How DID we end up with this plan?! It's still not very clear. I had always wanted to visit Konark. I guess my love for the place began after watching the Malayalam movie "Neelakasham Pachakadal Chevvanabhoomi" (NPCB). But this was happening. This was September 2016. So we had booked the flight tickets. But the package was not confirmed yet. We had been in touch with OTDC- Odisha Tourism Development Corporation. As soon as we received the mail from them- confirming the itinerary- it became real! We were going to Odisha! Our first stop was Bhubaneshwar. But actually it was this very short stop. We had our lunch at "Panthanivas, Bhubaneshwar" and we were off to Dhauli.
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The largest brackish water lagoon of Asia, the Chilika Lake is an awesome place to visit when you are in Odisha. It stretches from Bhusandpur in the Puri District till the Ganjan District and comprises of a beautiful wetland. There are a number of islands here and these are places till where you can enjoy boating and also spend a peaceful and exotic weekend on one of these. The islands include the Nalabana, Kalijal, Honeymoon, Breakfast, Somolo and Rajahansa. The wetland is also a bird- watcher's heaven where thousands of migratory birds, especially flamingoes come here and are a visual treat completely. The Kalijai Temple on the Kalijal island is a popular attraction here where the Goddess Kalijai is worshipped. She is a local deity and Makar Sankranti is celebrated here with great pomp.
Mainly known as a pilgrim's beach, this is also the place which attracts thousands of tourists from around the world. The ones who come to pay homage to Lord Jagannatha make sure to take a dip in the waters of the Puri Beach. Talking from a traveller's point of view, the views of the sunrise and sunset are awesome here. The relaxed and calm atmosphere of the beach is soothing during a vacation and the sand art displayed especially by internationally acclaimed Sudarshan Pattanaik are a visual treat. There are also a number of shacks here selling fast food and other small items here and there. For a quieter experience you should move towards the eastern end of the beach and just sit there and watch the fishermen at work. High tides are a common trait of this beah so be careful to follow the rules guided to you.
The restaurant lives up to its name and it is for sure a place to dine- out for peace loving people. This restaurant is on the CT Road of Puri and serves everything from breakfast to lunch and dinner at pocket friendly rates. The foreigners are very fond of this place mainly because they serve non- spicy yet tasty food. The muesli breakfast is a must try for a fresh start to the day.
The name of the place justifies its beauty. In Hindi, Swargadwar means gate to heaven, though significant because of the cremation ground present just behind to beach, the main attraction is the Beach. Stretched alongside the main road, the beach is a huge part of Puri's main culture. Also, praised for hosting beach festival every year in December. It is not only beautiful because of its nature, it is beautiful because of the art shown by local residents on the sand by making beautiful sand sculptures. ranging from face of goddess Durga to face of Subhash Chandra Bose
Sambalpur also boasts of the Hirakud dam, the world’s longest dam across the Mahanadi river. There is minaret called Gandi Minar atop which one can enjoy the vast expanse of Hirakud dam with the calm, serene nature all around. It provides a wonderful view and, you can feel oneness with the nature.Both the cities, Rourkela and Sambalpur have retained their natural aura in spite of being industrial towns. You can experience a perfect symbiosis of nature and industry here.
Nandankanan Zoological Park
The name of this park means the garden of the heavens. This has been declared as a sanctuary and is spread over the Chandaka Forest. The Kanjia Lake is also a part of this park. This park and sanctuary is mainly known for the variety of tigers here, especially the Royal Bengal Tiger and the white tigers. wildlife safaris are the main attractions here and guides and proper security facilities are also available to take care of all the tourists.