I was fortunate enough to have convinced my boss about a mid-week leave from Wednesday to Friday for a short trip (yes we’re frank with him about going on trips and all) after a successful presentation. So I called up some of my buddies and we decided to fly to Bhubaneswar post which we would take a cab to Puri, the popular seaside town that promises loads of fun! We were all extremely relaxed what with the amazing mid-week trip that none of us expected and an entire weekend to relax after getting back (that’s also an incentive at times!).
If you haven’t been to the Konark Sun Temple yet, you’ve definitely missed one of life’s greatest pleasures truly! On the day we reached, all we could do was hit Puri Beach and we enjoyed to the hilt, frolicking in the waves and downing some lip-smacking fried fish at night with cool beverages. The next day, we set out for the Konark Temple which literally blew our minds!
Enjoying the visit to the Konark Temple
The Sun Temple in Konark is truly an architectural wonder and also a scientific storehouse of innovation. It holds several secrets as we learnt. The Konark sun temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site and we were stunned to know from our guide that the original Vimana or Deula was 228 feet tall. The sculptures proved to be a historical and aesthetic delight and so were all the mysteries.
The sun idol here used to be suspended in mid-air since magnets were used for construction. However, the mystery was unravelled one day after several years and the idol was removed since it was believed that the creation of this magnetic field impacted those sailors using compasses to navigate the waters. The main chamber has now been sealed but we loved the craftsmanship all around, the figures, the dining hall and open air dance hall. We also got our photograph taken by a local photographer and trust us, the vintage feel was worth it!
5 Most Places to Visit in Puri
- Jagannath Temple
- Gundicha Temple
- Balighai Beach
- Sudarshan Craft Museum
- Chilika Lake
Apart from the fascinating Puri Beach itself, which will give you the fun of romping about in the clean waters and also a serene ambience, there are several other places to visit in Puri. Here are some which we liked:
1. Jagannath Temple-
A visit to Puri without a visit to the iconic Jagannath Temple is inconceivable. We were awestruck by this highly revered site which draws huge crowds of worshippers throughout the day. The temple has some really good carvings and you will love glancing at the Nila Chakra on the top of the temple. There are four chambers inside, namely the Jagamohana, Nata-mandir and also the Bhogmandir along with the Deul/sanctum. Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra are worshipped here. There is a Lakshmi Temple inside the complex as well along with a Vimala Temple.
2. Gundicha Temple
Another famous landmark worth visiting, you will love the Gundicha Temple which is one of the most revered Hindu temples built by Gundicha Maharani, the Queen of the King Indradyumna who founded the main Jagannath Temple. This temple is located adjacent to the same and is called the aunt’s house since during Rath Yatra, the Lord is shifted here for a period of 7 days.
3. Balighai Beach
We wanted to go to a beach that was less crowded and more pristine and hence Balighai Beach. This is a lovely beach that is relatively untapped by crowds and the sunset here was mind-blowing to say the least. We missed out on the Olive Ridley Turtles who come to this beach only in the winter months for laying eggs, strengthening our resolve to come back another time.
4. Sudarshan Craft Museum
This museum was founded by Sudarshan Sahoo in the year 1977 and showcases a fabulous collection of artwork from him including stone and wood carvings, fibre glass products, paintings and other handicrafts. There is a Buddhist temple inside along with a workshop and library. It was a fascinating visit since I personally love art.
5. Chilika Lake
The biggest coastal lagoon in the country beckoned us on the second day of our trip and we gave in! The lake is breath-taking with multiple smaller islands and the charmingly named Honeymoon and Breakfast If you’re lucky, you will spot several migratory and rare birds here. Being overwhelmed by the beauty on offer, we went click-click for a very long time indeed! One of my friends was lucky enough to spot the Irrawaddy dolphin as well! Talk about good luck!
All in all, we enjoyed our Puri trip and of course, the Sun Temple at Konark was a major attraction for us as well. The remainder of the trip was made memorable by the cool breeze, the splashing waves, the jolly locals and of course, the delicious local cuisine!
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