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Old 1st November 2018, 22:05   #1
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Default Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend

There are quite a few travelogues on Puri penned by distinguished Team-BHPians already. These, specially the ones by distinguished Bhpian Samba
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...-page-2-a.html (Phailin (Cyclone) affected Puri-Satpara-Konark. In a Toyota Etios EDIT : Updates on Page 2) and AJ-got-BHP's https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...i-kolkata.html (The Call of Lord Jagannath: Weekend Getaway to Puri from Kolkata) had been read and re-read by me multiple times in the last few years. I had done weekend trips to Mandarmoni, Tajpur, Digha, Bakkhali and Ajodhya hills a number of times in the last few years. A trip to Puri was the next level for me (newbie by all standards).

Prelude:

As rightly said by Samba in his travelogue, the end of Durga puja brings sadness in the hearts of Bengalis all over the world and no better way to overcome this than by a road trip. In my case, however the trip was totally an unplanned one till almost the eleventh hour. Though deep down in my heart I was desperate to hit the road, no concrete plan could be arrived at due to commitments in office.

On 25th October (Laxmi Puja day) i finally hatched the plan for a trip to Puri sitting at my desk in office. Reached home and sheepishly put the idea across to my better half and my 11 year old daughter. They had travelled by road for 350 odd kms max in a single day in our last trip to Ajodhya hills. Puri had been reached always by train in the past. So i was apprehensive whether i would get a nod of approval. But, to my utter surprise it was a resounding YES from both . Without wasting any further time i booked the hotel online. We were set for a Saturday (27th October) departure and to return on 31st October, a total of 4 nights and 5 days.Next day(Friday) arranged leaves from office, tanked up the car and did the packing at night.Set the alarm at 3am for saturday and went off to bed after an early dinner. As the alarm rang at 3 am i got up and had a nice shower, had a hot cup of tea. I had planned for a 4 am start, but as always could not leave home at Lake Gardens before 4.30am. Soon got stuck at Santragachi behind long queue of trucks. A full 1.5 hours got wasted. While crossing the bridge, I noticed only one side was being allowed to cross at a time. Is it to reduce the load on the bridge? I pondered as I drove along. Breakfast was at the usual stoppage at Azad hind dhaba near Uluberia. From there i drove without any break till Basta near Balasore.

Last edited by Aditya : 11th November 2018 at 16:45. Reason: Fixed URL tags, spacing
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Old 1st November 2018, 23:53   #2
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Teaser Picture
Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend-teaser.jpg
Prelude:

At a wayside hotel near Basta, Balasore

Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend-tea-break.jpg

Selfie break
Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend-beak-balasore.jpg

Soon crossed Bhadrak and Cuttack came up around noon. Drove at a sedate speed and enjoyed the views as we neared Cuttack. Small hills in the horizon kept company till Cuttack .This was indeed a very beautiful stretch. Crossed the long Mahanadi bridge and the town of Cuttack.
Here after crossing Cuttack, i was aware of a bypass that would take us to Puri. But unfortunately failed to find it and the gps kept pointing to the route through Bhubaneswar. Here, i took a wrong left turn thinking it to be the short cut to Puri. This led me onto a road which goes through Gop. When i realised the mistake it was too late. It was well passed lunchtime and we were hungry. Pulled over at a road side eatery and ordered our lunch. Post lunch resumed our journey through the small single lane village road.
After crossing Gop stopped to ask for direction as gps had gone beserk and hinting a u turn every now and then. Asked a local auto driver and he gave us the direction to head straight from Gop. After and endless journey as it seemed, we reached a junction from where left would take us to Konark and right to Puri. Finally reached the hotel parking at 4.15 pm after the goof up.Trip meter showed 530km . I knew i had taken a much longer route :banghead:
View of beach front from the hotel balcony.Notice my blue steed parked below.

Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend-hotel-parking.jpg

Hotel East west
Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend-hotel-east-west.jpg
Freshened up and headed straight for the beach. We had our booking at Hotel East West which was at Baliapanda that is at the fag end of the beach road. Here the beach was clean and not crowded .

The cool water lapping at the feet, blew away the stress of the drive
Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend-beach-puri-1.jpg

The beach was clean and less crowded
Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend-beach-puri-2.jpg

Took early dinner that evening and crashed into the bed.

Day 2( 28.10.2018) Sunday
My wife made suprise calls to her school friend who stays in Bhubaneswar and they agreed to pay us a visit. We had a great time at the beach frolicking in the waves and then drove down to Chang wa for a chinese lunch.

Beach Frolic
Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend-beach-frolick.jpg

After a hearty lunch a Chang wa
Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend-chang-wa.jpg

This places arguably serves the best Chinese in Puri. After a wonderful afternoon together our friends left and we took some rest in our hotel room. After sun down drove down to Swargadwar for a stroll on the beach and tried the must have sweet Madanmohan . This part of the beach was super crowded with stalls and people. After spending an hour or two we retired for the day to our hotel.

Day 3 (29.10.2018) Monday
This day was kept specifically for visiting the Jagannath temple. So we got up, took a shower and waited for the priest or panda to arrive to take us to the temple. Took us close to 3 hours to complete the darshan as there was huge rush inside the temple. After returning, we relaxed ourselves at the hotel swimming pool .

Cooling off on a warm afternoon
Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend-pool.jpg

In the evening we strolled on the beach and chatted and took my daughter for a camel ride. Had dinner outside and returned to the hotel by 9 PM.

Day 4 (30.10.2018)Tuesday

This was the day i had been waiting for. I was to drive from Puri to Konark. I had been on this road twice before and had promised to myself to come back and drive my own car here, arguably one of the best coastal roads in India. After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel we started from Puri at 10 AM. My aim was to thoroughly enjoy the drive, so drove at a very sedate pace all through. Butter smooth roads and views to die for was what awaited us.

One of the most scenic roads in India
Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend-puri-konark-drive.jpg

The steed in all its glory
Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend-ertiga.jpg

Views are superb
Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend-marine-drive-3.jpg

Doesnt she look gorgeous?
Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend-marine-drive4.jpg

Took frequent breaks and took pictures of the road and sucked in the freshness of the morning around us. It was a relaxed drive with no time limit set. Reached Konark at 11.45 am and took the services of a ASI guide for a one hour tour. I had been to Konark twice before but each time i took a guide. The weather was not the usual humid one but windy and a tad cloudy. Being holiday season here in West Bengal with schools still closed, the temple premises were a bit too crowded. But we enjoyed the tour, with the guide giving us lots of information.

Next we went to the museum that has been newly opened opposite to the temple gates. Its a project sponsored by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. It houses replicas of most statues that have been either destroyed of semi weathered over time. The 3 main idols of Suryadev which are mounted on the temple walls can be seen here in original state of glory. There are 3 halls or galleries and an auditorium that has an audio visual show. We were quite impressed by what we saw. Ticket prices are quite reasonable for a fully airconditioned museum.
By the time we finished viewing we were hungry and it was lunch time. So we headed to OTDC yatri niwas for lunch. We always had lunch here on earlier occations also and quite like the place for the cleanliness and food. Post lunch we headed to the Chandrabhaga beach. We were a bit disappointed to see the beach littered with thermocol pieces. Took an ATV ride with my daughter and then just sat and gazed at the open sea sipping coconut water. Soon it was time to head back to Puri.

ATV ride
Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend-atv.jpg

We were at the hotel parking by 4.30 PM and took some rest thereafter. My wife and daughter left for some shopping while i took a nap till evening. "Today is the last night in Puri. Tomorrow we would head home after breakfast", i pondered as i gazed at the vast open sea shimmering in the setting sun light. So quickly our tour is coming to an end i thought.

Day 5 (31.10.2018) Wednesday

We left Puri after breakfast at 10 AM. Return journey was uneventful. This time i took the correct route via Sakhhigopal Pipli and crossed cuttack by 11 AM. Fantastic 4 to 6 lane highway helped us maintain good speeds althrough. Reached Bhadrak at 2PM and had lunch at Hotel Orion. Indeed a very good hotel (Thank Samba for discovering this). Even the wash rooms were quite clean. Food was good and quite reasonably priced. Left Bhadrak at 3Pm. Next stop was Kolaghat Express Dhaba at 6Pm. Had sandwitches and strong coffee. Toilet at Express dhaba were as usually unclean and smelly. Rest of the journey was uneventful. Fortunately we faced no traffic jam at Santragachi bridge. Reached Home at 9.15 PM. Drove all through at a sedate pace never crossing the triple digit mark.

This being my first step at writing a travelogue, i am sure it would be sub par as per the high standards set by distinguished BHPians. But one is still learning . Pictures were taken on mine and my wifes Samsung J7 phone cameras, again are strictly average and nothing to write home about. The Ertiga performed flawlessly and offered a mileage of close to 15 with AC on at all times. I was quite happy with the comfort of this car as i had very little fatigue at the end of the tour. Signing off for now.

Last edited by Aditya : 11th November 2018 at 16:47. Reason: Removing double content which was there in the 1st post :), inserting attachments
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Old 8th November 2018, 07:42   #3
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Default Re: Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 8th November 2018, 13:51   #4
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Default Re: Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend

Loved your travelogue Supratim-da. Sweet and crisp writing. Definitely does not look like its written by a first timer . There is a certain a lot of "life" in your photos.

Let us catch up over a cuppa sometimes.

Regards,
Sayak
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Old 8th November 2018, 16:59   #5
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Loved your travelogue Supratim-da. Sweet and crisp writing. Definitely does not look like its written by a first timer . There is a certain a lot of "life" in your photos.
Thanks a ton Sayak. Actually it is travelogues such as yours which gave the inspiration to write one myself. I am glad you liked them. Yes, a cuppa is long overdue.

Last edited by ampere : 8th November 2018 at 17:40. Reason: compacted quoted post
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Old 8th November 2018, 18:51   #6
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Default Re: Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend

Congrats on your first big road trip and your first travelogue in Team Bhp. Now as you got addicted to both of these, i hope the next travelogue will come up very soon!

Great lively pics and Puri is a place which is very close to every Bengali's heart. By reading your travelogue, i feel like visiting Puri yet again. Its one of my favorite place too.


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Let us catch up over a cuppa sometimes.
Wont mind joining both of you.

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Old 8th November 2018, 20:18   #7
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Congrats on your first big road trip and your first travelogue in Team Bhp. Now as you got addicted to both of these, i hope the next travelogue will come up very soon!
Samba I am a big fan of your travelogues. I have followed each and every one of your fabulous travelogues. I have read and re read them and almost memorised parts of each . Its a great honour to share a forum with distinguished TBHPians such as yourself. Look forward to meeting you in person. Your good friend and travel partner Avrendu is also a family friend of ours. I am glad that you liked my write up. It took a long time for me to drum up the confidence to write my own and share it with learned and avid travellers like you all. So your appreciation means a lot to me.Cheers

Last edited by ampere : 8th November 2018 at 20:29. Reason: Compacted quoted post
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Old 8th November 2018, 22:01   #8
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Sure sir! You are most cordially invited to the *proposed* tea party.
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Wont mind joining both of you.
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Old 9th November 2018, 10:12   #9
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Default Re: Puri and Konark visited over an extended weekend

Nicely written travelogue Safedriver76.

I visited Orissa 14 years back with my family. The trip was organised by OTDC.

I remember that I did not enjoy Puri Jagannadh Temple. But I hear that the place has improved now and is worth a visit. As you said, the drive from Puri to Konark is one of the most scenic coastal roads. It is one of the most memorable parts of our trip.

I hope one day I do return to the place and drive down that road.

Thanks for sharing your adventures with us.
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Old 9th November 2018, 10:54   #10
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Nicely written travelogue Safedriver76.

I visited Orissa 14 years back with my family. The trip was organised by OTDC.

I remember that I did not enjoy Puri Jagannadh Temple. But I hear that the place has improved now and is worth a visit. As you said, the drive from Puri to Konark is one of the most scenic coastal roads. It is one of the most memorable parts of our trip.

I hope one day I do return to the place and drive down that road.

Thanks for sharing your adventures with us.
Hi ChiragM,

I noticed big change in Jagannath Temple this time. Last time i visited the temple (in 2016) we were allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum and were able to touch the Lords feet. But this time all darshan was restricted from the hallway area. On asking the priest we came to know that this system has been introduced for the last 1.5 years. However the premises were clean. We witnessed large crowd inside the temple as november is a holy month for the people of Odhisha. It took us close to 3 hours to complete the darshan.
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Old 29th November 2018, 11:03   #11
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Wonderful TL dada, loved the photographs. I guess this is just the beginning of more fantastic long drives and wonderful travelogues.

Cheers.
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Old 29th November 2018, 11:32   #12
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Wonderful TL dada, loved the photographs. I guess this is just the beginning of more fantastic long drives and wonderful travelogues.

Cheers.
Thank you Red Panda for patiently reading my travelogue. This being my first one, there were certain lapses. Hope to improve on it going forward. Hope your travelogue on Meghalaya comes out soon.
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Old 29th November 2018, 12:39   #13
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Here after crossing Cuttack, i was aware of a bypass that would take us to Puri. But unfortunately failed to find it and the gps kept pointing to the route through Bhubaneswar. Here, i took a wrong left turn thinking it to be the short cut to Puri.

Excellent thread Safedriver.



What you did is turned a bit early at Phulnakhra towards the old SH. You should have continued further and just a couple of KM before Rasulgarh, you would have found the bypass. Nevertheless, you must have found pretty much scenic road in that SH. You could have continued further in that road to reach Konark. And did I mention, Gop is famous for Chena (cottage cheese) based sweets.


My maternal uncle' place is Puri and there has been a very long time since I have stayed in Puri for a night. Your travelogue brought back nostalgia. Thank you for this beautiful write up.
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Old 29th November 2018, 14:10   #14
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Excellent thread Safedriver.



What you did is turned a bit early at Phulnakhra towards the old SH. You should have continued further and just a couple of KM before Rasulgarh, you would have found the bypass. Nevertheless, you must have found pretty much scenic road in that SH. You could have continued further in that road to reach Konark. And did I mention, Gop is famous for Chena (cottage cheese) based sweets.
Thanks PetrolRider, for the pointers on direction towards Puri from Cuttack. Shall keep your words in mind while going there the next time by road. The road via Gop meets at a junction from where left goes to Konark as you said. Puri chena based sweets aka Madanmohan is a delicacy to me. Known for having a sweet tooth, i never miss apon an opportunity to gorge on them every single day of my stay there.
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Old 5th December 2018, 08:32   #15
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... This being my first step at writing a travelogue, i am sure it would be sub par ...
Welcome! It was charming to read your first travelogue and thanks for taking this first step. Drive safe and write more travelogues!
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