Dhenkanal a unique district, is famous for its rich cultural heritage having the area of 4,597 sqr. Km, located at the central part of the state of Odisha in India. It lies between 85°58′ E to 86°2′ E longitudes and between 20°29′ N 21°11′ N latitudes having a population of 10,87,973. Dhenkanal’s geographical location, topographic feature and the religious background all have combined contributed towards the culmination of a unique pattern of life. Dhenkanal is a combination of an ancient past and an awakening present, a land of all seasons and a destination for all reasons. The district has many charms and cultural destinations. Among them “Kapilas, Joranda and Saptasajya” are the major tourist attraction of the district and combination of these places are called as Golden Triangle of Dhenkanal.
‘Gajalaxmi Puja’ identifies a special occasion in the district and the district is famous for this celebration, and this celebration has become a common platform representing Dhenkanal’s cultural heritage. The festival continues for eleven days from ‘Kumar Purnima’ in the English Calendar month of October – November. In this period a spiritual atmosphere prevails, and Dhenkanal with adjoining modern Hi-Fi decorations look with a good appearance. So many visitors come to this occasion even from all over the country. As the longest festival of the district, it occupies an important place in the social, cultural and economic map of Odisha in India.
The peak of Kapilash enshrines the temple of ‘Lord Chandra Sekhar’ at the height of about 457 meters. The place is identified with ‘Kailash’ the legendary abode of Lord Shiva. Currently the Kapilash a flight of 1351 steps and also a hilly road leading to the temple. This hilly road is called ‘Barabanka’ (Twelve turning). Massive people are gathered on the great occasion of ‘Maha Shivaratri,’ the New Moon in the month of a Hindu calendar month ‘Magha’ falls in the Ch. Calendar month of February-March. Here thousands of devotees are gathered. The main attraction is ‘Mahadeepa’ (Great Light) which rooted in the peak of the temple in the last part of the night. This is a great fair and festival of Lord Shiva.
To the east of the main temple, there stands the temple of Narayan and Biswanath. So the temples are a major attraction for the people. Shridhar Swami, the celebrated commentator of the Bhagabat and Mahima Gosain the founder of Mahima (A new religion) culture, are historically associated with the place. Similarly, the born place of Sita (wife of Lord Rama), the meeting place of Lords, are the religiously associated with the sites. Besides the natural beauty of the spots, there is made artificial sceneries. At the foothills, state government developed a park and zoo, which is the other tourist’s attraction of the district. Besides, the Science Park is another added attraction of the place. During winter the place is full of visitors for the picnic as the place is one of the best picnic spots of Odisha in India. There is a forest rest house and some Pilgrims suits for the accommodation of tourists.
There is another important place to visit is Sai Ashram called Dattatreya Sai Ashram. A great idol of Siridi Sai is established here and worshiped. A big building complex is established for a different thing. So it is a major attraction for the devotee and tourists because in the same route anyone can come across both Lord Shiva and Dattatreya Sai Ashram.
Joranda is the founder place of ‘Mahima Dharma’ (A new religion) . Here born the great poet Bhima Bhoi and a famous poet Brajanath Badjena. Bhima Bhoi prayed for the world’s betterment, and Brajanath Badjena was one of the great poets at his period. It shows that the culture of the district preached brotherhood all over the world. The Mahima culture proves its greatness in the district because the preachers were Sacred one and cosmopolitans. The cultures educate the people to do wellbeing of the society. The other sacred temples are the ‘Sunya Mandir,’ ‘Dhuni Mandir’ and ‘Gadi Mandir.’ A great Festival called ‘Joranda Mela’ has been observing during the Hindu Calendar month of ‘Magha,’ which falls during the Ch. Calendar month of January-February.
A Scenic beauty place Saptasajya is about 11 km. away from Dhenkanal town. It is one of the best picnic spots in the state of Odisha. The name ‘Saptasajya’ means a combination of seven rock-beds. The conglomeration of seven hills became Saptasajya. A small spring following close by enhances the beauty of the place. A temple of Lord Ram is another attraction of the site. People gathered here on the day of Ram Navami which falls during the Ch. Calendar month of March – April. According to religious belief, Lord Sri Ram spent here for sometimes. The natural beauty of Saptasajya has a special attraction because the forest of the area remains green all most all over the year. A farm of medicinal plants near Saptasajya is the study center for the botanical students