We got up early having slept early the night before. The sunrise had already happened as we could make it out from the light outside. I opened up the main door of the room was was left awestruck. The view before me was just mind blowing. The vast East Coast lay in front of me and I was as close to it as I ever would be for the first time. The soothing sounds of the waves crashing ontp the shore and the chirping of the birds made a sweet melody for my ears. Just, how a perfect morning should sound!
We had got up early today since we were going to visit the Puri temple as early as possible to avoid the huge rush of pilgrims it usually gets day-on -day. We had to gate crash before 8 am so that we would take the blessings in a hassle free manner.
We left around 7:30 am and the distance to the temple was hardly 2-3 kms.
We reached the place and parked our bikes. We had to keep all our belongings with the bike itself as we are not allowed to take anything inside except our wallets. CSK’s sir pannier came to our rescue and acted as a safe box to keep all our belongings!
Finally, after a long hassle with the crowd who had gathered inside the temple for the early morning blessings we were finally relived. We had to wait quite a long time as the main temple door from where we can see the deity were not opened. We waited for almost 20-25 mins before the doors were finally opened.
After that we came outside and then decided to have a tour of their Kitchen where the ’56 bhog’ ‘prasad’ gets prepared daily for 6 times. The way the ‘prasad’ is made is really a thing to see and I would strongly suggest you to hire a local guide to explain you all the process. You can get one just when you exit the temple verandah (Not the exit door of the temple). The entry ticket for the Kitchen is around 5 Rs but you have to pay to the hired guide any amount you wish to give it to him after the tour is completed. He will tell you from A-Z about the Kitchen and along with that the history of the temple and some unknown facts, if you want to delve more into its history.
Since the photos were not allowed, you have to experience it all by yourself as it is one of the most talked topics in the temple history of India. And so, writing about it here without the pics wont do justice to it!
Before leaving the temple, I bought the famous ‘Gujiya’ from a vendor who was right outside the temple. I ate around 1 or 2 pieces and packed some stuff to take it back to my home for friends and family. We headed back to the rest house as our breakfast was waiting.
We had breakfast of ‘Aloo-Paratha’ served with curd and it really tasted great. This was our first time dig on the ‘Paratha’ since we had left home.
After we were done with the breakfast, it was time for packing the stuff and head towards Konark temple. And after visiting Konark, we had decided to move onto Bhubaneshwar.
At around 11:44 am we left the rest house after paying the bill. The bill only included a nominal charge of 200 rs and whatever the food charges which we had incurred.
Packing the stuff on the bike again was a tedious task as we were literally sweating due to high humidity. Every now and then I was wiping the sweat off my face with the towel. I was watering my throat often!
I think there’s no introduction required as to why one should visit Konark. Its a world UNESCO site after all and quite famous. We almost get the feel of it daily as it’s printed on our ’10 Rupee’ denomination note. After visiting the place printed on 50 rs denomination note which was ‘Hampi’ back in March, this time I was chasing the 10 Rupee note!
We reached the place around 1 pm. We got rid of our riding gears and kept all our stuff at a nearby shop from whom we bought some refreshing drinks. He was really doing a brisk business in this sweltering heat. The main saddle bags stayed on the bike while the gears and helmet were kept at the shop. We then moved towards the ticket counter.
I won’t be writing about the temple and leaving some things upon you to either explore physically or read a book (https://www.amazon.in/Sun-Temple-Konark-Anil-Dey/dp/9385285432) on it (Which I am going to do soon, since I am particularly fascinated about this temple as I thought that whatever the info the guide gave us was not enough to satiate my hunger to know about its history ). A YouTube video will also do but I do recommend to plan a trip to this magnificent place! Truly a wonder of Odisha and India.
Some basic info about the temple which I have pulled from Wikipedia:
Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century CE Sun temple at Konark about 36 kilometres (22 mi) northeast from Puri on the coastline of Odisha, India. The temple is attributed to king Narasingha Deva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty about 1250 CE.
Dedicated to the Hindu Sun God Surya, what remains of the temple complex has the appearance of a 100-foot (30 m) high chariot with immense wheels and horses, all carved from stone. Once over 200 feet (61 m) high, much of the temple is now in ruins, in particular the large shikara tower over the sanctuary; at one time this rose much higher than the mandapa that remains. The structures and elements that have survived are famed for their intricate artwork, iconography, and themes, including erotic kama and mithuna scenes. Also called the Surya Devalaya, it is a classic illustration of the Odisha style of Architecture or Kalinga Architecture
We had taken a guide to explain all this stuff. Its strongly recommended to take one, unless you are an Temple historian. We spent something around 1 hr on the temple premises wondering how this advanced temple was built which was so ahead of its time back in 1200 A.D.
Time went by quickly and it was way past 2 pm. We had finished exploring the temple and had paid the guide. We thanked him and moved on. We decided to have lunch at a hotel which was right outside the temple area.
We ate to the core and finally felt happy and relaxed sitting in the AC environment. Just as we were exiting the hotel, we also noticed that they had a Museum dedicated to the Konark temple and its history. And it contained all the information required to know the Odisha history and other temples in a detailed manner. The museum looked top notch and nothing less than a 5 star hotel.
Below are the images we took from inside the museum.
They also have a small theater inside the museum where they show a small 10 minute video clip regarding the Konark history. Don’t miss it as they show pretty interesting facts and myths about the temple.
The theater was the last thing which we saw and after that we exited the museum and were on our way towards the parking lot. We were now heading towards the capital city of Odisha, Bhubaneshwar where my friends were waiting for me.
My friend had already booked a guest house for us in the same railway quarters where he was staying.
We had started around 4 pm I guess and reached the city in no time around 6 pm. We had planned to get there before dark. I was not happy with the way the bike was performing as heavy tappet noise was coming from the engine when we left Konark. This was troubling me since we left Chennai and now the situation had aggravated and I could not take any further.
We decided to split ourselves. CSK Sir and Kartik went to Decathlon to purchase some stuff while, I headed straight towards a local RE mechanic (My friend had recommended that shop).
When we started to diagnose the problem and upon firing the engine, he instantly knew what the problem was. The first thing which he suspected was that engine might be running low on oil to which I strongly opposed. But, I went in his favor and when we really drained the oil to see how much oil was there(his method of checking the oil level, the right way), there was hardly any left inside and that’s what was causing the engine to make such a noise.
I told him that I did not had leak anywhere on my trip and that such low oil level was really impossible. This had happened to me for the first time in my life with regards to engine oil level critically low. The only change was that for this trip I had opted for the MOTUL Fully synthetic oil instead of my regular mineral oil which I use. We all were in a fix as to how this must have been happened. Even the exhaust fumes were running fine and didn’t seem to have any oil traces on it. This was really a tough puzzle to us to solve at the moment. Thank God, the bike didn’t get seized on the way due to overheating and low oil otherwise, it would have been a disaster for the trip.
Immediately, I switched back the the MOTUL mineral oil and when filled the required amount of oil inside the engine, it was running butter smooth now. The noise had instantly disappeared. I was relived to the core and thanked him very much. But still, the question was looming inside my head as to where did the previous oil go. Meanwhile the bike was getting ready and by that time, CSK sir and Kartik also came to the shop. Kartik’s side stand was having some problem since Day 1. It made the bike lean at very heavy angle which didn’t seem right and with the amount of load he was carrying, some day, it was bound to fell. And so, he took the most of the situation and replaced the side stand then and there itself.
Still puzzled, we left the workshop and headed straight towards the address given by my friend. It was around 6-7 kms from our current location.
We reached the place and met my friend which was followed by he escorting us to our rooms. The time must be around 8 pm. We got engaged in conversations and talks and slowly slowly more people from my friend’s riding club started to arrive. We were right outside the guest house gate talking to each other. My stuff was still mounted on the bike and I didn’t even freshen up. For the whole time, we were outside chit chatting. This went on till hour and a half following which we had dinner. The dinner arrangements were already done by my friend which included Veg Pulao along with the famous Odisha’s Roosogulla and one more popular sweet called ‘Pitha’.
After Dinner, we took a group photo and then everyone retired to their places. We had ournext destination planned for tomorrow which was Kolkata.
I thanked my friend for supporting and arranging all the stuff and hosting me. With that, we all said goodbyes and goodnight to each other and we three crashed into our rooms.
Even tough, we hadn’t traveled much for today, we seemed to be tired as the heat really beat down upon us. Finally, we could use the room AC and felt relieved. I was so tired that I didn’t even take a bath and pushed it for the next day morning.
The time was around 11 pm.