Hello, Hope you are doing fine dear readers, so I am back with another interesting weekend getaway trip. It was more of a family re-union, I haven’t met my sister for quite long and my mother was longing to meet her since quite a long time and also it has been quite long I took my mother for a vacation. So we planned this trip to PURI. But the saddest part was that we just had a days time in hand , due to lack of holidays and casual leave, we decided even if one day we shall visit the place. Short trips are indeed refreshing ones, its gives a break and I am always in search of places which can be covered in a weekend’s time. Being a full time professional, its really tough getting leave and holidays are also very scarce.
Well, we boarded an Indigo flight on Friday 3rd March, from Guwahati and reached Bhubaneshwar at around 3pm. My elder sister with her family also joined us at Bhubaneshwar airport. We had pre booked our hotel in Bhubanaeshwar. Since the nearest airport is in Bhubaneshwar we decided to put up there, you can also book hotels in Puri, there are many nice hotels and tourist lodges (both luxury and budget friendly) in Odisha since it is a tourist place.
We booked two rooms in The Excellency Hotels, which is nearby from both Bhubaneshwar Railway station and Airport. My sister booked the rooms from goibibo.com and we managed to get huge discounts. The day we reached Bhubaneshwar, it was quite late, we took rest in out rooms and late in the evening went around to see the market, Luckily there was a handloom expo going on and being a handloom lover, without wasting much time we went inside, there we so many stalls, most of them stocked odisha famous weaves like ikkat, sambalpuri,bomkai silks etc. there we lots of sarees, kurtas, dress materials etc, the food court was also interesting with varieties of items popular in odisha. I also shopped quite a lot of sarees for myself and also for gifts. Will do a haul post very soon, keep following my blog for that.
Next morning 4th March, we had only this day in hand to visit all the important places. After having our breakfast , we left the hotel at 8am in the morning, we had booked a car for the whole day with the help of a travel agent provided from the hotel itself. Our first spot was The Shanti Stupa in the Dhauligiri hills also called as Dhauli Hills, it is located on the banks of the river Daya. There is a huge Buddha statue , a lying Buddha , which are perfect example of marvellous architecture back in those days. The Peace Pagoda or Shanti Stupa on the hill top was constructed in 1972 by the Japan Buddha Sangha and the Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangha. The other tourist attraction in Dhauli are the Bhaskareswar Temple and The Shiva Temple, but we had to skip this two spots due to lack of time in hand.
Our next destination is The Sun Temple in Konark. I so wanted to visit this place ever since my chilhood when I used to read in my General Knowledge books “Where is the Sun Temple in India?” and the answer says “Konark”. It was 40kms from Dhauli, it took around one and half an hour drive to cover that distance.
The drive was marvellous, we had an idea of the country side which looked quite similar to our countryside in Assam, there is so much resemblance. We had to leave our car and it was around 500mtrs walk to the temple, the sun was really scorching at that time. So I suggest carry enough water and some food with you. You have to go through the market, the market is flooded with shops fuul of handicraft items, they are indeed a sight to see. Such varieties of home decor stuffs, wall hangings,bags, umbrella, handicraft items from Pipli, idols, mementos, gift items, handmade toys, conch shells and what not. But make sure you bargain before buying them and I have seen the prices of the items in the shops outside the temple complex are much cheaper. Most of the shops keep the same stuffs.
The Sun Temple is in the form of a giant chariot of the sun god. It was built in the 13th century by King Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty. Built from Khondalite rocks, it is said that the first rays of the sunrise touches the main entrance. There are 12 pairs of carved stone wheels pulled by a set of seven horses. The architecture is a glorying example of India’s majestic craftsmanship and excellence. The temple is also an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hope you must have enjoyed reading this post and well for the remaining part of the article stay tuned, I shall post it very soon as PART – II. Keep reading and don’t forget to drop in your comments and sharing the post in your social media profiles. Thanks and see you soon. Enjoy some pictures clicked by yours truly!!