Thursday, September 27, 2012

Odisha Odyssey

We, my colleague and me had a day or two to kill before starting our next schedule at the KIIT Campus. Till then what we had seen was a miniscule part of the city of Bhubhaneshwar, the capital of Odisha - the crowded markets, the grimy city roads, the flyovers and the Mayfair. I remember spending an entire day at the Mayfair (dumb as it may sound) as we didn't have much to do. We were sipping tea after tea, relishing the confectionaries and the Oriya mithai before getting back to the guesthouse to be back again for the Mayfair nightlife. Monotonous!

Once the gang left, it was just M and me. Gladly, he was a travel zealot. Like me he didn't mind the gruelling heat or the arduous early morning travel for the sake of seeing new places. So there was a plan, a plan to leave our rooms at three in the morning to catch the sunrise at the Chandrabhaga Beach and the Sun Temple at Konark after that. We reached well before time. The sun was yet to say happy morning. It was dark and quiet with just a few people around a tea-stall. Perfect timing for us too. We called for two cups of tea along with a few cookies to munch on. The silhouettes of the fishermen and their families around their boats made for some great pictures. I was enjoying the sand under my feet waiting for the golden sun to rise.

The soft murmurs from a few tourists had grown now to loud banter from the fisher-folks readying their boats to tame the powerful sea. I had never seen anything like this before. There was a man, an aged patriarch who guided the fishermen with a long bamboo stick. The moment a big wave rolled to the shore, the men would thrust their boat on top of it giving it momentum for the rest of the journey. What amazed me was the number of locals who had gathered to witness all this action. Like us they too watched with wonder. There were fathers who had come with their little children, old men and women, couples - all looking in the same direction, the direction of the horizon from where came the rolling, gigantic waves ready to lead the men and their boats to earn their livelihood. Splendid!

The sun too had started making its appearance giving the beach a golden carpet look, a carpet that stretched all the way to infinity and beyond.

The Chandrabhaga, one of the sought after destinations in Odisha is a nice stopover before heading towards the Sun Temple. The pristine beach with its unassuming locals is a delight to the traveller's heart. After a good two hours we resumed our onward journey to the Sun Temple.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Picture this! The Chandrabaga

Waking up on a holiday to witness a gorgeous sunrise and a serene beach was never part of the itinerary. As far as I was concerned it was just training and more training. But a state holiday sprang out of nowhere and this is what I witnessed. The early morning tea coupled with the sound of waves and the fishermen gearing up to tame the sea were a bonus to my senses. I would have missed all this had I not made that trip to Chandrabaga in Odisha.