I made a trip to Kila Dalijoda with my wife and 2 year old son. We were pleasantly surprised by the rich history of the place which was narrated by the passionate host Mr. Debjit SinghDeo. He is a descendant of the Panchkote King who built the mansion as hunting lodge. The property has a lot to offer - antiquity of the property, forest surroundings teeming with elephants, culture of the indigenous tribes of the region, the warmth of the hosts and the delicious food that includes organic vegetables, fish from the property's pond and free-range meat. I made a one night stay which I feel in hindsight should have been at least two nights because there is so much to explore around. My little son loved to run around the property with the pet dogs Coffee and Cookie. The rooms with high ceilings were roomy and exude old world charm.
On 2nd week of December, in order to celebrate my father's birthday we decided to take a short holiday at Kila Dalijoda. Located just 45 - 50km from Bhubaneswar, Kila Dalijoda makes for a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. An erstwhile royal hunting lodge now converted to a homestay by their descendants, it is managed by Mr Debjit Singh Deo and his family. The property, once located inside the forest, is now surrounded by rural landscapes of agricultural fields and distant villages. The Dalijoda forest lies about 2 km from the property and has various trekking trails as well as a small dam with a reservoir that makes for a pretty picturesque sight. The property itself has huge expanse of areas for walking and cycling ( cycles are available) as well as many ponds where fishing and angling can also be enjoyed.
Nights are very silent, especially compared to the noise of the cities, and sounds of owls and jackals are pretty common. The property is also close to an elephant crossing zone so as per Mr Debjit, an elephant sighting might not out of the question if luck favours.
The rooms are huge, comfy and lofty with big semi-outdoor bathrooms. The afternoons and evenings are well spent taking walks, cycling or simply lazing about around the property.
The food is really lovely, home cooked stuff.
One of the best things about Kila Dalijoda is the fact that it is pet friendly and they themselves have 2 sweet dogs called Cookie and Coffee. Our dog Sansa had a great time there.
Mr Debjit and his family, Mrs Namrata and their daughter Shreevidya are wonderful hosts. The evenings and mealtimes are a joy due to their warmth, courteousness and excellent conversations plus discussions.
Mr Debjit is a very good artist and he was really kind enough to give us a wonderful sketch as parting gift.
On the whole we really had a fantastic time and will definitely visit again.
Discovering this homestay and even more the lovely family that hosts gave me the same pleasure as that of discovering a rare diamond in the rough...
We had planned a couple of days here to coincide with our 10th wedding anniversary within our overall holiday and it felt like being with our own family... the hunting lodge harkens you back to the era it was created in with high rise ceilings, large authentic furniture and quaint decor... the walls are adorned with old pictures of the Raj era when the royals ruled as well as paintings by Debjit... and the little anecdotes about the architecture and history add life to them,....the food was delightful (a must for me!) with some totally new dishes...the best part was that be it the milk/milk products or the straw mushrooms everything was fresh and natural/organic Namrata is not only a good cook but also parallels Debjit and their knowledge about history, philosophy and other areas ensured that the time not exploring the outside was spent exploring the inside...
The location has it all - local artisans villages for handicrafts and handloom products as well as stories on the tribal history, loads of nature be it hearing about the ancient elephant routes or the variety of birds or through the nature trails or the surrounding paddy fields or the boat ride through the wetlands - all personally escorted by Debjit who managed to kindle a birdwatcher in me, even spiritual through exposure to the lesser-known Mahima sect...
Besides the fascinating stories of the past, the authenticity and humility of the hosts shines through...while initially there was regret at the short stay there is also the eager anticipation of returning... I could ramble on but would encourage you to get your own...
In one word, this place will make you wish to come back again. It is a wonderful homestay and has a aristocratic splendour to it.
The rooms have a old world charm with its very high ceiling, wooden furnitures and colourful flooring. Rooms are spacious and clean with quaint bathrooms. There are lovely green paddy fields surrounding the property. The hosts are very friendly. We listened spellbound to their true stories of renovating a dilapilated old building to this level of quite luxury. The food was very good with special mention of Mutton curry, Mushroom Rice and Coconut Samosas. Plenty of leasure activites are available which includes a long morning walk through a nice jungle patch to a tribal village, visit to the nearby dam, trips to the fish farming ponds, mushroom cultivation etc. To our delightful surprise, Debjit is a avid birder and he is very keen to develop the area into a true birdwatching destination. Being serious birdwatchers ourselves, it was a pleasure that we share this passion for the avian world. We even caught a glimpse of two flying Pale-capped Pigeons nearby :) So that itself is a testament to the potential of this place for nature lovers. We enjoyed the evenings are on their open terrance under the clear dark sky with several family games. All in all, a very pleasant stay which makes us want to defintely visit again.
Just came back from an intoxicating visit to Kila Dalijoda. This is a palace that belongs to my school senior by the name of Debjit Singh Deo.
He went on to convert his amazing Palace at the famous Dalijoda Hill Range at Odhisa, into one of the most beautiful home stays one can come across anywhere.
Since he himself is an artist, he has painstakingly redesigned the palace into one of the most comfortable and aptly designed homestays.
This place is just 1.2 hrs ride from the Bhubaneswar Airport and has now become one of the more famous properties in the Lonely Planet.
The best part is how the Singh Deo family ensures that you are cared for just as you would be at home.
From home grown fruits, vegetables, paddy straw mushrooms (they are to die for) to Milk and butter, all made at home.
The surroundings are the most serene that I have ever been to.
This place also falls on the million year old elephant migration route and you will see these majestic (a bit smaller than their counterpart in UP and UK) herds around late Dec, Jan and Feb months.
Nature trails, Tribal village tours, canoe boat sails in the nearby marshland for birding (this area has over 200 species of birds and Debjit Singh Deo knows them by their sound), angling, fishing, walkways for just loitering around without any fear or vehicular traffic, and absolutely mind blowing food, this place has it all.
Even the mighty hills are there for your explorations if you are into climbing.
This was the first time I had stayed there and while coming back I wanted to throw tantrums like a baby “I don’t want to go anywhere …. “.
This place has history, stories, caring, serenity, nature and above all the warmth of a home and family members.
Next time I am going to stay a lot longer and come along with my trekking boots and my camera.