Tuesday, March 6, 2018

An Unplanned Date in Bhubaneswar

This is how it goes: there’s a Plan A and a backup Plan B and, then, God would tear your script apart and instead handover His plan to you, the best that could ever be.
We set out from home to catch an early morning flight to Vizag and, alas, could only manage to bid it adieu from the shore.  This is how our next, one-stop flight landed us in Bhubaneswar, steering our journey to a land I couldn’t have ever imagined visiting otherwise.
We quickly browsed through the Internet for the places we could possibly visit in the next three hours we had at hand and here I am listing what all we did in this brief span.

Lingaraja Temple: This is one of the oldest temples in the city and would look so through every aspect. We could almost feel as if summoned from Lord Shiva, for we had no plans to meet Him here till morning today. Photography is not allowed inside the temple premises and you are not even allowed to wear caps, sunglasses or any footwear. Trust your cab driver enough to hand over your every belonging to him before you rush to the temple. The temples in Bhubaneswar have a unique style of architecture and this would be prominent in almost all the temples that you would visit. The temple is huge – it has 50 shrines and each holds scores of stories within. One unique thing that should stay wary of while in or around the temple is nosy and ‘super obese’ priests!

Dhauli Giri Hills: This place where Kalinga war was fought would surely appear to be the most interesting place in Bhubaneswar. Located on the banks of River Daya, which is said to have turned red with blood after of people deceased in the war, Dhauli Giri is an important centre for Buddhist activities. There’s a huge, white “Shanti Stupa” at Dhauligiri, which would drive you back to the old, Ashoka days. Like any other historical place would have, you would find a lot of local photographers, ready to click you for as low as INR 20.
Brahmeshwara Temple: Most of them temples in Bhubaneswar are either dedicated to Lord Shiva or Lord Sun. This one is for the former. Sporting beautiful architecture, this temple is, undoubtedly, managed really well. There’s a quite, small pond within the premises and we found people taking a dip in the water. The condition of the water and the overall heat discouraged us to follow the suit and, therefore, we moved on from there to our next stop. One more thing, you would find a lot of great inscriptions of Lord Shiva, Goddess Chamunda and other tantiric-related images.

Rajarani Temple: You would see a reflection of Brahmeshwara temple here and you might want to give this a miss, considering the fact that you’ve already had too much of the temple flavor, but here I would ask you to stop and think. This one temple is also called ‘love temple’ and has beautiful, erotic carvings of women and couples on the outside. This would also give you a glimpse of Khujuraho temples and might also fuel your curiosity and interest. So, don’t miss giving this temple a visit and, also, praying here.

Food at Dalma: Our brief visit ended with a delectable meal at this famous restaurant, which serves authentic Oriya food – Dalma. For a person like me, who embraces spicy food like a long-lost cousin, Oriya food might not tantalize the taste buds, but I had to try and I did. I might never again, but who cares?
Authentic Oriya Food
With our tummy full and eyes comfortably satiated, we bade adieu to the land of Patnaik and his scion and moved on to Vizag – the place where my heart lives.

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