Koraput is a city in the state of Odisha (formerly Orissa), near the borders of Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh states. It has enchanting hills, verdant forests, winding streams, exotic wildlife and a rich tribal way of life.
It is the commercial nerve centre of the region. The aircraft engine plant of Hindustan Aeronatics Limited (HAL) is at Sunabeda about 20 km from Koraput. National Aluminium Corporation (Nalco) operates at Damanjodi nearby.
There are three airports in the area - one at Visakhapatnam which is 5 hours by road, the second one is Raipur which is 7 hour to Koraput. The third one is Jeypore airstrip, which has some air connections with Bhubaneswar (Air Odisha).
Koraput is connected to Vishakapatnam by a day train and Bhubaneswar by a night train. The Hirakand Express (train number 18447) leaves from Bhubaneswar at night (7:35PM), and reaches Koraput, the next morning (9:15AM). Most of the people get down at Vizianagaram at around 2AM (tell the TTE to wake you up) and catch share taxis for Koraput, Sunabeda or Jeypore - it takes around 3 hours and costs ₹350-400 per person. A passenger train (Visakhapatnam-Kirandaul Passenger, Train Number 1VK) leaves from Vishakapatnam in the morning (6:50AM), and reaches Koraput by evening (1:20PM). The journey through the scenic Araku Valley is breathtaking and attracts many tourists.
Samleshwri Express has two sleeper, one AC three tire and some general coaches for Koraput. It leaves Howrah at 9:35PM daily and takes almost 24 hours to reach Koraput via Rourkela, Sambalpur and Rayagada. From Kolkata you can take the Howrah-Koraput express. Another way is to take a train on the Howrah-Chennai route, get down at Vizianagaram (50 km before Visakhapatnam from Kolkata side) and catch share taxis to Koraput which takes 3 hours and costs ₹350-400 per person.
- 1 Koraput railway station (कोरापुट रेलवे स्टेशन).
Koraput on the hills can be reached from most places in either Odisha or Andhra Pradesh by travelling up a heavily forested winding road (also called a ghat road), with many sharp hair-pin bends. The road trip from either state is quite scenic. It is the most travelled and well maintained. If travelling in the early morning or late evening, you definitely will spot wildlife feeding along the road, or even spot the odd carnivore. There are forests of sandalwood trees all the way.
There are 2 ways to get to Koraput from Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram:
- The route from Visakhapatnam traverses along Pendurthi, Kottavalsa, Srugaravarapu Kota (S.Kota), Araku, Araku Valley and Koraput. This route is a bit long and is well paved till at least the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha border. As Araku Valley is a hill station and major tourist attraction in the northern parts of Andhra Pradesh one can get decent accommodation in one of the 3 Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department operated resorts or private hotels at Araku Valley. And from there one can travel to Koraput after a refreshing night in the laps of nature. The road from S.Kota to Araku Valley is a ghat section or a winding mountain road which has 9 hair pin binds on route 1.
- The other route to Koraput from Visakhapatnam goes via Vizianagaram, Gajapathinagaram, Rambhdhrapuram, Salur, Pottangi, Simliguda, Sunabeda (HAL) and Koraput. From Vizianagaram the trip to Koraput is around 150 km and the journey time is usually 4-6 hr depending on the road conditions, traffic conditions and the weather. The road till the Andhra Pradesh and Odisha border is well maintained on the Andhra Pradesh side.
The journey to Koraput is scenic and as mentioned above and one will definitely see wolves, foxes, and if one is lucky enough hyenas and bears on the roads. Coming to the scenic part, it is a very scenic to watch but really dangerous for the inexperienced driver who never drove earlier on winding ghat roads (mountain roads), especially trying to avoid ditches, potholes and all other obstacles
There is a Government of Odisha Tourist Office at Koraput Club, Telephone: +91 6852-250318.
- 1 HAL Engine Plant, Sunabeda.
- Jeypore. Town with feudal heritage which is a commercial nerve centre near Koraput.
- 2 NALCO Alumina Refinery, Damanjodi. National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) is Asia's largest integrated aluminium complex, it draws its raw material, bauxite, from Panchapatmali mines nearby, NALCO has a smelter at Angul.
- Bagara Waterfalls (25 km from Koraput). River Kolab forms three waterfalls of about 9 m (30 feet). The last 5 km of the road from Khandaguda is 'kutcha road' (dirt track). There is a rest house near the falls.
- Deomali. The highest & largest mountain peak of Odisha.
- 1 Duduma Waterfalls (Matsya Tirtha) (88 km from Koraput). The Machkunda River forms the 175 m high waterfalls, with facilities for generation of hydroelectricity at Machkunda Power Station. It is located in the deep forests and is amongst the higher waterfalls in the country. Ankadeli (Onukudelli), a village 3 km away, has its weekly market on Thursdays. The Bondas, a primitive tribe come to the market. There is a dam and reservoir at Jolaput nearby, across the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border.
- 2 Gupteswar Cave Shrine (55 km from Jeypore near Odisha-Chhatisgarh border). Cave shrine of Lord Shiva on the banks of the River Shabari. The place name literally means 'hidden God'. Odisha Tourism has a lodge at Gupteswar. There are other caves such as Swargadwar Cave and Paravadi Cave nearby. There is a view point at Sangam Ghat. Kanger Valley National Park is across the river and the inter-state border. During Shivratri the cave tempple attracts 200,000 devotees.
- 3 Kolab Dam. It is across the Kolab River, 900 m (3,000 feet) above sea level with facilities for hydroelectricity generation.
- 4 Maliguda railway tunnel (50 km from Koraput). It is the highest broad gauge tunnel in India. It is on the Visakhapatnam-Kirandaul line.
- 5 Sabara Srikhetra Jagannath Temple, Pujariput (middle of town).
- Shakti Waterfalls. It is a small waterfall with a height of 6 m (20 feet). The water forms a 'S' shape.
- Tribal Museum (Behind the Jagannath Temple). It educates tourists about the culture and heritage of the tribals.
- Attend Parab. "Parab" is a tribal festival organised by Unicef every year from 16 to 18 November, where one can find different tribal cultures at one place who demonstrate their dance and art forms. It is also a time to shop for decorative handicraft items made by the tribals. So be there without a miss to celebrate.
- Attend Rath Yatra. Rath yatra is the main annual event.
- 1 Chandoori Sai (985m), Goudaguda village, Kakiriguma (40 km from Koraput), ☏ . Buy handicrafts at the guesthouse handicraft shop
- Chandoori Sai (985), Goudaguda village (40 km from Koraput), ☏ . Restaurant at guesthouse located in a mixed village of general, adivarsi and potters (Kumar) population 40 km from Koraput. Seasonal. Bookings essential.
- Raj Residency (see "Sleep" below) serves good food.
Please drink bottled mineral water. It is also available locally.
- Raj Residency, Post Office Rd, ☏ , .
- Bhavani Stay Lodge, ☏ . Lodging only.
- Maa Mangala Guest House, Bhejaput, ☏ . ₹400-900.
- Maa Mangala Lodge, ☏ . Lodging only.
- Panthasala, ☏ . Reservation: ATO, Panthasala, Gupteswar, OR Tourist Officer, T.R.C. Building, Near Circuit House, Koraput. Non-AC double bed rooms: ₹100, ₹30 per bed in dormitory.
- Atithi Bhawan, 127/1 Dhandi Street, Near Jagannath Mandir, ☏ .
- Atithi Nivas, ☏ .
- D.N.K. Guest House, Pujariput, ☏ .
- Hotel Ambika Heavens, 61 Gundicha Chowk, ☏ .
- Maha Laxmi Lodge, 321 Koraput Rd (Near State Bank of India), ☏ , .
- Yatri Nibas (Near Jagannath Temple), ☏ .
- Jagannath Lodge, ☏ . Food available.
- Sri Ram Hotel, Hotel Chowk (Near State Bank of India), ☏ .
- NAC Guest House, ☏ .
- Panthika, ☏ . ATO, Panthika, Sunabeda, Telephone +91 6853-220310 or Tourist Officer, T.R.C. Building, Near Circuit House, Koraput, Telephone +91 6852-250318 Double-bedded Non-AC room ₹150.
- Chandoori Sai (985m), Goudaguda village, Kakiriguma (40 km from Koraput), ☏ . Luxury 5 double room guesthouse located in a mixed village of general, adivarsi and potters (Kumar) population 40 km from Koraput. Bookings essential. ₹2,500 per person.