Three nights and four days in Odisha!


Sandeep Kaul
It is the month of February. The weather is perfect in Delhi. Hardly the time to think of a trip. But, that is what happens and a party of four is ready for a new adventure in the east. We do not have the luxury of time. Just three nights and five days. So, driving down and back is not feasible. Flights are booked. Hotels are scouted. One night in Bhubaneswar. Two nights in Puri. And, a bit of driving around in between. The car we are offered is a one-year old Honda City courtesy a friend who is based in Bhubaneswar.

Come the morning of 21 April, Doc P and his better half and your's truly and your's truly's better half get up at an unearthly hour to leave for the airport to catch a 7am flight. The sun rises as we make our way thought the innards of T3 and get on the plane.
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Can you see the exclamation mark?

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Well, this just makes an interesting picture, as I learn from the Guru that I am travelling with.

Time passes. I doze. I eat a warm meal. I look out of the window - a difficult feat considering I'm in an aisle seat, I doze again and then we land.

We have car waiting for us at the airport in Bhubaneswar. We pile in and leave, no, not for the hotel, but the Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves. We find ourselves a guide and set about to the first discovery of our Odisha trip. The caves date back to the 1st century BC and quite a marvel.

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Ladies and gentlemen, the Udayagiri caves. Those pillars have come in much, much later (read the ASI) to support the cave roofs.

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A wider angle with three on the trip protagonists in the frame and one behind the camera.

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Such a pretty corner.

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Some more corner carvings.

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A view of the Khandagiri structures from Udayagiri.

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Ornate doorway.

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You may not believe it but we are on the first floor now!

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Now you can see the scale of the caves.

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The walls tell stories.

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In India how can you not have elephant guards outside the Ganesh cave?

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Moving on, can you see the tiger mouth cave?

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Rocks, rocks and rocks.

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Jain teerthankars at the top and Hindu Gods and Goddesses below.

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Temple window at Khandagiri.

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We didn't spend too much time at Khandagiri.

After a drink of coconut water, we are back in the car for a drive to, no, still not the hotel but the Lingaraja temple.

Outside the temple our driver asks us to leave our footwear and cameras/phones in the car itself. So, no pics of the temple. The lack of footwear results in immediate impact on the soles. Of my feet, not my shoes. So, it is a painful walk to the entrance of the temple. It does not get any better once inside but once I am in the shade my feet breath a sigh of relief.

From the temple we do reach the hotel and I am able to get some repairs done on my soles!

Next on the agenda is lunch. Followed by some more sightseeing.

Until then, let me put my feet up and restore my soles as much as I can...
How we missed our rides this time around!

Truly, it felt kinda funny, not driving to our destination.
Vistara serves a mean breakfast of Spanish omelettes with bread rolls. And coffee to wash down the lot.
The egg meal induced somnolence. The coffee countered that effect. It was while one was struggling between these two extremes, the jet landed at Bhubaneshwar.

With the two stalwarts with us, our better halves, we thought we were the top shots in bargaining. The guide we hired at Udaygiri, however, turned out to be a topper shot. He did not budge an inch from what he quoted. In the end, we were happy though! He told us many tales.


It was fun framing these three in one go!


A hiatus in one of the cave walls.


A populated hiatus


Listening with rapt attention.......the topper shot guide out of frame.


Itna toh kabhi history class mein bhi dhyan nahin diya tha




Lingaraja temple was next.
My sole purpose of visiting temples/ monuments/ anywhere, is to photograph the beauty of the place.
Not being allowed to carry a camera or a cellphone is a bummer.
I wish better sense prevails and someone reverses this archaic custom.
As mentioned, the soles took a beating. The cobbled path was so hot, I'm sure we could have fried an egg, sunny side up.

Post Lingaraja, it was on wards to the hotel for a well earned meal. And a siesta.


Sandeep Kaul
End of Day 1
After some treatment to my soles, lunch and a short siesta, we sally forth for the next round. Images are missing since the museum, our first port of call, does not allow photography (though I do manage to sneak in a couple of useless shots) and then it's all about shopping.


Managed just a couple of shots


3rd century BC!


Not that old - Just 13th century AD!

First to Ekamra Haat which seems to be the local Delhi Haat clone but a lot greener and a little smaller. Sadly, most of the shops are shut - some local holiday, I guess - and from there we stop at some handloom fair before wandering around the Market Building area.

We return to the hotel in time to receive our means of transport for the next three days and have dinner with our gracious car donor. Goodbyes done, we retire for the night for an early start the next morning.

Day 2

My soles are definitely better and the night's rest has restored spirits. Planned roll out is early so breakfast will have to be on the way.

We are late only be 15 minutes or so when we drive out of the hotel towards our destination - The Konark Sun Temple.

The city is waking up, kids are on their way to school - they start really early to beat the heat - and we wind around city roads before getting on to the Bhubaneswar-Puri highway. Four lanes of bliss until we turn off somewhere near Pipli to get on the Old Pipli-Konark road that is a two-lane no road median and mostly two-wheeler traffic. Thank God we are early and the traffic is manageable.

We make it to the temple around 8:00am or so. Google Maps takes us one way. A policeman directs us another way. We reach the car park. At least we think it is the car park. Except for one other car and a few carts selling coconut water and trinkets there is nothing else.

We walk down an almost empty road to reach the entrance to the sun temple. A stall selling local cashew engages our attention. Cashew is apparently a local produce! We promise to come back later. We enter the premises, engage a guide who gets us our tickets and we are no. We are ahead of the crowds who start coming in just as we are exiting.


A lion atop an elephant with a human underneath! Yes, the guide told us what it means but I am taking no notes and now I forget the story.


Look at the detail as we are welcomed with music and dance!


There it is - The Sun Temple and it is H-U-G-E! Some repairs are on and the crowd is sparse at the moment. No wonder the dog is chilling. He won't have the space to do so soon enough.


Everybody in India knows these horses.


And these chariot wheels that are a showcase of skill and philosophy at the same time.


Lots of wheels for something as huge as this temple!


Some beings are totally chilled!


Almost Singaporean, wouldn't you say?


Mythical beasts?


There's Surya, the Sun God.


No, you cannot enter the temple.


Another angle.


The crowd is increasing.


People are there but below the steps that you cannot see.

Next is some breakfast at the Kamat's restaurant in the interpretation centre building. It is our bad luck that we miss the interpretation centre.

We pick up the cashews and some other stuff and make it to the car park. Next stop is just 2½ odd km away.

Chandrabhaga beach, here we come!


Active Member
Thanks for this thread. I did this circuit in January of 2021, brought back lot of memories. You have captured lot of detailed pictures.

It is our bad luck that we miss the interpretation centre.
We had managed to visit this in our trip before seeing the temple. Have to say that it was very informative about Kalinga architecture in general and of course the Sun temple.