#XploreWithXUV500: An Amazing Road Trip Through Odisha
Odisha is India’s best kept secret.
Think of road trips and Odisha never really comes to mind, isn’t it? Well, that was until now because what Mahindra XUV500 has done as part of their #XploreWithXUV500 campaign will show you Odisha in a completely new light. Twelve creative professionals from different fields came together for an epic road trip across the state and the plush and powerful Mahindra XUV500 was their perfect companion. What made this trip special is that it was not just about adventure, but also about the unique stories around the state’s culture, architecture and wildlife that have hitherto remained largely undiscovered. Read on, and you will realise why Odisha is called ‘India’s best kept secret’.
As the ‘xplorers’ set out in their Mahindra XUV500, the first destination was Konark Natya Mandap. Located in the scenic coastal town of Konark, this dance academy is known to host the prestigious Konark Dance Festival every year. Once there, the ‘xplorers’ spent time learning about the rich history of the place and how it continues to keep ancient dance forms like ‘Gotipua’ and ‘Odissi’ alive. They even helped refurbish the stage for the upcoming dance festival.
After Konark, this adventurous bunch drove on for about 40 kms in their Mahindra XUV500 to arrive at Raghurajpur, a village that looks more like an art exhibition. Each of the 120 households of this village has artists who have inherited art from their ancestors. As the ‘xplorers’ began to discover the village on foot, they noticed that every home was decorated with beautiful artwork.
Such is the dedication of the residents of Raghrajpur, that they are striving to preserve ancient art forms such as ‘Pattachitra’ and ‘Talpatri’ that date back to 5 BC. One of the artists even painted the Mahindra XUV500 on a Pattachitra scroll. By the end of the tour, the ‘xplorers’ were left in awe of how much art was hidden in that little village.
After visiting a village full of artists, it was time for the ‘xplorers’ to go ‘wild’ at Satkosia Tiger Reserve. Spread over four acres, this tiger reserve is home to more than 120 different species. It is surrounded by mountains and has a beautiful lake in its precincts. The creators took a boat ride in the lake and even camped amid pristine wildlife. Inspired by the untouched beauty they discovered there, three of the ‘xplorers’ came up with an original music piece called ‘Ready for the Road’.
India’s largest saltwater lake Chilika is in Odisha and in the middle of this lake is an island. On this island is the very vibrant Kalijai temple, and this is where the ‘xplorers’ stopped by next. They reached Chilika lake and went to the temple in a boat, soaking in the beauty of nature and feeding birds along the way.
In the year 1914, an Italian by the name of Signor Maglioni established a hotel called Palm Beach in the town of Gopalpur. Ever since, this property has evolved into a heritage resort and continues to attract the modern-day traveler with its old-world charm. This was the next stop of the ‘xplorers’. Inspired by the rich history of the property, they used the Mahindra XUV500 as a canvas for artistic expression and recreated their experiences from the road trip so far.
From Gopalpur, the ‘xplorers’ headed in their Mahindra XUV500 to Mangalajodi, a haven for over 3,00,000 migratory birds. Some of the exotic birds found here include the fuvlous whistling duck, black-tailed godwit, sandpiper and egret. Mangalajodi is as close as you can get to nature and the ‘xplorers’ thoroughly loved this bird-spotting experience.
The last stop of this epic adventure was the luxurious Belgadia Palace at Mayurbhanj. This was the longest leg of the trip as the ‘xplorers’ traversed more than 350 kms from Mangalajodi to Mayurbhanj in the plush interiors of their Mahindra XUV500. This palace boasts of a mixture of Greek and Victorian architecture and is royalty personified. The ‘xplorers’ were fascinated by the history associated with the palace which was juxtaposed by the modern outlook of its legacy bearers.
By now we’re sure that you’ve already started planning your own road trip to discover new stories. What are you waiting for then? Take along the Mahindra XUV500 and make it happen. May your life be full of exciting stories!
Relive the journey here.
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