Continuing the PHOTO JOURNEY from Orissa, here is how we made best of 3rd/4th day around Konark and Lake Chilika.
Day 3- Konark
As a traveler, I do not invest time in a lot of research before venturing out except collating a list of the main attractions. Offbeat travel and unexpected surprises leave you feeling unusually exhilarated because you wouldn’t have expected it all- on the brighter side, it does not create expectations which could leave you feeling lull if not met as you had expected. It doesn’t mean I am saying pack your bag and leave. I believe travelling should be a mix of fair amount of research, talking to the locals and doing/figuring out at least a couple of things outside of the norm for you to experience the space in its authentic nature. Furthermore, it gives you enough knowledge to understand how you enjoyed your travel and what it meant for you.
Konark is famous for the Sun Temple which is a world UNESCO heritage site dedicated to sun god, the primal source of energy. So here is the fun part- I had no clue it is a SEX TEMPLE and I was accompanied with my Indian parents. I still laugh thinking about the awkward moments of seeing sculpted orgy depictions, the candor of our guide and smirks on our faces! This temple is a true testament of what Kalingan empire must have been once upon a time; exhibiting sexual progression. Sex is depicted as union of a man and woman – a spiritual awakening and an artistic hobby in yielding pure passion and pleasure. Besides many interesting depictions, immaculate stone carvings and the world famous Konark sun dial, the temple has an area where devdasi’s danced which now is famously known as the Odissi dance.
We spent the day enjoying the remnants of the ancient temple, marveling each sculpture and imbibing the artistic wonder to relish and feel proud of our legacy- the heritage and history of India.
Day 4- Lake Chilika
Day 4- Lake Chilika
Yes, you saw that just about right! Lake Chilika is Asia’s largest salt-water lagoon and is separated from the Bay of Bengal by a sandy ridge. The lake spreads across 1,100 sq km which makes it quite a large waterbody and displays a unique ecosystem. For the local, Lake Chilika means – fish curry, fresh prawns and beautiful sightings of migratory birds. The interesting part about this lake is that it has a few islands and you may take a local boat to see a few of them- the main one where stands a temple of Goddess Kali. Lake Chilika is a place where most tourists don’t come – except the locals from nearby cities and neighboring states.
We stayed in a local ORTDC (Tourism Department) huts and we did boating on a Forest Department boat arranged by our family friend. In the evening, we ventured out to nearby villages to taste some sweet mithais and walk around the fish market.