Puri

The car was given for servicing the next day. We visited the Jagannath Puri temple where non-Hindus were not allowed. The women were ululating and the men threw their hands up in the air. The main deity was colorful and beautiful. Half the temple was painted white, while half of it was beautifully clad in the colors of the old stone. Puri is the only beach where you see the sunrise and the sunset on the same beach.

We were beckoned by the priests to go with them. All they wanted was money. One of the priests approached us and told us that for 10 rupees you could visit the shrine; this offer also had underlying terms and conditions, one of them being, we were not allowed to talk to anyone. If we did, then the gods would be angry. If we didn’t go with them, then the gods would be angry. If we didn’t do something else the Gods would be angry. We decided to explore the area ourselves.

The next day we visited the Chilikha Lake, rented a boat and saw some exotic birds. For a sum of 2700 INR we got to see the red crabbed island which was one of the more popular rides. We were told that there were no birds at the Nalbana bird sanctuary. I really wonder how true that was. To me it was just one of their tricks to ensure that they got as much money as possible.

In Puri, incessant honking is what people who drive do for a living.

On the last day in Puri, we visited the Konark temple, in Konark the next day. It is magnificent temple. We stopped by at the Lotus resorts for lunch. The sea breeze chilled us down after the bitter experiences.

En route we stopped by at a handicrafts village called Raghurajpur. It was nice to see everyone from different families work towards a common cause – art.

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