15 August 2010

Kolkata and Puri Trip: Summary

The planning for the trip started 3-4 months back when Santanu had unofficially invited me for his marriage with Treena at Kolkata. Since the marriage was scheduled on Thursday August 5th 2010, we thought of utilizing the following weekend to explore places in and around Kolkata. As part of planning, we had booked round-trip flight tickets from Mumbai to Kolkata three months in advance! Initially, Sunderbans was there in our itinerary but many people advise us not to go there during Monsoons, Himanshu made an alternate plan of going to Puri and Konark.

Victoria Memorial

Kolkata Sightseeing
For doing Kolkata sightseeing we opted for conducted tour by WBTDC. Many prominent and signature locations like Belur Math, Kali Temple, Police Museum, Netaji Bhavan and Victoria Memorial were covered in the package. In initial part of trip we had a drive thru in front Eden Gardens, Governor's House and High Court(previously Supreme Court of India) and other heritage buildings in White-Kolkata.

Puri Temple

Raths being dismantled

Following day we were at Puri and had a darshan of Lord Jagannath in morning. There were several restriction for entering into the temple. Significant one was that only Hindus are allowed inside the temple. The most ironical rule was that leather goods were not allowed inside but there was no restrictions on carrying a leather wallet :)

Konark Temple

Sun Temple

A world heritage site which been a witnessed many massive cyclones. The base of core temple comprises of 7 horses and 24 uniquely designed wheels . The existing temple is not functional as it's filled with sand bags by Britishers in 1903 so that it does not get damaged like the adjacent twice-the-size temple which was destroyed due to super cyclone in 1568. The carvings of the temple are completely dominated with erotica, depicting various Kama-sutra poses and sexual ethos of those times.

Puri Beach and Market

Beach Sculpture

We rushed back from the Konark to Puri Beach to catch sand sculptors in action. Reknowned sand sculptor Sudarshan Patnaik was missing but there a few other artists expressing their creativity. It was unfortunate to know that the artists get little help from the government and for obvious reasons they were asking for nominal donations from people who were taking photographs of sculptures created by them.

Beach Market

When it became dark the spotlight shifted to the beach market. We started off doing window shopping for timepass but ultimately ended up buying some items. In some shops the prices were so down-to-earth that we didn't even thought of bargaining. It was an amusing experience to shop at such a big market besides the beach.

Chilka Lake: Boating, Birding

Sea Eagle

We covered the place inspite of time constraints. We left Puri as early 6 am and reached jetty of India's largest saltwater lake at 7 am. We opted for the package 2.5 hrs duration in which included rides to Sea Moth and sites of Dolphins, Red Crab. Apart from this we got the glimpse of white-bellied sea eagles in stationary as well as flight mode. Due to various delays here and there there the actual ride took 3 hrs and later we had to hurry back to Puri station to catch our train back Kolkata.

It was conclusion of an eventful trip as it was my maiden visit to both West Bengal and Orissa. A special thanks to Himanshu for letting us to stay in his house in Kolkata, planning Puri trip and also booking his employer's luxurious guest resort at Puri.


  1. Buddy u r njoying life.

  2. wonderful photos sir!

  3. I've not been to Kolkata yet... need to visit this city and other interesting places in North East...