Trip Duration – Dec 9, 2018
For next day, we booked a taxi in the evening to take us to Konark Temple, Bhuwneshwar and Chandra bhaga beach etc.
Sand Art, beach & other temples on the way
We started at 06:00 AM next morning for Konark, Bhuwneshar trip. On the way we visited “Sand Art” museum. It was good place and clicked some good snaps there.
Then we headed towards Chandra Bhaga beach. The beach is clean but due to high tide, entering in to water is not permitted. People just enjoy the beach by standing over there.
Then we visited Rama Chandi temple which is small and peaceful temple of goddess Maya devi, wife of Sun God Surya.
We drank tasty and fresh coconut water there. We reached Konark temple & spend around 2 hours there.
Heritage Konark Temple
An Architecture Marvel of Eastern India and A symbol of India’s heritage, Konark Sun Temple, houses a massive temple dedicated to the Sun God. The word ‘Konark’ is a combination of two words ‘Kona’ and ‘Arka’. ‘Kona’ means ‘Corner’ and ‘Arka’ means ‘Sun’, so when combines it becomes ‘Sun of the Corner’. Konark is also known as Arka khetra. There arethree images of the Sun God at three different sides of the temple, positioned in proper direction to catch the rays of the sun at morning, noon and evening.
Sun Temple of Konark, built in the middle of 13th century, is a massive conception of artistic magnificence and engineering dexterity. King Narasimhadeva, the great ruler of the Ganga dynasty had built this temple, with the help of 1200 artisans within a period of 12 years (1243-1255 A.D.). Since the ruler used to worship the Sun, the temple was considered as a chariot for the Sun God. Konark Temple was designed in the form of a gorgeously decorated chariot mounted on 24 wheels, each about 10 feet in diameter, and drawn by 7 mighty horses. It is really difficult to understand, how this huge temple, every inch-space of which was so wonderfully carved, could have been completed within such a short time. Whatever that might be, the konark temple even in its present ruined state, still a wonder to the whole world. Great poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote of Konark: “here the language of stone surpasses the language of man.”
If you are visiting to Orissa, then you should keep “Konark Temple” in your must-to -do list. Take guide otherwise it is just like another fort. The guide will explain you every bit of this historic place. The guide charges are not high and will cost you Rs 150/- which is worth its wealth of knowledge. In the evening from 06:40 PM to 07:40 PM, you can enjoy musical show which is worth to watch.
We clicked many memorable photographs there. We came out and ate some snacks and had our breakfast and enjoyed fresh coconut water again.
Temples and Zoo in Bhuwneshar
Next on itinerary was Bhuwveshwar. We told our driver that we will have lunch after Lingaraj temple visit so he straight forward drove us towards Bhuwneshwar and stopped at Dhauli Peace pagoda which is located on a hill. At this place king Ashoka adopted Buddhism. It took only half an hour. Very peaceful place and not many people were there. Then we reached Lingaraj temple. Left all our belongings in taxi and proceeded to have darshan. The temple structure is around 1000 years old.
Here the Lingam has been believed to have originiated on its own (Syambhoo). Hari (Lord Vishnu) Har (Lord Shiva) temple depicts rich culture of India and is built in kalinga style. Inside the temple premises a large number of shrines of several Gods and Goddess are there. We had darshan of all 50 shrines which are there and sat there for some time and did meditation. We also offered water & milk on the Lingam made of Granite stone and felt quite blessed. Excellent workmanship of the artists impresses you when you see the whole temple.
It was 2 PM when we came out of the divine aura of Lingaraj temple. We could not stop ourselves from purchasing various dry fruits from the shops outside. Reasonable prices and of prime quality dry fruits are sold there. We had lunch at decent looking eating joint. Now our driver asked to choose one destination out of “Udaigiri Khandagiri caves” and “Nandan kanan zoo”. Due to our internet knowledge, this zoo is the country’s best zoo, so we decided to go there and instructed our driver accordingly.
On reaching Nandan Kanan zoo, we purchased the tickets for safari and waited for our turn & enjoyed the bus safari and spotted rare tigers, beer during the forest trail safari.
Then we ourselves visited various sections of zoo and got to see a lot of animals, birds, fresh water fishes, snakes, reptiles, lizards etc in the garden of heaven Nandan Kanan, Botanical garden visit was a treat to the eyes. We saw glass house, Cacti house and different types of Bonsai. We visited Butter fly park and got latest information on butterfly by watching a short documentary on them. Rose garden and mughal garden were the places where we spent a lot of time. Due to time constraints we could not visit Kanjia Lake which is also a part of zoo. Overall, it was magical experience because it is the best zoo in the country. We got a chance to saw rare white tiger and able to hear its roaring which was quite trembling and this was possible in this zoo only.
Coming out of zoo, we felt really tired due to a lot of walking in zoo and konark temple.
Provision to change Boarding point
While booking the train “PURI HWH EXPRESS” 12838, we booked it from Puri station to Kolkata Howrah as we were not sure about our boarding point. Once we planned to visit Bhuwneshwar from Puri, it does not make sense to come back to Puri station to board the train. If you are not boarding into the train from your booked boarding station, then your reserved seats can be allotted to some other passengers. To avoid this, Indian Railways allows you to change your boarding point online before 24 hours. We utilized this facility and changed our boarding point from Puri station to Bhuwneshar station which at-least saved 2:30 hours of our time.
At last we boarded the train from Bhuwveshwar station on time. Our train “PURI HWH EXPRESS” 12838 was running on time and we reached Kolkata Howrah Station @5:00 AM safely and on time. We planned to have our dinner in train itself which we have already booked with train caterers. The dinner was quite satisfying and it costs approximately Rs 200/- per member. The night spent in the train was quite peaceful and we enjoyed sound sleep and found ourselves quite energetic for our next excursion. We wake up with the phone call from our driver who was waiting for us at Howrah railway station.