Showing posts with label Puri. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Puri. Show all posts

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Christmas 2014, Hyderabad, Konaseema, Puri, Bhubaneswar

The plan in Christmas vacations of 2014 was to visit Odisha specifically Puri and Bhubaneswar. We also decided to join All India Meet 2014 organized by HV Kumar & group. Following was the itinerary that was finally designed.

The total drive was of 3910 kilometres with a total drive time of 71.14 hours. Total about 430 litres of Diesel was used up in the trip. Total amount spent in tolls was Rs. 3045/-.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Christmas 2014 Day 6 of 11, Puri To Chilka Lake to Bhubaneswar

 The plan for the day was to visit Chilka Lake at Satpada and then proceed to Bhubaneswar. Since we had not visited the beach, we decided to spend some time on Puri Beach before we left the town.
Puri beach is an interesting place, there is a market on beach which has many souvenir shops right on the beach. The beach also has religious crowd which takes a dip in the beach before/after heading to the temple.
The road running parallel to the beach is called Marine Drive and appropriately so. It is probably closest to the Marine Drive in Mumbai. In some sense it is even better. The road is lined up with hotels and restaurants and the beach even had a group offering Jet-Ski rides for Rs. 250/- a piece.
Here are some of the pictures from the areas surrounding the beach.
Hotels on Marine Drive
Restaurant on Marine Drive
Another hotel with interesting building
11:00 AM We finally leave the beach and start towards Chilka Lake. Puri has all kinds of oneways near the temple. As soon as we start, we are directed into small lanes and roads by the traffic police and we get into a comedy of errors. We are into a lane where our vehicle is stuck and there is traffic both ahead of us and behind of us and everybody is shouting and abusing. There were some nice gentlemen that help us get out of that mess.
12:00 PM We finally find out way and get back on track. We get on to NH-203A that will take us to Satpada. The road to Satpada is narrow but good surface quality and traffic was comparatively less. 
Just before the Satpada parking there is a state bank of india branch. They don't have a working ATM yet but if you reach at the branch timings, you can use the debit card to withdraw money.
1:30 PM We reach Satpada and chilka lake parking. After reaching here, we realise that our decision to leave late from Puri was not probably the smartest one. 
We are told by the boat guys there that the boat to bird sanctuary takes almost 4-5 hours and it may be too late for us to go for that. We settle for the next biggest boating. All the boating stalls seem to have same published rate and one has to pay Rs. 1/- as jetty fees per person. The boating was interesting, we saw some dolphin and some birds.
It is a prudent idea to buy some items to eat and water bottle because there is nothing to eat once you are in the lake and some people do feel little motion sickness in the boats.
Like most places in India, the boating was nice and sad, there is crowd of people shouting, whistling and doing all kinds of unruly activities. There is also a ambulance boat that we saw. I am not sure if it is in use or just a show piece.

3:25 PM We come back from the boating and we are really hungry. We find a Panthanivas near the lake and decide to go for lunch there.  We go there and ask the waiter to get us whatever he can get us quickly. He gets the food in five minutes. Meanwhile our neighbouring table has three NRI families and they start fighting with the waiter. Their complaint was why were we served before them. The waiter tried to explain to them that what we ordered was all ready and what they ordered had to be made. In any case, we get out of that place by 4:30 PM.
Our stop for the night was Bhubaneswar. We start on our journey back. To go to Bhubaneswar from Chilka Lake one has to go all the way back to Puri and then go to Bhubaneswar. The good thing is that we don't have to enter the Puri town.
6:00 PM We reach back to Puri and continue on our way to Bhubaneswar. We continue on NH-203 which is also known as Jagannath Sadak. It gets dark very quickly in this part of country. Around 5:10pm one has to drive with headlights on.

7:30 PM We reach Hotel Mayfair Lagoon in Bhubaneswar. Here is my review of the property.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Christmas 2014 Day 5 of 11, Konaseema to Puri

The destination today was Puri and it was a long drive. We had to start quite early. We had to quickly get on to NH-5 and continue our drive. Following was the route that we took.
5:20 AM We got ready and left the place. We started without any breakfast and had planned on finding breakfast somewhere along the way.
6:15 AM We reach NH5.
6:23 AM We crossed Godavari bridge. It is really long and straight bridge.  The bridge is littl;e longer than 2 kilometers.
6:45 AM Crossed Rajahmundri
7:40 AM Crossed Annavaram
7:54 AM Crossed Tuni
8:25 AM Crossed Yellamanchilli
8:55 AM Crossed Anakapalle. Google maps suggested that we take SH 38 which is kind of a bypass to Visakhapatanam. For us, this worked out better because while returning we drove through the city and that takes too much ot time. Only problem is that there are no restaurants on SH38. So it you don't want to take a break, it is better to go through SH38. If you want restaurants then you have to continue on NH5 which goes right through the city.

9:44 AM Crossed Visakhapatanam
10:25 AM Stopped at a small town called Thallavalasa and had breakfast there. The place was nothing to talk about but they were cooking up hot dosas and Idli so we ate there and then moved on.

10:50 AM Started on our onward journey.
11:07 AM Crossed Srikakulam
As you get closer to the border, all of a sudden the traffic becomes very crazy. There are many local two wheelers and you have to very careful of them. They are all over the road and don't easily give the way.

12:48 PM Crossed Ichchapuram
1:15 PM Crossed Berhampur or Brahmapur. It seems that original name was Brahmapur but British spelt it like Berhampur. I think recently it has been changed back to its original name.
2:05 PM Once you enter Odisha, there are very few options for stop and food. We found a small hotel called Maa Narayani Restaurant. It was ok place, the toilets were just ok. Not very clean but manageable. The food was decent. It was like a rush hours and they told that making rotis takes too much time so we have stopped making rotis right now. We found some dal, vegetables and rice. Around half an hour stop and then we proceeded for our onwards journey.
3:31 PM Turned right towards Puri on to New Jagannath Road which meets NH 203. This is a good road but not divided and two laned so one has to be slow for oncoming truck traffic. The road is good, scenic but under construction.

The toll on the road is also pretty steep, around Rs. 100/-. The toll receipt was a pre-printed one and printed in Odia so I can't figure out which one is for which amount.
Road connecting NH-5 to Puri is an interesting drive. The surface is good, but narrow and you can encounter a street market blocking almost the complete road and you find spaces that are totally empty and scenic drive.

4:46 PM We reach a road block. I am not sure whether it is permanent or because of the fact it was a Sunday. We are arbitrarily asked to turn towards some village road. It looked like that the sole purpose of the traffic police was to somehow divert the traffic away from the temple. After a really long and tiring sequences of detours we reach near the temple.
5:36 PM We find that there is no parking available near the temple so we decide to drive to our hotel and then come back for temple. Another things that we realised that the hotel Sterling Holidays Golden Sand that we book is not an appropriate choice for people intending to visit the temple. It is too far and in an very isolated area where one can't walk to. Here is my review of the hotel.

6:10 PM We reach hotel and checked in.
We decided to visit the temple straight away. Reached temple at around 7PM. A nice visit to the temple and then sumptuous prasad and we were ready to call it a day.