Travelogue - Ouster to Orissa


First of all thank you Panda, not for getting married but for making us plan a trip out of the blue. Orissa was never in my checklist for the year. Further I had just returned from Palakkad, the weekend before. Even worse I was to travel on my birthday. But it was all worth it. One of my friends said when cutting a cake in train, "For a person who likes to travel, he is cutting a cake in train." But as usual when I said that you didn't wish me, you were like, "Ahnnn June 4 Environment Day" (which itself was wrong) and giving me your Mehandi hand to shake hand. Seriously?

Photo of Travelogue - Ouster to Orissa 1/1 by Vikram Mn

But still I don't know what sort of drug was induced in you to make you fair and glow. The head scratching, here and there walking, meditating in public, loading icons in desktop Sushrita was never this pretty. Enough of telling good things about you. Let's come to the travelogue.

It was just a two day plan. One day in Behrampur and another day in Puri.

Day 1 - Behrampur and Gopalpur Beach

Most part of day went in attending marriage celebrations. For some strange reason my parents, in fact all parents get really curious when someone is getting married. I told you a lot of times Sushrita. If you just say a word my family would accompany me. They are as hopeless as I am. But you did the mistake and we all were there.

The hotel room was great. It felt different to be in a good room after a lot of time. A room which would cost more than my entire trip expense. But felt very comfortable. I don't know how we would have survived there without AC. This was the first place which I felt to be more humid than Chennai. But thanks to the lady luck. We were garnered with showers here and there. So we were saved.

Once the marriage got over we were advised to go to Gopalpur beach. It was a kind of different beach where you need to walk down the stairs to reach the shore. Being in Chennai any beach wouldn't look magnanimous like Marina. But thanks to the nice weather the beach was awesome. The ride to beach was fabulous. Bad that we had heavy lunch that day and I lost my lens cap. Otherwise I would have been in a better mood to enjoy beach. But the beach did change my mood.

Have to tell about street food. The flavor of the place can be identified by the street food joints in the place. The previous day we had just the Pani Puri. But just is an understatement. You need to know how to hold the twisted leaf plate he gives otherwise it'd be a mess. Every place has its own variety of pani puri. This by far for me was the best. Especially the free puri at the end.

After beach we had Mutton Sheekh Kebab for 20 rupees, on a better day I'd have feasted on that. Chicken sheek kebab was for 10 rupees. Add to it 5 rupees flavored soda. My day was made. We came back to Behrampur and tried out the vada, pakoda stall which my dad found out the previous day. One plate of Sambar Vada and mixture of mirch pakoda, dal vada etc was too heavy for us, that we were left for gasping.

But the best thing about that day was we ended up with milk for 10 rupees. Whenever I don't have milk at the end of the day I feel as if something has gone wrong in my system. Good that I had milk, so slept peacefully. Escaped from the bed bugs or whatever that was, which didn't let me sleep the previous day.

Day 2 - Puri and Konark

I actually told about this Orissa plan to my parents because of Puri Jagannath temple. I was under a self-imposed obligation that I should take them there. So there we were. Our train was at 5'o clock from Behrampur. When we asked the receptionist whether we'd get auto at that time he said quite nonchalantly, "mil jayeaga" (You'll get it). But when we came out at 4.30 that day morning there wasn't an auto to be seen. Luckily an auto with two passengers passed, who asked us whether it is okay for us to share with them. We were more than okay.

Auto from railway station to the hotel cost us 70 rupees but the auto to station at 4.30 in the morning cost us only 50 rupees as there were couple of other passengers who shared the remaining amount. The auto guy too was very helpful, telling us there would be a train to Puri at this time. He wasn't aware that we had booked tickets.

The train was half an hour late. I used the time judiciously by reading a Murakami short that I got from someone. I of course didn't understand what it was trying to say. As soon as I finished the story I slept and got up only at Puri junction.

It was hot like hell at 10 AM. Thank god dad's friend was there with AC car. Otherwise it'd have been horrible to go around in public transport. We had idly, aloo, chenna and vada in the morning. I found it out to be fabulous but others didn't. Our total family breakfast was for 55 rupees. I feel happy when things like these happen.

After getting freshened up we went to Puri. It was the most pathetic temple I've ever been too where priests literally pull money from our hand. When we were giving 10, 20 rupees for darshan, the priest wasn't accepting anything below 100.

We went to the huge cooking room where they cook with one center flame. But that again, before giving it for free, they sell as much as possible. Horrible place. Add to it, the heat was taking its toll on us.

After having thali lunch we relaxed for an hour and got ready to go to a Buddhist temple and Konark on the way to Bhubaneshwar, from where we would be catching our train. The road from Puri to Konark was fabulous. Called Marine Drive, the shady roads which thanks to the weather was even better with winds and twilight. Driving would have been awesome there. Both bike and car.

Having heard much about Konark temple from a friend of mine, I was skeptical to step into it. But much of the sex positions was either depleted or wasn't understandable in one glance. I wonder what the guide would have told about the sculptures. But I overheard one guide telling that, "What we really think about Konark is not what it really is." My conscience doesn't let me have a guide. I feel cheated. But to know better I have to start hiring a guide.

Konark was fabulous, the brown sculptures with green background, twilight. It was a photographer's delight. Great place to shoot song sequence. It'd have been great it no one had been there. Photos would have come out really well.

As we wasted too much time in Konark we couldn't cover the Buddhist temple. We had to go to Bhubaneswar, have dinner there and start to catch train. Coramandel express was said to be best by couple of my friends but it was crowded like hell with open ticket people. When you travel in the east coast most of the people are workers. You feel pity for them but you can't help. You have to have your seat. In a way everything is an experience.