A Travelogue :
My grandfather was alive when we had a very memorable trip to Puri, as it was his life long wish to go there. We were quite young then and we had gone there during our school vacations.
Three things are very clear and imprinted in my memory vividly ( forever! ) from that trip.
For some silly reason I had made fun that time when we were told that we were going to Puri. Puri in our native language means a thin-flat-roti, made with Maida that is deep fried in ghee or oil. So, I was wondering how we could go inside a maida roti. Kids, I say!
We had reached Bhubaneshwar and headed straight for Puri, so, my memory of Bhubaneshwar is bit limited as it was mainly a transit point for us. We had made the journey by flight ( GHY-BHU via CAL and back ) so that was also one of my first few childhood flight experiences.
When we finally landed at Puri ( my maida roti ), I was left speechless!
1. PURI BEACH :
We stayed at a hotel quite near the beach and it was the first time in my life that I had seen a beach on the eastern coast of India ( infact, first beach I ever saw ). And Wow! What a sight it was!
A clean beach sans any hawkers, dark greenish-blue sea water and its roaring waves. It was the first time I felt waves beneath my feet. Its a ticklish sensation as the tide goes back and you feel the earth is moving beneath you. We made endless sand castles on the beach, watched sun rises, collected sea-shells and in the evenings we'd be back roaming around, walking on the beach with its roaring sound, a pleasant melody on the background. Oh..I loved it. My parents would drag us kids from near the beach back to the hotel and we'd grumble a lot.
The eastern coastline is quite different than the western one, even the colour of the water is different compared to the water in the west i.e near Bombay where it is more greyish. Anyhow, it was few years later, that I had discovered Bombay. ( I'm bit biased towards the Bombay sea as I live here :-)
2. PURI JAGANNATH TEMPLE :
We visited the very famous Puri Jagannath Temple, the reason why we were there in the first place. There was some kinda festival going on during that time and we made several rounds of the temple on various days. When I was a child, I used to blindly follow whatever the elders ( esp my mother ) did, so I worshiped the trio idols of Lord Jagannath faithfully ( it was only later that I turned a bit agnostic ).
One thing which you'll definately notice about the idols at the Puri Jagannath Temple is that, they are unlike any idols you've ever seen in any other temples. Here you'll find Balabhadra and Subhadra giving Lord Jagannath company.
I remember both me and my sister praying piously for the Lord to forgive our sins and make us happy individuals, and then wait impatiently to run back to the beach.
My mother bought photos and idols of Lord Jagannath, we got miniature ones.
3. KONARK SUN TEMPLE :
That was one of my first historical site visits so I was quite impressed at whatever I saw ( although I didn't quite understand anything yet, as history - the ever fascinating subject, was something I was about to learn much later on at high school )
Our Rating Scale is : 1 to 5 = ◕◕◕◕◕ - It was Amazing!
( Images : Google )