Among the tourists that thronged Daringbadi in Kandhamal in large numbers to celebrate the New Year's Day in the lap of beauty were a couple from Italy identified as Paolo and Marco, who chose the picturesque place dubbed as the Kashmir of Odisha.
The couple is now visiting different tourist spots in Daringibadi and enjoying the wild and unspoiled sylvan atmosphere. Interestingly, Paolo and her husband Marco were seen moving around attired in tribal ethnic clothes and have been drawing the curious attention of other visitors. The Italian couple was found mingling with local people and taking selfies with them.
Foreign tourists were hardly visiting the place after two Italians were abducted and held hostage by Maoists on March 14, 2012, while trekking in the forests in the Daringibadi area.
The incident had then grabbed national and international attention for quite some time, particularly until they were released. The kidnap of the two Italians had left an adverse effect on tourism in Kandhamal.
However, the situation has improved quite a lot with tourists coming in large numbers to Daringibadi throughout the year.
Narrating her tour experience, Paolo said, “Daringibadi is a fantastic place and the spot is very beautiful. The place is a nature’s bounty because of green vegetation, forests, and coffee gardens. The weather is cold and fresh. It is a wonderful place. We met several children in the nearby villages. They are very kind.”
Marco termed the place as a nice one, saying, “I liked the place though it was strange for me. The people and the place are very good.”
Tourist guide Pradip Kumar Padhi said that Daringibadi is rich in natural and scenic spots. It is the Kashmir of Odisha and scores of people are picnicking at different places, he added.