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Old 19th December 2015, 22:50   #1
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Default A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more

I was quite baffled. It was more than two hours after I parked the car. Still I was not sure about the reason that had caused a rapid loss of air pressure in the rear-right tire earlier in the day. I drove more than 270 kms after topping up air pressure to reach home and the tire pressure appeared alright thereafter!

This was how our week-long trip to Odisha ended. Or that's what I thought! Not being fully satisfied, I went back to the parking lot. Using a screw driver, I started plucking out the stone-chips which were stuck within the thread of the tire. And there it was! A big nail with a shiny head which was fully embedded in the thread of the tire. All surrounding mystery fell in place at once!

Chandrabhaga Beach
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5589.jpg

Famed White Tiger of Nandankanan
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5485.jpg

Konark Sun Temple
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5392.jpg

On Konark-Puri Marine Drive
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5471.jpg

Ananda, Sakuntala and their Alto: Our companion for the trip
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5464.jpg

My better half, our daughter Reeha and our Estilo
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5466.jpg

On Konark-Puri Marine Drive
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5666.jpg

Way to Panchalingeswar
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5699.jpg

OTDC Panthasala at Panchalingeswar
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5685.jpg

Sunset at Chandipur Beach
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5265.jpg

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Old 20th December 2015, 13:51   #2
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Default re: A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more

It was about a week to go for our Autumn break to begin. Ananda was passing by my office. I asked him about their final travel plan during the Puja break. Earlier, Ananda had asked us to join them for the trip. Unfortunately, my mother's health had been a concern lately. So I had opted out from the plan. In the meantime, the situation had improved a bit. So when Ananda mentioned it again, I asked him about their booking details. The deal was that in case I managed to get our booking in the same places as they had then we were coming with them. Lucky us! Except for the sixth night, I managed to get online booking for the following nights.
  • Oct 18: OTDC Chandipur
  • Oct 19-21: OTDC Konark
  • Oct 22: OTDC Panchalingeswar

The 23rd October was the day after Dussehra. So I did not see much hope of getting online booking anymore. Nevertheless, we thought of exploring the possibility on the spot. Otherwise, we will return a day earlier than them. Apart from booking, we did not have any specific travel plan. In fact, we decided not to plan much in advance and rather "we plan as we go".

Day 1: Drive to Chandipur

In the previous evening, I talked to Ananda over phone and decided to meet near Nivedita Toll plaza at around 6:30 am. It meant, we needed to start at around 5:15 am from our campus while they would start around 6 am from New Town. Given we had driven to Chandipur last year (here is our Chandipur travelogue (Rain, rain & even more rain...at Chandipur, Orissa)), we had a fair idea about the route.

It was still dark when we drove out of campus. We drove through Jaguli-Kampa connector to reach Kalyani Expressway. Colorful lights decorating the streets were still on. The biggest Autumn festival of Bengal had just began.

Still dark... waiting for the morning
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018051943_p1.jpg

Collage of colors
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018052114_p3.jpg

We reached Kalyani Expressway rather soon as the roads were mostly empty. However, it turned out to be unusually foggy. We slowed down a bit and turned on the blinkers in the car. It continued for a while and eventually the Sun started to come out. We merged into Belghoria Expressway using the narrow stretch of Majherhati road.

Foggy morning along Kalyani Expy
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018052546_p2.jpg

The Kash flower: Autumn had arrived in Bengal
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5204.jpg

On Belghoria Expressway
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018061806_p4.jpg

Approching Nivedita Setu
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018062313_p5.jpg

We reached Nivedita Setu Toll Plaza at around 6:25 am. After paying the toll, we parked our car. However, while talking to Ananda over phone, we realized that there had been a bit of miscommunication regarding the meeting time. He then suggested us to drive to Kolaghat and have breakfast there. They would reach there by the time we complete our breakfast.

Nivedita Setu Toll Plaza
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5209.jpg

We took a break for few minutes near the toll plaza
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5205.jpg

Six-laned NH-6: heading towards Kolaghat from Kolkata
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5214.jpg

Green surrounding ... slowly getting away from Kolkata metropolis area
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018072921_p6.jpg

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Old 26th December 2015, 16:15   #3
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Default re: A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more

Breakfast at Kolaghat:

Six-laning work of NH-6 between Dankuni and Kharagpur were nearing completion. Consequently number of diversions in this stretch had come down significantly. It was rather smooth sailing and we reached Kolaghat at around 7:35 am. We ordered for our breakfast in a nearby hotel.

In the meantime, I spoke to Ananda over phone and it seemed they were closing in. After driving for two hours in early morning, I was yearning for a heavy breakfast. So when breakfast were delivered, I enjoyed every bit of it.

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5220.jpg

Our daughter Reeha was still in sleepy mode...
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5222.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5228.jpg

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Towards Kharagpur:

We resumed our journey from Kolaghat at around 8:20 am. In the meantime, Ananda and Sakuntala had joined us. We briefly discussed that unless we get stuck badly at Jaleshwar border, we would have our lunch at OTDC Chandipur which was our destination for the day. After Kolaghat, the traffic on NH-6 went down considerably.

One a lonely stretch of NH-6
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018083135_p7.jpg

Few remaining diversions where work was ongoing
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018083436_p8.jpg

Debra Toll Plaza
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018090046_p9.jpg

Exit from NH-6 to merge with NH-60
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018091622_p10.jpg

On the concrete tarmac of NH-60
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018092325_p11.jpg

Beautiful landscape along NH-60
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018095039_p12.jpg

Towards Jaleswar WB-OD border crossing:

During our last trip to Chandipur, there were so many diversions that we were more or less exhausted by the time we reached Jaleswar. However, it appeared that the work progress had been pretty good in last one year. It was pretty smooth drive this time. At around 10:30 am, we were approaching Jaleswar border crossing. Unfortunately, like last year, we had to again take a u-turn to get into the right carriageway. Crossing over to the other side helped a bit but not much. Little later we got royally stuck with the head-on traffic. Luckily, the traffic was moving albeit slowly. Eventually, we were able to return to the left carriageway. By the time we crossed the border, we had been driving for more than two hours at a stretch. So we decided to take a small break near a roadside tree.

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018095340_p13.jpg

Where to go?
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018101319_p14.jpg

Driving on the right carriageway
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018101521_p14.jpg

Royally stuck at Jaleswar border!
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018102756_p15.jpg

A small break after border crossing
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018103530_p16.jpg

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Old 26th December 2015, 18:50   #4
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Default re: A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more

Chandipur at noon:

After Jaleswar, it was mostly a smooth drive. The weather was charming. The surrounding was green. It was a memorable drive. We entered Balasore town at around 11:30 am. After negotiating a bit of chaotic traffic within Balasore town finally we reached OTDC Chandipur at 12:20 pm. The gate of the resort was kept closed but it was not locked. So we opened it ourselves and drove inside. It was right about lunch time. So after parking our car, we headed straight to the canteen to order our lunch.

Heading towards Balasore
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018110212_p19.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018100044_p31.jpg

Within Balasore town
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018113800_p21.jpg

Towards Chandipur Beach
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018120215_p21.jpg

At the gate of OTDC Chandipur
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-20151018121823_p22.jpg

Sunset at Chandipur beach:

Chandipur beach is quite unique. It is so flat that you can walk for miles literally and even after that the water level may not reach the knee height. On top of that it was the time for a low-tide in the afternoon. So we had to walk for more than two kilometers even to have ankle-deep water. We were getting tired while walking but our daughter was still energetic to go further.

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5241.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5260.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5244.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5264.jpg

Reeha and yours truely
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5297.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5262.jpg

When we finally reached back to the shore, it had become fully dark. I had to use the flash light of my phone as a torch for a while.

Day's Summary:

Distance Driven: 310 KM
Route Taken: Kalyani, Birati, Kolaghat, Kharagpur, Balasore, Chandipur

Route map for the Day 1
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-kalyanichandipur.png

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Old 2nd January 2016, 12:05   #5
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Day 2: Drive from Chandipur to Konark

During the dinner at Chandipur, we had a brief discussion on the plan for next day. Given the driving distance was only around 270 KM, we thought of visiting Nandankanan Zoological Park at Bhubaneswar on our way and reach Konark by the evening. However, it turned out that Nandankanan remains closed on Monday. So we decided to drive directly to Konark and visit the Sun Temple in the afternoon.

We began our drive at around 7:50 am after breakfast at Chandipur. We crossed Balasore town by 8:30 am and started cruising on the Golden Quadrilateral towards Bhubaneswar through NH-5. It was the third week of October. The surrounding greenery was nevertheless reminding me of the monsoon. The morning drive through the lush green surrounding was quite pleasant.

Along NH-5
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p1.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p2.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p3.jpg

Glimpses of Eastern Ghat
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p4.jpg

We crossed Cuttack at around 11:20 am and were approaching Bhubaneswar. However, as it turned out, we hit straight into a very long traffic snarl. We could not figure out what was happening. The traffic on the opposite carriageway appeared to be normal. About 50 minutes later we reached the spot where a truck had turned turtle on the middle of left carriageway.

By the time we reached Cuttack-Puri Bypass road, aka NH-203, it was already half past twelve. It would have been too late for us to reach Konark and have lunch there. So we decided to have lunch at the next available restaurant along NH-203. Soon we could locate a roadside "family restaurant" with ample parking area for cars. We gave order for our lunch and freshened up a bit. The food turned out to be quite tasty.

We exited NH-203 at Pipili and started our drive through SH-13 to reach Konark. This route goes through the town of Nimapada and Gop. The roads were decent. The changing landscapes were telling us that we were approaching some coastal area.

A long traffic snarl before Bhubaneswar
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p5.jpg

At toll plaza near Pipili on NH-203
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p6.jpg

Road to Konark via Nimapada, Gop
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p7.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p8.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p9.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p10.jpg

It was just about 3 pm when we reached OTDC Yatri Nivas at Konark. OTDC Konark had a sprawling complex and quite well maintained lawn. We parked our car in the lot and checked into our room rather soon.

OTDC Konark
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5343.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5344.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5456.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5457.jpg

Would you believe?
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5459.jpg

... and the stones
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5461.jpg

Our Estilo at the parking lot
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5458.jpg

Day's Summary:

Distance Driven: 270 KM
Route Taken: Chandipur, Balasore, Bhubaneswar, Pipili, Nimapada, Gop, Konark

Route map for the Day 2
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-chandipurkonark.png

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Old 2nd January 2016, 19:16   #6
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An afternoon at Konark Sun Temple:

Incidentally, it was my second visit to Konark Sun Temple which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I still remember my earlier trip quite vividly although it was done almost a decade ago. It was a sight-seeing tour during one of our Physics conference. What struck me then was the sheer height of the stone structure. It was quite awe-inspiring to think that human could lift so many heavy stones to build the structure almost seven hundred and fifty years ago! However, what I did not know then that the existing structure, the so called "Jagamohan" is in fact only half of the size of the "Vimana" portion which was located just behind the "Jagamohan" and had collapsed in 1837AD.

The British made some efforts to stop further collapse of the existing structure by sand filling it in 1903 AD. The corresponding stone inscription reads: TO PRESEVE THIS SUPERB SPECIMEN OF OLD INDIAN ARCHITECTURE THE INERIOR WAS FILLED IN BY ORDER OF The Hon'ble J.A. Bourdillon C.S.I. LIEUTENANT GOVERNER OF BENGAL AD 1903.

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5429.jpg

Imagine or even compare the heights ... 750 years ago
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5423v2.jpg

Iconic Wheel of the Sun Chariot
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5377.jpg

The Sun Temple
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5383.jpg

The Sun Temple in the twilight
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5446.jpg

Nritya Mandap
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5356.jpg

Stone Carvings
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5357.jpg

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A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5416.jpg

Gajasimha
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5409.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5425.jpg

The Moon in the Sun Temple...
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5444.jpg

We at the temple compound
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5400.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5397.jpg

The Sun had set in when we left the temple complex. It was a memorable experience. We returned back to OTDC Konark from the temple complex after walking for few minutes.

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Old 2nd January 2016, 21:52   #7
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Day 3: Konark - Nandankanan - Konark Drive

We wanted to visit Nandankanan Zoological Park in the previous day. However, it could not be materialized as it was closed for visitors being a Monday. So without a second thought we decided to go for a day-trip to Nandankanan from Konark on the next day. Reeha was quite excited about her first trip to a zoo.

We began our journey after breakfast at around 8:10 am from Konark. This time we decided to drive through the famed Konark-Puri marine drive. We took a small photo-break near Chandrabhaga beach. The drive on the Konark-Puri marine drive (NH-316) was truly delightful.

Getting onto NH-316
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p1.jpg

Near Chandrabhaga beach
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5469.jpg

Along Konark-Puri marine drive
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p2.jpg

While approaching Puri, we were bit apprehensive of getting into the town traffic. It was not clear from the Maps whether the bypass road for getting into Bhubaneswar-bound NH-203 from Konark side was already operational. Luckily, we were told by a gentleman that road had been declared open to the traffic. In order to get into NH-203, we exited towards right after Toshali Sands Resort and was able to bypass Puri town entirely. The newly constructed 4-laned NH-203 was also a pleasure to drive.

Puri bypass road from Konark side
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p3.jpg

Railway overbridge which was not shown in Maps
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p4.jpg

Merging with NH-203
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p5.jpg

Heading towards Bhubaneswar along NH-203, near Pipili
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p6.jpg

As we were approaching Bhubaneswar, we had two options for reaching Nandankanan. The first one was through the city. The second one would have avoided most of the city but it would have been a much longer one. So we drove through the city. However, the traffic within the city turned out to be not so bad. In fact, it was rather smooth compared to many other Indian cities. We reached the car parking area of the Nandankanan at around 10:35 am.

Through the capital city of Odisha: Bhubaneswar
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p7.jpg

Ohh! The road kings...
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p8.jpg

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Old 2nd January 2016, 23:50   #8
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At Nandankanan Zoological Park:

Nandankanan Zoological Park is famous for hosting largest number of White Tigers in the World. Of course, it also hosts many other species. Given it would have taken several hours for us to visit the Zoo, we thought of having an early lunch. Besides, it was quite hot and humid. Reeha had been quite excited for last few days about the Zoo. She had been repeatedly asking me to know when would she get to see the tiger.

Gate to Nandankanan
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5476.jpg

Our first significant sighting of the day happened faster than I had anticipated. A Cheetah was relaxing on a tree inside an open-top enclosure. Visibly the Big Cats were the main attractions of Nandankanan.

Cheetah on a tree
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Stretching up a bit ...
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5486v2.jpg

Furious Big Cat
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Living Giraffe ... almost like a statue
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5507.jpg

Lake inside Nandankanan
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A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5527.jpg

After visiting the main attractions, we began our return journey at around 2:30 pm from Nandankanan. While returning we decided to enjoy the sunset at Chandrabhaga beach.

Sunset at Chandrabhaga beach
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5534.jpg

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Old 3rd January 2016, 08:45   #9
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Day 4: Konark-Chandrabhaga-Puri-Chandrabhaga-Konark

We had driven more than 800 KMs in last three days and we were feeling bit lethargic. Earlier, we were thinking of visiting Satapada on that day. However, we decided to rather relax at Konark and then went to Chandrabhaga beach to enjoy the Sunrise.

Sunrise at Chandrabhaga Beach
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5576.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5578.jpg

Playing with the Waves
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5585.jpg

Reeha's sand castle
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5598.jpg

Lunch at Puri:

The early morning breeze at Chandrabhaga beach was quite enchanting. There we were discussing how pale the food was at OTDC Konark. Then Ananda suggested that we should drive to Puri to have lunch for a change. We all agreed immediately.

Puri Beach
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5635.jpg

Human Confluence?
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5640.jpg

Some mortals and immortals
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5641.jpg

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A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5652.jpg

In search of salvation ...
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5648.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5649.jpg

... and here are some yummy salvation
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5650.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5643.jpg

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Old 3rd January 2016, 09:39   #10
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Konark-Puri Marine Drive, aka NH-316:

After enjoying our lunch at a restaurant in Puri, we went for a small walk near the beach. The sky was getting bit cloudy. So we began our return journey to Konark rather early. Very soon we hit the Konark-Puri marine drive. It was our fourth ride on this road in last two days. A bit of rain had turned this stretch even more beautiful.

Picturesque NH-316
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5660.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5663.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5630.jpg

A small bay
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p1.jpg

Konark replica on the left
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p2.jpg

Day 5: Drive from Konark to Panchalingeswar

Our stay at OTDC Konark was quite enjoyable. However, we were rather disappointed with their food. The services were unusually delayed. On top of that the taste of the food were mostly pale. So we decided to check out from Konark Yatri Nivas before breakfast. We then took our first halt near Chandrabhaga beach to have a cup of tea. We also took some parting shots.

We resumed our journey at around 7 am from there. We planned to have breakfast somewhere along NH-5. However, it turned out to be rather tricky to locate a suitable hotel along the way. At around 9:15 am, we could find a sign called "Hotel Mid East" near Chandikhole crossing. It was located along the opposite carriageway. So after parking our cars, we had to cross the road to reach the hotel. It had clean toilet and the food were delicious.

We reached ODTC Panchalingeswar at around 12:10 pm. At the checking counter itself, we gave our order for lunch. The choices were limited and they were rather simple. However, the food turned out to be amazingly tasty. In fact, there we had the most delicious food of the entire trip.

Narrow road leading to Panchalingeswar
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-p3.jpg

At OTDC Panchalingeswar
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5677.jpg

A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5693.jpg

Approach to Panchalingeswar temple
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Simple yet delicious food at last ...
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-img_5680.jpg

Day's Summary:

Distance Driven: 277 KM
Route Taken: Konark, Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Panchalingeswar

Route Map for the Day 5
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Old 3rd January 2016, 11:05   #11
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Day 6: Drive from Panchalingeswar to Kalyani

Finally the day had arrived. We were supposed to drive back home. Ananda and Sakuntala would stay back there for another night. While loading our luggage, the rear-right tire of our car looked a bit under-inflated to me than usual. I asked Ananda about it and he agreed with me. However, it was not fully flat either. So we planned to top-up the air pressure in the first available shop on our way.

It was the morning after Dussehra festival and the road appeared mostly empty. We drove for more than an hour since morning but we could not find a single road-side tire-repairing shop which was open. The stretch of NH-60 between Balasore and Kharagpur was mostly deserted anyway. I was getting bit worried about the possibility of having to change the tire in the middle of nowhere with having wife and daughter on-board.

Having driven close to 50 KM since morning, we could finally find a small tire-repairing shop which was open. A boy was standing next to it. I asked him whether he could fill the air. He answered in affirmative. He brought the pressure-gauge and started checking the air-pressure of the front tire. It was 30 psi. I was about to tell him to make it 32. However, suddenly I stopped and asked him to check the pressure in the rear-right tire first. When I enquired him about the reading, he told me that it was 14. I asked him again and he confirmed that it was indeed 14 psi I was bit shocked but anyway asked him to make it 30 psi. He also checked the other tires which were already at 30. He charged me just 5 rupees for everything.

I was feeling relaxed a bit but not entirely. Anyway, we resumed our onward journey from there. Jaleswar border crossing turned out to be rather smooth affair this time. We crossed Kharagpur at around 10:15 am and decided to take a small break at a tea-shop. I checked the tire again which looked alright to me. Next we stopped at Sher-e-Punjub dhaba to have an early lunch. We reached home at around 1:20 pm. However, I was still uneasy about the tire episode.

So I decided to re-check the tire in the afternoon and then I was able to locate a big nail which was embedded in the thread. Almost immediately, I took the car to a nearby tire-repairing shop. In less than 10 minutes, the nail was pulled out from the tire and the puncture was plugged-in with a tubeless tire-repairing kit. It cost me 60 rupees. At the end I was happy for being able to reach at a logical conclusion regarding loss of tire-pressure.

I was thinking of buying a portable tire-inflator for quite sometime. This incident gave me the final kick. After reading various reviews at Team-BHP, I ordered a RESQTech tire-inflator through Amazon which was delivered within a week. I have been happily using it for last two months. Let it be the end of our travelogue, good bye!

Day's Summary:

Distance Driven: 322 KM
Route Taken: Panchalingeswar, Balasore, Kharagpur, Birati, Kalyani

Route Map for the Day 6
A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more-panchalingeswarkalyani.png

Overall Trip Summary:

Duration: 5 Nights and 6 Days
Total distance driven: 1439 KMs
Petrol Consumed (approx): 72 Litres
Fuel efficiency (with AC mostly on): 19.9 KM/L

Overall Expenditures:

Petrol cost: ₹ 4426
Toll Tax: ₹ 1354
Accommodation (5N at OTDC: 4 AC and 1 Non-AC): ₹ 6197
Total expenditures (including food and misc; approx): ₹ 17000

Last edited by Aditya : 4th January 2016 at 10:45. Reason: Spacing
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Old 4th January 2016, 10:44   #12
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 4th January 2016, 14:21   #13
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Default Re: A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more

Dear Hossain Babu,

Hello and New Year Greetings and Best Wishes. An Excellent writeup, complete with great storytelling pictures ! Great Mileage ! The Toll was Killing, though ! Not much about food exploration, which was expected in Orissa, being a paradise for seafood, at great rates.

One Observation; Bengal resorts, private or otherwise wears a look of "Lut gai, Barbaaad Ho Gai" as if some barbarians or 'Borgis' have invaded them; in comparison to the government owned and run tourist resorts of Oddisha Government ! A real Shame to Mamatas government.

I always wanted to make this road trip, and had indeed, planned for umpteen times; and then discarded them, due to the fear of finding, dry non working tourist resorts like ours, in west bengal ! NOW; Your writeup has actually made my desire to go to these places, totally defunct !

No point in going now. I had seen them all, through YOUR EYES !

Looking forward for more such elaborate writups.

Regards

Dr. sen
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Old 4th January 2016, 19:13   #14
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Default Re: A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more

Wow! Nice travelogue and the pictures are also good! Well, the Puri-Konarok marine drive seems very scary at night!
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Old 5th January 2016, 10:53   #15
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Default Re: A week in Odisha: Konark, Nandankanan, Panchalingeswar and a bit more

Nicely Written Travelogue..Though my parents are from Balasore, i never spent too much time there as i was born and brought up outside. These lovely pictures did kindle a longing to visit these lovely places. I would appreciate your honest feedback about the quality of the food and lodgings in OTDC.
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