Jani Jermans – Travel Diaries

June 2, 2024

Bhubaneswar – The Temple City

Filed under: India — jani @ 8:12 pm

About Odisha

Odisha (formerly Orissa) is an eastern Indian state on the Bay of Bengal, known for its rich tribal cultures and numerous ancient Hindu temples. The capital, Bhubaneswar, is famous for its many temples, including the intricately-carved Mukteshvara and the 11th-century Lingaraj Temple complex set around the sacred Bindusagar Lake.

Day 1: After an uneventful journey from Mumbai, I reached Bhubaneswar and checked into the Ginger Hotel, conveniently located near the event venue. I spent the rest of the day resting.

Day 2 to Day 4: The three-day summit organized by the AACCI Odisha Chapter happened in Mayfair hotel and the event was quite insightful. It featured enriching sessions from various industries, fashion shows, and cultural activities. I had the opportunity to network with industrialists, entrepreneurs, government officials, and international delegates. Meeting the AACCI global secretariat team was a highlight, resulting in friendships that will last a lifetime.

Day 5: After breakfast, I spent time with the AACCI team before they departed, understanding more about the chamber. I then caught up on work

Day 6: Post breakfast, Mr. Munna driver for the next three days from the Rego team picked me up for a day of sightseeing. Our first stop was the Jagannath Temple in Puri, a significant Hindu temple dedicated to Jagannath, a form of Vishnu. The temple was crowded, and after offering prayers, we sampled the famous Puri khaja, a dessert that was too sweet for my taste.

We drove through the Golden Beach but didn’t stop due to the heat. Our next destination was Chilika Lake, the largest brackish water lagoon in Asia. After a local meal at a Bengali Dhaba, we took a boat ride on the lake. Despite not spotting any dolphins, we enjoyed watching seagulls up close. We were shown red crabs in a basket, there were four crabs as I thought we will see them in the shore. Then they brought opals and pearls to sell, opal is from coral reef and I was seeing for the first time so it was exciting to see that, though I was unsure of their authenticity. We stopped at an island where the other side was beach. So we picked up Jhalmuri and then enjoyed the beach for some time, came back had nice tea and then headed back to the boat to return back to the main land.

Then it was time for Konark Sun Temple. The light show at the temple was captivating, highlighting the rich history of the site. We ended the day with a delicious fish thali at Sahoo Hotel before returning to the hotel.

Day 7: Post breakfast, we visited several temples in Bhubaneswar, starting with the Kedar Gowri Temple, followed by the Mukteshwara Siddheswara Temple, which dates back to 950-975 CE. We then visited the Lingaraj Temple, one of Bhubaneswar’s oldest and most prominent landmarks. Munna introduced me to Dahivada Dumaloo, a delicious local dish of urad dal fritters soaked in curd with potato curry.

Next, we explored Dhauli Giri Hills, known for the Peace Pagoda or Dhauli Shanti Stupa, the Ashoka Pillar, and the Edicts of Ashoka. The intricate Patachitra paintings were fascinating. We then visited the State Museum to learn more about Odisha’s history. After a lunch at Dalma restaurant, we headed to the ancient remains of Udaygiri and Khandagiri caves, which offered a glimpse into the region’s archaeological and historical significance. Despite the crowds due to a local festival, the experience was rewarding.

Our final stop was the Shree Ram Mandir, where we offered prayers. We visited Ekamra Haat for shopping but found few stalls, so we returned to the hotel for a well-deserved rest.

Day 8: It was time to say goodbye to Bhubaneswar. I returned to Bangalore, feeling blessed and proud to have explored another Indian city and its rich heritage.

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