THE MAIN MARKET TOWN Of Orissa, Baripada is the headquarters of Mayurbhanj district, which is rich in forests and has a large population of tribal people. Baripada is also the gateway to Simlipal National Park. The town holds a Rath Yatra (chariot festival) in yune/yuly, which takes place around the 3agannath Temple. This festival is a small scale version of the one that is held in Puri but is equally lively and vibrant, as the entire town joins in the procession. A unique feature in Banipada is that the chariot of the female deity, Suhhadra, is pulled only by women. Another colourful festival held here is Chaitra Parba (in April), when tribal groups perform the vigorous Chhau dance wearing fabulous costumes. It was originally performed by warriors just before they went on to the battlefield. In the eastern part of town, Baripada Museum has fine sculptures, pottery, and coins found in the area.
ENVIRONS: Harlpur, 16 km (10 miles) southeast of Baripada , has the evocative ruins of palaces and temples built by the rulers of the Bhanja dynasty who made this their capital in the 15th century. The most impressive ruins are of the brick-built Rasikaraya Temple, and the Durbar Hall of the Bhanja kings.