Satakosia Gorge

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 In Odiya, it is called Satakosia Ganda. It is a 22 km long gorge on the river Mahanadi starting from Tikarpada in the Angul district of Odisha. Here the river Mahanadi is narrow, but deep in water. The George is created by river Mahanadi Cutting the eastern ghats. The George and the Surrounding area were declared a tiger sanctuary in 2007 Geologically Satakosia gorge in part of the eastern ghats. It separates the Chhota Nagpur plateau from the eastern ghats. Satakosia Gorge was established in 1976 as a wildlife sanctuary. Satakosia derives its name from the words sat (Seven) and Kosh (two miles) meaning 14 miles or 22 km. The depth of the Gorge is 12 meters (40 feet).

In the popular imagination, satakosia ganda is the most feared place on the river Mahanadi. Here the expert boatmen also fear navigating their boats. Moreover, it is infested with crocodiles. In olden times, when there was no road connection between Sambalpur and Cuttack people used to carry their goods on large boats called patuas on the river Mahanadi. When boats come to Satakosia ganda, expert boatmen are employed to carry the boat carefully through this long 22 km gorge. People were compelled to go through this gorge as there was no alternative. This ganda is fearful as well as beautiful. It has much intrinsic merit. This place is for the litmus test for the boatmen.

                I belong to the fisherman caste. I have heard stories of elderly people and how they were crossing this ganda. That experience was executing and thrilling. Some old men and women are still alive to tell the stories. The technique of sailing in this great river requires great training. The nuances of boating are to be rosputod with reverence. Satakosia ganda presents a challenge for the boatman and the boatmen accept it. Thanks to the men of mankind who are courageous and courage is the highest virtue. Satakosia is their testing water. In olden times. When there was no road connecting Sambalpur and Cuttack people used to curry their goods on large boats called patuas on the river Mahanadi. When boats come to Satakosia ganda, expert boatmen are employed to curry the boat carefully through this long 22 kms gorge. People were compalled to go through this gorge as there was no alternative. This ganda is fearful as well as beautiful. It has much intrinsic merit. This place is for the litmus test for the boatmen.

                I belong to the fisherman caste. I have heard stories of elderly people how they were crossing this ganda. That experience was exciting and thrilling. Some old men and women are still alive to tell the stories. The technique of sailing in these great rivers requires great training. The nuances of boat technic is to be respected with reverence. Satakosia ganda presents a challenge for the boatmen and the boatmen accept it. Thanks to the men of mankind who are courageous and courage is the highest virtue. Satakosia is their testing water.

(The views expressed are the writer’s own.)

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Radhakanta Seth is a former Income tax officer in Sambalpur.  He is a freelance writer and his articles have been published in some Oriya dailies like Sambad, Samaj, Dharitri, and English dailies like The Telegraph and in a sociological journal ‘Folklore’ published in Kolkata.

He can be reached at [email protected]

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