Toll gate- 1(Bhubaneswar Expressway)
Amount paid at toll gate- Rs 110
Total Kilometer covered-178 .
Well this isn’t my first puri-konark marine drive trip. Infact this is our regular circuit with friends whenever we have any occasion to celebrate. I must have done this circuit at least 20 times, but doing this route with my own car, sitting behind the wheels and that too with my family and the most important one sharing this experience with like minded people out there is actually a first time experience. So apologies in advance,please consider me as first time writer. 8.
Main motto of the trip for us was to pay visit to Lord Jagganath at his aunt’s place which is also the birthplace of Lord Jagganath on auspicious occasion of cart festival.Occasion is known as (Adapa mandap darshan) in Orissa. It is believed if you visit lord Jagannath at this time of year it equals to 1000 times of darshan and all your sins are forgiven. On this time puri becomes very crowded, it’s like an ocean of people. You hardly find any space, and secondly I need to drive my car on a long patch with good road conditions before 1st free servicing.
We started for puri at almost noon, it was around 11.30 am I cranked my car’s engine. I was prepared to test my patience in overcrowded roads of Bhubaneswar town. It is totally a headache to drive around the city with your new car just because of halfwit drivers all around you. As if these people are in a race of reaching their desired destination at the earliest without caring the traffic rules and driving etiquette, especially two-wheel driver’s doesn’t bother to care traffic rules at all. For eg- if there is a hairline gap between any two vehicles, the proud two wheel riders finds a Rossi in them and they turn the roads into racing tracks and tries their level best to loop forward through the gap and unfortunately ends up with an accident, leading to road jams and loss of property and time. These incidents create clouds of tensions for me because of various reasons
1.I don’t want scratches on car because of halfwit people turning to Rossi and overtaking me from the smallest gap we can imagine.
2.Other fellow drivers behind you keeps honking all the time as if the waves from their horns will wipe out the vehicles in front of them.Arrey if the vehicle ahead of you is slowing down then there must be a reason. Common apply some sense.
3.These diversions in Bhubaneswar roads pops up in every 100 mtr, and if you are in right lane of the road then you are definitely going to screw up your day, in every 100mtr a vehicle needs to use these space to reroute their roads.
Many such reason makes city journey uncomfortable. Let me continue with my tour details.
I crossed Nalco square(busiest stop of the city) and opted for sachivalaya marg which leads to acharyavihar,at acharya vihar I took a left and proceeded toward university square, through service road .the service road came to an end at satsang vihar bustand and I was on Asian highway 45 which runs within the city connecting major states of India. Soon I started speeding over the newly constructed over bridge on rasulgard. Once you cross rasulgard ,its only few kms of city traffic left,so with a happy face I crossed those traffic and moved toward hi-tech square, this square connects the Bhubaneswar traffic towards puri ,Cuttack ,hi-tech hospital and towards kuakhai village. I opted for puri.
It is a straight road to puri; one can test their vehicle’s limit at this open stretch of road. It’s a newly constructed road with very minimal traffic, so idol for cruising your ride. I went up to 110 km/ph. Road is absolutely pitch black as if polished with colour with excellent build quality, which will tease you to push the gas pedal of the car. I somehow controlled my urge to limit my speed within 90 km/ph. There is no scenic beauty to describe on two side of road you will see barren crop lands and an extending Bhubaneswar which has resulted in construction all around the peripheral villages of Bhubaneswar and including them to increase the perimeter of the so called developing city. While going to puri you will pass through some famous tourist place which is a must visit if time permits, as I have been to these places before I avoided them and went straight to puri, but for basic information for 1st time visitors in Orissa and readers I will be mentioning some of these famous place and what’s there to see in these places.
1. Dhauli giri
; Dhauli hills are located on the banks of river Daya,just 8 km away from Bhubaneswar. This is the place where battle of kalinga was fought which made a great change in Ashok’s mind and he became Buddhist , it is said that the river Daya turned red with the blood of the many deceased after the battle, and made Ashoka realized the magnitude of horror associated with war. Dhauli is known for Asokan rock edicts and on the top of the hill, a dazzling white peace pagoda has been built by the Japan Buddha Sangha and the Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangha in the 1970s.These history turns Dhauli Giri as a touriust place.
; This place is famous for designing beautiful applique handicrafts one can say it is a town of artisans and for their colorful fabrics. If you are visiting pipili then you must buy handicraft from this place as a momento or something for decoration purpose.
; This is a small town which is famous for Sakshigopal Temple which is a medieval temple dedicated to Lord Gopal. The temple is built in the Kalinga style of temple architecture.
Once dhauli comes into picture you can see the scenic beauty doing its magic on you, greenery all around helps in reducing the stress in you and the clean air starts purifying you, and makes you feel lighter by throwing away the daily burdens from your shoulder, you start enjoying by yourself. Soon I crossed uttara chaak which is also famous for the huge brass utensil market and workshops, in Orissa. I started cruising at 100kmph and crossed the only toll gate which is located at pipili in no time, i had a rock solid experience driving my car at 100kmph and sometimes above 100 also, handling,braking was perfect. The whole journey was flooded with lots of familiar chat in between the family members. And within an hour from tollgate we reached puri town.
As usual puri is all-time crowded place round the year and during cart festival it’s jammed with devotees from all around the globe. Driving in puri was like sailing in an ocean of people, cyclewalas, tourist buses and other fellow motorist all around you. In a place with so much crowed it’s like scoring a100 in math’s if you find a sweet parking spot, it doesn’t matters if you have to pay 4 times of regular parking fee.( I paid 100 bucks for a parking my car of 20 mins
). We all went for darshan which was again like floating in an ocean of people. We had a rewarding darshan of lord jagganath and soon we started moving out to avoid the crowd. We didn’t go to sea beach as we knew it will be waste of time and moreover we can’t enjoy the beach with so many people all around, it will be like a fish market,so better avoid it. We move towards konark for a drive as planned. Marine drive is a long patch of road connecting puri and konark. It’s a peaceful place with nature’s beauty at its best display. It’s like a painting i have seen from childhood which has a long road covered by the shades of tall trees on both side and one side there are water bodies which has stretched to the farthest point our eyes can cover. It is exactly the same. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of marine drive. We didn’t stopped at Konark sun temple as we have been there several times. Konark is another historical place and a tourist spot which is a must stop for travellers from other states or those who haven’t seen. A brief history Konark Temple
It was constructed in13th century AD, known as sun temple. It is said that the temple was built by king Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty in 1255 AD The temple is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is 35 km from Puri and 65 km from Bhubaneswar. The temple complex is in the shape of a gigantic chariot, having elaborately carved stone wheels, pillars and walls. A major part of the structure is now in ruins.
35km in natures laps and a beautiful chandrabhaga sea beach view leaves a permanent visual drawing in everyone’s mind for rest of the life which constantly makes an urge for a second visit.
We crossed villages named as gop and nimapada and got back on expressway just after crossing nimapada village. One should try nimapada jhilli if you ever come to nimapada,it is a famous sweet of this place. Drive at expressway was of top quality and was making a constant urge in me to push forward the limits, but I restricted my speed up to 100kmph.i enjoyed every bit of time spent behind the wheels of my newly owned Alto. Soon we entered Bhubaneswar; I took a short cut to avoid most of the traffic and reached home. We were back at home by 5pm in the evening. Well I had one of the most beautiful experience and I wish I could express each and every moment to the reads the way I experienced, sadly I am not able to do so but I am sure this must have planted a seed of urge to visit these place in your next holiday trip. Signing off for now, with some pictures I clicked during the trip.