Temple town of Jagannath Puri & Konark is an ode to the magnificient history of Indian culture.
The temple being of the holiest Hindu Char Dham (four divine sites) sites, Remaining 3 being Rameswaram, Badrinath, & Dwarka.Also the place where Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared.
The Rath Yatra or Chariot festival is a tradition followed across generations at Puri when the Lord Krishna, Balaram and their sister Subhadra to visit their Mausi(Mother s sister).
You discover both the food for life & for your soul as you set your feet on the holy state of Odisha.
We discover faith as we see hundreds of pilgrims ‘kanwariyas’ walking barefoot to Puri from Bhubaneshwar, in the holy month of Saavan(Shravan Maas) to perform Abhishekam
After the visit to majestic temple of Puri, we sit down for a grand Oriya meal ‘Dahi Pakhalaa’ at Grand Heritage
A traditional Oriya dish, prepared with rice, curd, cucumber, Cumin seeds, fried onions and mint leaves. Served with roasted vegetables—such as potato, brinjal, badi or saga bhaja—or fried fish .The liquid part Torani consists of cooked rice washed or little fermented in water,served with love mainly in summer to give you a quick respite from the dehydrating heat
Across the road, we find the hawkers selling the local favorite sweet Khaaja, along the lanes of Mutta and Dharmshalas lined across for pilgrims
We then hop over to Konark passing the lovely woods to move over to Sun Temple-Konark
Konark- 13th century temple built by Narasimhadeva of Eastern Ganga Dynasty around 1250
Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site this is an architechtural marvel & ode to psychology of human nature
The temple was originally built at the mouth of the river Chandrabhaga, built in the form of a giant ornamented chariot of the Sun god, Surya.
It has twelve pairs of elaborately carved stone wheels some of which are 3m wide pulled by 7 pairs of horses in traditional style of Kalinga architecture from Khondalite rocks
Carefully oriented towards the east so that the first rays of sunrise strikes the principal entrance
Original temple had a main sanctum sanctorum (vimana), which was supposedly 229 feet (70 m) tall now fallen. The audience hall (Jagamohana), which is about 128 feet (30 m) tall, still stands & is the principal structure in the surviving ruins.
Among the structures, which have survived to the current day, are the dance hall (Nata mandira) and dining hall (Bhoga mandapa).
The Konark temple is also known for its erotic sculptures of maithunas
Konark referred to as Black Pagoda , was plundered by Portuguese sailors ,in order to destroy the magnets which held the idol mid air back then.Magnets were so powerful that it would disorient the compasses of the Portuguese sailors who traveled across the shores for trade.
Wheels of fortune show the power and prowess of the 1200 sculptors appointed by the King showing the trends prevalent in the society of the ancient times.
Bang opposite to Konark temple we see a beeline of shops selling local crafts,while we stop by to have some refreshing tea.
You can bargain and get some good metal crafts at shops nearby
We then take our cab back across the rice and paddy fields where farmers are busy sowing paddy in the monsoon. Everything clean and fresh,quite a change from the hullabaloo of busy city life.
Our next stop,the quite town of Nimapada birthplace of the wonderful Chhena poda, Chhena jhili.
Traditional Oriya sweets prepared with cottage cheese and raw sugar/jaggery
Chhena Jhili prepared with fried cottage cheese dipped in sugar syrup.
First prepared in Nimapada, now famous all over the world as the symbol of Oriya sweets
Keep watching this space, we will be back with more….