Cascoly Travel -- India: Puri
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Cascoly Travel
India: Puri

  • Download Royalty-free Images of Puri
  • Konark temple
  • Shamans Puri

    We had a long travel day to get to Puri, leaving about 8 in the morning, and arriving at 4 in Goraput.

    We had the full experience today – monkeys still on mountain highway to Koraput, then winding switchbacks out of Koraput to get to Andhra Pradesh, drop down sharply thru jungled ghats, to wide open plains of rice fields. Next we drove on the 4 lane divided highway along the coast, passing herds of buffalo, cows, sharing the freeway but even making it to 100 kph for a minute or two at a time. Always motorcycles, lorries, bikes, and the odd car or motorcycle coming the wrong way without anyone much caring. As we approached border with Orissa, trucks backed up for at least a mile, waiting to get thru – even with the proper paperwork, they often have to bribe their way thru and this takes time. As tourists, paying for a special tourist ‘permit’, we were eventually able to jump the line and get thru to find another line of the other side at least 150 trucks long coming from the opposite direction. At times, bottlenecks or jams slowed us as auto drivers tried to go both directions – at one point we popped thru a double lined corridor of patiently waiting trucks in our lane by driving between them with just inches to spare.

    The next day we arrived in Puri and realized how comfortable the hills had been. Got out of car and both cameras fogged over for a minute, difference between lightly air conditioned and high humidity heat on the beach. Walking along beach – fishing boats were fitting out for evening launch.

  • Boatmen offered a ride in their boat in the river behind the sand bar for a small baksheesh. Fish eagles, crows and gray gulls flying overhead. Some boats quite colorful, other completely washed out. Fishermen repairing prawn nets and seiners. Grappling style anchors in the sand. To our hotel about 5, dripping sweat, but room had a cooling fan and nominal AC.

    A typical dinner included prawn tandoori and mushroom masala, both very good. Orissa and Andhra Pradesh pride themselves on the hotness of their food. We often surprised our waiters since we enjoyed the spiciness, especially cayenne like pepper pakoras. We’d also had a week’s training, by eating at local roadside dhabas, where you had a choice of the chef’s special or plain rice.

    Puri is a small town, mostly spread along a long beach. There is a cluster of hotels, mostly used by Indians on holiday, and few people swim. Instead they gather in groups and wade out, often fully clothed to let the waves wash over them . I had been wearing long pants earlier in the trip, in deference to a more conservative style in the interior, but here shorts were proper. Lunch at Wildgrass Restaurant – prawn masala and mushroom masala, both excellent


    Even with the resorts, the beaches themselves are nearly deserted, once you pass the small cluster around the resort hotels. We were staying in a timeshare resort we had exchanged for, that was several kilometers out of town. After breakfast we walked along beach into town for about an hour. The tide was coming in, with 5-6’ breakers along long sandy beach. Hardly anyone around until well into town. We saw plovers and black-winged stilts and other shore birds, and small tritons tossed up by the surf, and a dead cuttlefish. A few boys with fishing seine nets, but not catching much and the usual pearl sellers and others sitting under palm frond shelters. After an excellent fish tikka, and palak paneer, we grabbed an auto rickshaw for the ride back to our hotel. In all, a relaxing day. The temperature was still well into the 90’s F with high humidity, but we adjusted our pace, and drank plenty of liquids.

    Back to room about 3, we tried to read when jackhammers allowed, but more on that later.

    The next day we were picked for a lunch of prawn malai curry and palak paneer with freshly made butterscotch ice cream for dessert. Then our local guide Samar picked us up, along with 2 French women for short walk thru village & rice fields along roads leading out of the town. Pastoral, luxuriant tropical agriculture. We saw many birds including drongos, cormorants brown heron. Samar named one as a ‘yellow roller’, but the closest I’ve found to it may be a Brahminy Myna. Also saw nests of the Baya Weaver handing like Chinese lanterns from

    Then on to twin temples to Shiva & Parvati; Temples are situated in the midst of a giant banyan tree. Every Tuesday & Saturday, priests acquire a trance state by means of intoxicating drugs in the sanctum sanctorum of the small temple, to the accompaniment of drums and musical instruments, bell ringing and much smo

    We took a real rest day for our last day,  breakfast about 9.  The hotel is like an Indian Marienbad – a vast, mostly empty hotel, and maze like dilapidated gardens. Passages which worked 2 days ago are boarded up the next day, but have glass doors today;  people scurrying everywhere; but nothing seems to change very much.  There is major restoration going on – we’e among the few guests staying here.  The former  pools in the courtyard have been jackhammered & dug up.  The workers are staying in part of the hotel, so they can get an early start.   But now women carry head loads of sand from the nearby to level the bottom where a fountain system appears about to be installed

    Other links:

  • Orissa
  • Download Royalty-free Images of India
  • Download Royalty-free video of India
    Apsaras - naked female spirits
    India photography & travel resources
    On Tuesday Visit the Shaman
    Mani Rimdu Festival, Thyangboche Monastery
    Pilgrimage to Palitana Jain Temple Complex in Gujarat India
    Tips for Travel in India

  • Visiting the Hill Tribes of Orissa
    Why Does India Fascinate?
    Darshan at Tirupati in South India
    Rupees - Indian currency
    Indian castles, forts and palaces
    Indian Recipes
    Temples & Mosques: Jain, Hindu, Buddhist, Islam
    Taj Mahal
    Indian Wildlife
    Varanasi Beyond the Ghats
    Slowly Down The Ganges
    India - Getting About Mumbai by Local Train
    Pushed at Pushkar
    Relaxing at an Indian Hill Station - Mt. Abu
    Darshan at Nathdwara in Rajasthan
    Exploring Rajasthan in India
    Ancient Temples on the Beach - Konark & Puri

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