Friday, October 24, 2014

Weekly Inspirational Travel Quote

Picture by Shailza Sood Dasgupta

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Exploring the hidden gems of Odisha

The train journey...
Looking out of the window of Dhauli express on the way from Hawrah to Balasore, I was feeling like a child again. Green fields seemed to be smiling at me, small ponds where kids were taking bath and having fun seemed to be inviting me to join them. Mud houses reminded me of my childhood spent in the villages of Himachal.

 Singara, jhaal moori, chai, bread cutlet, biryani, cold drink and chips... there ware options to munch on every other minute. Eye contact and smiles shared with the cute kid of the family sitting next to us made my day. There was another huge family traveling together. They had lots of alu dum and moori packed and members kept moving to and fro in the compartment... serving, eating, chatting and what not.

Green fields as viewed from the train

Happy village kids
A memorable walk through the Villages of Odisha...

My destination for now was village Kantabonia, Shyamsundarpur. I liked the rawness of the place.

Village people far from the modernity seemed happy living close to nature. Ladies sitting out on the verandas of their houses, children rejoicing together in the pool, men folk returning home on their by-cycles.

Agriculture is the main occupation

Walking on the muddy route crossing water stream twice and passing through a village, we reached KUMKUT. I thoroughly enjoyed having tea while watching the sunset and talking to the villagers. 

t was already dark when we started back. This time on a different route. Devraj told me to take my shoes off. We walked on the muddy road with puddles all along, through the water stream for around half a km and through narrow lanes cutting through village. While I was struggling to find the way and keep my feet on right place to avoid the puddles, Devraj was narrating stories of Elephant herds frequenting this place. Moon and stars gave me company and lighted my way. Fireflies were my other companions on this adventurous walk. Silence of the night was broken only by the sound of crickets. 

As we reached back the resort the santhal ladies and men were getting ready for tribal dance performance. It was fun to match the steps with those shy ladies and funny men folk.

Tribal Dance

Drive through the Jungle
Jungle walk to Devkund...

Next day was dedicated to Devkund. Started just after breakfast. A drive of around 3 hrs took us to Simlipal reserve forest. Though the reserve park was closed due to rains we drove a stretch in the jungle and walked a few kms to reach Devkund. It being monsoon season, the area was lush green and the waterfall gushing. Hundreds of small steps took us to the temple. The serene forest walk refreshed our senses.

Serene Jungle Walk

Drive back through the country side was even more beautiful.  The setting sun beyond the green fields; saree clad ladies and men folk in their lungis, kids in vibrant clothes all were going to the mela... It was a festive season and everyone seemed to be in their cheerful best.

Delicious dinner served with love by the village people was a perfect end to the day.

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