I have been to Puri several times. The initial plan was to go to Sikkim and all rail, car & stay bookings were complete. The earthquake at Lachung compelled us to change our plans and hurriedly get to Puri.
Day 1 Arraival at Puri
We arraived at Puri by evening taking the Duranto express and took an auto from the station to our hotel stay. The hotel was partially incomplete but I had chosen it for the location away from the hustle of town life.
I had been to Puri with my parents in my childhood in 1981 for the first time. Then again I was there during Indian Medical Association All India Conference at Bhubaneshwar. That was the day after the Tsunami.
But this time we were damn tired and had a sumptuous dinner served at room. I went early to bed after vain attempts to sea the dark night sea beach from my hotel window.
Day2 Puri to Konark, Dhauli & Udaygiri Khandagiri
Morning Coffee at Hotel
Was up early morning enjoying sea view from our hotel room as we sipped simmering hot coffee . We had booked the previous day auto for the whole day. And it arraived well on time.
Oliver riddle turtle sanctuary at Chandrabhaga Beach
By 9 am we were at Mohanipur on Chandrabhaga beach in the Oliver riddle turtle sanctuary. Though couldn’t spot a single turtle enjoyed the virgin beach upon entering with a ticket.
Travelling along the Beldal Puri road we crossed Nua Nai river to reach a place with sea kissing our road. We saw a comparatively new Garudeswar Temple. We appeared at Balighai Ramachandi beach to visit an Mahabelleswar temple.
The Ramachandi Police station was adjacent and we had a toilet facility near the parking area.
We reached Konark (Chandra bhaga) Beach to see the Chandra bhaga temple.
I left the sea side travelling away to reach Konark temple.
Konark Sun Temple
Reached the ASI site at 11:30am. After getting the required tickets we were in. I took long hours taking snaps of almost every sculpture on the temple wall.
Left the temple grounds after using the toilets at around 1:40 pm. We however had our lunch from a restaurant in the Panthanivas complex on opposite side of the sun temple.
Shanti Stupa at Dhauli
Reached there by 3:30 pm. The stupa was built on hillock beside the Daya River facing the Ancient battlefield of King Ashoka.
Udaygiri Khandagiri Caves
We hurried to the site by 4:48 pm.
We visited the Digambar Jain Temple there. As it was already dusk had to return cutting short our plan to visit Taptapani, a hotspring I had visited in my childhood.
Temple on road & Back to Hotel
On way back our auto driver stopped at a temple just outside Puri to pay some tributes which he told he everyday does, especially on days he gets a good trip. We also had tea and evening snacks in a roadside shanty. Being pleased with the tour I booked him for the next day too.
We had a protein rich dinner again in the hotel room.
Our tour continued for 4 more days at Puri, Chilka Lake and in and around Bhubaneswar. Take your time in continuing with me in Part2. Bye till then