Saturday 17 January 2015

Christmas 2014 Day 6 of 11, Puri To Chilka Lake to Bhubaneswar

 The plan for the day was to visit Chilka Lake at Satpada and then proceed to Bhubaneswar. Since we had not visited the beach, we decided to spend some time on Puri Beach before we left the town.
Puri beach is an interesting place, there is a market on beach which has many souvenir shops right on the beach. The beach also has religious crowd which takes a dip in the beach before/after heading to the temple.
The road running parallel to the beach is called Marine Drive and appropriately so. It is probably closest to the Marine Drive in Mumbai. In some sense it is even better. The road is lined up with hotels and restaurants and the beach even had a group offering Jet-Ski rides for Rs. 250/- a piece.
Here are some of the pictures from the areas surrounding the beach.
Hotels on Marine Drive
Restaurant on Marine Drive
Another hotel with interesting building
11:00 AM We finally leave the beach and start towards Chilka Lake. Puri has all kinds of oneways near the temple. As soon as we start, we are directed into small lanes and roads by the traffic police and we get into a comedy of errors. We are into a lane where our vehicle is stuck and there is traffic both ahead of us and behind of us and everybody is shouting and abusing. There were some nice gentlemen that help us get out of that mess.
12:00 PM We finally find out way and get back on track. We get on to NH-203A that will take us to Satpada. The road to Satpada is narrow but good surface quality and traffic was comparatively less. 
Just before the Satpada parking there is a state bank of india branch. They don't have a working ATM yet but if you reach at the branch timings, you can use the debit card to withdraw money.
1:30 PM We reach Satpada and chilka lake parking. After reaching here, we realise that our decision to leave late from Puri was not probably the smartest one. 
We are told by the boat guys there that the boat to bird sanctuary takes almost 4-5 hours and it may be too late for us to go for that. We settle for the next biggest boating. All the boating stalls seem to have same published rate and one has to pay Rs. 1/- as jetty fees per person. The boating was interesting, we saw some dolphin and some birds.
It is a prudent idea to buy some items to eat and water bottle because there is nothing to eat once you are in the lake and some people do feel little motion sickness in the boats.
Like most places in India, the boating was nice and sad, there is crowd of people shouting, whistling and doing all kinds of unruly activities. There is also a ambulance boat that we saw. I am not sure if it is in use or just a show piece.

3:25 PM We come back from the boating and we are really hungry. We find a Panthanivas near the lake and decide to go for lunch there.  We go there and ask the waiter to get us whatever he can get us quickly. He gets the food in five minutes. Meanwhile our neighbouring table has three NRI families and they start fighting with the waiter. Their complaint was why were we served before them. The waiter tried to explain to them that what we ordered was all ready and what they ordered had to be made. In any case, we get out of that place by 4:30 PM.
Our stop for the night was Bhubaneswar. We start on our journey back. To go to Bhubaneswar from Chilka Lake one has to go all the way back to Puri and then go to Bhubaneswar. The good thing is that we don't have to enter the Puri town.
6:00 PM We reach back to Puri and continue on our way to Bhubaneswar. We continue on NH-203 which is also known as Jagannath Sadak. It gets dark very quickly in this part of country. Around 5:10pm one has to drive with headlights on.

7:30 PM We reach Hotel Mayfair Lagoon in Bhubaneswar. Here is my review of the property.

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