Konark Sun Temple
he major attraction of the town of Konark, this temple is a stunning example of ancient Odisha Temple architecture. The temple was built in the 13th Century during the reign of King Narasimhavarmana I. Samba, the son of Lord Krishna was cursed by him and this made him a victim of leprosy. After this he started practising strict penace and at the end of this he attained the blessings of the Sun God. Lord Surya is the one who is said to have powers of curing all sorts of sking diseases and so did he cure Samba. As a mark of his gratitude and devotion he built the Konark Sun Temple. Next day when he was taking a bath in the waters of Chandrabhaga, a picture of Lord Surya floated to his hands and he took it as an instruction of the Lord. He immediately placed this image in the temple he had built. The temple is huge and is in the form of a chariot which has 12 wheels and being driven by 7 horses. The idol of the Sun God is in a standing posture and the horses are shown carrying him across the heavens. The temple was also called as the 'Black Pagoda' by the British because it was built completely of black granite.
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.
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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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.