30th December 2012

It was the day where we were visiting two Temple towns. One is known for its Architectural beauty while the other is famous for its religious significance. We start with the religious one, the town of Puri.

Jagannath Temple seen from the main road
Puri is about 60km from Bhubaneswar but it took us more than two hours to cover this distance. Heavy traffic and road widening in progress were some of the reasons that can be attributed for the slow journey.

Devotees on the way to the Temple
As expected, Puri was overflowing with pilgrims from various part of India. Lord Jagannath Temple here attracts religious people. As with many religious sites, Puri is also not free from pandas (priests) who make a living by cheating gullible devotees. One such person arrives as we get down from taxi. He has a kamandala claiming that the holy water can cure all our sins committed in our lives. Wow!! What an easy way to get rid of sins!!  We ignored him completely but then there were others who took that water with all devotion. And then they need to pay him handsomely. Nothing is free!! (Later when we returned back to Taxi stand, I saw that the priest was sharing his “revenue” with a police constable).

Administration did a good thing by blocking main road for all vehicles. We travelled some distance on cycle rickshaw and then walked the remaining. The main road was flanked with shops which were too hard to ignore for my wife and daughter. While they shopped I went ahead on the main road towards Temple.

My daughter happy after buying toys!!
I do not believe in standing in the queue for hours just to see God for a fraction of a second.  For me the experience in reaching the place and the place itself provides immense satisfaction.

Puri has a great beach. It is said that both sunrise and sunset can be viewed from this beach. We could not watch either of them as we were there right in the middle of the day.

This was one of the most crowded beaches I have seen in my life. Kids like beach without any reservation and my daughter spent a good amount of time playing in water and sand.

We were hungry but the restaurants near the beach served only bad food. The Temple road had some good restaurants but we didn’t want to go back to the town and hence decided to eat on the way to Konark.

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