. The lower group begins opposite the Hatigumpha or elephant cave, and running down in a semi-circle, ends in the Ranihansapura cave. In Khandagiri all the caves, except two, lie among the foot track, Tatwa No.II being a few feet below Tatwa No.I, and the Ananta on a higher ledge, above which is the crest crowned by a Jain temple.

Udayagiri Caves

Queen's Palace : The Ranihansapura or Raninabara cave i.e. the Queen's palace (also called Ranigumpha) is the biggest and the most richly carved. It comprises two ranges of rooms on the three sides of a quadrangle, leaving the south-east side open. In the lower range are

(1) a main wing with three rooms facing south-east, and one room facing south-west,

(2) a left wing with three rooms on each side, except the south-west and

(3) a right wing with one room facing south-west.

The upper range of rooms is placed not immediately over the lower rooms, but over the rocky mass behind and contains

(1) a main wing with four rooms,

(2) a left wing with one room facing a covered verandah and

(3) a right wing with one room.

The rooms have long verandahs in front presenting three special features. The first is that at each end there is the figure of a guard carved in high relief. The second peculiar feature of the verandah is that it has low stone benches, as in the old caves of western India. The third is that the verandah roof was supported on pillars, all of a very archaic type. Access to the rooms is obtained through oblong doorways, of which there are one to three, according to the size of the room. The rooms are 1.143 m.(three feet nine inches) to 2.1336 m.(seven feet) high, and vary in length from 3.3528 m. (eleven feet) to 6.096 m.(twenty feet); only one has a window. They are plain inside with flat ceilings and the floor is curved at the inner end in a shape of pillows, evidently for the monk's beds.

From the road near the matha a flight of steps lead to the Jayabijay cave, between which and the Queen's palace lie

(1) two small cells with verandahs, called Bajadara or the musician's cave;

(2) a cave with an elephant frieze (Chhota-hati);

(3) the Alakapuri cave, or Kubera's palace; and

(4) a small cave.

the Chhota-hati cave consists of one room with a doorway and a frieze, on which are carved two elephants, the trunked head of a third, and a tree.

Alakapuri also called Swargapuri-a two-storied cave with two rooms below and a large room above all with finely arched ceilings and verandahs having benches and shelves.

Jayabijay

The Jayabijay has two rooms with a verandah and terrace. The verandah has a male guard on the left and a female on the right. Over the two doorways is a frieze in three compartments. Over this cave is another open cave.

Panasa and Patalapuri

In the semicircle between Jayabijaya and Manchapuri are found two open caves called Thakurani, besides the Panasa cave and Patalapuri. The Panasa or jack-fruit cave is a room with a verandah having bas-reliefs of animals at the top of its pilasters and a small cave over it. In Patalpuri or the hell-house cave, a benched verandah leads to two side rooms and two back rooms, now made into one by the fall of the partition wall. The next two caves end the semicircle of the lower range. They are important, as they have inscriptions connecting them with the elephant cave on the other side of the foot track. One is called Manchapuri and the other Swargapuri or Vaikunthapuri.

Manchapuri

The Manchapuri, or house of earth, has a courtyard with first a room with a verandah on the right, and then a verandah leading to a side room and two back rooms. The verandahs of the main wing and of the right wing each have figures of two guards, one at either end and all buried up to the knee. The main wing verandah has its roof front carved; the carvings, now nearly obliterated, indicate faintly a five-barred railing with a procession of an elephant and other figures below it. The main wing rooms have five doorways (including the one in the side room), with ide pilasters and arches carved with animals, fruits and flowers. The arches are joined by railings, over which are bas-reliefs in five compartments. The fourth has an inscription of one line over the railing, and in the seventh compartment is another inscription.

Swargapuri

On the rock behind Manchapuri rises Swargapuri, the house of heaven. It consists of a verandah, a long back room and a side room on the right. The verandah has a low bench, but has lost the greater part of its roof. The back room has three doorways, and an inscription in three lines, which speaks of the cave having been made for Kalinga monks, as a gift to the arhatha.

Ganesh Cave

The higher ledge begins at the extreme east with a pool called Lalita-kunda and three open caves. Then follows the Ganesh cave, so called apparently from a carving of that god on the inner wall. It consists of two rooms with a verandah leading to them; but the verandah appears to have been filled up with earth and stones, and it is now reached from the courtyard by a flight of four steps flanked on each side by an elephant holding lotus plants over a full-blown lotus.

Dhanaghara and Hatigumpha

The cental group begins on the east with the Dhanaghara cave, and ends with the Baghagumpha and Jambeswara cave, thus going round the crest of hill. The top of the hill has been levelled, and the edge of the level portion set with laterite blocks in the centre is a stone pavement, the remains probably of a small temple. Below the crest on the east side is an open cave, and further down the Dhanaghara (house of rice) cave. The latter is a room 4.2672 metres (fourteen feet) long, with three doorways facing east.

The verandah is benched and partly filled up with earth, but is still 1.6764 metres (five and a half feet) high. On the left pilaster supporting its roof is a guard buried up to the knees, with an elephant at the top.

Turning round, one comes, beyond, a small cell with an open cave above it, to Hatigumpha or the elephant cave, a large open cave of irregular size, which may originally have consisted of four rooms, and probably had a verandah in front. Inside, the cave is, at its widest and logest, 17.3736 metres (fifty-seven feet) by nearly 8.5344 metres (twenty-eight feet) while the cave mouth is nearly 3.6576 metres (twelve feet) high. Some words are cut on the walls, apparently the names of monks or visitors. The roof rock has been scraped away in front for the incision of an inscription, in seventeen lines, measuring 4.2672 metres (fourteen feet) by 1.8288 metres (six feet). This is the celebrated inscription of emperor Kharavela. It is now protected by a shade on stone pillars, in order to prevent further damage, the inscription on the soft gritty stone having suffered from the climate and lost many of its letters. The inscription is flanked at the beginning by a trisula and an hour glass; at the end is a monogram in a railing, and on the left of the fourth line a swastika, all auspicious symbols. According to the reading of Pandit Bhagawanlal Indraji, the inscription purports to give the biography of Kharavela, king of Kalinga, up to the thirteenth year of his reign and is dated in the 165th year of the Mauryan era i.e. some year between 158 and 153 B.C. While the existence of a definite date in the record is denied by other eminent scholars, the general consensus of opinion seems to assign the epigraph to the middle of the second century B.C.

Sarpagumpha and Baghagumpha

To the west of the elephant cave are eight caves at varying heights, five directly under the hill crest, two in a side boulder (to the west), and one just opposite the snake cave. The Sarpagumpha or Snake cave is on the other side of the footpath, facing east. Its verandah top is carved so as to resemble the head of a serpent with three hoods, the symbol of Parsvanath. The cell is small, and is only 0.9144 metre (three feet) high. There are two inscriptions, with several letters gone, of which the meaning cannot definitely be stated, one on the doorway and the other on the left jamb. On the left side of the same boulder is another cell without a verandah, and a little further down is an open cave in another boulder, now blocked by jungle. To the north-west of the snake cave is the Baghagumpha or tiger cave, so called from its front being shaped into the eyes and snout of a tiger, with the outer opening representing its distended mouth and the cell door its gullet. The cell is three and a half feet high, and over the doorway is an inscription in two line, calling it the cave of Sabhuti of Ugara Akhada. Further to the left of the same boulder is another cell, and above it a third cell and two open caves, more or less broken facing south.

Jambeswara, Haridasa, Jagannath and Rasui

On the same level with the tiger cave and at the extreme end, is the cave called Jambeswara, which is 1.1176 m. (three feet eight inches) high and has two plain doorways over one of which is a Brahmi inscription in one line saying that it is the cave of Nakiya of Mohamada and of his wife. From the tiger cave a flight of uneven steps takes one down to a group of three caves, about 15.24 metres (fifty feet) higher than the road on the glen. The eastern cave bears the name Haridasa, and consists of a room, over 6.096 metres (twenty feet) long with three doorways and an inscription speaking of the cave as a gift of Kshudrakarma of Kothajaya. The Jagannath cave, so called from a rude drawing of that god on the inner wall, has one long room with three simple doorways and a verandah. By its side is a smaller cave called the Rasui or cook-room cave, with one simple doorway, the roof projecting slightly so as to form as pillarless verandah.

Khandagiri Caves

Tatwa and Tentuli

In the Khandagiri hill the caves begin from the north with Tatwa I, so called from the tatwa bird carved at the top corner of the tympanum arch. The cell is 4.8768 metres to 5.4864 metres (sixteen to eighteen feet) long and nearly 1.8288 metres (six feet) high, and is entered by three doorways with side pilasters, carved tympanum and carved arches. On the wall is written in red ink an inscription in one line, and below it another inscription in five lines. On 1.8288 metres (six feet) below there is another cave marked similarly with tatwa birds and, therefore, called Tatwa II. To the west of Tatwa I is an open cave facing north-east, and beyond it, to the south-west, is a cave Tentuli or the tamarind cave. The cell has two doorways with a verandah in front. The right hand doorway is blocked with stones, so as to convert it into a window-like opening.

Khandagiri and Shell caves

To the south-east of this is a double-storeyed cave, called Khandagiri or the broken hill from a crack in its two storeys. This cave is the first to be reached by the flight of steps from the public road. The room on the lower-storey is 1.8288 m. (six feet) high, and the upper room nearly 1.524 m. (five feet) high. Besides these, there is a small broken cave in the lower and a small room in the upper-storey with a small window and a figure of the good Patitapaban on the back wall. To its south is the cave called Dhanagarh (the rice fort) or the shell cave on account of certain characters found in it. Originally a room with a verandah it has been converted into an open cave by the fall of the partition wall, a fragment of which is left on the right side. On the left side wall of the verandah are seven letters in shell-shaped characters not yet deciphered, but supposed to date back to the seventh to ninth century A.D.

Nabamuni, Barabhuji and Trisula

Further south are three caves called respectively the cave of the nine saints, the twelve-handed cave and the Trisula cave, from the images carved on their walls. The Nabamuni or cave of the nine saints consisted of two rooms with a common verandah, but the front walls and the partition wall have fallen down. On the architrave inside is an inscription of about the tenth century A.D., which speaks of a Jain monk Subhachandra in the eighteenth year of the increasingly victorious regin of Srimad Udyota-Kesharideva.

On the broken partition wall is another inscription of the same Subhachandra and a small inscription referring to a female lay disciple. The right hand room contains images in moderate relief of ten Tirthankars, about 0.3048 metre (a foot) high, with their sasandevis or consorts below them. Parsvanath, who is easily recognized by his serpent hoods, is the most honoured, for he is carved twice. Beyond this cave lies the Barabhuji or tweleve-handed cave, so called from the figure of a female with twelve hands carved on the left wall of the verandah. The latter leads to a long room with three doorways, which are now fallen, the roof being supported by two recent pillars. On the walls are carved in moderate relief seated Tirthankaras or Jain saints with their devis or consorts below them; on the back or west wall is a large standing Parsvanath canopied by a seven-hooded serpent and without any devi. The saints and their wives are shown with their different symbols and are nearly of equal size, 20.32 centimetres or 22.86 centimetres (eight or nine inches) each; but the figure of Parsvanath is nearly 0.9144 metre (three feet) high, from which he would appear to have had special honour.

Adjoining this on the south is the Trisula cave, so called from a rude carving on the verandah wall. The room had three doorways, which are now fallen, the architrave being now supported on two pillars. The room is 6.7056 metres (twenty-two feet) by 2.1336 m. (seven feet), is 2.4384 m. (eight feet) high, and is unique in having the inside benched. Above the benches is carved a series of twenty four Tirthankars including a standing Parsvanath under the seven hoods of a snake, and ending with Mahavira. In this group, too, Parsvanath, is given the position of honour. The general execution of the images in this group is finer than in the adjoining cave.

Lalatendu

Near the government bungalow, is a two-storied cave called after king Lalatendu Keshari. The upper portion consisted of two rooms and a common verandah, all of which have been destroyed, portions of the walls alone still clinging to the rock. Beyond this is a broken cave, and beyond that a pool called Akasa Ganga. The western face of the hill contains three caverns, apparently without any doorway, and adjoining them on the south side is a natural cavern, containing water, called Gupta Ganga.

Ananta

The higher ledge may be climbed by steps out in the rock on the right side of the Khandagiri, or by steeper steps near the Barabhuji cave, or by a track for Tatwa I. The northern portion of this ledge has been levelled and forms the courtyard of the Ananta cave. This is a room about 7.0104 m. (twenty-three feet) long and 1.8288 m. (six feet) high with an arched ceiling.

Jain Temple

The crest of Khandagiri has been levelled so as to form a terrace with stone edges. In the middle of this terrace stands a Jain temple with two side temples. The main temple consists of a sanctuary and porch, built like Orissan porches with pyramidal roofs and ribbed domes. Within the sanctuary is a masonry platform with a small raised wall behind, in which are imbedded five images of Jain saints. Behind the temple on a slightly lower level is another terrace, on which lie scattered scores of votive stupas indicating the existence of an older temple. In the right niche is a standing chlorite image of nude Rishabhanath. The colossal image of Parsvanath in black marble, which is enshrined in the marble hall near the entrance, is modern, being installed in 1950.

Nilgiri

From the inspection bungalow a track leads to the Nilgiri peak, which lies to the south-west of Khandagiri and is separated from it by a gap covered with jungle. Passing by a small pool called Radhakunda, deep in the south-east corner, the track leads, to a small but broken open cave. Going up the hill, the track leads to a roofless mandapa and then turns round to the right to an open cave facing south now converted into two rooms by a partition wall of dressed stones evidently erected recently. Further on, is a spring named Syama Kunda with a masonry cell shaped structure over it, and beyond it on the south side of the hill an open cave facing west, to which flight of steps cut in the rock gives access.

Khurda

Khurda is the headquarters of the district of the same name and is situated in 85 degree 37'30"E and 20 degree 11'N. on the National Highway No.5. The town is 11 km. from Khurda Road railway station, with which it is connected by a metalled road. The local name of the place is Jajarsingh, which originally was a small village. Probabaly the place was also formerly known as Kurada, which means 'foul mouthed'. The old mile stones of the area had the word 'KURADA' dug into them which have now been whitewashed and the word 'KHURDA' written on them. The present Khurda area was once heavily populated by the Savaras who are still to be found in the subdivision in large numbers. In this connection it may be noted that a village and ex-Zamindari in Ganjam distrct is named 'Surada' which probably means 'fair mouthed' as opposed to 'Kurada'. Khurda came into prominence when the first king of Bhoi dynasty, Ramachandra Deva, made it the capital of his kingdom during the last part of the 16th century A.D. The Bhoi kings lived in a part of the foot of the Barunai Hill, about 1.6 km. to the south of the town. This site was apparently selected because it was protected on one side by the Barunai Hill, which was easily defended, and on the other by dense jungle. The fort is now completely ruins, only a few traces remaining here and there which reminds one for its former glory. Khurda suffered repeated onslaughts from Muslim and Maratha cavalry but its royal house retained much of its independence till 1804 when the then Raja, Mukunda Deva under the guidance of Jayakrushna Raiguru, rebelled against the British domination and was dispossessed of his territory. Khurda is also memorable as the centre of activity of the Paik Rebellion of 1817-18 under the leadership of Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar.

Khurda is an important centre of handloom industry. The lungi, napkin and sarees produced here have an all Orissa market. There are a few Hindu mathas in Garh Khurda i.e. the old fort area of the town. The civic affairs of the town are managed by a Notified Area Council.

Nandankanan

Nandankanan, named after the heavenly pleasure garden of the gods, is a beautiful Biological Park situated in the most natural surroundings of the green forests of Chandaka. It is under the jurisdiction of the Chandaka police station in Khurda district. It was inauguarated on the 29th December, 1960. Previous to that it had been selected by a committee to be a Botanical Garden and an extension of the lake was being used for pisciculture. It is connected with Bhubaneswar by road via Chandaka (30 km) and via Patia (20 km). There is a fair-weather road (30 km) to this place from Cuttack via Balikuda. The Barang railway station on the South Eastern Railway is only 2 km. from the Biological Park and is connected by a motorable road. The park has been declared as a sanctuary since August 1979.

The park area covers 500 hectares out of which the lake, which is a main attraction, occupies about 50 hectares and the rest are open forest. The Botanical Garden, to the north of the lake, covers nearly 100 hectares. The main advantage of Nandankanan over most of its kind in the country is its natural setting in forest, and the central lake with its out-flanking swamps and marshes which attract a large number of migratory birds during winter. Because of its closeness to the forest, many wild animals and birds also move about in the park area. Elephants are frequent visitors. the story of the tigress called Kanan is interesting. Kanan was roaming free in the forest. She used to visit Nandankanan every night in the hope of meeting Pradeep, one of the big tigers in the zoo. On the 5th January, 1967 at night she jumped over the fencing and fell into a ditch full of water inside the tiger enclosure. The tiger inside that open-door cage rushed out and attacked Kanan. They fought bitterly until both lay exhausted. The keepers of the zoo finding them with many bleeding wounds sprayed them with dettol, but they ran away from the spray in different directions. Next day both of them came back to be sprayed again. A few days of this treatment cured their wound. But they never made friends. The tiger continued to sleep in his cage while Kanan roamed about in the bushes inside the enclosure. Even after nine years they could not be friends. While other animals can be tamed enough to respond to their names being called and come near either to be patted or fed, Kanan's response is merely a growl.

There are nearly a thousand animals and birds of about 70 varieties in the park, kept mostly in natural surroundings. These animals and birds include Sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, tiger, Indian lion, African lion, white lion, black panther, clouded leopard, golden cat, leopard cat, sloth bear, crab eating mongoose, pangolin, porcupine, elephant, bison, macaque, binturong, red-necked wallaby, Malayan sun bear, black buck, four-horned antelope, kangaroo, Nilgai, Ladhaki goat, chimpanzee, etc., and birds such as parakeet, pelican, peafowl, budgerigar, black swan, hornbill, hill myna, stork, white-eyed buzzard, zebra finch, eagle, cockatoo, kite, owl, shikra, eguyptian vulture, Nicober pigeon, peacock, etc. There are also 11 varieties of reptiles in the zoo which include gharial, reticulated phthon, king cobra, minotors, turtles, mugger crocodiles, etc. A lion safari and an elephant safari are there covering extensive areas of forest land. There is a rope-way between the Botanical park and Zoological park.

The Biological Park with its shady trees, green lawns and flower beds turns into a veritable pleasure garden of gods (Nandan Kanan) in spring and winter months. The lake provides boating facility to the visitors. One can also enjoy a joy ride on elephant on payment. For the pleasure and pastime of children a Children's train is being run in Nandankanan since August 1971. The Botanical Garden on the northern side of the lake provides beautiful picnic spots. A road runs along the periphery of the lake and there are also several link roads and paths criss-crossing the park have been developed including one Children's park with the provision of children's tot-lots, merrygo-rounds, swings, etc. In the natural setting beautiful rest sheds have been constructed for the visitors. Visitors desirous of spending a day in the park and observing wild life can stay in the Forest Department's rest house, or in the tourist lodges on payment of moderate charges. For catering to the needs of the visitors there are soft drinks, tea-stalls, packed food-stuff and restaurant. First Aid medical help is available in the park dispensary. Telephones, postal and medical facilities are available at Barang. The Forest Department has also a museum at Nandankanan in which varieties of forest products and stuffed specimens of animals and birds are preserved.

A large number of visitors visit Nandankanan everyday, their number increasing on holidays and during the winter months.

Narangarh

Narangarh is a village near Tapang railway station in Khurda police station. It is known for the Tapang Light Foundry where castiron sleepers, bearing plates, pipes, etc. are manufactured and exported to different places. There is an ancient cave on the top of a small hill. The cave faces to the east. It is about 7 feet wide at the base of the front side. The height of the ceiling is about 3 feet. The cave contains six inscriptions of different periods ranging from about the 1st century A.D. to the 16th century A.D. The polish and smoothness of the floor of the caves at Khandagiri and Udayagiri hill near Bhubaneswar are absent here. There are no sculptures on the walls except a few crudely designed figures which are damaged by the vagaries of time. On the floor of the cave some crude designs including two footprints have been carved. The cave seems to have been a centre of religious activities for many centuries.

Sisupal

Sisupal is a small village in Bhubaneswar Tahasil, situated at a distance of 2.5 km. to the south-east of Bhubaneswar.

The place is famous for being the site of a ruined fort which was excavated by the Department of Archaeology, Government of India, in 1948. The fort, popularly known as Sisupalgarh, probably represents the ancient Kalinganagar which was the capital of Kalinga under Emperor Kharavela of the middle of 1st century B.C. Excavation at the site revealed the culture sequence and chronology of the site, the nature of formation of the defences and the plan of the gateways. It also revealed many intersting features including various types of pottery, terracotta earonaments, iron implements of peace and war, glass bangles, terracotta bullae, beads (of carnelian, onyx, agate, chalcedony, amethyst, glass, terracota and copper), sealing oins, coin-moulds, pendants and an ivory spacing bead with elaborate carvings showing on one side a lotus flanked by a couple of swans and on the other three lotuses. The iron implements include caltrops, a four pronged instruement, which the Romans used to stop the advance of cavalry. It shows contact with Rome in about 400 B.C. Either travellers from Sisupal brought it from Rome or Romans brought it to Sisupal.

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