Staff Reporter

BERHAMPUR: The gush of cold wave has started to lure tourists to Daringbadi in Kandhamal district after a gap of two years.

Daringbadi is called Kashmir of Orissa as it is the only place in the State where temperature plummets to zero degree during winter. But communal violence had marred the tourism prospects of Daringbadi and Kandhamal district during past two years. Tourists had not dared to venture to this violence-hit district.

But this year the tourists have started to trickle in. The temperature is also conducive for the tourists who want to enjoy freezing cold. The lowest temperature recorded till date was 2 degree centigrade. As per officials of the meteorology department there are chances that it may go down to zero degree within a few days.

Frozen water droplets on trees and plants have started to welcome tourists at Daringbadi.

The residents of Daringbadi, who have their economy attached to tourism hope they would have more tourists rushing to Daringbadi with the recent fall in temperature.

But the tourist flow to Daringbadi is yet to reach its normal state. Kailash Dandapat of Daringbadi said the flow of tourists to Daringbadi now can be said to be around 40 per cent that the place used to have before the communal riots. The welcome note is that some tourists from West Bengal have started arriving at this hill station. Before communal riots seventy percent of the tourists from outside Orissa to Daringbadi were from West Bengal. But this year’s tourist flow although lower than peak years is also heartening for the localites as there were no almost tourists during past two years.

The people related to tourism business lament the lack of infrastructure at Daringbadi. The tourist hotel of the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) at Daringbadi remains closed. There are only 12 rooms available at Daringbadi for night stay of tourists. They include six rooms of a private resort, two rooms of a guest house of forest department and four rooms of guest house of the public works department.