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#Heritage Exploration Cycle Ride – Killa Dalijoda by #BCAC Team #Bhubaneswar #Odisha #22Bike

As we have always repeated, “it’s not always about cycling; rather something more than it!” This Sunday Ride was a part of another super exciting adventure after exploring off-roads of Chudangagarh in the last week through the ruins of Choda Ganga Dev’s watch-fortress for the north part of his region.

This Sunday Ride was planned to a fort which bears a legacy of almost four generations of the Crown King of Purulia (WB) – Killa Dalijoda. This Killa has survived the wrath of the British Empire as it was primarily a Summer Recreation Home for the King and his subordinates away from any political interference or intentions. The King used to play Holi (the grand festival of colors) in this Killa since its establishment. Situated inside the deep dense forest range of Dalijoda in Charbatia (Remember: ARC, Charbatia) region almost 14 Kms away from Choudwar, Cuttack, this fort – the Killa Dalijoda bears the signature of a King’s Landing through its vast estate, which is now surrounded by lush green paddy fields, organic vegetable cultivation, pisciculture ponds and the ruins of servant quarters, with Elephant barns and stables. The Killa or the fortress is in a fairly good condition and suitable for homestay; thanks to the present King and inheritor of Killa Dalijoda – Sj. Devjit Prasad Singh Deo, an humble and dignified person who also stays here with his small family. And, to add to its glory, this Killa is highly rated over AirBNB, TripAdvisor and some other travel advisor portals.

As planned we assembled exactly by 5:45 AM at the Club House to start our ride by 6AM. Some of the riders joined us en-route at Bani Vihar and Rasulgarh. Riders from Z1 and Patia area joined us at Gopalpur and a few riders joined us at Sikharpur, Cuttack. There was a huge turnaround of almost 20 riders. In contrast to our expectations, the weather was a bit harsh today with almost +5 degrees as compared to the day before. However, the excitement of exploring a lesser known heritage site kept the spirits high of all riders to cover this entire route of more than 100 Kms making it the first Century Ride of August. The star players are a few school kids, who were escorted by a marksman on Scooter. The kids were super-excited to ride their first century ride on their respective bicycles. We took the route of Club-House, Vani Vihar, Rasulgarh, NH-23, Cuttack, Jobra Barrage, Choudwar, Kalinga Chaka, Charbatia, and Mangarajpur to reach this heritage building far away from the crowded human establishments. We made a few pit stops for hydration and high-tea and keep the energy levels at optimum. We could also find that the Google Map is indicating a wrong location for Killa Dalijoda and we added this place as a Royal Heritage Monument on Google Maps.

We reached Killa Dalijoda by 8:30 AM in the morning, riding through the beautiful country side along butterflies and the aroma of mud from the fresh precipitations (on the day before). We were greeted by an humble and dignified scion of the erstwhile Purulia rulers, Sj. Devjit Prasad Singh Deo. After a brief introduction about our cycling adventure and purpose of today’s visit, we were accompanied by Sj. Devjit to the terrace and the property of Killa Dalijoda, where we could see some of the signature possessions of the King of Purulia Sj. Jyoti Prakash Singh Deo, who is also the great-grandfather of Sj. Devjit. After spending almost 40 minutes at the King’s Landing, we returned through the same route that we have taken earlier to reach here.

On the return route, Amit & Biswajit has made a different plan for our breakfast on the banks of River Mahanadi near Jobra on the Choudwar side. We were greeted with fresh cucumbers, carefully sliced with salt and pepper. We savoured hot and delicious breakfast with Idli, Kakra, Bara and mouth-watering Ghuguni. We prepared a special Ghola Dahi (Buttermilk with curd and mint leaves) and enjoyed it in the heat. Taking rest for a few minutes, we left for Bhubaneswar through the same route of NH-23 and reached around 12 Noon.

*The History of Killa Dalijoda*

For all those, who would like to know about this royal heritage home stay at Killa Dalijoda, it was primarily a hunting lodge for the king of Purulia Sj. Jyoti Prakash Singh Deo. Being an avid fan of wild hunting (especially tiger hunting) Sj. Jyoti Prakash used to come every year during the season to the state of Deogarh (passing through Sambalpur). As the princely states went to the control of Britishers, Deogarh, then ruled by a minor king also controlled by the British Government, who acted as the Manager of the Deogarh state. The British Government imposed a ban on the entry of Sj. Jyoti Prakash to the Deogarh state and warned him for the possession of firearms.

Feeling insulted by this act of the Britishers, Sj JP Singh Deo approached his friend and the King of Talcher for a forest, where he could build his own hunting lodge and won’t need permission for hunting in the wild. The King of Talcher identified Dalijoda forest range (now inside Kapilas Wildlife Sanctuary) suitable and Sj. JP Singh Deo purchased this entire jungle, where he built Killa Dalijoga in the year 1931.

After his reign, this palace lodge remained neglected for a few years until 2012, when the scion of King of Purulia Sj. Devjit Prasad Singh Deo (who was earlier working at a Tea-Estate) decided to leave his job and renovate this heritage property in the memory of his ancestors. This Killa has been marked as Joyti Niwas in Bengali with its establishment date on the entrance gate, which can also be seen by the visitors. Since 2012, Killa Dalijoda has been serving as a royal heritage lodge offering a perfect escape for all those bird watchers, loners and lovers of nature.

Enjoy a great homestay in this Royal accommodation, enjoying nights under sky with basic amenities in a peaceful and calm atmosphere. King Devjit Prasad will welcome you to stay with his family in this cozy and naturally comfortable atmosphere.

For nature enthusiasts, there are cycles for short rides around the Dalijoda Reserve Forest (inside Kapilas Wildlife Sanctuary), and options for short walks to the jungle through forests. You can also visit some of the pristine natural places like Dama-Damani and other sites. Food here is often prepared from organically cultivated firms from the estate of King Sj. Devjit. You can also enjoy, angling along some of the most beautiful and gigantic ponds surrounding around the Killa Dalijoda, which are being used for breeding sweet-water fishes.

If you can’t leave without artificial air conditioned rooms, this is definitely not for you! By the way, the temperature of this zone is well below normal city temperature!

#Sunday_Ride #BCAC #Bhubaneswar_Cycling #Heritage_Ride #Sunday_Cycling #Century_Ride #August_Century_Ride #Heritage_Exploration_Ride #Killa_Dalijoda #Royal_Homestay #Royal_Lodge #Friendship_Day_Ride #Nature_Adventure #Nature_Ride #Ride_for_Fun #Go_Green #Save_Fuel #Save_Environment #Heritage_Adventure

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Proud Odia