If hill climbing is your thing , and peace is what you long. If seeing seeing sunset amidst mountains a long cherished dream and photography your passion, then this place is not going to disappoint you. Dividing the steel city exactly into half, the Durgapur hills are situated in the heart of Rourkela. This is the only place from where one can have a complete view of the steel city as well as the steel plant. At evening ,the view these hills offer of the city is a treat for the eyes. Inspite of the steel plant being situated , if today Rourkela is free from the clutches of pollution ,its just because of these hills which serve as a blessing in disguise for the people.
The location of the” taratarini temple” on one side and the “vaishnodevi temple” on the other makes the atmosphere a bit spiritual. From one side , the hills offer view of the sector areas ,ispat stadium,green fields and playgrounds, and from the other side one can easily spot the steel plant , railway station and railway colony. As one goes climbing up the hill , one would find a tall tower of All india radio station (akashvani) and some of their staff quarters on the hill . Municipality has taken steps to plant some herbs and medicinal plants protected by proper fencing along the hills. The cemented path makes climbing on foot a bit easier . “ I come here for morning walks and sometimes to meditate” – says Ashok sahoo , a RSP ( Rourkela steel plant ) employee who’s a diabetese patient. On asking why doesn’t he choose parks and pavements for this, he says “ in morning the parks are crowded with youngsters ,old people and parks are not properly maintained whereas here its very peaceful.” Older people having knee problem ,etc Can easily hire a cab or even two- wheelers are allowed . thanks to the not-so steep terrain. The best part is there is no entry fee or ticket for this and no time time restrictions even. One can visit as per one’s convience. This is why this place has become quite popular among teenagers. “ I come here quite often, between tuition gaps ,” says Komal Panda of std XI. She furthue adds “ I like this place as its away from the chaos of streets and cafes and its just a ten minutes drive from koelnagar.”
According to locals the best time to visit is early morning. The morning arti and bhajan in the “taratarini temple” fills one with spirituality , and from there with just 3-5 minutes climb ,one can have a mesmerizing view of the sunrise. “ I come here to visit goddess Tarini every Tuesday,” – says Manjula , a homemaker who’s a photoholic. ” but every Tuesday I make it a point to see the sunrise from the hills and take some pictures .” – she says. Though picnic is prohibited in the hills, one can take snacks,water etc from the local stalls just below the hills.
The Durgapur hills change their clothes with seasons. In summer they are lightly clad with the softest of greens. In monsoon they have dense growth with leaves and grass sometimes blanketing the soil. But now in winters, the air is several degrees cooler. And on a misty day the hills are almost hid under the clouds. This scenic beauty , greenery, calmness, 10-15 minutes drive from the railway station and easy availability of Ola cabs and autos makes visiting the Durgapur hills a must for all those visiting the steel city.
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