Berhampur also known as Brahmapur is situated on the eastern coastline of Ganjam District, in the state of Orissa. It lies south of Chilika Lake, and has an agriculturally fertile land comprising dense forests. The city is popular as the ‘Silk City’, as it is the centre of the hand-woven Ikat silk. It is one of the largest and oldest cities of Orissa and lies 160 km from the state capital, Bhubaneshwar.
The city was a part of the Madras Presidency and a part of its territory had been under the rule of Emperor Asoka. Berhampur is a major education centre of Orissa, which is reflected in its large number of schools and universities, out of which some are among the oldest schools of India. One of the first courts of India also existed in this city, right from the beginning of the British Judiciary System.
Theatre has been a part of the culture of the city since the early 1930s. The cultural hall, Ganjam Kala Prakasam Hall is one of the oldest drama halls of India. The main language of Berhampur is Oriya. The city is known for its old sweet shops along with the production of food items like Pappad (popadum), Aachar (pickle), and several kinds of Badi.
The Thakurani Rath Yatra, Durga Puja, Gaja Laxmi Puja, Kalua Jatra and Manabasa Gurubar are some of the popular festivals of the city. The Thakurani Rath Yatra is the most popular and is held every two years in the honour of the chief deity of the place.
The Maa Tara Tarini Hill Shrine also known as the Sthana Peetha is among the oldest pilgrimage place of mother goddess. It is one of the four major ancient Adi Shakti centres in India, along with Bimala, Kamakshya and Dakhina Kalika, and according to Hindu mythology, these centres were formed by the limbs of the corpse of Mata Sati in the Satya Yuga.
Chilika Lake is a famous tourist spot in Berhampur. Sprawling an area of 1,100 square kilometres it is the biggest inland lake in India. Lengthwise, the lake stretches across the three districts of Puri, Khurdha and Ganjam and merges in the Bay of Bengal making a big lagoon. It is a popular sanctuary and winter resort for migratory birds and has several green islands.
Gopalpur Beach is located 16 km from the city and is famous for clear sands and waters along with old lighthouse and fishermen’s coves. Sri Sri Sidha Binayak Pitha is among the biggest Ganesh Temple in Orissa. Mahurikalua, Dhabaleshwar Beach, Maa Bhairavi Temple, Taptapani, Bala Kumari Temple, Biranchi Narayan Sun Temple are some other attractions of Berhampur.
Best Time to Visit Berhampur
The best season or months to visit places in Berhampur are October, November, December.
How to Reach Berhampur?
By Air : The nearest airport is Bhubaneshwar Airport. It is 153 km away from Berhampur. The Visakhapatnam Airport is 253 km away from Berhampur.
By Rail : Brahmapur is well-connected by rail. Brahmapur station is part of East Coast Railways, and is 2.5 hours from the capital city of Bhubaneswar. Brahmapur is a stop on the line from Kolkata to Chennai, making it a convenient stop along the way, with many trains running every day.
By Road : The National Highway network of India connects the largest cities often through well maintained roads. Flying to Bhubaneswar and then taking either the road or the railway is a good option. By road, Berhampur is located two and a half hours away from Bhubaneswar. Puri is also well connected to Berhampur by road, 3 hours away.