My travel across all of India has taught me one thing that the easterners are the most fanatic when it comes to religion.
Most of all when I visited Orrisa,(Odisha now) the soul of Incredible India 12 years ago. It was an era where albums were more in fashion than the digital photos that are directly stored in the electronic devices so pardon the quality of the images.
It took us a 23 hours long train journey from Delhi to reach Bhubaneshwar, the land of the temples.
We stayed the night in Bhubaneshwar before heading to first of the four dhams that I had undertaken- Jagannath Puri. Puri is 69 kms from Bhubaneshwar.
To read more on my char dham yatra, click here.
Puri is the eastern dham, main temple here is about 1000 years old and constructed by Raja Choda Ganga Deva and Raja Tritiya Ananga Bhima Deva. You could witness Brahma, Vishnu & Maheswara, the three together in one frame . The main attraction is the event in which the locals celebrate a special day in this Dham known as Ratha Yatra. ("Chariot Festival")
The best part of the visit was my mother and me being able to do a parikrama(round about) of the deity's statue, a very holy event for the Hindus.
But that is not all there is to Puri, it has one of the most beautiful and cleanest beaches in all of India. Nights were usually at 6 pm and no one could be seen on the beaches after that. Bay of bengal is certainly the more treacherous of the two seas of India. It was not a long time ago before our visit that a cyclone had hit Orrisa(now Odisha) which got us in the dilemma whether to cancel our trip or not.
I am a wildlife fanatic and so is my family; always have been and always will be. So,it didn't come as any surprise that we made a visit to watch the dolphins.
Unfortunately, we couldn't see a lot of dolphins there were only glimpses but the experience was absolutely incredible.
One of the most renowned temples in India is the Konark Temple, this Unesco World Heritage Sight baths in the rays of the rising sun.
The Konark Temple depicts a monumental representation of the sun god's Surya's chariot; it's six wheels are decorated with symbolic designs and it is lead by a team of six horses.
We made a night visit to the beach and headed to Bhubaneshwar early morning to catch our evening train to Delhi.
In the limited time we had in Bhubaneshwar we made a visit to the Nandankanan zoo. Till date, it remains to be the best one I have seen.
It is one of the best in India in terms of caring for the animals, recording one of the lowest death rates in India
It is also one of the most visited recording 2 million visitors every year.
Everything crawling might bring chills to people's hearts but they fascinate me. So, my judgement of a good zoo also rests on how the reptile house is. If I chose one word to describe it, mesmerising is the word I would use.
12 years have gone by and I have travelled so much in these 12 years; still this trip remains close to my heart. Nostalgia was the one thing I felt many a time writing about this trip and this won't be the last time I make a visit to this beauty.