Thursday, December 08, 2005

My Orissa

As I wrote in a previous post, I planned to spend a bit of time in a small village. One of my friends from Bangalore has a friend whom relatives live in a rural area in Orissa. Unfortunately, he couldn't get a leave from his job… I left. Alone!

Kissed my boy at the train station. A bit strange to do so in a public place in India (But TT’s request!).

The train left. Ready for a 33-hour journey! Met a few great guys: students, software engineers, volley-ball players and, hmm, ended up smoking grass in the train toilets. The train was expected to reach BBSA at 12pm, then 1am, then 3am. At 1.30, was dead. Decided to sleep till 2.30. Bad idea… At 2am, the grass guy came: “Elise, wake up, wake up! We'll be in BBSA in 5min”. Unlocked my bags, jumped out of my bed (slow motion) and reached the door. In the darkness, saw four guys running along the train at the station. Looking for me?

We went to their apartment. Two bikes, 15kg of luggages, five of us. Chatted for a while, had some food and went to bed.

Their owner was expected to come at 9am the next day. Hosting a girl (even worse, a foreign girl) in a guy's apartment? Not a problem. As long as nobody knows. Conclusion, woke up at 7. Went to their campus. Warm shower and back to sleep in the girl’s hostel. Didn’t do much on my first day in BBSA. Roamed around and met plenty of people.

Was supposed to spend the night in the girl's hostel. But... curfew at 7! Went to a birthday party instead. Translate: a registered wedding (love marriage not totally approved by the parents. To be kept secret).

Next steps, Chandipur and then the village. We reached the village later than expected. As far as I was concerned, it was difficult to communicate but I really loved the place and the people.

They are in such direct contact with the nature. They are deep-minded people who don't feel the need to talk to say nothing. No stress, no hypocrisy, no need to pretend. I was glad to hear nothing but the wind.

Had food and went for a walk in the wood. Time to go back as my friends didn't want me to spend the night in the village due to very limited amenities. Honestly, I wouldn't have cared. True, I was a bit uncomfortable when I had to go to the "bathroom" in the river. But it was clearly not because of a lack of comfort. The reason: 15 people were standing 20 meters away from me when I was doing so…

I did not dare to take pictures but this is the kind of villages in which we went. Source

Instead, we slept in a colony at one of my friend's place. Once more, I was surprised by the great Indian hospitality. Guys on one side. Girls on the other. Slept in a bed with the mom and the two sisters!

Train to Puri… Amazing and crowded beaches. Tried the local sweets. Tasty ! The place was beautiful but I was disappointed by the policy implemented by the city. No foreigner allowed in temples. The main reasons : foreigners eat meat.

" For centuries now, the beach at Puri has been the venue of countless pilgrims taking the traditional purification dip for Puri is the abode of Lord Jagannath and considered one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage destination. However, for decades now, both Indian and foreign beach lovers have made it their special haunt. The fine white sands of Puri beach and the roar of the breakers rolling in from the Bay of Bengal have fascinated visitors throughout the ages."

And then, Konark. Difficult to describe it with words… If you have only one day to spend in Orissa, I would recommend you not to miss this place.

“The magnificent Sun Temple at Konark is the culmination of Orissan temple architecture, and one of the most stunning monuments of religious architecture in the world. The massive structure, now in ruins, sits in solitary splendour surrounded by drifting sand. Today it is located two kilometers from the sea, but originally the ocean came almost up to its base. Built by King Narasimhadeva in the thirteenth century, the entire temple was designed in the shape of a colossal chariot, carrying the sun god, Surya, across the heavens.”

Spend one more day in BBSA. Met more people. The girls were excited to know that I had an Indian boyfriend. First question: Did you kiss him? No comment!

Last step, Chilika. Went alone. By train. Met a pastor who tried to convince me of the existence of God. Reached the place. Me, the sun, the lake… and two nice guys to take care of the boat. Tried to drive the boat. Not that easy ;o) Visited the temple. Hard time to find an auto on the way back without being fooled. Asked a guy (sign language) where to find a bus to the train station. Waited for a while. Then, he stepped on the road and stopped one of the rare auto’s (which I would have never done because the auto was already completely full). The result: 11 passengers in the auto. Normal load: 4 or less. ;o)

“Just south of Puri, the sea mixes in with the 1100 inland Chilika Lake to create the largest brackish water lake in Asia. These shallow waters enclose an immense area of marshes, lowlands, and islands. There are more than 160 varieties of fish, and, in the winter season, the area is home to hundreds of thousands of migratory birds as well.”

Back to BBSA. Packed my bags and caught the train to Bangalore. Slept most of the time. Washed my hair in the train toilets. Sleeper class, remember… ;o) and arrived, almost fresh, at the station. Late? Only by 4 hours. Boyfriend waiting for me. Have been missing him for 9 days… Badly... And talking (twice a day) on the phone was not of a big help.



Patricia said...

Never affraid? i mean... you were alone in a completely unknown place! I dont know you and hence i dont know how well you can handle risky situations. But I would never dare to do that... I prefer to travel with a group and to have nothing to worry about.

Joey said...

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Deepak Patel said...

really the tour of orissa was my one the best tour ever of my life cloudy scene, watered land any one minds attract towards spender
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Laxmi Niwas Palace Bikaner said...

Orissa is a nice and good place like your blog it's really nice and interesting information shared here..