Happy days are here again! Its summer holidays. Father proudly announces that this year we are to visit Bhubaneswar in Orissa. As our train transits from the southern belt towards the east, the red soil and brownish rocky landscape transforms into a lavish green belt interspersed with springs and lakes.
An endless sea of water with dingy fishing boats, fishing nets pegged in shallow water emerges. I am told this is the famous Chilika Lake. The world’s largest fresh water lake. Bhubaneswar is known as temple city. The famous Lingaraj temple of lord Shiva stood majestically surrounded by one hundred shivalingas built all around the temple lands that stretched over quite a few kilometers.
Our next stop was Konark. Enroute we passed through the famous Pipli village. Pipli is famous for appliqué work. There were colorful umbrellas, lamps, table covers and assorted things. Mother nearly bought the whole shop! The Sun temple at Konark is an architectural wonder, built in the shape of a chariot. This temple is dedicated to the sun god. The first ray of the sun falls at the feet of the deity. Each year the government organizes the dance festival of India here. Famous dancers of all schools come here to perform.
One last stop was Puri. There was this beautiful stretch of road along the sea. Lined with cashew nut plantations, palm trees and birds like the Siberian cranes. It was wonderful. The Puri beach was simply exotic. There were guides with tubes and comical caps that took us into the sea to swim. We collected shells, stones, artifacts to remember this lovely town.
Last stop was the Jagannath temple at Puri. Sitting majestically were 3 idols of Balbhadra, Subhadra and Jagannath. I prayed and thanked them for this lovely holiday and all the love and affection we had shared as family members on this trip together. That, also, our love and bonds be as strong as them brothers and sister. This holiday to the coastal state of Orissa shall be the most memorable holiday of my life.