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Bhubhaneshwar Puri Escapade Package
Bhubaneswar or the lord of the universe, as it is called, is also popularly known as the temple city of india on account of its innumerable shrines in the extravagant oriya style. Being the seat of shiva or tribhubaneswar, lord of the three worlds, from which the city derives its name, this is an important hindu pilgrimage centre as hundreds of temples dot the landscape of the old town, that showcase their architectural and sculptural excellence. So, launch yourselves on this unique bhubhaneshwar-puri escapade package!
The main shrines are the lingaraja temple cluster with life-size chlorite stone statues, beautiful carvings and amazingly graphic sculptures. The raja rani temple cluster has baroque carvings with an aura of beauty and sanctity which envelops the entire complex. The mukteswara temple cluster which has two important shrines, such as the parsurameswara temple which is the most attractive and the mukteswara temple with a brilliantly arched gateway and exquisite carvings. The khandagiri-udayagiri is the jain cave monastery and a must- visit monument spot for the jains and other tourists visiting odisha on a vacation. The sakshigopal temple has its presiding deities as radha-krishna and the vaital temple has its main deity as chamunda or charchika.
it would be exciting to visit the nandan kanan zoological park, an open-air zoo carved from natural forests. The mascot is the white tiger with the zoo having the distinction of breeding them in captivity. The botanical garden side of the zoo is an oasis of calm and serenity. The ekamra haat is a handicraft market which many tourists visit to buy handicrafts. This is also a good dine-in place in bhubaneswar.
while moving on to puri, enroute make a halt at dhauli, the buddhist peace pagoda, heerapur which is famous for the roofless sixty-four yogini temple, pipli a village known for applique works, the chandrabhaga beach, a magnificent beach which gives mesmerizing images of the sunrise and the ramchandi temple dedicated to goddess chandi..
Drive along and enjoy the morning `aarti’ in the temple of lord jagannath, having a stroll on the exciting grand road and visit the gundicha temple, the maternal aunt’s abode of lord jagannath, where he along with his brother lord balabhadra and sister devi subhadra, use to visit this temple once in a year, during the annual car festival or ratha yatra.
Continue your joy and frolic at the chilika bird sanctuary along with the chilka lake lagoon, located some distance away from puri, the second largest brackish lake of asia and a wetland which is also a paradise for migratory birds and many endangered rare species in odisha. This is a wetland that has something magical and soothing about its ambience as the brackish water lagoon is a vast expanse of blue water, hugged by low undulating hills, with the loud chirping of birds and the gentle splash of water combining to create a dreamy effect! It offers great natural beauty and is visited for birds and rare irrawaddy dolphins and as you cruise on the crystalline waters, it is awesome to listen to birdcalls at daybreak and gaze at the fishing boats with their sails billowing in the wind. There are many species of flora and fauna that have made this lagoon their home, thereby inviting touristic traffic on the unique bhubhaneshwar-puri escapade package!
Enjoy the beach market in the evening at puri.
Next on your list is the widely known, black pagoda or the sun temple at konark famed for its marvellous architecture. The magnificent temple is the culmination of the oriya temple architecture, and one of the most stunning monuments of religious splendour in the world, worth a visit. The poet rabindranath tagore had said that 'here the language of stone surpasses the language of man', and it is true that the experience of this destination is impossible to translate into words. There is also an archaeological museum which has colossal sandstone images of surya and some sculptures from the sun temple.
You have a choice of visiting the following wildlife reserves! The simlipal national park and tiger reserve is a hilly tract of dense forests including some mid-range mountain peaks and the park hosts tigers elephants and leopards but tiger sightings are rare in the area open to tourists. Take a drive around this area, and enjoy the beauty of the forest and its waterfalls. The barehipani waterfalls and the joranda waterfalls offer great views of the forest and the hills.
The park has creeks, forest, mangroves, crocodiles, otters, birds, the largest nesting site of the famous and endangered olive ridley turtles, as well as dilapidated temples, ruins of a king’s hunting tower…….such are the enigmatic charms of this national park. The bagagahana island is the heronry of this national park, a nesting site for birds, and a cruise on khola creek takes you to the confluence of the baitarani and brahmani rivers. You can roam around this island in a motor boat, which could also take you to ekakula, another tiny island and squeeze a stop at habalikhati.
Move back to bhubaneswar, and on the way, visit the most exotic raghurajpur or painting village, on this unique bhubhaneshwar-puri escapade package!
This coconut, palm-shaded village is quite different from other villages of the state and has a community of artisans who produce different varieties of handicrafts items such as patta chitra paintings, palm leaf engravings, stone carvings, paper made toys and masks, wood carvings, wooden toys, cow-dung toys and tasser paintings. Perhaps nowhere else in india, tourists may find such a congregation of art works at a place, as the best traditions of odisha paintings and some of the finest pieces of art works of this village are highlighted the artistic overtures of raghurajpur are also complemented by a living tradition of the performing art known as gotipua, the earlier form of odishi dance. A worthy son of odisha, the late padmabibhusan guru kelucharan mahapatra, the doyen of odishi dance was born in this village and had his early trainings in the gotipua tradition here. The tradition of teaching and performing the dance was again further and the new gotipua gurukula is continuing the performing art practice of this village which is another attraction. So the department of tourism, government of india has declared “raghurajpur” as a “heritage village” and a famous tourist destination of the state. It also has the distinction of the only place where the traditional decoration called patas, is used under the throne of lord jagannath and on the three chariots during the annual rath yatra festival that takes place at pilgrimage town of puri.
Situated amidst groves of coconut, palm, mango and jack fruit, the main village has two streets with over a hundred houses, mostly decorated with mural paintings, where the painters reside and practice their pattachitra craft, besides many other that practices throughout the village, the place also has a series of temples dedicated not only to bhuasuni, the local deity but also to various hindu gods including, radha mohan, gopinath, raghunath, laxminarayan and gouranga. What a wonderful way to mingle around with the villagers and artisans, and exchange views and suggestions about their skills and lifestyles, over a hot beverage and may be a traditionally prepared snack or a meal, in an environ of basic earthy and rustic flavour!
The villagers are also trained to provide heritage walks to the visitors by an organisation, and have since become a template for heritage tourism in the region. Today it is also the venue of the annual basant utsav - parampara raghurajpur, the spring festival.
Tourists could also visit “parampura” is the seated non- profitable voluntary cultural organization in this village, working with rural skilled and unskilled folk artists and crafts persons since a long time. It provides capacity building service to artisan groups, building their self-reliance and confidence to sustain their livelihood and turn it into a profitable venture, under the impact of modernization and imposition of a development programme. It also aims at the promotion and preservation of tradition and folk culture arts and crafts. Besides encouraging the artists and artisans, it works for the development of classical and folk song dance and other forms of performing arts, organizing mega festivals, workshops, seminars and training on culture and handicrafts. Explore the mystique on this unique bhubhaneshwar-puri escapade package!
Take an extension from bhubhaneshwar and move on to a hilly, hilly resort……. And here it is! The home of the finest tea, darjeeling is located in the eastern himalayas, in the northernmost stretch of west bengal that separates nepal and bhutan. This town is made for long walks, situated over a ridge and spilling down the hillside in a twisted series of interconnecting roads, with a cutting edge of colonial architecture, english cottages enclosing antiquated windows and smoking chimney, pathways cheered by mountain pansies, magnificent school buildings and churches. Chowrasta, the main town square, is lined with shops, restaurants, curio dealers and hawkers.
After checking into a hotel and some refreshment, start your trip. The kanchendzonga range, the third highest peak in the world is omnipresent, and the town has every nook and corner positioned to get stunning views of the world’s most beautiful mountain peaks, with an unparalleled sight from dawn to dusk! You may wrap yourself with mufflers and proceed towards tiger hill in this highest mountain in the area. Near tiger hill is the yiga choeling tibetan monastery of the gelugpa (yellow hat) sect, also called the ghoom monastery which has a tall sculpture of maitreya buddha, with beautiful thangkas pasted on the walls. The monastery stores tibetan translations of famous sanskrit works, such as the meghdoot by kalidasa, nagamandala by sriharsa and nyaya krit by dharmakriti. Nearby is another yellow hat sect monastery, the samten choeling. The bhutia basti is the oldest monastery, rebuilt near chowrasta, with an unusual blend of tibeto-nepalese architecture of rare artefacts, including ancient buddhist texts. The mahakal temple is worth a visit and is based on the original site of the bhutia basti monastery! Blasted by such exquisite sights of this epitome of charm, remain besotted on this unique bhubhaneshwar-puri holiday package!
The himalayan mountaineering institute has a museum enclosed with exciting displays and records of some major expeditions. Next door is the everest museum, which traces the history of different attempts on the everest. A rock climbing lesson can be taken at the tenzing norway rock. The padmaja naidu himalayan zoological park is known internationally for its breeding programmes of the endangered snow leopard and the red panda! Tucked away in darjeeling are some awesome gardens, shrubbery and parks. The lloyd botanical gardens harbour himalayan and alpine plant varieties, including flowers and the hothouse has a fantastic collection of orchids. The darjeeling himalayan railway was considered a technical marvel as its tracks were constructed to rise from sea level to a very high altitude. Today, a unesco world heritage site, you can take a short joyride from darjeeling station to ghoom monastery. In the vicinity of the toy train station, you can visit the dhirdham temple, built pagoda-style, the ava art gallery displaying exquisite embroidery, the pristine japanese peace pagoda. The gangamaiya falls are a short drive from main darjeeling and are ideal for boating during season with rows of restaurants selling snacks and meals, and on the same route lies the popular rock garden.
Travellers would find a treasure trove of handlooms and silver filigree jewellery called tarakashi in abundance, ethnic crafts, terracotta and stone sculptures and tribal arts in bronze, brass and metal. Around the temple complexes, shops are lined with puja items and soapstone, seashells, pattachitras or paintings with mythological themes and there are artists who also make `ganjifa’ cards. `solapith’ or stone sculpture, which is unique and rare, could be bought and you may look out for a cup known as `pathuri’, said to be ideal for setting curd. The ikat textile and handloom, as fabric or saris, is in great demand and sprawled all over the state. Applique work is also very popular where the cloth is sold with different geometrical shapes and decorative motifs such as birds, leaves and animals. It is also used for making wall hangings for deities and colourful decorative handicrafts and utility items are also made. There is enough gold-embroidered work and horn articles to exclaim over.
In darjeeling, the tibetan refugee self-help centre has tibetans selling superb carpets, woodcarvings, woollens, thangkas and an assortment of curios such as wind chimes, brass and bronze statues, leather work and jewellery. Most of the bazaar is lined up with a trove of such treasures! A must-buy, of course, is the darjeeling tea, which has an unparalled flavour and a divine fragrance, perhaps surpassing even the most delectable wine, and if possible, to squeeze a quick visit to the makaibari tea estate, to enjoy plucking tea leaves or going for a hike and also purchasing from a direct source.
Around the seaside shores, you would find seafood such as prawns, crabs, pomfret and lobsters cooked in oriya style that is gravy and plenty of masala. There are dhabas and small restaurants selling vegetarian food including indian and chinese dishes along with marwari bhojanalayas. The temple areas serve the usual no-onion oriya thali accompanied with delicious lassi. You could also find a row of roadside shacks selling superb indian sweets! There are enough restaurants to serve north indian and south indian food, in some places, blended with continental fare! Rasgolla, the sweet delicacy enjoyed all over india, originated from puri, orissa. It became popular in kolkata and afterwards, in the rest of the country.
In darjeeling, there are plenty of food parlours and restaurants serving breakfast spreads, cold cuts, vegetarian meals, desserts, momos, thupka and the spicy tibetan chilli chutney, homemade chocolates, éclairs, cakes, pastries and bread.
the best period to visit orissa is between october to march. The overall climate is warm, with average december temperatures being pleasant and may being the hottest month. The state's average annual rainfall is normal, with most rain falling in the north and over the eastern ghats. Yet, recommended for a visit throughout the year, as you could always be memerised by this novice location and heritage, be it hot, cold, thunder, lightning or rain!
The beauty of darjeeling could entice tourists throughout the year, in all climes, likely to be very cold in the winters, perhaps even snow-clad, but very pleasant during the summers. In rainy times, you could derive the utmost pleasure in remaining indoors, and taking a break outdoors when it is dry, sipping a cup of beverage a piping hot snack or meal!