Berhampur: Sour, Sweet and smooth as Silk! [City Profile]

Besides being a mere geographic location at  19.3079° North,84.8189° East, Berhampur is a perfect glimpse of the southern part of this country (Andhra Pradesh, particularly). One finds the demography, the diet, and the language to a certain extent, influenced by Andhra Pradesh. It boasts of a.

By Oct 10,2012  17

Besides being a mere geographic location at  19.3079° North,84.8189° East, Berhampur is a perfect glimpse of the southern part of this country (Andhra Pradesh, particularly). One finds the demography, the diet, and the language to a certain extent, influenced by Andhra Pradesh. It boasts of a mixed culture which is a perfect curry of Telugu and Odia cultures. It’s more of a ghanta tarkari with a tinge of rasam. An amazing spread of South Indian Cuisine and a sizeable part of the population being Telugus, Berhampur is the perfect window lying in Odisha and opening towards Andhra Pradesh.

Nevertheless, for those patriot Odias out there who have started swearing Odia words by now, Berhampur is still a part, rather a significant part of Odisha.  It is the commercial hub, contributing a huge chunk to the total of Odisha’s trade. Being a city with a port, it has an edge over some of the other cities in the state with regards to trade and boy! It has capitalized on it. Some distinct places, which cannot be distinguished from the others if it had not been the crowd factor, do remarkable business and have shot up their bank balances selling basic necessities like ropes, turmeric, pickles, papads or even gold. Yeah, pickles, papads and gold are basic necessities when you are talking of a ‘influenced-by-south India’ population. No kidding, come down to Berhampur once during Pongal and try proving me wrong! You will literally see mobile jewellery store hanging on necks and twirling around many a wrists.

A pickle and Spice trader in a Berhampur market.

Clothes find a close spot in the hearts of the people of Berhampur. Berhampuri Sarees are a big hit among women and the silk is so good that the people decided to nick-name it as the silk city. No, Don’t tell me you thought it was named after the women at the city who resemble Vidya Balan. You can’t be serious!

Coming to the food in Berhampur, if you are a lover of spicy food, Berhampur is THE place for you. People at Berhampur believe in generously helping themselves with chilies (in all forms)and turning into fire-emitting-dragons after that. The above statement may be restricted only to the local restaurants/stalls. Apart from that, there is a lovely spread of food with various restaurants, good  hotels, dhabas and roadside-eateries throughout the city. One can expect to find all sorts of cuisines out there and available for all sizes of the wallet. Being with a ‘pro’ will certainly help you choose the best dish from the best place at the best price. But then, it’s Berhampur for Christ’s sake and the risk involved in exploring it all alone is too small (Hopefully) . Jokes apart, Berhampur offers you a delectable range of food. From delicious junk (you may have to re-define ‘junk’ after a visit) to proper fine dining.

Girija Restaurant (THE KFC OF BERHAMPUR) is a brand in itself and can never suffice for the gluttonous appetite people have for its Chicken pakoda ! It’s the benchmark for any other restaurant in the world who prepares Chicken Pakodas. Hotel Nandan,Samal dokan,Hotel Satya-sai,Hari dokan are  the idli-puri-dosa hubs.

Being a foodie, I can go on and on about the food. But then, I have a word limit to stick to.

Among their usual visiting places, elderly people at Berhampur would be seen hitting the temples frequently. They are very devotional, I tell you. A number of temples in and around the city to prove that.  The spread here is great too. Temples of all GODS are present offering anyone a chance to visit any temple of his/her choice. True Secularism, I must say. The Maa Taratarini Temple, The Bhairabi temple,The Panchama Temple, Maa MahuriKalua Temple,are some of the famous temples on the outskirts which play host to a number of devotees from all over the state  throughout the day.  The Maa Bada Thakurani Mandir is arguably the most auspicious mandir in the city which conducts its yearly jatra which is one of the biggest in the state.

Bhairabi Temple on the outskirts of Berhampur.

Now for the other important aspects of Berhampur: Are you a movie buff? Really? You like watching Bollywood? Tollywood? Ollywood? Hollywood-In Hindi?  Berhampur has all of it for you. Everyone in Berhampur stands by the norm of having two mothers. Ek – apni khud ki Maa, Dusri- cine Maa. Six different cinemas for a city this size is not a joke. And almost all of them run houseful during the first week of the release, sometimes more depending upon the movie. Now this speaks volumes, doesn’t it?  Besides this, there is no actual hang-out place in Berhampur.  The whole city throngs to the one market for their socialization needs. Annapurna Market, it is called. For the people of Berhampur it’s bigger, better and much more special than any other mall/hang-out place in any other city. In the market you’ll find three kinds of humans. Introverts, Extroverts and Perverts.  Ha! Stop laughing, and keep moving. We are still to visit a little more of Berhampur before we conclude.

All this and much more in a mere stretch of a few kilometers of land. (It’s expanding now). That is Berhampur for you. Raw and Tangy.  Just like kachha aam. Oh wait! Did I forget to tell you, Mangoes (both raw and ripe) are abundant during the season in Berhampur (thanks to the Andhra influence) and a connoisseur’s delight in Berhampur!

Story by: Sourav Panda.
Sourav is an intern with the Broken Scooter. He hails from the silk city. Also, he happens to be a big fan of Vidya Balan!


In Conversation with Amish Tripathi


In Conversation with Heartbeat - The band in creation

  • scenicberhampur

    To add to its beauty is da gopalpur beach nearby 🙂

  • trueberhampuria

    berhampur ra thakurani jatra prati barsa ra thara hua..and gopalpur mmmmmuuuuhhhaaaaaaaa…. after tummy full u need some walking in the beach & gopalpur is bst place to hang out with a beer..gopalpur – bam road is more imp then any janpath for us.

  • Swateek

    Kassa lekhichu re! Jhakaaas! Poora Berhampur rolaaa.. 🙂

  • prakash

    actually you have missed the gopalpur sea beach.. when i was there for the first time in berhampur i was devastated by seeing the place .. and then i found this spot..the gopalpur beach.. its just a treat to be there..and the offshore food stalls ..where u can have your food and simultaneously see the waves come by is just an out of the world experience 🙂

    • Sourav Panda

      Thank you. Yes, we have more articles coming up which will cover the scenic Berhampur! 🙂

  • Suna jhia

    actually dude!there r 3 markets:annapurna market,bada bazar,sano bazar……but the thing is that they are adjacent to each other,so u cant distinguish……..and u cant forget about Hanumaan bazar & Ganesh market……

    • Guest

      I love your username! 🙂 O’yes! We have these markets too. But these are more of the commercial hubs of the city and are usually not frequented to hang-out with friends and folks!

  • Berhampuria

    Too little info for being a city profile…. And do stop alienating Bam from Odisha…

    • Sourav Panda

      Thank you for your comment. In no way was I trying to alienate Berhampur from Odisha. Just because it’s influenced by Andhra Pradesh, it does not become a part of that state. I was just trying to highlight the nuances of being in a city in the southern part of Odisha, very close to AP 🙂

  • pretty wanna be article, the way you tried to break the flow with your lame jokes made it awkward while reading. 🙁

    • Sourav Panda

      Hey! Thank you for your comments. I’ll definitely try and improve my writing 🙂

  • Lalatendu

    I think u Have left so many things to write about Berhampur(The Silk City)….There are lot of things to Present about Berhampur for those citizens who are not knowing Berhampur so much….Try to Present Particularly abt Food,Culture,commerce and Tradition etc etc…..

    • Sourav Panda

      Thank you for the comment! Yes, we could not cover the entire majesty of the city in a single article. We’ll try and write more about the city and will definitely keep in mind your suggestions. 🙂

  • Sourav Panda

    Nice Blog! 🙂

  • SP Tripathy

    It is a well written piece on a city which is so special and so unique. Its the city which gave India its 4th President in VV Giri, it is a city which is known for its business, progressive culture, peace loving people with so much diversity in language and religion never reporting any conflict ever in its history. It is a center for education and health in the state of Odisha with University, a dozen odd engineering and medical colleges. It has huge opportunities to grow and some challenges too, but, to quote Nargis Natarajan from her book, “The place that had clawed itself out of the Madras Presidency of British India and made it’s presence felt in Orissa. A place called Berhampur- my Daddy’s hometown and the city where I was born. Just to annoy me, Shankar often referred to it as the ‘filthiest village in the world’. But for the Alice in me it is a wonderland. For the child in me it is a Disneyland. For the adult in me, Berhampur was, is and always will be… Paradise!”

    • Sourav Panda

      Thanks a lot 🙂 You’ve brilliantly described your passion for the city! And talking about passion, I think anyone who has been a part of Berhampur in even a minute way has the Alice,the Kid and the adult in him/her.

  • kamal

    Full Information about Berhampur city- http://futureberhampur.blogspot.in/

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