A Visit to Puri
This time when we decided to visit Kolkata, we planned for a short weekend trip to Puri. Being born and brought up in Kolkata, I have been to this place, couple of times before however, this time I planned the trip with my husband.
Puri is a very popular city known as a pilgrimage because of the Jagannath temple located at the spot. Also, it is a famous holiday destination known for its sun kissed coastline and sandy beaches.
Best time to go: October to February. However, the grand event of Rathyatra attracts thousands of crowds during summer.
How to go: Puri is well connected by train, bus and flights. The nearest airport is Bhubaneshwar, however if planning to go from Kolkata, one can take any overnight train to reach the destination. We took the Jagannath express to reach there.
Where to stay: Being a tourist spot, Puri offers multiple resorts and hotels for a comfortable stay. Holiday Resort is a very famous one, however it was sold out during our visit, so we took a decent alternative. I would recommend staying at a hotel with a sea view room that makes the stay wonderful.
Places to visit: It is ideal for a one night 2 days trip which includes the following destinations to cover. If you want, you can extend the trip by 2 nights to cover all of Bhubaneshwar as well.
Day 1: Puri beach and Temple visit
Puri Beach: We reached Puri in the morning by train. Since our check in time was afternoon, we decided to drop off our luggage at the reception and visit the beach. Puri beach is beautiful with silver sands all around. You can relax by the shore and have delicious sea food served by the local shops there.
Temple visit: The central attraction of Puri is the Jagannath temple, which is usually crowded by a lot of pilgrimage from different parts of the country. Visit here for a spiritual experience and savior the most famous Puri khaja. We visited the temple on the same day evening. Part of the Charm Dham circuit, Jagannath Puri shrine is one of the four most important Hindu pilgrimage sites.
Day 2: Konark temple and Chilka lake tour
Konark Temple: It is a very famous tourist spot with the Sun temple being one of the oldest archaeological wonder of the region. It is beautiful to witness such artwork.
The giant chariot wheel structure at Konark Temple.
Chandrabhaga Beach: On our way to Konark temple, we stopped at this location to take a halt and enjoy the beach. This is the cleanest beach in the east and is beautiful.
One of the cleanest beach on eastern coastline in Bhubaneswar.
Chilka lake: Chilka Lake, one of the largest brackish water lagoons in the world, is a famous Orissa tourism destination. The beautiful sunset view from Chilka lake boat tour is impossible to miss. There are boat trips available for various activities such as dolphin shows, etc. If you are lucky enough, you will get to spot many dolphins during your cruise. Boat takes you to an island where the locals show you how different pearls are obtained from sea mollusks.
The two days trip was perfectly rejuvenating and refreshed me enough to resume work post vacation.
– Of waves, shorelines, and unwritten stories in sand.
( by Sunanda Shome)