Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ancient Orissa!

When our plans to visit India were finalized, my parents, David and I discussed about exploring a part of the country we had never been to. I wanted to go to Kerala but read that November wasn't the right time weather wise. We all eventually decided on Orissa in northeastern India. Orissa is one of the oldest states of India which is steeped in rich history, culture and traditions. The state is also deeply religious and is also the home of many tribes. Orissa is one of the least explored parts of India and we wanted to learn more about its culture, history and people as well as visit some important temples. In addition to being a state of historic and religious significance, Orissa also boasts natural beauty with its lush green paddy fields and the Bay of Bengal.

Orissa is not very well connected with the rest of India but you can get there via Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta and Bangalore. The airlines that go to the state's capital, Bhubaneswar, are Air India, Kingfisher and Jet Airways. As we were departing from Chennai with Kingfisher, we had to transit at Bangalore. Although there were some problems with some flight cancellation that caused us to cut short our stay in Orissa by a day, everything else turned out quite smoothly.

Check us out on our Kingfisher flight and enjoying some coffee in Bangalore's new airport!

We arrived in Bhubaneswar around 1pm and were given a warm welcome by our guide and driver. The airport is small and quite well maintained. After meeting the travel agent to settle the payment, we had a quick lunch and headed off to Puri.

The distance between Bhubaneswar and Puri is 60km and the drive to Puri lasted about an hour and a half. Along the way, we stopped at Dhauli Giri, where there are the rock edicts of King Asoka. These edicts show Asoka's remorse of blood and war and how he embraced simpler life through Buddhism. There is a statue of an elephant which represents Lord Buddha's boundless powers.

We then continued to the colorful village of Pipli which is famous for its handicrafts. The village was very lively with many shops and fruit markets.

By the time we got to Puri, it was around 7pm so we headed straight to dinner. After that, we went to our hotel, Hans Coco Palms which is located close to Puri beach. It was a nice and pleasant hotel with spacious rooms.

Next up, our visit of Puri city!


Dvd said...

Did you visit with a guide or by yourself ;-)

Ravipa said...

Colorful Peepli. Would be interesting for readers to know your first impressions on our guide?


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